Why Don’t BMX Bikes Have Front Brakes?

I’m sure you’ve noticed that most BMX bikes don’t have front brakes.

The reason why BMX bikes don’t have front brakes is not that they’re clumsy or lazy, it’s because the design of the bike makes them unnecessary.

The big tires on these bikes provide an extra level of safety for bikers which is why they are so popular with beginners and kids.

So when you start hitting ramps and doing tricks, just remember to keep in mind your braking system!

Why Don't BMX Bikes Have Front Brakes?

What are the benefits of not having a front brake on BMX bikes?

It’s obvious that there are benefits for BMX bikes to specifically have no front brakes.

1) They are safer.

The reason that there is no front brake on most BMX bikes is that they are designed specifically to be safe.

A big part of this safety comes from the large, stiff tires that they have. These wheels can stop abruptly when you step on your rear brake.

You also don’t need a front brake when your bike is standing still.

The stability provided by your large back wheel will keep you upright when the bike is at a stop.

2) You can do more tricks.

Not having to worry about front brakes means that you have much more freedom in performing stunts on BMX bikes because your hands are available for other things.

3) They’re easier to learn on.

The lack of front brakes makes balance and control easier for beginners.

This is because having both hands free allows you to concentrate on your speed, where you are going, what you are doing with your knees etc…

This means that learning to ride a BMX bike is much less frustrating.

So what are the disadvantages of not having front brakes on BMX bikes?

1) It’s harder to stop quickly.

This seems like common sense but it can be a serious problem for BMX riders.

Even though you have more control over your bike than someone with two braked wheels, you will go faster than them.

This means that if you want to stop quickly, you will need more distance between yourself and whatever it is you are trying to avoid.

2) You can lose control easily.

Since the front tire of a BMX bike is almost as big as the back one, it’s natural that it does not handle like your average bike.

Losing control is much easier when you have one big tire and one small, slim tire.

You can also lose control more easily when riding fast with a heavy load because the bike will be even less responsive to steering.

How do BMX bikes work without brakes?

BMX bikes use their back wheels for stopping which makes sense since they are the biggest and most reliable.

Once you step on one of your rear brakes, it grips the rear wheel and slows you down pretty quickly.

The longer the distance that you have to brake, the more effective this system is because less speed will be lost in braking.

Is it dangerous to use a bike without a front brake?

Yes, it’s definitely not as safe as using a bike with front brakes.

You can still break on your BMX but it takes more distance to come to a stop which means you are less likely to avoid obstacles at high speeds.

Additionally, in the event that you do lose control, your front tire won’t be able to provide stability like it would with brakes.

Because of this, BMX riders often experience head injuries when they fall because their face slams into the ground without protection.

This is especially common for new BMX riders who are learning to roll and don’t have the necessary balance yet to avoid a crash.

That’s why you always have to wear a helmet when you’re riding your bike.

Is it illegal to have no brakes on a BMX?

It’s not illegal in most places to have no brakes on your BMX bike.

However, if you are under 18, some specific cities will require that you use a front brake because it is seen as inherently more dangerous for minors to ride without one.

This can be extremely frustrating for experienced riders who want to do tricks with their BMX.

For example, riding no-handed is one of the most impressive tricks you can do on a BMX bike and it’s not possible if you have to use your front brake during this trick.

That being said, if you are under 18 years old, make sure that your municipality doesn’t enforce strict rules against using bikes without brakes.

How do you stop a BMX bike without brakes?

Most BMX riders stop their bikes without brakes by using a technique called “skidding.”

This means that when the rider feels they are going too fast to maintain good control, they will simply slide a little bit on one of their tires until they have scrubbed off some speed.

It may take a few tries in order for you to get it right but when you do, you’ll be in complete control of your bike again.

Supposedly, this technique can even make you go faster because it gives you better clearance off the ground and allows the back tire to grip every little bit better which improves acceleration.

My final thoughts.

I don’t think that it’s the most impressive thing in the world to ride a BMX bike with no brakes.

It just seems like bad practice to me, but if you’re still learning how to ride your BMX sometimes accidents happen, and having brakes will help.

If you are under 18 I would recommend checking with your municipality to see if they require you to have brakes on your BMX.

If you’re not sure if it’s legal or not, just check with your local police department to ask what the laws are regarding bikes without brakes.

It might be out of date but it’s worth checking before you go riding.