Are BMX Bikes Good for Cruising?

BMX bikes aren’t regular bikes – we know that. Even those with a little knowledge of the vast and colorful world of BMX riding will know that these types of bikes are predominantly designed for stunts and tricks.

But are BMX bikes good for cruising?

The short answer is no.

While technically you can use a BMX bike for cruising, it’s not advised because it’s not what they’re designed for, and it certainly won’t be a pleasant experience.

Let’s find out more.

What can BMX bikes do | Are BMX bikes good for cruising | Can I cruise on BMX cruisers | Good cruiser bikes | Convert BMX into cruiser bike | FAQs

What Can BMX Bikes Do?

So, if cruising your BMX bike isn’t the only activity on your list, as far as BMX activities go, what else can you do with your BMX bike?

BMX bikes are predominantly designed for off-road racing and performing tricks and stunts. Some folks may use their BMX for mountain biking and street riding/commuting (providing your BMX bike has brakes). However, the latter two options aren’t ideal for BMX bikes, as there are more comfortable and practical options than a BMX bike for these activities.

If you do go out in public with your BMX bike, you will need to make sure it is road safe (which can entail several costly upgrades). The same applies for using your bike for long distance rides or racing.

So, to summarize: BMX bikes are best suited for short racing (off-road) and tricks and stunts.

Are BMX Bikes Good for Cruising?

bmx bike beside white wall

No, BMX bikes are NOT good for cruising. So, now that we’ve discovered BMX bikes aren’t ideal for cruising, let’s delve a little deeper as to why.

Related: How much does the average BMX bike weigh?

Why BMX Bikes aren’t good for Cruising?

Lack of Adequate Gears

Obviously, BMX bikes do have gears, but they don’t have the right ones for cruising.

If you want to cruise a bike, ideally you need smooth, flat ground, and BMX bike gears aren’t specifically designed for that. Typically, a BMX bike only has one gear which caters to the key uses of a BMX (tricks and stunts).

Low Seats

BMX bikes have much lower seats than most other bikes.

So much so, most BMX riders rarely use their seats for sitting. Instead, they prefer to stand, as this means they can work up enough power into their pedaling to achieve the speed they need for their stunts.

No Leg Extension

man with one leg on bmx bike pedal

BMX bikes are not designed to achieve full leg extension, so the prospect of using a BMX bike for cruising is impractical. Cruising requires comfort, and a lack of leg extension provision will rob you of that.

Basically, if you want to stretch your legs on a BMX bike, you need to stand up – which is far from ideal for cruising.

No Suspension

BMX bikes don’t come with shock absorbers – again, because they aren’t designed for long distance riding – so the likelihood they will endure things like potholes is low, making for a tedious and teeth-chatteringly bumpy ride.

Frame & Tyres

The frame size of a BMX bike isn’t particularly ergonomic, so if you use it to cruise, you will put pressure on your body (particularly your legs, back, and butt), and you run the risk of causing yourself an injury if traveling long distance.

Coupled with a lack of a comfortable seat, your body is in for a nasty shock if you go cruising on your BMX bike.

Related: Do BMX bikes have front brakes?

Can I Cruise on BMX Cruiser Bikes?

Nope, you can’t cruise on BMX cruiser bikes. At least, not comfortably

Contrary to the confusing name, BMX cruiser bikes aren’t actually designed for cruising. Sorry! 

Cruiser bikes and regular BMX bikes are virtually the same thing; the only difference is their heights (BMX cruiser bikes have bigger wheels).

While the slightly larger wheels may make cruising on these bikes more comfortable, you’ve still got all the other issues and hindrances of a standard BMX bike making the journey rather unpleasant.

If you’re wondering why they’re called ‘cruiser bikes’ when you can’t go cruising on them – it’s because they’re designed specifically for riders who like performing stunts and jumping tricks. This doesn’t really corroborate with a layman’s understanding of the word ‘cruiser’, so it can be somewhat confusing!

Recommended post: Best BMX Bikes for Wheelies

What About Short Distance Cruising?

So, short distance cruising on your BMX bike will be a little more practical (and less uncomfortable) than cruising long distances.

But again, these bikes really aren’t designed for this purpose, so if cruising is an activity close to your heart, another type of bike is preferable.

Good Cruiser Bikes

Now that we’ve ruled out BMX bikes as good for cruising, let’s look into the best options for those who love nothing better than a cruise sesh.

First of all, when you’re looking for a bike that is good for cruising, you’ll want to look out for the following:

  • Antler wide (lol) handlebars.
  • Balloon tires.
  • Well-built step-through frames, such as aluminum frames.
  • A 3 – 7 gear system (although traditional cruiser bikes are single speed bikes, this isn’t always practical for cruising, so you may be inclined to upgrade the gears on your cruiser bike.
  • Good brakes, such as coaster brakes. Cruiser bikes should always have a brake system, unlike many modern BMX bikes, in which the rider may disable the brakes for the purpose of performing stunts.
  • A comfortable seat.

So, with that in mind, beach cruisers are ideal. Here’s some of the top cruiser bikes for 2023:

Can I Convert BMX Bikes into Cruiser Bikes?

BMX bikes can indeed be converted into a cruiser bike, but it will cost a fair bit of money to do so, and you still won’t have the comfort you would get riding a ready-made cruiser bike.

If you’re absolutely adamant you would like to convert your BMX bike into a cruiser, here’s what you’ll need to do to achieve a comfortable riding experience:

  • Replace the wheels with a bigger option. This will give you more room to stretch your legs while riding. As we mentioned earlier, when you ride BMX bikes, you won’t be spending much time sitting down – which is not the case when riding a cruiser bike.
  • Replace the saddle for a padded seat.
  • Convert to thick tires for a smoother riding experience.
bmx bike wheel
Bigger wheels are required to convert BMX bikes into cruiser bikes

This will make riding a converted BMX bike moderately more comfortable, but there’s still no way around the short frames and the lower seat of BMX bikes, so you’ll still be in for a rather awful experience in comparison to just riding a good ol’ regular bike like a beach cruiser bike.

Plus, with the money you’ll spend replacing the parts of your BMX bike, you’re better off just investing in a proper cruiser bike.

The bottom line of making a BMX bike for cruising is to consider using your BMX for cruising purposes only if you also wish to combine cruising with BMX tricks and stunts as well. If your interest is exclusively cruising – bypass the BMX bike altogether and just invest in a comfortable bike designed for cruising and urban riding – you (and your body) will thank us later!


biker performing a wheelie on bmx bike

Can you use BMX bikes for long distances?

NO, not really. While there’s no rules about what you use your BMX bike for, long distance riding on a BMX bike would be extremely impractical and uncomfortable.

Can you ride BMX bikes like normal bikes?

Again, no. They’re simply not designed for normal cycling purposes, such as commuting, or for recreational cycling.

Because of their small size, low seats, gearing ratio, and (sometimes) the absence of brakes, fenders, and suspension – riding a BMX bike for cruising isn’t a good idea. As well as the lack of comfort, it can be bad for your physical wellbeing, and can even be dangerous riding on the road.

Can BMX bikes go uphill?

BMX bikes are not good at going uphill – even for experienced or professional cyclists. In order to ride BMX bikes uphill, you’d need to be standing while pedaling for the duration of the journey, which will be one hell of a workout!

Sitting down on a BMX bike while riding uphill will be equally unpleasant, in terms of comfort, so this scenario is best avoided altogether.

Can I use BMX bikes on the road?

No. It’s a bad idea.

As far as riding goes, BMX bikes aren’t recommended for any longer than a mile or two at most. Also, because they are aimed at off-roading, there’s a lack of safety within the construction of a BMX, so you could be putting yourself – and others – at risk by doing this.

The final note here is that many BMX riders like to disable the brakes on their bikes for stunt performance reasons, and in the United States, Europe, the UK, and indeed, many other parts of the world, it is illegal to ride on a road without adequate brakes.

Final Thoughts

Cruising is all about comfort and leisure – and BMX riding is not. This is why a BMX bike doesn’t make a good cruiser bike.

BMX cruiser bikes also aren’t ideal for cruising, despite the name. The bottom line here is if you want a bike to go cruising – buy a bike designed for that purpose.