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BMX Dirt, vert, flatland or street? Drop in the BMX forum to talk to other 20" riders around the world. What is the best BMX bicycle for you? Learn all about it here.

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Old 09-11-05, 11:28 AM   #1
mott464
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flatland, street, and park

Whats the main differences between flatland, street,and park bikes?
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Old 09-11-05, 11:42 AM   #2
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Flatland bikes are usually made of lighter(read:expensive as hell) parts that would break eventually if used hard on street/parks. Street/park/vert bikes are pretty much the same thing.
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Old 09-11-05, 02:13 PM   #3
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usually there lighter for the moves that u do when ur on the flat land like u spin on the bike or something like that whlie u spin the bike does a barpin or anything (it is only a made up trick)
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Old 09-11-05, 08:13 PM   #4
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Well, I'll field the flatland end of it, since these two clearly aren't flatlanders. BMXTRIX might have some additional wisdom to add.

Flatland frames are typically made out of the same 4130 as everything else in BMX. Aluminum and titanium frames are not common (and IMO not really worth it), but they do exist. Bikes and componentry in flatland are usually lighter because they *can* be and get away with it. Pegs are larger, knurled for standing and made out of aluminum instead of 4130 (or in some cases 4140) steel because they don't take much abuse from stalling or grinding. Forged aluminum cranks are commonly preferred for stiffness and light weight. Radial (uncrossed) spoking is common on the front wheel and 36 spokes are usually used over 48 because not only are the wheels lighter and the extra strength unnecessary, it's easier to get your fingers in the spokes if they're spaced further apart.

Freecoasters are much more common in flatland than in street, and are almost unheard of in dirt. This is a type of hub that can be disengaged by pedaling backward 1/8-1/4 turn, allowing the rear wheel to spin freely forward and backward without turning the pedals. They are relatively heavy, expensive and can be tempermental.

The biggest difference between a pure flatland bike and those designed for street, park and dirt is in geometry. Flatland bikes are EXTREMELY compact, the average top tube being right around 18.5"-19" and rear ends in the 13.5" range. Head tube angle is usually very steep (76 degrees is common) to accommodate quick turns at low speed, and down tubes are either gusseted or bent up out of the way of scuffing the front wheel.

Price is not a factor of complex design or exotic materials nearly so much as it is a factor of availability and limited production. Flatland isn't a huge moneymaker in the States, parts are made in limited quantities by small companies unknown outside the flatland world. The fewer units produced, the more you have to charge to stay in business. Simple economics.

As for the others, bikes intended for street typically take the most abuse and are typically the most overbuilt. Compact geometry for technical lines might be preferred over longer top tubes and more relaxed geometry for flow in park and dirt. As a general rule...longer bikes, relaxed geometry = more stable at higher speed, forgiving on large tricks. Tighter geometry = more agile, better for technical moves at lower speeds. There's no real recipe for any of these bikes. You can blend characteristics, mix and match parts (say putting a freecoaster on a park bike or using a longer frame for flatland and street) to fit YOUR riding style. Locking yourself into one kind of 4 kinds of riding is stupid.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:26 PM   #5
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Side note: I was advised this weekend that Flatland is pretty non-existent in Australia. At least locally anyway.

I'm unable to choose a 20" bike for myself, as there's just way too many choices at the shop I've been working part time at. We carry Haro and GT, but I can't seem to pick one.

[edit] I should point out that I'm only looking for a bike to beat on once in a while. Not another race bike, and nothing with a Gyro or pegs.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:38 PM   #6
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GT's gone downhill in quality and reputation since they went bankrupt and their bikes started showing up in mega sporting goods chain stores.

edit: The Nyquist Pro looks like a pretty trick package, with all the Premium Products schwag and hydroformed 4130 frame. Just ditch the OE gyro and run a straight cable. Employee purchase should be pretty affordable.

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Old 09-11-05, 11:41 PM   #7
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I haven't seen any cheap ones at our store, but I'm partial to Haro. Just can't seem to choose one.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:48 PM   #8
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Well, for thrashing around pegless you're pretty much limited to the Backtrail or Nyquist series. And none of the Backtrails are available in full CrMo frame.
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Old 09-11-05, 11:55 PM   #9
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Yeah, I noticed the one with the 4130 seat tube. Maybe I'll look at the Nyquist. Gotta spend my money somewhere.
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Old 09-12-05, 12:48 AM   #10
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All the other high-end Haros are tighter geometry, 4 pegs and 2 brakes.
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