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24" or 20" for (old) adult rider?

Old 10-04-15, 05:11 PM
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24" or 20" for (old) adult rider?

Hi guys,

Total newb here, I live over at the track racing forum. My kid is getting into BMX, and I wanna get something to ride around with him on, and even possibly take to the BMX track with him. A track racing friend of mine who came up in BMX recommended I get a 24" cruiser, but I was interested in hearing the thoughts over here on 24" cruiser vs. 20" Pro XL size for an older guys who is a beginner but may race just to humor the little guy. I'm 5'10" and ~175 lbs. Thanks!

And apologies if this question has been done to death, I'm pretty ignorant of BMX stuff (but want to learn!).
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Old 10-05-15, 08:12 AM
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I guess you will not perform tricks on your bike while cycling with your kid, so I suggest 24" cruiser. It is cheaper than Pro XL definitely..
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Old 10-05-15, 04:51 PM
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If you plan on racing, go to the track and see what most of the guys your age are riding. At my local track, most of the dads are on 20s, other places there are more old guys racing in the cruiser class. A cruiser is easier to ride, but once you get used to a 20, it's better, imho. I'm 42 years old and 6'1". Bmx racing is a blast......have fun.
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Old 10-05-15, 08:05 PM
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I ride a 20", I'm 30 and over 200lbs. To me they are more responsive. If you have a track in mind go scope it out. Most "old" guys here are still rocking 20s.
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Old 10-05-15, 10:09 PM
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I'd get a cruiser --- i'm a trackie as well and have done the bmx thing ---- Cruisers are available in XL and Pro XL sizes too, --

A Pro XL 20" is also pretty spacious , but the commitment level is higher ---

Roughly 15 years ago, i tried BMX as a supplement to track racing and was pleasantly surprised at how cheap the equipment was , --- i bumped up to Intermediate level literally in the 1st 2 weeks of races, --- having track legs, it was easy to be the first guy to the first turn -- but after the first turn , it got "complicated" - LOL In my short period as a bmx'er, i won a lot more than i lost but i also crashed a lot , so gave it up in somewhat short order -- after all my focus was on the track -- but it was fun

Getting some BMX gate drops are great for practicing your reaction time as well ----

Currently i drive a 26" cruiser around the local bmx track on rare occasion -- i am trying to teach myself to manual - 15-16 years ago, most people still jumped everything -- now people just glide through all the obstacles it seems --- Its a bear trying to learn how to do that at my current age of 44
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Old 10-05-15, 11:38 PM
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll do what you suggest and see what the geezers are riding over here. The 24" seems the sensible choice, so of course I'm leaning towards the 20"...
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Old 10-06-15, 07:30 AM
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Nice to see people from other cycling disciplines racing BMX, or at least riding the track. I think competitive cyclists from all disciplines would benefit from at least occasional BMX racing, even if in a non-serious way, but there seems to be a lack of awareness about the sport. Also its a great gateway for kids into cycling.
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Old 10-06-15, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mihlbach
Nice to see people from other cycling disciplines racing BMX, or at least riding the track. I think competitive cyclists from all disciplines would benefit from at least occasional BMX racing, even if in a non-serious way, but there seems to be a lack of awareness about the sport. Also its a great gateway for kids into cycling.
For track racers, there's a clear precedent. Jamie Staff was BMX world champ before he moved to the track, and Chris Hoy raced BMX as a little guy before he became the most successful track sprinter of the modern era. I think there's a connection between the two in the shortness of the event and the explosive nature of the sport. I would think for road riders the connection is a bit weaker, but still a great place to learn bike handling skills I bet.
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Old 10-06-15, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke
For track racers, there's a clear precedent. Jamie Staff was BMX world champ before he moved to the track, and Chris Hoy raced BMX as a little guy before he became the most successful track sprinter of the modern era. I think there's a connection between the two in the shortness of the event and the explosive nature of the sport. I would think for road riders the connection is a bit weaker, but still a great place to learn bike handling skills I bet.
In '02 i think, when USA Cycling (Des?) was grasping at straws trying to get more talent, they had tryouts for a lot of BMX pro's, -- Brian Lopes went to a world cup track event i think. John Purse among others took their shot at the track too
Wade Bootes did double duty track and BMX , (but was an Aussie)

-- All about the leg speed and watts (only in bmx , they have those dreadful jumps and whoop de doos too )

Regrettably, most of the better BMX guys' lost interest in track cycling quickly when they found out they couldnt make any money there
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Old 10-06-15, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
Regrettably, most of the better BMX guys' lost interest in track cycling quickly when they found out they couldnt make any money there
Yeah, that's the bummer.
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Old 10-07-15, 03:04 PM
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Bicycle moto cross was in the London Olympics, 4 cross mountain bike racing is the 'adult' equivalent {aging out by 30)

a down hill sprint with jumps and corners .

seems the skate bowl X games stuff is the thing now..

in the 70s You had more gear for the DHMX light wheels 20" sew up knobby tires .

But, by the 80s it all went on closeout sales. Even Campag had BMX parts..
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Old 10-11-15, 10:14 AM
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Follow-up question for the experts: I'm 5'10" and ride a 56cm frame on the road/track. What kind of top tube length should I be looking for and will it vary between 20" and 24" wheels? Thanks
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Old 10-12-15, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke
Follow-up question for the experts: I'm 5'10" and ride a 56cm frame on the road/track. What kind of top tube length should I be looking for and will it vary between 20" and 24" wheels? Thanks
You would ride a 21"-21.5" top tube on a 20" bmx, and a 21.5"-22" top tube on a 24". Top tube in bmx is measured as "actual," not "effective" like in mtb and road.

I'm 6'1", with about a 35" inseam. I ride mainly 24" wheels (bmx cruiser) and 26" wheels (mtb-dirt-jumper/mtb-4x/mtb-DH). I also have a 59cm road/commuter bike.


Actual top tube:


Dirt Jump MTB's also sometimes use the "actual" top tube measurement:


This box will mainly determine how big a bmx bike feels, because your feet and hands are the key aspects (it really doesn't matter where your seat is, because you're almost never sitting). A longer frame often feels more balanced out by adding taller bars, because when you lean out forward, you're not leaning down as much. 8" bars used to be the norm, and about the only thing you could get for 20"s. But, now, 9"s and even 10"s are available. A 24" bmx bike is going to have a fork that is 2 inches taller than a 20". Therefore, the grips are bumped up.

Additionally, most race cruisers have the bottom bracket at axle level or a little above it, rather than 1.75" above axle level. This means that "box" is also a little taller because your feet are lower relative to the axles. All said, then, a typical race 24" cruiser will have around 3.5" taller stance. That is the reason you will see 5.5" and 6" bars on 24"s, but 8"s and 8.5"s on 20".

However, I've realized over the years that I really like 7"s and even 8"s on my 24" cruiser (and I'm not the only one. See: Traditional BMX cruiser handlebars | cruiser revolution ) Therefore, to get that stance height on a 20", I'd have to have 10.5"-11.5" bars. With grips that tall in relation to the short wheelbase of the 20", in my opinion, that's where 20"s start to lose their ability to fit full grown men. People who keep insisting that 20"s fit everyone have just been drinking the Kool Aid for too long, and they tall dudes to bend their backs in half.


The "reach" measurement:


A movement that has been growing for the last 5-6 years is 22" wheel BMX (see 22's Go Here - BMXmuseum.com Forums ). They are definitely worth looking into. At this point in my life, I ride 22", 24", 26", and 700c. NEVER going back to 20"s. They feel awkwardly small at this point.

22"s have entered racing world in the form of the "OS20." However, people have been racing street/park 22"s like the Faction Amero 22" and S&M ATF 22".
First Ride: Tioga OS20 Tire System - BMX Racing News at BMXNEWS.COM

So, overall, I'd say go with 24" for the track. But, if you want a 20" for general riding, like street/skatepark etc. in addition to the track, then get a 22" instead!

Indust Cuatro 24" next to Indust 2ton 22":


Black Market Mob 26" MTB-Dirt Jumper (with 4" tall bars) next to Liquid Feedback 24" bmx (with 9" tall bars)


Fairdale Weekender 700c Large (59-ish-cm) next to Black Market Mob

Sorry if that's too much information!
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Old 10-12-15, 10:47 PM
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Whoa, thanks for the comprehensive answer! I'll be studying this for a while.
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Old 10-13-15, 04:31 PM
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Ok, convinced- 24 it is, but now I need a bike. Used stuff I see is sadly either way too gooched out and expensive, or very beat. What do you guys think about this:

https://www.danscomp.com/products-BI...o_24_Bike.html

The price is right, and it looks solid. But I'm a newb.
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Old 10-18-15, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke
Ok, convinced- 24 it is, but now I need a bike. Used stuff I see is sadly either way too gooched out and expensive, or very beat. What do you guys think about this:

https://www.danscomp.com/products-BI...o_24_Bike.html

The price is right, and it looks solid. But I'm a newb.

That Redline looks like a rough BMX equivalent to something like a production Specialized LAngster on the track side. It will get you on the track , -- and with care, it may be all you ever need --- I have a SE cruiser for cross training and i havent touched it except to replace broken parts

But like the Specialized, its a bike that can stay with you a little while if you start pushin' it a bit with maybe a change of tires/wheelset
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Old 10-18-15, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by DMC707
That Redline looks like a rough BMX equivalent to something like a production Specialized LAngster on the track side. It will get you on the track , -- and with care, it may be all you ever need --- I have a SE cruiser for cross training and i havent touched it except to replace broken parts

But like the Specialized, its a bike that can stay with you a little while if you start pushin' it a bit with maybe a change of tires/wheelset


Thanks DMC. This thing came up locally and I snapped it up over the weekend. Pretty stoked.
file:///Users/dbroekema/Desktop/IMG_0730.JPG
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Old 10-22-15, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke
Thanks DMC. This thing came up locally and I snapped it up over the weekend. Pretty stoked.
file:///Users/dbroekema/Desktop/IMG_0730.JPG
That looks like fun. I keep eyeing the Fireman Texas Cruisers

Firemans Texas Cruzer-BMX, Singlespeed, Bicycles
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Old 02-10-16, 04:29 PM
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OK...this is still on the front page, so I'll guess it's fair game for comments. What did you end up getting?

I'm asking because after a number of years now of increasing serious interest in road riding (training & racing RR/crits etc.), I stumbled into my kid-era fascination with BMX stuff. I'm in my late 40s, so used to hack up stingray type bikes to build BMX/ type bikes when I was a kid. So, I ended up picking up a pretty cool 24" DK Sentry cruiser (sort of a custom setup, 2nd hand) and a small collection of late '90s to rather new 20" bikes and I've been playing around with them, marveling at both their simplicity & their ability to come up with yet another set of cycling parts standards (the cranks...what the hell?)..and the fact that the "light" ones are pushing 10lbs heavier than a road bike. Not sure what I'll do with this. One of my roadie friends mentioned building a pump track on his property, so that's an idea. If nothing else, they're wonderful fun for playing round riding & doing so with my younger kids.

this is the DK...


and, apparently, this is the best shot of I've got for the 4-5 others...


after making some 'gut feel' type adjustments, it was interesting to put these beside one of my road bikes and notice the grips were right at the same height that I set the hoods on a road bike. The feel & geometry of 20" wheels still feels weird being so used to 700c sized gyroscopes!

fun stuff
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