BMX Freestyle is a new cycling event that will take place in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There are already many Japanese BMX athletes active in international tournaments, and with its addition to the Olympics there is no doubt that it will gain more attention. This article aims to introduce the basics of BMX, common tricks to know when you spectate the game, and how to choose BMX bikes!
What is BMX (Bicycle Motocross)?
BMX stands for "Bicycle Motocross" and is a type of cycling sport. In the Summer Olympics of 2020, there are 2 types of BMX events being BMX Racing where racers compete on a 300~400 meter course to be the fastest, and BMX Freestyle where athletes perform cool and dynamic stunts with the bicycle and the ramps while being scored by judges. The latter has become a hot topic since its addition to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was announced. In Japan, BMX star Nakamura Rimu, a middle-school student turned professional, is expected to earn medals for Japan.
In BMX Freestyle there are several styles of competition such as flatland, vert ramp, and park. The skate-park environment with various sections will be used for the park style BMX in the Olympics, which emphasizes on jumping height, mid-air tricks and movement. Similar to figure skating, athletes will perform their stunts in a period of time allocated, and are scored by difficulty level, height, execution, originality and various other criteria.
3 Cool Things about BMX Freestyle Parks!
Firstly, the tricks (such as spinning the bike around in mid-air) are so dynamic that it doesn't feel like they are riding a bike. The cool acrobatic stunts performed by BMX cyclists will take your breath away. Secondly, the jump height; It is said that BMX cyclists can jump up to 3-4 meters high with the ramp. Finally, the series of tricks performed by every cyclist is unique. Each cyclist's personalized tricks will give different impressions to the spectators, showing the creativeness of cyclists.
This is the kind of performance displayed in BMX Freestyle Park. Even if you have not watched BMX before, you can still enjoy the performance while being overwhelmed by the fast and explosive stunts!
What Kind of Bikes are BMX Bikes? Features of BMX Bikes and How to Choose the Best One
BMX bikes have many customized types, for example, different bikes are used for race and freestyle, and even among freestyle, there are different bikes for different styles such as flatland, vert ramp, park, etc. BMX bikes have a wide range of prices, but the common features are wheels that have a small diameter of 20 centimeters as well as no transmission system keeping the bike as simple as possible. Also, since these athletes typically do not sit down the saddles are quite small.
When purchasing your first BMX bike, deciding what style of BMX you want to challenge is very important. Furthermore, the size of the bike must match the size of the person. Another very important thing to consider is that when practicing you will be falling off your bike a lot, ensure your bike has covers for the handles to help with not damaging your brand new bike. You will typically see bikes being sold anywhere from 200-300 dollars but typically these are made quite cheaply so we would recommend doing some research and having a budget of around 400-500 dollars.
Knowing these BMX tricks and stunts will make spectating more enjoyable!
Here are some tricks to watch out for when watching the 2020 Olympic games!
- The superman - a trick where you only grip the handles, taking your body off the seat and feet from the peddles forming a pose as if you're flying through the sky.
- Back-flip - it's in the name! The athletes gain height and do a back-flip!
- Flair - A combination of a Back-flip with a 180° turn to land facing back down the ramp.
- Front Lift - A trick where they pull up the front wheel of the BMX.
In this article we introduced some of the basics of BMX, but there is still much to learn! In the next article we are planning to introduce the racing event in more detail. Please let us know what you would like to hear about in the comments section of this post!