BMX is the abbreviation for Bicycle Motocross , where the X stands for the English word cross ("Kreuz" or "durchqueren"). This is a late 1960s in the United States resulting sport where athletes on a special bike with 20- inch - wheels different tricks or stunts to perform. The forerunner of the BMX was the so-called Stingray wheel in the early 1960s, which came to Europe in a further developed form in the 1970s as a bonanza bike . Already with the Stingray bikes, youngsters in the USA took part in a head-to-head race against seven opponents on a sand course with jumps and banked curves, about 400 meters long. Since the bicycles were not actually designed for this tough use, statically more stable frames were developed, but the high handlebars and the 20-inch rim dimensions were retained: the first “real” BMX bike was created. BMX bikes were very fashionable as bikes for children and teenagers in the early 1980s.
The six disciplines Race, Flatland, Street, Park, Dirt and Vert emerged from the original form of BMX sport .
BMX racing probably started all over the world, where children and young people competed in their first races with their bicycles off the roads, jumped over hills and tried to imitate motocross riders on their motorbikes. The first tracks were built in California (USA) in the early 1970s and BMX racing has continued to develop from its beginnings to the present day. The tracks became more demanding, with larger and technically more difficult obstacles, concrete curves and starting hills, and some were given floodlights and grandstands. The first official FRG championship was held in 1982. The championship races took place in Bremen , Magstadt , Herborn , Baunach , Remagen and Weiterstadt and were also counted as qualifications for the European Championship in Beek en Donk .
Other BMX tracks in Germany were built in Rödermark , Schweinfurt , Sand , Erlangen and Peißenberg , although the tracks in Bremen, Erlangen and Peißenberg still exist today and are still among the best in Germany. In 2008, the number of tracks in Germany was no longer as high as in the heyday of BMX sport in the mid-1980s, but the existing facilities such as B. Kolbermoor , Betzingen , Königsbrunn , Weilheim , Weiterstadt, Bremen, Bispingen , Cottbus , Hamburg and Plessa are characterized by high standards and constant further development.
The German drivers were among the best in Europe in the early and mid-1980s, and names like Uwe Sturm, Ralf Früchtel, Andreas Tittmann, Ivi Vidakovic, Michael Schön, Bernd Eckenbach, Uli Maurer, Bert Rückert and Rainer Schadowski achieved top places in the Professional class at international competitions. But the youngsters were also characterized by international success. Alexander Bohnenstengel from Munich was able to achieve the world title of 12-year-olds in 1986 and Oliver Kienzle, Heiko Hirzbruch, Markus Blau and Fabian Muliwan also achieved international successes in the youth classes.
In the 1990s, the successes of the German men and women in the professional field subsided. All the higher is the performance of Kerstin Fritscher from Bremen, who has achieved top positions in the international elite for years. With Frank Brix, Tibor Simai, Tarek Rasouli , Christian Schaller and Karsten Pfau there were some talents in the German elite of men (formerly Superclass), but they did not make the international breakthrough with consistently successful competitions in the professional class of elite drivers.
The number of German elite drivers has continued to decline since 2000. Internationally, with Regula Runge for women and Markus Huber, Thorsten Lindemeier and Simon Schirle for men, only a few drivers are fighting for international titles, so that the hoped-for starting position at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 could not be achieved for Germany.
Since the first official competition in Germany in 1982, BMX has become an integral part of the Association of German Cyclists. The racing events are unique in their form, since athletes of all ages from 5-year-old girls to elite drivers to seniors over 45 years of age take part in a competition, which makes BMX a family-friendly and colorful sport.
But also the BMX high-performance sport has developed into a competition of the highest standard in recent years with a World Cup series on demanding, spectacular tracks with live broadcasts on the Internet and high prize money up to the climax of 2008, where it was at the Olympic Playing the BMX Race discipline for the first time . Usually eight athletes start at the same time in this discipline. In most cases, a lot is decided at the start. In the end, of course, it's about being the first to finish.
Later there was the somewhat freer riding with the BMX bike, where it was only about the tricks, the necessary courage and skill, and no longer just about the speed as in the race . The freestyle discipline, which has become known primarily through the X-Games , is divided into the following sub-disciplines:
- Dirt Jump / Trails : In this case, the riders jump over mounds of earth and do tricks in the air. The drivers ride without pegs.
- Flatland : This type is reminiscent of breakdancing on a BMX bike, with the aim of an aesthetic sequence of various special combinations of tricks on the flat surface.
- Miniramp : The ride takes place in a half-pipe-like construction, which is however smaller (approx. 1.5–3 m high). In contrast to the usual halfpipe, however, the mini ramp has no vertical.
- Park : You drive on a delimited area on which ramps, jumps and other obstacles have been built. The order in which obstacles are used is not specified. The park is the organized form of street driving.
- Street : Probably the most popular discipline, in which everything is driven that you find on the street. This includes banisters, works of art and house walls.
- Vert : It is ridden in a halfpipe known from skateboarding .
The individual disciplines partly merge strongly with one another, i. i.e., you can e.g. For example, you can do tricks out of dirt when you park, where it is advantageous for Flatland to ride a special BMX bike with a frame with a shorter wheelbase, special pegs, a longer seat post and a shorter stem
Popular or well-known tricks are e.g. B .:
- X-up : Turn the handlebars in flight by 180 ° without letting go - the arms form an X.
- Turndown : turning the handlebars by 270 ° while flying steeply without letting go; the view goes to the rear pedal.
- Barspin : let go of the handlebars and turn them (by 360 °)
- Footjam : BMX is stopped by a foot on the front wheel, the rider then balances it. (Often used in the pipe)
- Truck Driver : Combination of 360 ° rotation and bar spin
- Abubaca : Drive up a ramp and land with the rear wheel on the so-called coping ( English for wall crown , meaning a pipe that is usually attached between the ramp platform and the curve) after jumping into the air. Then you jump backwards ( fakie ) back into the ramp.
- Fufanu : Similar to the Abubaca, but you don't jump backwards from the coping, but instead turn through 180 ° while jumping in order to be able to continue regularly.
- Tabletop or invert : the bike is "put on its side" in the air; in the early 1980s there was also the name pancake.
- 180 ° (One - Eighty) : Rotation in the air by 180 ° around its own axis followed by reversing (fakie)
- 360 ° (Three - Sixty) : Rotation in the air by 360 ° around its own axis
- 540 ° (Five - Fourty) : Rotation in the air by 540 ° around its own axis with subsequent reversing (fakie), also rotations of 720 °, 900 °, and even 1080 ° have already been performed.
- Nofoot : Both feet are taken off the pedals while jumping.
- Nohand : Take both hands off the handlebars when jumping
- Tuck-Nohand : As you jump, drop the handlebars on your hips and point your hands outwards.
- Suicide : Nohand in which you lean back as far as possible and clap your hands together behind your back if possible.
- Cashroll : A twist in the air that resembles a double flair. First there is a half turn followed by a backflip. After the backflip, another half turn is added. First shown by Brett "Maddog" Banasiewicz.
- Backflip : backflip
- Front flip : forward flip
- Flair : Backflip with a 180 °
- Tailwhip : The rear part of the wheel is rotated once around the front part including the driver. The feet leave the pedals.
- Decade : You turn around the control tube with your body and handlebars, while the rear part of the wheel stays on track. Like the Tailwhip, the Decade is a flatland trick that was later transferred to Rampe or Street.
- Crankflip : Turning the crank under the driver's feet, who then lands on the pedals again.
- Tiregrab : You jump out relatively steeply and touch the front tire with one hand.
There are also so-called "lip tricks", i. H. they are carried out on the edges (copings) of ramps. These include u. a. most grinds (excluding jumpover grinds), such as B .:
- Tailtap : The driver jumps at a 90 ° angle onto the ramp platform and lands on the rear wheel, in order to "dive" into the ramp with a 90 ° turn
- 540 ° tailtap : rotation of the tailtap by 540 °
- Nosepick : s. Tailtap, only on the front wheel
- Nosepick Tailwhip : A tailwhip during a nose pick
- Disaster : Turning 180 ° and landing, if necessary, with the chainring on the coping
- Footjam Tailwhip : A tailwhip during a footjam
- Stalls : all stalls for example ice pick and 50-50
- Bunny Hop : If you jump off the ground first with the front wheel, then with the rear wheel and both wheels are in the air
- Manual : When you are on the pedals and ride on the rear wheel so that the front wheel is in the air.
- Nosemanual : See manual, only on the front wheel
- Wallride : You jump against the wall with both wheels and ideally drive on the wall for several seconds.
- Hip Transfer : Jump over one corner of a ramp and “dive” into another.
- Toboggan : where you turn the handlebars 90 ° and grab the saddle with one hand.
- Candy Bar : You stretch your foot between your arms over the handlebars.
- Can Can : You stretch one foot over the frame and kick it in the air.
- Air : You jump over the coping with both wheels and then do a 180 ° in the air.
- One Foot : You put one foot away from the pedal.
- Peg Grab : You touch the front peg with your hand.
Of course, all tricks can also be combined and connected, and many of the grind variations are also possible on the pedals instead of the pegs.
For more tricks see Dirt Jump .
Grinds are tricks that are usually performed on the pegs (the axle-extending bars on the front and rear wheels). In the names of the grinds, the "-grind" is often left out at the end, as it is superfluous for connoisseurs. Grinding is mainly done in the street area on ledges (walls or similar) and rails (handrails or similar).
- Feeble : front wheel on the ledge (wall) and rear peg on the ledge. A trick adopted from skateboarding. The name Feeble ( English for cowardly, weak) probably arose because this is the least risky variant of the grind, because the front wheel rolls safely on the edge and you do not threaten to get stuck.
- Smith : rear wheel on ledge and front peg on ledge. This trick also comes from skateboarding, the inventor of this trick was the skateboarder Mike Smith.
- Icepick : front wheel in the air and the rear peg on the ledge. (Like a manual on the back peg)
- Toothpick : rear wheel in the air and the front peg on the ledge. In German: Toothpick Grind, because it's a continuation of the nose pick. The nose, for the front wheel, became tooth, to denote the front pegs.
- Toothpick Hangover : Like Toothpick, except that the frame and rear wheel overhang on the other side of the ledge. (But still stays in the air)
- 50-50 or Double Peg Grind : Both pegs on one side on the ledge.
- X-up Grind a 50-50 with the handlebar turned 180 °.
- Pedal grind : You only grind on the pedal.
- Crankarmslide : You grind on the crank arm.
- Crooked : For example, you grind with the front right peg and the rear left peg. You can get into this position by lifting the front wheel to the other side of the rail. It's called Crooked, the German translation is crooked, because the BMX hangs crookedly on the rail. This grind is actually only performed on rails, as a ledge is usually too wide.
- Overcrooked : Like crooked , only that instead of the front wheel, you lift the rear wheel to the other side. It's called overcrooked because you only do one jump over crooked.
- Luc-E : Grind only with the rear peg and the pedal, the front wheel is simply left hanging.
- Unluc-E : Grind only with the front peg and pedal, the rear wheel is simply left hanging.
- Predator : You grind 50-50 and then you jump over the rail and then do another 50-50 on the other side.
- Then there are the so-called jump over grinds , where you usually jump over the rail because a ledge or curb is too wide for it. In theory, every grind can be performed as a jump over, but the higher the rail becomes and the more difficult the grind is, the harder or better it becomes as a jump over grind. For example, a Jump Over Icepick is significantly more difficult than a Jump Over 50-50, because with a Jump Over Icepick you can't lean too far down or up and you still have to lean enough towards the rail so that you don't fall off.
- Grind objects : Curbs (walls that do not lead down a flight of stairs), ledges (walls that lead down a flight of stairs), handrails (handrails that lead down a flight of stairs) and flat rails (handrails or poles that do not lead down) are grinded a staircase).
- Sprocket Grind : grind with the chainring
- Levitator / Levitation Grind : Grind on the front peg while depressing the pedal on the same side and grinding on this too. The rear peg is in the air. This grind became popular through street legend Joe "Butcher" Kowalski.
- Wheelie: Pull the front wheel and handlebars backwards and ride on the rear wheel
The BMX bike
The BMX bike emerged among American youths who were interested in motocross and either couldn't afford a machine or were too young for it. Small bicycles were fitted with motorcycle handlebars and given appropriate tires.
The aluminum rims usually contain several hollow chambers, i.e. vertical or horizontal walls in the direction of travel to stiffen the actually quite soft aluminum. Therefore, the aluminum rims provided with hollow chambers are overall more torsion-resistant than steel rims, although they have the same or a lower weight.
In the 1980s, plastic wheels in particular were very popular and widespread. These could withstand higher loads than normal spoked wheels. The Tuff Wheels as z. B. from the company Skyway , were then used in both racing and freestyle. In the course of time, however, racing turned back to spoked wheels because of their lower weight and stiffness. Other companies such as OGK and Peregrine also produced plastic impellers in the 1980s, mostly made of nylon . The special highlight at that time were the Graphite Tuffs from Skyway, which consisted of a special graphite mixture. These were practically unaffordable for the time. Skyway is the only manufacturer of plastic wheels that has retained its past. They still produce Graphites and the regular Tuff Wheels, but now with sealed industrial ball bearings. The ball bearings of that time were mostly simple, not protected from dust and dirt, ball bearings (loose ball bearing).
36 or 48 steel spokes that are crossed three or four times are common on freestyle bikes. In the meantime, many drivers, especially in the street sector, use 36 or 48 spokes at the front and 36 or 48 spokes at the rear in order to save weight.
Hubs and axles
The hubs are also extremely stable and run on steel axles with a diameter of 10 or 14 mm. The axles are partially pierced to reduce their weight. There are hubs with which you can go backwards without having to step backwards at the same time. These are often used in the flatland area and are called freecoasters . BMX bikes do not have a gear shift. The gear ratio can only be changed by replacing the partially screwed-on sprocket, the entire hub or the chainring.
Frame, fork, crank
In the field of racing, BMX frames are mostly made of aluminum . The fork is made of chrome steel , aluminum or carbon. In Freestyle, either HiTen steel or the steel alloy chrome molybdenum (CrMo material number "4130") is used as the frame material and for the more heavily stressed parts such as fork and cranks . HiTen is not as stable, which means that more steel has to be used. This makes the bike heavier, which is why most experienced riders only ride CrMo. In recent years, so-called "butted" or "fluted" tubes have also been used increasingly. This means that the pipes do not have the same wall thickness throughout, but rather different thicknesses at different points depending on the load. This process saves weight without sacrificing stability, but is only used for high-quality CrMo frames, forks and handlebars due to the manufacturing effort. HiTen is used in beginner bikes because it is not that high quality and therefore not that expensive. The chainring of freestyle BMX bikes is usually made of thick, often drilled aluminum. Some parts like crank axles, pinions, pegs and handlebar ends are also made from titanium alloys.
The pedals are quite large and robust, but almost always made of an aluminum alloy, sometimes also a magnesium alloy, which is characterized by its low weight. In the meantime, plastic pedals are being used more and more, as they are cheaper and lighter to manufacture than aluminum and magnesium pedals, but this is offset by a reduced durability. Plastic pedals are also used because of the reduced risk of injury. In order to provide a better grip, they are provided with exchangeable steel pins on the more expensive models. Cheaper models usually have open ball bearings, while more durable industrial bearings are used in more expensive models. In addition, there are click pedals in the race area, with which even higher speeds are possible because you also pull up.
So-called U-brakes , which grip the bike in a U-shape, are mostly used in freestyle . They do not have optimal braking performance, but do not protrude so far from the frame, which means that they can withstand falls and get caught on objects and are also very easy to dose. Sometimes Teflon- coated Bowden cables are used and, depending on the driver's preference, various devices are used to enable the handlebars to be turned. For the front brake, the brake Bowden cable is passed through the fork shaft and connected to the brake from below. The rear brake Bowden cables split shortly after the brake lever and are routed to a bearing (called the “rotor”) below the stem , which moves up and down the fork shaft when the brake is applied. As an alternative, a long brake Bowden cable is often used. The number of brakes, as well as the use of such devices, depends on the application and the preferences of the driver. Street drivers usually have no or only one rear brake, which is connected to the brake lever via a long Bowden cable. This enables the handlebar to be rotated 360 degrees and is a very low-maintenance design. Ramp drivers are often found with a rear wheel brake and a rotor, flatlanders mostly drive without or only with a front wheel brake, the cable of which is routed through the fork.
V-brakes are used in the racing area .
The disc brakes that are now also used on bicycles are not used on BMX bikes because they are very prone to bending and are also too heavy.
Many freestylers ride without brakes because they find the brake levers and cables annoying (e.g. when doing tricks such as tailwhips or barspins) or want to build up more wheel control. You brake with your shoes, which you place on the fork or the rear of the frame and then press the balls of your feet onto the tire.
BMX in the 21st century
BMX bikes appeared in the movies BMX Bandits and ET , among others, and continued to gain popularity in 1996 through the American Extreme Games (later X-Games ). In the meantime, the sport has established itself with two international competition series organized and accepted by drivers and is supported by an industry that has largely isolated itself from the conventional bicycle market and is largely run by drivers themselves.
Well-known BMX riders
One of the most important BMX riders who has developed the sport in some areas is Mat Hoffman . The Oklahoma City American invented several tricks and won nearly every competition at the height of his career. Today Hoffman is the owner of the BMX brand Hoffman Bikes .
In Germany Stephan Prantl and Thomas Stellwag were athletes "from the very beginning" and made BMX known in Germany in the 1980s and 1990s. Markus Wilke, the multiple world champion, European champion and German champion, won the X-Games medal in silver in 2000. At that time it belonged to the German drivers who drove world class and achieved international fame. Luis Brethauer (TSV Betzingen) and Maik Baier (MSC Bönnigheim) were the first German Olympic participants in 2012. In 2013 Luis became the first German BMX rider to win a medal at the World Championships. The six-time German champion finished third in Auckland / New Zealand.
In Austria are Benno Hankowetz (ex-world champion in the mini ramp discipline, participant in the X-Games , best trick in the X-Games), Michael Sommer (world champion in 2005 in the Flatland discipline ) and Thomas Zronek (Street), Markus Humer (Dirt), Gregor Waldner (Street / Vert / Flatland), Senad Grosic (Park) and Nikolaus Ratay (Dirt) are the well-known sizes.
The most famous male BMX riders include Maris Strombergs (LAT), Liam Philipps (GBR), Barry Nobles (USA), Connor Fields (USA), Dimi Dimitriou (GRE), Niek Kimman (NLD), Joris Daude (FRA), Jonathan Camacho (ECU) and Chris Boehm (GER).
The most famous female BMX riders include Nina Buitrago (USA), Cory Coffey (USA), Camila Harambour (CHL), Laura Smulders (NED), Angie Marino (USA), Mini Park (SKO), Mariana Pajón (KOL), Zandile Mkwanazi (GER), Nadja Pries (GER) and Rebecca Berg (GER).
The specialist magazines for the freestyle sector on the German market include Freedombmx (the FREEDOMBMX is no longer printed) and Zwanzig Zoll . "woozyBMX" is the largest German and European BMX magazine YouTube channel with an associated news website. In addition, there is a magazine for the BMX race scene called BMX - The Latest , which can only be bought at the race competitions. There is a training script for training in BMX racing. News from the scene is also exchanged in the BMX-Rider magazine.
Olympic Summer Games
After the decision of the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) in mid-2003, BMX racing became Olympic in 2008. Two BMX competitions were held at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing . Both times in 2008 and 2012 the Latvian Māris Štrombergs won in the men . In the women's category, Anne-Caroline Chausson from France won gold in 2008 and Mariana Pajón from Colombia won in 2012 .
With a few exceptions, a BMX Freestyle World Championship has been held every year since 1987. Since there is no umbrella organization, these are usually organized by committed individuals in their respective countries. But this also means that the World Cup is often canceled due to a lack of commitment. A World Cup planned for the summer of 2010 in Prague was canceled due to a lack of sponsorship money.
The annual BMX European Championship includes several runs at different venues.
In the German BMX competition landscape , BMX COLOGNE , also known under the title BMX Masters or BMX Worlds , which emerged from the competition series that has been running continuously since 1985 in Cologne's youth park, are among the established competitions of this sport. Since then, this summer event has also formed the framework for a BMX World Championship. In the dirt jumps area, TELEKOM extreme playgrounds will also take place as a major contest. In the USA there are the major television competitions X Games and Dew Tour .
The German BMX Championships have been organized since 2012, and in 2016 they took place in Berlin's Mellowpark .
The judges at the competitions award points according to evaluation criteria such as style (how "smooth" the driving looks), difficulty of the performed tricks and variety. A driver who shows less difficult tricks but has perfected them down to the last detail can also win.
- Ralf Maier, Frank Schnütgen: BMX Freestyle + Race Book. Monster-Verlag, 1991, ISBN 3-927328-08-1 .
- Ralf Maier: bmx. the book about bmx and freestyle. Freedom Verlag, Cologne 1996, ISBN 3-00-000866-7 .
- Kay Clauberg: Paradigm Shift. Contemporary BMX Photography . Tropen-Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 3-932170-71-7 .
- Ralf Maier: The BMX book. History, technology, planning of bike and skate parks, trick sequences. Cologne 2009, ISBN 978-3-00-029692-5 .
- "20 years of BMX in Cologne's youth park" on Schlickjumper.de ( Memento from December 22, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
- Daring tricksters ( Memento from December 18, 2012 in the web archive archive.today )
- Link catalog on BMX at curlie.org (formerly DMOZ )