Are you willing to buy a new bike but are unable to choose a suitable category? Purchasing a new bike is certainly not limited to picking the most popular type, model, and brand available in the market. A lot of factors go into deciding the kind of bike that will work best for you. 

Among so many categories, you would have noticed a lot of brands manufacturing mountain bikes and BMX bikes. You may wonder how these two remain distinct from one another and if one bike could have the edge over the other. 

To answer these questions for you and help you decide the most appropriate kind of bike for yourself, I have done thorough research on the purpose and key features of these bikes. Before we declare the name of the better bike, let’s understand what each of these bikes is meant for. is readers supported, you may find Amazon affiliated links on this page, that pays us commission for recommending products at no extra cost to you.

What are Mountain Bikes?

A mountain bike is a sturdy bike designed to withstand the rigors of complex topography. They are manufactured to handle all kinds of terrains as they are considered fit for off-road riding. Since most mountain bike models offer 21-24 speed levels, they are considered quite versatile as they can adapt to different terrains. 

No matter what your height is, you will be able to find the most suitable tire size for yourself, as mountain bikes put forward a vast range of sizes. With flat handlebars and relaxed geometry, mountain bikes promise a comfortable seating position. 

Tackling rugged terrains with a mountain bike is not a big deal as your bike will be fitted with wide knobby tires, which will be resistant to damage and punctures. You may find them slightly heavier than other kinds of bikes, but their performance on uneven surfaces remains unrivaled. 

Mountain Bike on hilly road

Key features:

  • Meant for handling complex terrains
  • Wide knobby tires 
  • Flat handlebars
  • Great traction
  • Relaxed geometry
  • Heavy and durable frame
  • Powerful braking system 

What are BMX bikes?

BMX bikes are highly durable bikes designed for off-road racing and stunts. A BMX bike may have less number of components when compared to a mountain bike, but it is quite lightweight and reliable. 

BMX bikes are considered to be practically indestructible as they offer unmatched durability on rugged surfaces. This sports bike motocross is best for competitive events and off-road sports. 

They mostly feature smaller frame sizes which makes them suitable for kids. If you are an adult with a tall height, you may have to stand up while riding to travel at a faster pace. BMX bikes are easy to maneuver as they are pretty responsive. 

They feature upright handlebars with crossbars and a firm suspension fork for efficient absorption of road vibrations. This enhances your competitive performance while riding off-road. 

BMX bike standing still

Key features:

  • Meant for stunt riding and off-road racing
  • Durable structure
  • Lightweight and smaller frame
  • Upright handlebars with crossbars
  • Knobby and tough tires
  • Linear-pull V-brakes 
  • Easy maneuverability

Mountain Bike vs BMX

Bike frame 

Mountain bikes and BMX bikes differ significantly when it comes to the types of frames they are built of. Based on this noticeable difference, you can decide what kind of frame material and size will serve your purpose well. 

Since BMX bikes are designed to perform well in off-road racing, tricks, stunt riding, and several other competitive events, they will have to endure a lot of hits while you ride them on rugged terrains. 

To tackle such surfaces with ease and reliability, BMX bikes are carved out of a durable bike frame. They are considered to be practically unbeatable with such sturdy frames. Despite that, they remain lightweight and come in compact frame sizes. 

Due to being available in smaller frame sizes, BMX bikes are considered quite suitable for kids. Adults who are tall often need to stand up to improve their speed while riding a BMX bike with a compact frame. 

On the contrary, a mountain bike is considered less violent, even though it is meant to tackle complex topography. Most mountain bike frames are durable and functional. You will notice that the MTB frame is relatively versatile and slightly heavier. 


Both BMX bikes and mountain bikes offer a significant distinction when it comes to the purpose they are designed for. A mountain bike is a rugged bike manufactured to maximize your performance on a good number of terrains, including rough trails. 

They will offer you great traction and prevent your body from being affected by barriers, as they will efficiently soak up any jolt or shock. If you are looking forward to climbing and going down steep inclines efficiently, a mountain bike will fulfill your purpose better. 

On the other hand, if you intend to enjoy steady gear changes and mobility, you should consider a BMX bike. In fact, a BMX bike is ideally suited for off-road racing and stunt riding. Most BMX riders are focused on competitive races and performing tricks.

ℹ️ Taking part in a competition? Read, Road Bike vs Triathlon Bike


Both mountain bikes and BMX bikes are equipped with wide knobby tires in order to withstand rugged surfaces. However, mountain bikes are required to be fitted with relatively larger tires, as getting a mountain bike means traveling across rocks and concrete-based terrains. 

A heavy and durable frame is not enough to tackle such terrains; having appropriately sized tires is just as important. These large MTB wheels are one of the reasons behind the heavy weight of mountain bikes

Moreover, the tires of a mountain bike are known for providing excellent traction across uneven surfaces, even in unfavorable weather conditions. With a tread pattern and grooves, you will be able to retain a firm grip over gravel-based surfaces and have a secured ride. 

A mountain bike typically features 26 or 29-inch wheels, whereas you will find 20 or 24 inches of wheels fitted in racing BMX bikes. The tires of a BMX bike are designed to be functional and reliable while you engage in racing and stunts. 

Suspension system

The suspension system of a mountain bike is commendable, with its rigid forks located both at the front and rear of the bike. While riding on rugged terrains, such a dual suspension bike will work great as it will dampen any shocks generated from road barriers.

On the contrary, a BMX will only smooth out the vibrations you may feel on your arms and legs.  Therefore, if you want a smoother ride on uneven terrains, you should go for a mountain bike.

Braking system 

The most appropriate braking system undeniably depends upon your intentions with the bike. If you are planning to buy a BMX bike, your primary utility may be to perform stunts and excel in off-road racing events. 

For this purpose, you will have to turn the handlebars of your bike in both directions, which may tangle the brake cable in the handlebars. To avoid such a situation, premium BMX bikes are equipped with specialized brakes located on the rear wheel of your bike. 

These brakes are called linear-pull V-brakes that tend to squeeze the tire when you apply the brakes. This slows your bike down, eventually bringing it to a halt. However, if you are traveling across hills, climbing, or going down, you will require a much more powerful braking system that will bring you to an immediate halt. 

For such prompt stopping power, most mountain bikes are equipped with mechanical disc brakes or hydraulic disc brakes. Therefore, an MTB can deliver a great performance and do a commendable job on gravel or dirt-based terrains. 


The gearing system of both mountain bikes vs BMX bikes significantly differs because of the way they have been designed. Both of these bikes can handle complex topography, but mountain bikes are specifically meant for challenging ascents that require you to go down steep inclines and climb up hills. 

To travel across such terrains efficiently, mountain bikes can offer up to 24 gears with a rear wheel cog and center cog. These mountain bikes gears help with transferring the bike chain to several speed levels. Since BMX bikes are designed for short stunts and sprints, they feature a solitary gear system. 

Therefore, if your purpose extends to traveling across complex ascents and biking up and down steep hills, a mountain bike may be a suitable option for you. At the same time, if your purpose is confined to jumping on flat surfaces or participating in off-road racing, you may not want to look any further than high-end BMX bikes. 

Pros & Cons of Using a Mountain Bike

  • Offers versatility as it can adapt to a variety of terrains
  • Efficient suspension system for shock absorption
  • Retains a firm grip over the rising surface
  • Good for difficult ascents
  • Relaxed geometry that offers a comfortable riding posture
  • Great speed transmission system with an appropriate number of gears 
  • Relatively heavier frame than a BMX bike
  • Less affordable when compared to a BMX
  • Gears may require maintenance and repairs

Pros & Cons of Using a BMX Bike

  • Great for stunt riding and off-road racing
  • The lightweight frame, which is portable
  • Easy to maneuver and control
  • Much more affordable than mountain bikes
  • Highly responsive and offers mobility
  • Steady gear changes
  • Not appropriate for lengthy commutes
  • Difficult to cover hills and slopes that require you to climb or ride down a steep hill
  • The suspension system does not match the efficiency of the forks equipped in a mountain bike.

Should I Get A Mountain Bike Or a BMX Bike? 

Choosing one out of the two bikes to buy totally depends upon your own riding requirements as a biker. It is essential to pick a bike that matches your expectations and goes well with your needs. 

The type of terrain you intend to ride on, your own experience as a biker, and your prime utility are just some of the aspects that matter when choosing a suitable type of bike. If you are into performing stunts and tricks and competing in races, a lightweight and flexible bike will work well for you. 

With the super light frame of a good BMX bike and its smaller wheelbase, it should make up for a good bike for you. However, if you are looking to ride on uneven terrains and complex ascents, having a powerful braking system coupled with efficient suspension forks will become a necessity. In this situation, a mountain bike will be the best choice for you. You can read more such comparisons at BikeSolved, sayonara.


Is a mountain bike better than a BMX?

Both mountain bikes and BMX bikes have been designed to fulfill different purposes. Therefore, choosing the better bike out of the two would actually depend upon your intentions and requirements. 

If you intend to perform stunt riding and participate in races, the indestructible structure of a BMX bike will work great for you. However, if you want your bike to perform over various terrains, including complex ascents, you may consider a mountain bike. 

Is a BMX faster than a mountain bike?

A BMX bike could prove to be much faster than a mountain bike, but the speed levels of both these bikes depend upon the terrain you are taking them on. If you are riding on rugged and uneven surfaces or a rough terrain, a mountain bike will perform much better in terms of speed as it is designed to do so. 

On the other hand, on smooth pavements or dirt-based trails, you will notice a BMX bike performing better. Moreover, mountain bikes are equipped with a heavy frame, larger tires, and suspension forks, which make them heavy and slower than most BMX bikes. 

Can I use BMX as mountain bike?

A BMX bike is not designed to fulfill the same purposes as a mountain bike. You can use it in place of a mountain bike, but a BMX bike may not perform as well as a mountain bike on uneven mountain bike trails and concrete-based terrains. 

Moreover, you will have a much smoother and more comfortable ride on a mountain bike with its shock absorption capabilities.

If you use a BMX instead of a mountain bike, your bike may fail to soak up road vibrations. Due to its lightweight frame and smaller tires, you may face trouble with a BMX if you use it for mountain biking.  

Is riding BMX hard?

If you are a beginner and have bought your first ever BMX bike, you may face trouble while trying to get used to a BMX bike. Their braking system is not as efficient, and they lag behind when it comes to absorbing shocks and thuds. 

Moreover, they are not as comfortable because of the way you are supposed to ride them. With shorter wheels and a compact frame, they are supposed to be ridden with the biker standing instead of sitting on the saddle. Such a posture could be challenging to adapt to. 

Can I use BMX bike for street?

Yes, you can use a BMX bike on the street, as they perform well on pavements and smooth surfaces. They may not work as well on uneven surfaces, but when it comes to riding them on city roads or skate parks, they will perform relatively better due to their lightweight, smaller wheels and compact bike frame.


  • Axel Woods

    Axel Woods is an experienced cyclist and content writer with a passion for the outdoors. He has been riding bikes for over 15 years, and has competed in numerous races and events throughout his career. In addition to his love for cycling, Axel is also a skilled and experienced writer, with a background in journalism and a knack for storytelling.

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