Will a BMX work on mountain bike trails? Sorta.

Will a BMX work on mountain bike trails? Sorta.

Today we’re at Virginia Key park to answer a question—one we kind of already know the answer to; Can you ride a BMX bike on mountain bike trails?

I mean, you probably could. They’re great for jumping over stuff and nearly indestructible. But then again, you could probably go hiking in tap dancing shoes.

BMX bikes come in many shapes and sizes, but at your local skatepark you’d find something like this. The tires are high pressure, the seat is super low, and the brakes are…well there are none. We’re also missing the pegs but I don’t think that’s a factor here.

For our test course I chose a loop at Virginia Key Park called Purple Haze. All of the trails here are named after rock songs, and just like the song, Purple Haze takes only about 3 minutes. You’ll see why that’s important. I also like this loop because it has a little bit of everything, from loose sand, to roots, to chunky rocks and wooden obstacles. There are also some well packed berms which I’m sure the BMX will work great on. There are no prolonged climbs or descents, nor would I want there to be. BMX gearing is made for short sprints, to set up for gaps and jumps.

As you can see, my mountain bike makes quick work of all these features. Pedaling through the sand and dirt is effortless on big cushy tires. On bigger bumps and drops, the suspension helps keep the bike grounded. Even if I get going too fast, hydraulic disc brakes are at my fingertips. The experience on a mountain bike is fun, comfortable, and fast.

But we didn’t come here to use the right tool for the job, this is Seth’s Bike Hacks you’re watching. Time to take the 20 inch for a spin, balls out no brakes.

Right off the bat, I could feel the bike bouncing and shifting around on the pebbles and sand, but on the berms and wooden features it was a blast. The BMX was so snappy and nimble that it outperformed the mountain bike that was following me. That ended really fast when I hit this little section of mushy dirty. Sand, gravel, and rough terrain is crippling on a BMX. On inclines, I was able to pedal hard and use my momentum, but there’s no way I could have done any real climbing on this bike.

I was very surprised at how well the BMX handled the rock garden, but then again it was down a small hill. If it were level or uphill I wouldn’t have had the gearing or clearance for pedaling. For the roughest of features, momentum is the only way to get through on a BMX.

As I worked my way through the trail, I became totally exhausted. In places where a mountain bike would just coast through, I was pedaling with all my might. On a BMX you’re always out of the saddle mashing as hard as you can.

Bombing this little twisty section was scary. I just barely made it around this turn without tumbling into the bushes. After one more chattery section I was nearing the end of the loop. The BMX had made it through the course. But believe me when I say you can’t do this for very long.

After catching my breath, I thought it would be a good idea to take another lap. Filled with confidence, I was going faster than I did the first time around. That could have been much worse.

I made it through this twisty section the first time, but on round two my luck changed. Even if the bike had brakes, I’m not sure how well the tires would have gripped the surface while stopping. No matter how you slice it, washing out or losing control is a really big possibility on a BMX. I’ll be feeling that one for about a week.

The whole reason I did this test is that people actually do ask about this. If all you have is a BMX and you’re curious about mountain biking, you might want to wait until you can do it on a mountain bike. Either that, or find some dirt trails that are made with BMX in mind. Mountain biking on a BMX has a really bad fun to danger ratio, so I just can’t recommend it. Thanks for riding with me today and I’ll see you next time.


  1. Steven Williams on June 30, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    Where is the proper tires it will that’s what we used to ride in the trail hello before mountain bikes

  2. progamerxxx doom on June 30, 2019 at 9:28 pm


  3. My life Sucks ._. on June 30, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Could I ride a bmx on a mountain bike trial

    Probably not

  4. dylan snyder on June 30, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Me and my friend went on a very muddy and had a lot of roots on bmx bikes we got from Walmart and we had a lot of fun

  5. Giovanni Boutin on June 30, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    *gets out of car*

    "we will be back to this in a minute"

  6. Grassman 32 on June 30, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    When I was a teenager I took a BMX bike on the Greenbelt off-road Trail in Austin Texas it was extremely fun and not that hard we’re talking about a professional off-road Trail

  7. DeeKay617 on June 30, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Should have used a dirt track bike , like a bmx race bike . You would have been all set , obviously a freestyle wasnt the right choice bmx. With no tread on a freestyle of course you lost time in the soft stuff , bmx race bikes have knobby treads

  8. SoYouWantToMainJungle on June 30, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    The thing is I ride a bmx bike down mountain bike trails because I don’t have enough money to buy a mountain bike, and I still keep up with my friends lol

  9. Dominic Walker on June 30, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Great vids Seth

  10. Lucifer Hills on June 30, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    Try putting a suspension fork on a bmx

  11. Bryson Wantland on June 30, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    My BMX has brakes

  12. XXsakurafan on June 30, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Maybe it would have been easier if you had swapped the tyres for some maxxis maxx daddy’s or something that’s made for dirt not one that are made for ramp/street.

    Do you have a merchandise store?

  13. Paul James on June 30, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Your on a cheap complete bmx what you expect

  14. Joseph Hess on June 30, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    That technical uphill tho

  15. Brian Goodman20 on June 30, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    There can be a back brake on a BMX

  16. Unknown 9173 on June 30, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    couldn’t use a bmx with brakes?

  17. HEAVYWALL 70 on June 30, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    A 24” or larger with just a rear brake is basically a primitive mtb
    I rode an mtb trail weekly on a trek 24” bmx in Charlotte when I lived there

  18. The TacomaKid on June 30, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Is this the same dude that showed me how to install my car amplifier

  19. Winter Tang on June 30, 2019 at 9:45 pm

    Is it possible to put suspension and change gear on a bmx bike like in a sport bike and mtb?

  20. Eda .ang on June 30, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Try getting used to it

  21. C0SZMIC on June 30, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    Bruh i use my Walmart Ambush BMX for trails

  22. hunter brink on June 30, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    “on a BMX” yikes.

  23. Fuzzy purple Chicken on June 30, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    I use to ride mountain bike but bmx is cheaper for me so now I ride street and bmx

  24. jack.neville10 jack.neville10 on June 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm


  25. HJ Gamez on June 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    i live in England and there is a downhill park near my house and my friend did it on a bmx

  26. hunter montgomery on June 30, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    You could do it with a bmx bike but what make it difficult for yourself I understand a challenge but it’s like trying to pull off bmx bike type stuff with a mountain bike you can do it but it’s not worth it

  27. Bryan Petsch on June 30, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Your just fat dumbass

  28. West is the Best on June 30, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Bmx with no brakes are for homos or dumb millennials hopping on a trendy fad

  29. Kiy Staffo on June 30, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    I ride Bmx on MTB tracks all the time just with a low pressure with back brake

  30. JT on June 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    And theres the funny feeling on your hands.

  31. Jefferson Aleman on June 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    I just figured this out today at Pinehurst in Palm Beach County FL. I’ve been there at least 50 times with my hardtail-soon-to-be-rigid with no problems. With the BMX and the heat… boy!!! That place is a hell of roots and sand!

  32. Rick S on June 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Maybe put the rear brake back on. The frame has the guides and posts, I saw them.

  33. Eat that pussy 445 on June 30, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    What about a “22 or “24 with brakes?

  34. TheGameDoctor on June 30, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    YES IT CAN i tried it with a fee modifications

  35. Cat Teenager on June 30, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    He is acting like a trail is like a tornado

  36. Lil Dot on June 30, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Only takes 3 mins to die

  37. Cherie Daly on June 30, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    Where did you get the BMX because i,m looking for one

  38. FreiSinn on June 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Race BMX are better for

  39. Joseph Platt on June 30, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Could it be possible to even set up a BMX bike to ride trails like my changing the tires adding brakes all things that could help

  40. Giovanni Boutin on June 30, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    my friend said he was gonna buy a bmx bike and put suspension forks on the front and i sait "just buy a small mtb" and he said "bmx is a jumper" no joke those were his words

  41. Hannah Plumley Myvloggingaddiction on June 30, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    This is something big boy would do from scotty Cranmer channel

  42. Motivation Drifts on June 30, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    You ride a bmx like a retarted

  43. Arnold Stewart on June 30, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    i’m just saying when your broke you gotta do what you gotta do

  44. Spraynex on June 30, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Try it on a smooth trail like A-line or something with lower tyre pressure and a brake

  45. Lexton Ravaee on June 30, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    My bmx bike has brakes but only with zip ties so if I want to take it to the skate park I could just cut the zip ties and undo 3 screws to take them off

  46. Mortui MORDENT on June 30, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    If you can ride dirt why not mtb btw if you use a freestyle bmx you have no breaks but for dirt you have breaks

  47. Dans on June 30, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    Purple haze is a weed strain

  48. Brannin Bova on June 30, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    For me BMX gearing is for long sprints and hauling ass

  49. Alvin Morris on June 30, 2019 at 10:21 pm

    When we were young the guys I used to ride with all we had were 20inch bikes modified to what eventually became bmx we rode trails and everywhere, then we started building what we call mountain bikes today bigger tires and gears were great but in the end the mud snakes and trail knobs (natural rock gardens) still drug us down to their level and occasionally left a mark on bikes and bodies.
    I think the most fun we had was on the 20 inch.😁

  50. Shane draws1900 on June 30, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    My friend has a bmx and I have a mtb and we went on a mtb trail and busted a tire