BMX dérailleurs

Every so often, some pro BMX rider experiments with a derailleur on a BMX bike. Most recently is Barry Nobles with his PK Ripper with an XTR 2sp. There are a lot of valid reasons why a derailleur on a BMX wouldn’t be of any competitive advantage….but just in case, remember I’m ahead of the curve with both a derailleur and a disc brake. Basically, I could ride all the way to the track, but I still need to improve my skills at landing the doubles….

Davidson BMX Kandy Raver

Davidson BMX Kandy Raver derailleur

Below is another elite rider’s rig from a few years ago. Note how my Davidson has a less compact frame. I can actually run the 400mm seatpost out so I can match my road bike’s saddle height.


Davidson BMX Kandy Raver's bar


Years ago (25 +) there were some pros running derailleurs (of a sort) on their BMX bikes. The system basically consisted of a stubby brake lever that when pulled in would hold the bike in the lower gear to get out of the gate. When the lever was released, the bike would shift up to the higher gear for the rest of the race. 

It was a far simpler system than what I’m seeing here. Makes we wish I still had my treasure trove of old BMX Action mags sitting around.

I’ve got a full 9 cogs on the back of my Davidson, but originally I didn’t really see myself using the bike for actually racing on the track.  I just wanted a bike that could get me wherever I wanted with maximum fun. 

For those unfamiliar with BMX, today’s modern style of BMX racing relies on pumping the bike as much as pedaling.  Older tracks BITD were actually made of dirt, and you pedaled, slide thru the turns, and then pedaled some more.

You could argue that in the early era of BMX, a shifting system would have been awesome but the equipment at the time wasn’t up to the task.  And even though shifting performance has improved so much now, the style of racing limits the advantage.

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