Riding a bike is a great way to get some exercise and travel from one location to another without polluting the atmosphere. But, bicycles are also great for having a little style and performing tricks, those involving bike pegs are particularly more entertaining. But are bike pegs just for show, or do they have more of a purpose? This question led me to find out more about bike pegs.
What are bike pegs for? Bike pegs have a multitude of purposes. They are used on BMX bikes to showcase tricks and a little flair. On other bikes, they have been used to hold other passengers on the front or back of the bike, but they should never hold people as a way to transport passengers.
Bike pegs are great for expanding the purposes of the bike and the number of people that can ride on it at once. However, people need to be wary of the potential dangers of having too many people on pegs and how much weight is on the bike at once. Those dangers and more are factors to consider before putting pegs on your own bike.
What is a Bike Peg?
A bike peg is a small metal bar that is attached to a bicycle on either the front and/or rear wheels. The bike peg is usually screwed onto the wheel in the middle, where the spokes on the wheel come together. Traditionally, bike pegs are attached to BMX-style bicycles, as they usually have the frame and the ability to hold the pegs.
The history of the bike peg is a little muddied. Some people give claim to stuntman Pat Romano with the invention of the bike peg. He rose to fame in the last 1980s, which is about when people have the timeline for the modern bike peg. But, as early as the 19th century, bikes, or the version of them at the time, would have little pegs to place your feet upon to boost yourself onto the seat of the bicycle.
Bicycle pegs are primarily used for tricks when attached to BMX bikes. The metal pegs are great, if properly attached, to allow the rider the expanded ability to do more tricks.
Most pegs come standard on street and stunt bikes, but if you wish to customize your bike, there are plenty of options to do so with the pegs. Some riders prefer to not use pegs when riding, as it may slow them down and not be as aerodynamic; this is true of most racing bikes, which may actually ban bike pegs during competitions.
One thing you have to be wary about is having a person or people ride on the pegs of your bike. There are too many horror stories about people riding on the pegs of bicycles and having toes being mangled and ripped off because they got caught in the spokes of the bicycle wheels. Any bike shop owner will tell the people they are selling to that bike pegs are not to be ridden on.
Can You Add Bike Pegs to Any Bike?
So far, we have mentioned that people have attached bike pegs to their BMX bicycle to be used for tricks on the bike. While this is the most common bicycle that bike pegs are attached too, you can most certainly add pegs to any bike, provided they have the proper wheels to support the pegs.
To attach pegs to your bike’s wheels, simply screw the peg onto the wheel where the spokes come together. If the bike can hold a peg, then there should be a screw head already exposed. The pegs you can buy should then be able to screw onto the open head and fit flush with the wheel.
If you do not own a BMX bike or a street racing bike, then generally, you cannot—or at least, you should not try to—attach a bicycle peg to your wheels. This can be dangerous to you as the rider and to anything or anyone who happens to stand on the pegs.
Pegs are generally meant for tricks and are meant to be put onto street and trick bikes. If you put the pegs on a different type of bicycle, be aware of the general things that could happen to you, your bike, or those around you. There have been many stories where people hurt their toes and feet trying to ride on the pegs of a bicycle.
Also, be wary of how much weight your bike can hold before you add any accessories or people to the bike. If the frame of the bike cannot carry more than a certain weight (and most will have a certain weight limit), then it can become damaged and even break.
Bike Peg Fit
While bike pegs are generally universal and able to be added to bikes that can support them, there are different types of bike pegs, each with their own unique purpose. Longer or shorter, fatter or skinnier, depending on the rider’s style and preference of tricks, the right peg is essential to the rider.
For most bikes, 300 pounds is the general maximum weight limit; this obviously can vary between each bike, whether a sturdier bike can handle more weight or a more streamlined bike can hold less. Also, bike pegs can be fitted on the front and rear wheels, and for some professional riders, they do not put all four pegs on their bike.
Bike pegs are generally metal in material, either aluminum alloy or chromoly steel; this allows for a lot of wear and tear that becomes to most bike pegs. Most pegs also come with a sleek plastic sheet over the top of the surface of the pegs. This sheet allows for a smooth surface, which in turn equates to less friction and more grinding time and distance.
A majority of pegs can fit on the 14mm axel that is generally found on most street and stunt bicycles; this is different than the 3/8th inch axel on the race bikes, which can be fitted with bike pegs, but adjustments need to be made for the pegs to fit on race bikes properly.
The size of pegs can range from four inches to almost four and a half inches. The differences in length can be a huge difference in riding style. For one, a smaller peg means less weight, which can be a factor in how someone will ride the bike. Bigger pegs mean you have more leeway in grinding, a wider surface area to land on the rail, and potential for more grinding spots. Pegs can also range from 35 – 38.5 mm in diameter.
One unique piece that can be used with pegs is the anti-roll pin; this is a unique pin that can be attached on the opposite side of the wheel to prevent any sort of rolling by the peg. This is necessary when grinding a lot because the peg can become looser over time if you are grinding with your bike a lot. The pin can be removed, and the peg can be rotated to prevent over-worn on any one spot on the peg.
There is also bike peg grease. The grease is used to slicken up the pegs and allow for smoother and longer grinds on surfaces. The grease can be found online or at any skate or extreme sports store.
Where to Find Bike Pegs
If you are interested in adding bike pegs to your own bike, there are plenty of options to choose from. Depending on the brand, the materials, and the price, you can find regular bike pegs from your local Walmart or other large box stores. But, that can mean that you are getting a cheaper version that the professionals probably are not using on their own bikes. This list below gives a rough view of where you could find bike pegs:
- Albe’s – Known as “The World’s Local BMX Shop,” they have a wide selection for a very reasonable price on bike pegs. They also have a ton of selection for other BMX bike needs.
- SourceBMX – SourceBMX is a great spot to find bike pegs at comparable prices to other shops. They also have a wide selection of other BMX gear available as well.
- Skate Pro – While the name might be deceiving, Skate Pro is actually a great place to find gear for any action sport, including BMX.
- Dicks Sporting Goods – Dicks Sporting Goods, and other sporting goods stores, are also a great place to find BMX equipment and gather more information about the best brands and which bike would fit the rider the best. They generally carry a wide range of accessories and bike selection, which is great if you are a first-time buyer.
After Installing Bike Pegs: Tricks You Can Do
Pegs on a bike are generally used to perform tricks on street and stunt bikes. The most basic of tricks a person riding a bike can do with pegs attached to their bike is a grind.
A grind, or grinding, is when the rider hops onto a smooth surface (handrail, bench, curb, etc.) and slides on the surface via the pegs. Grinding is a difficult trick to learn and to master. The first obstacle is the approach.
First, a rider must find their selected surface and visualize the approach and dismount. The approach is first, and a rider must see where they need to jump and land on the surface with their peg(s); this is crucial because if the rider does not correctly anticipate the jump, the rider can end up short or long of the intended target and miss with their pegs.
Next, the rider must anticipate how much length the surface has that they want to grind. The length of the grind is secondary to the approach and the dismount, but it is still crucial. A rider must estimate how long they will be on the surface to calculate when they need to begin to dismount.
The final part of grinding is the dismount; this may be the most complex part of the grind because the bike is already in motion. You are not necessarily on a flat surface and can just stop the grind immediately, and you need to land on your bike’s wheels and ride safely away.
The dismount begins when you are in the grind, as you anticipate your endpoint, you have to hop off of the surface. The jump does not have to be a huge one, just enough to disconnect your peg from the surface and allow separation of the bike from any obstacles. Once you are in the air, look at the ground to spot your landing; this will make that much easier as you can see if you need to avert your course of direction in any way.
Riding on Your Own Pegs
To preface these tricks, always be aware of your surroundings and make sure that your pegs and bike can hold your body weight without breaking or being damaged in any way. Another preface is that a lot of these tricks are difficult to perform and can take many tries to perfect.
The first is balancing on both of your pegs on one side (right or left) of the bike while it is moving; this involves placing your back foot on the back peg initially and then flipping your front foot across the bike to the front peg and riding the bike on one side only on the pegs.
Another trick you can do is a combination of two. The first is a wheelie, which is simply riding the bike while only having the rear tire on the ground. Then, combine that with placing your feet on the back pegs, and you are performing a manual.
These are just two of the easier tricks one can do on a bike with pegs attached. There are certainly more advanced versions of these two tricks and variations that you can try once you have mastered how to ride the bike and how to use your pegs properly.
After Installing Bike Pegs: Riding as a Passenger
Now that you have pegs on your bike, people may think they can just hop on whenever they want for a ride. Bike pegs are not designed to have a large amount of weight placed upon it for a long period. So, while it might be fun to have someone riding on the pegs of your bike, you generally should not do it for safety reasons.
Now, with that in mind, there are situations where it may be necessary for you to have your friend ride on the pegs of your bike. When you do this, the easier pegs to stand on would be the rear pegs. The rider will get on the pegs after the driver sits down, and the rider will hold onto the shoulders of the driver.
If you only have the pegs on the front wheel, you can still use them to help balance your rider. Instead of the rider placing all of their weight on the pegs, though, the rider will sit on the handlebars of the bike while placing their feet on the front pegs. The driver then can look on either side of the passenger to see out in front.
With bikes with no pegs, there are still a few options for a second passenger. The first option is to have the passenger sit on the frame of the bike, in between the handlebars and the seat. The person then can either put their legs forward or have them bent backward to be out of the way of the pedals.
The other option for a second passenger on a bike without pegs is similar to the second option for a passenger with pegs. The passenger will sit on the handlebar but just have their legs dangle out in front while they hold on to the handlebars. This way is the easiest and most common for people.
Bike pegs generally have one use, and that is for tricks and stunts on properly equipped bikes. That does not mean that pegs cannot fit on all bikes, but it generally means that people do not put them on any other type of bike.
Always be careful if a person is going to be using the pegs as a way to help them stand. The pegs should be secure and stable before someone attempts to stand on them. Plus, the bike should be able to hold the extra weight without breaking down or becoming damaged in any way.
Overall, bike pegs are great for tricks and stunts and should not be used as a way for passengers to stand on the bike. But, if there is a particular situation when a person must stand on the pegs, then do so with extreme caution.