Why Do BMX Riders Put Tennis Balls In Bike Spokes?

A question has been puzzling people for years: why do BMX riders put tennis balls in their spokes? It seems like an odd thing to do, and it doesn’t seem to serve any real purpose. Or does it?

In this article, we will explore the history of this practice and discuss some of the theories about why it is done. We will also show you how to put tennis balls in your bike spokes yourself!


What was the beginning of it all?

Putting tennis balls in bike spokes is said to date back to the early days of BMX racing. Bikes were not as advanced as they are today, and riders had to get creative to make their bikes go faster. One way that they did this was by putting tennis balls in their spokes. The theory is that the tennis balls would create a cushion for the spoke, allowing the wheel to spin more quickly.

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There is no definitive proof that this actually works, but it is still a widespread practice among BMX riders today. Some people believe that it makes the ride smoother, while others think that it makes the bike look cooler. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that tennis balls in bike spokes are here to stay.

The cons of tennis balls in bike spokes

While tennis balls in bike spokes may look cool, this practice has some drawbacks.

One of the biggest problems is that the tennis balls can eventually fall out, which can be dangerous for the rider.

Another issue is a drag. Tennis balls have a fuzzy surface that adds drag when the ball is in motion.

This phenomenon is considered advantageous in tennis, but it has a detrimental influence on the aerodynamic qualities of a wheel. In other words, the top layer makes it more difficult for the wheel to spin.

Extra weight is also something to consider. Tennis balls are not as light as air, and they will add weight to the bike. This can be a problem for racing, where every ounce counts.

The pros of tennis balls in bike spokes

While there are some drawbacks to putting tennis balls in your spokes, some advantages are also.

One of the biggest benefits is that it can help to absorb shock. This is especially useful for BMX riders who often ride on rough terrain. The tennis balls can help protect the spoke from damage and prevent the wheel from being damaged.

Tennis balls can also help to quiet down a noisy bike. If you have ever been bothered by the sound of your own bike, then you know how annoying it can be. Tennis balls can help reduce the chain’s noise and make your ride more pleasant.

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Finally, tennis balls can add a bit of personality to your bike. They come in various colors and patterns, so you can really make your bike stand out from the crowd.

Other Uses

It’s been used for various purposes, including as a storage container, GPS tracker, Bluetooth alarm, and storing tire patches.

In a nutshell, it’s all about your creativity. Make your pals wonder how you came up with that idea.

How Can You Put A Tennis Ball In The Spokes Of A BMX bike?

If you’re interested in trying this yourself, you need a tennis ball and a pair of pliers.

Simply take the tennis ball and make a small hole in it with the pliers.

Then, put the tennis ball on the spoke and push it up until it is snug against the wheel’s rim.

That’s all there is to it! Give it a try next time you’re out riding and see if you notice any difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

What about a tennis ball on the front wheel?

Honestly, it is just a matter of looking cool, so if you want to – go ahead and add the ball to your front wheel. Can I recommend doing so? Not really 🙂

Can I put more than one tennis ball in my spokes?

Yes, you can put more than one tennis ball in your spokes if you want. However, keep in mind that this will add even more weight to your bike.

Do professional BMX riders use tennis balls in their spokes?

Some professional BMX riders may use them, while others may not. It is really up to each individual rider.

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Can I use a different type of ball?

You can technically use any type of ball, but tennis balls are generally the best option. They are the right size, and they have a fuzzy surface that helps to create drag.

What if I don’t have pliers?

If you don’t have pliers, you can try using a screwdriver or a knife. Just be careful not to damage the tennis ball or the spoke.

Final Words

Putting tennis balls in your bike spokes can have various benefits, including reducing noise, absorbing shock, and adding personality. It’s also a great way to show off your creative side.

While there are some drawbacks to this practice, such as the added weight and potential for the tennis balls to fall out, it is generally a safe and easy modification that anyone can do.

So, consider giving it a try next time you’re out riding! Thanks for reading.


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By Marco

Marco is an avid cyclist and passionate blogger. He takes great pride in sharing his insights and experiences with the cycling community, hoping to inspire others to take up the sport and enjoy its many benefits. His words are an ode to the joys of cycling, and the exhilaration it brings.

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