Bike sprockets are an interesting part. Upon initial reflection, they're a very simple bike part that doesn't need much thought. Most people see the only contributing factor in their choice of BMX sprocket as the number of teeth it has.
The sprocket has a fair few things that could sway your choice one way or another. After looking at the tooth count and design there are choices to be made. Do you go for a bash guard? What about bolt drive or spline drive?
Our top choices
Sunday Knox V2
One of the simplest sprockets on our list. A beautiful baby blue color on a bolt driven sprocket. A great, symmetrical design that increases the longevity of the product.Check Price
Federal Impact Guard
A simple sprocket with detatchable, rotatable guard that will fit even the biggest chains. A simple design like this from a reputable brand like Federal makes this perfect for beginners.Check Price
History of the Sprocket
Simply put, bicycle sprockets are profiled wheels with teeth, sometimes referred to as cogs. These teeth fit within a chain or track and are then rotated, transferring energy from a power source to a secondary location. That's a very convoluted way of saying that pedalling rotates a cog, surrounded by a chain that in turn rotates another cog, which rotates the wheel, giving the bike power.
A gear may look similar to a sprocket but there is a clear differentiation. A gear is named as such because it doesn't mesh directly with other gears.
When used in machinery, gears are commonly interlocked with each other without the need for a chain. A sprocket will be used when gearing like this can't be used and slippage isn't acceptable. A solid chain and sprocket will keep machinery accurate.
2023 BSD Hub Guard and SprocketClick Here to Check Best Price
The BSD Guard sprocket is a gorgeous but basic guarded sprocket that would look good on any bike. BSD has designed this Hub Guard and Sprocket brilliantly. The 5 inner spoke design is identical the whole way round, unlike many others. This subtle feature means the sprocket can be rotated 5 times to show a different part of the guard to abuse. This will prevent you from damaging the teeth and chain for much longer.
Unlike the Shadow Sabotage guard, this protection is built-in with the chainring. This does mean you'll have to replace the whole sprocket once you've worn the whole circumference.
I prefer this guarded sprocket to most others on this list. The guard isn't as obvious as many others. It does its job without being the main feature. The ability to rotate and protect the sprocket really sells it for me.
A centre hole of 24mm with 19mm and 22mm top hat washers being supplied enables use on nearly all BMX cranks. This feature is great for newer riders that aren't certain about their crank size.
Having a tough alloy guard is a great feature for newer riders. I've had a chain break while riding hard and it didn't do my elbow much good. Park and street riders need to protect their chain and replace it when needed.
7075-T6 aluminium has been used for the BSD Guard. I mention this because most of the other products on this list use 6061. The main difference between these two materials is the quantity of zinc. Less zinc provides superior welding and workability, making it perfect for sprockets that contain more than one piece.
BSD, I believe, have used 7075 because of the extra strength and stress resistance this compound offers. They don't need to worry about the inferior welding capabilities as the whole product has been 3D CNC machined.
BSD Guard Specifications:
- Material: 7075-T6 Aluminium
- Sizes: 25T, 28T
- Centre Hole: 24mm
- Top Hat Washer Sizes: 19mm, 22mm
- Weight: 90g
Profile Helm Spline DriveClick Here to Check Best Price
The Helm Spline Drive is another high-quality, brightly colored sprocket made by Profile. Spline drives are less common on BMX bikes but there is still a large population of riders solely using them.
Profile has developed this product under the Profile Madera branding. Madera is a slightly cheaper version of regular Profile parts. They have altered some manufacturing methods, reducing production time significantly. Profile said themselves that this time reduction is the reason they're able to charge less for these parts.
This sprocket is a spline drive sprocket. If you don't know what this skips to the bottom and read about them as they might not fit your bike. I think the way Profile have used raised and lowered areas to attenuate different sections of this design is nice. I would definitely buy this sprocket for my BMX.
Profile Helm Specifications:
- Material: 7075 Aluminium
- Axle Type: Spline Drive
- Axle Sizes: 19mm, 22mm
- Tooth Width: ⅛”
- Sizes: 25T, 28T
- Colors: Black, Nickel, Polished, Fall Red, Snow
- Weight: 81g
Sunday Knox V2 BMX Sprocket 2023Click Here to Check Best Price
If you read the section above about the BSD Guard you'll recognise this design instantly. I'm not sure if either company copied the other but the sprocket designs are very similar to each other.
The Sunday Knox V2 boasts a full guard on one side of the sprocket. Finely machined to comfortably fit the biggest of full and half-link chains. This sprocket is only one of three made by Sunday bikes. The others being a regular, unguarded sprocket named the Sabretooth and the first version of the Knox.
7075-T6 aluminium has been used in both versions for, what I believe is the same reason I mentioned above. Both 25T and 28T versions have a width of 6mm and can be rotated to protect all areas of the sprocket once one section has been worn down.
The main thing I prefer about the Sunday Knox over BSD is the lovely baby blue and pink colors. Sometimes these bright colors can be garish and harsh when placed on a BMX but this brand have done a good job picking these colors. Sunday have also printed their branding on the item instead of engraving it like BSD. I think this helps with the clean look.
Sunday Knox Specifications:
- Material: 7075-T6 Aluminium
- Thickness: 6mm
- Sizes: 25T, 28T
- Colors: Baby Blue, Black, Pink
- Guard: Single Side, Integrated
- Weight: 141g
Subrosa Magnum Bash SprocketClick Here to Check Best Price
The Magnum sprocket from Subrosa (suhb-roh-zuh) is designed to be a bash guarded sprocket. We've included quite a few on this list as I think they're much better at protecting your bike but be aware sprockets without a guard are better for some riders.
This sprocket is CNC machined from 7075 alloy with a thick bash guard integrated directly into the teeth of the sprocket. The bash guard is super thick and will support your grinding screw ups no matter your weight. This review from a very satisfied customer shows exactly what I'm talking about - “… I recommend this sprocket if you're a Gumby and husky rider.”.
Face designs of BMX sprockets are their main discernable feature. These designs often resemble the same design style as car alloys. Usually with several forms of spokes that radiate from a central design.
The design of the Magnum bash sprocket isn't anything crazy. From the central bolt, 5 spokes attach to the outer bash plate. These spokes are wide with large ovals cut from the centre.
The best part of this Subrosa sprocket isn't it's design but the different colors and prints that it comes in. About 6 different prints are ranging from duotones of black and blue to a starry paint splatter design and regular solid colors.
This sprocket is available in 25t and 28t. This will suit most park and street BMX riders but if you're looking for a lot of speed then this might not be the sprocket for you.
Subrosa Magnum Specifications:
- Type: Bolt on
- Material: 7075 Alloy
- Teeth Offset: 1/8”
- Weight: 113g
Profile Imperial BMX SprocketClick Here to Check Best Price
There aren't many of these lists that I've written that doesn't include a product from Profile. This list of BMX sprockets is obviously no different. There are various sprockets made by Profile, though this one is the best selling and most popular.
This piece is designed slightly differently to most others in this category. The attaching hole is surrounded by a small area of Profile branding, which is then followed by an intricately CNC'd pattern around the circumference of the sprocket.
Like almost all of their products, Profile has released tonnes of different sizes and colors for this product. The tooth range goes from 23T all the way up to 45T, all supplied in 8 vibrant colors.
This range of sizes makes this sprocket suitable for almost any type of riding. Racing riders will enjoy the larger, light-weight model while dirt and street riders will benefit from the smaller sizes and extra strength.
For those riders that like the look of the Imperial sprocket but would like a little more protection, take a look at the Imperial 25T Sprocket Guard. This guard covers the bottom half of the
Keep in mind that this bike sprocket will only fit 19mm spindles. This is an important fact for those of you buying a new sprocket for the first time. You need to make sure you're using the correct size spindle before buying.
Profile Imperial Specifications:
- Material: 6061 Alloy
- Adapter: 19mm
- Tooth Width: 3/32”
- Sizes: 23T - 45T
- Weight: 116g
Odyssey Tom Dugan Fang ReviewClick Here to Check Best Price
Tom Dugan is an integral part of the Fit Bike Co, Odyssey and many other pro BMX teams. Dugan was a rider having as much fun as possible growing up riding. Growing up in the BMX hotspot of Austin, Texas was a big advantage for Tom.
Tom's riding is known for being bigger and scarier than most others. When competing he often reaches the highest airs, winning the prestigious High Air prize at the Vans US Open in 2014. This confidence and ability to ride this way won Tom many other competitions throughout the years. Not to mention the many signature parts he has attached his name to. The Odyssey Fang being one of these such parts.
The Fang sprocket isn't guarded and features a fairly simple, symmetrical design. The mounting point is distinctive and different from the rest of the design.
Odyssey has considered Tom's huge riding style when designing this part. This sprocket increases in thickness as you get towards the centre. The weakest point is often the mounting areas and this design change helped alleviate a lot of stress regularly inflicted onto the sprocket.
Many riders who have invested in this product have reported great results. Their chains run perfectly smooth and I haven't come across any issues with strength yet.
Odyssey Fang Specifications:
- Material: 7075-T6 Aluminium
- Sizes: 25T, 28T, 30T
- Colors: Black, Silver, Blue
- Weight: 71g
Shadow Conspiracy Sabotage BMX SprocketClick Here to Check Best Price
This Sabotage sprocket from Shadow isn't my favorite after the first impression but after looking through the different designs provided I quite like the idea.
Sprocket/bash guard combos have been around a long time. It's only natural to want to protect your sprocket and chain once you take your first bad stumble on a grind. You'll see on this list that the bash guard sprockets have evolved various ways.
Shadow has taken an old school, two-part design and attached a modern twist. The plastic bash guard is attached to the sprocket separately and is now made from a high-impact, low-friction plastic that won't hinder you when caught on a bad grind.
The plastic is bolted to a solid 5mm alloy sprocket via 4 bolts. Unlike many others, the plastic can be removed super easily and either replaced or simply ridden without it. Being able to remove the bash guard is great for wear and tear. Once one side has worn down to chain level you and simply spin it around 90 degrees and have a whole new face to go at.
You've probably heard or read about The Shadow Conspiracy Supreme and Interlock chains by now. They've been the strongest chains on the BMX market for a long time now.
The only downside to riding these chains is the thickness of the plates. While this is fine on a regular sprocket, anything with a front plate could cause issues. Shadow has ensured that even their thickest chains will fit on this sprocket.
The replacement front guard is available pretty cheaply at around $10.
Shadow Sabotage Specifications:
- Material: 6061-T6 Alloy
- Width: 5mm
- Bore Size: 15/16”
- Adapter: 19mm & 22mm
- Guard: Plastic, replaceable guard
- Sizes: 25T
- Weight: 150g
BMX - Shadow Sabotage Sprocket
Federal Impact GuardClick Here to Check Best Price
The Impact Guard is very similar to the Shadow Sabotage sprocket. Built from a nicely designed 25 or 28 tooth sprocket with 4 mounting holes for the tough replaceable guard.
Federal has used a tough nylon blend for this guard. The same material used in their plastic hub guards. I think this is a pretty good sign the material is tried, tested and trusted.
Having a replaceable guard like this is useful for a few reasons. Firstly there's the weight. Plastic is obviously much lighter than aluminium, which has been used for many of the other guards in this list.
The second advantage is being able to simply replace the guard instead of the whole sprocket when it has been worn out. Being able to rotate the guard or sprocket is great but once you've worn all five areas you'll still have to replace the expensive sprocket.
Thirdly, not all brands think about the sizes of your chain when designing their guards. With the Impact Guard, you can simply remove it if you decide to run a chain that doesn't fit their sizing.
Federal Impact Specifications:
- Guard: Replaceable plastic guard
- Material: 6061-T6 aluminium
- Sizes: 25T, 28T
- Axle Diameter: 19mm, 22mm, 24mm
- Thickness: 5mm
- Teeth: 1/8”
- Weight: 150g
Federal Bmx - Impact Guard Sprocket - Black
How do Sprocket Gear Ratios Work?
Gear ratios have a lot to do with the concept of a circumference of a circle. When two gears are interlocked with each other.
Bicycles differ the difficulty of rotation via the gear ratio of the sprocket and gears. Think about the gears on a mountain bike. MTB's can have up to the chainrings at the front, the biggest of which gives you the hardest time pedalling.
On the back, a bike can have up to 12 gears, this time the smallest of which requires the hardest effort to pedal. Having the maximum gears on the front and back of a bike will give you a whopping 36 gears to go at.
What Size Sprocket Should I use for BMX?
On a BMX you don't have the flexibility as a mountain bike. You need to test and pick a gear ratio and sprocket size that fits your riding style and stick with it.
When I say 'stick with it' I don't mean forever. Just until you can be bothered to take everything apart and change it over. This can be a pain and you won't want to do it before every ride.
Most Intermediate and advanced BMX bike will be built with a 25T/9T or 28T/9T ratio. This means the front sprocket will have 28 teeth while the back one will have 9.
Having 8 or 9 teeth on your rear chainring is pretty common and doesn't usually change much. They're already quite small and hard to remove so most people stick with altering the size of their sprocket.
Most beginner or intermediate riders will be perfectly fine with a 25T or 28T sprocket. If you do want to change things up then you need to think about the type of riding you will be doing.
Dirt jump riders require more speed and normally have a nice drop-in so a larger sprocket could work well. Maybe 30T or 32T.
On the other hand, someone who rides flatland and needs the ability to transfer power to the wheels quickly without worrying about speed might benefit from a slightly smaller sprocket.
Frequently Asked BMX Sprocket Questions
Is a Bigger BMX Sprocket Faster?
Yes. Bigger front / smaller back is faster. The bigger back is slower. Think of MTB
If you read what I wrote above you probably understand the answer to this question. If you don't, think about the difficulty differences on a mountain bike when changing gear.
A bigger chainring on the front of a bike will increase your top speed and a smaller one will decrease your top speed.
On the back of your bike, the smaller chainring will make your bike faster, while the bigger ones make it slower.
Bare in mind that a cog setup designed to increase your top speed will also slow your acceleration and make it much harder to pedal. The opposite will also be true with a setup lowering your top speed.
Will my BMX Sprocket Catch the Ramp Coping?
Depends on the sprocket size, steepness of ramp and how you enter the ramp.
This is a big worry for a lot of newer riders. It can cause some big crashes and can end up being quite painful. Hitting your sprocket on the coping of a ramp is only really a worry if you're new to BMX and haven't learnt to drop in yet.
The answer to this question is usually no. Bigger sprockets will give you less clearance and increase the chance of you catching the coping on the way down.
What is a Spline Drive Sprocket?
Regular, bolt-on sprockets are attached to the bike via a bolt that is situated about a third of the way along the crank arm. This bolt is attached through a hole you will often see towards the edge of a sprocket. The basic reason for this is to stop the sprocket spinning on the bottom bracket when your crank bolts become loose.
On the other hand, spline drives don't need this extra bolt to prevent spinning as they have lots of teeth placed around the inside of the centre hole of the sprocket. These teeth obviously match up with another set already on the bike and prevent slippage and rotation that way.
An argument can be made for spline driven cranks being better looking as the design can be completely symmetrical without a random bolt hole being placed on the face but the decision is pretty much just personal preference.
Top BMX Websites
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