Condensed Answer: It’s possible to install pegs on a dirt jumper if the bike has sufficiently long bolt-on axles. That said, by definition, dirt jumpers aren’t designed for pegs. Pegs on a dirt jumper could damage the frame and/or fork.
What Are Pegs?
Pegs are strong metal tubes mounted to the axles of a bicycle so that the rider can grind ledges and rails. Pegs are most commonly seen in the BMX world.
That said, in some cases, people install pegs on a bicycle so that a passenger can use them as a standing platform.
The Problems With Installing Pegs On a Dirt Jumper
- Possible Injuries
The pegs increase the profile of the bike and could cause serious damage to the body in case of contact during a failed landing.
Therefore, it makes sense to install pegs only if the dirt jumper won’t be used for actual dirt jumping but as a street bike.
- Problems With Installation
Truth be told, the vast majority of commercial dirt jumpers will not allow you to install pegs in the first place.
Pegs can only be installed on bolt-on hubs (hubs with threaded axles and nuts securing the wheel).
Meanwhile, most dirt jumpers come either with thru-axles or quick-release skewers. Those types of hubs do not allow the installation of pegs. Thus, it will be necessary to replace the hubs of the wheel. This would be a costly maneuver because the entire wheel will have to be rebuilt.
- Possible Frame Damage
Not all but many dirt jump frames are made of aluminum. The frames are strong enough to sustain the stress of dirt jumping, but that doesn’t change the fact that aluminum is a soft material that can’t take direct contact very well.
If the bike is used for grinding, rather than dirt jumping, the aluminum frame can be scratched severely, and eventually, it may lose integrity at certain locations. Whether this will happen and how long it will take depends on the intensity of the training session and the riding style.
In different, steel is a material that can take a lot more impact without losing its strength. It’s also harder and doesn’t scratch as easily. Hence why BMX bikes continue to be made of strong steel alloys.
- Possible Fork Damage
Dirt jumpers use suspension forks with legs made of aluminum. Thus, we observe the same problem – a possibility of damaging the aluminum element. In this case, the danger is even higher because the fork’s legs have fairly thin walls.
Truth be told, suspension forks are not designed for consistent contact which is what happens when a dirt jumper is used for grinding.
The only notable exception would be 24″ Marzocchi D-Street from 2004-2005. However, this fork is heavy and hard to find nowadays.
- Disc Brake Rotor Damage
The pegs themselves will not interfere with the disc brakes, but the rotor may get damaged when performing tricks.
That said, this won’t be a problem if the dirt jumper has rim brakes or no brakes at all.
The Safest Scenario For Installing Pegs On a Dirt Jumper
The following conditions reduce the danger of using pegs on a dirt jumper:
1. Steel frame
Steel is harder than aluminum and much more resistant to impact.
2. Rigid Fork
When using pegs, the fork experiences a lot of lateral stress that could result in unexpected damage. Additionally, the dropouts of some forks would make the installation of pegs impossible.
Therefore, if you want to use pegs on a dirt jumper, it would be better to rely on a rigid Chromoly fork.
The downside of this route is that you don’t get the benefits of a suspension fork which makes landings much softer.
3. Strong Hubs with Extra Long Bolt-On Axles
Pegs require reinforced bolt-on axles and hubs. Those are hard to find in the world of MTB because the industry relies on thru-axles and quick-release skewers.
FAQ: What is the point of installing pegs on a dirt jumper?
There’s only one logical point for installing pegs on a dirt jumper – to turn the bike into a street machine.
If the bike is going to be used as a dirt jumper, the pegs add weight and increase the likelihood of injuries in case of a failed landing.
That said, most people would be better off going for a BMX. This route is cheaper and creates more opportunities. Also, the bike is a lot tougher when used for street riding.
If your goal is to have a street machine that’s larger than a standard BMX, you can go for a bigger BMX (22″ or 26″) or install a rigid fork on a dirt jumper with a steel frame. Those setups are peg-friendly and also more economical.