Elite Women's BMX Freestyler Sarah Nicki Interview and Bike Check
Sarah Nicki is taking her riding international.
It's been amazing to watch Sarah grow up as a young girl BMX riding in Canberra, both with freestyle and racing and now at just 15 years old, competing at the highest level in Freestyle BMX competition, going head to head with the best women's BMX riders at the World Cup events.
Sarah has crafted her skill on a BMX in Canberra, where she was able to beat Olympian Natalya Diehm to become Australian National Champion in 2022.
As well as being named Women's Freestyler of the year for 2022, Sarah has been making moves both figuratively and literally - making the big decision to move up to the Gold Coast to train full time as a BMX rider up there.
We are stoked on how Sarah rides a bike, but even more so, her attitude and her outlook on riding keep her head in a good place.
We miss Sarah calling herself a Canberra BMX rider but caught up with her recently to see how things were going in her world.
Sarah on her new Fit Squib bike.
Sarah, what have you been up to?
I moved to the Gold Coast in January and have loved every minute. Since March I’ve had the Oceania Continental Championships, National Championships and the Montpellier World Cup so it has been pretty busy. Now I’ve got a couple of months until my next event so I’m just trying to stay focused on my training and having fun on my bike with friends on my days off.
What was it like traveling and competing in France?
It was a pretty great experience. Montpellier was a huge event, with a massive crowd of spectators and almost 40 riders competing in Elite Women. We had a lot of rain delays so the schedule was constantly changing and my semi final got split over two days but we were lucky to get everything in as many other categories got cancelled. Worst part was definitely the travel time with over 20 hours in the air each way + layovers.
You recently moved to QLD to join the Australian Freestyle BMX team. What made you decide to pursue the competitive BMX path?
I love competing, traveling and getting to ride with and meet riders from around the world. Competitions give me something to work towards and keep me motivated to improve.
Hugs from a young fan.
Is being on the Aus BMX team different than just riding BMX? Why?
It’s different because of the higher level of training and expectations, coming to the park with goals and intentions instead of just riding. The core is the same though, just getting out and having fun on your bike.
Do you have a schedule?
I ride at the National training facility 4 times a week, go to the gym twice a week and do aerial awareness/ acro training once a week. I generally have 1-2 days a week off the bike to rest and catch up on schoolwork and on the other days I ride the local parks.
How do you compare BMX in Canberra to the Gold Coast? What do you miss?
It’s very different up here with more riders focused on competitions and tricks as opposed to the style and flow that is more common in Canberra. For the next gen there are heaps of coaches up here and there is access to better facilities for learning tricks. I miss Canberra’s bowls and the BMX community.
What do you think about where women's BMX is? And what do you see for the future of women's BMX?
Women’s BMX has grown so much over the last few years. There are more women in BMX than there has been before and the level of riding is increasing all the time. My hope is that we can see women’s categories at more and more events in the future. I would love to see some Women’s vert or bowl comps.
What advice do you have for girls who are interested in riding BMX?
Have fun with it, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t give up if things take time, give yourself time to learn the basics. Some things will come quicker for other people and some things will just click for you. Stay committed and enjoy the process.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
Rhys & Tyson for encouraging me from day 1, Caroline & Natalya for inspiring and mentoring me, AusCycling & Queensland Academy of Sport for allowing me to follow my dreams and all of my sponsors.
Natalya Diehm, Sarah Nicki and Anais Prince at the Australian National Freestyle Championships. Gold medal!
Sarah Nicki Fitbikeco Squib Bike Check
- Frame: Fit Squib 20" (green of course). This frame is amazing, having slacker angles and a slightly longer back end but in a size that actually fits is so good! Also Green is the best
- Bars: Fit Raw Deal cut to 26". Having slightly lower bars has meant being able to go back to a top load stem.
- Grips: Fit Tech Grips
- Stem: Fit Hango Stem. A bit shorter and lower than most top load stems, this stem goes perfectly with the Squib Frame.
- Headset: Fit
- Forks: Odyssey R32. Decided to give a longer rake a go for that bit of extra stability on the bigger jumps.
- Cranks: Fit blunt 160mm. Good length and look great in combination with the Fit Key sprocket.
- Sprocket: Fit Key Sprocket 28t
- Chain: Odyssey Blue Bird black
- Hubs: Odyssey Antigram v2 rear / Odyssey Vandero front. Simple and solid, also makes it easy to run your chain slammed as the axle sits flush (14mm female bolts), just a nice detail.
- Rims: Odyssey 7ka
- Tires: Odyssey super circuit 2.1 front and rear. Very light folding tire with a good tread pattern. The 2.1 works well on the Hurricane courses.
- Tubes: CST superlight. Half the weight for only a few dollars more. Only downside is that they are a bit more prone to punctures being thinner rubber.
- Pedals: Fit Mac plastic pedals.
Sarah's Fit Squib custom bike.
Favourite parts or parts you like:
My bike is pretty different to most competition set ups but I’m really happy with how it turned out and it works well for me. I love my frame, the geometry suits my style and I really like the green. My other favourite parts are my bars, wheels and cranks.