BMX bikes are fun, popular, and exciting to own. To get the most enjoyment out of your purchase, you need to know what to look for and how to match the bike with your riding style, size, and needs.
There are two main groups of BMX bikes – those designed for racing and those designed for freestyle riding. Bikes designed for racing are sleek and designed to be lighter and faster. Racing-style bikes will have thinner frames and no extras attached to the frame. These are used for both indoor and outdoor track racing. Bikes designed for freestyle riding will often have pegs for standing on and performing tricks. These bikes generally have a beefier frame and the brake cables are often located to allow for spinning the handlebars. The two groups are different and while some people have interchanged these bikes, it is best to know what style of riding you will be doing and purchase the correct bike for that purpose.
Frame size is an important consideration in choosing a BMX bike. There are two standard frame sizes – the 20” frame and the 24” (or cruiser) frame. Both come in racing and freestyle models. The 20” frame is the more popular of the two sizes because it is smaller and of course lighter. The 24” frame is better designed for those individuals who are taller or of a larger stature – but are heavier and often harder to maneuver. The larger 24” frame will also cost more.
Frame Construction Material
The frame is the center of the BMX bike. All other components can be changed out and customized, but the frame is the base. The most desirable frames are those that are the lightest while maintaining strength. This allows for the fastest racing and smoothest freestyle riding. The most common and best mid-price frames are made of aluminum. Frames can also be made from steel, which is cheaper – but much heavier; and from titanium, which is very lightweight – but much more expensive.
While the frame is the center of the BMX bike, the components are what make it personal. Some of the components that you want to look at when buying a BMX bike are listed below:
a nice aluminum crank is the best option. They are lightweight and sturdy. Generally, the bikes are not sold with the aluminum crank and these would need to be purchased separately and swapped out.
Pedals are best if they are either the cage type of the type with full teeth. This will allow your shoes to grip the pedal better and reduce slipping off the pedal while riding.
Handlebars come in different shapes. There are styles that are more triangular and styles that are more square. This is a personal preference and most perform at a similar level.
Wheels and tires
Wheels are standard and should be aluminum. Tires should be chosen based on the type of riding you are doing. For racing, a good dirt tire for outdoor and a slick street tire for indoor are best. For freestyle, a good gripping treaded tire is best.