With so many different bikes on the market—road, folding, dirt, mountain bike and electric—it can be difficult to know exactly which one is best for you. Don't worry! We've put together a list of the best motocross (or BMX) bikes, which were first used in southern California in the 1970s.
The 70s were somewhat of a golden age for BMX bikes, and the following decades saw these much sought-after bikes become a craze among street sport fans and casual riders alike. Though BMX bikes were initially targeted for use on dirt race tracks, today's BMX bikes come in a wide range of styles, offering an especially sturdy bike for everyday use and function. Now, everyone can benefit from the sturdy-framed BMX bikes that were designed to put up with the risks of racing and stunt riding.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Ranking: The best BMX bikes
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about BMX bikes
- 4.1 What exactly is a BMX bike?
- 4.2 What styles are BMX bikes used for?
- 4.3 How can I begin with BMX?
- 4.4 What equipment do I need to stay safe on my BMX bike?
- 4.5 Which BMX bike should I purchase?
- 4.6 What do BMX bikes look like?
- 4.7 What are the main brands of BMX bikes?
- 4.8 What are the advantages and disadvantages of riding a BMX bike?
- 5 Shopping criteria
- 6 Summary
- BMX bikes offer perfect entertainment for both children and adults thanks to their strong, resistant design. The design promotes flexible movement and a wide array of exciting maneuvers. Furthermore, the BMX bike caters to all kinds of acrobatic moves, including jumps and tricky balances.
- When purchasing a BMX bike, there's no need to worry about the precise ability level of the user since all BMX bike models are suitable for beginners. Nonetheless, it's generally a good idea to get a BMX bike with high quality components and adapted brakes.
- Professional bikers prefer BMX bikes that are made of light and resistant materials, such as chrome, steel and aluminum. But these bikes may not be the most affordable options available, so you can also buy individual bike pieces from different brands and put together your own unique bike.
Ranking: The best BMX bikes
Below we've laid out the best BMX bikes you can find on the market. In this section, you'll see important characteristics regarding things like size, wheels, tires, brakes and pedals. This should help you find the best option for your needs.
Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about BMX bikes
To start riding BMX you'll need some important accessories to ensure your safety. These days, there is a wide variety of brands and models available to choose from. In the following section, we go over the characteristics of a solid BMX bike to help you pick the best one for you.
What exactly is a BMX bike?
As BMX developed, new designs were introduced based on the style and technique of each rider. And as skate parks became more popular, BMX manufacturers developed their own innovative version of the freestyle modality. BMX has also been part of the Olympic Games since they took place in Beijing in 2008.
What styles are BMX bikes used for?
|Style||What does it consist of?|
|Race||Consists of races featuring a circuit of jumps and intense curves|
|Dirt Jump Freestyle||Consists of acrobatic jumps performed on dirt ramps|
|Flatland Freestyle||Acrobatics are done on an asphalt or concrete surface, with handlebar turns.|
|Park Freestyle||Consists of performing acrobatics utilizing a set of ramps and wooden obstacles|
|Green Freestyle||Acrobatic jumps made vertically followed by the biker returning to the same ramp|
|Street Freestyle||This form of BMX uses everyday obstacles found in the street such as park benches and walls|
How can I begin with BMX?
What equipment do I need to stay safe on my BMX bike?
- Helmet: Helmets come in many different styles. Generally, it is always best to use what's known as an integral helmet, which, in addition to protecting your head and forehead, also shields your jaw and the front of your face. This type of full-coverage protection is particularly recommended for those doing BMX racing, while in other styles like BMX Street or Flat riding, the open helmet design is also common as it allows for easier head movement.
- Elbows protectors: These protectors are important to wear to avoid injuries from falling.
- Gloves: Gloves are useful for all acrobatic disciplines, though they're most common in races. The most popular glove type is finger-less mittens.
- Suits: Racers wear full body suits or jackets and special pants that cover the entire body, for protection it the case of falls and to help minimize wind resistance.
- Sneakers: Each biking style will require the use of a specific shoe type. The sporty and flexible styles are most recommended.
Which BMX bike should I purchase?
The most important consideration when you begin to use a BMX bike is to ensure that it's durable and offers quality response to whatever maneuvers you might make. Bikes with fewer features but more robust designs are probably the most convenient option for beginners.
|Height of the biker (in feet)||Size of the bike (in inches)|
|Up to 3'7"||12|
|From 3'7" to 4'3"||16|
|From 4'3" to 4'11"||18|
|From 4'11" to 5'3"||20|
|From 5'3" to 5'7"||20.6|
|Up to 5'11"||20.75|
|More than 5'11"||21.25|
What do BMX bikes look like?
What are the main brands of BMX bikes?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of riding a BMX bike?
These days, there is a huge variety of brands and models for most sports, not only for BMX bikes. This can make the entire selection and buying process especially tiresome. To help you pick the best bike, we have narrowed down some of the key factors to consider when picking your BMX bike.
- Biker experience level
- Steel or 4130
- Brakeless design
- Frame, fork and handlebar
- Height ratio
Biker experience level
You will often see older bikers riding children's bikes and kids riding professional bikes. Nonetheless, selecting a BMX bike should be based on the user's level of experience, although there are some exceptions in terms of height and age.
|Children||16, 18 o 20’’||Between 18.5’’ y 20.2’’||From 5 to 12 years old||Up to 30 lbs|
|Beginners||20’’||From 20 to 20.5’’||From 12 to 16 years old||No more than 26 lbs|
|Intermediate||20’’||From 20 to 21’’||14 years and older||Between 24 and 26 lbs|
|Advanced||20’’||Between 20.5 and 21’’||14 years and older||Between 23 and 25 lbs|
|Team||Wheels of 20’’||Between 20.5 and 21.2’’||14 years and older||From 25 lbs|
For new riders, weight is an important factor because a lighter bike means less resistance. It is recommended to select a heavy bike that offers more resistance rather than a lighter bike that may create problems for the rider at some point. More advanced riders might pick from lighter bike options that also offer good resistant (which will be relatively expensive), or the resistant and affordable varieties (which are usually heavier).
In advanced bike designs, it is necessary to check that the wheels are double-layered, containing at least 36 spokes, and fully sealed. We must also keep in mind that extremely hard wheel designs are not recommended, as excessive pressure means the bike won't offer optimal cushioning in case of any falls. Still, if tires are too loose, then you might end up losing the grip.
The material of a bike's frame is another important factor. You can do without some resistance, depending on the price or weight, if you have a steel frame. Nonetheless, the bike's fork and handlebar should always be 4130 steel, since those parts can cause very serious injuries to the rider if they fail.
We advise against buying a bike without brakes, especially if it's your first BMX bike purchase. Bike frames with brakes can be used in brakeless mode, but the reverse isn't the case. So we'd suggest starting with brakes!
Frame, fork and handlebar
The table usually measures between 20.0" and 21.2". The height for new riders measures between 20.0" and 20.5"; for intermediate riders, it's between 20.5 and 21.0"; from 20.5 to 21" for advanced riders, and from 20.5 to 21.2" for teams. Additionally, frame, fork and handlebars should be at least 4130, and if the design is heat-treated, that would be ideal.
This aspect should be considered in relation to your height, how you plan to use your bike and, above all, your style preference. If you are planning to race with your bike, the height should be relatively high for both the front and rear triangle. However, for street riders, the recommended height is usually shorter to allow for faster turns and greater manageability.
BMX bikes are primarily used by bikers looking to perform tricks and stunts. Riders come up with various techniques and particular designs allow for the execution of a wide variety of tricks—be it in the air or on asphalt, along with a large number of combos that can be executed with such tricks.
BMX bikes are made for fun. They are ideal for those who enjoy "motocross by bike" or any other version of its acrobatic uses. Because these bikes have a relatively low frame height, they're a great option for kids who are just starting to learn how to ride a bike.
(Source of the featured image: Keagan henman: 456216/ unsplash.com)