Source BMX Buyers Guide
BMX BIKES EXPLAINED
If you are relatively new to BMX and are looking to get yourself a new BMX bike then this article will guide you through the process and tell you everything you need to know about BMX bikes so you can make an informed decision and get the right bike for you. Below is a standard BMX bike broken up into component form so you know the pros and cons of each part. Scroll further on down the page to see our very own recommendations of bikes to suit all budgets… As always if you have any questions we are always happy to help, just contact us HERE
All bikes start with the frame. Entry to intermediate level bikes use hi-tensile steel tubing but look for 4130 cromoly for increased durability and less weight on higher level bikes. See the guide on the opposite page for sizing info.
The same principle as the frame with regards to material. Look for CNC’d steerer tubes for greater durability and tapered legs for weight savings and a cleaner look.
Or just ‘bars’. Same principal for materials – 4130 is best and multi-butted tubing saves even more weight. The size is a personal preference with ‘rise’ referring to how high they are.
There are 2 types. Aheadsets are the older type with external cups whilst integrated headsets have sealed bearings that sit inside the frame itself. Integrated headsets save weight, look better and last longer.
Some riders use them and some don’t. If you’re new to BMX or live on top of a hill then use a back brake! All of our complete bikes are sold with brakes whilst higher-end bikes come with removable brakes that can easily be removed/installed.
6. Front Hub
Look for sealed bearings here on higher end spec bikes; they’ll last longer and require less maintanace.
7. Rear Hub
There are three main types. A freewheel hub (13 tooth or larger) and the more reliable and responsive cassette hub. Cassette hubs come with smaller gearings (typically 9t) and are found on most decent bikes these days. Semi-sealed cassette hubs are good whilst sealed is better and a branded after-market hub even better still. Also look out for Freecoaster hubs on higher end bikes - these allow you to fakie (go backwards) without the need to pedal backwards at the same time.
The relation between the front and rear freewheel or cassette hub. The smaller the sprockets are, the more weight is saved and the more clearance there is when riding ramps or grinding. A 25-9t is considered the best on complete bikes.
The outside of the wheel. These come in single or double wall versions. Double wall is strongest and is more important on the rear which takes more abuse than the front.
Branded after-market tyres are best here. The sizes (width) of tyre vary and depends on personal preference of the rider. 2.2" wide is about average.
11. Cranks and BB
Cranks take a lot of abuse on a bike and need to be strong enough to match your level of riding. Tubular cranks are best whilst branded cranks are better still.
There are 2 types of Bottom Bracket (BB). U.S are the largest and normally come with unsealed bearings. The Smaller Mid BB's are nearly always sealed and as result are stronger, last longer and require minimal maintenance.
Most bikes come with plastic pedals now; branded versions tend to be the best. Alloy pedals last longer and grip better but hurt your shins more when your slip and also usually weigh more.
There are 4 types of seat. Railed or combo seats are found on the entry level bikes whilst Pivotal or Tripod seats are found on intermediate to pro bikes. These seats are easier to install/adjust and save weight.
The bit that holds your bars to the forks. All stems are comparable in strength but CNC’d versions are lighter and offer a much cleaner look. They either clamp the bars from the top (top loader) or the front (front loader)
BMX SIZING CHART
Let us help you get the right Size BMX
The length of the top tube is what all BMX Bikes are measured by. Use this handy chart below to ensure you get the correct size.
- Height - up to 3ft" | Bike Size: 12" Wheel or Balance Bike
- Height - 3ft to 3ft 6" | Bike Size: 16" Wheel Bike
- Height - 3ft 4" to 4ft 4" | Bike Size: 18" Wheel Bike
- Height - 4ft" to 5ft 4" | Bike Size: 20" Wheel with 18" to 20.25" top tube
- Height - 5ft" to 6ft" | Bike Size: 20" Wheel with 20.25" to 21" top tube
- Height - 5ft 10" upwards | Bike Size: 20" Wheel with 21" top tube or longer
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