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

BMX Bike Explained

1. FRAME

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.

2. FORKS

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.

3. HANDLEBARS

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.

4. HEADSET

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.

5. BRAKES

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; they’ll last longer.

7. REAR HUB

There are two 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.

8. GEARING

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.

9. RIMS

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.

10. TYRES

Usually wider on the front than on the back though many bikes now come with a fat rear tyre also. Branded after-market tyres are best here.

11. CRANKS & 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 3 types of Bottom Bracket (BB). U.S are the largest and normally come with unsealed bearings. Smaller Mid or Spanish BB’s are usually sealed and as result last longer and require minimal maintenance.

12. PEDALS

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.

13. SEATS

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.

14. STEM

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.

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BMX Sizing Guide

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BMX Buyer Guide Logo

This page has been put together to help you make an informed choice about what BMX bike will be most suitable for your needs. If you have been riding for a while and you are looking for a new bike then the suggestions in this section will give you a brief overview of what you can get for your budget at the moment and what to look out for.

Here at Source Bmx we are a 100% rider-owned and run BMX shop and pride ourselves on offering friendly and honest advice to make sure that you ride away on a bike that’s suitable for you and will keep you in BMX for the long run. We don’t stock any brands we don’t believe in and every single bike we stock is a great bike in its own right - this section is here to help you make an informed decision. If you need any more advice then please drop us an email at info@sourcebmx.com or call the store on 0845 6800 360 (Local rate) to speak to our staff who ride and can help you out.

YOUTH BIKES

Youth bikes are sized smaller than the regular BMX bike to suit the smaller rider. Although these bikes are largely spec’d to entry level specification (see below) there are some youth bikes which vary in spec and price which will suit a wide range of rider abilities; all with one thing in common - their size. The standard size of a BMX wheel is 20” but these youth sized bikes typically use a 16” or a 18” wheel as well as a smaller frame - this makes for a BMX bike geometry and feel only in a smaller package. As a general rule a 16” or 18” bike typically suits a rider from 6 years old up to 10 years but Cult also make a much smaller 12” bike for the real little guys. Also fresh for 2014 United have released their RNJR bike which is a 20” wheeled bike but made with a smaller frame and tweaked geometry which makes for a perfect stop gap between the 18” bikes and full size 20” bikes.

United Recruit 16 Youth BMX

United Recruit 16” £259.99

A Scaled down version of the full size Recruit bike from United. The Recruit 16” will suit riders from 2ft 9” to 3ft 7”. The recruit features many of the same parts that you can find on the full size version only scaled down to suit the smaller rider.

Cult Juvenile 18 Youth BMX

Cult Juvenile 18” £384.99

Made as a replica of Cult’s full-sized BMX bikes but with an aluminium frame to keep the weight manageable. The Juvenile 18” is designed to fit riders who are 3ft 5” to 4ft 5” tall. The parts on this bike mimic those which can be found on Cult’s full size models and will be strong enough to hold up to serious abuse.

Verde Vectra BMX Bike

Verde Vectra 20” £269.99

New for 2016 from Verde is the Vectra model. This bike is built around a standard 20” wheel but with a much smaller frame making the bike fit that rider who is between an 18” bike and a full sized BMX. The Vectra uses many of the parts found on Verde's full size models in a much more compact package making that transition between a youth bike and full size BMX seamless.

   

See all Youth Bikes

ENTRY BIKES

Entry level bikes are designed to be your first BMX bike or your first “proper bmx bike” and are typically suited to all types of riding. Chances are if you’re in the market for an entry level bike, you are new to this and you can find the choice a little overwhelming. Firstly the best thing to remember is that we don’t stock any “bad bikes” so you just need to find something to suit your needs.

So with that said; if you are just starting out and want to go to your local skatepark to give it a go then something from the cheaper end of this price bracket will be perfect. If you are little more advanced, i.e have ridden before and plan to hit the skatepark up every night, then you might benefit from the improved spec and strength you can find on the higher level bikes in this range which typically offer more durable parts.

A good thing to remember is that whatever bike you end up starting on, all of our bikes are fully upgradeable with the after-market parts you can find in this catalogue so it’s easy to upgrade your bike as your riding progresses.

Verde EON

Verde Eon £319.99

The New Verde Eon for 2016 features some great parts as well as boasting looks way beyond its price tag. The Eon has been updated for 2016 and now features a super wide set of Duo High street tyres and sealed bearings throughout. A great example of an entry-level bike which will get you started off on the right foot with plenty of scope to upgrade as you progress.

Jet Generate

JET Generate £249.99

Impressive entry level bike from Jet BMX. This Sub £250 BMX from Jet features some great parts for the price tag like the tubular sealed Mid BB cranks, Sealed 9T cassette hub, Large 8.4 bars, tapered forks and slim padded seat/post combo. As well as the great value for money parts package the Generate features bang up to date responsive geometry and looks great.

WTP Curse

WTP Curse £329.99

A great looking entry level BMX bike from Wethepeople. The Curse feature a durable frame design with integrated headtube, spanish bb and 4130 downtube. Most of the parts are taken care of by Salt and highlights include a semi sealed cassette hub, tubular 3-piece cranks, and Salt Strike green wall tyres.

   

Shop All Entry Bikes

MID BIKES

Mid-level bikes cover quite a broad price range and basically apply to all models which are not an entry bike and equally not quite a pro bike but fall somewhere in-between. These are the models which are made to accommodate the needs of most of today’s riders, whether it be their second bike, having moved up from the entry level range or even their 3rd or 4th bike. These bikes are built with many of the same features as Pro bikes, like integrated head tubes, stronger and lighter CrMo tubes, sealed bearings and removable brakes but are still produced to accommodate the rider with a budget. These models usually feature some after-market parts or a Pro rider endorsement and can be tailored to specific types of riding with specific geometry or a parts package to suit street riding for instance. These models provide a higher quality of bike, usually lighter and always stronger to hold up to the constant and progressive riding day in and day out. Perfect just as they are or great as a platform to start your own custom from, adding parts as you progress.

United Martinez FC

United Martinez FC £499.99

All the bike brands we stock are known to keep up with the times, United more than most. Take this Martinez Expert model for example, which mimics Corey Martinez’s own bike and includes super-wide 2.4” tyres, sealed bearings everywhere, Removable brakes and a fully sealed freecoaster hub. Ideally suited to full on street riding at under £500

Fit Dugan One

Fit Dugan 1 £399.99

Tom Dugan signature BMX bike from Fit. Like all Fit level 1 complete Bikes the Dugan 1 model features sealed bearings all round, an integrated headset and Mid BB, making this bike super-durable and easier to work on than most. The Dugan 1 model is designed around Tom Dugan’s personal bike and features a Park inspired 20.5” top tube and geometry

Verde Vex BMX Bike

Verde Vex £399.99

The Vex has always been a special bike in the Verde line-up and this years model is no different! Eye catching two-tone paint colors with a healthy dose of after-market parts from Cinema and Duo make this bike a great example of what a mid level bike should be. Great looks and functional high performance parts.

   

Shop Mid Bikes

PRO BIKES

If you are looking at investing in a BMX for something over the £500 mark then chances are you have been riding for a while and you know what you want and need a bike which can keep up with your level of riding. Bikes at the lower end of this price bracket offer a great platform from which to upgrade your ride as your level of riding increases. Expect sealed bearings throughout, removable brakes, CrMo frames and forks and a whole bunch of after-market parts on these bikes. As you get further and further above the £500 price you will find that the bikes get more and more like custom builds sometimes with the entire bike being built from after-market parts. The only way to get a BMX better than these in the higher end of this price bracket is to build one yourself from your chosen after-market parts.

Fit MAC Signature

Fit Mac Sig £699.99

This Shaun Macintosh signature bike is made to emulate Mac’s own bike as much as possible. The bike is made for grinding and features a stack of aftermarket parts as well as Mac's preferred ultra-responsive street geometry. Being a Pro bike it is kitted out with everything you need and more like the Fit pegs, hub guards and a Fit FAF tyres.

United KL40 Pro

United KL40 Pro £669.99

The United 2015 KL40 Pro complete bike that is United’s top of the line signature model for Brothers Kye and Leo Forte. An almost exact replica of there personal bikes, built to mirror just how they runs them, and packed with high quality components to make this a truly pro level ride. Features a top quality full 4130 frame, forks and bars and a stepped up 28/9 gearing.

Verde Luxe Fc

Verde Luxe FC £749.99

The limited edition Luxe FC is absolutely the best bike Verde builds. For 2016 they have loaded it with custom details you can only find on a Luxe. The frame is custom painted two-part paint. The Cinema hubs are fully sealed after market hubs with a regular cassette or freecoaster option and you even get a choice of RHD or LHD. A true custom bike loka nd feel for a fraction of the price.

   

Shop Pro Bikes

 

 

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