Bike enthusiasts must be familiar with the term BMX or bicycle motocross. These famous bikes are unique in their way. However, confusion arises when people mistake BMX bikes for just kids.
Contrary to popular belief, BMX bikes are for both adults and kids since they come in various sizes to cater to a range of kids and adults. When it comes to selecting the best-suited BMX bike for yourself, size is an essential consideration.
Several riders do not progress because they end up buying the wrong size. Selecting the right size BMX bike is essential to your growth as a rider since you can progress a lot faster.
To help you select the right size BMX bike, I have prepared a short guide for all of you.
BMX Bike Sizing Guide
BMX bikes are often used for racing or freestyle riding. The racing BMX bikes are often lightweight and perform with great speed and stability, while the freestyle BMX bikes contain thicker frames and tires to take on the heavy jumps and tricks of the riders.
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BMX bikes are designed in various lengths, frames, and sizes. Most bikes are manufactured with 20” to 24” tires. The wheels of the BMX bikes can be chosen according to the height and age of the rider. Measuring your height correctly is important in choosing the right BMX bike for adults.
To save you the hassle, I have prepared a chart to show you what size would suit different heights and ages.
|Rider Height (Feet & Inches)||Rider Height (Centimeters)||Approximate Age||Suggested BMX Frame Size in inches||Suggested BMX Crank Size||Suggested BMX Wheel Size|
|5’8 – 5’9||172 – 175 cm||20s||20.5″ – 21.5”||180 mm||20”|
|5’10 – 6ft||176 – 178 cm||30s||21″ – 22”||180 mm||20”|
|6 ft or above||180 cm||40s||21.5” – 22.5”||180 – 185 mm||20”|
Note: the frame was measured according to the length of the bike’s top tube, which is measured starting from the center of the bike’s seat tube to the center of the bike’s head tube.
The cranks are measured from the center of the axle to the center of the bike’s pedal hole (L). Longer cranks are said to give the rider more leverage, while shorter cranks can allow them to pedal faster.
One can easily visit a bike store to make sure that the frame of the bike leaves about a minimum of 2cm gap between them and the bike’s top tube.
Even though this table illustrates a good answer as to what size of BMX bike would suit your height, every person’s body size and build vary.
How are BMX Bikes Measured?
BMX bikes are generally measured in 2 ways; one way of measuring a BMX bike is by examining the size of the wheel, while the other way is by measuring the length of the bike’s top tube.
A full-sized BMX bike comes with a 20″ and 26” wheel, which are mostly the only wheel options for adults.
While measuring a BMX bike, make sure that you can stand over the bike’s frame and that there’s about 2cm space between you and the tube.
The length of the frame is worked out by measuring the length of the bike’s top tube. The top tube is measured starting from the center of the bike’s seat tube up to the center of the bike’s head tube.
BMX bikes come in many sizes such as micro, mini, junior, expert, expert XL, PRO, and PRO XL.
Top Tube Measurement
The top tube measurement is important when choosing a BMX bike for yourself. It’s considered more efficient than the wheel size.
The top tube is a tube on top of your BMX bike’s frame, which connects to the front of the bike as well as the bike’s seat tube.
You can measure your BMX bike’s top tube in 2 easy steps.
First, identify the bike’s seat tube where the seat clamp is holding the seat post. Now locate the center of the bottom bracket/axle that holds the crank arms together.
Next, measure the distance between these two points. This will be the length of the bike’s seat tube. Study the chart above on what length will be best suited for your height.
BMX bikes have two categories depending on the wheel size. The standard size of a BMX bike’s wheels is 20″ which can go up to 24.” The 20″ wheel BMX bikes are more common while the 24″ wheeled BMX bikes are considered cruisers.
The 24″ BMX bikes are bigger since they are used for dirt jumping. These bikes are mostly for adults.
The Right BMX Bike for Your Riding Style
When selecting the right BMX bike, you also need to keep in mind your riding style. It is important to understand that BMX bikes are designed to cater to the needs of different bikers and their riding styles.
The different types of BMX bikes are the race bike, the freestyle bike, and the dirt jumper.
Here are different riding styles and what BMX bikes to opt for according to their size and specification.
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For Street Riders — The Race Bike
When the BMX racing bikes were launched back in the late 60s, they instantly won the hearts of many, and everyone wanted one for themselves. These were designed for racing over jumps and even in the dirt.
Race bikes are lightweight and have great speed and versatility. They are designed from 20” wheel to 24” wheels called the cruisers.
Contrary to their name, the BMX racing bikes are not only made for racers but also for normal riders. Perfect for riders who want to buy a BMX bike for going off-road, covering short distances, or even dirt track racing.
For Bike Park Riders — Freestyle Bike
For riders who like to practice tricks and stunts in the bike parks, the Freestyle BMX bike is the answer because it is sturdy and can take the ground’s grinding impact and fall landings efficiently.
Freestyle BMX bikes launched soon after the race. These were designed to cater to the rider’s need for freestyling bike tricks.
For example, this bike can be used for aggressive street riding, flatland tricks, as well as getting vertical at skateparks and bike parks.
These are also ideal for riding in the city anywhere. The freestyle BMX bikes have heavier and bulkier frames as well as bigger wheels with double wall rims because they are considered pavement pounders.
For Dirt Jumping — Jump Bikes
For riders who often go for dirt jumping, they would need a bike that offers a stable and comfortable ride even when jumping larger jumps. Jump bikes or dirt jumpers will suit this riding style.
Just as the name implies, Jump bikes are designed to take flight efficiently. These come with 20” – 26” wheels and a sturdy frame.
This is like a combination of both the race and freestyle bikes. It’s perfect for dirt jumping as well as jumping ramps in the bike park.
What Is the Cost of a BMX Bike?
If you are planning to buy a BMX bike, you must be thinking about the cost of BMX bikes. As much as the sizing is important, cost matters too. So, how much do their prices and their specifications vary?
I have divided the prices of BMX bikes into three different levels according to their similarities.
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Base Model BMX Bikes ($200 – $350)
The entry-level BMX bikes cost around $200-$350. These are the base models of BMX bikes and are usually for kids with only a few adult options.
These bikes are a great option for beginners or for people who are on a budget. These models come in steel or aluminum frames.
Intermediate Model BMX Bikes ($350-$700)
The Intermediate BMX bikes cost anywhere near $350 to $700. You will find Chromoly or Aluminum framed BMX bikes in this range which are ideal for both intermediaries and pro BMX racers.
The intermediate means the price range is somewhere between cheap and expensive; they are slightly pricier than the entry-level BMX bikes.
These bikes are also meant for riders who want to go a bit more advanced while still remaining under a budget.
High-end BMX Bikes ($1000 and above)
With flaunting fiber frames, this range will cost anywhere around $1000 or above.
Just as the names suggest, the high-end bikes are the top-tier BMX bikes that are expensive and also offer the best performance on the road, dirt, and skate parks.
What are BMX Bikes Made of?
BMX bikes are manufactured using different materials. Steel is the most common material used in the manufacturing of a BMX bike’s frame since it is cheap. Some bike manufacturing companies choose aluminum for entry-level BMX bikes and carbon fiber for high-end BMX bikes. Some premium-level BMX bikes are also made from titanium.
A serious concern when buying a BMX bike is the bike’s frame. Since BMX bikes are on the expensive side, it is only natural that one would speculate about the material they are spending their hard-earned money on.
Here are the different materials that BMX bikes are made from.
BMX manufacturers use high tensile steel for its sturdiness, strength, and longevity. BMX bikes which are made from steel, are easy to repair, and these bikes do not wear down easily. Their frames are stiffer and more robust.
However, these BMX bikes are ignored by pro riders because of their heaviness since they aren’t able to perform stunts or midair jumps with them.
BMX bikes are ideal for riders who are on a budget since they are pretty affordable. These bikes are lightweight and stiff but they have a good strength-to-weight ratio making them built strong.
BMX bikes made from aluminum are likely to give you a road buzz; however, they are not suitable for racing since they are hard to repair after a crash.
High-end BMX bikes are made with carbon. These are one of the most comfortable and lightweight bikes the pro BMX riders swoon over. They give an aerodynamic feel.
BMX bikes made from titanium can last a lifetime. These are the most expensive bike frames since they have good performing abilities.
Titanium BMX bikes are more resilient and durable. These are also lighter but have a high strength-to-weight ratio.
Tips on Choosing the Right BMX Bike for Yourself
Whether you are looking to buy a BMX bike for yourself or as a gift to someone, you must have struggled to choose the right BMX bike.
It is easy; just think about what you need and your intentions for the bike. Will it be for a race, usual stunts, or just riding around your friendly neighborhood?
Once you decide that, it will ensure that you will select the right BMX bike for yourself by following some small tips.
To select the right BMX bike, you need to research which type of components will suit your needs thoroughly.
To make it even easier for you, I have enlisted some pointers which will help you choose the best-suited BMX bike for your needs.
- Wheels are essential components that will help you meet your needs. For example, if you are looking for racing bikes, then look for lightweight wheels because street or jump bikes require thick and sturdy wheels.
- BMX tires for racing are designed to provide maximum speed and traction. But if you want a bike for freestyle, look for bikes with tires designed for pavement and indoor surfaces.
- BMX bikes also vary in handlebar shapes. Such as street and jumping bikes’ handlebars can be raised steeper from the clamping area to provide the rider freedom of movement. Plus, 24-inch BMX handlebars are slightly shorter than a 20-inch bike’s handlebar.
- Opt for a lightweight BMX bike since it is made from good material and is more comfortable.
- Buy the BMX bike in person so you can take it for a test drive.
- When standing over the bike frame, make sure there is at least 1 to 2-inch space between you and the tube of the bike. This ensures a comfortable and safe ride.
- Lastly, select the proper size according to the BMX bike’s manufacturer’s size guide to ensure the right BMX bike for yourself.
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I’m confident that your confusion about buying the best-suited BMX bike must have vanished by now. BMX comes in various sizes, and one can even get it customized according to their wants or riding style.
Overall, I’m sure you must have come to know about the different horizons a BMX bike is manufactured in. I hope by now you have selected the perfect size according to your height.