A lot of people look at BMX as being a simplistic bike; just a BMX. Most of the general public couldn’t tell you the difference between a K-Mart bike and a custom complete. However, the difference is huge – and we can help you out to make the best choice with your new BMX!
There is a lot of very specific engineering and design that goes into making a BMX capable of the handling punishment a rider can dish out. Basically, not all BMX’s are created equal, there are lots of little things that set them apart. Riders from different disciplines often prefer different sizes and geometries. For example, park riders often prefer a shorter bike with steeper and more responsive geometry for faster response while doing tricks. On the other end of the BMX scale, trail riders prefer a longer frame with more stable geometry for riding large jumps. Street riding normally falls somewhere in the middle. You can read more about the different bikes for different disciplines in the following articles.
The first measurement that you need to take in to consideration is wheel size.
BMX Bikes range for 12-inch wheels to the standard 20-inch wheels. Now, some department store BMX bikes with smaller wheel sizes have a very different geometry to a true Freestyle BMX bike. These bikes have shorter frames and are nowhere near as user friendly. All the Bikes we sell are essentially scaled down versions of true BMX Geometry – which means that a young rider will be much more comfortable on their bike, and be able to move up the sizes easily.
After wheel size, the next important measurement is the Top Tube length (pictured above). This is the backbone of frame sizing. Obviously, in most cases, a taller rider will require a longer top tube, whereas a shorter rider will be after something smaller. There isn’t much variance between top tubes on 12-16-18inch bikes – but once you get to a 20inch, top tube measurements will range from 19.5 inches to 21.5 inches.
For first time BMX buyers, here is a simple sizing guide:
*Refer to local BMX Race Club’s recommendation. Not all clubs run 12” Balance class.
Please note, this is only a guide.
This is a great point-of-reference, however, this is only a guideline. You should always take into account the geometry of the bike and discipline/preference of the rider. There are a lot of options and opinions out there, and sometimes the best bet is to just try out a couple of bikes and see what feels best. If you're not 100% sure, make sure you get the advice from your local BMX specialty store.
You can always give us a call or drop into the store and check out the range of bikes we have available.
The most important thing to consider when buying your new bike is: The one you like most, is the one you will ride most!