Some would say the BMX bike has made a comeback over the past few years. BMX enthusiasts will tell you that they never actually went away! Either way, there’s no denying the popularity of BMX bikes these days. A quick scan of our BikeExchange marketplace will show you many BMX bikes for sale.
When you’re looking to make your choice, consider the different types and components of a BMX bike.
There are three major categories of BMX bikes:
Race BMX bikes are best suited to fast riding on a track, and they’re typically lighter weight for more speed
Freestyle BMX bikes are used for trick riding and stunts on ramps, dirt tracks, and at skate parks
Street BMX bikes work best for urban tricks and flatland riding, and often come without brakes
There’s a countless number of colours and designs available for each type, so get out there and take a look. Find the style that catches your attention.
Today’s modern BMX bikes are made from three different materials:
The bulk of the BMXs on the market are made from high-tensile steel, which can provide a good mix of weight and strength at an affordable price. Aluminum is used when you’re focused on light weight for racing, but an aluminum BMX won’t take big impacts or getting too knocked around.
Chromalloy (a special chrome-molydbenum alloy) is the choice for top-end bikes that feature low weight and excellent strength and resistance to bending.
A critical part of your BMX is your wheel and tyre choice. This is where your bike contacts the ground, so you need to choose wheels and tyres that suit your riding style. Most BMX bikes come with small 20-inch tyres, which give them their low height, tight handling, and great style. For on-road tricks and riding, you’ll want smooth rubber. Off-road BMXers will choose knobby tyres for better grip and traction in dirt, rocks, and mud.
When it comes to wheels, you can choose single, double, or even triple-wall rims, according to the strength you desire. The same goes for number of spokes, with 36 and 48-spoke options being the most common.
Try to match your wheel and tyre choice to how you plan to use your BMX: under-spec’d and you risk damaging your bike and hurting yourself, over-spec’d and you’re lugging around more weight than you need and not getting the performance you want. Apply the ‘Goldilocks’ rule: not too big, not too small, but just right!
Once you’ve chosen your BMX type, wheels, and tyres, you have to choose some other important components:
Axles and pegs. These must support your tricks and jumps.
Handlebars. If you’ll be doing wild tricks, you’ll want a bar that spins around 360 degrees.
Brakes. To simplify your BMX and save weight, you may choose to forego brakes for street use.
Once these decisions are made, it’s time to start shopping. You’ll find a variety of BMX bikes, parts, and accessories in our BikeExchange marketplace as well as advice on keeping your BMX in shape with Caroline Buchanan and a quick interview with BMX dirt warrior Paul Langlands.