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Finding the right BMX bike can be tricky since most resources assume that you’re already an expert.
Understanding how to find good or affordable BMX bikes isn’t as hard as you might think. Let’s go through what makes a BMX bike great and learn how to find some affordable, decent choices for all ages and sizes of rider.
What Separates a BMX Bike from Other Bicycles?
- 1 What Separates a BMX Bike from Other Bicycles?
- 2 Ten Best Cheap BMX Bikes On The Market in 2020
- 2.1 1. Elite 20″ BMX Bicycle The Stealth Freestyle Bike
- 2.2 2. Framed Attack Pro BMX Bike Slick
- 2.3 3. Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX Bike Line for Kids
- 2.4 4. Elite 2.0 BMX Bicycle Destro Model Freestyle
- 2.5 5. Framed Impact XL BMX Bike
- 2.6 6. Redline Bikes Roam 20 Youth BMX
- 2.7 7. Mongoose Title Pro BMX Race Bike
- 2.8 8. Razor High Roller BMX/Freestyle Bike
- 2.9 9. Redline Bikes Raid 20 Youth BMX
- 2.10 10. Redline Bikes Asset Freestyle BMX
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Final Thoughts
A common point of confusion from bike buyers is the difference between various bicycle types. BMX bikes are defined by their focus for short range and high-speed sprints around a level racing track or dirt road. They’re something of a cross between a street bike and a racing bike due to their construction. Because of this focus, BMX bikes typically only have rear brakes instead of brakes on both the front and back tires.
In addition, BMX bikes are frequently taken on large jumps and require a light but strong frame so that you can boost the bike into the air and land it solidly without the frame crumpling under the impact.
Cheap doesn’t have to mean “poor” or low-quality. You just need to know where to look.
Here are the top 10 best good, cheap BMX bikes.
Ten Best Cheap BMX Bikes On The Market in 2020
The Elite is a great bike for freestyle riding, or the kind of riding that switches between road, dirt and jumping tracks freely. It’s perfect for a budding BMX enthusiast or someone who wants to experience everything that BMX bikes can offer in terms of excitement and adrenaline.
The bike’s frame is made from a steel alloy that’s strong enough to resist major impacts but still bendable enough to let you jump and land easily. The “Stealth” alloy is light enough that most people will be able to lift the bike and spin it beneath their feet for some epic jumps.
There’s a set of brakes on the rear wheel, controllable from the right handlebar. The tires are wide enough to accommodate street or dirt riding and laced with wire bead. They’re also capable of gripping any type of ground securely, lowering the chance that the bike will slip at any point during your ride.
The seat is foam-padded and comfortable, already hitched with a seat clamp. As a final bonus, there’s a set of pegs on the front and rear wheels to let you carry a passenger or do some grinding tricks. It’s a fantastic, versatile bike built for all varieties of riders.
The Attack Pro is built for street riding above all else. You can see this in the 20.5-inch tires, which are optimized for smooth, speed-gaining motion and a light grip on the road. The frame and handlebars are made from chromoly, a steel alloy material that’s perfect for maintaining stability and rigidity without becoming too heavy for jumping and tricks.
At only 25.8 pounds, it can carry someone weighing up to 185 pounds; this ratio should give you an idea for just how tough the frame is for size and density. The frame looks great, too; it’s painted with a sharp black color and electric blue trim. The style is relatively unique and makes much more of an aesthetic mark on the scene as opposed to a typical black or solid color paint job.
The handlebar grips are ergonomic and lined to help you keep a grip on your BMX bike while you take it into the sky or spin it rapidly beneath your feet. Overall, this bike is perfect for intermediate riders that want to impress their friends or take their bike to the local asphalt park.
The Mongoose Legion Freestyle is designed for kids; just examine the frame size, which measures in at 16.9 inches in height. The frame is made from a Hi-Ten steel alloy that’s like in durable enough to withstand some punishment without being too heavy for most kids to pick up and transport to their next park or adventure.
To further lower its weight, the wheels are made with aluminum walls. The aluminum u-brake installed on the frame is made from aluminum as well and stops on a dime to give the rider excellent speed control. Good brakes are critical for safely riding BMX bikes, particularly when kids are involved.
The rest of the bike is made to display its durability and excellent construction standards. The handlebars in stem are attached to the front wheel with an integrated headset that gives better steering control than other methods of attachment. If it weren’t for its small size, this BMX bike would be a great pick for adults that want a high-precision bike of their own. We’d recommend this easily for any kid looking to get into BMX bikes as a serious hobby.
The Elite 2.0 is a model suitable for mid-level competition and showing off, and its frame and tires combine to let it perform decently on the street, on dirt roads or when pulling off sweet tricks at the bike park. You’ll get a lot of the same quality and value as a higher-cost BMX bike but at a much lower rate.
It’s constructed with a steel alloy frame and integrated head tube; this design decision lets you turn the bike quickly and smoothly, which also helps you perform better tricks. All of the tubing has been reinforced at major impact points to both keep the bike intact and lessen the blow to your own bones and muscles. Grinding pegs are attached to the wheels for additional style points in front of your friends.
The saddle is foam padded and comes with a seat clamp. It’s quite comfortable and sturdy enough to take even heavier riders without an issue. The bike is a perfect choice for someone looking to hone their BMS riding skills or pursue the activity with the intent of doing serious tricks and jumps.
The Impact XL is an entry-level model that’s best used by folks looking to get into BMX riding as a potential hobby. It can support up to 160 pounds with its Hi-Ten steel alloy frame, so it’s meant for kids or lighter adults that won’t stress the joints too much. The steel alloy is still much more durable than most aluminum alloys used for bicycle construction.
In addition, this bike is mentioned as “XL” due to the space between its top tube. That’s longer than comparable BMX bikes and measures in at 20.75 inches. It’s great for tall, light adults or boys getting into a growth spurt but lacking all their future adult weight.
There’s a framed alloy rear U-brake included in the bike to help beginners learn the ropes and be able to stop themselves before serious injury. It’s one of the best you’ll see on a beginner BMX bike since it’s mounted directly to the bike frame and doesn’t stand a chance of being shaken loose or losing its stopping power over time.
The Redline Roam 20 is made with a combination of Hi-Ten steel alloy and an aluminum alloy stem. Both of these materials are excellent for maintaining durability while remaining lightweight enough that kids can lift the bike into the air or ticket for jumps.
The bike is undeniably for kids. Its small frame size is only suitable for people beneath 4 feet in height. Despite this small frame size, the wheels are still 20 inches in circumference and have grippy Kenda tires that are renowned for their traction and resistance to slipping. It’s a great bike for letting your kid ride out in the rain for this reason alone.
For more safety features, check out the included brakes installed on the frame. These linear brakes will grind to a halt with the slightest pressure exerted on the handlebar, so any child rider shouldn’t have difficulty stopping quickly when needed. Add in a simple assembly, and you’ve got a great present for any kid with an interest in shredding concrete at the bike park.
The Mongoose Title Pro can be chosen with two different colors schemes: a blue frame with white and black accents or a silver frame with green, white and black accents. These bright colors accentuate the fact that it’s built for beginner or intermediate child riders but don’t let the size fool you. It’s still a fantastic bike that’s more than capable of doing some serious work on the track.
The frame is made with tectonic aluminum and internal cable routing. The aluminum frame helps keep the overall bike light mobile while the internal cable routing ensures that the brakes remain functional and secure even in the event of a crash or lots of use. The headset with the handlebars are all integrated to keep the bike together; it’s a long-lasting ride even when in the hands of serious stunt kids.
The best part of all this quality is that it’s quite affordable. Because of its reasonable asking price, it’s a great starter bike to see if your kid wants to pursue BMX racing more seriously before spending more money on an even better model.
The Razor High Roller is a great pick for BMX riders of all ages and sizes. It has an all steel frame and fork, which isn’t quite as lightweight as some of the other materials you’ll see on competitors. But the frame is very durable, meaning the bike will last for quite some time even after some serious impacts and time spent on the track.
There are front and back brakes that are initiated by hand control. Brakes on the front and back tires are a rarity in the world of BMX bikes, but those who don’t like the riskier style of riding typical of the BMX will find this inclusion welcome. A set of front wheel pegs open up opportunities for grinding tricks.
The seat is sturdy but decently comfortable and has a quick release post clamp. Adjusting the seat can be accomplished in seconds. Due to the seat and it’s a versatile frame, the bike is a good choice for sharing between friends or several teenagers, especially since it’s so affordable. It’s one of the cheapest BMX bikes you’ll find.
The Redline Raid 20 is a unique model in a sea of BMX bikes that forgo brakes entirely. The bike here has coaster brakes for the back wheel to give a new rider some additional control as they are starting to learn the ropes of BMX bike riding.
To add to safety, the bike is equipped with Kenda contact tires that are superb when it comes to gripping the road or dirt surfaces alike. These tires are wide enough to prevent frequent slipping, and they’re great for landing early jumping tricks. Kids who ride this bike will see their confidence soar when they manage their first jumps.
The frame is made from a lightweight but durable aluminum alloy and doesn’t require expert assembly. A few minutes with some standard tools is plenty to put this affordable bike together and make it ready for riding.
The Redline Asset is made from chromo steel alloy, particularly noteworthy for its durability and light weight. It’s perfect for taking through high jumps or twisting routes like those you see on bike tracks. The pedals are low profile to help the aesthetic silhouette of the bike.
The rear hub is made from aluminum to keep weight low and the seat itself is small but comfortable. It’s a seat designed for a rider that’ll be on their feet and starting tricks frequently.
The bike is equipped with Kenda Kranium tires that are known for their traction ability and stability even under duress, such as that experienced upon the impact from a jump. These and the rest of the pieces can all be easily assembled without the help of an expert.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now, before you go and pull the trigger on one of these fine BMX bikes, you probably have some questions. That’s fine. We’re here to help.
What’s the Best Frame Material?
There are four common frame materials found on BMX bikes. Here’s a quick overview.
- Aluminum alloy. These frames are very lightweight, just like standard bicycle frames. They’re the least expensive type of BMX frame, and are still light enough for serious jumps. However, they’re not as durable as steel or Chromo.
- Carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is the lightest frame material of all. Not only will you get higher jumps than you will with aluminum, but the carbon fiber helps dampen the vibrations when you land. However, it costs more than aluminum or steel.
- Steel alloys. These frames are priced midway between aluminum and carbon fiber, and are more durable than both of them. They’re great for shredding concrete and doing tricks that stress your frame. However, they’re too heavy for the highest jumps.
- Chromo/Chromoly 4130. This is a special steel alloy that’s used in top-tier, professional BMX bikes. It combines the light weight of aluminum or carbon fiber with the ruggedness of steel, allowing you to pull off the full range of stunts that BMX is famous for.
What’s the Ideal Wheel Size?
Most BMX bikers prefer a 20-inch diameter wheel. This is significantly smaller than a standard road bike, and helps you make tighter turns. The small size translates to low weight, enabling you to jump higher and handle your bike more easily during stunts.
There’s one exception to this: if you’re dirt jumping, you really want a bigger tire. This will give you a little more surface area to bite into dirt surfaces, which provide less traction than a standard road or track.
What Tire Surface Should I Look For?
What type of tire surface you need will depend on what type of riding you’re doing. If your BMX bike is primarily used on streets or tracks, look for tires that are smooth and wide. Tires like these will reduce the amount of friction and let you maximize your speed.
On the other hand, get tires that are treaded and even wider than street tires if you plan to take your BMX bike off road frequently. You’ll also want a lower pressure for an off-road bike, since this will increase the amount of tire surface in contact with the ground, improving traction.
What’s the Ideal Frame Size?
On a regular street bike, you typically want a frame that’s long enough for you to almost fully extend your legs. This is the most comfortably to pedal for long periods.
However, for BMX riding, your main concern is maneuverability and weight. The smaller a bike is, the easier it is for you to swing around, so you’re going to want a significantly smaller frame than you have on your road bike.
Here’s a quick guide:
- For riders 4′ or less, get a 15″-16″ frame
- For riders between 4′ and 5′, get a 17″-19″ frame. Add an inch to the bike for every five inches of rider height.
- For riders between 5′ and 5’10”, get a 20″-20.5″ frame.
- For riders around 6″ tall, get a 21″ frame but don’t go over this. The bike still needs to be small enough to let you do tricks.
What About Brakes?
Most BMX bikes have rear brakes installed, which gives you the ability to stop or slow your bike without the added weight of a front brake.
Some BMX bikes use no brakes at all, relying on the rider to stop the bike by coasting to a stop or putting their feet down. Unless you’re already an experienced BMX rider, we recommend sticking with a bike with brakes until you’ve got some practice under your belt.
What Accessories do I Need?
For riding any type of bicycle, you should have a helmet at a bare minimum. The risk of head injury is high enough just pedaling around your neighborhood, never mind the danger of doing jumps and other stunts. Look for a helmet with ear protection if you can find one. You’ll appreciate it the first time you fall over.
You also should consider purchasing some fingerless riding gloves. These gives you enough skin contact to have a good feel for your bike, while protecting the bulk of your hands from getting scratched up during a crash.
BMX bikes are terrific fun so long as you get a decent one to learn the ropes. It’s important to remember that BMX bikes are made for a particular style of bicycle riding, and it’s not pedaling downtown to see the sights and enjoy the breeze! Take these bikes out for an energetic spin, see if you can catch some air, and you’ll be guaranteed to have a good time.