BMX bikes (bicycle motocross) are one of the most popular bike categories for children and teenagers.
There are three types of BMX bikes, and each type provides specific features and benefits. Generally, BMXs are excellent for off-road riding, dirt tracks, and skatepark tricks and maneuvers.
BMX bikes are smaller than traditional bikes and mountain bikes, and they do not offer the same level of protection or speed. However, BMX bikes can allow you to perform stunts that would be impossible by using other bike models.
In today’s guide, we’ll look at the best BMX bikes for adults and kids, from their benefits to each model’s disadvantages. Additionally, we’ll share everything you need to know about this bike category and why it is so popular.
Best BMX Bikes for Adults
Best Overall: Mongoose Legion Freestyle Kids BMX Bike
- Weight: 26.4 lbs (12 kg)
- Size: 48.82 inches (124 cm)
- Tire Size: 16 inches (40.6 cm)
Mongoose, a pioneer in the global biking arena, has unveiled the Legion Series, a full line of freestyle BMX bikes. These bikes are designed for riders of all ages and skill levels. The Legion Freestyle Kids BMX Bike from the series is one of the best in the freestyle BMX space for kids.
This bike is engineered with hi-tensile steel and has heavy-duty single-wall wheels to help kids roll through BMX parks and even city sidewalks with speed and style. Despite its durability and sturdiness, it is lightweight and supports young riders effectively on every landing.
It achieves this with its aluminum rims and huge tires that absorb impact well, making this bike great for leveling up one’s freestyle skills and tricks.
The Legion Freestyle Kids BMX Bike is fitted with an aluminum U-brake on the rear to help kids stop safely. It comes in various attractive colors like black, silver, teal, green, orange, and red.
The company also offers a limited lifetime warranty on the bike frame and a one-year warranty on its parts.
One of the major drawbacks of this BMX bike is that it is a beginner-level bike. So it is not suitable for those with more advanced skills.
The Legion Freestyle Kids BMX Bike has no extra features or frills. Yet its many benefits make it an excellent freestyle BMX bike.
If you’re looking for a good ride for beginners in the BMX arena that is hard-wearing, this bike fits the bill on all counts.
Runner-Up: Razor Nebula BMX-Freestyle Bike
- Weight: 31.5 lbs (14.28 kg)
- Size: One size
- Tire Size: 20 inches (50.8 cm)
The Razor Nebula Bicycle ranks high on durability with its TIG-welded steel frame and fork with an alloy seat post clamp. This makes it great for attempting different bike stunts and tricks and leveling up your freestyle BMX game.
It also features front and rear linear-pull handbrakes, a freestyle rotor, and pegs on the 20-inch wheels. This allows young BMX riders to pull off bike tricks effortlessly and safely.
Many users have reported that the bike’s brakes are of poor quality. Some people also shared online that it’s a bit difficult and time-consuming to assemble the bike’s parts.
You can adjust the height and tilt of this bike.
Overall, this bike offers a good number of features for the price. This makes it a decent option for kids who enjoy performing bike stunts.
Best BMX Bikes for Kids
Winner: Elite Stealth BMX Bicycle
- Weight: 29.2 lbs (13.2 kg)
- Size: 47 inches (119.38 cm)
- Tire Size: 20 inches (50.8 cm)
Elite Bicycles’ Stealth BMX Bicycle is a fantastic entry-level bike that performs well on the streets and skate parks. It features a hi-tensile steel frame, fork, and bars with a high-pressure casing for excellent durability.
The reinforced welds on the frame absorb impact well from bike tricks and stunts. The bike also includes Cro-Mo bars, a top load stem, wide tires, rear U-brakes, and a streamlined BMX geometry to help you get rolling and try out your stunts.
Its thick foam padded saddle offers a high level of riding comfort. The seat is also adjustable to suit different rider heights.
The bike comes with handy assembly instructions that make it easy to put it together. So you can get started with your riding or training in no time.
This model is also available in a variety of color options. So you can select one that speaks to your style and rock the town.
The Stealth BMX Bicycle is not ideal for pro-level BMX riders as the breaks are not on the response level of pro bikes. Moreover, it does not include the necessary tools for assembling it.
The bike provides a pair of grinding pegs to help you ride on rough grinding surfaces and perform various bike stunts and tricks.
This BMX bike is an affordable option for entry-level riders who wish to up their game and work on their skills and stunts without blowing their budget.
Runner-Up: Elite 3 Piece Crank BMX Bicycle
- Weight: 26.2 lbs (11.8 kg)
- Size: 42.7 inches, 46.75 inches, and 40.4 inches
- Tire Size: 18 inches, 20 inches, and 26 inches
Another model from Elite Bicycles, this one made our list for its incredible range of features that suit mid-level BMX riders. Although it is not much different from the entry-level bikes from this brand, it has certain upgraded parts that make it perform exceptionally well on the streets and BMX parks.
The Elite 3 Piece Crank BMX Bicycle has the same hi-tensile steel frame as the entry-level versions. It is also fitted with Cro-Mo bars, alloy U-brakes on the rear, an alloy stem, and features an aerodynamic BMX design. Together, these features enable you to perform various bike tricks and stunts.
But what sets this bike apart is the three-piece crank that makes it more durable and tough. This helps more experienced riders show off their stunts without worrying the bike will get damaged.
Many users have reported that the rear wheels are of low quality and often need to be replaced.
Besides the upgraded components, this bike does not offer any extra features.
This is a good option if you’re looking for a no-frills, mid-level BMX bike.
Alternative: Diamondback Bicycles Youth Nitrus BMX Bike
- Weight: 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
- Size: 44 inches (111.7 cm)
- Tire Size: 20 inches (50.8 cm)
If you’re looking for a classic BMX bike that looks cool and ranks high on strength, Diamondback Bicycles’ Youth Nitrus BMX Bike is the right choice. It has a high-tensile steel frame and fork that are sturdy and durable.
Its knobby tires on 20-inch wheels and single gear are excellent for all types of riding conditions while being simple enough to maneuver. The rear linear-pull brake allows you to stop quickly and ensures safety while performing bike tricks.
Meanwhile, the easy-pull brake lever and highly durable bike seat make the Youth Nitrus BMX Bike perfect for young dirt rippers. Its stylish, streamlined, and fun design will make you want to flaunt it.
Moreover, this bike is easy to assemble. So you can start riding it as soon as you are done putting it together.
This bike does not have any glaring disadvantages. However, it does not come with a kickstand and is too heavy to transport or maneuver. This can make it difficult for amateur BMX riders to try their stunts.
The Youth Nitrus BMX Bike does not have any added features or elements. Nonetheless, its wide range of benefits makes it a good choice for seasoned BMX riders.
If you’re planning to buy this bike for your kid, ensure they have enough BMX biking experience before jumping on it.
BMX Bikes FAQ
What Is a BMX Bike?
BMX bikes are one of the most popular bike categories in the world.
They are extremely popular with kids and teenagers, but it doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy them. When talking about BMX bikes, you need to know that there are three different types, and each type is better for a certain kind of riding.
This is the type of BMX that started it all in the sixties. This type of BMX bike is a copy of a motocross motorcycle designed for racing, jumping, and going over dirt.
Nowadays, BMX models are used for racing but are also popular at skateparks, where kids use them to perform extreme maneuvers.
Within this type of BMX bike, you can find four different variations. Each variation works better for a particular age, size, and level of cyclist. The variations are Mini, Junior, Expert, and Pro.
The Mini is the right choice for kids under six, while the Junior is excellent for kids from six to nine.
Expert and Pro are the best options for anyone older than twelve and over 160 cm (5ft2).
Freestyle BMX bikes are the best choice when it comes to flatland tricks like the ones you’ll see in skateparks. This type of BMX bike is better for commuting than the original model, but you shouldn’t use it for long distances.
This type of BMX bike is more durable and highly sturdy because of its frame, and its wheels are designed to endure jumps and falls. Additionally, the bikes also come with front and rear brakes, which is a feature other BMX bikes lack.
This type is a combination of a BMX and a Freestyle bike, and it provides the right features to jump over the muddiest surfaces.
This variety of BMX bike comes with brakes on the rear but not on the front, and it is because it needs the maneuverability to perform the most challenging jumps.
What Age Is a 20 Inch BMX Bike For?
20” BMX Bikes
In the world of BMX, there are different wheel options for you: 16”, 18”, 20”, and 24”.
However, the most common size for BMX bikes is 20” because it amounts to around 97% of the bikes’ sales. So, when someone is talking about a BMX bike, they are probably referring to a 20” BMX bike.
Both children and adults can ride this bike. Still, it is recommended not to let children under seven practice with an adult-size BMX bike.
20” Bike Wheels for Kids
A 20 inch BMX bike works perfectly for kids under the age of ten, especially for those between six and eight years old. This type of bike is for kids that can ride without any stabilizer wheels.
Manufactures produce two types of wheel bikes for kids: 20” and 24”. Each of these types of bike wheels can come with two different frames. 20-inch bike wheels usually come at either 11” or 13” frames. On the other hand, 24-inch bike wheels come with 12” or 14” frames.
If your kid is at the age for a 20” bike, but he is below the average height, get him the 11” frame option. It is easier to maneuver, and it is a lot safer than a bike too big to handle.
Do Adults Ride BMX Bikes?
BMX bikes are not just for kids. Many of the professionals you’ll see are around 20 to 30 years old. Adult-sized BMX is for people from 160 cm (5ft2) to more, meaning that adults of any age and size can ride them without a problem.
When it comes to adult BMX bikes, you’ll find wheels from 20” to 26”.
All you need as an adult to ride a BMX bike is the right size. So, ensure your bike has suitable dimensions and hit the road or the park.
Why Are BMX Seats So Low?
BMX bikes have saddles and seats so low because it allows more space for movement.
With more movement, you can perform more tricks and jumps, which is the reason why you’ll see riders in skateparks with the seats almost on the ground.
So, it is all about functionality. The lower the seats, saddles, and frames, the more tricks a rider can perform.
Can You Ride BMX Long Distances?
The sad truth is that BMX bikes were designed for off-road and short-distance riding. These bikes are made for stunts, and therefore, they won’t be of much help for long-distance riding or commuting.
The main drawback of these bikes when it comes to long-distance riding is that the seats, frames, and saddles are too low. As you know, when riding a bike, you need to extend your legs to their fullest to control the speed.
Without the possibility of spreading your legs, you’ll need to pedal faster, meaning you’ll get exhausted a lot easier.
You’ll usually only see BMX riders on their seats for a couple of minutes each biking session. Having the seats so low can be uncomfortable, which plays against you when riding a BMX for long-distance.
The Disadvantages of BMX BIkes
There are many advantages to riding a BMX bike, but there are also disadvantages to it. One of the main disadvantages of riding a BMX bike happens when trying to go uphill. Uphill riding is challenging by itself, but using a BMX bike makes it a lot more complicated.
The reason for this is because of two aspects of BMX bikes. The first one is that they are smaller than mountain bikes or the most traditional models. To pedal, you’ll need to stand up and go without stopping.
Another reason is that BMX bikes do not possess the best type of brakes, making uphill riding a lot more dangerous. Brakes in BMX bikes are designed to allow you to perform the tricks and stunts, and adding cables to it would make it impossible.
That’s why most BMX bike brakes work by placing your foot over the rear wheel.
Understanding BMX Racing
In the competitive world, there are two types of BMX racing.
The first one is BMX racing, and it is motocross racing with a bike. The second one is Freestyle racing, and this one is not exactly a race. Freestyling is more of a competition about tricks, and jumps, and stunts.
BMX biking or motocross biking is one of the most popular competitive biking styles worldwide. Furthermore, anyone from five to sixty-five can compete in BMX racing competitions worldwide. It is a family orientated type of extreme sport.
Races are organized by dividing the riders by age groups and skill levels. By doing this, everyone can participate in a fair and clean competition that will challenge the body to its fullest potential.
In BMX races, the riders will go through dirt tracks filled with rollers, jumps, and turns, using their skill to finish first. You won’t see any riders sitting on their bikes throughout the races.
This is mainly because BMX seats are uncomfortable, but also because it requires all their effort and focus on keeping the speed constant.
All riders must use the necessary protection, including a full-face helmet, goggles and gloves, and padded pants in case of a crash. Additionally, riders also wear long sleeve shirts meant to protect the skin of their arms.
All of this gear is mandatory if you want to be part of the race.
BMX racing requires a lot of power and endurance in both legs and arms. That’s the reason many riders train their bodies for hours to achieve the physique they need. Arm strength is essential to keep the bike steady while riding or jumping.
The race starts with a group stage where many riders compete until they get to the final round. Only eight riders will manage to be part of the final race, and from them, just the one that crosses the line first will win.
Today, BMX racing is part of the Olympic Games, and it’s been part of them since its debut in 2008 at the Beijing Games. This inclusion helped the sport spread worldwide.
Freestyle competitions are a bit more similar to skateboard competitions than bike races.
Essentially, riders will perform tricks and stunts for around two minutes, and after the race, judges will grade them. The judges give a grade by the difficulty, the riding style, and originality.
Riders execute their tricks and stunts through a circuit of ramps, walls, box jumps, and spins through the entirety of the park. As of 2017, some international competitions and festivals include street biking and BMX freestyle.
These competitions are significant in the community, as they can help cyclists qualify for the Olympic games.
BMX bikes are a trend that started long ago and never faded. Today you’ll see kids, teens, and adults riding these small bikes in parks and off-road tracks. They might not be comfortable, but they are excellent at what they do.
With a BMX bike, you can perform the most incredible tricks and stunts.
If you are looking for the best BMX bike for adults, look no further than Mongoose Legion Freestyle Kids BMX Bike. This new model by Mongoose provides all the necessary features to outperform yourself. It is durable, highly resistant, and offers safety and quality.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a kid’s BMX option, you should consider Elite Stealth BMX Bicycle. This model offers protection and durability, two essential features all child’s bikes should have.