BMX biking is a popular type of bike riding amongst kids and teenagers.
It is common to see these kids riding their BMX bikes in skateparks, across the streets, and even dirt tracks and other terrains. It is considered an extreme sport in competitions, but children can do it safely with the right gear and protection.
In today’s guide, we’ll tell you all you need to know about BMX bikes for kids, from their origins to their different sizes. We’ll also tell you how to choose the proper BMX bike for a beginner and why you should get one for your kids.
What Are BMX Bikes?
BMX is an acronym that means Bicycle Moto Cross. This type of bike was created back in the 60s. However, it got its name in the early 70s when kids and teens were riding their bikes over dirt tracks in Southern California.
These bikes are designed for racing, jumping, and performing original and impressive maneuvers. It is a bike that won’t work well for you for long-distance riding or uphill riding.
Types of BMX Bikes
Since its origins back in the sixties, BMX biking has evolved into many different variations. There are BMX bikes for dirt tracks, park stunts and maneuvers, and bikes designed for freestyle competitions.
There are two main categories of BMX riding, and from those two, you can find some subcategories.
This type of BMX riding is the most popular kind worldwide, and it has been part of the Olympic Games since the Beijing Games back in 2008.
You’ll be able to find kids, teenagers, and adults riding this type of BMX bike. The BMX bikes for this type of riding are standard 20” wheels.
This type of race’s primary purpose is to go through a track filled with jumps and turns and be the first to cross the line. This type of racing, it is all about control and speed, and that’s why tricks and stunts won’t give you any points.
Furthermore, your kids will be able to take part in these races without a problem. BMX racing is a family-orientated extreme sport.
Freestyle BMXs have four popular subcategories. The reason is that you can perform Freestyle over several terrains and surfaces, and each landscape requires a particular type of gear and bike.
- BMX Street: This one is the most popular BMX riding style of Freestyle riding. You’ll see kids and teens, and even some adults going through the streets with their bikes performing different types of maneuvers and stunts. Spins, jumps, and tailwhips are all tricks and stunts common in BMX street riding.
- Flatland BMX: This type of BMX riding is perfect for people with no dirt tracks or skateparks to practice. The purpose is to perform as many tricks as possible over flatland or ground. It is a perfect way to develop your tricks and stunts and inject some originality and style into your riding.
- BMX Park: Park riding is one of the most popular BMX variations when it comes to freestyle. The reason is that many riders use skateboard ramps to perform the different stunts and tricks they know. It is also the most common type of BMX riding represented in media and TV.
- BMX Dirt: Dirt riding is what BMX was made for at the beginning. Riders go on the dirt tracks and perform different tricks and stunts. The more original the trick, the more points the rider gets. Once they are finished, judges give a grade based on the style and other categories.
How Are They Different From Regular Bikes?
The main difference between BMX bikes and regular bikes is their design.
While traditional bikes are meant for commuting and long-distance riding, BMX allows more freedom in movement for the riders. Because of this need for movement, most BMX bikes do not offer front brakes and only come with rear ones.
Here are some differences between BMX bikes and more traditional bikes:
Durability is something that all bikes require, but BMX needs it more than regular bicycles. Riders perform intense jumps, turns, and spins with these bikes, and for it, they need the bikes to resist aggressive maneuvers.
If the bicycle doesn’t have the necessary durability, it will break in the middle of a ride.
BMX bikes are made of the highest-quality materials to make them durable to resist the constant beating from jumps and spins. Chrome steel and aluminum are two of the primary materials used for BMX frames and different components.
One of the main differences between BMX bikes and regular bikes is the weight. Traditional bikes come with more components, making them bigger and heavier than BMXs.
Frame tubes on BMX bikes are usually about 20” long, while regular bicycles tend to have a 45” frame tube. The difference is that the shorter frame tube allows bikers to perform 360° tricks and stunts without breaking the frame or falling.
The material used by BMX bikes in their frames is usually chrome steel alloy or aluminum. These two types of materials are generally more lightweight than the materials used by regular bicycles.
Additionally, the materials provide extra durability and resistance.
Robust wheels are necessary for BMX bikes to resist constant jumps. That’s another difference between regular bikes and BMX bikes. Wheels are made for a particular riding style, and that’s true for BMX bikes, mountain bikes, and every other model.
BMX bikes’ wheels need to have a good grip over dirt and off-road trails, which regular bicycles do not possess. Additionally, BMX bikes also include resistant and robust rims, allowing them to absorb the impact without damaging the mechanism.
Components and Parts
BMX bikes do not require the best pedaling efficiency as you use them for short-distance riding and tricks. That’s the reason why many manufacturers prefer to cut down on parts to make the bike less heavy.
The bikes do not use a freewheel assembly, making it easier for riders to perform tricks and stunts.
This might be one of the most significant differences between a regular bike and a BMX bike. Most manufacturers do not include brakes on this type of bike because simple hydraulic cables compromise movement.
BMX bikes need the freedom to perform different maneuvers, and a cable would interfere with it.
Are BMX Bikes Good For Kids?
The main thing to understand about BMX bikes is that they are designed for tricks and competitions.
They do not work well for commuting, long-distance riding, or uphill riding. Therefore, if you get them for your kids, don’t expect them to use them to go to school or visit their grandparents.
Now, BMX bikes come in many sizes and shapes, but the standard design usually includes a 20” wheel. That’s the model that most teenagers and adults use for competitions, races, and stunt practice.
These bikes are used for extreme competitions where bikers show off their skills with the most challenging tricks possible.
But do not dismiss a BMX for your kid yet. They are pretty safe to use, and they are even safer if you get them a kid’s BMX. A children’s model is smaller and more steady than a standard one.
It means that your kid won’t be at risk by performing the different beginner’s stunts and jumps.
Additionally, BMX is one of the most popular types of bikes among kids and teenagers, and the reason is that you can use them anywhere you want.
Your kids will be able to practice on the street, in a park, on off-road tracks, and even in your yard if you wish.
Is BMX Good As The First Bike for Beginners?
The most crucial aspect to consider before buying your first bike is what you will use it for.
If you want a bike to commute or go uphill in the mountains, then a BMX bike will not work. Understanding first what your intention is will help you decide which is the best bike to start with.
Now, every type of bike has a beginner-level model, and BMXs are no exception.
If you are a beginner and are sure you want to compete in dirt tracks or perform stunts on the streets and parks, then a BMX for street riding should be your first option. Some of these models even offer a basic brake on the rear and front.
We recommend you get the proper gear and protection if you are starting to practice with a BMX. As these bikes are designed to perform tricks and stunts, you’ll probably fall once or twice a day.
It is better to have the proper protection to avoid any significant injuries and make your experience more enjoyable.
Should I Get a BMX Bike For My Kid?
If your kid is over the age of five and has shown any interest in BMX riding, then you should consider getting him one.
The fact is that most kids will try everything they think they will like, and let’s be honest, BMX racing and Freestyle are cool for most kids and teenagers.
By getting your kids a BMX bike, you allow them to get interested in sports and physical activities. That’s already a significant benefit, but that’s not all BMX bikes offer.
Additionally, your kids will be encouraged to engage in the BMX community which tends to be friendly and safe regardless of the area.
If you want your kids to get into biking, but you can’t afford to take them to a mountain or ride with them to guide them through the streets, then a BMX bike can be the best option.
It doesn’t require a specific terrain, and they can practice with it anywhere you’d like.
How To Choose a BMX Bike?
The main thing to do is deciding what you want to do with your BMX bike or what your kids want to do with it.
You can choose from BMX racing or Freestyle, and depending on which you choose, there will be some options.
If you are looking for the most versatile choice, then a classic BMX bike is the go-to option. You should consider the size and the recommended age of the bicycle before buying it.
Most of these bikes will be divided into age groups and frame sizes, so it won’t be hard to find the right one for you.
Additionally, pay attention to the wheels. You won’t need the sturdiest wheels for BMX racing, but for dirt tracks and stunts, you’ll need the most durable and powerful ones.
Freestyle bikes offer the best wheel power and resistance, but the classics will give you more pedaling comfort.
Tip: When buying a BMX bike for a kid, try to get an aluminum frame model.
Aluminum is a lot lighter than steel or other materials used for this type of bike. Therefore, your kid will be able to control and maintain steadiness when performing tricks or just riding.
Other Bike Options For Your Kids
On the other hand, if your kid is not sold on a BMX and you aren’t either, we recommend considering other options.
For instance, you can get a cruiser bike with small or middle-size wheels that can work perfectly for your kids. Alternatively, you could choose a mountain bike if they like the adrenaline of uphill and downhill riding.
Bikes’ options are endless in the modern world, and you can find kids models for every category.
BMX bikes are a popular option amongst kids and teens for a reason.
That’s because they don’t require a particular terrain or track to enjoy them to their fullest. All your kids will need is the right gear and protection and a flat surface to practice tricks and stunts.
However, ensure you are getting the right size with the right gear for the BMX variation your kids want to practice. The essential thing is for them to be safe and have fun while enjoying one of the most satisfying sports in the world.
Last Updated on June 11, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic