Back in the day, if you wanted to own a quality BMX bike you had to assemble it piece by piece yourself. In the past couple of years however, many businesses have started manufacturing BMX bikes of a considerably higher quality. In order to buy a good BMX bike that will serve you for many years, you need to know what you’re looking for, as these complete models are built differently due to the fact that they are meant for different types of riding.
With that being said, the first thing you have to consider before looking up BMX bicycles is the type of riding you’re interested in. Are you going to be doing flatland, dirt, park or street riding most? This doesn’t mean that if you buy a flatland BMX bike you won’t be able to do some moderate street or park riding – you just shouldn’t expect a flatland bike to perform optimally in other disciplines.
But regardless of what type you end up choosing, you should ensure the materials it’s made from are lightweight yet strong. Chromoly is the top choice for most professional riders, but you can probably get away with aluminium, as it’s more affordable. However, even though the frames of some BMX bicycles are made of aluminium, there might still be some amount of chromoly in the tubing or the smaller parts.
Speaking of smaller parts, look for BMX bikes that have sealed bearings. This is important, as sealed bearings allow for a smoother ride for longer time periods. Unsealed bearings are cheap and require a lot of maintenance, so if you don’t take care of them, they will loosen and your entire bike will start wobbling, thus ruining your riding experience.
Moreover, ensure the small parts you’re getting are of high quality. Look for parts made by recognisable BMX brands that you can search for on Google. Some of these brands include Academy, Etnies, Eclat, Kink, Division, Colony, etc. Speaking of small parts, look for small gearing and small sprockets in the front. This is especially important if you’re going to perform tricks, so there’s less metal to get in the way.
Last but not least, consider the size. This may not be as important for newbie BMX riders, but if you’re looking to get serious, a fraction of an inch can make a huge difference in how the bike feels. A lot of BMX bikes come with 20” top tubing, which can be small for many riders. If you’re on the taller side of the scale, look for 20.75” or 21.5” top tubes.