Best Kids' BMX Bikes

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
131 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best kids’ BMX bikes

Last Updated July 2020

A kid’s initial taste of freedom usually comes when they get that first bike. Once your child has moved beyond the cartoon-character phase, however, it's time to start looking for something styled for a little more action. A kids' BMX bike is the perfect choice for the child who wants to be a little more like the bigger kids.

You want to find a bike that matches your child's riding style, a bike manufactured for doing tricks, for instance, is different from one designed for racing. Also, you want to look for a bike that’s a good fit for your child's size in order to provide the most comfortable riding experience.

If you’re purchasing your first kids' BMX bike and would like some insight on what you should pay attention to, keep reading. If, however, you’ve stopped by this page looking for some recommendations for quality kids' BMX bikes, consider the models that we've spotlighted throughout this article.

“BMX” stands for bicycle motocross. Originally, it was a style of bicycle racing that mirrored motocross racing.

Key considerations

Riding style

BMX bikes are manufactured with slight differences to allow for different types of riding. The most important aspect to consider when purchasing a kids' BMX bike is the rider's intended riding style.

Racing: A kids' BMX bike that’s designed for racing is lightweight with a large chainring for speed. The chainring is the part of the chain assembly that’s attached to the crank arm of the pedal. The bike must have brakes, and you want tires that can find traction on off-road terrain.

Jumping: If your child plans on getting air and doing tricks on a dirt course, you want a bike with knobby tires for traction. Additionally, the bike must be built to endure the hard hits that result from midair bails.

Urban riding: If your child is going to attempt tricks in an urban environment, look for a solidly built bike that can endure being dropped to the asphalt numerous times. The tires don’t need to be large and knobby because traction shouldn’t be a problem with this type of riding. Accessories such as pegs (for trick riding) and a bash guard to protect the bike's drivetrain could come in handy, as well.

Park riding: This type of riding requires a bike that is very similar to the previous type. However, since your child will be riding in an environment that’s specifically designed for BMX riding, you can forgo a little bit of the durability in exchange for a lighter-weight bike.

Flatland riding: This is the least aggressive style of BMX riding. It can best be compared to ballet. You'll want a BMX bike that has a frame that’s specifically designed for flatland riding, tangle-free brakes (for endless bar spins), a rear hub that allows the bike to freely roll backward, and front and rear pegs.

Hub

The other important aspect that you need to consider when purchasing a kids’ BMX bike is the type of hub the rider needs. The hub type determines how the rear wheel operates, and if you purchase the wrong type, certain activities won’t be possible. There are four general types of BMX bike hubs.

Coaster brake: The bike brakes when you pedal backward with this type of hub. If your child is doing tricks of any kind, this will limit what they can do.

Freewheel: This type of hub allows the rear wheel to roll freely, even when the rider isn't pedaling.

Cassette: The cassette hub is a lighter version of the freewheel. It’s the preferred choice for the majority of BMX riders.

Freecoaster: If your child’s BMX bike has this type of a hub, they can coast backward as well as forward. This is essential for any trick that requires the bike to roll freely in reverse.

DID YOU KNOW?

A BMX race is a sprint around a track that includes a starting hill, straights, turns, a variety of obstacles, and a finish line.

Features

Size

Since the standard tire size for a BMX bike is 20 inches in diameter, proper sizing is determined a little bit differently for BMX bikes than it is for other bikes. You should purchase a bike based on the length of the top tube, the part of the frame that runs from the handlebars to the seat. This method isn’t absolute — all riders have a slightly different build and preference — but it will get you close to the ideal.

4'2'' to 4'10'' tall: Top tube should be 16 to 17.5 inches long.
4'6'' to 5'1'' tall: Top tube should be 17 to 18.5 inches long.
5'0" to 5'4” tall: Top tube should be 18.5 to 19.5 inches long.

Smaller riders might benefit from smaller tires.

3'7" to 4'0" tall: 16-inch wheels
4'0" to 4'10" tall: 18-inch wheels

Accessories

Even though the youngest kids (hopefully) won't be attempting any daredevil stunts, it’s important to start safe practices early so they turn into good habits. Making sure your child is wearing protective gear when riding a BMX bike is one of the most important things you can do. 

Helmet: Razor V-17 Youth Multi-Sport Helmet 
The most critical safety accessory is a helmet. This model from Razor offers protection, breathability, and easy adjustments.

Full-face helmet: Razor Child's Full-Face Helmet 
While Razor's multi-sport helmet may be adequate for the less adventurous rider, if your child is serious about BMX, at some point you’ll need to step up to a full-face model for greater protection.

Padding: Mongoose BMX Knee and Elbow Pad Set
If your child takes even a minor spill, knee and elbow pads may be all that keep away the tears. Mongoose's form-fitting, breathable knee and elbow pads contain shock-absorbing gel for added protection.

Gloves: ZippyRooz Little Kids’ Bike Gloves 
One often overlooked area that also needs protection while riding a BMX bike is the hands. These gloves will help protect your child's hands and fingers from the weather and injury while being soft enough to wipe a runny nose.

EXPERT TIP

Although many think of a BMX bike solely as a racing bike, there are a number of different riding styles. Each style requires a BMX bike with a specific set of features.


Staff  | BestReviews

Kids’ BMX bike prices

Inexpensive: For the youngest kids, a smaller BMX-style bike will likely be sufficient. These models are under $100 and are designed for beginning riders. The BMX bikes in this price range look like the bikes that the older kids have, but they aren’t typically designed for racing or tricks. Additionally, the wheels at this level may be smaller than higher-priced BMX bikes.

Mid-range: Spending between $100 and $200 will get you a decent kids' BMX bike. The best of these durable models are made of high-tensile steel and feature the standard 20-inch wheels.

Expensive: In this range, you’re looking at a more serious bike for an older kid. When you hit $300, for instance, you start to see the more durable, lighter-weight 4130 chromoly frames. You also start seeing a braking system that’s better designed for trick riding as well.

DID YOU KNOW?

The film On Any Sunday (1971), which opened with a BMX montage, is credited for launching the BMX biking craze.

Safety tips

BMX racing has been called the most dangerous sport in the Olympics. If it's considered dangerous for the top athletes, the potential for injury only increases for less-skilled riders. It’s essential for every young rider to learn to put safety first. Here are a few simple tips that can help your child develop good BMX bike riding safety habits.

  • Remember that you aren’t invincible. When you get caught up in the rush of trying a new trick, it’s pretty easy to forget that your bones can and will break.

  • Wear your safety gear. Your gear is there to protect you when something goes awry. 

  • Check tire pressure regularly. It's the little things that matter most. Underinflated or overinflated tires can create unnecessarily hazardous riding conditions. Always check your tire pressure.

  • Check the chain regularly. The chain is what makes the BMX bike go. It needs to be regularly inspected, greased, and properly tensioned.

  • Watch your footing. Pedals and shoes matter: If your foot is constantly slipping off the pedal, it's time to get different pedals, new shoes, or both. Losing your footing at an inopportune time can be disastrous.

  • Watch for wet surfaces. Keep an eye out for any spills or standing water because this could create a loss of traction that leads to an unfortunate outcome.

  • Stay within your ability level. Never attempt tricks that are beyond the scope of your basic riding skills. If you can't do a simple bunny hop, don’t attempt to jump that parking block.

  • Practice over a foam pit. The first time you try a backflip, you don't want to be over asphalt when you’re upside down and 15 feet in the air.

Other products we considered

If you'd like a few more recommendations for a quality kids' BMX bike, you're looking in the right section. The Razor High Roller BMX/Freestyle Bike is a stylish 20-inch bike with a high-tensile steel frame and fork that includes front wheel pegs and a quick-release seat clamp.

The Mongoose Legion Sidewalk Freestyle BMX is designed for beginning riders. It offers many of the same features that a bigger kids’ BMX bike might have, but it has 16-inch tires, making it a much more manageable ride for smaller kids.

For the bigger kids, there's the TONY HAWK Dynacraft Park Series BMX Freestyle Bike. This bike is best for kids who are age 12 and older, and it can support up to 275 pounds. It’s important to note, however, that the wheels are 24 inches, which is slightly larger than typical BMX bike tires.

As an indicator of how much respect the sport has garnered, a BMX freestyle park was officially added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

FAQ

Q. Does BMX riding provide a good workout?
A. Yes. Riding a BMX bike offers a full-body workout. It benefits the cardiovascular system, strengthens arm and leg muscles, and — like all physical activity — can elevate mood and improve mental health.
 

Q. Is BMX biking safe?
A. With the proper safety gear and mindset, yes, BMX can be a relatively safe sport. Unfortunately, most kids want a BMX bike to try dangerous tricks they see online or push themselves to do something extreme. Part of the allure of stunt riding is to attempt feats that aren’t even thought possible. Parents must take a strong, active role in teaching children about safety gear and safe riding practices.
 

Q. Is it true that some BMX bikes have no brakes?
A. Most (but not all) BMX bikes without brakes weren't manufactured that way. The brakes were removed by the rider. This is seen primarily in street or park riding. There are a number of ways to stop a BMX bike without brakes, but this style of riding is not recommended.
 

Q. How much money can BMX riders make?
A. Although many professional riders make between $20,000 and $30,000, the average is just around $64,000. The top riders, however, can make over $180,000 per year.

The team that worked on this review
  • Allen
    Allen
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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