Choosing Your First Complete BMX Bike
If you’re just getting started on BMX, you might want to stick to buying a complete BMX bike. While in the past you’d get the best quality out of building your bike from scratch, nowadays you can find better options all in the same box. This saves you from having to pick and choose different small parts when you barely even know what to look for in a bike. You’ll have to follow fewer steps and instructions before getting out there and enjoying your new bike:
Decide Where You’ll be Using Your BMX Bike
Not all bikes are made the same, so you need to figure out what kind of riding you want to be doing. Bikes are made with specific disciplines in mind, so what works for dirt riding might be completely useless for street riding.
Generally, dirt riding requires bikes with thicker wheels so that they have a better grip on the dirt. Park riding requires lighter bikes that allow you to easily lift and maneuver them for tricks. Street riding requires bikes that are a little heavier than those used for bike riding. Keep in mind that most BMX bikes come without brakes, so if you’re not ready for that, you’ll need to do a lot more research to find one that makes you feel comfortable.
Know Your Size
The smartest thing you can ever do is go to your local bike shop to get your measurements. Most complete bikes come with 20” top tubes, but that’s way too small for anyone taller than 5ft 7”. So, you need to be aware of exactly how long -or short- of the top tube you should be looking for. The last thing you’ll want is getting a bike that’s not the right size because you’ll need to invest a lot of money on getting it fixed.
Do Your Research
Listen to what more experienced riders have to say regarding brands and components. You want to make sure you stay away both from bikes that are known to be a headache in terms of maintenance, and bikes that have failed to live up to the hype. Likewise, a more experienced rider might help you avoid common mistakes like buying a bike with unsealed bearings that will make your whole experience feel like hell just a couple of weeks after you start riding.
You should also be doing a lot of research online and comparing all the different models you might want to get. This isn’t really a time to be lazy – the more research you do, the better. BMX bikes aren’t cheap, and you won’t want to throw away your money on a mediocre product.
Don’t go overboard
You don’t need the lightest bike if you’re just starting out. It might be tempting to go and buy the best bike out there. But you’d be spending $2,000 on a bike that you don’t really know how to use all that well. Don’t be afraid to stick to a “starter bike”. It’s better to start small while you learn to work on a bike and what’s best for your riding style.