Photo by Thomas Schweighofer
Originally Posted On: Best BMX Bikes in 2021 – Bike Vortex
A BMX is one of the most recognizable bikes in the world. And let’s face it, no one buys a BMX merely to get from point A to point B. Riding a BMX is about jolts of adrenaline, daring acrobatics, and speed.
These bikes have a recognizable design but are versatile in construction quality and customization.
In this article, we’ve reviewed the five best BMX bikes available on the market at the moment. We’ll go through their main features and highlight their pros and cons along the way.
Mongoose Legion L20 Freestyle BMX Bike Line for Beginner-Level to Advanced Riders, Steel Frame, 20-Inch Wheels, Grey
Elite 20″ & 18” BMX Bicycle Destro Model Freestyle Bike – 4 Piece Cr-MO Handlebar (20″ Oil Slick)
Experiment with Tricks Ride to Meet Up with Friends 20 inch Hyper Spinner Gloss Black with Red Accent BMX Bike
Mongoose Title Elite 24 BMX Race Bike with 24-Inch Wheels in Black for Advanced and Returning Riders, Featuring Professional-Grade 6061 Tectonic T1 Biaxial Hydroformed and Butted Aluminum Frame
Redline Bikes Proline Youth BMX Race Bike 16/18/20 Inch Wheel, Proline JR 20, Turquoise
Best BMX Bikes Reviews
Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX Bike
Mongoose is a brand that produces some of the best BMX bikes, and this model is here to prove it. It was released in 2019, and it’s not only of excellent quality but stylish too.
In terms of specs, the Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX is quite impressive. The frame is made of steel, and the entire bike weighs 34 lbs., which is optimal for a freestyle BMX.
The wheel size is available in 16”, 18”, and 20”, which means it’s suitable for kids, teenagers, and adults. It features a U-brake, which is durable and won’t get in the way while performing stunts.
What We Like
We’re going to reiterate that this BMX has a tough steel frame, which goes a long way in durability.
When paired with an excellent braking system, it’s difficult to ask for more. But the best part is that this bike comes at an affordable price, given how much value you get for it.
What We Don’t Like
Even if you were pressed to find faults with this bike, it would be a challenging task. However, the assembly isn’t going to be as easy unless you’re already a mechanically minded person.
But that’s almost to be expected with any high-quality BMX. Other than that, we’re not impressed with chain tension being a bit too tight.
- Great color options
- Multiple size wheel options
- Excellent brakes
- Incredible value
A bit complicated assembly
Elite 20” & 16″ BMX Bicycle the Stealth Freestyle Bike
If you’re looking for an entry-level BMX suitable for kids and teenagers, this is one of the best BMX bikes to consider. Apart from excellent features, it’s also relatively inexpensive.
The first thing worth mentioning is that this bike is available in both 16” and 20” frames. The fork is also high-tensile steel, so there are no concerns about sturdiness and durability.
Pedals are plastic with half-inch threads. This freestyle BMX also has a rear U-brake with the brake lever located on the right handlebar.
What We Like
For a beginner, this BMX is incredibly comfortable to ride. One of the main reasons why that’s the case is the fat tires that alleviate any excess vibrations that could put some stress on your arms and shoulders.
What We Don’t Like
While it’s an excellent choice for any beginner just learning the basics of BMX riding, it’s not going to be the best choice for anyone who has had previous BMX experience. Apart from that, the assembly could also prove a bit challenging.
- Excellent for beginners
- Two frame sizes
Not for experienced riders
Hyper 20-Inch Spinner BMX Bike
Pro-level BMX bikes that are affordable at the same time are not a common occurrence. Still, Hyper Bike Co. has managed to create a BMX for anyone who wants to learn a few new tricks without breaking the bank.
This BMX is a single-speed, steel frame, freestyle wonder. It features the much-appreciated U-brakes at the rear and the practical caliper brakes at the front.
If you’re a fan of jumps and don’t want to worry about painful landings, the 48 spoke alloy rims are there to withstand anything you through at them. The bike has 20” wheels and is one of the best BMX bikes for street and park riding.
What We Like
There is a lot to like about this BMX, but the design is one of the first things we admired. It has a classic look to it, but with a few details that stand out as well. But also, this is a BMX that will provide a smooth and pretty comfortable ride regardless of how you choose to use it.
What We Don’t Like
Regardless of the appearance, design, and a few high-quality elements, this is not the most durable BMX. However, for the price tag attached, it still packs a lot of excellent features.
- Comfortable ride
- Alloy pedals
- Great design
Not very durable
Mongoose Elite 24 BMX Race Bike
The Mongoose brand was created at the same place the BMX tradition started – in Southern California. They make BMX bikes for everyone, and their Elite 24 BMX Race is meant for teenagers and adults who love speed and high-quality BMXs.
If you want to avoid steel frames and look for something lighter, you’ll be pleased to learn that this bike features an aluminum frame that will provide the best performance for the rider.
If you’re 5’7” or taller, this is the BMX to consider. It also has internal cable routing and allows cranks. The V-brakes are also aluminum and a linear-pull.
What We Like
This is one of the best BMX bikes for the advanced rider. Especially if that rider is also a taller person. The aluminum frame is by far the most prominent feature of this BMX and deserves a second mention. The braking system is also excellent and super responsive.
What We Don’t Like
There are no apparent flaws to this BMX model, other than it’s not as cheap as specific models in the same category. One could argue that this is not the BMX to get for a beginner, regardless of the smooth ride it provides. Only an experienced BMX rider can get the most out of it.
- Premium construction
- An excellent choice for advanced riders
- Great braking system
- Suitable for taller people
Not for freestyle
Redline Bikes Proline BMX Race Bike
Redline has created one of the best BMX bikes for young people. And not only that, but the quality of construction will ensure that this is the kind of BMX that will be passed down from generation to generation.
Even though this is primarily the “kid’s bike,” which you can purchase in 16” and 18” wheel size, it’s also available with 20” wheels. This means that you can use this BMX for proper racing if you choose to.
The aluminum alloy frame is incredibly lightweight and durable, and it makes it an excellent option for jumps and stunts. This bike features a V-brake that packs super-efficient braking power. It provides a comfortable ride, and it’s relatively easy to assemble.
What We Like
We absolutely love that the aluminum frame comes with a lifetime warranty. This means that you don’t need to go easy on the bike, and you can still expect it to perform and show durability.
What We Don’t Like
One of the most frequent complaints about the Redline BMX bike is that the plastic seat is not very comfortable. And while younger kids might not mind that too much, older riders could see it as a significant problem.
- Excellent quality
- Wheels come in three sizes
- Easy to maneuver
- V-brakes have superior stopping power
One of the most exciting things about BMX bikes is that there are so many customization options available. In many ways, you can build your own BMX bike and ensure that the ride is unique to the thrill you’re looking for.
But if you’ve never shopped for a BMX before, it can be all too easy to get lost in all the choices. Hopefully, this guide will assist you in choosing the best BMX bike candidates.
Types of BMX Bikes
While on the surface, BMX bikes might all look the same to an unfamiliar eye, they’re indeed incredibly versatile. They fall into three main categories due to the type of riding they’re used for.
Each type of BMX has a specific combination of weight, brakes, tires, and other features. So, you have the racing bike, freestyle bike, and the jumping BMX bike.
Racing BMX Bikes
It would be accurate to view the racing BMX as the “original” bike from the 1960s. Kids used to ride them on dirt tracks and enjoying their freedom. This type of BMX is typically a lot heavier than the other two kinds we’ll talk about.
The handlebars are different, too, with their upright position that provides more control to the rider. But even though they feel heavier overall, the wheels are lighter, and the tires are thinner to gain more traction while riding.
However, one of the most notable features of all the best BMX bikes of the racing category is that they only have rear brakes. That is no accident because front brakes could be potentially dangerous at high speed.
You don’t want the rider to fly over the handlebars and injure themselves. The rear brakes are usually of the linear-pull type, which ensures the maximum stopping power even when you’re going 25 mph.
Freestyle BMX Bikes
While racing BMX bikes are the ones that started everything, the freestyle BMX are the those that have been dominating the market for a long time. The freestyle BMX bike is what most people think of when they imagine this type of bicycle now.
They’re all about wild stunts and impressive tricks. If you want to learn how to balance your BMX on one tire – you’ll need a freestyle bike. What sets this type apart from the rest is that they often come without the brakes.
Dangerous as it may sound, having no brakes is the norm for many professional BMX riders. However, that’s not always the case, and for those less daring, brakes are an option. In fact, freestylers are the only BMX bikes that come with front brakes and the rear, so those stunts can be a little easier to maneuver.
Unlike racing BMXs, freestyle bikes are meant for flat concrete surfaces with as few bumps as possible. This type of BMX’s handlebars will often rotate 360 degrees and provide even more options for those impressive bike tricks.
The freestyle BMX also comes with its subcategories. You have the flatland, street, vert, and park, and trail BMX. The distinctions revolve around minor differences in terrain and the type of obstacles you have to overcome while riding.
Jumping BMX Bikes
Jumping BMX Bikes or “Jumpers” are super-lightweight compared to freestyle bikes – especially the racing BMX. That makes a lot of sense because the rider doesn’t need any excess weight when lifting off from the ground to the air.
Coming down can be brutal for both the bike and the rider. That is why jumpers have heavier threads and usually much sturdier spokes.
Like the racing BMX, they only come with rear brakes to prevent riders from shooting over the handlebars. The tires used for this type of BMX bike aren’t focused on speed but maximum traction.
Unless you have plenty of experience, assembling your new BMX won’t be easy. Even with the manufacturer’s detailed instructions, the process could become frustrating.
So, unless this type of activity is a form of enjoyment, relaxation, and even meditation for you, it’s probably best to ask for professional help. Yes, some BMX bikes will come nearly assembled, and you won’t have to do much. Still, more expensive and customized models will require extra attention.
If you want to give it a try, this video can prepare you for what’s ahead. In general, there are a few essential things to keep in mind when assembling the BMX. Proper tools are essential, and without them, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to assemble your BMX bike.
You can’t rush the process. It’s going to take at least an hour, but probably more to finish. Stay clear of sand, water, and even mildly moist areas during the assembly process. Finally, always make sure to tighten the nuts and screws before riding the bike to ensure your safety and avoid the bike breaking down.
Despite their appearance, BMX bikes are not just kid’s bikes. On the contrary, many people who grew up riding them and are now in their 30s and 40s aren’t willing to let them go. However, the best BMX bikes need to fit the rider’s weight and height to provide a smooth and effortless ride.
The frame sizes range from the mini size for kids under the age of five and extend to the Pro XXL size that will fit an adult up to 250 lbs. Depending on the rider’s weight and height, the tire size will vary, as will the length of the top tube.
Spokes are a vital component of any bicycle. Still, they are one of the most relevant features to pay attention to for the BMX bike. They’re there to provide structural rigidity and ensure the rims are as flexible as you need them to be.
The number of spokes on the BMX will mostly depend on the landing, which means that jumping BMX usually needs the largest number of spokes. If the spokes are thinner, the number will be higher too.
The average number, however, is 36 spokes per bike. If you’re an advanced BMX rider, you might opt for 48-spoke wheels. Most spokes are made from steel in terms of materials and are even in thickness along the length. If you need help figuring out which types of spokes you need, you can check out this video.
For BMX newbies, it could be troubling to think about BMX bikes without brakes. And that’s for the best – those kinds of adventures are best left to the pros. All BMX bikes come with rear brakes, but only the freestylers can have the front brakes too. But that’s only the location of the brakes.
There’s a bit more to consider brake-wise. There are three types of BMC brakes. U-Brakes are what’s regarded as the standard. They are used on all kinds of BMXs because they’re very durable and neatly tucked away, so they don’t bother the rider.
V-Brakes are more common on the race BMX bikes. They’re more lightweight and provide a powerful braking ability. Since they’re more exposed, they’re more prone to breaking down, requiring more regular maintenance.
Caliper brakes are the third option. Essentially, they’re the predecessor of U-brakes and V-brakes. They’re more common on kid’s BMX bikes nowadays, and they’re not durable as the other two.
What BMX Bikes are the Best?
There is no definitive answer to this question. It all depends on what type of rider you are or want to be. If you’re all about racing, then a heavier BMX with responsive and powerful rear brakes is what you’ll need.
On the other hand, if you want to practice your jumps and stunts, a lighter BMX with strong spokes is the way to go. The best BMX bikes aren’t always the most expensive ones, either.
While the quality of construction matters a lot in terms of durability and longevity, there are many affordable options of high-quality out there.
How Do I Maintain My BMX Bike?
There are a few crucial elements to ensuring your new BMX bike looks and rides excellently for many years to come. Regularly tightening the screws and the pedals is incredibly important. Periodically checking the tire pressure goes a long way too.
If you spot a crack on the frame, make sure to tend to it as soon as possible. Otherwise, it could develop into a break. Finally, one of the most vital steps in BMX maintenance is to keep the bike clean and greased.
Wipe off any excess water or mud from the bike whenever you spot it. Also, greasing the chain properly will prevent rust and annoying squeaking sounds.
How Do I Choose the Correct BMX Size?
While adult-sized BMX bikes might all look similar in size, that’s a side effect of the BMX design. These bikes actually come categorized in size, making it a lot easier to choose the right one for you.
When purchasing a BMX bike, check the size of the frame and the maximum weight it supports. Some guidelines will help you to get the bike that fits.
Who Made BMX Bikes, and What Does it Stand For?
BMX is short for “Bicycle Motocross,” which is what these bikes actually are – a cross between motorbikes and bicycles.
They have been around for more than 60 years, but the sport became popular in the 1970s and 1980s. The premise of BMX riding is all about fast races, off-road tracks, and jaw-dropping stunts around city blocks.
Bob Haro, the founder of the “Haro Bikes,” is considered an official creator of the BMX freestyle bikes that we know today.
How to Customize a BMX?
A fantastic feature of the BMX bikes is that you can customize them until they’re just perfect for you. You can choose the size of your frame and decide if you want handlebars that rotate 360 degrees.
Choosing certain parts will better accommodate your weight and height as well. Another customization option is spokes and tires. Thicker tires are better for racing, and more spokes are better for jumps.
But another significant aspect of customizing your BMX is the paint job. You can choose the colors and patterns of the manufacturer’s frame, paint it yourself, and make it even more customized and one-of-a-kind.
All of the bikes reviewed in this article are the best BMX bikes in one way or another. It all depends on what parameters you’re using. However, certain features are more important than others.
That’s why we declare the Mongoose Legion Freestyle BMX Bike the winner of the whole bunch. The construction quality is there, so is the versatility in terms of rider’s age, weight, and skill. It also comes with a fair price tag and a stylish design.
The runner up is the Hyper 20-inch Spinner BMX Bike because even though it lacks in quality, it’s cheap and looks fantastic.