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Best BMX bikes for beginners

Included in this guide:

Best BMX for beginners
(Image credit: Schwinn)

BMX riding is not limited to kids or teenagers, with baggy clothing and peak caps.

The bike skills and conservation of momentum that can be learned and practiced with BMX riding, make it a valuable cycling discipline, all of its own. For those riders who require a BMX fix, there are some great bikes available - from the best BMX bikes to the best BMX bikes for kids.

Although the ‘Pro’ model BMXs can feature extreme geometry, most of the desirable street BMX brands also offer slightly more relaxed options. These bikes are ideal for those adult riders who want to roll around and practice their bunny hop or wheelie skills, without having to master a BMX frame that is overly agile in its behavior.

If you are in the market to make your childhood BMX dream bike become a reality with the benefit of an adult salary, we have selected the best deals currently available.

(Image credit: Fit bike)

Fit bike Series 22

Is '22' the magic number?

Frame: Steel | Price: $589.95

Rare wheel size delivers something between 20- and 24-inch riding characteristics 
Intermediate wheel size means you could struggle to source tires 

Wheel size has flared the mountain biking debate for the better part fo a decade. And in BMXing, it is also worthy of consideration, especially if you are an adult rider.

For many, the mature BMX rider should be on 20-icnh wheels. But not everyone is comfortable with the immediacy that such small wheels deliver, in terms of stability and agility. By the same token, 24-inch might be considered too large, for a truly enabling street BMX experience.

The solution? Something such as the Fit bike Series 22. It rolls an intermediate 22-inch wheel which gives you a very fair trade between the rolling stability of a 24-inch BMX and agility of a 20-inch version. Beyond its inspired wheel size, the Fit Series 22-inch ticks many of the other boxes you’d desire for a solid BMX.

Its frame is chromoly and the tire choice is excellent for essentially any street riding you could imagine: a set of S&M Speedballs, measuring 2.4in upfront and 2.25in rear. Those large-volume tires are sure to deliver all the traction and terrain impact absorption, you’d need.

(Image credit: GT)

GT Pro Series 26

Big wheels for you BMX dreams

Frame: Alloy | Price: $500

Classic looks with modern components 
Those 2.5in wide 26in slicks have huge grip
Disc brake rear for superior stopping safety - even in wet conditions 
Purists might dislike the idea of an alloy frame

With its heritage styling and design inspiration, GT’s Pros Series 26 is a great way to fulfill those childhood BMX street cruising ambitions.

GT’s reputation in the BMX world is immense, but for its Pro Series 26, the brand drew some technical expertise from its mountain bike division. That is why this Pro Series 26 has an alloy frame, instead of steel. The fork remains chromoly in construction and there is is a classic top tube protector in place.

Rolling the small mountain bike 26-inch wheel size, this Pro Series model has a great deal more rolling momentum than a conventional 20- or 24-inch wheeled BMX. That might inhibit its ultimate agility, but if you seek a classically styled BMX, with tremendous pavement and street surface grip, this large wheeled GT is the answer.

A notable modern touch is the Pro Series 26’s rear brake, which is a mechanically actuated 160mm disc.

(Image credit: GT)

Mongoose Title 24

Stellar value from one of BMX's most admired brands

Frame : Alloy | Price: $339.99

Three-piece crank
Fast rolling tires 
Not much - a great deal at the price

The Mongoose Title 24 is a built for speed, instead of landing the biggest bench drops you can find.

Its aluminum frame is prioritized for lightness and a horizontally adjustable rear drop out, allows you to slightly vary the wheelbase, and account for chain stretch over time. To keep its Title 24 at a fair price point, Mongoose doesn’t equip it with a disc brake, opting for the traditional linear-pull V-brake.

Rolling Arisun XLR8 24x1.75in tires, the Title 24 is wonderfully responsive once you clip and apex and push into that first pedal stroke, when rounding corners. Proven geometry and a three-piece crankset are both features that illustrate Mongoose’s BMX legacy and if you seek a great multipurpose adult-spec BMX on a budget, look no further.

(Image credit: Redline)

Redline PL-26

Big wheel cruiser with steel ride quality

Frame : Steel | Price : $550

Big wheels smooth any tar cycling terrain 
Some classic styling touches 
Big wheels not given to doing bar spins or any daring street style tricks 

If bar spins aren’t your thing, but you desire the industrial design and appearance of a retro BMX, this Redline PL-26 is just the ticket.

With a chromoly frame and fork, it has the traditional mix of BMX materials but rolls large 26-inch wheels, shod with 26x2in Vee Speedster tires.

Driving the single 17t rear cog, are 180mm cranks, with a polished chromo finish. The is a single V-brake at the rear, instead of a disc.

Controlling the PJ-26’s steering input and balancing most of its rider geometry, is a chromoly handlebar with 7.5" rise, 28.5in end-to-end width, 10-degree backsweep and 4-degrees of upsweep.

As a retro cruiser with all the appropriate BMX styling details, this Redline PL-26 is hard to fault.

(Image credit: Haro)

Haro Lineage Team Master 26

Retro styling with the added surety of 26-inch wheels

Frame: Steel | Pirce : $1369.99

Impeccable styling and attention to detail
Stellar ride comfort, thanks to those big wheels 
So pretty, you might not want to ride it
With the 26-inch wheels, it doesn't quite handle with the agility of true Haro street BMX

Another large wheel BMX for adult riders desperate to embrace the unfilled dreams of youth.

Haro has shaped its Lineage 26 Master frame with a tube set profile and colorway that is inarguable retro, yet tastefully done. The chromoly fork starts is dark blue, which fades to a lighter hue across the top and downtube, before revealed a glistering platform set of chainstays, with a raw polished finish.

Effectively a dream build, the Haro Lineage 26 Master frame has Kneesaver handlebars, fold-up pegs and Kenda Kranium tires 26 x 2.1in front and rear. This bike is everything you dreamed of as a youngster, built to period-correct speciation, but with the benefit of modern manufacturing methods and quality control.

(Image credit: Schwinn)

Schwinn Predator Team 24

A bright-shining bargain of a BMX

Frame: Steel | Price: $384.99

All the shiny chromo finishing you could ever hope for
24-inch wheels are a sensible size for the geo
Period 1980s graphics and logos 
Keenly priced, too
No quick-release seat post clamp, for easy height adjustment during a ride 

Predator might have been an action-horror movie of your youth but there is a far more desirable Predator, which predated it. We are referring to the legendary 1983 Schwinn Predator BMX.

The American brand has revived its classic BMX with a Team 24-inch version. Industrial designers and product planners at Schwinn knew that any modern Predator had to be true to the original 1980s graphic design themes.

Honoring its period theme, the Schwinn Predator Team 24 BMX has a polished steel frame, many polished chromo details and decals which are utterly 1980s in their font and color choice. And it is not merely a question of making it look broadly classic. Schwinn has built its Predator Team 24” BMX with rattrap pedals and tan wall tires, to ensure a convincing blend of style and functionality.

(Image credit: SE Racing)

SE Bikes Floval Flyer 24

An alloy race machine that will make you fly

Frame: Alloy | Price: $700

Advanced alloy construction is stiff and light
Faultless component specification  
Two alloy main triangles, will always be an issue for BMX purists
Three-piece crank set would have been nice

If you want a lightweight BMX that is faster than anything else on street or the local track, within budget: the Floval Flyer 24 is your game.

From the proven SE Bikes stable comes a BMX that majors on being light and race-ready. The oversized head tube junction is a clear indication that this bike is formed from aluminum, instead of steel. Using all the fabrication advantages of aluminum, the Floval Flyer has a bi-oval down tube and tapered rear triangle stays, aiding its stiffness.

The finishing kit includes a two-piece crankset, rotating on a 24mm hollow spindle. Rolling 24in Vee Tire Co MK3s, the Floval Flyer has ample cornering grip without the burden of increased rolling resistance. In race trim it weighs 23.5lb.

Although the Floval Flyer is all about its aluminum frame and alloy Alienation rims, SE Bikes have kept steel in place, where it counts most: with a chromoly fork.

How to choose the right BMX for you

1. Wheel Size 

The BMX world operates a dazzling array of wheel sizes. For adult getting back into BMX riding, the sizes to consider are traditional 20- and 24-inch, but there is also now an intermediate 22-inch wheel size too, offering a great solution between rolling efficiency and agility.

What has been most notable in the last few years, is the advent of mountain bike wheel sizes, in BMX frame and component configurations. 

If you want a great street cruising BMX, that isn’t going to be flicked into a 180 off every kerb, the latest 26-inch larger format frames offer outstanding comfort and all the classic BMX styling and street presence you could hope for.

2. Bigger tires 

Junior BMX riders love expanding their portfolio of tricks. Or cornering at the most ridiculous lean angles imaginable. That means you need to run relatively narrow tires, sacrificing grip.

For adult BMX riders familiarizing themselves with the discipline, a larger volume tire is better. Why? It offers a touch more sidewall suspension action, absorption impacts, and give you greater overall grip, to prevent a slide-out.

Tires in the 2.25- 2.4in casing width will have you riding with great confidence and comfort. They also allow for lower pressures, which maximizes the contact patch, boosting overall grip levels. 

Lance Branquinho
Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype