Bike Shaped Objects

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BMX Bikes Virtual Buying Guide

My goal was to identify the best cheap BMX bike on the market. Unfortunately there is no such thing. The problem is that there are so many different riding styles all lumped together under the name BMX that there can be no one bike that would be good at them all.

The types are:

BMX – Short for bicycle motocross. These are the actual racing bikes. Unfortunately again, there is no one definition here either. It all depends on your local BMX track. So if you want to get into BMX racing ignore everything below, go to the track and see what the racers are riding.

Trick – These are the bikes with axle pegs, handlebars that spin 306 degrees and frames with lots of places to plant a foot or knee. This is what most kids want and what most parents want to avoid.

Off Road – This variation features heavier but more rugged frames. Mostly they are used for kids too small for even the junior mountain bikes.

Neighborhood – It looks like a BMX bike but it has none of the things that qualify it for the categories above. This type of bike will however meet the needs of the vast majority of kids. One of the advantages of the BMX style bike is it’s adjustability. It can be made to be a comfortable ride well into the teen years.

So rather than a single bike I’m going to give a quick peek to a series of bikes I think fit the categories above. This isn’t meant to recommend these bikes as the best of the breed, simply because there are so many BMX bikes out there that I don’t have the time to compare them all. I chose one big box store and selected example for consideration.

Huffy 20” Pro Thunder – $76.99
There are cheaper BMX bikes, but not by much, and they have smaller and somehow heavier frames. This also represents a simplicity I like in kid’s bikes. It has coaster brakes so there are no cables to worry about and this makes an easier transition from little kids bikes.

Thruster Slider 20″ Boys’ Bike – $89.97
If you’re willing to give your kids a trick bike this might be a good starting point. Thruster may not be as familiar a name as Huffy, but it’s produced a couple of nice cheap genre bikes. This one has foot pegs and hand brakes front and rear. It has a lager, heavier and presumably sturdier frame than the Huffy.

20″ Boys’ Mongoose Girder BMX Bike – $119.00
This bike barely qualifies being called a BMX bike, but on the other hand I don’t know what it should be called. The girder in the name refers to the frame which actually does look like little girders. This should make the frame very strong without adding much weight. The extra stiffness is compensated with a front suspension. The other major departure is that it has a rear disk brake. These differences make this the one I would chose for sever off-roading.

DK General Lee 20″ BMX Bike – $129.00
Never heard of DK? If you follow my advice about checking out you local BMX race track you undoubtedly will hear of them. The General Lee is not one of their top racing bikes, but it is a good introduction to the brand. If your kids have bike snob friends owning this bike will cause them no shame.

So that’s my quick overview. I wish I had the time to explore BMX bikes in greater detail. Actually I’m hoping people will comment on this post with their own BMX bike suggestions.




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