Whether you're looking for yourself, or someone else, choosing the right type of cheap BMX bike is the first part of getting great value for money from your buy. But to get to this choice you'll first have to ask yourself the right questions. Do you want to race? Do you insist on a lightweight frame and parts? Are you going to be riding the streets or in the dirt? Will your playground be the local high street, BMX track or your friends ramps? Thinking about these things and having a good idea about what you want and where you'll ride, will ensure you get the right BMX bike.
The term BMX isn't as generic as people thing it is. It's important to know that there a 3 main types of BMX, each offering different takes of the classic BMX bike.
BMX bikes have been around for nearly 50 years now, but have had a bit of a resurgence in recent years. They are still designed for racing over jumps and around berms in the dirt. Although you don't have to race to enjoy the light weight, speed and dirt worthiness of these machines these days. They usually have 20 inch wheels, knobby tires, upright handlebars with crossbars, small saddles, long cranks and rear hand brakes. The frames are light and sturdy, and the higher the price, the lighter they get.
Let's have a lot at the 3 different types of cheap BMX bikes that you'll find at Wiggle, Halfords and Evans Cycles.
Street BMX Bike These entered the scene shortly after BMX bikes. Rather than racing, the street bike's ideal use is for aggressive street riding and shredding at skateparks. It's also a great bike for short rides. The high end bikes will use the best grades of chromoly tubing to get the strongest lightweight frame and components possible. The tires are 20 x 2.125 or wider, with fairly smooth treads, because they're predominantly used on the footpaths. Axle pegs are often included, although some manufacturers leave them off so you can choose your own. Most will be straight cable rear brakes or even brakeless with only a few coming with gyros.
Jump BMX Bikes Jump Bikes, or Dirt Jumping BMX bikes are fast, big and flowing. There are subtle changes in frame geometry to make it stable at high speed and in the air. Most have a slightly longer chain stay length and a slacker head tube angle. Most have a straight cable rear brake only. Depending on the trails tire selection can vary from smooth to aggressive tread patterns.
The choices of equipment to get for a cheap BMX bike cab vastly change the type of ride and what can be done on your BMX.
The wheels are crucial in that they meet your needs. Because accelerating out of starting gates is important in BMX, the wheels are much lighter than those found on street and trail bikes. It's also important to note that the skinnier BMX tire and rim sizes are not interchangeable with each other or with the 20 x 1.5 or 1.75 tire and rims. street and trail bikes need durable hubs with integrated drivers and sealed bearings paired with light strong rims. The race bike wheels will use 10mm axles while street and trail bikes will typically use a 14mm rear for added strength.
After wheels, comes the tyres. BMX tyres straddle the line between pavement and dirt designs. Although they're used mostly off road, the tracks are often hard-packed dirt where low rolling resistance is important. The tread has to provide optimum speed and traction and grip when you're cornering and accelerating. Street tyres are designed for pavement and indoor surfaces. Premium tyres often inflate to higher pressures as well, lowering rolling resistance, increasing rim protection and decreasing tyre deflection when the sidewalls are placed under high loads such as during landings. Trail tyres are usually designed for maximum traction. These tyres are often a blend between street and BMX. For the lightest tyre grab a kevlar folding bead. This will cost a little more, but high jumps can be well worth it.
Handlebars are a great way to put some personnel touches to your BMX. Beside weight and strength differences, there is also a subtle difference in handlebar shape. Height is a big factor for rider preference and sweep of the bar is another choice in selecting the perfect bar for street and trail riding. Also, bars found on 24 inch BMX cruisers will be slightly shorter in rise than those found on 20 inch bikes.
Often overlooked, brakes are fairly important as BMXer's require real stopping power for added control so they prefer linear-pull brakes, which offers the ultimate grip. Street and trail riders are more interested in control than grip and they prefer U-brakes. Although U-brakes don't offer the stopping power of linear pulls, they offer better modulation and compatibility with gyros. There is also the option of brakeless for the rider who knowns no limits.
No you know what you want and what features to look out for. You need to know the best places to shop for the cheapest BMX bike, or the ones offering the best value for money.
For this choice we've selected 3 of the UK's biggest cycling and outdoor stores. We have Wiggle, Halfords and Evans Cycles.
Wiggle started out as a cycling retailer, but have grown to be a full sports clothing and equipment retailer that has some cheap BMX bikes, as well as components for them, and equipment for your safety too.
Evans Cycles aren't as big as Wiggle, but they are still a specialist cycling retailer and have some of the more higher end brands some top components and clothing at some really good low prices.
Halfords can generally be sneered at in the cycling community, but that's just plain snobbery. They can have some great cheap BMX bikes that are perfect for those starting out. And also the added bonus of being able to try the bikes for size.
The prices for all these 3 retailers BMX bikes are listed on this page from the cheapest to the most expensive. This makes it super easy for you to find the one that suits you the best at the lowest possible price.
We hope this short article helps you get some real value for money on a cheap BMX bike from Evans Cycles, Wiggle or Halfords.