Best BMX Bikes for Adults—How to Find the Right for You
- Type: Choose the BMX bike that suits your riding style the most. Remember, racer bikes are meant for racing, whereas freestyle bikes are made for the streets and won’t do well on a track.
- Size: 20-inch wheel size is the standard for BMX. 24-inch wheel size will be more comfortable for taller or older riders.
- Material: Steel, such as Chromo and Hi-tensile are the most common materials used for freestyle BMX bikes. Racer bikes are usually made of aluminum due to the lightweight.
- Tires: Depending on your riding style, the tires will differ. Thin wheels with a knobby tread are ideal for racing, whereas thicker wheels with a smooth tread are best for street riding.
BMX is such a diverse sport, encompassing various styles, such as urban stunt riding, off-road racing and freestyling.
But, depending on what BMX style is your thing, did you know you need a specific bike?
I’m talking racing, freestyle and jumpers, but more on these coming up!
As of right now, the best BMX bikes for adults are:
I have detailed reviews on these below, but before that, check out my full guide on which bike is best for you and what to look for when shopping.
Types of BMX Bikes
More often than not, when people hear the word ‘BMX,’ they immediately think of a small 20-inch bike.
However, there are three main types of BMX bikes:
Race BMX bikes are the OGs of the sport.
They started in the late 1960s as children would alter their bikes to look and ride more like motocross bikes.
By the early 1970s, BMX was becoming an established and recognized sport. Come 1981, the International BMX Federation was founded, and by 1993, the sport became integrated into the International Cycling Union.
Some of a racer BMX bike’s key traits are:
- Thin, low-profile tires.
- Slightly knobby or slick treads.
- Powerful rear V-brake or linear pull-brake.
- No front brake.
- Steep head tube.
Race bikes are generally durable and light, made of aluminum and enabling the rider to quickly gain speed.
They’re ideal for purpose-built dirt courses that are either made of hard-packed dirt or bitumen. The track is often a combination of long jumps and undulating terrain.
Keep in mind that race BMX bikes are designed solely for racing, making them unsuitable for most other BMX disciplines.
Freestyle is a broader category with various sub-disciplines, including street, park, trail, vert and flatland.
Freestyle bikes are generally ridden on smooth, flat surfaces, such as streets, parking lots and skateparks.
Key traits of a freestyle BMX bike include:
- Heavier frame.
- Powerful front brake and rear U-brake.
- More spokes than other bikes.
- Wider tires.
- Smooth tread.
A freestyle bike is the only BMX bike that features a front brake, which is essential for pulling off a nollie.
If you’re looking to learn new tricks or mostly use your bike around the city or skatepark, a freestyle bike is ideal. It’s the most versatile BMX bike, helping you broaden your expertise and skills without feeling stuck in one style.
These bikes aren’t made for speed but designed to catch sick air during jumps and stunts. For this, they have a lighter frame to get you off the ground.
Jumpers can easily be used on dirt tracks or in the streets. However, you’ll have to change the wheels to optimize it for the surface. For instance, if you’re riding on flat, hard ground, the spokes will be thicker—thinner spokes are optimal for dirt tracks.
Key traits of jumpers include:
- Lighter weight.
- Sturdier spokes to withstand hard hits.
- Heavier treads.
- Rear-only brakes—usually U-brakes.
Cruiser bikes are more like the cousin to BMX bikes—nevertheless, it might be a better option for riders who want a more casual, comfortable bike.
Cruiser bikes feature a slightly larger frame that accommodates bigger wheels (usually 24-inch tires). It’s a more forgiving bike, especially for taller riders, as the larger frame is more comfortable.
Despite the slightly larger frame, cruiser bikes offer precise handling and a lighter, snappy feel when riding.
Keep in mind; if you plan to race, cruiser bikes have their cruiser-class category and can’t compete in regular BMX bike races unless specified.
Things to Consider When Finding the Best BMX Bike for You
Hopefully, you have a good idea of which style suits you best.
It’s now time to get into the technical stuff—I’ve listed some of the critical factors you should consider to find the right bike for you.
Depending on the BMX type you’re looking at, sizes can look quite different.
Race bikes are generally limited to a 20-inch wheel size with subtle changes in frame size. Different sizes are available, such as mini, expert and pro.
However, there’s no specific standard when it comes to sizing. For instance, one company’s pro-level bike might be similar to another brand’s “pro XL.”
Freestyle bikes have more diversity when it comes to sizing, and you can easily find a suitable bike between 16 and 29 inches.
If you’re 30 years or above, I strongly recommend choosing a wheel size of 24 inches or more. 20-inch BMX bikes usually have a bottom bracket higher than the axles—although this gives you adequate ground clearance, it can be uncomfortable.
Before choosing a bike, consult the manufacturer’s spec chart to find your size.
BMX bikes come in different materials depending on the riding style.
Race bikes are usually made of aluminum due to the lightweight, whereas other bikes are generally made of chromoly.
Chromoly is a steel composite that combines strength and lightness, giving you a durable but easy-to-maneuver bike.
Cheaper or entry-level bikes are most often made of hi-tensile steel, which is fine if you’re a casual rider or BMX beginner. However, if you want a budget-friendly bike with a little more strength, find one made of hi-tensile steel with chromoly components.
Which tires you should go for depends on your riding style:
- Race: Thinner wheels with a knobby tread to gain traction and speed.
- Freestyle: Thicker wheels with a smooth tread.
- Jumper: Thicker wheels with a knobby tread. Looks very similar to mountain bike wheels.
Top 4 Best BMX Bikes for Adults
Knowing what type of BMX bike you need and what size are only the first steps in finding the right bike for you.
I’ve listed four of the best BMX bikes for adults below—who knows, your new bike might just be among them.
Wheel size: 20 inches.
Material: Hi-tensile steel.
Brakes: Tektro alloy U-brake.
Weight: 26.2 pounds.
For the top of my list, the Elite Bicycles’ 20-inch Destro is an upgraded design, offering better components, allowing for more versatility.
It’s a fantastic mid-level BMX bike, suitable for the beginner to the more advanced rider. It consists of a Hi-tensile frame and a CroMo—chromium-molybdenum—steel fork, giving you a lightweight and durable bike.
You can ride almost anywhere on the Destro bicycle—it’s suitable for use on dirt, streets and in the park. This is down to the 2.4-inch tire width allowing you to ride on the dirt with enough grip. Also, the broad width provides good bounce and cushioning for stunts.
Furthermore, you have a Tektro alloy U-brake to stop the bike, controlled by a lever on the handlebar, allowing you to pedal both ways without accidentally stopping.
Even though this is an excellent bike, no model is perfect. For instance, users experience an issue with the rear tire rubbing the frame. This could be due to improper assembly, so if you aren’t skilled in BMX construction, your local bike shop should fix the issue.
In addition, it can be somewhat tricky to assemble, so again, if you don’t have the experience, take it to your local bike shop.
- Hi-tensile frame.
- CroMo fork.
- Thick tires, suitable for various terrains.
- Excellent cushioning and bounce.
- Tektro alloy U-brake.
- May be difficult to assemble.
- Rear-wheel may rub on the frame.
Wheel size: 20 inches.
Brakes: Aluminum linear-pull brake.
For intermediate riders, the Mongoose Title Elite Pro XL is a great choice and is ideal for riders between 5 feet 7 inches to 6 feet.
It’s quite a durable bike, suggesting it’s excellent around the track. The frame is professional-grade Tectonic aluminum, measuring roughly 21 inches in length and weighing a mere 3.3 pounds. This lightweight and compact frame can help you gain speed during a race.
Another great feature is the internal cable routing, meaning the brake cables run inside the frame rather than the outside. This minimizes loose lines getting caught or otherwise damaged—although it may be more tricky to replace down the road.
Additionally, the Elite Pro XL comes with aluminum double-wall rims fitted with a 0.39-inch hollow front hub. These offer excellent bounce and cushioning while remaining durable.
The bike also comes with an aluminum linear-pull brake, controlled by the Radius brake lever. It provides superb precision and speed control. However, the lever is quite long, which may cause it to get stuck or become easily bent in an accident.
Another potential drawback is the seat position. For some, the seat pole is too short for street riding, making the rider uncomfortable.
- Durable and lightweight frame.
- Internal cable routing.
- Double-wall rims.
- Thick, bouncy tires.
- Padded seat.
- High-precision brake.
- Brake lever might be too long in competition settings.
- Seat pole is too short for street riding.
- The chain is a bit flimsy.
Wheel size: 24 inches.
Brakes: Tektro 918 linear.
Weight: 22.9 pounds.
A BMX racing bike should be lightweight and easy to maneuver. For this, the Redline MX BMX bike is an excellent option.
It comes with an aluminum frame and integrated headtube, making it ultra-light and effortless to handle and maneuver. Additionally, the frame includes a limited lifetime warranty.
In addition, the pivotal race seat is another lightweight component, providing excellent support without adding unnecessary weight.
What’s also great about this option is that it arrives race-ready—only some tweaks and minor assembly is needed.
However, it may not be suitable for street riding seeing that the seat isn’t the comfiest. It lacks padding, and the angle isn’t comfortable to sit on for long rides.
Another issue seems to be quality control. Some customers reported faulty components that needed replacement.
- Sturdy, lightweight frame.
- Durable cranks.
- Lightweight seat.
- Limited lifetime frame warranty.
- Arrives race-ready.
- Seat may be too uncomfortable for long rides.
- There’s a lack of quality control—some reported faulty components on arrival.
Wheel size: 20 inches.
Brakes: Aluminum U-brake.
Weight: 25 pounds.
If you’re into freestyling, I suggest looking at Mongoose’s Legion L500 freestyle bike.
It’s a versatile option suitable for various terrains, including street roads, dirt and parks. It’s excellent for different levels of aerial performers, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced rider.
The bike is based on an ultra-sturdy chromoly frame, with a 21-inch top tube. Additionally, it features an aluminum chainring with a mid-sealed bearing bracket that keeps the chain in place.
In saying that, the chainring’s quality is questionable, and you might need to replace it in the future.
Furthermore, the L500 has wide, thick tires at 20 inches, ideal for freestyle riding. These sit mounted on double-walled aluminum rims for added durability.
Lastly, the bike features an integrated headset to enhance steering and maneuverability.
With that said, users have assembly issues with this Mongoose. The instructions aren’t the best, so it may be better to consult your local bike shop if you don’t have much experience.
- Thick, wide tires.
- Durable frame.
- Double-walled aluminum rims.
- May be difficult to assemble.
- Questionable chainring durability.
BMX is a diverse sport, suitable for bicycle newbies and those with years of experience. However, picking the right bike for the job is imperative.
My top pick from the best BMX bikes for adults is the Elite Bicycles Destro 20″ Freestyle BMX Bike. It’s durable yet lightweight, making it maneuverable and easy to perform stunts with.
It’s also suitable for different levels of riders and various styles. With broad, thick tires, you can ride it smoothly over almost any terrain.
For racers, check out the Mongoose Title Elite Pro XL BMX Race Bike. With a full aluminum construction, it’s ultra-light and handles like a charm.