Best BMX Bikes for Kids—Finding the Right BMX Bike for Your Child
- Size: Kids’ BMX bikes range in tube size between 11.5 inches and 18.5 inches with wheel sizes ranging from 12 to 18 inches. Young riders taller than 4’ can ride a bike with 20-inch wheels.
- Weight: A heavy bike can be challenging for a young child to pedal and maneuver. Consider how the bike’s weight suits your child’s age and size.
- Level: Choose a bike that suits your child’s riding style and level.
- Type and tires: Different types of BMX bikes have varying wheels, such as thin wheels for racing and thick wheels for street riding.
- Safety gear: Children must wear a helmet that was made according to the CPSC standard or Snell standard.
Kids are always on the move, and what better way to exercise than riding around on a cool BMX bike?
They’re an excellent choice for kids as they offer good versatility and the ability for your kiddo to grow and learn.
Children seem to grow at the speed of lightning; so, buying a bike that you can adjust slightly as your kiddo grows is beneficial.
I go into each of these in further detail further down, but right now, these are the best BMX bikes for kids:
Before making that final buying decision, check out my full buyer’s guide below to make sure you pick out the right one.
Is a BMX Bike Right for Your Child?
BMX bikes look cool, but cool doesn’t make it right for your child.
Now, I’m not saying only children with a passion for the sport should ride BMXes; however, a BMX bike isn’t suitable for “regular” use.
If you’re looking for a bike for your kid to ride to school or long distances, a BMX bike isn’t necessarily the ideal choice. In this case, your child would be better off with a good mountain bike or pedal bike.
The geometry of a BMX bike is somewhat compressed compared to other bike types. Furthermore, BMX bikes aren’t fitted with gears and can be challenging to ride for long distances as they require more pedaling.
On the other hand, if your kiddo shows interest in the sport or is already going to the skatepark with friends, a BMX bike is ideal.
Finding the Right BMX Bike for Your Child
Biking to school is a great form of exercise for children, so before committing to a purchase, here are a few essential things you should consider first:
Getting the right size bike for your child is crucial.
A bike that’s too big can feel intimidating, and a bike that’s too small can make it challenging for your youngster to ride.
In saying that, BMX bikes aren’t like usual bikes—the standard wheel size of a BMX bike is 20 inches. Although most BMX bikes feature 20-inch wheels, there’ll still be subtle changes in frame size.
The ideal tube length for children can vary between 11.5 inches and 18.5 inches, with wheel size ranging from 12 to 18 inches. Bikes within these ranges will suit children between 2ft and 4ft. 6 inches.
Riders above 4ft will likely find 20-inch wheels and an 18-inch tube more comfortable.
BMX bikes are generally made of steel, which isn’t the lightest material. In saying that, it’s still essential to consider the weight of the bike.
If a young child is trying to pedal a heavy bike, they’re likely to get frustrated quickly. Additionally, if they were to fall over and the bike were to land on them, a heavy bike could injure them.
Consider your child’s age and size in comparison to the bike’s weight. If your child is a toddler, go for a lightweight bike that’s easy for them to push around. This will also help improve their sense of balance, preparing them for a bigger bike in the coming years.
Maybe your kiddo has been riding bikes since they could walk and are now looking to hit the skatepark. Or, perhaps your youngster is already familiar with a few BMX tricks and want to take things to the next level.
It’s essential to get a bike that suits your child’s experience and future goals. A basic BMX bike is fun to ride down the street with your friends—but if your kiddo is serious about the sport, they need a bike that can keep up.
4. Type and Tires
Make sure the bike also has the right tires for the style your child is focused on. For example:
- Race BMX: Thin tires with a knobby tread is ideal.
- Freestyle/street BMX: Thicker tires with a smooth tread.
- Dirt jumping BMX: Thick tires with a knobby tread.
You can always swap out the tires to suit other styles; however, if your kiddo is a racer, go for a dedicated racing bike.
If your child is doing tricks in the skatepark, go for a freestyle bike.
The thing is, racer bikes are slightly lighter (usually made of aluminum) to help the rider go quicker around the track. Freestyle bikes are typically made of steel, making them heavier. The extra strength and weight enable the bike to withstand hard impact on the pavement after landing a trick.
Whether your kiddo is goofing around with the neighboring kids, racing around a dirt track or doing tricks at the local skatepark, safety is crucial.
The most important thing is that your child has a helmet that fits them properly. The US government has laid out specific safety rules that children’s helmets have to adhere to.
A helmet should have a sticker or tag stating that it meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s rules. If there’s no CPSC sticker, look for a Snell sticker or label instead.
A properly-fitting helmet should:
- Fit low on your child’s forehead—about one to two fingers above the eyebrows.
- Sit level on your child’s head—if it easily tilts to the side, back or front, it’s too big and won’t adequately protect.
- Have snug straps that form a Y-shape around the earlobe. The straps should also lay flat against your child’s head.
- Be able to fit a finger between your child’s chin and the buckle.
Other safety gear includes:
- Knee and elbow pads.
- Neck guard.
Top 4 Best BMX Bikes for Kids
By now, you should have a good idea of what kind of bike your child needs and a suitable size, so now it’s time for the fun part.
I’ve collected five of the best BMX bikes for kids to give you an in-depth review to provide some clarity.
Wheel size: 10 inches
Type: Freestyle/stunt bike
This unique-looking bike was designed for tricks and stunts around the skatepark. It’s fitted with mini 10-inch wheels with a width of 3 inches, giving the bike good stability for stunts.
The size also allows your kiddo to do some rather big tricks, so make sure they’re wearing their safety gear. Additionally, it’s equipped with mini 25T-9T gearing for improved ground clearance while also reducing the drivetrain’s weight.
Apart from the wheels’ size, it also has a sealed freewheel rear hub, which adds durability. On top of this, it features a fixed saddle and top-load stem that provides good stiffness, which is ideal for tricks and stunts.
The bike’s overall look is attractive with its neo-chrome finish and black accents—it will surely make other kids pay attention at the skatepark. It’s also available in a gunmetal finish.
For added safety, the bike comes with a set of brakes and a chainguard to protect your kid from accidents and injuries. Keep in mind, most mini BMX bikes similar to this one don’t feature brakes. This is simply due to the fat tires and brakes not being able to fit.
Now, this bike is only for stunts and tricks. It’s not suitable for racing or jumping. If your child wants a bike that can go from the skatepark to the track, a bike like the Mongoose Legion L20 is a better option.
Despite the excellent features, some parents reported scratches to the frame on arrival. In addition, others noted the tires were challenging to pump due to the small size, so be aware of this.
- Sturdy bike.
- Ideal for tricks and stunts.
- Rad design.
- Includes a chainguard and brakes.
- Tires are tricky to pump.
- Some bikes were delivered with scratches on the frame.
Wheel size: 20 inches
Weight: 34.4 pounds
Made with a hi-tensile steel frame, the Mongoose L20 is a hefty freestyle bike, excellent for older kids with BMX experience. The bike’s top tube measures 20.25 inches in length, making it ideal for taller riders between 4ft 8 and 5ft 4.
It’s equipped with 20-inch wheels with a width of 2.3 inches, making them thick and great for stunts on flat surfaces. The tires are fitted on single-wall aluminum 36H rims that add strength without too much weight.
It also features an aluminum U-brake and levers, providing your child with good speed control. Besides, the handlebar and fork setup improves steering performance, giving your kiddo more control over the bike.
Know that the bike is quite heavy, so make sure your child is up for the challenge. There’s likely going to be a slight learning curve before your kiddo gets used to maneuvering the extra weight.
- Thick wheels, ideal for tricks on flat surfaces.
- Strong brakes.
- Improved steering.
- Some children found the weight difficult to handle.
Wheel size: 24 inches
Weight: 31.09 pounds
This matte black BMX bike is recommended for tweens 12 years and above.
It’s fitted with large 24-inch wheels that are 2 inches wide, with the tires having small knobs running across the tread; these, coupled with the width, give the bike a good grip on the road while improving control and balance.
It also includes a Promax rear U-brake that you engage using the lever on the handlebar; this gives your kid good stopping abilities. Such brakes are fine for a beginner’s bike; if it were an intermediate or pro bike, disc brakes would be a must.
Note that the adjustable seat is an excellent addition as it allows you to change the seat’s height to suit your child.
While this is still a high-quality bike, there have been a few complaints about the brake lever—many say it feels “mushy” or similar to squeezing a sponge.
- Good tires that provide a smooth ride.
- Adjustable seat.
- Brake lever feels mushy.
Wheel size: 18 inches
Weight: 27.1 pounds
If your young, enthusiastic BMXer is getting too big for their 16-inch bikes but aren’t ready to lose the training wheels, this is an excellent option.
It features a low, stand-over frame that gives small riders easy access and control. The steel frame is slightly heavy, weighing in at 27.1 pounds, but it’s also a good chance for your kiddo to learn how to handle a bigger, heavier bike.
The bike is equipped with a four-piece handlebar and an alloy four-bolt stem for added strength and durability while improving steering. In addition, the chainring and guard that protects your youngster from cuts.
Parents are also pleased with the added training wheels that help their young riders find their balance. You can remove them anytime your kiddo feels confident and ready to ride on their own.
While the bike is ready to assemble upon arrival, some report they found it challenging to put together.
- Perfect for kids not ready to lose the training wheels.
- Low frame.
- Chainguard included.
- Some parents found it tricky to assemble.
End of the Road
Children love to ride bicycles, and the activity has lots of benefits for your child, such as improved motor skills, regular exercise and fun with their friends. BMXing offers a world of fun for young riders, whether they’re racing on dirt tracks or learning new tricks.
With so many great bikes available, it was a challenge to narrow it down to the four best BMX bikes for kids.
Which one would suit your kid depends on their riding style—the Sullivan Ambush Mini BMX is ideal for kids with love for tricks and stunts. However, if your child is more into freestyle, the Mongoose Legion L20 is a better option.
No matter the bike you choose, make sure your kiddo wears the proper gear and a properly fitting helmet.