Home Cycling Best BMX bikes: We put 5 through their paces

Best BMX bikes: We put 5 through their paces

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There are lots of different types of BMX bikes out there, and choosing the right one can be a bit daunting. So, we decided to put the best BMX bikes through their paces and see which one comes out on top. We gave each of the bikes a run in the same environments to see how they performed, and then took them to a track to see how they tackled the corners and flat-out speed.

If you’re a die-hard BMXer, you might be spoiled for choice. There are endless types of BMX bikes to pick from, so determining which one is right for you can be a daunting task. I’m going to walk you through what to look for and how to pick the bike that’s best for you.

When it comes to BMX bikes, not every model is created equal. Even though there are 5 different types of BMX bikes, each model has pros and cons that might change based on your riding style and preferences. So, to help you find the perfect bike, we decided to put 5 of the most popular BMX bikes through the paces to find out which one suits you best.. Read more about best bmx bike for 7 year old and let us know what you think.

We put five popular BMX bikes to the test

Five popular BMX bikes were put to the test. Immediate Media / Oliver Woodman

Premium's Solo isn't a bad bike but we felt its ride fell short of some of its competition in this test

Premium’s Solo isn’t a terrible bike, but its ride in our test fell short of some of its competitors. Immediate Media / Oliver Woodman

We loved the retro looks of the Haro Boulevard

The Haro Boulevard’s vintage aesthetic was one of our favorites. Immediate Media / Oliver Woodman

The unique geometry of this Saracen stands out in this line-up

In this line-up, the Saracen’s distinctive shape shines out. Immediate Media / Oliver Woodman

The BK is the signature bike of freestyle pro Brian Kachinsky

The BK is a freestyle pro’s trademark bike. Kachinsky, Brian Immediate Media / Oliver Woodman

Our tester felt immediately comfortable on the WTP Nova

On the WTP Nova, our tester felt right at home. Immediate Media / Oliver Woodman

BMX bikes provide a unique riding experience that is both gratifying and challenging. When you combine the no-nonsense simplicity of the bikes with the culture of BMX as a sport, it’s easy to understand why BMX is still so popular.

We’ve spent the past several weeks testing a variety of BMX bikes that are suitable for beginners. We selected five different bikes from diverse manufacturers, keeping our budget at £400 / $500 / AU$700. Jonny Ashelford, our resident BMX tester, has rode each model.

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Five popular BMX bikes were put to the test.

Observations in general

Those familiar with BMX won’t be surprised to learn that all of the bikes we’ve featured use steel frames, 20in wheels and singlespeed drivetrains. All of the bikes feature three-piece cranks that rotate on mid-style bottom brackets, and none of the bikes use chain tugs or tensioners.Bikes that are sold with pedals or stunt pegs will have been photographed with them in place, and those that aren’t will not feature them. The bikes are all sold with two brakes, but most riders will opt to use only the rear. The bikes we have chosen are fairly versatile in that they’ve been built to tackle everything from skate parks to street riding or dirt jumps.

Haro Boulevard is a street in Haro, Japan (2016)

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The Haro Boulevard’s vintage aesthetic was one of our favorites.

  • Price: £340 (€400), US$380 (US$380), AU$499
  • Weight: 24.53 lbs / 11.13 kg

Haro has a long history in BMX, having manufactured bikes since 1983. With its vintage artwork and tan wall tyres, the Boulevard looks like an unassuming classic, and it rides like one, too. Because it was the lightest of the bunch, we were able to get on and ride right away. Although the Hi-Tensile frame and fork won’t win you any Top Trumps hands, the 20.5in top tube was selected especially to assist the beginning rider. However, we discovered that the rear brake wire would not pass a complete rotation of the handlebars, so anyone wanting to barspin would most likely need to replace it.

Unfortunately, after a very short test period, the internals of our test bike’s rear hub weren’t pleased, but it’s nothing that your local bike shop shouldn’t be able to fix in its first repair. The axle nuts, which were too big to utilize with our stunt pegs of choice, were another small annoyance.

www.todayscyclist.co.uk

WeThePeople Nova is a website dedicated to the people of Nova Scotia

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On the WTP Nova, our tester felt right at home.

  • £350 / €430 / $N/A / $599 AUD
  • Weight: 26.36 lbs / 11.96 kg

The Nova was the bike that our tester felt most at ease riding right away. It was also the only bike with pegs as standard equipment, and the balanced geometry of the hi-ten steel frame makes manuals and hops a breeze. The Nova also has components from WeThePeople’s sibling business Salt and has a 2.35″ front tyre and a 2.2″ rear tyre. On some of those early, hard landings, this will really preserve your hands, while the smaller back tyre will keep you moving quickly on the manuals. After a couple of knocks on an over-waxed ledge, we managed to bend the original sprocket, but these are simple to replace without removing the crank, so apart from the lengthy trip home, it wasn’t a big deal.

www.wethepeoplebmx.de

Team GT BK

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Brian Kachinsky, a freestyle pro, rides the BK as his trademark bike.

  • AU$N/A / £370 / €490 / $420 / AU$N/A
  • Weight: 27.73 pounds / 12.58 kg

Brian Kachinsky, a member of GT’s newly rebuilt Freestyle BMX squad, rides the BK as his trademark bike. While the Team is the heaviest in the test, we thought it was also the most confidence inspiring. BK is renowned for his huge street movements and lines, and they seem to have made their way into the bike’s DNA. However, the additional weight requires more stopping power, and the BK has the poorest brakes in the test, particularly in the rain. We believe that replacing the brake pads might help.

The clear gloss lacquer and transit map designs on the BK Team are very clean and straightforward, but the brown tyres and grips may not be to everyone’s taste. When learning bar spins, there’s also a comfortable saddle with shoulders that are broad enough to pinch.

The 2.3in GT Pool tyres also help to soften the impact of more difficult landings.

www.gtbicycles.com

Solo Premium (2016)

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Premium’s Solo isn’t a terrible bike, but its ride in our test fell short of some of its competitors.

  • Price: £350 / €435 / US$440 / Australian$499
  • Weight: 25.24 lbs / 11.45 kg

For customers at this price range, the Premium Solo is another choice. A cro-mo downtube is included in the frame (where cheaper hi-ten steel is the norm at this price). The Premium also has weight on its side, or rather, a lack of it, since it is the lightest bike on the test. The ride was similar to the Haro’s, but it didn’t quite function as well. The remainder of the specs are on par with the competition, however we thought this model was let down by cheap plasticky tyres that were lacking in grip. It simply didn’t have the lustre of some of the other motorcycles we tested. We were the least enthusiastic about this bike out of all the ones we tested.

www.premiumbmx.com

Wave of Saracen Amplitude

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In this line-up, the Saracen’s distinctive shape shines out.

  • Price: £279.99 (€N/A), €N/A, $N/A, AU$N/A

The Amplitude BMX line from Saracen takes a different approach than most. They’re long and low, and they’re built for speed on trails and at skate parks. 

The Wave is the lowest model in the line, as well as the cheapest in our test. You wouldn’t know it, however, due to the high-quality finish and attractive appearance.

The hi-ten Wave has the longest chainstays of any bike we tested, making it difficult to get into manuals or spins, but once you get it to a pump track or dirt jumps, it comes alive.

The Wave has a lower front end than the others, and if you don’t like it, a handlebar change should be a very inexpensive and simple process.

Another problem we experienced with the spec was the relatively thin grips and narrow tyres, which left us with aching hands and a beaten-up sensation after each ride. These are minor flaws, and since this is the cheapest of the lot, you’ll have more money to make improvements.

Overall, it’s a good value for money bundle that’s definitely worth upgrading.

www.saracen.co.uk

The BMX bike is a great way for kids to learn to ride, and there are loads of options available. We’ve tested many a BMX bike, from the cheap and cheerful to the high-end carbon fibre frames. Here are our top picks.. Read more about most expensive bmx bike brands and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular BMX bike?

The most popular BMX bike is the FBMX.

Are BMX bikes good for trails?

BMX bikes are not good for trails. They have a lot of traction and can be difficult to control on rough terrain.

What BMX bikes do pros ride?

BMX bikes are typically ridden by riders who are looking for a more aggressive ride, with short and wide frames.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • best bmx bikes
  • best bmx bikes 2018
  • best bmx bikes for adults
  • best bmx bikes for street riding
  • best bmx bikes for beginners
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