BMX Size Guide | what size BMX bike should I get?

bmx size guide

Since the late nineteen seventies, BMX bikes have been used for any type of racing. However, if you are new in the bike sector, a lot of things can leave you in confusion. For example, which size of bike should you purchase or what are the parts of a bike. Even what does this term BMX mean?

Besides, probably you have heard that there are several types of BMX bikes. Which are they? Also, which model fits your situation?

Relax! No need to bombard yourself with a lot of unanswered questions about these bikes. If anything, you should read through the BMX size guide. It will not only answer all the highlighted issues but also give a well-detailed chart on the bike sizes. 

What does BMX mean?

BMX simply means bicycle motocross.  These types of bikes are useful for off-road sports such as racing or stunt-riding. BMX bikes were founded in the early 1970s.  Their construction aims at enduring difficult terrains and to increase the load capacity.

They became quite phenomenal, which led to the founding of the international BMX federation in April 1981. The federation held its first championships in 1982. BMX bikes were integrated into union cyclist international in the year 1993.

Types of BMX bikes:

The constructions of BMX bikes keep on varying, which results in different types of bikes. Consequently, the development of a BMX bike will determine the terrains it can handle.

BMX bikes have two broad categories, the freestyle BMX bikes, and the race and dirt jump bikes.

1. Freestyle BMX bikes

As the name suggests, these bikes rarely do they have brakes. In other cases, they come with a straight cable as the brake. Their wheels are approximately 20-inch thick. The international Olympic committee announced in June 2017 that it would be added to the 2020 summer Olympics.

Freestyle riding consists of five disciplines, namely, street bike, park, trails, vert, and flatland bikes.

Street BMX bikes

Most of the street bike riders make use of public spaces. Consequently, their construction focuses on overcoming natural obstacles such as poles ledges and curved walls.  Also, they allow the practice of many tricks regardless of the environment setting.

In fact, this bike rose to prominence due to its unmatchable versatility. Bikes constructed for street riding usually have less wheelbase and quite steeper angles. As a result, their maneuverability is exceptional. However, due to the less base area, these bikes are less stable in comparison to the other variations.

Vert BMX bikes

This discipline of BMX freestyle riding uses two-quarter pipes facing each other of about 10-15 feet tall. The riders go up on each jump, perform an air trick, and then land into a transition of 180 degrees.

Considering the nature of this style, you should do everything to promise your safety. Subsequently, having safety elements should not be a debatable issue. Further, getting a BMX bike with a broader base will enhance your balance.

Park BMX

Park bike construction is meant for human-made obstacles.  Correspondingly, the nature of the park determines the riding styles. The parks can be of concrete, wood, or metal. Concrete parks are commonly built for outdoors. This is due to their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions promising durability.

When getting a bike for park riding, maneuverability is not a big concern. However, it should promise optimum stability alongside durability.


First, let us define what trails are. They refer to paths that lead to jumps with the construction of highly compacted dirt. The lip, which is the part of the dirt jump which is less steep, is built as separate mounds separated by gaps.

Trail riders focus much on smooth flow style from one jump to another while performing tricks. Therefore, their bikes mostly lack the front brake. The rear brake-only style makes it easier to do the bar spins. Also, the trail bikes have the broadest wheelbase for stability while spinning in the air.


Flatland bikes are handy for riding on a smooth or flat surface. It allows the performing of many tricks. The tricks are done majorly by spinning and balancing the body and the bicycle in different positions.

These BMX bikes wheelbases are slightly narrow. Thus they are not too stable but quite handy when it comes to spinning. In c0mparisonto the trail bikes, they have highly reinforced frames.

2. Race and dirt jump bikes

There are commonly known as racing bikes. They have the largest sprocket than other BMX bikes. This feature helps in creating a significant gear ratio, which enables the riders to pedal at high speeds.

Also, its construction focuses on stability with a lengthy frame to increase the riders’ control. Typically, racing BMX bikes have a padded seat and padded bars. Lastly, unlike the freestyle bikes, brakes are a must-have for the racing bikes.

BMX bike parts:

These bikes are known to have fewer components compared to standard bikes. Some of their components include;

Frames- They are the main BMX bike component that holds the wheels, among other parts. Frames come in different sizes. Hence you should check the BMX size guide Whichever the sizes of the frames, they should not compromise on durability. Also, if you get a lighter sized frame, the better.

Wheels- They are the most technical and critical part of any bike. Hence, they do not only determine your stability on the road but can also limit the tricks that you can perform. To start, you should always consider the width of the wheels. The broader are the wheels, the more stable they are. However, in some cases, you may be less concerned by the width of the wheels due to the type of bike you need. For example when purchasing a racing bike. BMX wheels may have single or double rims. The double rims are the best due to their unmatchable maneuverability.

Seat- When purchasing this bike, you should consider a highly padded seat. With that, you will guarantee not only comfort but also durability.

What makes the BMX bike parts different?

  1. Rarely do they use brakes- unlike other bikes, BMX bikes do not make use of brakes. To stop them, use your foot on the rear wheel to provide resistance
  2. Fewer components- this feature increases their versatility  and makes them lighter and faster
  3. Sturdier wheels- they have small-sized wheels and knobby tires. Consequently, their gripping power is at a higher level
  4. Durable- due to the lightweight of these bikes, you are likely to think that they are flimsy. However, their construction is a major of molybdenum steel alloy. Hence, their longevity is unquestionable.

Does size matter in BMX bikes?

How would you feel when sitting on a small-sized chair than your body size? Honestly, if the little chair wouldn’t get broken, then it might be damaged beyond repair. Assuming the chair will bear the body weight, will you even be comfortable? I guess not.

Now let’s look to a bigger size, imagine riding a bike whose handlebars size position is out of your reach. Consequently, you will have to bend while on the seat to reach for them. But are you ready for backaches? I really doubt if you are.

To sum up, having the “right bike size” will save you a lot of problems. Besides, ensuring your comfort it will guarantee the rides control. Consequently, it makes your response in the presence of an emergency fruitful.

Which is the right bike size for me? (BMX Size Chart)

After the above discussion, I guessed you would like to know which the right bike size is for you. If so, know then you got the answer. Below is a BMX size guide chart that highlights the height of the riders and their different frame and wheel sizes. So keep reading.
Height (CM/Feet)
Frame Size
Under 100cm (under 3’3”)
Micro – Mini
99cm -122cm (3’3″ to 4′)
122cm – 127cm (4′ to 4’2″)
134cm – 140cm (4’4″ – 4’6″)
(140cm – 147cm) 4’6” – 4’10”
(147cm – 162cm) 4’10” – 5’4”
(162cm – 172cm) 5’4” – 5’8”
Expert XL
The wheel sizing greatly depends on the body size, look at the below chart to determine the right wheel size
Weight Approx. age bracket Wheel size
Under 55lbs
Under 5 
55 - 80lbs
5 to 10
80 - 155lbs
9 to 12 
115 - 145lbs
12 to 14
145 - 190lbs
14 to 19
20x1.75” 24x1.74”
Over 190
Over 19

What size BMX you will get for the money?

After accessing the size guide chart, probably your next concern is money.  Who would purchase an item without considering its pricing? This helps not only getting a bike that is worth your dollars but also help in looking for a quality item. Let’s dive in now

Up to $550

These level bikes are recommended for BMX beginners. They mostly use unsealed bearings but do not compromise on durability. On a BMX size guide, they are likely to be under20.4


Sealed rings start at this level. They also use cro-mo main tubes. Hence, durability is guaranteed.  They are recommendable for both the intermediate and beginner riders. Moreover, these bikes are likely to have double-wall rims


The real game starts here for experts or anyone who values smoothest riding adventure.  Besides, premium quality components for comfort, you will get a full cro-mo frame. In a BMX size guide, the top tube sizes range from 20.5″-21.”

$1000 and up

Comfort, smooth-riding, multiple riding tricks, name everything exquisite about a bike, and you will find them in this category.  The bike is likely to have cro-mo parts with littering of pro model components.

What should you consider when building a BMX bike?

If you are planning on building or purchasing a BMX bike, there are unique things that you should put into consideration.  The components include:


Wheels have two different constructions, the single wall rims, and double wall trims. The single-wall rims have only one horizontal inner wall. On the other hand, the double-wall rims have two inner horizontal walls on the rim.

All you should consider in wheels is durability and the size. For the size, you can check the size guide chart. When it comes to durability, you can trust the double-wall rims more.


Bearings are the round-shaped pieces in the wheels. There are two types of bearings- unsealed bearings and sealed bearings.  For the latter, they make use of cartridges and not only last longer, but also their emotions are more enhanced.

Nonetheless, unsealed bearings are ideal for flatland or basic bikes. Also, there is the semi-sealed bearing, which is a mixture of the sealed and unsealed rings.

Crank arm lengths

Let me start by highlighting “perfect arm length” does not exist. Different companies offer a variety of arm lengths, so it’s you to choose. Most trail riders prefer 175mm due to its smooth feeling and the significantly enhanced stability.

On the other hand, the park riders are likely to go for a 165cm crank. It is as a result of their highly responsive nature that makes them less prone to accidents

Bar width and rise

Bars come in different sizes. But, the rule of the thumb still remains- the larger the bar size, the better is the bike maneuverability. However, that should not make you go for the most extensive available bar size, least you risk discomfort. You should check the BMX size chart.

Nonetheless, the small bar width will keep you clean and offer a better chance to perform any kind of riding trick. Bar width in the market range between 28.5″ to30.” The Rise sizing starts from 9″ and go up in various increments.

Final words on BMX Size Guide:

If there is anything that you should be serious about when purchasing a bike is the bike size. Do you know what you keep at stake if you don’t? Imagining of backache due to discomfort! What about the failure to control the bike appropriately, leading to accidents? Undeniably, having a BMX size guide for bikes will save you from trouble.

Even though, which is the right bike size for you? I guess you would ask that. This would only be answered by a size chart, which is in this article.  Even so, getting the right size and the wrong type of bike for your terrain wouldn’t salvage anything. That is why I highly recommend reading the entire article to know everything about BMX bikes.

My Bike Review team tried to answer all your latent queries on BMX sizing precisely, though anything we missed let us know!

3 thoughts on “BMX Size Guide | what size BMX bike should I get?”

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