BMX bikes have become increasingly popular not only for professional riders, but also among children and adults. With an increase in popularity, the BMX bike has evolved to better accommodate taller riders and individual riding preferences by introducing a wider range of wheel sizes. As riders move between different wheel sizes, they will notice differences in stability, maneuverability and weight. It is important to choose the right sized bike in relation to your height and desired riding style. Choosing the right sized bike will change the way the bike rides, does tricks and feels when you’re cruising
The original 20-inch BMX bike is considered the true BMX size, and is popular in flatland and dirt jump bikes. The 20-inch bike is best suited to riders between 120-165cm tall. BMX riders choose the 20-inch bike for it maneuverability, making flatland and aerial tricks easier to master. With no gears or suspensions, riders will feel bumps and uneven surfaces with the smaller wheels. The nimble and precise handling on this size makes it a great option for competitive racers. Although BMX bikes were originally designed for racing, many regular riders enjoy the maneuverability of the BMX style and the thicker tyres which can offer a more comfortable ride.
The 24-inch BMX bike, also known as a 'cruiser' BMX is designed for larger riders looking for similar geometry and maneuverability as the 20-inch size. Taller and older riders are recommended for the 24-inch size, usually riders approximately 150cm tall will be best suited to this size. While the bigger size still offers a lightweight feel with precise handling, it is equipped with a larger frame making it heavier and therefore more difficult to preform tricks. The slightly bigger sizing of the 24-inch bike offers more comfort, making it a suitable option for leisurely rides while still capturing the essence of the BMX style.
Although less popular, a 26-inch BMX bike is a great option for bigger riders looking for the comfort and style of the BMX bike but also wanting a decent size that won't feel too awkward for tall riders. The 26-inch size will best suit riders between 165-185cm tall. As the popularity of the freestyle BMX began to die down, the demand for bigger BMX bikes began to grow. The 26-inch bike provides comfort and increased tread, making it a great BMX bike to cruise on.
The 27.5-inch wheel is not commonly found in BMX bikes, but it can be a great option for riders looking for more balance and better traction during their rides. This size would suit taller adults anywhere between 170-190cm tall. For riding on bumpy and uneven surfaces, riders may prefer the increased weight on the 27.5-inch wheel, as the bike is more inclined to stay straight as opposed to bouncing around the trail. This size is fairly uncommon in BMX bikes as the larger and heavier wheel provide less maneuverability, making it difficult to weave through a trail.
The range of sizes for BMX bikes provide open options in terms of what you want to gain from your ride and what will give you the most comfort. The most important factor in bike selection is size, choosing the correct size will influence how the bike will handle and how enjoyable it will be to ride in relation to the rider's height.
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