Three best adult BMX bikes

Allen Foster

Tricks and brake cables are not the best of friends.

Riding is a lifestyle. You don't stop just because you reach a certain age. Even if you donated your beloved childhood bike to a worthy charity when you started a family, your kid is now old enough to start riding, so it means you get to buy a bike, too! It's only fair. How are you going to pass down all of those sick tricks if you can't demonstrate with a BMX bike of your own?

But times have changed. The specialized models of today are quite different from the bike you had growing up. Don't worry. After reading through this quick guide, you'll be fully up to speed and ready to buy the perfect BMX bike for your needs.

Considerations when choosing adult BMX bikes

The type of riding you plan to do is the biggest factor in determining what kind of BMX bike you need. The following are your options.

Street: A BMX street bike needs to be built tough enough to withstand the rigors of unyielding concrete and asphalt. Heavier isn't bad if it translates to durability.

Park: If you're riding indoor parks, you need a lighter bike so you can get the big air needed to execute those impossible tricks. Thinner tires are okay in this type of environment because there are no traction concerns.

Flatland: This is the ballet of BMX. You want a frame designed for flatland riding, front and rear pegs, tangle-free brakes, and a rear hub that allows your bike to roll backward.

Dirt: For dirt riding, tires need to be knobby to get the best traction on potentially loose terrain. The bike also needs to be solidly constructed so it can withstand midair bails.

Racetrack: If you're racing, you'll need a bike with a large chainring so you can go faster. Additionally, you'll need brakes, tires that can find traction on the track, and the lightest weight bike you can find.

Adult BMX bike features


Remember, thinner tires (1.5 inches) are for speed and thicker tires (2.5 inches) offer better balance and traction. Beyond that, there are three types of tread to consider.

Slick: These tires have little tread. They're best for flatland riding, but some riders use them for indoor parks as well.

Knobby: Knobby tires have deep grooves that allow the rider to get better traction when riding on dirt or trails.

Multi-purpose: A multi-purpose tire is somewhere between a slick and a knobby. It's best for riders who use their bike in a variety of situations. It's also a good choice for street and park riding.


Q. What differentiates size on a BMX bike?

A. For trick bikes and most racing bikes, the tires are all the same size: 20 inches. The way size is differentiated is by the length of the bike's top tube, the bar that runs from the seat to the handlebars. As a general guide, 18.5 inches is suitable for a five-foot-tall rider; 22 inches is best for a rider who is six feet or taller. Ultimately, it comes down to preference and comfort.

Q. Do I need to spend $800 on a bike to be happy?

A. No. Many seasoned riders are finding great rides for less than half that price. Entry-level bikes start at $150, but they will be heavier and might need a little modification. If you've been riding an inexpensive bike and you're ready to step up, $400 to $600 can get you an impressive model with pro features.

Adult BMX bikes we recommend

Best of the best: Mongoose Legion L20 Freestyle Bike 

Our take: A solidly built bike with a 20-inch top tube designed for street, park, and flatland riding.

What we like: This all-purpose, fun bike has a durable steel frame and fork, an oversize rear axle, 2.3-inch tires (for stability), and a 360° brake rotor that offers tangle-free braking. Also comes with four freestyle pegs so riders can perform a number of more advanced tricks.

What we dislike: Because of the design of the 360° brake rotor, the brakes can be tougher to apply than expected.

Best bang for your buck: Mongoose Legion L60 Freestyle Bike 

Our take: A tough bike with a 20.5-inch top tube that has a few pro features added to the mix.

What we like: A reliable three-piece Chromoly crank drives this durable bike. The 2.3-inch tires provide a stable, comfortable ride, making it a good choice for flatland, park, and street riding. The assembly is fairly easy, even if this is your first build.

What we dislike: If you're the type of rider who still uses a kickstand, this bike does not come with one.

Choice 3: Redline Bikes MX24 Race Cruiser 

Our take: A light and powerful racing bike that can support even larger adult riders.

What we like: The aluminum frame makes this cruiser sturdy yet nimble, and the larger wheels are a welcome feature for adults who feel a little uncomfortable on 20-inch wheels. There's great peace of mind knowing the frame has a limited lifetime warranty.

What we dislike: This bike is designed to be what it is. If you use it as it was intended to be used, there's not much to dislike.

Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.


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