Once your kid’s off the balance bike, you might want to consider getting them a BMX. A kids’ BMX bike will help the young one get adjusted to this type of ride. But what’s the perfect choice? How do you know which bike to buy? In this entry, we’ve outlined a list of the best BMX bikes for kids, as well as a buyer’s guide.
5 Best BMX Bikes for Kids
Schwinn Predator Team
Back in 1983, the Schwinn Predator Team 24 hit the shelves. This model has turned into quite a legend over time. Well, Schwinn has decided to take a run at the Predator Team concept and bring it back. It’s a part of Schwinn’s Classic collection bike series.
The new model features aluminum alloy rims, comp 3 gum wall tires, rattrap pedals, and caliper brakes. Everything from the 1” headset to decals looks identical to the Team 24 original model. This goes for the top tube as well; it’s 21.5” long and 30lbs heavy.
Now, the bars, the fork, and the frame are all made out of Hi-Ten (high-tensile steel). This is the weakest steel type used on bikes. The original Team 24 model used 4130 Chromoly here, which works much better than Hi-Ten. However, this does keep the price of this bike low. Plus, kids aren’t heavy enough to absolutely need Chromoly support.
If your kid just wants to cruise around the neighborhood and have fun, the Schwinn Predator Team makes for a fantastic option. Yes, the old model boasted a better build, but we’re sure that your kid is going to have a lot of fun with this one, as well.
Pros of the Schwinn Predator Team
- Looks exactly like the old-school Predator
- Very fun to ride
- Not overly expensive
- Aluminum alloy rims
Cons of the Schwinn Predator Team
- Hi-Ten steel
When you look at the price tag here, you may think that this is a cheap, low-quality model. In reality, though, this bike features a quality build, is stylish, and offers a fantastic ride for your kid. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t recommend this model for kids that are over 100lbs.
With the cool front pegs, the Kent Ambush is truly a BMX bike. Thanks to the kickstand, it will remain upright upon stopping.
You can assemble this model in a matter of minutes, provided you have all the essential tools. You can even have your kid do it, but be sure to watch over them during the process. The Kent Ambush is also the king of basic BMX tricks, so if your kid is learning the ropes of BMXing, the Ambush is more than a reliable option.
Unfortunately, the chain is made out of plastic and breaks relatively easily. It is simple to replace (much simpler than the metal one), but this means that you’ll always need to have a spare one, just to be safe.
The welding job could be better, as well. This is why the maximum rider weight of 100lbs is recommended.
Pros of the Kent Ambush
- Very affordable
- Kickstand for keeping the bike upright
- Easy to assemble
Cons of the Kent Ambush
- 100lbs weight limit
Don’t expect your kid to be doing any tricks while the training wheels on this model are on. But like a real BMX bike, the Mongoose Switch features a foot brake, which helps kids get used to it. Take the training wheels off, and the Switch becomes fairly impressive.
Thanks to the bike’s low frame, your kid can start learning how to balance the bike after the training wheels come off.
Even though this is very much a children’s bike, it certainly looks professional (aside from the training wheels). The colorful paintwork make the Switch look like a real adult bike. The performance is also satisfactory, especially for a children’s bike.
The target age range here, however, is between five and seven years. You can go a year up or down, but this is far from a long-term model.
For safety, in addition to the foot brake, the Mongoose Switch is equipped with a wheel guard. With training wheels on, this is a pretty safe model. Still, having your kid wear the helmet and proper padding goes without saying.
Pros of the Mongoose Switch
- Optional training wheels
- Low frame for great balance
- Wheel guard included
Cons of the Mongoose Switch
- Not recommended for children over seven
This BMX is recommended for children ages four through six. The recommended height is 42”-49”. Despite these recommendations, children over the age of six and taller than 49” have been known to ride this bike without a problem.
Thanks to the easily-adjustable seat with quick-release technology, you don’t have to worry about your kid making the adjustments. Still, we advise you to follow the recommendations from Huffy.
The seat is padded for maximum comfort. The steel frame is also very durable, which is excellent, considering that your kid’s likely to cause solid wear and tear to this bike over the years.
Yes, this bike is recommended for boys, but it’s a perfectly fine option for girls, as well.
In addition to Spectre Green, Huffy 16” comes in a wide variety of different colors and design options.
Pros of the Huffy 16”
- Easily-adjustable seat
- Padded seat
- Durable steel frame
Cons of the Huffy 16”
- Four-six age limit
Unlike most other bikes on this list, Hiland 20” doesn’t come with a particular age limit. As long as your kid is 4’4” or taller, they’ll fit this model perfectly.
So, you can expect your child to ride this bike for quite some time. You’ll find it difficult to separate it from your kid, as well. It offers 360-degree handlebar rotation (kids can’t get enough of this), and it’s very easy to operate.
There are four pegs on it, two per wheel, which further boost the riding experience. Plus, the pegs allow for some amazing tricks.
Hiland 20” boasts the 25x9T gearing, which is truly a breeze to use. The double U-brakes are also very straightforward and bring extra safety to the table. Thanks to the broad seat, it’s also comfortable for all boys and girls out there.
This model is very much a starter bike, but it’s going to keep your kid occupied for years to come. The only downside here is that it’s not perfect for kids under 4’4”.
Pros of the Hiland 20”
- No age limit
- 360-degree handlebar rotation
- Easy to operate
- Four pegs (two per wheel)
- Brilliant gearing
Cons of the Hiland 20”
- Not ideal for people of 4’4” or shorter
Each of the BMX models from the above list is a great option. However, knowing what to keep an eye out for when looking at a BMX bike can go a long way to helping you make the best choice possible.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with the ultimate buyer’s guide to help you find the best BMX bikes for kids.
Types of BMX Bikes
BMX bikes are divided in two ways: by type and size. There are three main types of BMX bikes: BMX, Freestyle, and Jump. BMX bikes are dirt-ready, have knobby tires, strong rear brakes, and a light frame.
Freestyle bikes are made for tricks and stunts, and have very beefy wheels and frames. They also feature axle pegs and tires made for the pavement. Jump BMX bikes are a combination of BMX and Freestyle bikes. For a kid’s bike, it’s recommended that you go with the BMX type.
Size-wise, there are four BMX categories: Mini, Junior, Expert, and Pro. Mini bikes have a low height and small tires. They are intended for children ages four through to six. Junior BMX bikes have a larger frame, bigger tires, and are made for ages six to nine.
Expert bikes are recognizable by a longer top tube (compared to Mini and Junior bikes). They are made for children aged between nine and 13. Finally, Pro BMX bikes are made for anyone 12 or older. The frame is full-size, and so is the entire bike.
Most BMX bikes come pre-assembled, especially when we’re talking about children’s models. But some don’t. If you really want to try and get your kid into BMX bikes, we recommend having them assemble the model you got them, under your supervision, of course.
So, the aim here is a fairly straightforward assembly. As a rule of thumb, the fewer parts involved, the better.
The necessary assembly tools differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. Here’s a list of the tools that you may need to use.
- 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 8mm Allen wrenches
- A 9.525mm wrench extension socket
- 15mm, 17mm, and 19mm sockets
- 15mm open-end wrench
- Scissors/wire cutters
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flat-blade screwdriver
- Air pump
- Rubber mallet
Keep in mind that most BMX manufacturers won’t feature any tools inside the package. Even if you’re lucky enough to get some tools in your shipment, you can rest assured that they won’t be enough.
So, make sure that you’ve got all the tools off the list above before your shipment arrives. Either that, or get a one-piece package.
The weight capacity of a BMX bike depends on its size category. Mini bikes can support up to 75lbs of weight. Junior bikes can go up to 110lbs, while the Expert bikes can support up to 130lbs. Pro BMX bikes support all weights.
However, subcategories do exist here. For instance, the Micro Mini category for children of ages five and younger can support anyone less than 60lbs in weight. The Expert XL size brings up the category’s weight limit to 150lbs. Although Pro XL and Pro XXL categories do exist, like the regular Pro type, these can support any weight.
Your kid’s height can also impact the bike type choice. As a rule of thumb, focusing on the weight department paints a clearer picture of what kind of a bike fits your kid the best.
As your kid grows, be sure to get them the next BMX type that can support their weight. If your kid is past the recommended weight for a bike, the frame might break and injury may occur.
If you aren’t that into bikes but have kids who are, you should at least make an effort to learn about some of the most basic parts. Remember, before you make a purchase, you should take a look at a bike up-close.
Spokes, for instance, are an incredibly important part of every bike wheel. Essentially, they are rods that connect the rim of a wheel to the hub, transferring the load between these two parts. The better the spokes, the more weight they’ll be able to take on.
Now, cheap, basic steel spokes won’t do a great job with a bike’s overall performance. But keep in mind that you might be purchasing a bike that’s going to be in use for one or two years.
So, when buying a Pro-level bike for your kid, make sure that you get one with quality, stainless-steel or high-carbon steel spokes. If you’re buying a Junior-level bike, you can go with the cheaper option.
In any case, spokes aren’t likely to compromise the rider’s safety, just hinder the overall performance.
Most bikes feature brake levers on the wheel. Typically, the right lever activates the brakes on the back wheel, while the left lever activates the ones at the front. Most BMX bikes feature only rear-wheel brakes, although some are equipped with both.
You’ll note that some of the models on the list have foot brakes. These work by pedaling backward and can help the rider do some fun tricks. However, the lack of such a brake isn’t a huge downside for your kid. Wheel brake levers are much safer than the foot brakes.
In some instances, you might find models that have both a foot brake and a wheel lever one. As a rule of thumb, the foot brake here is used for the rear wheel, while the lever is used for the front one.
The list above covers some of the best BMX bikes for kids that you can find out there. But if you’re wondering which one is the best overall, we’d have to go with Hiland 20”.
It’s great for older children, and it’s going to last them a long while. In addition to the durable build, it has 360-degree handlebar rotation, front and back pegs, and is very easy to operate. Your kid is going to love this bike, as long as they’re 4’4” or taller.