94 Bath Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire DE7 8FE
Unit 14 RO24, Jarman Way, Royston, Herts, SG8 5FE
179 Empress Road, Southampton, SO14 0JW
176 Saltmarket, Glasgow G1 5LA
57 Exeter Rd, Kingsteignton, DEVON, TQ12 3HY
If you aren't buying second hand, there are a number of options for buying a new bike. Large American retailers like Dan's Comp and J&R have a huge range in stock and will ship to the UK, but for the chance to see what you're getting, try for size and above all, get specialist knowledge and aftercare in person, you can't beat your local specialist BMX retailer. Importantly, each of these retailers supports riders on the race circuit!
221-225 Camberwell Road London SE5 0HG
249 Stockport Rd, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 2BS
Unit 1, Sheene Court, Sheene Road, Bedminster, Bristol BS3 4EG
47-51 Wallgate, Wigan WN1 1BE
97 Carrington St Nottingham NG1 7FE
Rear hubs are where technology makes a difference. Basic ones that come with many entry level bikes don't offer as many points of engagement (where the hub "bites" - more points means better power transfer) so a major upgrade is a new rear hub and handbuilt wheel. A lot of racers just love how noisy the top hubs are!
Why do people change the parts on their BMXs?
Although you can race a BMX straight out of the box (well, once it's been assembled by a qualified/competent mechanic we mean)there are always things you can change.
Some riders swap certain things straight away on completes, such as grips and pedals, because they have a personal preference for a particular brand. Even if you chose to run a complete bike stock (with no changes) you'll end up replacing perishable things like brake pads and tyres when they wear out.
Upgrades are options that are better than the part they replace. Things like cranks and the rear hub are the most expensive parts on a race BMX after the frame (although in some cases, they can be as much as the frame!) Shimano's DXR cranks are the most common with good cause; they're stiff (so the rider's power isn't lost through flexing) and reasonably light. Cliq and Profile make great cranks too.
This size guide is just that; a guide. Human-type people come in all shapes and sizes. Try before you buy!*
*a bike, not a person.
One gear, one brake, no suspension. BMX race bikes are pretty simple, so many riders and parents learn to fettle (or tinker, mess about with, or whatever you like to call it) their own bikes. It's a nice way of taking care of your equipment.
The most expensive parts of the bike are the frame, the cranks and the wheels (largely because the rear hub can be so expensive.)
There are a few options when it comes to buying a bike;
Ask for advice from the club before buying, whichever option you go for.
Some companies don't offer certain sizes, others will have Expert XL for example. Most companies have sizing information on their websites if you want to get exact details.
The XL is either Extra Large, or Extra Long, both tell you the bike is sized for a taller rider.
The length of a frame is the Top Tube length,"bigger" frames are longer. Some sizes, usually the XXL's and longer (for those that have the potential to play basketball, there are XXXL frames!) are only available as frames, rather than as complete bikes.
Getting the right size of bike really does matter once a rider has decided they want to get into racing properly. Because the bikes are small, to make them so responsive, size matters.
Unfortunately there isn't an industry-wide standard for sizing, with small differences between manufacturers. It's worth asking if you're not sure and definitely worth having a test ride of different sizes at your local club.
If you're itching to try this brilliant sport out, but don't have a race bike, there's no need to worry. Most clubs have bikes they'll be more than happy to let you use for a session or few to get a taste for things. If you have a BMX that's for street/skatepark use it'll be fine on a race track as long as you remove the pegs first. You can take to the track on a mountain bike too but lower the seat first, to get it out of the way. The important thing is that you have a go, rather than watching thinking of reasons not to!
But first an important point: You don't need a race BMX to try BMX racing!
Now we've got that out of the way, we can explain race bikes in more detail; Regular BMX race bikes have 20" wheels (apart from "Micro" bikes for the very young racers with 18" wheels), with Cruisers having 24" wheels. Cruisers are a bit more forgiving than their small wheeled counterparts.
Race bikes are solely designed for going fast round a track, they're lighter than the BMX bikes most people first think of when BMX is mentioned. "Street/park" BMXs are overbuilt to withstand serious abuse, whatever urban obstacles the rider wants to take on. Race bikes are much lighter!
Street/Park BMXs are made of steel, race bikes are made of much lighter aluminium, or if you're really flash, carbon fibre!A street bike will also usually be a bit shorter in length than its race cousin.
BMX bikes are tiny when compared to their mountain and road cousins but there's a very good reason for that. Their small size makes them extremely manoeuvrable. We look at what makes a race bike.