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  1. #1
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    Should I get my kid a BMX bike?

    Oldest is six. Loves to ride more than anything (except maybe skiing). We ride trails regularly, but realistically he and the neighbor kid spend HOURS every day riding on our driveways and right around the house. He rides a 20" Islabike (thanks detrusor) and is working on wheelies, small jumps, etc. He wants a BMX bike. We do not have a BMX track here or any bike parks other than a couple small pump tracks (bikes banned at local skate park), but we do have some parks with great street-type features that the skaters sometimes use.

    I know next to nothing about anything BMX related, except that I learned to ride on Schwinn Predator and I remember when an older kid showed up on a Haro with full pegs and a gyro it blew our fuckin' minds.

    My question is: will the kid be able to learn things on the BMX bike that he wouldn't or that would be harder on his 20" mountain bike? Will it help his bike handling skills overall? If I get him one, should I look for one with a gyro (if this question is insane go ahead and laugh)? I was watching some videos and I see most BMX street riders don't use brakes, which seems insane to be but whatever. He is getting brakes, obviously.

    edit: if yes, please suggest bikes.

  2. #2
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    I dont know what's what in bmx nowadays but that's what I learned on and spent way too much time of my misguided youth on(and skateboards).

    All I know is you should give him a copy of RAD with his new bike.

  3. #3
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    Lost me a bike quivers for 6 year olds. But I know that it's me.
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lifelinksplit View Post
    All I know is you should give him a copy of RAD with his new bike.
    and BMX bandits. That was a great 80ís movie as well. But Cru Jones will set him straight. Hell yes get the kid a good bmx.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooley12 View Post
    Lost me a bike quivers for 6 year olds. But I know that it's me.
    In normal times I would just say no but we are at home all day every day and if a $250 bike will provide entertainment + skills it's an exceedingly easy call right now.

  6. #6
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    I had a bmx growing up, an old Kuwahara I bought ( my parents) from a garage sale in the neighborhood. I rode the shit out of that thing... probably more then my mountain bike and it was just like you said. In front of the house, building ramps, all of that jazz. I’d totally get him one but I have no idea what to suggest as i haven’t been paying to bmx bikes in a long time

  7. #7
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    Id say definitely a yes. I wish i rode one as a young buck. Good beater bikes around the hood. No derailleurs to get ripped off
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  8. #8
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    If you have the means, absolutely get him a BMX rig. He will learn things he would never have the opportunity to on a mtb until he's much older, if at all. (Manuals, jumping, etc.) It will make him a more competent trail rider too. More than likely, his mtb is close to 40% or more of his body weight and built for stability. There is a limit to what he can do, particularly if its on the street.

    Skip the gyro, stick with a back brake only. If your kindergartner starts chucking the bars and doing footjam tailwhips, you can just run his brake cable and housing long and he'll be fine. If you have a pump track nearby, he'll be entertained for months. It's a totally different experience on a bike, and it will absolutely make him a better rider.

    Remember race bikes are really for racing, mainly in the wheels/tires department, micro/mini bmx tires are pinner. If you ever get a track/start racing its much easier to run a freestyle bike on the track than a race bike on the street.

    My kid started on a pedal bike last year right before her fourth birthday so we put her in a bmx skills camp to get her some confidence and build some skills, which quickly turned into friday night racing that she just couldn't get enough of. She made me drag out my cruiser and get in on it too, it's been an absolute blast. We're really missing it this year. Great community of people and friendly competition for the kids and us old guys.

  9. #9
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    BMX is a gateway drug.
    Next up is smoking meth with gator rogowski.


    (yes, get him the damn fun/pain machine)
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  10. #10
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    And a skate too. Cab is still the coolest out there and a good follow. A real class act. I like this pic/post too. Exchange ghe skate for a bmx or whateverClick image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZomblibulaX View Post
    If you have the means, absolutely get him a BMX rig. He will learn things he would never have the opportunity to on a mtb until he's much older, if at all. (Manuals, jumping, etc.) It will make him a more competent trail rider too. More than likely, his mtb is close to 40% or more of his body weight and built for stability. There is a limit to what he can do, particularly if its on the street.

    Skip the gyro, stick with a back brake only. If your kindergartner starts chucking the bars and doing footjam tailwhips, you can just run his brake cable and housing long and he'll be fine. If you have a pump track nearby, he'll be entertained for months. It's a totally different experience on a bike, and it will absolutely make him a better rider.

    Remember race bikes are really for racing, mainly in the wheels/tires department, micro/mini bmx tires are pinner. If you ever get a track/start racing its much easier to run a freestyle bike on the track than a race bike on the street.

    My kid started on a pedal bike last year right before her fourth birthday so we put her in a bmx skills camp to get her some confidence and build some skills, which quickly turned into friday night racing that she just couldn't get enough of. She made me drag out my cruiser and get in on it too, it's been an absolute blast. We're really missing it this year. Great community of people and friendly competition for the kids and us old guys.
    All of this. Yes, get a bmx.

  12. #12
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    Should I get my kid a BMX bike?

    Without reading anything but the title, Iíd say that unless your kid needs a bike because she canít drive because of a DUI then fuck yes you should get your kid a BMX bike. In the other case Iíd suggest a Wally World twin suspension MTB with a low seat and saggy rear shock.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    All of this. Yes, get a bmx.
    x3

    Currently riding a 20" MTB = 16" BMX. Bike options:

    Haro Downtown 16 is a solid choice under $300: https://www.danscomp.com/haro-bikes-...29222/p1118295

    But, Cult Juvenile 16 is waaay worth the extra $70: https://jrbicycles.com/collections/l...bmx-bike-black

    Per the specs the Cult is 4.5 lbs lighter!


    edit: Redline Pitboss is another one to check out. Reportedly 14.5 lbs
    https://www.redlinebicycles.com/proline-pitboss-61.html
    https://www.americancycle.com/produc...oline-pitboss/
    Last edited by Dantheman; 05-04-2020 at 09:50 AM.

  14. #14
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    find a decent used one. heís going to outgrow it anyway and thereís already enough stuff in the world.
    They got a name for the winners in the world

    http://procatinator.com/?cat=80

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    find a decent used one. he’s going to outgrow it anyway and there’s already enough stuff in the world.
    Quality used 16" BMX bikes are not common. You might get lucky, but you could also spend all year looking and never score one.

  16. #16
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    Yeah, that's true. One thing about living in cities is that it does seem to spoil you for used goods that you probably just wouldn't find in a smaller market. Are these 16" Mongoose big box store bikes quality enough for a six year old?
    They got a name for the winners in the world

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    Yeah, that's true. One thing about living in cities is that it does seem to spoil you for used goods that you probably just wouldn't find in a smaller market. Are these 16" Mongoose big box store bikes quality enough for a six year old?
    those are the definition of "already enough stuff in the world."

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    Are these 16" Mongoose big box store bikes quality enough for a six year old?
    If you think a 30 lb bike is fine for a 40 lb kid, then yeah, they're great.

    Big box store bikes aren't real bikes. They have two wheels and pedals and handlerbars, but they're fake "bikes" that absolutely limit a kid's ability to improve. A particularly strong and talented kid might be able to do some cool shit on one, which will probably lead to the fork snapping in half and trip to the ER/OR. No Walmart bike should be jumped, ever, by anyone, of any age.

    Be real patient in the used market, or buy the real bike new, use it for a few years, then sell it for 50-75% of what you paid for it. Net ownership cost works about the same as the Walmart bike, and the other benefits are incalculable.

  19. #19
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    Are these too crappy to consider if they were in your hood? They were some of the first that came up on craigslist:

    https://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/b...116277859.html (260 retail?)
    https://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/b...117675038.html (325 retail?)

    I think this illustrates why i will never buy some fancy mountain bike, i always forget that you have to spend a lot of money if you really want to have a good time
    They got a name for the winners in the world

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dantheman View Post
    Quality used 16" BMX bikes are not common. You might get lucky, but you could also spend all year looking and never score one.
    Also there's a little brother who is also a ripper so this will get through two kids and then we'll sell it or give it to a friend.

    Thanks for the info, Dan and others. I don't know enough to tell whether the geometry is much different than the Cult, though the Redline seems more race-oriented? Or are they close enough that the Redline should win out because it is so much lighter?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ml242 View Post
    Are these too crappy to consider if they were in your hood? They were some of the first that came up on craigslist:

    https://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/b...116277859.html (260 retail?)
    https://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/b...117675038.html (325 retail?)

    I think this illustrates why i will never buy some fancy mountain bike, i always forget that you have to spend a lot of money if you really want to have a good time
    Those both actually look pretty decent, other than having coaster brakes. Al frames with normal geometry, good-looking tires. REI lists the weight for the Cannondale as 19 lbs. I can't find a weight spec for the GT but I bet it's similar or less. I bet that GT looks a lot better in person and would be a pretty good bike if you pulled off the chainguard, kickstand and brake (useless weight with the coaster hub) and added some better pedals. Maybe even strip it and repaint a bitchin' color. From here it looks like a score for $70.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 05-04-2020 at 03:20 PM.

  22. #22
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    I also know nothing of current BMX bikes. For a kid who is 5'1" and riding a 26" mountain bike what size bmw bike would he be on?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Thanks for the info, Dan and others. That Redline at 14.5 lbs seems like the way to go? None of the shops in town seem to carry 16" bmx bikes.
    A few thoughts:

    If weight is the #1 concern, Redline. 4 lbs is a ton of weight on any bike, let alone a 16" bike. Hard to ignore that when the cost is the same.

    The Cult is a freestyle bike, while the Redline leans much more toward the race side. If you think there might be a lot of dorps to flat maybe go with the Cult. Also, big(ger) kids seem to love little bikes. My boy (10) still rides the 16" micro DJ bike I built him. They may still be riding this bike when they're bigger and better at breaking stuff.

    The Redline's 36x16 gearing is 2.25:1, while 25x9 on the Cult is 2.77. The Redline will accelerate easier but spin out sooner. Ponder this carefully because changing gear ratios on these bikes is an expensive PITA. Similar to the previous point, the Cult is probably a better bike long-term for this reason.

    edit: For reference, that 16" micro DJ my kid has is geared 36x13/2.77 and it works really well.
    Last edited by Dantheman; 05-04-2020 at 03:22 PM.

  24. #24
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    Awesome, thanks. Our hood is flat as a pancake so it looks like the Cult is a winner (plus it's like 4x as badass looking).

  25. #25
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    Should I get my kid a BMX bike?

    So Someone can correct me if my info or line of thought is outdated here but I think not.

    I mean if the big store is like REI or JAX, then Yeah but for Wally specifically, no. Every bike they sell, regardless of what it is designed to look like, (and upon ensuring that the fork isnít on backwards) is a light duty commuter/townie (that needs every goddamn bolt checked for proper torque upon delivery).

    Like you, I also had a Predator, like an 83. I sold it at my parents garage sale so I could get this POS Columbia from Wally because it had pegs and a ďrotorĒ (gyro). Thing sucked so fucking bad. Only, I did not realize this as a kid. I mean, the rear pegs were some shit that was like nerf bars, like, hoops that you stood on. Stupid. Made to look cool and, sure, I rode it hundreds of miles but it was a POS. Of course you could go off a jump but it didnít inspire tricks or air.

    I went on to just riding mtb and road from there but now I regret that shit bike. The few times Iíd ride borrowed BMX bikes around (later, like late 90s, early 00s) they were different. The geometry and the setup inspired me to do simple stuff like small air and manuals and wheelies and whatnot almost immediately just inspired confidence. The wally bike just sucked, it bred fear and intimidation.


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