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The Best Beginner BMX Bikes + Custom Upgrade Advice

Looking for a new BMX bike? Here’s what you need to know before buying.

Buying a bike is a big decision.

You want to get the best BMX, for as cheap as possible.

But at the same time, you don’t want to be going so cheap that parts constantly break, and you end up spending money on repairs.

Especially when this cash could’ve just gotten you a better bike in the first place!

Let’s get to it.

The Best Beginner BMX Bike For 2021 (Under $200)

You’re certainly not short of options when choosing your beginner BMX bike.

If in doubt, refer to our best BMX bike brands list here.

Mongoose Legion L20

best beginner bmxAccording to Mongoose, the list price on the Legion L20 is a shockingly low RRP for the 2021; under $200!

And, it’s sometimes on deal, so it can be found even cheaper.

Mongoose have focused on creating a lightweight bike that’s multi-purpose. So, if you want to try out flatland, street, park and dirt jumping, you’ll be able to do it all.

They produce a range of “L” model bikes, from the L10 through to the L100. So, it’s not quite at the bottom of the range.

A quick search online shows it’s got some really-good reviews.

The only real negative reviews relate to the assembly of the bike.

When ordering online, you’ll be sent the bike in bits. And, that means you’re going to need to bust out the tool kit.

Luckily, complicated parts such as the crank come pre-assembled.

From a more technical standpoint, it comes with 20” wheels, and a 20” top-tube like all full-sized BMX bikes.

The L20 comes standard with 7.5” riser bars, so bigger riders are probably going to want to replace them with something much larger. Otherwise, perfecting tricks and jumps is going to be difficult.

It’s got a basic U-brake, with all the parts being interchangeable. So, when the time comes to upgrade parts, there’s going to be no problem swapping them out.

Standard gearing is 25×9 which is perfect for street cruising, but doesn’t affect performance on the trail, street or at the park.

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Best Beginner BMX Bike For Higher Budgets (Under $300)

Eastern Cobra

eastern bmxNow, if you’re looking for a cheap bike as a beginner to BMX, the Mongoose is perfect.

But, if you have a budget of around $300, we’d be leaning towards something else; the Eastern Cobra.

The bike is lighter, better looking, but there’s something more important; the components are much higher quality too.

One example is the fact the wheelset uses a fully sealed hub. For bikes under $300 in 2021, this isn’t very common. This means they’ll take a much bigger beating, and last longer.

Your rear wheel is going to be taking a lot of abuse. And, even some of the best beginner BMX bikes won’t stand up it.

That means one thing; an expensive replacement rear wheel.

So, if you’re truly on a tight budget; head for the Mongoose. It’s about the best you’ll get for the cash.

Bigger budget? Head straight for the Eastern Cobra.

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The Best BMX Upgrades For Beginner Bikes

As you transition from a BMX beginner to intermediate and beyond, you’ll want to learn how to build a BMX that suits your riding style.

This doesn’t mean starting from scratch. You can use your beginner BMX as a donor bike, and simply upgrade and customise parts.

So, where do you start?

bmx bars

#1 – Bars

Even on some of the best bikes, the bars tend to suck.

They are rarely lightweight, not wide enough, and they look, well…

The Best BMX Bars

So, what are the best BMX bars?

That’s not an easy question to answer. A lot of this comes down to your height and riding style.

But, if you’re looking for recommendations, the Odyssey produce some pretty-good bars.

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bmx grips

#2 – Grips

Like bars, BMX grips tend to suck too. Maybe the brands manufacturing bikes know they are the first thing to go in the bin.

Buying better grips with a grip-lock will mean your grips don’t turn on the bars, you get fewer vibrations, and they’re more comfortable.

The Best BMX Grips

So, what are the best BMX grips?

ODI produce a decent range of grips, and not just for BMX bikes.

I’ve had some on my off-road bikes before, and noticed a reduction in blisters after long rides in comparison to the OEM grips that were fitted before.

Expect to pay $15-30 depending on the model you go for.

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bmx tire

#3 – Tires

Next, we’ve got tires.

And, tire choice for your BMX comes down to where you ride mostly.

Dirt, street, or park?

The Best BMX Tires For Street & Park

For street and park, you’ll want something with outright grip and durability.

The Odyssey Hawks are one of the most popular.

The Best BMX Tires For Dirt

Dirt tires are slightly different to those suitable for street and park.

Being off-road, you need more grip. And for that, you’re going to need more tread and flex in the tire.

If we had one recommendation, it would be the Odyssey Aitken dirt tire.

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bmx pedals

#4 – Pedals

Aftermarket BMX pedals aren’t just going to look better, they’ll give a better grounding for your feet; that means more grip.

The Best BMX Pedals

Looking for recommendations for the best BMX pedals?

We’d be leaning towards the Fyxation Gates, Redline Monster and Primo Super Tenderizer pedals.

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What’s Next?

Thanks for reading our quick guide to the best beginner BMX bikes, and how to build a BMX using custom parts.

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