BMX park bike advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    BMX park bike advice

    There was some great BMX advice on here a while ago and I can't seem to find it. Looking for a BMX park bike for my 8 year old. He is 52". Wanting something to go play around with at the pump track and the skate park. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    16" bike is what you want: Fit misfit, United Recruit, Cult Juvenile, Sunday Blueprint, Wethepeopleseed.... I'm sure I'm missing some. My kid is the same size and loves his 16" United Recruit. It's got red rims and dice for valves. Super cool. He uses it for all that stuff. Smart do the BMX fun stuff, it adds a lot of variety to biking and really builds their skills in cool ways while keeping them from getting bored.

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    16" bike is what you want: Fit misfit, United Recruit, Cult Juvenile, Sunday Blueprint, Wethepeopleseed.... I'm sure I'm missing some. My kid is the same size and loves his 16" United Recruit. It's got red rims and dice for valves. Super cool. He uses it for all that stuff. Smart do the BMX fun stuff, it adds a lot of variety to biking and really builds their skills in cool ways while keeping them from getting bored.
    They are all about the same price. The Kink Carve was the other one is in this price range. Do these bikes have reputations? Is there a ranking of them?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    They are all about the same price. The Kink Carve was the other one is in this price range. Do these bikes have reputations? Is there a ranking of them?
    Kink yeah, another good one. Fit and Cult are kind of the most well known. Cult guys moved away from Fit a while back and did their own company. The Cult Juvenile is the most known bike but they are all about the same at this level in my opinion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Kink yeah, another good one. Fit and Cult are kind of the most well known. Cult guys moved away from Fit a while back and did their own company. The Cult Juvenile is the most known bike but they are all about the same at this level in my opinion.
    We ended up getting the Kink Carve 16". Everything we read has the sizing as him on an 18" but we are going to defer to you the experienced dad. Any advice on getting him some experience at the skate park. We go to pump tracks, skills tracks and mtb a lot. He has zero experience at a skate park. Only time we went you could tell it was a bit of a new world to him.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    We ended up getting the Kink Carve 16". Everything we read has the sizing as him on an 18" but we are going to defer to you the experienced dad. Any advice on getting him some experience at the skate park. We go to pump tracks, skills tracks and mtb a lot. He has zero experience at a skate park. Only time we went you could tell it was a bit of a new world to him.
    Good call. 18" is giant for a kid that size. We've tried the 18" Cult several times in the last year and it's a no go. If you watch videos of the uber kid BMX riders, they are all on little bikes and are sized just like an adult on a 20" with 21.5 length.

    I'm a crappy skate/park rider so I can't comment too much. Most of my kids skate park development fun has come from him riding a lot of the BMX park and then riding the skate park with some better/older kids. Once they get a feel for the whole thing and start to see lines they like, then it all opens up and will click for them. I'd encourage you, if you aren't already, to get out there on a Dirt Jumper or BMX too! Never to late and it's good quality time where you get to hangout a lot.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Good call. 18" is giant for a kid that size. We've tried the 18" Cult several times in the last year and it's a no go. If you watch videos of the uber kid BMX riders, they are all on little bikes and are sized just like an adult on a 20" with 21.5 length.

    I'm a crappy skate/park rider so I can't comment too much. Most of my kids skate park development fun has come from him riding a lot of the BMX park and then riding the skate park with some better/older kids. Once they get a feel for the whole thing and start to see lines they like, then it all opens up and will click for them. I'd encourage you, if you aren't already, to get out there on a Dirt Jumper or BMX too! Never to late and it's good quality time where you get to hangout a lot.
    We do the pump tracks and skill tracks together. There is some really fun mtb/dh stuff we ride together. Gotta be honest, the skatepark stuff is quite a stretch. Such a different world. I will look into it tho.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    We do the pump tracks and skill tracks together. There is some really fun mtb/dh stuff we ride together. Gotta be honest, the skatepark stuff is quite a stretch. Such a different world. I will look into it tho.
    I ride park a lot, and the thing is you just have to find one and start doing it. Don't start right away trying to do 180's out of a quarter pipe...just have him, and yourself, start riding the bowls - meaning, learning how to sort of ride with the curves and flows of the bowls...get used to the off camber stuff - and learning how to do basic jumps out of the smaller quarter pipes, or off of any pyramids or other ramp type features.


    Also would want to learn how to do bunny hops right away, and manuals. Also learn to do fakies by slowly running up to a wall, or curb, bumping it, and then going backwards...

    there are really good videos on the Tube about getting used to park riding...I like Seth's bike hacks .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DaRKYQKsEA

    These are good videos that are usually "family friendly" if that is something you worry about. Some of the other vids are good, but also have cussing etc....
    Go practice. Figure it out. - Fleas

    15 Surly Krampus - King Amongst Bikes
    LET IT SNOW!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    I ride park a lot, and the thing is you just have to find one and start doing it. Don't start right away trying to do 180's out of a quarter pipe...just have him, and yourself, start riding the bowls - meaning, learning how to sort of ride with the curves and flows of the bowls...get used to the off camber stuff - and learning how to do basic jumps out of the smaller quarter pipes, or off of any pyramids or other ramp type features.


    Also would want to learn how to do bunny hops right away, and manuals. Also learn to do fakies by slowly running up to a wall, or curb, bumping it, and then going backwards...

    there are really good videos on the Tube about getting used to park riding...I like Seth's bike hacks .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DaRKYQKsEA

    These are good videos that are usually "family friendly" if that is something you worry about. Some of the other vids are good, but also have cussing etc....
    Awesome info!

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    Seconded on getting yourself a cheap BMX bike -- I picked up an old Haro for $25, put 10" bars on, & used that for our trips to the skatepark last summer.

    I still have no clue what I'm doing, but I did come to the quick conclusion that good brakes are essential if you're following behind a toddler.

  11. #11
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    I would suggest getting something a little better than cheap...especially if you are going to attempt jumps of any type. Here is my list of basic suggestions I give to people:


    Things to look for in a BMX bike:
    All of the skeletal structure that is going to bear weight should be full chromoly:
    full frame -> front triangle(TT, DT, ST) AND seat stay and chainstay....full Chromoly
    fork: both the steering tube and the legs...full Chromoly
    the handle bars...full Chromoly
    the crank arms and pedal axels....full Chromoly

    Rims should be welded double walled for sure
    Sealed bearings in the hubs and bottom bracket

    For me, these are the MOST important things to look for to give you the best return on your investment. Every thing after this is “eye candy” to me at least.


    After structure, geometry is the next most important thing.


    Top Tube length is the big factor in BMX for adults...20" TT would be good for anyone between 5'10" and 6 ft....over 6', you would want a 21" TT length

    chain-stay length and head tube angle are the next big things...and they work just like in MTB...shorter stay is goign to be more easy to get the front wheel off the ground; steeper HT angle makes the bike more twitchy. Right now, the standard park specs are a 75* HTA and a 12.5-13.5" CS length.

    As far as being at the park, just make sure you and your kid don't "snake" other guys lines...especially skaters, if the park is busy. Most skaters will be cool about younger kids doing it if they don't get in the way. Depending on where you live, some park scenes are pretty chill as far as sharing...some parks are "locals only" where you can get hurt if you do the wrong thing at the wrong time.

    When you get to the park, if it is busy, you can just sort of "Feel out" who is going when, and how many are sessioning long lines, or just jibbing tricks in a small area. You just sort of watch this, and then "merge" yourself into the queue. Guys will get what you are doing and give you right of way when it is your turn.

    I ride our 2 parks on early Sunday mornings...they tend to be very empty then...I usually have the whole park to myself...or in the fall and winter since skaters tend to be wussies about the cold.
    Go practice. Figure it out. - Fleas

    15 Surly Krampus - King Amongst Bikes
    LET IT SNOW!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Seconded on getting yourself a cheap BMX bike -- I picked up an old Haro for $25, put 10" bars on, & used that for our trips to the skatepark last summer.

    I still have no clue what I'm doing, but I did come to the quick conclusion that good brakes are essential if you're following behind a toddler.
    definitely get good brakes...or even better: brake pads....the current "cool thing" to do is go brakeless, which is totally psycho to me.

    Good places to look for BMX stuff would be: Albes ; Empire; and Source BMX
    Go practice. Figure it out. - Fleas

    15 Surly Krampus - King Amongst Bikes
    LET IT SNOW!

  13. #13
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    When my son started flying around on his strider bike, I started looking for a BMX as my MTB wasn't super exciting for screwing around in the parking lot. The cheapest thing (new) that fit all of the criteria that sXeXBMXer laid down was the Mongoose Legion L100. Not a "cool" brand within BMX these days, but the bike is pretty amazing for the price (which drops down just above $200 every so often on Amazon). Take the stickers off and you even have a pretty nice looking bike. It's been so much fun to just mess around on. I definitely wish I'd ridden one more as a kid.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I'd encourage you, if you aren't already, to get out there on a Dirt Jumper or BMX too! Never to late and it's good quality time where you get to hangout a lot.
    Ask me how I ended up with my clavicle hardware....

    Skate parks are a young man's game and I've officially retired. Same with rails when park skiing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    definitely get good brakes...or even better: brake pads....the current "cool thing" to do is go brakeless, which is totally psycho to me.

    Good places to look for BMX stuff would be: Albes ; Empire; and Source BMX
    Albe's is actually local to us. Great guys that do a lot to support the local riding community. If you head over to the skatepark here, you're more likely than not to see Albe's stickers on anything that's not a Walmart bike.

    I don't understand the no brakes thing either. I tried with just rear brake on a newer used bike I picked up and it wasn't enough for me.

    Went down a rabbit hole of purchases / upgrades when I decided to put front brakes on:
    Needed a new fork, since the old one didn't have brake mounts...
    Needed a new front wheel, since the old wheel was 14mm and all the new forks were 10mm...
    Needed a new headset, since I lost a bearing when the old one fell out while replacing the fork...

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