Choosing a BMX Race Bike

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10/23/2015 10:34 AM

Ok so a quick introduction, I have been an avid road cyclist for the last 6 years, doing anything from crits to 100 mile races. I recently on a whim purchased a Fit Dugan 3 and have been getting back to my BMX roots. Well, I have found that while cruising around on it is great, other than manuals and bunny hops my tricking days are over. My real passion is for racing. After researching some BMX tracks in the NYC area, I have decided I like racing and going fast. I am 32yrs old, 6"1, and usually 190-200lbs, pretty lean and muscular (I am also a gym rat.) I am looking into a COMPLETE BMX race bike to start doing some races in the coming year. I have done some of my own research, and it looks like i will probably stick to 20" and not cruiser, but I am open to arguments for buying a cruiser.

Here are my current choices:
2015 Redline Proline Pro XL Bike- on sale at Dan's Comp

2016 Haro Racelite Pro XL Bike

2015 DK Elite Pro XL Bike -on sale at Dan's.

Any opinions/other options are welcome. Yes i am trying to stay in the sub 750-800 price range.

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10/23/2015 12:46 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/23/2015 12:51 PM

You and I are damn near identically built. I'm also 6'1", 210 lbs. (I should be 190-200 damnit! But that's besides the point.)

There are tons of opinions when it comes to race bikes and race parts, as you find in the road cycling and park/street world. In addition to Dan's Comp, make sure you check out J&R Bicycles, they also have tons of stuff. There's quite a few Facebook groups where people are selling high quality completes at a fraction of the cost of new. Also if you're on FB, check out the group "BMX Race Bikes", there's tons of great info there by actual riders/racers. This forum I don't believe is much of a race forum, seems to be more street/park/freestyle.

With the end of the season coming up, and Grands just over a month away, there will be tons of stuff up for sale while people get their 2016 builds going.

Check out these two links for help sizing.
http://bmxultra.com/bmx-sizing-charts/
http://bmxultra.com/gear-calculator/

As a novice, I don't think you can go wrong with any of those bikes except that they are all 21" TT (Pro XL). TT measurement can be misleading when you take into account seat tube angle and length though. I would consider looking at Pro XXL sized. I am running an XXL+ (Chase).

The DK has a really good parts list. At the price range you are looking at, I'd seriously consider checking out some of those FB groups on some used stuff, incredible deals to be had on completes; or going the custom route. DK and Haro are 175mm cranks, you might find you need 180mm (Redline). Depending on where you normally ride will determine what tires you'll want. That can be a $60-$80 change there if you don't have the right ones. Lots of people love the Maxxis DTH (DK) and the Powerblocks (Redline).

If you go new complete, just try and get as many parts close to the right size/desire off the bat or you'll be hundreds more into it. sad


Photo

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10/23/2015 1:53 PM

Thanks for the response! I run 175mm cranks on my road bike if that makes any difference. I will look into the xxls. I went to a local shop and the Redline felt tiny, which surprised me since my Dugan and Kink that i own are both the same top tube length (21"). This particular shop told me they can order Haro, Redline, or GT as far as race bikes go, but I couldn't make a decision. It looks like i might be going with this :https://www.danscomp.com/products-RACE/106206/2015_DK_Elite_Pro_XXL_Bike.html.

The specs look decent...do you have any argument for or against Cruisers for men of our size/age?

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10/24/2015 5:01 PM

Photo

Just purchased this thanks to the guys in the BMX Racing group on Facebook. Ships the first week of November, I'll probably have a shop assemble it for me just to be cautious as I am not the handiest man around.

This is the GHP Cruiser they have on sale for 325+shipping, seemed too good a deal to pass up. I was trying to give my local shops some business but realized that none of them really have much stock, and their ordering process can take some time. Really excited to get into some Cruiser class racing.
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10/24/2015 6:15 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/24/2015 6:21 PM

mattcyclesnyc wrote:

Thanks for the response! I run 175mm cranks on my road bike if that makes any difference. I will look into the xxls. I went to a local shop and the Redline felt tiny, which surprised me since my Dugan and Kink that i own are both the same top tube length (21"). This particular shop told me they can order Haro, Redline, or GT as far as race bikes go, but I couldn't make a decision. It looks like i might be going with this :https://www.danscomp.com/products-RACE/106206/2015_DK_Elite_Pro_XXL_Bike.html.

The specs look decent...do you have any argument for or against Cruisers for men of our size/age?

Didn't get a chance to get back to you yesterday, sorry. Top Tube length is only a part of the picture. Seat tube angle plays a factor, as does the length of the seat tube. There's another measurement called "rider area" that's worth looking up, but there's no standard on it. Sizing is tricky. Not only is there frame, but stem, spacers, bars etc. Basically you want your bars parallel with your fork. Work the stem/frame to get it right.

As for Cruisers (which doesn't much matter at this point, I see you bought one, congrats!). A lot of the older guys I know bought them thinking they'd be more forgiving, slower, etc. That's partially true, but they all got hurt on their cruisers! And there is no "class" racing. Cruiser is cruiser. No Novice/Intermediate/Expert like you would on a 20" (class) bike. So you'll be racing everyone, no matter their ability, in your age group range. Cruiser wins don't count toward class advancement, so if some one is a win or two away from classing up before a big race, they may ride cruiser-only so they can continue racing without worrying about classing up to a harder level right before the race.

Even if you have a shop assemble it, it'll be worth buying some of the basic CORRECT SIZED tools for the bike so you can do basic repairs and tweaks while you're at the track, or at home. Correct hex keys, wheel nuts (don't use a damn crescent wrench), tire levers, air pump, phillips screwdriver for the v-brakes, etc. Park and Pedro's make good stuff. Park is the more commonly seen and advertised, but Pedro's I hear may be better from some people. I have a mix of both.

Check out Racer Concepts on Facebook for some awesome graphics (don't know if they have GHP yet), and parts. They can basically get the same stuff as the other places, awesome service. They sponsor the team I ride for, so giving them a shout out. wink

You found the right FB group to join though, assuming you are the Matt with the Thin Blue Line. Feel free to ask any questions you have in that group, awesome bunch of racers. And some highly-opinionated dads...LOL

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10/24/2015 6:57 PM

Hey Dave88LX, I used to race bmx back in 98-2000 and was intermediate and 53rd in my region (I think I had only a couple more wins left until I was bumped to expert)...at the time I rode a GT box series expert frame, carbon fiber forks (can't remember who made them), crupi wheels and whatnot...anyways to the point. I was
looking to get back into racing again but I'm not trying to shell out the money for a dedicated race bike just yet. I have my normal 20" bmx bike weighs in the 20-25 pound area and I'm 25 5"11 155lb. Do you swe guys out there riding normal bmx bikes without clipless pedals and all that? I miss the fun of being at the track and racing! Itching to get back out there again! Thanks!

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10/24/2015 7:47 PM

Oh hell yes man. Anyone who is in the Novice class is running flat pedals, so there's tons of people running flats (myself included, 28-35 Novice). I kept slipping on my JCPC, so I picked up some Sun Ringle ZuZu from Pricepoint for $35, money well spent. http://www.pricepoint.com/Brand/Sun-Ringle/Sun-Ringle-Zuzu-Pedals.axd

One thing I've learned this year (first year) is that it doesn't matter how much money you throw into badass parts for your bike or having the lightest parts. It's about controlling your bike and being able to navigate the track. I have a really nice bike with high quality parts all around. I'm getting toasted by a guy 9 years younger on his park bike, which he had to remove his pegs before he raced. 20x2.4" tires, etc. etc. Not "race geometry" etc. If you can ride, it doesn't matter what you're on.

All that to say yes! Ditch the pegs, peg your jeans, throw on a long-sleeve shirt, pick up a Fly helmet for $100 (track probably has loaners, but I prefer my own), and get at it!

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10/24/2015 8:20 PM

Dave88LX wrote:

Oh hell yes man. Anyone who is in the Novice class is running flat pedals, so there's tons of people running flats (myself included, 28-35 Novice). I kept slipping on my JCPC, so I picked up some Sun Ringle ZuZu from Pricepoint for $35, money well spent. http://www.pricepoint.com/Brand/Sun-Ringle/Sun-Ringle-Zuzu-Pedals.axd

One thing I've learned this year (first year) is that it doesn't matter how much money you throw into badass parts for your bike or having the lightest parts. It's about controlling your bike and being able to navigate the track. I have a really nice bike with high quality parts all around. I'm getting toasted by a guy 9 years younger on his park bike, which he had to remove his pegs before he raced. 20x2.4" tires, etc. etc. Not "race geometry" etc. If you can ride, it doesn't matter what you're on.

All that to say yes! Ditch the pegs, peg your jeans, throw on a long-sleeve shirt, pick up a Fly helmet for $100 (track probably has loaners, but I prefer my own), and get at it!

Lol that's awesome man! Yeah fortunately I don't ride pegs as it is so in good...I got all the gear already as well so that's nice! Now all I gotta do is head to the track and pay the membership fee and race fee! You race any nationals yet?

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10/24/2015 9:50 PM

mattcyclesnyc wrote:

Thanks for the response! I run 175mm cranks on my road bike if that makes any difference. I will look into the xxls. I went to a local shop and the Redline felt tiny, which surprised me since my Dugan and Kink that i own are both the same top tube length (21"). This particular shop told me they can order Haro, Redline, or GT as far as race bikes go, but I couldn't make a decision. It looks like i might be going with this :https://www.danscomp.com/products-RACE/106206/2015_DK_Elite_Pro_XXL_Bike.html.

The specs look decent...do you have any argument for or against Cruisers for men of our size/age?

Dave88LX wrote:

Didn't get a chance to get back to you yesterday, sorry. Top Tube length is only a part of the picture. Seat tube angle plays a factor, as does the length of the seat tube. There's another measurement called "rider area" that's worth looking up, but there's no standard on it. Sizing is tricky. Not only is there frame, but stem, spacers, bars etc. Basically you want your bars parallel with your fork. Work the stem/frame to get it right.

As for Cruisers (which doesn't much matter at this point, I see you bought one, congrats!). A lot of the older guys I know bought them thinking they'd be more forgiving, slower, etc. That's partially true, but they all got hurt on their cruisers! And there is no "class" racing. Cruiser is cruiser. No Novice/Intermediate/Expert like you would on a 20" (class) bike. So you'll be racing everyone, no matter their ability, in your age group range. Cruiser wins don't count toward class advancement, so if some one is a win or two away from classing up before a big race, they may ride cruiser-only so they can continue racing without worrying about classing up to a harder level right before the race.

Even if you have a shop assemble it, it'll be worth buying some of the basic CORRECT SIZED tools for the bike so you can do basic repairs and tweaks while you're at the track, or at home. Correct hex keys, wheel nuts (don't use a damn crescent wrench), tire levers, air pump, phillips screwdriver for the v-brakes, etc. Park and Pedro's make good stuff. Park is the more commonly seen and advertised, but Pedro's I hear may be better from some people. I have a mix of both.

Check out Racer Concepts on Facebook for some awesome graphics (don't know if they have GHP yet), and parts. They can basically get the same stuff as the other places, awesome service. They sponsor the team I ride for, so giving them a shout out. wink

You found the right FB group to join though, assuming you are the Matt with the Thin Blue Line. Feel free to ask any questions you have in that group, awesome bunch of racers. And some highly-opinionated dads...LOL

Thanks man!! I have a street/park 20" for now so until I sell it I couldn't in my mind justify buying another 20". I actually have assembled road bikes and 2 of my BMX bikes, but I'm just not too comfortable as far as crank removal and wheel truing. I figure it won't hurt paying a little to have someone at the shop make sure everything is greased and ready to go.
I've never ridden a 24" before so it should be interesting. I'll post an update as soon as I have the bike.

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10/25/2015 7:22 PM

JPond53 wrote:

Lol that's awesome man! Yeah fortunately I don't ride pegs as it is so in good...I got all the gear already as well so that's nice! Now all I gotta do is head to the track and pay the membership fee and race fee! You race any nationals yet?

Hell sounds like you're all set to go then! I don't know what part of the country you're in but things are starting to wind down now with hockey starting in the North. If you're one of those lucky Cali people, they're riding like year-round out there. When we started this year, my 4 and 6 year old daughters were also just starting, so I didn't want to spend the big money when they were still working on getting around the track and whatnot. I think we'll hit the local nationals next year though.

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10/25/2015 7:24 PM

mattcyclesnyc wrote:

Thanks man!! I have a street/park 20" for now so until I sell it I couldn't in my mind justify buying another 20". I actually have assembled road bikes and 2 of my BMX bikes, but I'm just not too comfortable as far as crank removal and wheel truing. I figure it won't hurt paying a little to have someone at the shop make sure everything is greased and ready to go.
I've never ridden a 24" before so it should be interesting. I'll post an update as soon as I have the bike.

It's funny you say that. I have this race bike, but everything's so lightweight on it. I want to go to the park with my kids, but I'm afraid of thrashing this bike, plus it's not really made for it, so I'm in the market for a park bike, so trying to learn about them.

Yeah nothing wrong with having a shop making sure you're all squared away. Shouldn't need to true the wheels being new. But I know what you mean.

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