Youth (8 years old) BMX

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12/9/2016 11:55 PM

Hi people,

I have googled the Internet etc, but am struggling to find much regarding recommendations for bmx's for my son.

He is 8.5 and wants a new bike for Christmas. I have decided to go for a bmx, although unsure whether to go for a 18 or 20 wheel size. Thoughts?

He will mostly be jumping off kerbs, riding up and down the road. We do have a dirt bmx jump track and also a skate park about 5 mins away, but am thinking of steering him towards the dirt track, rather than a skate park.

Cost wise we are looking up to $500 USA dollars / £250 / $400 Australian dollars. We live in Brisbane, Australia so would need to be available here, but I can check that if we get some suggestions.

Any ideas???



12/10/2016 12:15 AM

Get an 18". My son is also 8 and I just picked up a second hand united recruit for him. A lot of 18" wheeled bikes are surprisingly heavy so I'd say weight is the most important thing to look at. He had a diamondback remix before and it weighed a ton, he was instantly more confident on the United. Most good bmx brands make an 18" as well, but unfortunately, the lighter ones aren't cheap!


12/10/2016 12:23 AM

Thanks Grumpysteve.

What sort of weight would you say is light?


12/10/2016 1:21 AM

I wouldn't suggest getting anything over 23lbs? All the good ones weigh in around 22lbs. I think the biggest difference with my son's united is the mid bb and sealed bearing hubs. I'm a bit baffled that they come with a solid 14mm rear axle still. although, there are a few upgrades you can make fairly cheap to shave a bit more weight off, especially if you pick up a few second hand parts, or have a few spare parts laying around. It depends which one you go for as some of them have a few light parts, then a few heavy parts (like a cheap bulky stem). I also put a 23t sprocket on my son's so pedalling is a bit easier.
My son is a bit of a wimp though to be honest. He's not very confident on a bike so I made it as easy as possible for him with the easier gearing and lighter parts. If your son is confident it probably won't matter as much


12/10/2016 5:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 12/10/2016 5:13 PM

I don't have a specific bike suggestion but I will say my oldest hasn't actually been riding long -- he's 9 now and started at about 7. He raced last summer about 6 times. I would say frame/tire size actually depends a lot on child size. At 7, a 20" wheel was about right. An 18" would've been silly and small. This summer I rebuilt a Haro with a larger TT length for him and it should fit him well for at least a few years. In reality, my 9 year old is about the size of most 11-12 year olds, but kids come in all shapes (just like bikes! hah!)

Still, I have had him ride my BMX and my freestyle, and the sizing feels all wrong for him. I imagine it is a "I'm used to my own" feeling, and things that could be adjusted are adjusted for a full-size adult, but I will say that having a kid be on a bike before purchase is always helpful (even though it kills the Christmas surprise).

How big is your son? That might be the biggest factor here.


12/11/2016 8:48 AM

I agree with the info re: frame size. Unless your kid is really tall at that age (as with post above me) it'll be too big not because of the wheels though - my 9 yr old is tallest in his class, but the full size BMX is kind of a handful at this point.

It may be more important as to the geometry rather than the wheel size. We have a 20" with more small-MTB geo and it worked better for him this year. Next yr will prob be ready for the BMX. Just depends on the kid.


Frmrly BmxBos
Ref: Robinson79,