BMX bikes vary a lot in price; the good thing though is that regardless of the cost the bikes on offer get better and better every year. You can also now buy bikes that straight out of the box are as good as any of the bike that pros ride. Based on this we can split BMX bikes into three main categories. Entry level, intermediate level, and pro level bikes.
How Much Does a BMX Cost?
- Entry level BMX bikes cost up to around $450/£350 depending on the manufacturer.
- Intermediate level bikes cost between $450/£350 and $650/£500.
- Pro level bikes are $650/£500 upwards, and you can find some custom built aftermarket version for around $1300/£1000 on the various internet BMX retailers.
Entry level BMX bikes
In entry-level bikes, you will be looking at bikes with a hi-ten steel frame and unsealed bearings. Hi-ten steel is a basic steel and will be heavier than the 4130 chromoly that you will find used on the higher price point bikes.
Wheels will also feature single-walled rims; these are cheaper and less robust than the double walled rim wheels you will find on higher level bikes. The hubs will also feature unsealed bearings, so will need a little more maintenance than sealed bearing hubs.
One piece or three piece
As well as the hubs being unsealed, you will find the same with many of the bottom brackets on the cheaper end of the price range. Running through the bottom bracket will be one piece cranks, which as the name suggests are just a bent length of steel, these will change to stronger three-piece cranks as you go up the price range.
Many will also run a traditional Aheadset rather than the internal headset that will come on higher level bikes. The Aheadset is an excellent strong headset and will do the job but may limit upgrade opportunities at a later date.
Entry level bikes are designed to be an excellent entry to BMX, but you will not want to send handrails or boost ramps on them. They have parts picked to be friendly to a parents pocket until they find out that you will stick with BMX and if you do you will want to move up to an intermediate bike.
Intermediate level BMX bikes
Intermediate level bikes are when we start to have bikes that look a lot more like the bikes that the pros ride. As we climb up through the price range, we will begin to see fewer hi-ten tubes getting used and more 4130 chromoly, this means the bikes will be getting lighter and stronger. You will find that fork steerers begin to go to 4130 first and this is a good thing as keeping your forks in one piece is a great idea. By the time we reach $650/£500, some brands may even be offering fully 4130 frame, forks, and handlebars.
We will not find any one piece cranks in this price range. All bikes will be running three-piece cranks, making them stronger and longer lasting. We will also see that the bikes all have a sealed bearing bottom bracket, either in mid or Spanish fitment. Cranks will all be pretty similar and have a 19mm axle and an eight spline fitment between the axle and the crank arms.
Wheely good parts
Wheels will start to have double wall rims, making them more resistant to wheel buckles. You will also find that hubs begin to have sealed bearings, generally, cheaper intermediate bikes will have a sealed front and an unsealed back. Higher level intermediate bikes will have sealed front and back.
We will also find some bikes that have their drivetrain on the left-hand side; this is for those that grind on the right. Others will come with freecoasters. Freecoasters are rear hubs that have a clutch inside of them. This clutch will disengage the hub when you are going backwards/fakie, meaning that you do not have to pedal and will now roll backwards until you 180 out.
Headsets will start to be of the internal variety. BMX bikes use the same Campy spec 45/45 internal headset. This is great as most aftermarket forks will have a race moulded on them for this style of headset built into them. You will now find upgrading your bike that little bit easier than if you had an Aheadset.
Pro level BMX bikes
Now we jump up on to pro level bikes. These bikes start to become the same as aftermarket bikes, and some will come with genuine aftermarket parts. We can expect all of our steel parts to become 4130 chromoly. This is the classic material of BMX frames and is an excellent metal for making bike frames out of. The frames will now be lighter and stronger.
Your bars and forks will also be made out of 4130. This is great as it is easy to bend hi-ten from crashes. Not having to buy new bars or forks every time you case will save you a lot of money in the long run.
On these higher end frames, we will start to find removable brake hardware. If you take your brakes off, you will not still have the empty hardware sitting on your bike. You can take the hardware right off and have a clean looking bike. A word of warning, try and put the hardware somewhere that you will not lose it from. It can be a little bit of fun trying to find the correct hardware aftermarket if you want to put your brakes back on.
All bearing will now be sealed. This means your wheels and bottom brackets will last longer and be pretty easy to replace if they do ever die. Wheel rims will be double walled for strength. Some bikes will now come with hub guards to protect your wheels when you are grinding. You will also still find freecoasters and left-hand drive bikes available.
Every part on your bike will be easily changeable with aftermarket parts. This is why these bikes are pro level; the bikes have reached a point where they are designed to last.
As you can see, there’s no definitive answer to how much a BMX costs, it really depends on what level of quality you’re looking for and what your budget can accommodate. As manufacturing technology improves, better quality products can be had at much cheaper price points, now really is a fantastic time to get into BMX.