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by Chandler Warnick
Ever since they appeared in California in the 1960s, BMX bikes have been a standard mode of transportation for kids. That's partly because BMX bicycles are the right size and partly because they're durable, but it's also due in large part to the fact that BMX bikes are simply cool. They're made for riding around in the dirt and jumping off ramps, and it doesn't get a whole lot cooler than that for a ten year old (if not their parents). If you're a parent and you're not sold on just how awesome BMX bikes are for young kids, you can still appreciate the fact that they make great beginner bikes. They're built to withstand a lot of abuse, and the design is simple enough that repairs and adjustments are infrequent and easy. Keep reading for more information on why a BMX bike may be the right bike for your child and tips on choosing the right bike.
The more you pay, the lighter the BMX bike. All BMX bikes are made to be durable, and assuming you buy a BMX bike made by a decent brand, you have little to worry about in terms of the bike falling apart. BMX bikes tend to go up in price as they get lighter. Lower end BMX bikes are made from standard steel, which is plenty strong but fairly heavy. Higher end BMX bikes are usually made from either chromoly steel (steel that contains chromium and molybdenum) or aluminum, both of which are strong as well as lightweight.
BMX bikes work best for short and medium distances. BMX bikes only have one gear, and they're designed to accelerate quickly. This is usually perfect for kids because they're usually using their bikes to zip over to a friend's house or ride down a local trail. However, if you're buying a bike for someone who is planning on riding longer distances, they may prefer a bike that's designed for comfort, like a cruiser bike, or distance, like a road bike or a mountain bike.
BMX bikes made by a good brand will last longer. If a deal on a BMX bike seems too good to be true, it probably is. While there are plenty of good cheap BMX bikes out there, the bargain basement varieties you sometimes find on sale at your local supermarket don't last very long, and the companies who make them offer little to no customer support. Before buying a bike, take some time to find out a little about the brand. Decent BMX brands produce bikes that will last for years, and if you run into any problems with your bike, good brands will provide new parts or offer repair services.
BMX bikes are excellent first bikes. BMX bikes are light, quick, small and durable because those are all great characteristics for an off-road bike. However, these same characteristics make it an excellent first bicycle for your child. BMX bikes are small enough for small kids, but are also very adjustable, so they'll fit your child for years and years. BMX bikes are quick bikes, which is perfect for your high-energy children.