What Size BMX Bike is Most Popular for 7-Year-Olds?

BMX is super cool, but a lot of parents don’t know which bike they should get their 7-year-old child so they can get involved in the sport. I wanted to know the most popular options, so I did a little research and this is what I found.

So, what size BMX is the most popular for 7 year-olds? Your average sized 7 year-old (around 4 ft) child will do well on an 18 inch bicycle. Although, if your child is taller than average (4 ft 5 in and above) consider going for the 20 inch model.

Getting the right size bike can greatly improve your performance in any situation. The size and style of bike will change depending on whether you are racing, mountain biking, shredding it at the skate park, etc.

Why Size Matters

The better the fit, the better the performance, and when it comes to BMX bikes there is no such thing as one size fits all.

Finding the right sized bike will not only help your 7 year-old child ease into the sport, he will also get more bang for his buck as he shreds away on the perfect sized bike.

When a bike is too small, you will find your body cramped and frequently jarred at awkward angles. Any one over the age of 6 that has sat on a tricycle can relate. Notice how your elbows are jammed in the air almost horizontal to your body.

Not only does this inhibit your ease of control, it is just plain uncomfortable. Make sure that your 7-year-old child has easy control over the bike.

When a bike is too big, people will frequently complain that the bike feels “heavy”. This, of course, could be due to using a heavier bike model for the job of a lightweight BMX, but we will talk about that more later.

A bike that is too big for your 7-year-old will look similar to when your child is wearing an over sized coat. His arms won’t reach and he will look like he is drowning.

BMX bikes are made to be rode while standing up. The seat is hardly ever used, only when cruising very slowly. If your child is unable to control the bike while standing or if, while sitting down, it looks like your child is on a regular mountain bike, then the BMX is too big any you should consider downsizing.

Here is a sizing chart that may be useful.

Rider Height 4 ft (below)4 ft 2 in4 ft 5 in (above)
Rider Weight55-60 lbs60-80 lbs80-110 lbs
Wheel Size16x 1 in18 x 1 in20 x 1-3/8 in

Your child should be able to stand up with ease on the bike. His posture will be slightly hunched. Arms relaxed and elbows bent at a slight angle. 

Sizing is huge when it comes to your child’s BMX bike. Make sure that you demo any bike before you purchase it, and don’t be afraid to ask an expert’s opinion if you don’t feel qualified to verify that your child has the correct size.

Types of BMX Bikes

A lot of people aren’t aware that within the sport BMX biking, there are several disciplines each with its own unique gear and bike.

When choosing a bike for your child, don’t think that a street BMX will do the job of a Dirt Jump BMX. That’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Just because they are both bikes doesn’t mean they do the same job.

Let’s talk about all the different types of BMX bikes and what each type of bike is used for.

  • Street BMX. Would you have ever guessed that you ride a street BMX on the street? This lightweight bike was made for gravel concrete and other smooth man-made surfaces. You’ll find yourself zipping down the streets of your neighborhood, but you may be in a bit of a pinch if you want to go off-roading.
  •  Freestyle BMX. Freestyle BMX bikes are what you typically see at the skate park. These babies are fast and not to be ridden by the feint in heart. Usually, they don’t come with breaks.
  •  Flatland BMX. A flatland is almost like a freestyle and a street BMX had a child together. Meant to ride in an urban environment, the flatland can just easily cruise down the street as it can fly at the skate park. Flatland BMXs come with a reinforced wheelbase that makes it safe to stand while doing stunts.
  •  Vert BMX. The vert BMX is more like an airplane than a bike. Vert BMXs have gained notoriety for their ability to get huge air on the 1/2 pipe. Lightweight and durable, Verts can easily handle a 20 ft 1/2 pipe with no problem. If your 7-year-old wants to become a 1/2 legend, then this is the right bike.
  •  Park BMX. Park BMXs are highly customizable. Used by a lot of experts to get the exact feel and style that suits their riding needs. As the name implies, these bikes were made for the skate park.
  •  Trail BMX. In BMX, trail riding is when the rider jumps from one ramp of compact dirt to another, usually four to eight in a row, in a smooth flowing way. Imagine a dolphin jumping in and out of the water. Trail bikes are made to get the smoothest ride possible. Sturdier then the bike previously mentioned, trail bikes are equipped with heavy duty shocks that help them take the impact of constantly being slammed into the ground.
  •  Race/Dirt Jump BMXs. This is the bike for those looking to get involved in the heart-pounding races that BMX is so well known for. Race bikes are super lightweight and have an extra sturdy frame. These bad boys are designed for speed and speed only. Tires are generally double or triple walled to help protect them from the constant abuse that comes with aggressive racing. 

There are a lot of options when it comes to BMX bikes and you will have to decide what aspect of BMX your 7-year-old child will be interested in.

You may wonder if it really matters what type of bike you get.

“A bike is a bike.” You may say.

“Is it really the end of the world if my child uses a race BMX at the skate park?”

Well, it only matters if you want your child to perform well, and if you want to avoid spending exorbitant amounts of money on needless repairs.

Bikes are expensive (even a decent child’s model can cost as much as $350) so it pays to do your research to get your money’s worth.

Fact of the matter is, a Race BMX won’t last long at the skate park. The constant blows and wipe outs will wreak havoc on the bikes lightweight shocks. 

A trail BMX will leave your child in the dust if he decides to race with it. The frustration may even tempt your child to quit. Why ruin the love of a great sport over crummy equipment? In the end, it’s better to just buy the right bike for the job.

Additional Equipment Needed to BMX

The great thing about BMX is once you have a bike, you are ready to go! However, there are some other things you will need to make sure your child is safe.

A helmet is critical in making sure the little guy is safe. For some reason, there is a stigma among 7-year-olds that helmets aren’t needed, or that they’re lame or something. 

Trust me, that stigma goes away among the better more experienced riders. The only people that will make fun of you for wearing a helmet at the skater park, are people that don’t know how to skate.

Elbow and knee pads are a good idea as well. While no one ever died from a scraped elbow, it still stings like the dickens, and trust me, your child will be crashing. A lot.

Besides that though, there really isn’t anything else necessary to ride. Find a skate park, build a ramp, or go participate in some races. BMX is a sport that your 7-year-old is sure to love!

Related Questions

Is BMX a safe sport for a 7-year-old? BMX is usually considered an extreme sport. By definition the sport is, well, extreme. While it won’t be as safe as video games or stamp collecting, BMX is a great way to get a kid hooked on activity.

Your child may suffer some scraped elbows and bloodied knees, but he will gain character. And character is well worth the blood.

Can you go mountain biking with a BMX bike? BMX bikes usually have lower resistant shocks than mountain bikes do. While it is true that some BMX bikes are able to take serious punishment, they weren’t designed to fly down mountain trails. It is usually recommended you keep your BMX away from the mountains.

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