Why is having the right sized bike important?
Unlike road bikes that you spend hours on to get to the cafe, the reason you want a correct size BMX race bike isn’t for comfort, nor initially for performance (not just yet), it’s essential for skill acquisition. Both in the initial stages, and as a rider develops their skills. The right size bike will help a rider develop the basic skills of pedaling and pumping much more quickly than if they were on the wrong size bike. Weight of the bike is important too. Your first BMX race bike doesn’t need to be a carbon fibre missile, but take the two bikes above, the 18 inched wheeled micro weighs in at 7.2kg, and the Pro XL at 10.2kg. Or around 40% heavier! This weight needs to accelerate, maneuvered and be lifted in and out of the car! And obviously the smaller size aids in all of this for the young shredders.
Quite often in my travels as a coach, I’ll see riders on a bike that’s too big for them, that’s been bought second hand with the reasoning that the rider will grow into it. Unfortunately this will hinder a new rider’s skill development, and confidence, as they try to come to terms with a BMX track that requires a nimble and responsive machine to get the most out of the riding experience. Frame too long, bars to big, or cranks too long. Sure there’s some great buys out there second hand, but at the end of the day, spending a little more to buy a new bike that fits will outweigh the bargain second hand bike. Even if it is spec’d like a F1.
On the opposite end of the scale, I often see riders on a bike that’s too small for them as mum or dad tries to get to the end of the year before upgrading. What you’re looking for is the Goldilocks bike, the one that fits just right.