Buyer's Guide

Page Contents

1. Riding Disciplines

a. Street

b. Park

c. Trails

2. Geometry Overview

a. Frames

b. Bars

c. Stems

d. Cranks & Sprocket

e. Chain

f. Tires

Know your sizes

Whether it be a set of bearings or a full custom build, you should know your sizes and what products are going to be the best for you.

In BMX, a quarter of an inch can make your bike feel completely different, it's no wonder why at Alpha we present and perfect the geometries that work. We want your bike to be tailored to your height, build and riding preference, in this buyer's guide we'll help you find the geometries that work best for the discipline of riding you desire as well as your personal attributes.

 

Riding Disciplines:

Street |Park |Trails |

3 disciplines of riding which we will cover in this buyer's guide, each one is represented by companies with the best riders from that area. Within each discipline, there are typical patterns in geometry that tend to reoccur. This isn't a coincidence, it's a result of BMX evolving as well as constant refinement in the geometrical setup of the bike.

 

Brief Overview

- Street -  

Immersed in an urban environment, the world's a skatepark...

- Park -

Huge airs, transition shredding, boost those adrenaline levels!

- Trails -

Floating through the woods, a physical and spiritual release into nature

 

 

 

 

Street

Street riding is about matching the right spots with the right tricks. It doesn't matter what the spot is, as long as it's rideable you can guarantee it's waiting for the originality of the street rider. From jersey barriers to kinked rails, being inspired by the potential of the obstacles around you and using your environment creatively is key to make the most of riding the streets. That and mobbing through spots with your friends, bringing the energy level high as you let loose on different spots and get the blood flowing. Throw some pegs on and search for spots near you, or take a trip to another city, roast the street sections at various skateparks and explore the urban landscape.

Key Features

Bike Setup

Short setups (Short Back End, Steep Head Tube Angle, Short Cranks ect.)

Stunt Pegs (Plastic, Metal)

Heavier setups*

*Meaning increased strength through thickening of the top tubes, for example, or company manufacturing features (i.e. Federal's wishbone design)

Typical Geometry  (reference only, street is most diverse when it comes to sizing):

Frame:

20 - 21"  TT

75 - 76˚  Head Angle

12.7 - 13.5"   Back End

Bars:

6 - 11"  Rise

4pc / 2pc (4pc is labelled 'street")

Stems:

48 - 52mm Reach

6 - 45mm Rise

Cranks:

160 - 170mm Length

Sprocket:

25 - 28t

Chain:

Full or Half-Link

Tyres:

Low Tread 

1.9 - 2.5"  Width (2.3 - 2.5" common in modern street)

Brakes:

Typically Brakeless (however many street riders kill it with a brake i.e. Corey Martinez)

 

Fiend Rider Garrett Reynolds sending a rail hop whip in the streets

 

Riding Style

Riding can be technical or scalable, this means anything from ledge jibbs to roof drops, there are subdivisions within street riding that target specific types of spots and hit them with a certain style. Each company tends to represent a style of riding from a regional area, however all the street brands feature riding from all over the world by all different people. For example, Animal bikes originate in the NYC streets, shredding cellar doors and skitching onto the back of cars in oncoming traffic. On the other hand, you might find the Cult crew in California riding stair sets and hitting rails. This is just a typical differentiation between the brands, though the beauty of freestyle BMX is that there is no 'right' way to ride; there's your way, your style and that's what matters most. Of course, you'd make better use of a 2 foot ledge by throwing down grind combos rather than just hopping on and off of it, however there are no limits, just ride, have fun and catch up with your friends.

 

 

 

 

Park

Key Features

Bike Setup

Balanced setups (Average Back End, Short Seat Tubes, Slack Head Angles ect.)

Brakes / brakeless (depends on the rider's preference)

Lighter bikes (floatier feeling in the air)

Typical Geometry  (reference only, every rider is different):

Frame:

20 - 21.5"   TT

74 - 75˚  Head Angle

13.5 - 14.1"  Back End

Bars:

8 - 9.5"  Rise

2pc (4pc is rare nowadays, however Ryan Nyquist still represents the 4pc community with his!)

Stems:

48 - 52mm Reach

6 - 45mm Rise

Cranks:

160 - 175mm Length

Sprocket:

25 - 33t

Chain:

Full or Half-Link

Tyres:

Low Tread 

1.9 - 2.4"   Width

Brakes:

Typically w/ Brakes (however there is always a constant change in trend around brakes)

 

Riding Style

Not for the faint-hearted, BMX park is one of BMX's most acclaimed disciplines. From 4ft quarters to mega ramps reaching 190ft, style, air, and speed is what you can really look forward to when you're riding. Here, you can surf concrete skateparks with huge bowls to play around in, throwing down tricks between transfers and soaring in the sky with big air. If you like the feeling of flight then BMX park is for you. You can be sure to be up there with the birds and g-force levels are guaranteed to skyrocket when both of those tires tap the coping. So if you love the thrill of throwing your body around in the air then there's only one more thing you need to know; no pedaling in the bowl!

 

 

 

Trails

Bike Setup

Long setups (increased control at speeds and with air) 

Lighter bikes (similar weight to park setups, maybe heavier)

Typical Geometry  (reference only, every rider is different):

Frame:

20.75 - 22"   TT

74 - 75˚   Head Angle

13.6 - 14.1"   Back End

Bars:

7 - 9.5"  Rise

2pc (4pc is very rare in trails, however there are still a few of us out there)

Stems:

48 - 52mm Reach

6 - 45mm Rise

Cranks:

160 - 175mm Length

Sprocket:

25 - 33t

Chain:

Full or Half-Link

Tyres:

High Tread 

1.9 - 2.4"  Width

Brakes:

Typically w/ Brakes (however stronger riders may choose to ride brakeless)

 

Riding Style

BMX Trails is about getting out into the heart of the woods, or wherever the spot may be, and flowing through each gap ahead. From 2ft lips to 12ft takeoffs, the energy progresses through each jump you send, all whilst being absorbed around trees and local wildlife hiding in the branches. The magic of trails is that all you can ride your own creation. You choose how you want to ride. Having a chill session? Build some tabletop jumps. Looking to roast? Dig down and sling some clay until your visions are a reality. Trails can truly alter your perspective as the 'skatepark', 'street' labels we typically attach to BMX are abandoned for the beauty of nature. Go look for your local woods and get involved! There's more spots around you than you may think, whole communities to connect and explore within the heart of each woodland.

 

Geometry Overview 

Geometry, whilst it seems technical at first, when you become more familiar with what angles and sizes work best with each other, you can truly control every aspect of your bike. The beauty of BMX is that the customisation options not only mean personal style, but also that you can really tailor things to have you want them to be.

This geometry overview will help you get comfortable with the numbers that'll you frequently come across, as well as what they mean and what effect they have. We'll start with the main part...

 

 

Frames

*Top Tube (TT) Sizes typical for street with specific height ranges can be found here:

4'4" - 4'10" | 137cm - 149cm | 18" - 20" 

4'10" - 5'4" | 149cm - 163cm | 20" - 20.3" 

5'4" - 5'10" | 163cm - 181cm | 20.3" - 20.75" 

5'10 & Over | 181 & Over | 20.75" - 22"+ 

 

 

 

Bars

 

 

 

 

Stems

 

 

Cranks & Sprocket

 

 

Chains

 

 

Tires