BMX bikes are not your standard bikes. So, you cannot size them like standard bikes, and that’s where the tire size comes into effect. So, are you asking, ‘what size BMX tires should I get?’
For a standard race BMX (20-inch wheel size), you should go for a tire width of 1 ⅛ inch (Micro and Mini frames), 1 ⅜ inch (Junior frame), 1.5 – 1.75 inches (Expert frame), or 1.75 – 2.2 inches (Pro, Pro XL, 2XL, 3XL frame).
Ideally, the type of frame size determines what tire size to go for. However, note that those are the width of a standard BMX (20-inch wheel diameter) which is ordinarily best for anyone between 4’10” and 6’4″ tall.
We still have other wheel sizes (non-standard) like 16-inch, 18-inch, 22-inch, and 24-inch, which suit riders of different heights, as you’ll learn later.
So, we’ll first talk about the tire diameter (what’s typically known as the wheel size) and later look at the tire width. While talking about the tire width, you’ll notice that your type of BMX dictates what width to settle on.
Let’s get into details:
What Are the Best BMX Tires?
The best BMX tires come in a standard diameter (20-inch), and the width can vary between 1 ⅛ inch and 2.2 inches, depending on your frame size.
Here are recommendations of the best options on for standard BMX bikes.
- Goodyear Folding Bead BMX Bike Tire (View on Amazon): Best for 20 by 1.5 – 2.125 Inch Rims
- MAXXIS Hookworm Wire Clincher Tire (View on Amazon): Best For 20 by 1.95 Inch Rims
- MAXXIS Tires Grifter (View on Amazon): Best For 20 by 2.4 Inch Rims
- Kujo Mrs. Marble BMX Tire (View on Amazon): Best For 20 by 1.25 Inch Rims
- Kenda Kontact Freestyle Tire (View on Amazon): Best For 20 by 2.25 Inch Rim
What Size BMX Tires Should I Get? Tire Diameter Vs. Tire Width
Let’s discuss the tire diameter (wheel size) and the tire width to help you find the perfect BMX tire size for your BMX and height.
BMX Tire Diameter (Wheel Size)
Most BMX bikes come with 20-inch wheels, and the wheel size is regarded as the standard. Such a wheel size generally suits 4’10” -6’4″ tall riders.
That means 20-inch BMX bikes suit both kids and adults. So, if you have a standard BMX, you should look for a tire with a 20-inch width, and you should be 4’10” -6’4″ tall.
But like I mentioned earlier, we’ve non-standard wheel sizes which require you to get a different tire diameter depending on your height.
That is essential when shopping for a BMX bike and unsure what size to get. Here’s a table to match yourself with the right wheel size and tire diameter.
|Rider Height||Wheel Size (in Inches)||Tire Diameter (in Inches)|
|3’7” – 4’0”||16||16|
|4’0” – 4’10”||18||18|
|4’10” – 6’4”||20||20|
Now, let’s talk about the tire width of the standard BMX (Size 20)
Standard BMX Tire Width
When determining the tire width of a standard BMX bike (20-inch wheel size), you have to base your decision on your frame size.
1. Race BMX Tire Width
Ideally, we’ve five standard race BMX frame sizes as follows:
A micro frame is the smallest race BMX frame size that’s best for kids 4-6 years or under 4 feet. This BMX bike comes with a top tube length of 15 – 16.5 inches and a tire width of 1 – 1 ⅛ inches.
Note, however, that these BMX frames are less common as most parents consider the mini size as they are slightly bigger to promise to serve their kids longer.
A mini frame is bigger than a micro-frame size and is best for kids aged 4 -6 years or about 4’0″ -4’6″. These bikes usually have a top tube length of 16-18 inches and enjoy a tire width of 1 ⅛” (mostly), but others measure 1 ⅜”.
A junior frame is slightly bigger than a mini bike frame, which means it accommodates slightly older kids.
The bike frame suits kids 6-9 years or about 4’4″ – 4’10” tall. It has a top tube length of 17-18.5 inches and a tire width of 1 ⅜ inch (mostly), but a few measure 1 ⅛” like mini frames.
An expert frame offers more room for older kids (9-13 years) and those who are 4’8″ – 5’4″ tall to ride them.
This frame comes with a top tube length of 18.5 -20 inches and a tire width of 1.5 – 1.75 inches.
A pro frame is larger than the above three, which means more accommodating to older kids and some adults. This frame size suits kids from 12 years old and adults who are 5’4″ – 6’0″.
This frame comes with a top tube length of 20 -21 inches and a 1.75 – 2.2 inches tire width.
- Others (Pro XL, XXL (2XL), and XXXL (3XL)
These frame sizes are for the tallest BMX riders starting from 5’10”.
Their top tube length is generally between 21 and 22.25 inches, but they have the same tire width as pro frames (1.75 – 2.2 inches). With that in mind, here’s a table summarizing everything.
|Frame Size||Riders Age (years)||Riders Height||Top Tube Lengths (in Inches)||Tire Width (in inches)|
|Micro||4 – 6||Under 4’0”||15 – 16.5||1 ⅛|
|Mini||4 -6||4’0” – 4’6”||16 – 18||1 ⅛|
|Junior||6 – 9||4’4” – 4’10”||17 – 18.5||1 ⅜|
|Expert||9 – 13||4’8” – 5’4”||18.5 – 20||1.5 – 1.75|
|Pro||12 +||5’4” – 6’0”||20 – 21||1.75 – 2.2|
|Pro XL, 2XL, 3XL||5’10” +||21 – 22.5||1.75 – 2.2|
2. Street BMX Tires Size
When it comes to picking the tire width of street BMX (freestyle or flatland BMX), you also have to consider your frame size as discussed below:
- Mini-frame – Since mini frames are the smallest category in this class, they require the narrowest tires, 1.1 inches wide.
- Junior Frame – You need a slightly wider tire for junior street BMX frames than their mini siblings. The tire width usually is 1.3 inches.
- Expert – An expert pro street BMX frame requires a 1.75-inch tire, which you get from an expert race BMX.
- Pro – A pro street BMX frame needs a 2.15-inch tire size. So, there isn’t much difference in matching street BMX frames with tire width.
The only major difference is that the race BMX bikes have fewer frame sizes.
Here’s a table summary to match your street riding BMX frame with the ideal tire width.
|Street BMX Frame||Tire Width (in inches)|
Don’t Forget the Tires PSI
While this has nothing to do with the tire size, it can help you choose the right tire type for your BMX bike.
For your information, PSI stands for pound per square inch, and it’s an expression of tire pressure.
On that note, here’s what to know about BMX bike types and their recommended PSI:
- Freestyle BMX – Freestyling calls for a more cushioned ride, which means the tire pressure should be higher. Overall, it’s advisable to go for 40-70 PSI, depending on preference.
- Race BMX – dirt racing calls for more tire pressure than freestyling as you need to go faster. In that case, you do up to 100PSI for a quick trip. Be careful, however, not to over-pressurize the tire.
- Jump BMX – jump riding can operate with the same PSI as freestyling (40-70 PSI). Since the BMX tire manufacturer indicates recommendable PSI, you can tell outright if a given tire suits your BMX and riding style.
Does Tire Size Matter for BMX Bikes?
To answer this question, let’s look at the impact that the tire diameter and tire width have on your overall riding experience:
BMX Tire Diameter (Wheel Size)
Ideally, bigger wheels are better at picking up speed and taking on obstacles. They also provide a smoother ride than smaller wheels.
They enjoy more traction but are sadly heavier, thus slightly hard to maneuver the bikes. For that reason, BMX manufacturers tend to settle on a middle ground, which is 20 -inches.
20-inch wheels are neither too big nor too small, which means they offer the best of both worlds. They are relatively lightweight, easier to control, faster, and can take on some obstacles.
We can conclude that Yes, the tire size matters when picking a BMX bike.
BMX Tire Width
Ideally, narrower tires roll much faster, thus quicker. However, they are harder to control as they have less traction and even handlebars grip.
In contrast, wider tires offer you more ground to tire traction and better handlebar grip to allow you to take on major obstacles.
So, this proves that BMX tire width matters when it comes to your overall riding experience.
People Also Ask
1. What Age Is a 20-inch BMX Bike for?
A 20-inch BMX (the standard BMX bike) can fit both kids and adults 4’10” – 6’4″ tall. That means kids as young as 6-8 years can fit this bike. It, however, suits kids who are 13 years or older better.
2. What Size Tire Is On A 20 Inch BMX Bike?
20-inch BMX bikes can have a tire width of 1 ⅛ inch – 2.2 inches, depending on the frame size. Here’s a simple table to show that.
3. What Size Are BMX Tires?
Standard BMX tires come with a diameter of 20 inches and a width of 1 ⅛ – 2.2 inches, depending on the frame size you want to fit them. Pro- frames sizes and above, for example, require 2.2-inch-wide tires.
What Size BMX Tires Should I Get? Closing Thought
Generally, choosing the perfect tire size for your BMX depends on your height, bike type, and frame size. The taller you are, the bigger the diameter (wheel size), but the standard wheel size (20-inch) will often do. However, you can settle for a width between 1 ⅛ inch and 2.2 inches, depending on your riding style and frame size.