Best BMX Bikes Under $300: Can You Get Quality At A Reasonable Cost?

I was looking for a medium-priced bike with the highest quality possible. And then I realized I could make a list of the best BMX bikes under $300.

After all, that should be a reasonable price for starters—especially if you want a bike that doesn’t break down too easily.

So, why don’t we check out what I’ve found so far?

Last update on 2020-09-26 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

BMX Bikes – Common Questions

Before I present my list of the best bikes under $300, let me answer some common BMX bike questions here.

I think the answers should be able to guide you on how to choose your own BMX bike.

What Makes BMX Bikes Different From Other Bikes?

If you’re new to the world of biking, you might spot only the minor differences between BMX bikes and mountain bikes or road bicycles. They all have the basic parts—only that one can be quite speedy, another stands tall in big wheels, and the other one looks like it’s for kids.

But, to the experienced BMX biker, a BMX bike is more than a bike with a small stature. It’s the bike that spins, turns around, bunny hops, and even “flies” like Superman.

In short, BMX (Bicycle Motocross) bikes are for stunts and tricks—more than anything else, and more than any casual ride around the park.

Now, most BMX bikes are also lightweight and even suitable for kids. No, not necessarily those kids that do stunts (although there are some), but kids that simply like to play around.

Mountain bikes, on the other hand, are designed for stability and control on rough terrains, hence the flat handlebars, thin tires, and tall height. Meanwhile, road bicycles emphasize on speed and flexibility, and they’re quite useful for running errands as well as for racing on smooth pavements.

Most BMX bikes have rear brakes only, allowing the rider to do freestyle tricks such as street racing or dirt jumping. Mountain bike brakes use hydraulic fluid, while road bikes offer speed control.

Does Brand Matter?

Some brands have made a name for themselves because of superior product quality. So, there’d always be trusted brands for any type of product, not just with bikes.

But sticking to a brand just for the brand’s sake might not be that wise, at least economically.

Each brand has flagship models, which would be at the higher end of the product line. You could expect these to be the most expensive models, but some brands would offer their flagships more generously.

For instance, Brand A’s flagship model may be twice as expensive as Brand B’s flagship, which in turn costs only around Brand A’s midrange racer. On the other hand, Brand B’s midrange bike could already be spot on in terms of features, and yet it sells at a much, much lower price.

High-End Vs Low-End 

I’ll just make a bulleted list of the pros and cons here to make everything easier for you to see.

High-end bikes: Pros

  • Excellent build
  • Superior materials
  • Hybrid features

High-end bikes: Cons

  • Could be unreasonably costly
  • Could be high-maintenance

Low-end bikes: Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Minimal maintenance

Low-end bikes: Cons

  • Inferior quality
  • Can break too easily
  • Could turn out more costly in the long run due to repairs

What Is The Best BMX Bike Size For Me?

Here’s a simple sizing chart to help you choose the BMX bike that fits you best.

Frame SizeTop Tube LengthRider Height
Micro Mini15” – 16”4’0” and under(122 cm or less)
Mini16″ – 17″4’0” – 4’6”(122 – 142 cm)
Junior17″ – 18.5″4’4” – 4’10”(137 – 149 cm)
Expert18.5″ – 19.5″4’8” – 5’4”(147 – 163 cm)
Pro20″ – 20.5″5’4” – 5’10”(163 – 181 cm)
Pro XL or XXL20.5” and up 5’10” and up(181 cm and up)

I may include the rider’s age into account, but picking a bike based on your height should be more fitting. Hence the more simplified table above.

What Can I Expect From A BMX Bike Under $300?

Well, honestly, you’d find that most budget bikes have many compromises. But, a few, carefully chosen ones should be good enough for beginners.

For $300 or lower, you can already get a BMX bike with:

  • High-tensile steel frame and fork
  • Rear, aluminum U-brake (only a few would feature both front and rear handbrakes)
  • Adjustable seat (many bikes totally miss out on this)
  • Padded saddle
  • Steel or Chromoly cranks
  • Plastic pedals (not so sturdy, I know)

So, these bikes may not be able to handle the most complicated stunts, but you’d rather want to reserve those special features when you yourself have gone expert mode, anyway.

Important Parts To Check In A Cheap BMX Bike

Since we’re already limiting ourselves in terms of the price here, we need to be more picky with the parts and make sure we’re not getting a junky piece.

Frame

A high-tensile steel frame should be a sturdy choice. An aluminum one would be lighter; unfortunately, though, it’s more brittle.

Chromoly, a type of chrome-alloy steel, is now a common material for bike frames. It’s stronger than carbon steel and only slightly heavier than aluminum.

The more exotic titanium and carbon fiber frames would cost a lot, so it’s unlikely you’re going to find these in frames of cheap bikes.

Brakes

A U-brake would allow you to make an effective and smooth stop. A V-brake, on the other hand, would be fitting for you if you’re more of the commuter typer of rider.

Wheels

For simple street riding, you can opt for smoother tires. Ramp riders like such tires, too, but they’d prefer a narrower one with greater PSI (pounds per square inch, for pressure handling). The combination also offers a less rolling resistance.

For rougher trails, you can choose more aggressive tires with greater traction.

Small Parts

Other parts include the pedals, cranks, chains, hubs, fork, handlebars, and the seat. Generally, you’d want to avoid plastic materials since they’re the least durable. It’s just that they’re also the least contributors to the overall weight of the bike.

A Roundup Of The Best BMX Bikes For Under $300

At last, we’re down to my list of five, and I’m excited to point out the key features in each of these budget BMX bikes.

1. Mongoose Legion (Legion L20)

Key Features

  • Frame: Hi-Ten (high tensile) steel frame with a top tube length of 20.25”
  • Drivetrain: with 170mm one-piece forged steel cranks, a 25T alloy chainring, and a loose ball bottom bracket
  • Wheelset: 20” x 2.3” tires; aluminum single wall; 36H rims
  • Brake: aluminum U-brake
  • Suggested rider height: 4’8” to 5’4”

The Legion L20 sports itself in a stylish design, offering all the basics that a beginner would need in a BMX bike. It features a high tensile (carbon) steel frame, fork, and handlebars that could stand bumps and hits.

The L20 also comes with removable brake mounts, an aluminum U-brake, and brake levers that allow you to control speeds. It’s something you were probably not expecting from a cheap bike.

Pros

  • Feels solid
  • Easy to assemble
  • Wheels come with air and are ready to go
  • Rides smoothly
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to carry up and down the stairs (if you need to)

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a kickstand (but this can be a benefit if you want to perform tricks)
  • Tires can get easily pricked with thorns
  • There might be some issues with the rear brake

Last update on 2020-09-26 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Elite 20” Stealth

Key Features

  • Frame and fork: high-tensile steel with a top tube length of 20”
  • Cranks: 170mm Chromoly
  • Pedals: plastic platform
  • Tires: 20” x 2.5”
  • Brake: alloy cease U-brake

The Elite 20” Stealth BMX 2019 allows you to do freestyle rides at the park, on the streets, and even in the dirt. Like the L20 above, this bike features a high-tensile steel frame and fork, which makes the Stealth durable.

A few key differences with this bike and the Legion L20 include the crank material (Chromoly cranks for the Stealth BMX 2019 and forged steel for the L20) as well as the tire width (the Stealth is slightly wider).

One thing I like about this bike is its adjustable saddle. This allows me to choose a comfortable seat hight whenever I just want to use the bike for strolling.

Pros

  • Easy to put together
  • Packaged well
  • Comes with bike pegs
  • Feels solid
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Rides smoothly

Cons

  • Plastic pedals might easily break
  • No kickstand
  • No reflectors (except on the pedals)

Last update on 2020-09-26 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Redline Bikes Romp 20 Youth

Key Features

  • Frame and fork: high tensile steel
  • Cranks: 3-pc 170mm Chromoly
  • Brake: U-brake
  • Tires: 20” x 2.25”
  • Seat: padded saddle
  • Recommended rider height: 5’0” to 5’4”

The Redline Romp 20 could be another good option if you’re a freestyle rider. Its frame and fork are made of Hi-Ten (high tensile) steel, while it features 3-pc Chromoly cranks.

Overall, this Romp 20 BMX might feel a little heavier than you might expect, but it can still give you smooth rides. Meanwhile, its saddle is padded, so it should provide you with added comfort especially if you’re taking some time to practice.

Like the previous bikes I’ve discussed above, the Romp 20 BMX includes a simple brake system with a rear U-brake.

Pros

  • Rides smoothly
  • Quality bearings and wheels
  • Handle grips feel comfortable
  • Affordable

Cons

  • The brake may not be that efficient
  • May feel a little heavier than expected
  • The seat post might be too short
  • The seat only adjusts up and down; no adjustment for tilting

Last update on 2020-09-26 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Razor Nebula

Key Features

  • Frame and fork: TIG welded steel
  • Wheels: 20” with pegs
  • Brakes: Front and rear handbrakes
  • Seat Clamp: Alloy
  • With freestyle rotor

The Razor Nebula BMX bike looks stunning with its mix and match of black, white, and red colors. It’s something that a kid could easily feel attracted to, so this bicycle might be a good gift to a grandson—if you happen to have one.

This bike’s frame and fork are both made of TIG (tungsten inert gas)-welded steel, which could make the bike feel a little heavier than other bikes of a similar size (especially for younger kids).

Meanwhile, I just appreciate the fact that the Razor Nebula BMX bike has both front and rear handbrakes. It’s not usually the case for most stunt-optimized bikes. But, these handbrakes could be fitting if you simply want a fun, enjoyable, and safe ride. 

Pros

  • Easy to put together (just install the wheels, adjust the handlebars and brakes, and then pump up the tires)
  • Cool-looking (great for kids, especially boys)
  • Sturdy build
  • Accommodating customer service

Cons

  • The seat mount might feel too low for some
  • The back brake could break with bunny hops
  • Could rust away if not well-maintained

Last update on 2020-09-26 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. Mongoose Legion Street Freestyle (Legion L60)

Key Features

  • Frame: Hi-Ten (high tensile) steel frame with a top tube length of 20.5”
  • Drivetrain: with 175mm 3-piece tubular Chromoly hollow spindle cranks, a 25T alloy chainring, and a mid-sealed bottom bracket
  • Wheelset: 20” x 2.4” tires; aluminum single wall; 36H rims
  • Brake: aluminum U-brake
  • Suggested rider height: 5’0” to 5’6”

Well, I can’t help but list another Mongoose Legion bicycle here—I just can’t get past over the L60 because of its features. It’s similar to the L20 in many ways. The frame is made of high tensile steel, while the U-brake is an aluminum one.

The L60, however, has a slightly longer top tube (20.5” vs 20.25”), and the drivetrain has been upgraded to 175mm, 3-piece tubular Chromoly hollow spindle cranks (instead of having a 170mm, 1-piece forged steel material). The change into a lighter material should probably make up for the added amount of material used.

Overall, the L60 is meant for taller riders, at 5’0” to 5’6”. This model can also handle park rides, dirt adventures, and freestyle street tricks.

Other features not included in the L20 but not in the L60 are a sealed cartridge crank bearing, a sealed bearing rear hub, and a sealed integrated head bearing.

Pros

  • Feels solid
  • Easy to put together (came with decent instructions)
  • Great for beginners and intermediate-level riders
  • Parts are relatively high-quality and can last long if well-maintained
  • Value for money
  • Good size for taller kids or adults

Cons

  • The package doesn’t include tools
  • The seat points upward so you might find it a little uncomfortable to sit on

Last update on 2020-09-26 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

And The Winner Is… 

Well, at least according to our investigation above, it’s the Mongoose Legion L60. Of course, it has better features than the Legion L20.

Comparing with the rest of the bikes though, the L60 can already handle intermediate riders with its build. The small parts are also sealed, so you could expect them to last longer.

Still, it has a few compromises—the un-adjustable seat is just one that immediately comes to mind. If having an adjustable seat is really that important to you, you can stick around with the Elite 20” Stealth BMX 2019, which would easily be my second choice.

Anyway, as for any cheap bike, the secret is to handle it with care. But if you think you’re already ready to level up for a trickier stunt, then you should probably look for a more expensive ride.

Last update on 2020-09-26 at 11:12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Perry
Perry
Hello, my names Perry and I've been a freelance writer for the past 5 years and a cycling enthusiastic since I can remember. I love the road, but my main passion is mountain biking.