Choosing the right BMX race bike can feel overwhelming. Between sizes, components and categories, it's easy to get crossed up.

Don’t worry! The crew at Haro Bikes is here to help. 

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Choose a Series: Annex or Race Lite

The core of Haro’s BMX Race bike lineup is built from two series of bikes, Annex and Race Lite (RL).

Haro Annex

The Annex series of bikes are well suited for riders getting started in racing. 6061 alloy frames with size specific tubing, 3-piece cranks and other thoughtful component choices make for fast, durable bikes starting at an affordable price of $449.99 in two colors: Gloss Black and Matte Granite.


Haro Race Lite 

The Race Lite series of bikes are designed and built for experienced racers and motivated newbies who are looking to shed weight and gain precious seconds on the track. Cranks/bottom brackets, headsets, and hubs all use modern standards and sealed bearings, with other components chosen to cut weight and boost speed. Race Lite sizes Expert XL and larger get a disc brake for maximum performance during the important moments when racers need to slow down to get inside on a pass. Race Lite models start at $629.99.

 


The Annex and Race Lite bikes share sizing, so once you decide which series works best for your racer and budget, it’s time to figure out what size they should ride.

Choosing a size

At this point, we advise finding a tape measure and getting a height for your future champion. BMX fit finders use an age range and height recommendation for sizes, but height is the primary metric we’ll use here, since kids grow at different rates. Age ranges can be helpful in getting an idea what kind of bikes will be ridden in the age group classifications at the race track.    

The most important measurement in BMX sizing is Top Tube (TT) length - a distance we measure from the inner seat tube along the top tube to the inner headtube. The Top Tube length is represented as Measurement C in the drawing below.

All BMX bikes have low enough standover height (Measurement G) and racers are never pedaling from the saddle on the track, so we don’t worry about those more traditional measurements. However, TT lengths have huge effects on handling and stability. Too short and the bike will feel off balance and unstable at speed; too long and it will be unwieldy to handle and difficult to move around under the rider. Small changes in TT length make big differences, which is why Haro makes 8 frame sizes to ensure proper fit for maximum performance. We’ll walk through the sizes from smallest to largest and touch on details like wheel/tire widths that change as sizes increase. Note that all BMX race bikes have either 20” or 24” wheels, even the very small bikes.


MICRO MINI

MICRO MINI: One of the coolest parts of BMX racing is that the whole family can participate. You can start racing at about 4 years old and race your entire life. In the spirit of starting them young, the smallest BMX bike size is Micro Mini. Micro Mini bikes will fit kids from 3’6” - 4’ (4 - 6 y.o.) and have a 16.76” TT. Not only are the frames quite small, Micro Mini bikes use skinny rims and 20 x 1⅛” tires. The narrower wheels/tires keep the bikes light for better handling and acceleration under the little guys and gals

MINI

MINI: The next size up is Mini, which are recommended for riders 4’ - 4’5”(5 - 7 y.o.). Mini BMX bikes use the same 20 x 1⅛” wheelsets as Micro Minis, but have a slightly taller standover and most significantly, a longer TT length at 17.6”.

JUNIOR

JUNIOR: If your little ripper is 4’5”- 4’9”(7 - 9 y.o.), they’ll best fit into Junior sized bikes. Junior TT length is 18.3”. Junior size bikes still use the 20 x 1⅛” wheel/tires setups.

EXPERT

EXPERT: Next up in size is Expert. Expert bikes have a 18.87” TT length and fit kids from 4’8” - 5’4”(9 - 11 y.o.). Here we see another change with an increased tire size of 20 x 1 ⅜”. The kids riding these bikes start to weigh a little more and need increased tire volume for proper handling when landing jumps and pushing through turns.

****Expert is the size where some confusion happens because there is an advanced race class for each age group called “Expert”. Just remember that Expert sized frames have nothing to do with skill level or experience, they only refer to fit. All BMX manufacturers share these frame size naming conventions. ****

EXPERT XL

EXPERT XL: Haro makes a frame size we call Expert XL with a 20” TT. This bike is only available in the Race Lite series. Haro’s dedication to race performance is reflected here, with a bike designed for advanced racers around 11-12 years old, who may have the height to fit, but not the strength to throw around a full adult spec bike. The Expert XL uses mid-width tires (1.6” front and 1.5” rear) to keep the handling and accelerations quick. The wheels also get a bump in strength and stiffness to handle the more aggressive riding techniques at this level with a jump from 28 to 36 spokes per wheel.

PRO

PRO: After Expert XL, the Annex and Race Lite series bikes meet up again with the Pro size. They have a 20.75” TT and are recommended for racers 5’6” - 5’10”, ages 13+. These are essentially full adult-sized bikes that use stiff and strong 36 spoke wheels, standard 20 x 1.95/1.75 tires and 170mm cranks.

****Pro is another size where some confusion happens because of the Pro race class. Just remember that Pro sized frames have nothing to do with skill level or experience, they only refer to size and fit. ****

PRO XL

PRO XL: Pro XL frames get a little longer with a 21” TT and are recommended for riders 5’9” - 6’.

PRO XXL

PRO XXL: Available only in the Blackout series, Pro XXL frames are recommended for racers 6’+, and our longest complete bike. Blackout bikes are essentially pro level bikes for full size teens and adults that need top level performance straight out-of-the-box. Equipped with premium CLiQ alloy cranks, bars, BB and carbon-legged CLiQ Citizen fork; Blackout bikes are 100% committed to full speed on the track.

***The Blackout models are available only in Pro XL and Pro XXL***


What's up with 24" wheels?

If you've already done a little exploring into the BMX world, you may have seen the term "Cruiser Bike". Don't worry, we're not out there racing beach cruisers. Although that does sound like a classic good bad idea.

In BMX, Cruisers are bikes with 24" wheels. Age groups start at 11&Under and go all the way up to 61+. The bigger wheels allow for a larger frame and taller fit at the handlebar. Cruiser classes are a great choice for parents of racers to test the waters of racing on a bike that doesn't feel aggressively small. However, Cruisers also offer a fun racing option for all age groups, as the bikes handle differently than their 20" siblings, requiring slightly different race techniques and strategies. Haro offers a 24" wheeled Cruiser in both the Annex and Race Lite series.

Annex 24


RACE LITE PRO 24


We hope this helped demystify BMX race bike sizing for you and your crew. A properly fitting bike is a key ingredient for maximum confidence and fun in the BMX world.

For more information about getting started in BMX racing, check out the USA BMX site and then go get that holeshot!

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