My little guy is getting started BMX racing. I have been out of it for 24 years but thought I would give it a go in the 40-year-old cruiser class. I used to race Expert and Cruiser quite successfully way back when. I am in excellent physical shape but I am very short at 5’4”. I am concerned about getting a bike that fits.
Can you help me with:
• Frame sizing, or recommend a specific make/model
• Aluminum versus chromoly
• Crank length
• Anything else you may recommend
Thanks for your help!
A: Yet another candidate for our June issue of the magazine where you will find a Cruiser Shootout involving a 24” from just about every complete bike brand. Fortunately Bill, you are in luck as most of the cruisers available today are compact and designed with the performance oriented rider in mind not so much for the “casual cruisers” that you may remember back in the day. Of the bikes that we tested, several had short top tube lengths and chainstay lengths (for a cruiser) and handle very quickly like a 20”. Aluminum is a must for any serious racer today shopping for a complete and the technology has come to a point where strength is no longer a point of concern. Crank length is pretty standard at 175mm, especially on completes and should suit you just fine to start, but you may want to think about something slightly shorter, like a 165 or 170mm crank length when you get your spin back and especially if you decide to clip in. Knowing what we know about you, if a complete is what you are looking for, then Haro, SE, GT or Felt would be great brands to look into, as all their bikes favored the smallest or most performance oriented riders. These bikes also span a considerable price range so budget wont hold you back from getting back in the action. If a frame up build is what you are considering, Redline and Intense rule the high end.