Biking is a lot of fun, and something more people do. Some do it to help the environment, others to get in shape and stay healthy, and others even to save money and avoid having to buy a car. But for those who see this as a professional activity, as something more than a mean of going around town, a BMX bike may be suited for you. If you’re new to the whole concept, there’s some tips you should know before going out to buy your very first BMX bike. Here’s what you should keep in mind.

First, you need to know that all BMX bikes aren’t created equal. There’s many models, based on what you’re going to be using it, and what kind of activities you’ll do with the bike. There’s dirt or ramp bikes which are made mostly for dirt roads. There’s street bikes, which may look more like traditional bicycles and made to go around roads. There’s racing bikes which may have a bigger sprocket to drive the wheel, and finally there’s flatland bikes which combines a lot of the previous features. These are all created to fulfill a specific occupation, although you could use any BMX for any function, it’s just that they aren’t optimized for it.

Another good tip is to look at the fabrication material. A popular one lately is called chromoly, which is a lightweight alloy that makes the frame of the bike. There’s many materials that can be used in construction, but you want something that’s light and solid at the same time, so you get a good durability, and your BMX bike won’t need repairs after just a few years. This will also ensure the bike remains more stable and there’s less risks of accidents.

A small detail that may make a big difference is looking at the sprocket, or cog, that drives the back wheel. This is the one piece that gets the most stress in your bike, and as such you want the best quality you can get. Some brands put a very basic one in place. It needs to be fairly small and light, yet very rigid. If you find the part to be too big, or filled, instead of empty in the middle, then you may be looking at an older model.

Finally, you should remember that your BMX bike is worth only what the main parts provide you with. Don’t get sold on additional gadgets, or what color it is. If you don’t have a good frame, good wheels and such, then adding all the colors and gadgets on top of it won’t make it a good bike. You should check the main components carefully, before looking at the extra features. Hopefully with these tips you can get a better deal, and not end up with a bike you’ll need to exchange out in a year.