I am a newbie at biking, and I've been wanting to get into BMX for a few years, and I can now since I actually have some money. Primarily I've been wanting a 20" BMX bike with front and rear brakes and a detangler, but looking around on danscomp and a few other places there aren't too many in my price range. Anyways, that's not really what my question was.

Since I'm new to this, I've been reading a bit about frames, sprockets, brakes, etc., and found out there is a frame that is specifically for flatland riding, here:

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But, when I look at a lot of tricks online (I've just been using Google Images) and look up 'flatland tricks / bikes' or 'bmx tricks', most of the pictures are just using the typical frame with the straight bottom tube. So finally, is it really necessary to buy a 'flatland' frame, which would just cost more and be harder to find, or just use a typical BMX-style frame?

2 Answers 2


Since you are new to BMX I would find a good local shop that specializes in BMX. In my area the three largest conventional road/MTB shops don't carry BMX. We do have two very good shops that only sell BMX and skateboards. So don't be dismayed if the first shop you check has nothing you want. If you can't find one, stop by the local skate/bike park and see what everyone else that is riding. Ask where they go for service, repairs or parts. Like mountain biking, BMX has bikes specialized for specific styles. The frames and components are designed for the style. From what I have seen Flatland bike are designed for slow speed tricks on flat terrain. This is where handling and light weight are more important than the ability to survive big air. The info I can find seems to point to you able to do flatland tricks on a standard BMX frame. If you try to do some dirtjumping or big air tricks on a flatland frame it's lightweight frame and components wont take the abuse for long. Since you are new, your style and preferences will change. I would look for a good used bike, this is where a good local shop can help.

  • There's only one shop that specialized in mountain biking (they have a few BMX, though) and we have no park - I'll probably end up just ordering a bike, but I'm going to talk to them first - no one around here rides BMX, either, so I have a limited amount of people to talk to =p
    – cutrightjm
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 21:09
  • @ekaj LBS typically do not cater to BMX at all. You'll need to find a skate/snowboard/bmx style place...
    – dotjoe
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 16:27
  • @dotjoe They do cater some, but I pretty much got the impression "If you don't do business through me, it's terrible business"
    – cutrightjm
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 18:41
  • 3
    Kudos for asking BMX questions on here, though. There aren't many.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 23:38

Flatland frames generally have shorter top tubes, steeper head tube angles, shorter rear ends, etc... The down tube in your picture is designed to give you more room for front wheel scuffing. I'm noticing more and more flatland frames are designed to look like a typical street/park frame, but the geometry is not the same. I believe there are hybrid frames in use by Mathias Dandois, arguably the most progressive flatland/street rider. If you want to keep more options open maybe get what is categorized as a "Tech Street" frame, which would be something like the FIT Benny-L, or really any frame with a rear end <= 13.25 inches and a head tube angle >= 75 degrees.

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