Originally Posted by -_RebelRidin'_-
go with the one that fits the best.
seriously, bike fit is your most important factor, then features/components, then looks/style.
click on 'geometry' on whatever manufacturer's catalogue pages you're viewing and check the standover and top tube length. your clearance above the top tube, and the reach to your handlebars will largely affect your enjoyment.
if you're unsure about your approximate/ideal standover, get a tape measure and drop it down from, ahem, between your legs to the floor and get the number in inches, centimeters, and millimeters (multiply cm by 10 of course), and there you go. you want at the very least 1" or 2" clearance between your family jewels and the top tube.
as for top tube length and the reach to the bars, take the same tape measure and get the distance from your armpit to your fully outstretched arm to your fist... compare that to the effective top tube length of the bike you're considering. is your reach about equal or more than the tt length? then you're good to go, you'll be able to grab that handlebar with some elbow bend room for leverage.
sorry if this seems pedestrian/obvious/unnecessary - i just learned all this stuff.
you mention 'light off road bmx style' - are you looking for a 7 speed / 21 speed / etc? or would a single speed suit you? if so, consider a single speed dirt jump or trials bike.
Last edited by rekall; 06-16-09 at 05:09 AM.