FACT: BMX racing isn’t any more dangerous than other youth sports. Statistics have shown that kids in the traditional (less “extreme”) sports such as basketball, football, baseball and soccer suffer more injuries than in BMX racing. The reason why, perhaps, is that USA BMX requires protective gear. You can’t go on the track without it. While the level or amount of safety gear is up to you, a rider must at least sport the basics of an approved helmet, long sleeve shirt and long pants. Below, we introduce you to all of the safety gear that is available for you to protect every area of your body.
This is obviously the most vital part of safety equipment in BMX, as it protects the most important part of your body - your brain. And don't forget your teeth - which is why USA BMX tracks all recommend a full-face style helmet. While you should have a helmet that passes CPSC standards, a motorcycle-approved DOT helmet is never a bad idea. We've heard it said that you should only buy a $40 helmet if you've got a $40 brain. This is one area in safety gear where skimping on price should not come to play.
Eye protection - whether its sunglasses or goggles, or nothing at all, is completely up to the rider. The current "factory" trends in BMX racing though, is to sport the coolest goggles with mirrored lenses. They not only keep any wind out of your eyes, but they also come in handy for psyching out the competition.
Race jerseys are available from all of the major bike brands and safety-gear companies. When shopping for a jersey, it's just as important to choose the right color and graphics, as it is for picking one with ample padding and a good fit. USA BMX rules state that you may wear a short sleeve shirt - but only when accompanied with full elbow padding.
Hand protection is not required to race at a USA BMX track, but they definitely are recommended by anyone who's bailed one or two times in an asphalt turn. Race gloves come in all styles and materials, so be sure to try on plenty and pick the one that you feel fits you best. Modern-day gloves are a lot thinner than the usual bulky, MX-style gloves that were once popular in the 70's and 80's.
Race-specific pants will provide you more protection and padding for your knees, hips and shins. USA BMX rules do allow riders to wear shorts, but only when paired up with approved full knee/shin guards. For your first BMX race ever, a pair of long jeans will do just fine.
Any tennis shoe will do for racing BMX, but the flatter the sole (such as skate shoes), the better for gription on a platform pedal. As you move up in classification (Intermediate or Expert), you may eventually decide to try clipless pedals; which require a special spring-loaded pedal and cleated-shoe that clip your feet to the pedals. Going clipless is only recommended for older riders and experts.
Your frame is one of the most important elements of your bike. It is the foundation to having a machine that will assist you in achieving your goals as a BMX racer. ...and we've got ALL of the BMX frames available, here for you.
For most BMX racers, families and fans, the perception is that Nike designers were more concerned about what the clothing does, than how it looks. While USA BMX doesn't beleive the "Bad News Bears" baseball look will catch onin our sport, it will draw more attention to our racers and make them stand out amongst a sea of MX-inspired riders from around the globe.
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