BMX Rules, History, Tips & Equipment

A history of BMX, how to play, tips for improvement & necessary equipment

BMX Overview

BMX, a cycling sport, consists of extreme racing, motor cross style, on tracks with expressive obstacles.

BMX History

BMX racing originated in the 1970's in Southern California when children, inspired by the motocross superstars of that time, raced their bikes on dirt paths. By the mid 1970's the sport was a phenomenon. The 1972 motorcycle racing documentary On Any Given Sunday inspired the BMX movement nationally in the United States. The sport reached critical mass by the middle of the decade. The American Bicycle Association was founded in 1977, and became the national sanctioning body for the growing sport. The first BMX world championships were held in 1982. BMX is currently one of the staple events of the Summer X Games. BMX was voted to be made an Olympic sport in 2003, and was a full medal sport in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing.

BMX Rules

The BMX racing field usually consists of eight riders. Riders start from a fast drop and attempt to race around the track the fastest. Tracks consist of jumps, banked corners, and other obstacles. A good rider will be through the course in 30 seconds. An Olympic field consists of 32 riders. Four initial heats are run. The top four finishers from each round advance to the following heat. There are four total rounds to determine the medalists.

BMX Tips

BMX racers should be prepared for anything. As a result, they should practice on many different tracks. Tracks have different start gates, jumps, berms, and rhythm sections. Riders should Practice starting from all eight of the lanes. A BMX rider can get a better start out of the gate if they learn to balance with both feet on the petals at the beginning of the race. As soon as the gate drops, riders should focus on the first jump. Riders are faster on the ground, so they should learn how to stay low on their jumps. Riders should finish strong, and continue to pedal through the finish line.

BMX Equipment

One needs a BMX racing bike to compete in BMX. The best of BMX bikes use 4130 chromoly, or generation 3 chromoly. Race BMX bikes wheels can vary in size, from 20 inches to 24 inches. The handlebars must have good grips. Racers need a special BMX biking helmet with a permanent chin strap. It is also recommended to wear knee pads and a mouth guard.