WITH BIG REWARDS, COMES A LITTLE BIT OF RISK.
YOUR SAFETY IS OUR CONCERN.
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 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 into play.
Eye protection—whether it’s sunglasses or goggles, or nothing at all, is completely up to the rider. The current “factory” trend 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 graphic as it is to pick 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 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 clips 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.