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Rider safety is a primary concern of USA BMX. Over the years there have been many rule changes
requiring all riders to wear safety gear for their own protection. Due to the use of this safety gear has
greatly reduced the number of serious injury to racers. As a parent or racer we want you to have a
solid understanding of the rules and requirements. While the information here is correct at the time of
writing please refer to the current USA BMX rulebook for specifications and/or regulations.
Rider Safety Gear
LOCAL BIKE SHOPS (OKC AREA)
These links are provided for convenience or
reference only and are not intended as an
endorsement by SPR or their agents.
The first, and most important, piece of safety gear for every rider is a helmet. At no time is a rider
allowed on the track without a helmet. The single most common injury in bicycle accidents is head
trauma. In order to protect youself it is recommended that you invest in a quality helmet that
completely covers you head. Currently the most common style for maximum protection is a MX style
full-face helmet. This not on protects the entire head including the sides but also protects your face in
case of an accident. I strongly encourage all new riders to purchase this style of helmet. The other
acceptable style of helmet is commonly called a park helmet or brain bucket. While these do provide
good protection for the top and back of the head they provide little protection for the sides and no
protection for the face. Road helmets are not acceptable for BMX racing and are not riders are not
allowed to wear these in USA BMX events.
Personally I believe that the helmet is the most important part in BMX safety equipment and I
recommend that you invest in a high quality full face helmet. A rule of thumb that I have always lived
by is that if you have a $10 head then buy a $10 helmet. While you may be able to save a few dollars
on other BMX gear I suggest that you put safety first in deciding on your helmet.
While generally most people don't think about their footwear while riding around the neighborhood, it
can be a safety issue when riding BMX. While running shoes are comfortable to wear most of the time
the can slip off of pedals while riding and potentially cause an accident. USA BMX rules state that you
may not wear any open toe shoes so no flip-flops or sandals. The best suggestion for BMX racing
footwear are skate/street shoes with a flat bottom. There are many manufacturers to choose from, but
the largest companies would be Vans, DC, Converse, Airwalk and Osiris.
We do require that all riders wear long pants when riding. For new riders blue jeans offer good
protection while not hindering the rider in pedaling and are just fine for track use. Riders are allowed to
wear shorts but then you must also have knee and shin guards as well. At some point you may
choose to purchase some race pants. These are the same style as worn by MX riders and can be
purchased at most off-road motorcycle stores. The cost is generally between $80-$100. These are not
required for racing at USA BMX events.
All riders are required to wear long sleeves when riding on the track. This is to help protect your arms
in case of an accident. Outside of that the choice is up to the rider as to what they want to wear.
Frequently riders will wear long sleeve t-shirts or sweatshirts. You also may choose to wear a a
training shirt such as made by Nike, Under Armor or BCG. Riders may wear short sleeves if they
choose but then must also wear elbow pads.
It is very common for riders to wear a MX style jersey for practice or racing. This is not required.
COOL RACE DAY TIP
Okay, so you are at the races and you check your
moto sheet. No problems now that you know what
you're looking at. But a long day of racing,
especially at nationals, you can forget something.
Tip #1 - use your camera on your phone to take a
picture of your moto sheet. That way you can
check it without having to ride all the way back to
the moto board
Tip #2 - Use a post it note or some blue painters
tape on the back of your number plate. Write your
moto number and gates down with a sharpie. Then
your information is right there with you.