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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
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.
Page 2 - Recommended and Optional Gear >>
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.