What is BMX2 2024 1130x600
Bike Guide

What is BMX?

By: Angelina Palermo  June 01, 2023

With so many cycling disciplines and so many more forms of racing in each discipline, things can get a bit confusing. Learn more about how each type of racing works and get ready to watch our teams compete at the Paris Olympic Games!

There are several different forms of BMX, but the two that are recognized internationally and on the Olympic level are BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle. BMX Racing was added to the Olympic Games in 2008. Now, BMX Freestyle has been recently added for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

BMX Racing

Bicycle Motocross (BMX) is a sport for the whole family. Athletes between the ages of five and 65 regularly compete on the national circuit through USABMX. BMX racing is clean, exciting fun that whole families can get involved in, whether it be as a racer, spectator, pit crew or track volunteer. Races are organized according to age groups and skill levels so everyone gets the opportunity to compete on a fair and competitive basis.

Riders race on dirt tracks with rollers, jumps, and turns to challenge their skills. BMX bikes are smaller than normal bicycles because the riders never sit down and need to be nimble on the bike. Riders wear full face helmets, with goggles and gloves. They wear long sleeve shirt and durable pants with pads underneath in case they crash.

BMX racers need a lot of power. They workout many hours in the gym to get extremely strong legs like a 100m sprinter. Having strong arms is important as well to always keep a hold of your bike.

There are many riders that start the BMX race, but through elimination rounds, only 8 make the final event and the person to cross the finish line wins. A lap around the track is roughly 30-40 seconds.

BMX started in the late 1960s in California, around the time that motocross became a popular sport in the USA. In its simplest form, it is very similar to the motorcycle style of racing, just without the motor.

In 1981, the International BMX Federation was founded then was officially recognized by the International Cycling Union (UCI) in 1993. The sport made its Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games, providing a platform for BMX racing to expose itself to a wider audience

BMX Freestyle

BMX Freestyle is a competition rather than a race. Riders perform two-minute runs executing a sequence of tricks on ramps, walls, box jumps, and spines throughout the park. These riders are judged on the quality of their run based on difficulty, style and originality.

In 2016, the International Cycling Union (UCI) partnered with Hurricane Action Sports, organizers of the FISE (International Festival of Extreme Sports) World Series to create the UCI BMX Freestyle Park World Cup series. 2017 was the first year for the UCI Urban Cycling World Championships. These competitions are extremely important for riders’ chances toward qualifying for the Olympics Games.