BMX racing for my son
My son wants to get into BMX racing, does anyone have any experience in this? We need advice on bikes and info on how/where to get started in racing. Any help would be appreciated.
List of ABA tracks in California.
List of NBL tracks
Livermore BMX track forum
Where do you live? Find the nearest track and go check it out. You can also ride your mt bike in the cruiser class. People sometimes will have their old bikes for sale at the track. Everyone at my local track is very helpful especially to a new rider. I think you can get a one day membership or at least a 30 day membership. A one year membership is around $45 and local races are usually $8-12.
I ride at Santa Clara PAL BMX track sometimes and they have some rental bikes and full face helmet rentals for a few bucks. Just in case your son doesn't like it for some reason you aren't stuck with a new bike and full face helmet.
Specialized, GT, Redline, Free Agent are a few names you can't really go wrong with.
I would suggest finding the nearest track first off. Manzanita park in prunedale is where I did my riding when I was younger. Most tracks will have practice sessions during the week which you can go to free without a license once or twice to see if your son really like it. I would start him off on a relatively cheap bike simply because you don't know if he is going to enjoy it or not.
Danscomp.com has some decent complete race bikes that are in the 150 to 300 dollar range that will make a decent starter bike. To put it in perspective I bought a 1998 mongoose expert when it was new and started riding. Over time it got upgraded with newer araya rims, S&M slam bars, an fsa pig headset, and some old school schwinn 2 piece cranks with a gt flycutter 44t chainring and races that for a few years. All said in done with the upgrades was still less than 500.
So yea, track day to let him practice on what he has. If he likes it you can get him a license and a decent bike and go from there.
I second the quality advice above, and will add for you to take YOUR bike out to the track for the practice sessions. A; you'll help your kid through the first couple of rounds on the track which can be scary to them, B; you'll inspire them (especially if your having fun too), C; this is one of the few sports you can do WITH your kid at such a young age.
We just got started a few months ago and are really enjoying it. I was surprised how kid friendly, and kid focused it is; and love it even more for that. (Roseville) My son is 5.
Giant trophies 3 deep get huge smiles out of the little ones, and leave a lasting impression. My kid had a good deal of adversity to earn his first trophy, so it is a nice symbol for him (and for his future)
Couple of safety notes:
- 1st time on the track make sure your kid takes it easy the first couple of laps. I've seen big egos come crashing down on their first lap when they charge it sight-unseen. After they get the feel for the track, it's pretty safe.
- Don't let the edge of a thin plastic number plate stick out past the handlebars, my son cut his chin on his, deep enough for an ER visit.
- Moto pants and shirts have built in pads, good to avoid abrasions.
Go git sum.
Proud and stoked Dad pics.
Definetly take your current bike to practice at the track closest to you. There are two national organizing bodies ABA and NBL and depending on where you live will dictate which one to join. ABA tends to be more competitive but racing is racing. My son and I have been racing for 10 years and it's been great for us. If you're interested in trying Santa Clara (408.727.7538) let me know I'd be happy to show you around. I'm racing tomorrow (depending on weather) and Friday there. They also race Sundays but there's a CX race that day. :thumbsup: