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BMX races are sprint races on purpose-built off-road single-lap race tracks. The track usually consists of a starting gate for up to eight racers, a groomed, serpentine, dirt race course made of various jumps and rollers and a finish line. The course is usually flat, about 15 feet wide and has large banked corners that help the riders maintain speed. BMX racing rewards strength, quickness, and bike handling.

BMX frames are made of various types of steel, and (largely in the racing category) aluminium or carbon. The introduction and widespread popularity of the cassette hub has ushered in the use of smaller gearing on BMX bikes. Advantages of smaller gearing hubs include lighter weight, and more clearance when grinding. BMX Racing bike wheels vary in size, from 16″ to 26″, with 20″ being the most popular.