How do you time a BMX race?

An accurate timing system is essential for fair competition and a reliable outcome in a BMX race. It enables performance analysis and enhances the overall experience for participants and spectators alike. In this blog post, we will guide you through the key aspects of timing a BMX race, such as choosing the right equipment or planning ahead for a seamless event.


Basics of timing a BMX race

Before going into the specifics, let's quickly cover the basics of timing a BMX race. Timing involves accurately recording the start and finish times for each racer. This data enables the determination of winners, lap times, and statistical analysis. Timers must ensure precision, fairness, and consistency throughout the event.


Timing System for a BMX Track

For BMX racing we recommend installing an active system on your track to offer accurate insights to both riders and fans. Active transponders send a signal and get detected by the antennas or transponder loops. This means that the riders attach a battery-powered transponder to their bike, that sends a unique code to the detection loop, at the beginning and end of a race. Active systems are well suited to high-speed sports such as BMX racing. The MYLAPS active timing system is called the ProChip system, which is able to register passings up to 75km/h (47 mph) with an accuracy of 0.003 seconds. 

ProChip system - BMX - small

Chip Timing Equipment for BMX Racing

To accurately time a BMX race, a basic setup is required. You'll need essential timing equipment such as transponders, detection loops, decoders, and timing software. These components work together to capture and record the precise times of each rider as they cross the start and finish lines. Invest in reliable and high-quality equipment to ensure accurate results or it is possible to hire a timer, which we will discuss later.


ProChip FLEX

In order to identify each participant and to record the exact time at which they pass the start, finish and intermediate time lines, every participany has a transponder. Each transponder has a unique ID and is worn by the rider or gets attached to the bikes front fork. Each transponder sends out a unique signal to the chip timing system that is embedded in the track. 

Detection Loops


Detection loops are installed in the track at the start and finish line and intermediate time points. The loops work as the systems antennas and pick up the transponders signals. 

Decodersprochip smart decoder

When riders cross the loops, their passings will be detected. Taking into account that many bikes are crossing the line at once, a lot of data is transferred. The decoder translates the data into usable information. It decodes all passings into the athlete’s IDs and their measured times. 

Timing Software

Timing and Scoring Software

With the data being handled by the decoder, the gathered information can be used by the timer. This is done by using software that is specially developed for the decoder. The software is used to set-up, time, create and publish reliable and accurate results. Pick the software that is most fitting to your timing needs.


How much equipment do I need for a BMX race?

The amount of timing equipment required for BMX races depends on the scale of your event. For smaller races, you may need a basic set that we mentioned earlier. Larger tracks might have multiple timelines and therefore require multiple detection loops, decoders as well as additional backup equipment to ensure seamless operations. See below the differences between a basic and a more advanced setup.

BMX ProChip Basic-Advanced

With the right equipment, careful preparation, and professional expertise if needed, you can ensure accurate results, satisfied participants, and an unforgettable race experience. Remember, timing is not only about recording numbers; it's about capturing the essence of BMX racing and celebrating the incredible accomplishments of the riders.

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