How to Build a BMX Starting Gate

Written by jonathan d. septer | 13/05/2017
How to Build a BMX Starting Gate
This is a typical BMX bicycle. (bmx image by Claudio Calcagno from

A BMX starting gate is a device at the beginning of a BMX race that holds the racers back until the race begins when a race official allows the gate to drop. A practice starting gate is an excellent way to learn what the people at Kearny Moto BMX call "snapping out of the gate." A simple wooden gate mechanism is an inexpensive and easily built practice starting gate. A BMX starting gate is typically a two-man operation where the rider balances his front tire against the gate while an official releases the gate. This practice BMX starting gate will require two people to operate.

Place the 30-inch by 60-inch board on the 4 by 4 piece of wood. Line its edges up evenly, with the board one foot from either end of the large rectangular board.

Drill guide holes through the 30- by 60-inch board and into the 4 by 4 under it.

How to Build a BMX Starting Gate
Use Phillips screws with flat heads like these. (wood screws image by Darko Draskovic from

Screw 2-1/2-inch-long wood screws through the rectangular board and into the 4 by 4 under it.

Attach one side of the hinges to the opposite end from the 4 by 4 on the top of the board with wood screws. The 4 by 4 is attached to the bottom of the board. First, mark the location of the hinge attachment holes with the pencil.

Drill 1/2-inch-long guide holes through the marks. Do not pierce the entire wood surface.

Screw 3/4-inch-long wood screws through the hinge attachment points and into the guide holes.

Lay the 2 by 8 board in front of the hinged edge lengthwise so the edges line up with the edges of the rectangular board.

Set the unattached hinge side on top of the 2 by 8 board.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 to attach the hinge to the 2 by 8 board.

Raise the gate up.

Pound a wooden stake in the ground in front of the gate roughly 6 inches from either corner.

Things you need

  • One 30 by 60 by 1 1/2 inch board
  • One 30-inch-long 4 by 4 board
  • Drill with 3/16-inch wood bit
  • One box #10 2 1/2-inch-long Phillips head wood screws with flat heads
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Two 6-inch metal hinges that use attachment screws with flat (even with the surface) heads that swivel 180 degrees
  • Pencil
  • One box #10 3/4-inch-long Phillips head wood screws with flat heads
  • One 30-inch-long 2 by 8 board
  • One wooden stake
  • One 5-pound hammer

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