No one knows how many mountain bikers crash each year, but everyone
expects the number to increase as there are more people and
biking trails added all the time.
The vast majority of injuries are minor, typically scrapes and cuts
that can be treated in the field, a small number require stitches,
With mountain bikers, it’s not when you’re going to go down,
it’s how many times you’re going to go down.
Mountain bike riders can take a few precautions to improve the
chances that their injuries will be minor when they go down.
There is no shortage of videos of mountain bike crashes from around the world, with many riders having the appropriate safety equipment escaping serious injury, while others were not that fortunate.
However, some of the most spectacular mountain bike crashes have been staged for television shows and movies, using stunt riders.
In real life, mountain bike crashes can be exceptionally dangerous, causing serious injury to the riders as well as any spectators who happen to be in the way.
Riders have been impaled on handlebars and pedals as well as having severe leg injuries from riders behind them not being able to stop before running over them.
While all the different disciplines of mountain biking have their dangers, downhill, trials and dirt jump invite the most potential for mountain bike crashes.
With the number of riders on trails today along with the proliferation of extreme sport riding, it is no longer a matter of if a rider will be involved in mountain bike crashes, rather it is a matter of when.
Regardless of the experience or expertise of the rider, a crash can be caused by another careless or inexperienced rider.
Due to the potential consequences of inevitable mountain bike crashes, riders are advised to take advantage of the many safety accessories available.
One of the first body parts to hit the ground in mountain bike crashes are the hands, with fingers and wrists often suffering the most from even the slightest accidents.
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Mountain biking gloves, available in full-finger or half-finger designs can ease the pain on the hands from a death-grip on the handlebars. However, full-finger gloves can help keep the skin where it belongs in the event of an accident.
The primary piece of safety equipment is a helmet and in many mountain bike crashes where riders were using this protection, other bones may have been broken but their heads stayed in one piece.
A good quality helmet can do more in preventing serious, often life-threatening injuries than any other piece of safety equipment.
Serious head injuries can be prevented with a helmet and today’s styles and designs make them more comfortable to wear.
Anti-skid clothing can also help a fallen rider maintain their skin, or at least reduce the burn marks often associated with mountain bike crashes.
Comfortably padded shorts and shirts absorb a lot of the skin burns from falling at higher speeds.
Eye protection is also important as the debris, as well as the wind, can cause the eyes to tear, blurring the vision that can lead to mountain bike crashes when the rider fails to negotiate a curve or other obstruction.