Is Mountain Biking Dangerous? Common Risks and Best Ways to Avoid Them!

Mountain biking is presumed to be a dangerous sport by many, and this article details the perks, the good, and the bad of this popular activity.
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Last updatedLast updated: March 29, 2022
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These days, there are different kinds of sports and adventures, and while some of these reinvigorating activities can be quite thrilling, some of them also pose some worries over safety. Mountain biking is one of these activities. Many people who love to immerse themselves in an engaging exercise that encapsulates a more natural feeling find mountain biking appealing. But is mountain biking dangerous? This question isn’t usually uncommon on the lips of many who presume this sport to be a very risky one that could endanger one’s life. The images that come to the mind of many who think of mountain biking often revolve around bouncing and landing on rugged terrain, flying in the air, and a reckless feat. However, what most people don’t know is that mountain biking has different styles, with each of them having its hazards peculiarities. And include, people who engage in mountain biking do not just put their lives at risk over a dangerous activity because they take all necessary precautions and the injuries that circulate the web aren’t as high as they’re projected to be. Well, rather than giving a direct response to the safety question, it’s worthy of exploring some compelling details about this sport, and in the long run, you would get your straight answer.

How dangerous is mountain biking?

If you’re very curious about the dangers associated with mountain biking, you’ll find this section to be very informative. When it comes to injuries sustained during mountain biking, there are ample statistics to refer to.

However, what’s more, surprising is that there’s quite a lower injury rate attributed to mountain biking than a physical sport like football.
In accordance with a British study Trusted Source Mountain Bike InjuriesSee Mountain biking injuries: An Overview | SpringerLink Mountain biking is a popular outdoor recreational activity, an exciting adventure sport, and now an Olympic cycling discipline. The overall injury rate is 16.8 injuries per 1,000 h exposure. , downhill mountain biking per 100 hours fetches only 4.34 injuries, and cross-country mountain biking per 100 hours is at a 0.37 injury rate. Nevertheless, it’s worthy of including that the odds of sustaining an injury during mountain biking are massively reduced by sensible riding and being conscious of all needful precautions.

Safety equipment tips

Is Mountain Biking Dangerous? Common Risks and Best Ways to Avoid Them!

Mountain biking has lesser injury rates than sports such as surfing, ATV, road biking, soccer, football, and baseball.

Safety isn’t usually toyed with when it comes to mountain biking, and this explains why there are lots of quality, durable, and affordable mountain bikes for women and men alike on the market. Although the way you handle your bike during your cycling activity is what determines the large portion of your safety, you’ll still have a couple of protective gears such as accessories and clothing to improve your safety. Mountain biking injuries often occur when riders get carried away by the stunning thrill of the sport, roughing it through the terrains, and severe head injuries, bruises, and minor bumps are some of the injuries that are likely to occur. Nevertheless, it’s possible to prevent these injuries when the right equipment like knee pads, helmets, and a host of other needful accessories are put in place. And, you may also want to beef up your level of safety and even be eco-friendly with your biking adventures by getting the Eahora Azarias 750W Folding Electric Bike.

How do people get hurt while mountain biking?

Most people into mountain biking get injured in diverse ways, and here are some of the causative factors:

  • Error in riding: Mistakes do happen, and most times, even your years of experience may not be able to help you avoid them. You’re likely to be exposed to a serious accident if you’re riding on a winding two-way path and the wrong side and you find it difficult to focus on the terrain or trails.
  • Terrain peculiarities: Accidents also occur while mountain biking due to terrain peculiarities. From narrow trails with sharp turns and roots and branches to steep mountainside slopes, loose dirt or gravel, and a host of other natural obstacles and man-made set up, there are distinct kinds of terrain where mountain biking takes place. And for that, you must stay focused so that you won’t be caught off guard.
  • Mechanical problem: Imagine you’re riding a bike that has issues; what do you think would happen when things get rough? You must ensure regular inspection of your mountain bike to be in a very fit condition. It’s even more important that you prioritize this checkup if you’ll be competing. Thus, do well to ensure that the crankshaft, the handlebars, the brakes, and any other needful parts are in excellent shape.

The Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail Bike is a fine example of a sturdy and efficient mountain biking you can trust for your biking activities.

  • Lack of experience: Experience is vital when engaging in a sport like a mountain biking. Without experience, the odds of you suffering an accident or accidents are somewhat high. The good part of it all is that you’ll become pretty better at it when you practice it more.
    There’s this belief that professional mountain bikers often get more injured, but this is actually because they embrace more daring terrain.

Cross-country vs. downhill mountain biking

Is Mountain Biking Dangerous? Common Risks and Best Ways to Avoid Them!

Downhill racing and cross-country mountain biking are the two major kinds of mountain biking. And speaking of injuries, downhill racing has more potential injuries to offer, while cross-country mountain biking usually records fewer injuries.

Experts advise that you try to stay out of trouble by not doing something totally out of your capacity; you should plan to scope out a downhill trail, look ahead, ensure that your bike is set upright, and don’t go too fast. It’s also advised that you make efforts to become familiarized with the trail before the D-day, take the activity seriously, and don’t be too busy. It would help if you equipped yourself with the right mindset, and all needed equipment should be appropriately put in place. If you put all of these tips into cognizance, there’s a high chance that you won’t be a victim of a broken bone, a head injury, or any other fractures or accidents.

Common types of injuries you can get

From serious brain injuries and concussions to bruises and bumps, injuries are nothing new in mountain biking, and here are some of the common ones.

  • Concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Wrist fractures
  • Broken collarbone
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Knee pain
  • Pain in the lower back area
  • Skin abrasions

Risk factors

Injuries during mountain biking usually occur due to crashes — this is the most significant cause. Hardcore bikers with electric mountain bikes or other kinds tend to make themselves more vulnerable to injuries because of the kind of posture they keep and their daring will to do something new or show some riding expertise that could be endangering. Nevertheless, injuries aren’t supposed to be a constant thing during mountain biking because you can exert more control. Foremost, take the sport seriously; secondly, beware of foolishness and taking unnecessary risks; and thirdly, ensure that you and your bike are in perfect condition.

Mountain biking can pose quite some dangers, irrespective of your level of expertise, but it can also be very fun. And, you alone have the major decision to take in practicing safety. But don’t be too relaxed; you may still risk some injuries, regardless of how much you try to stay safe.
For instance, you can experience heel pain and/or foot pain after hunching over your bike, and you aren’t as well immune from suffering lower back pain. The good side of all of these is that as soon as you’re done with the sport, you can always attend to them. Soreness in the piriformis muscle isn’t uncommon with most mountain bikers as they can have pain in their legs or hip. All-in-all, mountain biking features a distinct array of injuries with diverse causes, and to reduce the likelihood of the occurrence of these accidents or injuries, you’re enjoined to take precautions and use common sense.

Tips to avoid injury

Since injuries are common with mountain biking, there are a handful of tips you can make use of to avoid them. It’s recommended that you educate yourself, use the needed equipment properly whenever necessary, ensure that your bike is in good condition, be updated on your mountain bike tire pressure, and apply common sense. Additionally, have it registered in your mind that, as a cyclist, your primary responsibility is to avoid injury. Thus, don’t be too foolhardy to engage in risks that make you vulnerable to catastrophic outcomes. If you can put all of these tips into check, you’ll be able to drastically reduce the chances of the occurrence of an accident, even though it may not be possible to avoid all the injuries. Mountain biking is very thrilling and fun, especially if you’re biking in a place like Connecticut that’s renowned for housing some of the best biking trails in the U.S. But, make sure you reduce the score of you sustaining an injury by practicing all of the things you have learned to ensure that your safety is guaranteed.

Final Thoughts

Mountain biking is a peculiar and adventurous sport with its peculiarities, and some of these peculiarities also cut across the risks it encircles. According to a published study on ResearchGate, mountain biking fetches many benefits. It is renowned for being a whole-body muscle workout, fit for weight loss, helpful for improving joint health, apt for disease prevention, beefs up a healthier heart, and fosters better coordination and concentration. However, the risks and injuries associated with this sport have always kept many deterred from engaging in it. But, it isn’t as bad as people project it to be, plus you can always stay safe by practicing the recommended safety tips in this article. So, is mountain biking dangerous? You answer that.


Mountain Bike InjuriesSee Mountain biking injuries: An Overview | SpringerLink
Mountain biking is a popular outdoor recreational activity, an exciting adventure sport, and now an Olympic cycling discipline. The overall injury rate is 16.8 injuries per 1,000 h exposure.
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