Mountain biking can be a very safe, or very dangerous sport, depending on how and where you ride. The Enduro World Series recently released the results of what they are calling “the largest medical study ever undertaken in Mountain Biking.” The study was conducted by sports scientists from Edinburgh Napier University and is available here.
The first part of the study tracked over 2000 EWS racers at 10 events over a two year period. The injury rate was surprisingly low at only 8.9% with most injuries (13.3%) being shoulder or collarbone related. Second place was a tie between head and hand injuries (9.0%) with lower leg injuries in third (8.0%). The concussion rate was also quite low (7.3%), but women were three times more likely than men to sustain one.
The second part of the study tracked over 2000 athletes, both elite and amateur, from over 60 countries. In line with the previous results, shoulder and collarbone injuries were most common (25.6%) followed by the wrist (9.6%), and knee (7.1%). Two-thirds of all injuries occurred during training rides rather than in races, which the study chalks up to the fact that time spent training is usually greater than time spent on the race course.
The EWS was also nice enough to release a downloadable Pocket Guide to Concussions that everyone should take a look at. If any of your friends crash and hit their head, it should never be taken lightly.