Mountain biking is not an easy challenge and can sometimes be very difficult and dangerous if you do not observe all safety rules.
Lots of riders can get confused and don’t know if mountain biking is dangerous so to answer that question I wrote this post to explain how dangerous it is and also how you can be more confident when riding.
So, let’s start.
Is mountain biking dangerous? – Mountain biking is not dangerous because they do not reach high speeds like other vehicles such as dirt bikes or ATVs. However, there is still some risk to mountain biking, it all depends on your ability and the style in which you ride.
How dangerous is mountain biking?
The risk of mountain biking depends on many different factors that you need to know but there are 5 main factors determine your safety:
The type of riding you do – The type of riding you do is obviously a very important factor when it comes to your safety when riding a mountain bike.
For example, if you ride dangerously and do stunts that can put you at risk, you will significantly increase your risk of having an accident. On the other hand, if you stick to the safety rules and don’t perform dangerous exercises, you will be much safer.
The environment in which you ride – the environment in which you ride is much more important than you think. For example, riding in mountains and areas with rocks and stones can be very dangerous compared to places where the surface is straight and has grass or sand that can help you to stay stable while riding.
If you want to know about the best places to go riding, I highly recommend you read the post I wrote that shows you the best places in the US. Click here to view.
The weather conditions – You will have to consider that the more you ride in wet weather, the more you increase your chance of having an accident however, riding in the sun and drier conditions is much safer and fun.
Therefore, I recommend always checking the weather before every ride to make sure that it is safe to ride.
Speed - The speed at which you ride is very important to your safety. The faster you ride, the higher your chances are of having an accident.
In general, the recommended riding speed is between 10 and 25 kph. Speeds higher than this can be very dangerous.
Safety equipment – Riding without proper safety equipment can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.
It is very important to have good safety equipment such as helmets, long pants, gloves and more.
There are a few more other important factors that will determine your safety when riding on a mountain biking but these are the 5 key factors.
What are the known injuries from mountain bike accidents?
Abdominal injury – Abdominal injuries are one of the most common injuries that happen from mountain bike accidents. In fact, abdominal injuries have a 50% chance of injuring the spleen, a 16% chance of injury to the liver and a 13% chance of injuring the small intestine.
Head injury – The most dangerous injury caused by mountain bike crashes are head injuries therefore, it is extremely important that you wear a helmet. If you don’t, you risk your life if you have an accident.
Limb injuries – Limb injuries may be a little less common, but they are very dangerous. Usually lower limb injuries are due to a failure in releasing the release pedal quick enough to prevent injury and so injuries can be severe due to skin tearing on the chain wheel or you may even break your ankles.
Cuts and scratches – Cuts and scratches are maybe not so dangerous, but they are definitely very common injuries among riders and this is why I always recommend you wear long pants and a long shirt to soften the fall.
How to be safe when riding a mountain bike
1. Always wear a helmet!
I know it is obvious that you always need to wear a helmet, but there are still loads of riders who don’t wear one while riding.
Riding without a helmet will certainly be life-threatening if you fall on your head.
It doesn’t matter how uncomfortable, itchy or annoying it might be, you must always wear a helmet no matter what.
And always make sure the helmet you buy is high quality and strong. You don’t have to buy a very expensive helmet, you just need to make sure you have one. I am used to using this helmet that perfectly protects my head and I was shocked to see how cheap it is on Amazon. Click here to view.
2. Don’t go too crazy
You must know your limits and your riding ability. If you are only a beginner rider and are already trying to do crazy stunts, you are significantly increasing your risk of having an accident.
On the other hand, if you are an advanced rider who has a lot of riding experience you can definitely start doing stunts with your mountain bike.
Always remember to start little and don’t go crazy with your bike, especially when you’re a beginner.
Also, if you’re not sure what your riding level is I highly recommend that you ask a friend to photograph you riding your bike or even ask a riding instructor to give an opinion on your riding level.
3. Maintain your bike
Maintaining your mountain bike is a very important thing that affects your safety much more than you think.
Riding in a bike that is not maintained can be very dangerous, therefore you must check your mountain bike before each ride.
The most important parts you need to maintain are the brakes, wheels, tires, and chain. If you don’t check that each of these parts are working perfectly you increase your chances of having an accident.
I have written you a complete guide to show you how to maintain your mountain bike perfectly click here to view.
4. Ride in safe weather
A factor that is very influential to your safety when riding is the weather.
The best weather for riding is when it is dry and sunny and the most dangerous weather for riding is when there is rain and wind.
And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ride in the rain, you just have to take into account that riding in the rain is a lot more dangerous than riding in the sun because it is very easy to fall from your bike. I recommend that only advanced riders ride in rainy and windy weather.
Always check the weather before every ride.
5. Be ready to crash
You must understand that you are likely to crash when riding your mountain bike, and because of that you must always be prepared for an emergency.
You will need first aid kit and a walkie-talkie to ensure you have a way to treat yourself if you do have an accident and a way to call for help should you need it.
Also, if you are trying to do stunts for the first time, you are likely to crash and so it is very important to select a good location that has lots of people so that if you fall from your bike you have a lot of people around to help you.
6. Stay focused
One of the most important things you will need to do is to be focused when riding on your mountain bike.
If you are tired and you don’t have much energy but you still ride, you significantly up your chances of crashing. Therefore, you must be sure you are alert enough to go riding.
Also, if you are at work and you’re tired and you have no other way to get back to your home except for your bike, make sure you ride slowly and safely. I would even recommend you drink an energy drink to wake you up a bit.
7. Take a safety course
One of the best things I recommend you do is to take a safety course.
A safety course will explain all the important things that you need to know to stay safe while riding your mountain bike.
Safety courses don’t cost too much money, and you can usually pay for various riding courses at riding centers where there are coaches who can train you how to be safe when riding.
If you can’t find a safety course near to your home you can find excellent safety courses online.
Is mountain biking dangerous for kids?
Mountain biking is not dangerous for kids as long as they obey all of the safety rules.
When it comes to kids and mountain biking, there are many different factors that you must pay attention to to ensure your child is safe when riding.
Usually, children from the age of 3 can start to ride a mountain bike however, the recommended age to start riding is 5 because they will be more aware of how dangerous mountain biking can be.
Kids are usually very clumsy when riding their bike therefore, you must always look after your child and never let them ride alone.
Also, it is very important to buy your child all the safety equipment that they need. I would even recommend spending half of the budget you have for mountain bikes on protective gear if it is very important to you.
Additionally, you will need to make sure you buy a bike that does not ride too fast and is the right size for your kid.
If you want to learn more about choosing the most suitable mountain bike size for your child, I highly recommend you watch this video that shows you how to do it.
To summarize today, I have shown you all the things you need to know about the risks of mountain biking.
In general, mountain biking will not be dangerous if you keep to the safety rules I showed you today, which are:
- 1. Always wear a helmet!
- 2. Don’t ride too crazy
- 3. Maintain your bike
- 4. Ride in safe weather
- 5. Be ready to crash
- 6. Stay focused
- 7. Take a safety course
We would be happy to answer any questions you may have so simply leave a comment, and we will reply as soon as we can.
Thanks for your riding. Until next time.