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Old 09-19-09, 04:01 PM   #1
zeo_max
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What's more dangerous, Cross Country MTB or Road Cycling ?

I mean, what do you think is more dangerous considering:

-Risk of falls
-Severity of injury due to a fall
-Risk of getting hit by a motor vehicle
-Probability of getting help in case of injury that prevents you from walking/riding

Notice that I restricted the MTB option to Cross Country (XC) only. No Downhill, no freeride, no jumping, no stupid bmx tricks.

So considering that, what do you think is more dangerous, XC MTB or Road Cycling ? And why ?
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Old 09-19-09, 05:34 PM   #2
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I get far more injuries riding MTB but there is no question one good vehicle collision on the road may cause more damage. Last year, my road injuries were non existant but I had a multitude of large bruises, cut and a fractured pelvis from my MTB expolits.
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Old 09-19-09, 05:42 PM   #3
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I get far more injuries riding MTB but there is no question one good vehicle collision on the road may cause more damage. Last year, my road injuries were non existant but I had a multitude of large bruises, cut and a fractured pelvis from my MTB expolits.
Fractured pelvis ? OUCH ! I hurt just from hearing that ! How did that happen ? (So I don't do the same thing)
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Old 09-19-09, 05:43 PM   #4
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MTV!!!!! Lol
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Old 09-19-09, 05:44 PM   #5
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MTV!!!!! Lol
Let me guess.......you're a girl............ j/k
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Old 09-19-09, 06:03 PM   #6
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This is an interesting post for me because I've ridden all kinds of bikes for more than 40 years as an adult without ever considering the risk, and certainly not the relative risk. I've had many falls, but only one real injury, a separated shoulder.
My worst incidents have come on multi-use trails when other users did dumb things (I'm a slow and cautious MUT user, but when you come up behind someone, ask, "Can I pass on your left?" and they say yes, then veer left, there's not much you can do...). I've almost never fallen in thousands of miles of mountain biking (I live a mile from a national forest), but that may be because I usually ride alone and don't take many chances. Cell phone service disappears 15 minutes from my house, and except on summer weekends, traffic is sparse up there. Hikers who get lost or hurt often aren't found for a day or two.
As another post said, the potential for serious injury is certainly greatest on the road, where drivers often don't see you or don't realize how close they are. That's really the only time I think about crashing, after a near-miss on the road. But an experienced rider should be able to avoid nearly all those confrontations just by never assuming drivers A) see him; and B) will act rationally.
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Old 09-19-09, 06:23 PM   #7
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Fractured pelvis ? OUCH ! I hurt just from hearing that ! How did that happen ? (So I don't do the same thing)
I hit a patch of ice during a winter trail ride. You fall much quicker and seemingly harder on ice. All was good though, just 6 weeks off the bike.
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Old 09-19-09, 06:36 PM   #8
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This is an interesting post for me because I've ridden all kinds of bikes for more than 40 years as an adult without ever considering the risk, and certainly not the relative risk. I've had many falls, but only one real injury, a separated shoulder.
My worst incidents have come on multi-use trails when other users did dumb things (I'm a slow and cautious MUT user, but when you come up behind someone, ask, "Can I pass on your left?" and they say yes, then veer left, there's not much you can do...). I've almost never fallen in thousands of miles of mountain biking (I live a mile from a national forest), but that may be because I usually ride alone and don't take many chances. Cell phone service disappears 15 minutes from my house, and except on summer weekends, traffic is sparse up there. Hikers who get lost or hurt often aren't found for a day or two.
As another post said, the potential for serious injury is certainly greatest on the road, where drivers often don't see you or don't realize how close they are. That's really the only time I think about crashing, after a near-miss on the road. But an experienced rider should be able to avoid nearly all those confrontations just by never assuming drivers A) see him; and B) will act rationally.
I also see greater risk in road cycling because of the speed those bikes develop
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Old 09-19-09, 08:00 PM   #9
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Depends on where you ride, and how you ride.

On the trail, the only danger to me is me -- how hard I want to push, how fast I want to ride, how much risk I want to take.

On the road, I don't have as much control over the risk level. There are more factors at play than just me and the terrain.
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Old 09-20-09, 04:09 AM   #10
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I also see greater risk in road cycling because of the speed those bikes develop
And the unknowns that you have for the road before you. Also, you're typically riding tires which are less tolerant to bumps and things. You never know when you might hit something and get skipped right out into the traffic lane. (I've had it happen a time or two)
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Old 09-20-09, 07:23 AM   #11
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I do not understand the American obsession with safety/risk.Until you're working on the bomb squad risk is about the same for everyone that uses a public road.You will likely die earlier from watching TV and eating Cheetos.So get off the couch and experience life.But don't forget your helmet!
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Old 09-20-09, 11:11 AM   #12
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It depends on the road, and the trails you ride, and how you ride them. The only thing that I would comment upon, if you are riding the trails solo, away from civilization, a small fall can leave you stuck. If you can't move, can't call for help, you could get in serious trouble from what might otherwise be a very survivable fall.
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Old 09-20-09, 11:43 AM   #13
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Frequency of accidents -- much higher in MTB
Seriousness of injury - probably higher on the road (compared to XC, anyway)
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Old 09-20-09, 11:55 AM   #14
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Listening to country music while riding a road bike.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:40 PM   #15
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Listening to country music while riding a road bike.
More dangerous due to the increased risk of suicide?

The way I see it, if I ride within my abilities on the trail, the odds of me being run over by a Mack truck are very, very slim.

I'd love to see the stats for deaths on the roads versus the trails, but my guess is they're higher for road, injuries higher for trail.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:54 PM   #16
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I rode MTB's for 16 years as you don't get many cars up on the hills. You get angry walkers- cows and the odd tractor or 12 but not a great deal to hit or be hit by. But 3 years ago I went road. Sure there are lots of cars and trucks and the road is a lot harder when you do fall- But I keep my eyes and ears open and don't have many problems with possible accidents. I used to have more damage done to me offroad with the trees that jump out in front of you or when my ridings skills were not as great as I thought they were.

Take your choice.
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Old 09-20-09, 03:22 PM   #17
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One problem with making this comparison is that "road cycling" is poorly defined. It seems to me that in reading the Road Cycling Forum here that most of those guys think "Road Cycling = Racing" or at least training for racing. And so you tend to find younger men, not many women, not many older men. But if you get out on a bike rally or similar event, you find a lot of women, a lot of older men, kids, in short, a lot of people that don't fit the "road cycling" image but are still out cycling on the roads anyway. Most of the folks in the Commuting, Clydesdale, and Recumbent forums are actually "road cycling" for that matter, but don't fit the image portrayed here. In any case, it seems that the hazards associated with road cycling vary considerably depending on what exactly you're talking about. I hear of a lot of wrecks in pacelines, and hear of ninja bikers being run over at night on the roads, but you can do an awful lot of road cycling without being in either category.
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Old 09-20-09, 04:13 PM   #18
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One problem with making this comparison is that "road cycling" is poorly defined. It seems to me that in reading the Road Cycling Forum here that most of those guys think "Road Cycling = Racing" or at least training for racing. And so you tend to find younger men, not many women, not many older men. But if you get out on a bike rally or similar event, you find a lot of women, a lot of older men, kids, in short, a lot of people that don't fit the "road cycling" image but are still out cycling on the roads anyway. Most of the folks in the Commuting, Clydesdale, and Recumbent forums are actually "road cycling" for that matter, but don't fit the image portrayed here. In any case, it seems that the hazards associated with road cycling vary considerably depending on what exactly you're talking about. I hear of a lot of wrecks in pacelines, and hear of ninja bikers being run over at night on the roads, but you can do an awful lot of road cycling without being in either category.
Ok, then allow me to define it clearly for you.

By XC MTB, I am assuming that you may need to ride on the road sometimes, to get to the trails, or to link one trail with another, besides purely riding the trails. So you will have cars passing by your side but, the type of bike (MTB) should have an effect on how risky doing that is. Then, after considering that, I'm also considering the risks encountered in the trails.

Now for Road Cycling, I'm assuming that you are riding like Lance Armstrong trying to catch Alberto Contador, on your 14 lbs TDF approved bike. Yeah, basically that's it.
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