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falling off at speed

fredyfredy Posts: 308
edited April 2010 in MTB beginners
hi there, i was on my bike yesterday going down hill clocking a max of 31mph when i lost control just before a technical bit and had try to come to some sort of stop. Luckily i managed to stay on the bike and not go flying into a tree. But it did beg a question, what sort of speed can you go before it starts to really hurt when you fall off?

Posts

  • It all depends what you land on and how you land on it. (In my opinion) Good to hear you are alright!
  • hmm pretty sure the main factors are likely to be how quickly your body comes to a stop and what it hits on the way.

    For example if you crash at 5 miles an hour on rocks with all your weight on your wrist it will be worse than crashing at 20mph and landing on your censored in a grassy field.

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  • peter413peter413 Posts: 5,120
    Agreed that what you hit is a big factor but anything over 10 mph tends to hurt a lot unless you learn to absorb the impact, then you can SOMETIMES get away with a lot of crashes and come away injury free.
  • llamafarmerllamafarmer Posts: 1,893
    A couple of mates have recently had breaks (a collar bone and a wrist) at fairly low speeds, but another got away with grazes going fairly quickly. How you land seems to be much more important than how fast you're going (unless you hit a tree) and part of me thinks in a faster accident you'll have less time to put your hands out.
  • nwmlargenwmlarge Posts: 778
    learn to roll and on occasion flip
    also make sure the bike goes the opposite direction to you
  • XCMarkXCMark Posts: 55
    A couple of mates have recently had breaks (a collar bone and a wrist) at fairly low speeds, but another got away with grazes going fairly quickly. How you land seems to be much more important than how fast you're going (unless you hit a tree) and part of me thinks in a faster accident you'll have less time to put your hands out.

    I can vouch for this, managed to break my wrist when i tried to unclip and the cleat turned on my shoe at 0 mph :/
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,572
    I think how you fall makes a huge difference - if you fall off with your hands out flapping about, then it can be easy to break wrists etc. It's not exactly foolproof, but I try hard NOT to put my hands out when I fall and not to flail about too much!!!
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  • handfulhandful Posts: 920
    fredy wrote:
    hi there, i was on my bike yesterday going down hill clocking a max of 31mph when i lost control just before a technical bit and had try to come to some sort of stop. Luckily i managed to stay on the bike and not go flying into a tree. But it did beg a question, what sort of speed can you go before it starts to really hurt when you fall off?

    Should have been watchin where you were going rather than looking at your speedo. :wink:
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  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    As's been said, very much depends on what you hit. 30mph solidly into a tree is most likely going to end up in an ambulance. 30mph into wet grass will be unpleasant enough but much less bad. 30mph on tarmac will lose you a lot of skin even if you hit nothing else.

    Try not to crash at 30mph in other words :wink: I've crashed at 80mph and was completely unscathed, but to do that you really need a suit of good quality leathers which isn't all that practical for pushbicyclists ;)
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  • fredyfredy Posts: 308
    handful wrote:
    [

    Should have been watchin where you were going rather than looking at your speedo. :wink:

    i wish i were looking at my speedo, truth be told i nearly toppled purely out of lack of skill :oops:
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 3,976
    Having hit the snow at over 40 before whilst snowboarding I know that speed has very little to do with the injury you end up with - it is what you hit and how you hit it that matters.

    Obviously if you are going to meet a tree then better to do it at 10mph than 50. :shock:
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  • fredyfredy Posts: 308
    where, what and how you hit something is deffinately more important, but generally speaking, what sort of injuries have people sustained while mountain biking? personally i've never had more than cuts and bruises but then again, i used to live in flat as a pancake suffolk.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,998
    fredy
    Same here with the cuts and bruises, in fact, barely that. Including several falls at Cannock Chase and the Long Mynd as well as locally. I think I'm just good at falling!

    Tuck a shoulder down and roll, trying to stop yourself by locking your wrist and elbows and putting them out is what's going to cause problems. And like others have said, get away from the bike. Rolling while your leg is tangled up in the frame is going to be extremely unpleasant.

    Once you start to fall, you've got to accept that you're going to fall, that you're going to hit the ground, that you're going to be moving and that you're going to keep moving when you hit the ground. I think if you try to fight any of those (other than if you're heading straight for a cliff) then you're going to cause more problems than you'll prevent.
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  • I've had a few spills including during racing when my cleats don't release and I roll the bike over with my feet in the air.

    Imagine you are watching the early training for parachute landing - the guys roll from ankle through the knee and thigh to hip and shoulder.

    This is what I try and do and I always try and hold onto the bike. That way I won't get "stabbed" in the chest or groin by the bar end and it absorbs some of the energy too.
    Also I can't put my hands out which I think is a sure-fire recipe for a wrist or collar bone injury.

    Results - bruises yes; skinned yes; aches & pains yes but still trucking on...

    Just a different approach that works for me....so far!
  • lesz42lesz42 Posts: 690
    a mate at llandegla, did a chest plant on a rock in the skills area, and then the bike landed on the back of his head :shock: ( thank god for the helmet)

    had all sorts on of pains the next day :cry:
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  • tlw1tlw1 Posts: 20,623
    depends on what you hit!

    My two worst crashes....... :cry:

    low speed off road & a x-lite bar end ripping open my leg (operation needed)

    mid speed (25mph) hitting tarmac - top of my ear sown back on
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    visible patella anyone ????


    the result of a kneepadless crash at a lot less than 20mph. it's very easy to break stuff as well and theres no rules about when it does or doesn't happen, be careful out there...
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  • nikstar1nikstar1 Posts: 103
    Matthew H - they are some pretty horrible crashes!

    You just need to tak it easy and know how fast you can control. If you get cocky and try something which you're not sure you can handle - it usually ends up in some form of injury.

    However those are the stories which make riding so much more exhilirating!
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