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I know you guys are having fun with this track vs traffic thing but it's a bit of a leap from there to bicycles. People don't die in huge numbers in cars
People don't die in huge numbers mountain biking either, thank goodness. No need to overdo it with the protection. Wear what you feel is the appropriate level of equipment. Just because you choose to not wear every bit of protection doesn't necessarily mean you're being cavalier. It just means you've done your risk assessment.
 

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thanks for being a voice of reason.
My point was the perception of risk vs actual risk is a huge factor in behaviour.
And that perception of risk changes all the time and when it does, folks change their behaviour.

I don’t find it at all surprising that light weight full face trail helmets are becoming very popular as the spec and geo of trail bikes gets more capable.

I don't think the protective gear used has much to do with trail bikes getting more capable.

There's been a very obvious trend over the decades to use more protective gear in all action sports. When I was a kid NOBODY wore helmets for skiing or bike riding. Now everybody does.

I do agree that the perception of risk has changed wrt these sports and also people's perception of the risk of concussions have changed, so folks are changing their behavior and wearing helmets. I think this trend has little to do with the gear, rather it's the folks getting injured badly that have shifted perception. Same with motorsport, people used to die regularly in horrific ways driving race cars. Now it's cages, seats w/hans devices, fireproof everything. Cars getting faster didn't cause this, horrific deaths did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
@Nat Well, if we take the car analogy, the reason for all the airbags and crumple zones and ABS mandated to manufacturers by the NHTSA, backed up by IIHS and their donors, is that individuals are stupid about risk. Some of it is for lack of data about likelihood vs. severity, or being unable to rationalize it and fixing the wrong problem. But it's not just for lack of data, it's also hard to sell people on it when any discomfort or inconvenience or additional cost is involved. That's why I'm looking for the very next link in the chain after the crash helmet, and not immediately convinced it's knee or elbow pads. Those are really easy and inexpensive. But would protecting the neck or back or pelvis, even imperfectly, be more worthwhile?

@davec113 the adoption of crash helmets in non contact sports the last thirty years has been really remarkable when you think about it. Everyone thought Lemond was a weenie for his funny aero helmet.
 

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The older I get, the smarter I act, so wearing protection simply seems smarter.

I hate to be the guy that adds protection after an accident, that seems a "a day late and a dollar short".

The EWS neck guards arrive this week, next up is a bite guard; just ordered a strap style mouth guard, it'll hang off my full face, too easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I finally got around to looking in detail at the Enduro World Series study linked earlier. It’s pretty interesting because it grades injuries not just on frequency but also on what they call burden, which they measure as recovery days. The worst burden comes from pelvis and spine injuries, but they are not nearly so common. Shoulder and hand injuries are the ones that have the biggest combination of burden and frequency. Knee and elbow injuries happen more often, but are not often as severe.

Because I deserve it for starting this thread, I had a crash today. It was taken while commuting and was a left hand low side. My left knee and elbow got scraped, but somehow my right hand got smashed pretty good. My right thumb is either sprained or maybe broken and it’s going to take a while to recover. Ha! Data!
 

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I finally got around to looking in detail at the Enduro World Series study linked earlier. It’s pretty interesting because it grades injuries not just on frequency but also on what they call burden, which they measure as recovery days. The worst burden comes from pelvis and spine injuries, but they are not nearly so common. Shoulder and hand injuries are the ones that have the biggest combination of burden and frequency. Knee and elbow injuries happen more often, but are not often as severe.

Because I deserve it for starting this thread, I had a crash today. It was taken while commuting and was a left hand low side. My left knee and elbow got scraped, but somehow my right hand got smashed pretty good. My right thumb is either sprained or maybe broken and it’s going to take a while to recover. Ha! Data!
Oh, on that topic.

Jesse Melamed broke his hand/few fingers during the EWS in... 2018? A few years back or whatever.

I was noticing the other day that he is one of the riders using handguards now. Something that most people would say is not needed and kind of "ugly". But I can imagine him not wanting to have his season ended again by a tree. And while they won't 100% save your fingers, they should help (although not with your thumb specific injury, sorry man :(, was mostly bringing up fingers as another overlooked area).

And off the top of my head, he, and Sam Hill are the only people that I know that ride them.

I've actually low key considered them as well, as they don't just help with deflecting/absorbing impacts, but also with the wind/rain (metal levers at 32f that are wet aren't super warm, and just breaking the wind would help save the fingers quite a bit), and also with keeping your levers intact if you crash.
 

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@Darth Lefty sorry to hear, I hope you recover quickly! Fingers can have a long tail-end, I had a sprain that only kept me off the bike for a week but I noticed it for a year. Probably should have given it more of a rest but I was in denial, lol.

On the EWS results keep in mind they do have mandatory rules for protective gear which includes FF helmet, knees and back, maybe gloves. It can vary by country I think. So you have to take into account the results of the study are affected by the protective gear the riders use and it's effectiveness at preventing injury. I feel knee, hip, elbow and back protection can be exceptionally effective in typical crashes, but few use hip or elbow pads. Hands and shoulders are vulnerable but there's not much you can do.
 

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I consider the severity of the possible injury and the time it takes to recover. Lots of statistics on helmets preventing head trauma and the new MIPS type helmets also minimize neck injuries. Knees take a lot of time to recover and so knee pads are important for mountain bikers on trails. For serious downhill I would want a full face helmet and elbow pads.

But no device is going to protect people from their own stupidity. In most activities injuries result from people not appreciating their own limitations. Doing a double diamond run if you lack the skill, strength, or experience needed then the helmet is not going to help them and might conceivably encourage them to take risks they might not have otherwise. Same applies to all the mountain climbers that take a cell phone or a sat phone and then take risks and put their rescuers' lives on the line.
 

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Ok, so as someone who made a split second bad decision that turned a casual ride in easy territory into 2 neck fractures and an AC Joint separation in the shoulder I think neck protection will need to added in the future. My total time away from trails looks like it will be in the neighborhood of 9 months for a 1 second misjudgment- and I'm extremely lucky at that. I fractured the plastic and foam completely through in one section and partially through in another on the Scott helmet I was wearing and had no loss of consciousness or head injury so there is that.
 

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Two of my friends have broken their necks mountain biking, one is still riding and the other is riding a 4WD wheelchair as he was left a quad. At this time I was the only one regularly wearing any neck protection. I took an EVS race collar that I built up with closed cell foam to limit movement a bit more. It was uncomfortable and limited my visibility a bit, but when I hit the tree head first on a DH run I probably did not break my neck. I say that because my doc said bulging disc but another friend of mine who was head of radiology peeked and said he felt there was a fractured vertebrae. I was off the bike for a good while but am riding 15 years later with only occasional discomfort. Both docs said without that protection I would be dead or also in a chair. For me when there are speed and air involved stuff can go wrong fast so if I'm going that route I want to put the odds in my favor.
 

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Injuries were common with the ATV trikes and still an issue with the short wheelbases of the 4-wheel ones. Doesn't help that many of the riders are not very mature and feel invincible until they crash. Most serious bicycle injuries involve an inattentive motorist.
 
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