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Reviewer/Tester
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Today when I was out on the trails, I lost traction completely on a stiff uphill climb as the rear tire simply spun around on the dry leaves and dust covered ground.

I leaned the bike over sideways as I always do when I have to dismount fast. Somehow, the inside of my right knee hit the chainwheel hard and I ended up with a nice chunk out of my leg from the Rohloff chain.

This got me thinking about safety on bikes.

Not safety as in wrapping yourself in armour every time you ride, but basic sensible components on your bike that aren't going to carve you up in a crash.

I saw a guy with a sharp looking saw-tooth bash ring on his dirt bike recently on the trail, and immediately had a mental picture of that thing ripping into your leg like a chainsaw in a crash.

Another one I spotted was these new disk brake rotors with fancy cutouts around the edges, leaving some very dangerouse sharp points that are just waiting to rip into some flesh.

A friend of mine had a freaky crash not too long ago. He had this habit of pushing plonk bottle corks into his barends instead of using proper wide plastic ones. He clipped a tree on the way down a rooty hill, which knocked the end right off the cork. When he crashed at the bottom of this hill, the bike flipped over him and that damn handlebar end took a very nasty and deep core sample from his shoulder blade, right to the bone...:eekster:

Platform pedals with big traction pins like I use are real leg rippers. If you use these on your bike, expect to have lots of scars from the pins ripping into your legs and knees, front and back.

Steerer tubes that stick out of the top of stems are dangerous too. Hit one of these hard with your chest and you are going to know all about it for days, maybe weeks later.

Top tube cable guides with bare cables and nice sharp edges are leg, genital and thigh rippers just waiting to happen. I won't own a bike with these cable guides along the top of the top tube. Too damn dangerous.

Controls on your handlebars that are sharp or that are overtightened so that they don't turn in a crash can break your fingers and hands. Make sure that they are just tight enough to grip the bar but still turn under pressure...especially on carbon bars.

Which brings me to carbon components like seatposts and handlebars. I personally wont own a carbon seatpost, and I don't use carbon bars. I have a carbon fork [Pace] on my SS but i'm always inspecting it for nicks or scrapes. If I ever hit this fork hard, it will go into the bin. If you use carbon components, inspect them regularly and never overtighten the controls or pinchbolt on carbon components. If any load bearing components on your bike are marked, nicked or hit, get rid of them.

Always wear a helmet, even when goofing around at the trailhead with mates. Personally, I absolutely hate helmets, and never wore one for many years. But all that changed when I went for a ride with my sons and almost got knocked out when I landed head first on a big rock. If I hadn't been wearing the helmet that day..the kids would have had no dad.

Stand back and look at your bike. Imagine that you are crashing. Think about all the different ways you can crash, and all the different ways you can hit the bike as you crash. If there are components on the bike that are going to nail you, do something about it if that is possible.

It's not always possible to cover or guard against every little thing, but a sensible selection of components and some forethought can help keep you out of the ER and riding that 29'er.

Think about crashing and what the bike is going to do to you if it hits you hard. Being safety-conscious can keep you riding that bike instead of sitting on the couch or even worse ... in the hospital.

R.
 

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Harmonius Wrench
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Good Post!

I think too many times we either neglect maintenance, or the set ups on our bikes to our own detriment. I think it's wise to consider all these things within the context of your riding. You know, it's probably not a wise choice to use a carbon bar for DH. That sort of thing. (Although I'll probably hear from DH'ers using carbon bars shortly! :rolleyes: )

Ultimately we must take responsibility for our choices. Hopefully we considered them long and hard before we made the choice to use our "decisions" for riding.

I think that is what you are trying to convey here, Rainman, if I am not mistaken. Please correct me if I am wrong.
 

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root

My foot took on a root last Summer on a night ride at Kettle Moraine. It flipped me over hard and fast...in the dark. I bled a little. Could have happened on a 26er, a unicycle, or a cross bike.

I've been roding on icy roads lately...safety is always priority when I see the shiny on the road...ride slow.
 

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For the love of all the gods, please tell me this is a spoof thread. I can see the Health & Safety Risk Assessment for riding bicycles on unmade trails now. Can we please add:

Don't ride near trees - you might bump one if you fall off - always ride where a soft emergency dismount is possible.

Always ride wearing 'chainsaw trousers' so they'll stop the nasty chain/cog cutting your leg if you catch it.

Wear body armour at all times unless the soft landing is available.

Keep your speed down - you'll hit the ground at twice the speed if you ride twice as fast.

Change your tyres for each terrain - carry at least mud/dry and semi-slick sets with you.

Ensure the dust cap is firmly grasped when handling - all that compressed air could turn it into a missile.

Only use V brakes - spinning metal is lethal.

Put disc wheels on your bike - those spinning spokes are an invitation for a twig to get in and throw you off - or worse - a small child passing could lose a limb.

I do appreciate the sentiment, but your friend was not using the designed part as bar ends, 'saw-toothed bash ring'? I ride with 3 chain rings and no bash guard - how cavalier of me! Hit anything hard with part of your body at pace and you'll know about it (bruised thighs from smacking the bar-ends when I went OTT faded last week) and I never had problems with exposed cables on a TT ever - not in the last 8 yrs of riding such a bike. If 'extreme sports' didn't have a hint of risk, they'd be 'unextreme sports' - go and ride or pad yourself in cotton wool and never ever feel a thrill again.
 

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Feet back and spread 'em!
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Many good points, no doubt brought to the forefront by your recent severe getoff. I'm with you on the carbon components. don't trust the rags & glue. and the uncut steerer tubes can be dangerous for the boys during standing climbs when you come to an abrupt stop..ooouooff! I've even managed to gouge my leg 3" worth on a seat post quick release, even though it was tucked way up between the seat and the top tube, still found it. And helmets, yeah ALWAYS wear one. My worst head-involved crash was just dicking around on a neighborhood dirt pile, where it's tempting to just ride out off the garage with no lid, stuffed the front wheel into a hole, over the bars and on my head. First time i ever heard the sound of foam crushing as conducted thru my skull.
 

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Very good info we should all follow. I for one had a bike sail off of a car top rack and had the handlebar hit me sqaure on the noggin. I had rubber plugs in my bars but they had been laid down a few too many times and were not really there to protect anything. Long story short, I have a round scar right on the top of my head, and every bike that comes through my shop that is missing or has a damaged plug gets new ones immediately and a story about how I have a round scar on my head. :madman:
 

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Let There Be Dirt
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Every time I look at my 29er now I see a loaded pistol with one empty chamber........hell I'm puttin' the thing out with the rest of the recyclables before it turns on me!
 

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I'm considering giving up my bike and wrapping myself if 3000 pounds of steel. Riding bikes is to dangerous, statistically far fewer people die in automobile crashes every year. Fat, Happy, and medicated on exhaust fumes, that's how I want to live.

Seriously though, I agree with some of the original points here. Consider your components carefully for your weight, riding abilities & style, terrain, etc... The lightest components are not always the best components. Regular maintenance is a good idea. and, Finally, ride a single speed there's a whole lot less to go wrong.
 

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OMR - Old Man Riding
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Funny (ironic) isn't it....

how safety can become controversial.

Mountain biking will always be considered a high risk sport (more risky for some than others) Seems to me that the point here is to just be aware of possible safety issues... not to try and sanitize the sport to death. The idea is to use that brain that God gave you to reduce some of those risks.

OMR... creak, step...step.. :D
(climbing down from the soapbox and carefully inspecting my bike)
 

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Rainman said:
Steerer tubes that stick out of the top of stems are dangerous too. Hit one of these hard with your chest and you are going to know all about it for days, maybe weeks later.
.
Actually, it is safer to have steer tube material above and below the clamping area of the stem. More area clamped = more security.

Rainman's ideal riding outfit?
 

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