Emerg Med J doi:10.1136/emj.2009.086991
  • Original Article

Recreational mountain biking injuries

  1. Charles M Court-Brown
  1. Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Stuart A Aitken, Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh, Little France, Edinburgh EH16 4SU, UK; stuart.aitken{at}
  • Accepted 7 March 2010
  • Published Online First 20 July 2010


Mountain biking is increasing in popularity worldwide. The injury patterns associated with elite level and competitive mountain biking are known. This study analysed the incidence, spectrum and risk factors for injuries sustained during recreational mountain biking.

The injury rate was 1.54 injuries per 1000 biker exposures. Men were more commonly injured than women, with those aged 30–39 years at highest risk. The commonest types of injury were wounding, skeletal fracture and musculoskeletal soft tissue injury. Joint dislocations occurred more commonly in older mountain bikers. The limbs were more commonly injured than the axial skeleton. The highest hospital admission rates were observed with head, neck and torso injuries. Protective body armour, clip-in pedals and the use of a full-suspension bicycle may confer a protective effect.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Borders General Hospital Ethics Committee, Borders General Hospital, Melrose, Roxburghshire, TD6 9BS.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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