HomeCyclingConcussions in Biking: Data and Attitudes Amongst Riders

Concussions in Biking: Data and Attitudes Amongst Riders

Sports activities concussions are not simply laughed off as getting your bell rung. Nonetheless, data and attitudes about concussions can differ significantly throughout totally different sports activities. Let’s check out what cyclists know and assume.

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A nasty crash for Thymen Arensman in la Vuelta a España 2023

I began out biking within the mid-80s within the earliest days of biking helmets, with the almost 900g Bell Biker strapped to my noggin. Since then, biking helmets have improved massively in decreasing weights all the way down to lower than 1/3 whereas significantly enhancing safety, air flow, and appears.

On the similar time, scientific consciousness about head accidents has undergone the same revolution. Not are concussions or traumatic mind accidents restricted to clear overt trauma like with automotive accidents and precise head accidents. Improved imaging know-how has permitted larger insights into what is definitely occurring throughout the mind.

Lastly, one other main enchancment is that society is definitely understanding concussions and prepared to speak about it within the open. For instance, I’ve colleagues who’re finding out traumatic mind accidents from home violence, the place causes can embody each head accidents but in addition extreme shaking.

Hurst et al. 2019

In biking, the chance of head accidents and concussions are clearly excessive. Not simply in biking however most different high-speed or threat sports activities (snowboarding, skateboarding), helmets are actually simply one thing that contributors placed on with out a second thought.

However simply because we strap on a helmet, it doesn’t imply that we’re immune from concussions or that we’re totally conversant on their signs and penalties. Due to this fact, I used to be a part of a analysis group that carried out a web-based survey to review what the collective data and attitudes about concussions are amongst cyclists throughout a variety of talents (Hurst et al. 2019). Descriptive research like these are essential as a result of step one in creating countermeasures is to know the problems and gaps that you simply’re coping with.

Stephen Cheung exhibiting easy methods to put on a helmet with class

Right here was the research design. A shout-out to the Pez readers who participated on this survey in 2018!

  • 1990 responded to the web survey. Notice that racing was NOT a requirement, and the survey was additionally open to help employees (e.g., coaches, administrators, medical help). All disciplines of biking have been permitted.
  • The survey was tailored to biking from the RoCKAS survey initially designed for subject sports activities.
  • Part 1 concerned demographics and concussion incidences. Sections 2-3 involved concussion data, together with 20 questions on potential signs (10 true, 10 false) and 13 data statements. Part 4 consisted of perspective questions.

What’s the Rating?

What have been the outcomes from this survey?

  • We have been hoping for a very numerous pattern and we obtained it. We had at the very least 45 contributors from every continent, and riders of all disciplines, racing pursuits, talents, and expertise ranges. For instance, we had ~50% who didn’t race (935) by to 101 elite/professionals. In the meantime, round 75% have been athletes with the rest in different biking roles.
  • About 26% of contributors responded that they’ve skilled a proper concussion analysis. Curiously, 32% reported that they suspected a concussion that wasn’t formally identified. This represents an enormous hole between suspected and formal analysis, which must be a purple flag for each higher schooling and insurance policies for acquiring formal medical evaluation. It may additionally characterize a spot in correct evaluation of concussions.
  • Imply rating for the concussion data index was fairly excessive (25.9 out of max 33). The most typical incorrectly recognized signs have been “sharp burning ache in neck” (true, 39.9% right), “weak spot in neck motion” (false, 42.5% right), and “irregular sense of scent” (false, 47.8% right). Essentially the most misidentified statements involved imaging exhibiting direct proof of concussion (false, 44.9% right) and other people with one concussion being extra possible for subsequent ones (true, 72.3% right).
  • By way of attitudes, a big majority (>90%) agreed with statements in regards to the: 1) significance of schooling about concussion indicators and signs, 2) data on concussion prevention, and three) not taking part in occasions whereas experiencing concussion signs.
  • Of main concern have been the dangerous behaviours/attitudes which had excessive responses. Notably, 16.3% responded that they continued taking part in a biking occasion even regardless of experiencing concussion signs. Moreover, 18.7% responded that they might cover concussion signs from others to proceed participation.

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Alexander Konychev – Would he cover concussion signs to proceed racing?


The most important spotlight and discovering from our research was that, in a global and numerous group of cyclists, concussion data was typically fairly good. This implies that schooling in regards to the fundamentals has been effectively achieved.

The place the most important shock got here was that, regardless of an excellent data base, the perspective in direction of precise security regarding concussion continues to be missing. It’s a really sharp distinction {that a} very giant majority (91.8%) agreed that it’s essential to discontinue coaching/racing when experiencing concussion signs, 16.3% nonetheless DID proceed, and a good larger proportion would cover signs to proceed.

Thus, we concluded that the main focus shouldn’t be on simply extra schooling on the basics of concussion, however analyzing the techniques whereby there exists incentives to proceed biking even whereas experiencing concussions. That is after all the rather more troublesome route than simply extra schooling, and can contain many layers and ranges of stakeholders throughout the sport.

Experience secure and have enjoyable!

Concussion for Van Garderen in la Vuelta


Hurst HT, Novak AR, Cheung SS, Atkins S (2019) Data of and attitudes in direction of concussion in biking: A preliminary research. J Sci Cycl 8:11–17



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