Has an MTB helmet saved your life?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Has an MTB helmet saved your life?


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This topic contains 21 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  bikeit420 4 years ago.

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  • #177510

    I was just thinking how crazy it is that some people don’t wear helmets on the mountain bike trail.

    Does anyone have a story about a helmet saving their life in a crash? Might help convince folks who still ride without one…

  • #177513


    I say that because I’ve cracked a few helmets in crashes. The worst two I can think of are an over-the-bars into a tree crash, and a falling backwards onto a rock crash. In those instances I think the helmet saved my life, at least as I know it.

  • #177535

    I have broken 2 different helmets in crashes. Anyone who rides without one needs to seriously re think what they are doing. It’s not always the high speed crashes. One of mine was a low speed tip over off the edge of the trail into lava rock.  Thankfully I had it on!

    • #177564

      @TourGuide – truth. The first crash I referred to was high speed and headfirst into a tree.

      The second was a low speed tip over and then I fell backwards.

  • #177562

    It would be really tough to say whether it saved my life but I performed a body slam at about 25mph riding my brothers bike.  I’m fairly confident that at the very least it kept me from driving a wheelchair with a straw.  I’ve had car accidents that were less jarring.  The helmet was cracked in 4 places.  Probably kept me from scrambling the wrinkly thing in my noggin.

  • #177565

    Yes, most likely! I’ve had an endo straight onto a massive boulder, where I literally landed on the boulder, on top of my head. Despite wearing a helmet, I’m still amazed I didn’t have spinal damage from that crash. I shudder to think what the outcome would have been without a helmet.

  • #177580

    I can recall two crashes after which I literally saw stars, just like in the cartoons.  Without the helmet, I’m sure I would have been much worse off.  Maybe not actually dead, but at least comatose or eating through a tube while my loved ones lament the fact that our insurance has maxed out and I still don’t know who they are.

    There have also been numerous near decapitations by low tree branches.  Without the helmet, I’m sure they would make for some good youtube videos–well at least the first one, because I doubt I’d be able to ride and gather any more after that.

  • #177634

    Short answer is maybe!  I’ve bounced a couple helmets pretty hard, one of them on concrete, and if my head had ended up like my scapula and ribs,  well that would be bad.

  • #177681

    Big time! I broke one helmet last summer when I went over the handlebars, I felt lucky to even walk away from that fall.

    At the end of August I fell again and landed on my head and shoulder, and shattered my collarbone (I do now have a plate and 6 screws in me and a nice scar though ;)) Without a helmet I would be way worse off.

    It is crazy to think anyone would ever ride a trail without a helmet. I’ve been limited to riding rail trails so I don’t reinjure myself before the bone is healed, and I always wear my helmet. You never know when something can go wrong and your brain is too valuable. Do you think we would ever see laws about needing to wear a helmet on trails? If that could even be enforced.

  • #177846

    I haven’t broken/crack any helmets but i sure did crashed hard enough face planted after hitting the receiver from a very very small 1 ft drop on a high speed free ride trail. lol. talking about memories, i also hit my head on a large rock, slipped on an off camber track that also broke my shifter levers. so much for the new 11 speed shifter. There’s also those instance where i tumbled down a hill about 3 times only stopped by a tree and there’s more too but to cut it short, i can’t even think not wearing any helmet out on any ride. I’d also like to wear my hydration bag of a little back protection when going over the bars. those water bags can pack a punch and can ease those back landings…

  • #177850

    Absolutely – Blanket’s Creek, Quell Holler trail.  Broke the helmet, the handlebars, the back wheel, and one arm.  If I hadn’t had the helmet, it’d have been my skull.


  • #177851

    “All signs point to yes.”

    That’s the answer from the Magic-8 ball when I asked it this question.

    I don’t remember the actual crash, but piecing together stuff from my Garmin, the condition of my helmet, and the x-rays I’m almost positive the helmet saved my life.

    I went from 20-something miles per hour to zero. I struck the right side of my head pretty hard, enough to knock me out for 15 minutes, put a dent in the side of the helmet the size of a 50 cent piece and crack it in two different spots, one about 4 inches long and the other no where near the impact. I broke eight bones in the crash and hit with enough force to pop one of my lungs. My guess is if I wasn’t wearing a helmet my brains would have been all over the trail or I would have at least had bits of skull pushed into my gray matter.


    My new helmet saves my life every time I go ride. My wife would kill me if I didn’t wear one! 😆

  • #177852

    Multiple times. If you’re going to push your limits, you’re going to crash. I’ve hit the back of head on rock a few times in  same crashes that broke 5 ribs and collarbone. Read: high speed, hard landing. Gear up. Go for it. Been over the bars a few times. It’s emboldening. Once you survive that shit you know what’s the worse that can happen. Hopefully.

  • #177862

    Twice on a bicycle – over the bars and a tree colision, both ended in broken helmets (661 and lazer), and no damages for me!

    and Once on a motorcycle – crashed head first into a trailer , but this is off topic

    so yeah….i guess helmets saved my life

  • #177863

    Anyone who doesn’t wear a helmet on trails or in the woods is either stupid or suicidal, the chance of having an accident where there is severe head trauma is doubled if not more. Even if you don’t fall & hit your head you can still get hurt I had a low hanging branch put a deep laceration into my 661 full face helmet that would have scalped me & sent me to the Er for sure.

  • #177902

    ho rotto 3 caschi uno sono ribaltato in avanti a alta velocità il casco un met parachute mi ha salvato il viso e si è rotto sopra la fronte, poi ho rotto un altro parachute cadendo in avanti quasi da fermo su un drop, casco spaccato lateralmente quando ho indossato la mia goggle. inizialmente non si vedeva la crepa ma la pressione dell’elastico ha spaccato il casco. è andata bene non mi sono fatto niente solo una forte emicrania. il terzo casco si è rotto sulla neve ghiacciata mentre praticavo snowboard, lo dico perchè era un casco da mtb sono caduto sulla schiena e ho battuto la nuca casco spaccato dietro. per mia esperienza il casco anche quando si va a comprare la frutta al mercato

    I broke a 3 helmets are folded forward at high speed on a half helmet parachute saved my face and broke above the forehead, then I broke another parachute falling forward almost stationary on a drop, helmet split laterally when I wore my goggle. initially he could not see the crack but the pressure of the elastic split the helmet. it went well I have not done anything just a bad headache. the third helmet broke on icy snow while practicing snowboarding, I say this because it was a helmet bike fell on my back and I beat his head split helmet behind. in my experience the helmet even when you go to buy fruit at the market

  • #178102

    I did a pretty aggressive head-first crash into the ground a few years ago that gave me a severe concussion and caused me to pass out twice. Pretty sure I wouldn’t have woken up if not for the helmet!

    I have a firm rule that I will NOT bike with someone if they don’t wear a helmet. If someone is that stupid, then why would I want to spend any amount of time with them?

  • #178300

    Probably unhelpful, but I’ve never gotten injured not wearing a helmet but have had two concussions while wearing helmets. I think the sense of security makes me more reckless.

  • #178312

    Yes, they are a must buy. I went over the bars on my first ride and the helmet is probably what kept me out of the hospital.

  • #178321


    the only crash I have had was running into a cactus on my riding trip to New Mexico.

  • #178625

    I hit a cactus just yesterday, kid 171. I didn’t crash (it was overhanging the trail) so I just “punched it” as I came around the corner. Unfortunately the needle is still stuck in my hand even after a trip to urgent care. The doc fished around for a bit but was worried of doing permanent damage (it’s by my pinkie knuckle near some tendons/ligaments). Hopefully they have better luck tomorrow at the specialist.

    I only have a few days left in AZ before I return to MT and I want to get some more riding in!

  • #178782

    I was riding with some buddies a few years ago and went head first into a wood stanchion where you cross the road.  I hit a root and flew head first into was meant to stop a car!  It stopped me as well.  I was dizzy when I got up and was see stars as well.  I was collecting myself when my riding buddy noticed a quarter of my helmet was cracked and hanging by the plastic.  I was doing around 24 mph or so at the time of impact.  Aside from a bruised hip and minor concussion I was fine.   I am convinced the helmet saved my life.  Don’t ride without one!  It’s for your family as well as yourself.


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