Long story short…at 30 I just had open heart surgery and am on blood thinners for life (target inr 1.6-2.0). That means I will bleed much easier and a crash to the head or organs could cause fatal internal bleeding. So time to suit up and keep riding my xc trails!!! I’m looking to have a few questions answered:
1. Does a full face helmet provide more impact resistance than a regular helmet or just added jaw protection? Any recommendations on the safest helmet in the market is appreciated…
2. What body armor is the safest and has anyone found a good one that covers full torso?
One theme that does seem to be prevalent with full-face helmets is that while they may not provide additional impact resistance, they do appear to provide more coverage for the back of the head than a regular helmet. Something to consider I guess.
I can’t help in the body armor department except to say that my Camelback makes an awesome spinal cushion in an ass-over-teakettle event!
I’m no expert on body armor, but I think something like this might fit what you’re looking for. There are also vests that cover only the torso. I’ve rented this jacket when riding dh and felt pretty indestructible. It seemed fairly well ventilated too, although it’ll definitely be hot if you’re pedaling up hills instead of riding a lift.
As for the helmet I can’t really help you beyond suggesting that you fond one that covers as much of your head as is comfortable, and MIPS certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Also, you probably know this already but you should carry an extensive first-aid kit, given your higher risk for serious bleeding. I would also recommend you get a road id to list contacts and medication info. In fact, every rider ought to have one.
I use 661 assault suit which was discontinued but still available for 50 bucks on Ebay. All suits will be hot, I only use mine in winter and cooler seasons, but they do provide good chest, beach and shoulder protection. Race face makes some nice knee and elbow pads. You should wear a bracelet or be that states your situation so that fellow riders will be aware of you need assistance and are incapacitated. Also if you are using coumadin there is an antidote for it, maybe you can carry a supply? Good luck and have fun!
Although you do have to exercise a bit a caution while on the blood thinner, a target INR of 1.6-2.0 is actually quite low (meaning your blood is only slightly thinner than normal). I’m not saying to throw all caution to the wind, but live your life. I play doctor on TV, so I know. 😉
Also, riding an “XC hardtail” certainly doesn’t guarantee you won’t have some horrific crashes. Saying this as you’re only 30 and you still probably feel somewhat invincible.
Josh, good for you for staying on the bike! I too had open heart… double bypass 1 1/2 years ago. Totally unexpected, 110% recovery. Despite being active and riding many times a week, doc said you just can’t outrun a cheeseburger. Anyway… I don’t use armor or a full face helmet. I have, however, updated to a MIPS helmet. At the very least, I would get a MIPS bucket if you don’t already have one. As for armor, I had thought about it, but if anything, I (for me) probably won’t do much more than something thin to prevent scrapes and scratches. I too am on thinners. Because of my activity, my doc keeps me on clopidogrel versus warfarin. I do notice a little extra bleeding when crashing, but really not that significant. I think scabs linger around a little longer, but it may just be me because I’m paying more attention to it. I get my share of scrapes and bruises while riding 5+ days a week. Speaking of bruises, they say they will be more prevalent when on thinners, but I haven’t noticed much difference. Having said all this, considering the impact of a significant wound (broken bone, etc.) is something to consider while taking anticoagulants.
I too am on blood thinners. I continue to ride mountain bikes but I am cautious in the way I ride. I don’t mess with obstacles In which I have a higher probability of crashing on. Most rock gardens are a no no for me. Risk of serious head injury is not worth the reward of going through a difficult section like this. I have had a few bad crashes and have had some bruising. Haven’t had bleeding issues but have noticed the bruises are longer to heel. It’s basically a risk vs reward thing to me. I’m not getting paid to ride MTB. I want to have fun and also get some exercise during my rides. I can still accomplish this while on blood thinners. A little hike a bike is smart at times for me.
A lot of it depends on the bike you have and your own capabilities.