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SOUTH AFRICAN MTB CRASH SURVEY: THE RESULTS – PART 2

Part 1 of the South African Mountain Bike Crash Survey, presented by Gert Nel Inc. Attorneys, was widely read, shared and talked about. We expected that because a mountain bike crash is something every mountain biker can relate to. Due to the extensive nature of the survey, we split it into three parts. This second part focuses on gear. What makes people decide to buy a certain helmet or light? Which are the most popular brands? These and many more questions answered here.

A total of 1680 participated in the TREAD 2017/2018 SA MTB Crash Survey, presented by Gert Nel Inc. Attorneys. If you’re familiar with open/public South African sports surveys, you’ll appreciate that it’s a very good response. What is the sample size in relation to the size of the market? That’s hard to tell because nobody really knows how many mountain bikers there are in South Africa. Estimates range from 500 000-800 000.

We ran the survey via our TREAD Survey Monkey account and promoted it via a link on our website and our social media channels for four weeks. Because the survey was so extensive, we have broken it down into three separate reveals.

Here are the results and analysis from the second reveal:

How often do you tend to crash (minor and major crashes)?

ANSWER CHOICES RESPONSES
Quite often (almost every ride)

1.44%

44

Occasionally (once every 3 or 4 rides)

8.70%

145

From time to time (once a month)

18.54%

309

Not too often (less than 3 times a year)

42.29%

705

Very seldom (maybe once a year)

29.03%

484

TOTAL

1667

More than a quarter of the respondents say they crash at least once a month. We gave respondents a chance to leave a comment on this question. Here are a selection of some answers.

“A professional bike set-up made all the difference”

“I ride cautiously to avoid crashing. I should do more skills training”

“Sometimes I crash up to five times in one ride on a “bad” day; but a ride is never bad”

“I do my own stunts”

“If you don’t fall, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough!”

“After my skills clinics with Sean Badenhorst, the crashes got a lot less. Occasionally I’ll fall over, but can hardly call them crashes”

“Helicopter rescue is expensive”

“Note: a crash and a fall are not quite the same”

“I have donated my MTB and gone back to the road because of my crashes”

“What I find is the faster you go and the more gnarly the track is, the more fun and excitement you have. Then you crash as you are pushing the boundaries. Then that slows you down, and slowly over the next few months you build back up to going fast. Then you crash again. I think it’s God’s way of making sure you don’t kill yourself.”

“I had four really bad crashes where I ended up in hospital. Since the last one, about two years ago, I ride less technical trails as I’ve lost confidence”

“My crashes mostly tend to come at high speed, usually trying to chase King of the Mountain segments on Strava. Pinning down a steep segment and having a loose rock throwing the bike completely off the trail. Spectacular, but luckily no broken bones yet!”

“Never underestimate the value of a skills session. Do one at least once a month if you want to be competitive – berms, jumps, bunny hops, track-stands etc are very important”

“The law of averages says if you crash often, they’re normally not too bad. However, when its only once or so in a blue moon, it’s a bad one”

HELMETS

We didn’t ask, ‘do you wear a helmet when riding your mountain bike?’ That would be a silly question. We assume that everyone with common sense wears a helmet when riding their mountain bike. But we were interested what brand of helmet our respondents wore and what factors determined their decision to purchase a helmet.

When buying a helmet, does brand name affect your choice?

When buying a helmet, does colour affect your choice?

When buying a helmet, does MIPS affect your choice?

This is a good time to post a link to an article we published recently that describes what MIPS is, as well has other useful helmet information: Article here

Which helmet brand do you currently wear?

Helmet brand

%

Bell

18.37%

Specialized

17.94%

Rudy Project

9.98%

Giro

9.92%

SCOTT

8.08%

Fox

4.04%

Catlike

3.61%

MET

2.69%

Kask

2.57%

First Ascent

2.51%

We’ve listed the top 10, but were surprised that there were a total of 48 brands mentioned. We didn’t realise there were that many available in South Africa. What also surprised us was that 3.37% put ‘Unknown’ as their response. Surely the one thing you wear every time you ride should be familiar enough to you that you know the brand name. But then, when colour and price are key factors in buying a helmet, brand may not be so top of mind.

We also asked some questions about safety gear, including head lights, rear lights and hi-viz clothing.

Do you wear reflective/hi-vis clothing when riding?

This is not an unexpected breakdown. Unlike road cyclists, who need to be constantly visible, mountain bikers only really need to be visible when riding on roads used by motor vehicles.

If you do wear reflective/hi-vis clothing when riding, when is the most likely time you wear it?

Do you use a front light at all when riding?

If you ride a mountain bike only during daylight hours and only on mountain bike trails, there’s no need for lights. But it’s good to see a fairly high percentage do use a front light when deemed necessary.

Do you use a rear light at all when riding?

The significance of a rear light cannot be underestimated, especially if you share any of your regular riding routes with motor vehicles. But having a rear light is only effective if it’s got good battery life and is kept clean from mud/grime. Making it easy for people to see your rear light is essential, so always have a stock of spare batteries if it’s not rechargeable. And wipe it clean before every ride.

When buying a light, does brand name affect your choice?


When buying a light, does number of lumens affect your choice?

If you use a rear light, what is the brand you use?

Rear light brand name

%

Unknown

37.5%

Ryder

11.71%

Cateye

8.47%

Extreme

7.77%

Knog

5.59%

Lezyne

4.37%

Giant

2.70%

Blackburn

2.36%

Sportsman’s Warehouse

1.83%

Garmin

1.74%

Specialized

1.74%

There were a total of 1144 replies to this question. Curiously, 37.5% did not know offhand what brand of rear light they have, which makes up the largest percentage of our top 10 here. That the light works well is more important than knowing the brand name.

If you use a front light, what is the brand you use?

Front light brand

%

Extreme lights

33.81%

Ryder

13.39%

Magic

8.58%

Cateye

5.46%

Lezyne

5.33%

Serfas

2.60%

LED

2.47%

Exposure

2.34%

Speedmaster

1.82%

Knog

1.69%

There were a total of 769 replies to this question. Amazingly, there were 84 brand names mentioned in this response. Eighty-four! We listed the top 10 and noted, with a little pride, that the top two brands are South African brands.

Look out for Part 3 of our SA MTB Crash Survey, presented by Gert Nel Inc. Attorneys on Tuesday 20 March. Part 3 will cover ‘your worst crash’, which bones have been broken, time off work/school due to a crash and more. For more information on Gert Nel Inc. Attorneys, specialised personal injury attorneys with a passion for cycling, head over here: Gert Nel Attorneys 

Did you miss Part 1 of the South African MTB Crash Survey? Here’s the link: http://www.treadmtb.co.za/south-african-mtb-crash-survey-the-results/

SOUTH AFRICAN MTB CRASH SURVEY: THE RESULTS – PART 2 Reviewed by on . Part 1 of the South African Mountain Bike Crash Survey, presented by Gert Nel Inc. Attorneys, was widely read, shared and talked about. We expected that because Part 1 of the South African Mountain Bike Crash Survey, presented by Gert Nel Inc. Attorneys, was widely read, shared and talked about. We expected that because Rating:

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