Is Mountain Biking Dangerous? 8 Risk Factors

Is mountain biking dangerous? It’s a very crucial thing to ask if you’re thinking of taking up mountain biking as a sport or even a hobby.

In the following post, we’ll explore the good and bad things of mountain biking, most importantly focusing on the possible risks so you get an idea of what you’re getting yourself into.

We’ll look through the different mountain biking styles and the possible risks with each.

How Dangerous is Mountain Biking?

We all know that mountain biking is not for the faint of heart. It’s a dangerous outdoor sports activity.

But, it can also be exhilarating, fun and exciting. If you want to try mountain biking, then you should know that it comes in three styles including downhill, all-mountain (also known as enduro) and cross-country.

The good news is there are measures you can take to ensure safety while mountain biking. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the wellness benefits that come with mountain biking, including better fitness which you can track with the help of a mountain biking watch and enjoying nature.

But, it’s also important to be aware of the risks that come with mountain biking.

What Are the Risks of Mountain Biking?

rider biking downhill on the trail

The riskiest form of mountain biking is the downhill style. That’s because it all begins with riding a lift all the way to the top of a mountain.

Once there, you ride your bike downhill from the top, all while maintaining balance and dodging all the dangerous obstacles along the way.

Here are some of the biggest dangers to look out for when mountain biking.

1. Injuries

The risk of injury is always present when mountain biking if you don’t have MTB helmet lights or good suspension forks, regardless of the style you adopt. Long out trails offer even bigger risks though because they require you to do crazy stunts.

But, the idea of breaking an ankle while having fun is not appealing to anyone, especially if you’re in the middle of some forest somewhere with no cell phone reception or medical attention.

For best results, always ride with a group, or at least with one other person, as riding solo can be the most dangerous situation you can put yourself in.

2. Obstacles

Most people do their mountain biking at ski resorts, which are notorious for being surrounded by natural rock formations and tree forests.

The thing about the former obstacle is that it’s not always easy to notice when you’re cycling at 60km/h. But, the benefit is that they send you on alert and allow you to try out freeride mountain biking different stunts and tricks.

With that said, you should stick with what you know and avoid trying complicated stunts.

3. Force of Gravity

As you start going down the hill you’ll notice that your foot will start getting the urge to take your foot off the bicycle brakes.

It’s important that you avoid this urge and try to maintain a level speed and not accelerate.

4. Darkness

Going on a long mountain biking ride with your MTB bicycle can be so much fun that you completely lose track of time.

That’s why it’s always recommended to learn more about the direction and find out how long it’ll take you to get to your destination and back. Leave a buffer of about 30 minutes to and from, just to be on the safe side.

5. Weather Conditions

The weather could be an obstacle as well, depending on how it affects your biking experience. The best way to avoid the climate slowing your role is to wear the right gear for the weather.

6. Fatigue

One thing mountain bikers don’t often talk about is how tiring the sport is.

Like any other outdoor activity, it takes a lot from you, especially because you could be out riding for several hours at a time, and not even feel the time moving because of all the beautiful sights and sounds that you’re taking in.

But, you can make an effort to be mindful of the time and check in with your body every now and then throughout your ride so you can take breaks when necessary.

7. Hydration

It’s always good to stay hydrated when doing any kind of sports, especially mountain biking.

If you want to find out if mountain biking is dangerous, try to do a big loop trail without water and see what happens. Well, that’s obviously sarcastic, but you get the point.

It’s tremendously important to prepare your body for the journey with proper hydration and nutrition by getting a MTB hydration pack so you don’t feel thirsty as that points to dehydration.

8. Peer Pressure

One of the biggest mistakes you’ll make when mountain biking is giving into peer pressure. If this happens to you, try and catch it early and realize that the fun is not in the competition but rather in having fun and enjoying the ride.

So, what if your friends are doing 5-foot drops in front of you? If you’re not on that level, simply cheer them on and stay on your lane with your mountain bike shorts.

No need to go on rocky trails if you don’t want to. Know the limits of your own pace.


So, what’s the final say? Is mountain biking dangerous? The short answer is… yes and no. As you can see, it all depends on how prepared you are and how you approach it.

So long as you practice the right safety measures like wearing a bike helmet in the right size and do it in good fun without trying to push yourself unnecessarily, then you should be fine.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not out doing about every kind of biking and experiencing the occasional tumble. Ready to share the ride with you.

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