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Top tube landings make up bulk of causes

Researchers in the US have expressed surprise at the rate of injuries to the genitals and kidneys among cyclists. Their data indicates the likelihood of a whack to the tender bits is ten times higher for kids than adults, but most attendance at ER is for minor injuries.

In a paper published in the journal Injury Prevention, researchers found that among children, the incidence of bicycle-related genitourinary injuries was 448 per 100,000 and, among adults, was 53 per 100,000.

However, the researchers found that injuries to adults were more likely to result in admission to hospital.

“We were surprised that there were so many injuries related to bike riding,” co-author Dr. Benjamin Breyer, a urologist at the University of California, San Francisco, told Allison Bond of Reuters Health.

The study used data from the US National Electronic Injury Surveillance System which collects information on patients attending the 24-hour emergency rooms of about 100 hospitals nationwide, including eight children’s hospitals.

The researchers looked only at injuries that had not been caused by collision with a car, and used the need to be admitted to hospital as the only indicator of severity of injury.

For the study period, 2002-10, researchers found that an average of about 4,000 people per year sustained a bicycle related kidney or genital injury.

About 12% of adult ER visits resulted in hospital admission whereas only 7% of children’s visits ended in admission.

The majority of injuries occurred when the rider came into contact with the bike rather than when he hit the ground. And it is mostly 'he': 61% of the injuries survey were sustained by boys and men.

Nearly Hhalf of all injuries occurred when the rider landed on the top tube. Contact with the handlebars was found to be more likely to injure males than females.

Landon Trost, a urologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, played down the level of risk implied by the findings.

“This particular study, if anything, shows that the vast majority of people who come to the ER come for minor injuries,”  said Trost.

He added that further safety measures seemed excessive.

“Should kids wear an athletic cup? Should we have airbags on handlebars?” Trost said.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

26 comments

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rich22222 [159 posts] 1 year ago
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erm helmets.

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congokid [252 posts] 1 year ago
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61% of the injuries survey were sustained by boys and men

Can think of lots of reasons why this might be the case - could boys/men exhibit more risky bike-riding styles, and what's the male/female breakdown of the cycling population?

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 1 year ago
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rich22222 wrote:

erm helmets.

Protection for helmets then

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sfichele [140 posts] 1 year ago
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 39 Hmm, so kids are more likely to injure their 'elmet rather than their helmet

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Bigdai100 [5 posts] 1 year ago
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I would speculate that kids with a bike that 'they will grow into' is a feature here. If you can't reach the floor with your feet your nuts are going to cop it with a quick dismount

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ribena [174 posts] 1 year ago
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When i was a kid BMX's used to have padding on the top tube and handlebars. We need to bring them back!

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Beefy [368 posts] 1 year ago
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Raleigh Chopper..... The ball wrecker gear shifter... Arggg not so fond memories  13

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MKultra [394 posts] 1 year ago
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congokid wrote:

61% of the injuries survey were sustained by boys and men

Can think of lots of reasons why this might be the case - could boys/men exhibit more risky bike-riding styles, and what's the male/female breakdown of the cycling population?

It could be the fact that our bits are on the outside...

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A V Lowe [568 posts] 1 year ago
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It actually highlights that one of the most important lessons to learn for riding a bike is how to fall off without hurting yourself.

Consider this a parallel with parachute jumping. You know you will land, at a speed where you might hurt yourself, and so you learn how to brace and roll, before you even try a real jump.

Perhaps this is what is needed on cycle training courses - wear old clothes for a day of falling off a bike. After all most cycle dismounts are cunningly controlled crashes.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 1 year ago
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As a kid it was a right of passage to come clattering down onto your toptube - usually when landing after a ridiculously stupid ramp jump.
My child rearing was nearly stopped before it had even started by getting my goolies trapped on a badly designed Raleigh Strika headset.
Happy days

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gazza_d [451 posts] 1 year ago
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Daily Mail story on this does laughably include the advice to stay safe and wear a helmet

http://t.co/yY5fxwPrGN

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levermonkey [646 posts] 1 year ago
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Just had a flashback which has left me in a cold sweat.

Here is the recipe for disaster.
Take one young idiot full of raging hormones.
The object of his pubescent desires.
An impossible jump.
A Raleigh Bomber (probably the worst bike to choose)

Result.
One Raleigh Bomber with buckled wheels, bent forks and a broken frame.
Object of desire leaves with someone else. This is not important as our 'hero' is now a crumpled heap, clutching his balls and wondering if a) the flashing lights will stop, b) the pain will ever go away, c) should he pluck up the courage to count them and d) will he ever have children?  40 40

Do they really need us to connect the dots for them? This has probably been happening since the dawn of the bicycle.

"Hold my pint and watch this!"  4

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SteppenHerring [322 posts] 1 year ago
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One of the more important cycling lessons I've learned in recent years: before setting off on, say, a 100 mile time trial, it's important to make sure you've packed your "luggage" carefully. Adjustment while moving in a skinsuit is impossible and 100 mile TTs are unpleasant enough without the additional discomfort of spending the whole ride with crushed plums.

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 1 year ago
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SteppenHerring wrote:

One of the more important cycling lessons I've learned in recent years: before setting off on, say, a 100 mile time trial, it's important to make sure you've packed your "luggage" carefully. Adjustment while moving in a skinsuit is impossible and 100 mile TTs are unpleasant enough without the additional discomfort of spending the whole ride with crushed plums.

I know the sensation and agree about sorting out the junk. But the point at which you desist from trying to pop a bollock for the sake of a new timing record comes pretty early with me.

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caaad10 [184 posts] 1 year ago
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Been there, done it. My defective Raleigh chopper sheared its bottom bracket on its maiden voyage whilst I was struggling up a hill (well it was a small incline but to a seven year old it was a big hill!), I can't imagine a worse bike for this to happen on, with a perfectly placed instrument to inflict maximum damage. That bike was replaced by a Raleigh grifter, which had a habit of slipping into neutral on that same incline with similar, though not so catastrophic, results......

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antonio [1103 posts] 1 year ago
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My painful crossbar education began at a very early age, I suspect it was the same for a good many more.

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Edgeley [260 posts] 1 year ago
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I am sure most of these injuries are kids trying jumps. As we all did in our youth.

My "favourite" juvenile groinal bike injury happened playing bike polo with a broom, when I managed to ram one end into the ground and one end into my bits while riding at speed.

All brooms should come with a health warning.

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jacknorell [942 posts] 1 year ago
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rich22222 wrote:

erm helmets.

Literally protection for knobs...

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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My dad made me a pair of ramps from big lumps of wood. Just thick triangles really, but there wasn't enough weight at the thin end, so if you went up them slowly, once the front wheel was at the top, the ramp would flip and the thin end would hit the chainring at just the right angle for unstoppable force/immovable object, and a nuts/tube interface would result. The only solution was to hit the jump at high speed so the back wheel was on the ramp before it could flip!

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Simmo72 [584 posts] 1 year ago
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I think the Fizik Arione saddle is responsible for at least 50% of all incidents. That thing is the testicle anti christ.

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MKultra [394 posts] 1 year ago
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Edgeley wrote:

I am sure most of these injuries are kids trying jumps. As we all did in our youth.

My "favourite" juvenile groinal bike injury happened playing bike polo with a broom, when I managed to ram one end into the ground and one end into my bits while riding at speed.

All brooms should come with a health warning.

Is it wrong that I laughed like a drain when I pictured you lancing your self in the joy department with a broom while riding a bike?

Having said that I made the mistake of riding a slicked up MTB over a drain cover that had been put in the wrong way, the back wheel dropped right into the slot stopping the bike dead - while I continued moving forwards, love spuds first toward the stem

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davebinks [138 posts] 1 year ago
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Kids hurt themselves on bike? Really?
Of course, no kids ever hurt themselves doing other things like falling over, or out of trees, or running into lamposts, or playing soccer, or tennis, or ......

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davebinks [138 posts] 1 year ago
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Kids hurt themselves on bike? Really?
Of course, no kids ever hurt themselves doing other things like falling over, or out of trees, or running into lamposts, or playing soccer, or tennis, or ......

And If I recall correctly (it was a long time ago) the jewels didn't descend until I was reaching puberty, by which time I had learnt some common sense about what was likely to lead to painful occurrences.

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MrsK [42 posts] 1 year ago
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Makes I laugh. It does hurt the ladygarden too mind you.
I think it might not help the kiddies that we often don't give them padded shorts to wear, which does cushion the old area to some extent. I would eat my fingers off rather than go for a longish ride in standard issue pants, so it seems a bit unfair on them.

I wonder if any studies have been done on the protection from injury provided by pads. It would struggle to get through ethics I think.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 1 year ago
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MrsK wrote:

Makes I laugh. It does hurt the ladygarden too mind you.
I think it might not help the kiddies that we often don't give them padded shorts to wear, which does cushion the old area to some extent. I would eat my fingers off rather than go for a longish ride in standard issue pants, so it seems a bit unfair on them.

I wonder if any studies have been done on the protection from injury provided by pads. It would struggle to get through ethics I think.

Ok, can I have some volunteers for the control group?

Anyone?

Anyone?

Hello?!

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PhilRuss [352 posts] 1 year ago
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[[[[[ Often due to lack of toeclips (or "clipless" pedals), innit. Front-end shunt? Let the the bike takes the brunt. These folks who say, "Ooh no---I want my feet free of the pedals"....I'm tired of talking to them. Newton might as well have been a greengrocer.
P.R.