Crashes, what can be done?

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I recently talked to some colleagues about road pro cycling, and they admitted they do not watch cycling too often, but when they watch, they watch to also see some spectacular crashes.

It is a difficult issue.

Hein Verbruggen once said riders dope because the spectators want to see the highest possible average speeds. Just like Doping, crashes are an evil of pro cycling. An evil which always was and certainly always will be part of pro cycling.

You could organize all future races on airport landing strips, that would make it a little bit safer.

One also should not deny that there are many very good bike handlers in the peloton, who love difficult, tricky, dangerous roads, because they handle the bike well, are young and aggressive, and are some kind of addicted to these moments, when the adrenaline kicks in.

And the fans seem to love the atmosphere, when riders pass directly in front of them, going 60 kms per hour, on a downhill pave sector.

I for myself accept this, somehow - just like I accept any other evil aspect of pro cycling. The only ones who make me cry are guys like Sanroma, Weylandt, Lambrecht, who do not deserve what destiny did do to them… :(
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I recently talked to some colleagues about road pro cycling, and they admitted they do not watch cycling too often, but when they watch, they watch to also see some spectacular crashes.

It is a difficult issue.

Hein Verbruggen once said riders dope because the spectators want to see the highest possible average speeds. Just like Doping, crashes are an evil of pro cycling. An evil which always was and certainly always will be part of pro cycling.

You could organize all future races on airport landing strips, that would make it a little bit safer.

One also should not deny that there are many very good bike handlers in the peloton, who love difficult, tricky, dangerous roads, because they handle the bike well, are young and aggressive, and are some kind of addicted to these moments, when the adrenaline kicks in.

And the fans seem to love the atmosphere, when riders pass directly in front of them, going 60 kms per hour, on a downhill pave sector.

I for myself accept this, somehow - just like I accept any other evil aspect of pro cycling. The only ones who make me cry are guys like Sanroma, Weylandt, Lambrecht, who do not deserve what destiny did do to them… :(
Who the hell is conducting these course risk assessments?
 
Due to Tour delivering on stage 5 my motivation to discuss safety during such race was rather low. As Vuelta started and this is the first rest day. Taking into the account all the sensible arguments from this thread and while being focused on collarbone protection. Fixed brace type of collarbone protection isn't best suited for pro road cycling. Adding some material like foam wouldn't do. As the forces involved are too big. The solution must be on-demand, adequate and to be activated in the case of a crash. We already have such technology in cars and motorcycles. Some vests for cycling started to emerge a few years back.




This solution might not offer "full protection" as it doesn't extended to shoulders. What it does show is that you can already pack an airbag solution into a rather small package. Solutions do already exist that offer more protection:




Using such system the number of collarbone related injuries would drop substantially. Just like it did in other sports when started to being used. But the current offering is too big to be regarded as suitable for pro peloton. The target is a casual commuter. As the challenge was "show me a solution for cycling that would reduce the number of collarbone injuries". And that was achieved.

The challenges still involved in regards to pro road cycling are to scale down this solution and to make it suitable for pro peloton. Here i feel that the pressure should be put on cycling apparel manufacturers. As currently they are selling equipment that doesn't offer any protection against such type of injuries. Beyond some mild road rash prevention. Once things get into motion each new generation will be more suitable for pro road cycling. I imagine that the transition phase to go from usage on some stages or sections to full time usage. Once the technology will be there. As for that to make much more sense in compared to not wearing it and risking such type of injuries and down time.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
Due to Tour delivering on stage 5 my motivation to discuss safety during such race was rather low. As Vuelta started and this is the first rest day. Taking into the account all the sensible arguments from this thread and while being focused on collarbone protection. Fixed brace type of collarbone protection isn't best suited for pro road cycling. Adding some material like foam wouldn't do. As the forces involved are too big. The solution must be on-demand, adequate and to be activated in the case of a crash. We already have such technology in cars and motorcycles. Some vests for cycling started to emerge a few years back.




This solution might not offer "full protection" as it doesn't extended to shoulders. What it does show is that you can already pack an airbag solution into a rather small package. Solutions do already exist that offer more protection:




Using such system the number of collarbone related injuries would drop substantially. Just like it did in other sports when started to being used. But the current offering is too big to be regarded as suitable for pro peloton. The target is a casual commuter. As the challenge was "show me a solution for cycling that would reduce the number of collarbone injuries". And that was achieved.

The challenges still involved in regards to pro road cycling are to scale down this solution and to make it suitable for pro peloton. Here i feel that the pressure should be put on cycling apparel manufacturers. As currently they are selling equipment that doesn't offer any protection against such type of injuries. Beyond some mild road rash prevention. Once things get into motion each new generation will be more suitable for pro road cycling. I imagine that the transition phase to go from usage on some stages or sections to full time usage. Once the technology will be there. As for that to make much more sense in compared to not wearing it and risking such type of injuries and down time.
How would it know when to engage the airbag? They have like this for life jackets but they engage when you enter the water.

When both hands are off the handlebars? sometimes you crash with both of them still on or what happens if you take them off to do something.

When your shoulders go above the handlebars? Then every type of rider would be affected.

How would riders do with the extra weight and heat?
 
Using such system the number of collarbone related injuries would drop substantially. Just like it did in other sports when started to being used. But the current offering is too big to be regarded as suitable for pro peloton. The target is a casual commuter. As the challenge was "show me a solution for cycling that would reduce the number of collarbone injuries". And that was achieved.
Yeah, I still think (hope) that the first focus will be to prevent serious injuries. You know, like head injuries and stuff like that.
 
As the challenge was "show me a solution for cycling that would reduce the number of collarbone injuries". And that was achieved.
No, the challenge was always to find solutions that could work in the pro peloton, since this was never about the general public.

I'm sure better products can be invented, but there obviously need to be a demand, which still doesn't seem to be the case currently.
 
I had some spare time so created an apparel to reduce head injuries
Of course helmets helps. But head injuries still happen, and I'll much rather the focus is on that issue - including knowing when to stop a rider from participating in a race when concussed - instead of the practical non-issue of broken collarbones. How many broken collarbones are career ending, or even season ending, unless it happens right at the end of the season?
 
Due to Tour delivering on stage 5 my motivation to discuss safety during such race was rather low. As Vuelta started and this is the first rest day. Taking into the account all the sensible arguments from this thread and while being focused on collarbone protection. Fixed brace type of collarbone protection isn't best suited for pro road cycling. Adding some material like foam wouldn't do. As the forces involved are too big. The solution must be on-demand, adequate and to be activated in the case of a crash. We already have such technology in cars and motorcycles. Some vests for cycling started to emerge a few years back.




This solution might not offer "full protection" as it doesn't extended to shoulders. What it does show is that you can already pack an airbag solution into a rather small package. Solutions do already exist that offer more protection:




Using such system the number of collarbone related injuries would drop substantially. Just like it did in other sports when started to being used. But the current offering is too big to be regarded as suitable for pro peloton. The target is a casual commuter. As the challenge was "show me a solution for cycling that would reduce the number of collarbone injuries". And that was achieved.

The challenges still involved in regards to pro road cycling are to scale down this solution and to make it suitable for pro peloton. Here i feel that the pressure should be put on cycling apparel manufacturers. As currently they are selling equipment that doesn't offer any protection against such type of injuries. Beyond some mild road rash prevention. Once things get into motion each new generation will be more suitable for pro road cycling. I imagine that the transition phase to go from usage on some stages or sections to full time usage. Once the technology will be there. As for that to make much more sense in compared to not wearing it and risking such type of injuries and down time.
I’m sure this is all nice to a few very safety hyper focused people, but in pro cycling we need to focus on head injuries, and when riding my bike I’m not wearing this air bag around with me to save my collarbones when they aren’t a serious injury.
 
I’m sure this is all nice to a few very safety hyper focused people, but in pro cycling we need to focus on head injuries, and when riding my bike I’m not wearing this air bag around with me to save my collarbones when they aren’t a serious injury.
Ma’am, your child’s collarbone was protected so there’s no worries there. Unfortunately they are suffering from an anoxic brain injury and will be on a trach/vent to help them breathe.
 
@SHAD0W93

From engineering point of view this problem was already resolved. And is currently used successfully in (motor)cycling. On top of that the examples i gave (for cycling) are not triggered manually either. As that indeed would be rather bad. If you would need to trigger it manually.

As for your likely a bit (un)serious question. If a cyclist would bounce because of airbag. And hit his head. The result would likely still be better. Because airbag would protect collarbone and helmet would protect the head. Compared to lets say breaking the collarbone and highly likely still hitting the head.

@RedheadDane

Head injuries actually is the only area that was addressed in the past already. When it comes to the apparel. With helmets. Personally i am interested in collarbones. As this is usually the first bone to give in. And if number of collarbone injuries can get reduced substantially. Then overall injuries will drop substantially as a result too. On top of that the same approach can be used to protect collarbone, shoulders, spine, chest, hip, upper leg ... On all of this places there is already an apparel available. And overall protection can be substantially improved with introduction of technology such as airbag. Compared to current apparel that at best offers some protection against mild road rash.

@Samu Cuenca

I beg to differ. This is that solution. Maybe there are better ones. But this one is a proper one too. Hence the challenge to find an appropriate solution is not there anymore. The challenge to introduce this solution in pro peloton. Such challenges indeed are still there. But i don't see any special reason on why this wouldn't get done. This discussion is likely a bit ahead of the time. But as soon as safety in pro peloton will be taken seriously. Then it will happen.

@Jumbo Visma Fan :)

When it happens i am sure that you will wear the pro peloton body armor. Just like we use discs now on road bikes. And helmets. On top of that when you will crash. You will likely remember this discussion and will came back to confirm it really worked. As lets say being a 80 year old man or woman or non binary. It saved your hip not only collarbone. When cycling and crashing. Hard to ask for more. So best to start asking your favorite apparel provider on when. And not on how you won't wear it. You will. We all will. If not sooner then after the first big crash.
 
@SHAD0W93

From engineering point of view this problem was already resolved. And is currently used successfully in (motor)cycling. On top of that the examples i gave (for cycling) are not triggered manually either. As that indeed would be rather bad. If you would need to trigger it manually.

As for your likely a bit (un)serious question. If a cyclist would bounce because of airbag. And hit his head. The result would likely still be better. Because airbag would protect collarbone and helmet would protect the head. Compared to lets say breaking the collarbone and highly likely still hitting the head.
Motor cycling does not equal road cycling. Nor do the sensor systems work in the same way for either bike fundamentally, structurally, or logically for both respective sports.

Both of the products you provided are geared toward recreational cycling. For both of the products, there is a sensor that detects the fall.

The first one the sensor seems more reliable in that it’s below the seat and it says it can detect a fall when it is jolted like in a crash. The only issue is riders have their bike jolted all of the time with the way roads are, bumps in the peloton, and/or their high speeds. Like what has been brought up before and you ignored, the product could have an accidental deploy and cause an actual crash. How many times have we seen a wheel come off the road and the rider save themselves. Now imagine they have the best on and it triggers causing them to crash. Further YOUR main concern is the collar bone, this product completely ignores that by focusing on the back, chest, and neck. You can still break your collarbone by landing on your upper arm and shoulder hard which this product leans towards.

The second product sensor deploys when it feels you’re over the handlebars. Again you ignored that cyclists lean over their handlebars all of the time and an accidental deploy could occur actually causing an accident. Now this product does protect the collarbone which is your biggest concern more than the first.

You neglected to mention the multiple concerns about the added weight and heat of carrying such devices and how that will affect the cyclists.

No, the result would not be better to bounce and run the risk of hitting your head again. Instead of 1 impact causing a potential coup contrecoup accident by hitting your head on the ground and bouncing back, you could hit your head multiple times further increasing your chances of a traumatic brain injury.
 
@Samu Cuenca

I doubt that this thread will get resolved anytime soon. As things can get done. I responded to the follow up answers. Mainly to get clean slate for the 2023 season. When i am sure that much will again be said.

@RedheadDane

If death is the only criteria. Then you ought to admit safety isn't taken seriously. Lets focus on more sensible things. Like we did with joint mobility. And found a solution that doesn't obstruct joint mobility.

@SHAD0W93

Technically there is no real difference. It can work on both just fine. As for the debate about "bouncing" on the road. Due to the airbag. I agree with you to drop such debates ASAP. It's just silly. I thought i made that clear above.
 

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