Overuse injuries associated with mountain biking: Is single-speed riding a predisposing factor?

Michael T. Lebec, Kortny Cook, Drew Baumgartel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Though mountain bikers are at significant risk for overuse injury, there is minimal quality research describing this relationship. Single-speed mountain biking, in which participants pedal a bike with only a single gear, may place riders at even greater risk for overuse problems due to the disproportionate physical effort associated with this type of riding. The focus of this study was to provide additional perspective on overuse injuries sustained by mountain bikers and to determine if single-speed mountain biking places participants at greater risk for overuse conditions. Four hundred and four (404) mountain bikers were surveyed concerning overuse injuries sustained during the previous year. Findings indicate that 63% of respondents reported an overuse injury affecting at least one area with the most commonly reported areas being the lumbar spine, knees, hand/wrist, and cervical spine. Individuals riding single-speed mountain bikes did not have a higher incidence of overuse injuries than riders of multiple-geared bikes. However, respondents who split time between riding single-speed and multiple-geared bikes were significantly more likely to report an overuse syndrome than those only riding single-speed or multiple-geared bikes (p = 0.0104). This group of riders may be at greater risk for overuse injury due to excessive fatigue and poor biomechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Mountain biking
  • Overuse injury
  • Single-speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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