When riding a road bike at high speed, for instance in the Tour de France, I have heard that the severity of injuries tend to be decreased as speed increases, as this allows the cyclist to "roll", and somehow this decreases the chance of breaking bones for example. This seems contrary to my basic knowledge of physics and momentum, so, is it true?

closed as not constructive by Ste, Dor Cohen, user527 Sep 6 '12 at 18:30

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Do you have a source of what you have "heard?" This would be a very interesting read. – user527 Jul 30 '12 at 20:32
  • Well actually this was more of an argument with a friend who claimed to have heard it on Tour de France commentary frequently, and when I asked him for a source, the bottom paragraph of this article was the best he came up with: bikeradar.com/fitness/article/… – user670 Jul 30 '12 at 20:41
  • 4
    I, for one, would prefer to fall off a stationary bike than one traveling at 35mph. – Ste Jul 30 '12 at 22:49
  • I prefer not to fall off at all... – user527 Jul 31 '12 at 0:59
  • 1
    @Criggie Haha, we think alike. – user527 Oct 14 '16 at 12:35

Does the chance of serious injury when road biking decrease with speed?

No. Risk for serious injury increases with increasing speed. If a vehicle crashing at relatively low speed has a high risk of serious injury, I cannot imagine how increased speed would yield decreased risk of serious injury.

The reason slow crashes can sometimes hurt the most is that you don’t have any momentum in your body to roll or spin out of it - instead, you hit the floor square on and your elbow and hip take all the impact..

Perhaps the cited technique gives you a chance (if any) to avoid serious injury. However, this does not mean that increased speed decreases risk of serious injury.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.