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  1. #1
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    Think About Your Grips : Chest Injury

    I've been riding MTB since 1985 and Road since 1975, and never really thought about chest injuries. I've done a little DH, and always wear proper gear including a chest protector, but I never really thought about ramming my chest into anything on a trail ride.

    I was trail riding Sunday (three days ago) at Matthews/Winters near Denver. I was climbing a fairly steep shelf trail that was shaded, so there was mud and ice on the trail. I had walked a muddy section a few feet earlier. I spun out on some ice, and when I went to clip out, I couldn't because of the mud on my cleats. I fell over, unfortunately to the downhill side of the trail.

    The front wheel turned, and I fell directly onto the end of the handlebars with all my weight. I basically pole vaulted using my chest down about 15 feet into a ravine. The bars caught me just to the right of my sternum, right at the lower rib. I've felt a lot of pain, including a collarbone smash that required two surgeries, but nothing compares to this pain.

    I was completely wiped. I started moaning and screaming involuntarily. I started trying to crawl up to the trail, but I just doubled over, moaning. My 13 year old son came up, and was understandably scared, but actually pretty calm, way to go.

    Three hikers stopped to help (luckily it was a busy day on the trail). One of them turned out to be a doctor! He helped me back onto the trail, and pulled up my jersey to look at my chest.

    Under two minutes after the fall, there was already a baseball sized lump with a perfect tattoo of an ODI Lockon in the middle of it. The doc took one look and said it looked really bad, I'd better get to an ER. After laying down about five minutes, I was able to walk, the mile back to the trailhead, and I drove to Lutheran MC. Long story short, I have a lacerated liver, I was in the ICU for 2 days and regular unit for another, and now I can't work for a week or do anything that risks falling for a minimum of six weeks. A lacerated liver causes internal bleeding and can be fatal if left untreated. Luckily, mine quit bleeding after two days of being immobilized, flat on my back. I couldn't eat, drink, pee, anything. As still as possible for two solid days.

    This was just one of those freak things. I'll be a little more cognizant of status of my cleats in the future in technical terrain, but I've fallen like like before and laughed.

    I'm trying to decide what to do about the grips. I like the lockons, but the sharp hard edges are definitely a hazard. Both doctors (the one on the trail and the doc that took care of me) said they never saw this injury from motorcycles, because the grips tend to be softer and more padded. Also, dirt bike riders wear chest protection.

    I'm honestly thinking of switching to MC/BMX type grips with the big flat flare on the end. And maybe coming up with some kind of lightweight chest protection for my first few months back on the bike.

    Any recommendations about grips and lightweight chest protection?

    And thanks to the doctor on the trail, I asked his name, but my mind was in no state to retain it. He mentioned he rides sometimes, and he used to live in Coal Creek Canyon. Knowing me, if I hadn't seen the doctor on the trail, I would have went home and not gone to a doctor until things were worse.

  2. #2
    Glad to Be Alive
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    the new ODI's have plastic caps to protect the ends now
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  3. #3
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    ???

    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    the new ODI's have plastic caps to protect the ends now
    Hmmmm...I wonder why?

  4. #4
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    samething happened to me, but to a lesser degree. My front tire got hung up on the side of a rain root and I made the mistake of trying to push off the side w/my right hand, left hand on the bars went forward and turned the bars directly toward me, the fron crossed up and I pole vaulted w/my chest.

    My ODI's were a season old and the Al end caps were ruff and sharp and slashed me acroos the chest. Painful.

    wayne
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  5. #5
    Rolling
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    I feel for you!

    And know what you are going through because I lacerated my kidney two years ago riding in Taos at the GITA gathering. Not with the handlebar but hitting a rock on a endo!

    It took me a long time before I was completely recovered.

    You could have had this happen even if you had better encaps on your handlebar ends. Freak accidents happen.

  6. #6
    "El Whatever"
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    Personally I don't think the ODI's are all about to blame. Chest protection should be nice to wear though.

    I've seen some bad injuries due to bars on and off road..... it's the bike's bars design which are to blame.
    Check my Site

  7. #7
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    Better design?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    Personally I don't think the ODI's are all about to blame. Chest protection should be nice to wear though.

    I've seen some bad injuries due to bars on and off road..... it's the bike's bars design which are to blame.
    There is no question that a handlebar is a blunt instument. While I was in the hospital I was imagining a bulbous carbon fibre bar end covered in sticky rubber. The inside of the bar end would be honeycombed so that it provided a crush zone. Wouldn't weigh much more than a few ounces. The problem is it would be easily destroyed in a crash. They would have to be really cheap.

  8. #8
    Sweat is just fat crying.
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    Ow.

    Freakin' ow.

    fp
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  9. #9
    Flyin Canine
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    the new ODI's have plastic caps to protect the ends now
    I gathered from his first post that it was the hard plastic end cap that made the "ODI Tattoo". If he did not have the plastic endcap on then he would have had a round circular tattoo. In the end the odi is still better than most rubber grips because the sharp bar can cut through the rubber and do a core sample on your chest. Some folks put a quarter under the rubber grip at the end of the bar to keep this from happening so if you go to rubber grips make sure to do that.

  10. #10
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Wow, this was precisely the sort of incident that shiggy was referencing in one of his posts about his preference for drop bars.

    Get better soon, mate.

  11. #11
    eci
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    oury grips are great to use. for chest protection check out 661 i have the race lite jacket and it rocks!

  12. #12
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    Bullseye!

    Quote Originally Posted by shanedawg
    I gathered from his first post that it was the hard plastic end cap that made the "ODI Tattoo". If he did not have the plastic endcap on then he would have had a round circular tattoo. In the end the odi is still better than most rubber grips because the sharp bar can cut through the rubber and do a core sample on your chest. Some folks put a quarter under the rubber grip at the end of the bar to keep this from happening so if you go to rubber grips make sure to do that.
    I should have been more detailed. I actually have a 'bullseye' scar consisting of an outer ring and an inner ring about 1/4" apart corresponding to the thickness of the ODI, with a BB sized dot in the middle from the plastic cap.

    What they need is a hard plastic cap OVER the metal ring. I thought this is what the previous poster was talking about. I have the hard plastic center, and you are right, a soft grip would have resulted in a core sample. I am lucky in that sense.

    The doctor actually brought his camera and took a picture before he discharged me. He wants to use it in a training session on how to identify the external symptoms of liver damage......

    The bulbous CF honeycomb (or maybe foam filled CF) seems like kind of a good idea to me....

  13. #13
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    There is no question that a handlebar is a blunt instument. While I was in the hospital I was imagining a bulbous carbon fibre bar end covered in sticky rubber. The inside of the bar end would be honeycombed so that it provided a crush zone. Wouldn't weigh much more than a few ounces. The problem is it would be easily destroyed in a crash. They would have to be really cheap.
    I don't really think there would be a better design and we just gotta take it as a risk of our sport (you can not expect practicing any sport - maybe golf - without getting hurt somehow). Maybe just a light chest protector and a "BMX" style grip end.
    Check my Site

  14. #14
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    EeeePa !!

    I wish you the best in recovery.

  15. #15
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    I can't imagine the pain. Get better soon! You've all deffinately succeeded in scaring the crap out of me.

    I fall all of the time. I took the bar end to the thigh last week, but the bike came down on top of me...thank god. I hope I never come down on a bar end...yeeesh!



    -Danimal

  16. #16
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    Ouch

    I feel for you. I took a bar end to the "boys" on a stupid crash a while back. It hurt like hell but I guess that doesn't really compare to a lacerated liver.

    Ps - have the doc send you the pic. It would make a cool avatar. Much more trendy than a chain ring tatoo.

    Get well soon.

    C

  17. #17
    I'm how far behind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warp2003
    I don't really think there would be a better design .
    Ahh but there is Jones H- bars!

    Reading the above posts made me think about those river rat types that used to put tennis balls on their yakima racks that were so long that they could hit their heads on them when they got out of the cars.

    Get better! Freaky accident-- I've seen a few bruised chests from bar ends but a lacerated liver--- you are a lucky man!

    Jim
    Fatter than most.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    There is no question that a handlebar is a blunt instument. While I was in the hospital I was imagining a bulbous carbon fibre bar end covered in sticky rubber. The inside of the bar end would be honeycombed so that it provided a crush zone. Wouldn't weigh much more than a few ounces. The problem is it would be easily destroyed in a crash. They would have to be really cheap.
    Sounds similar to a Cane Creek bar end. Of course, you could've always done a mini pole-vault off the bar end, too.

  19. #19
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    Accidents happen in all shapes and forms but I can't stand being clipped in. Most of my clipless accidents were slow speed climbs where I lost traction , balance then bam to the ground I went.

  20. #20
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit

    What they need is a hard plastic cap OVER the metal ring. .
    ODI makes a hard plastic cap that covers the metal ring. I have them. They came with the oury ODI grips. Check with your LBS to see if they can be had seperately.
    Life....the original terminal illness

  21. #21
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    Sorry to hear about your injury I hope you have a fast and total recovery

    try bolting on a set of Cane Creek bar ends, they are made to replace the outer lock ring on the ODI's and clamp the grip in the same way


  22. #22
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    Glad you are going to be OK. Just curious what brand pedals do you use?

  23. #23
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    gonna have to check on those plastic caps myself. i've always thought those ends would hurt , your situation is just super rare though. Coincedentally i run those Ergo Cane Creeks on my trail/XC bike..... Anyways honkinunit, glad to hear your alive to tell the tale, this is a dangerous activity for sure. Thanks for sharing your experience and hope things heal up fast so you can get back out on the trail.
    .~...|\
    ...~.|.\
    ..~..|..\
    .~...|...\
    ~....|....\
    ...~.|.....\
    ....~|____\
    _____||_________
    .\....FAILBOAT..../

  24. #24
    Stack Daddy
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    Stick some champagne corks in yo bars.

    Quote Originally Posted by honkinunit
    I've been riding MTB since 1985 and Road since 1975, and never really thought about chest injuries. I've done a little DH, and always wear proper gear including a chest protector, but I never really thought about ramming my chest into anything on a trail ride.

    I was trail riding Sunday (three days ago) at Matthews/Winters near Denver. I was climbing a fairly steep shelf trail that was shaded, so there was mud and ice on the trail. I had walked a muddy section a few feet earlier. I spun out on some ice, and when I went to clip out, I couldn't because of the mud on my cleats. I fell over, unfortunately to the downhill side of the trail.

    The front wheel turned, and I fell directly onto the end of the handlebars with all my weight. I basically pole vaulted using my chest down about 15 feet into a ravine. The bars caught me just to the right of my sternum, right at the lower rib. I've felt a lot of pain, including a collarbone smash that required two surgeries, but nothing compares to this pain.

    I was completely wiped. I started moaning and screaming involuntarily. I started trying to crawl up to the trail, but I just doubled over, moaning. My 13 year old son came up, and was understandably scared, but actually pretty calm, way to go.

    Three hikers stopped to help (luckily it was a busy day on the trail). One of them turned out to be a doctor! He helped me back onto the trail, and pulled up my jersey to look at my chest.

    Under two minutes after the fall, there was already a baseball sized lump with a perfect tattoo of an ODI Lockon in the middle of it. The doc took one look and said it looked really bad, I'd better get to an ER. After laying down about five minutes, I was able to walk, the mile back to the trailhead, and I drove to Lutheran MC. Long story short, I have a lacerated liver, I was in the ICU for 2 days and regular unit for another, and now I can't work for a week or do anything that risks falling for a minimum of six weeks. A lacerated liver causes internal bleeding and can be fatal if left untreated. Luckily, mine quit bleeding after two days of being immobilized, flat on my back. I couldn't eat, drink, pee, anything. As still as possible for two solid days.

    This was just one of those freak things. I'll be a little more cognizant of status of my cleats in the future in technical terrain, but I've fallen like like before and laughed.

    I'm trying to decide what to do about the grips. I like the lockons, but the sharp hard edges are definitely a hazard. Both doctors (the one on the trail and the doc that took care of me) said they never saw this injury from motorcycles, because the grips tend to be softer and more padded. Also, dirt bike riders wear chest protection.

    I'm honestly thinking of switching to MC/BMX type grips with the big flat flare on the end. And maybe coming up with some kind of lightweight chest protection for my first few months back on the bike.

    Any recommendations about grips and lightweight chest protection?

    And thanks to the doctor on the trail, I asked his name, but my mind was in no state to retain it. He mentioned he rides sometimes, and he used to live in Coal Creek Canyon. Knowing me, if I hadn't seen the doctor on the trail, I would have went home and not gone to a doctor until things were worse.
    I use wine corks to keep crap from getting in my bars. The champagne corks have the big 'mushroom head' on them. You could trim them down if they look funny. You'll need to drink champagne regularly to keep a good supply

  25. #25
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    Your not the first.

    Back in the early 90's something similary happened on Dakota ridge. A rider (I guess he was pretty good) was riding that trail and didn't have plugs in his bar ends. well to make a story short he impaled one of them into his leg and they couldn't remove it at the scene so they had to cut his bars in half and take him to the hospital with the bar left in him. Don't know whatever happened to him but I hope he came out allright and I hope you recover.

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