Mountain Biking - normal distance for MTBing
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I have always been a roadie, owned MTB bikes (ridgid forks) but for commutting or bad weather riding. Never di like MTB riding because of the bugs, mud, maintenance, etc.
Just recently a co worker gave me his suspension fork, and I have upgraded my mtb bike with it including V brakes. I went for a spin on it and found it fun, but will only mtb bike in fall or winter.
Soooo, being a roadie and doing 50k to 100k during any particular ride I am wondering what would be a good distance for MTB riding? As MTBing is certainly slower speed, but more...technical than road riding.
My first ride on that bike I did 20k and took me about 1hr 45minutes and averaged about 15kph. It would take me 35 minutes (or so) on my road bike to do that distance.
I remember talking to a MTBer once who said that they typically do 20 -25k in their group rides. I said "That's it?!" He looked at me and said, well that would take about 2 hours ya know!.
So is 20k on a MTB bike about what everyone would do for an evening or Sat/Sun ride? Or would you go more? To do 50 or even 100k on the weekend would seem to take a loooong time considering how long it took me to do 20k.
Average speed (and, therefore total distance) on a mountain bike is VERY dependant on the technical difficulty of the terrain. Iíve come up with some factors in order to reconcile road distances with off-road distances. Without further ado:
-Very technical off-road riding = 4:1
-Technical off-road riding = 3:1
-Double Track/Dirt roads = 2:1
For example, in very technical off-road riding, 1 mile = 4 miles of road riding. While in technical off-road riding, 1 mile equates to about 3 miles of road riding, etc. The only real issue is identifying the technical merit of a given off-road ride. When I state that an off-road ride is very technical it must have a lot of climbing, a variety of obstacles and some tight single-track both up and down hill.
Anywho, thatís just my opinion Ö I could be wrong.
08-28-02, 09:27 AM
The distance you go and the time it takes will greatly depend on the terrain, if there are alot of hills and technical sections, a 10 to 15mi ride could take you 2 hours at a moderate pace. Just remember that there is more rolling resistance on the tires and it takes more skill to negotiate the obstacals you may encounter.
08-28-02, 09:42 AM
Thats an interesting ratio. hmmm...but either way on an 'average' run I will do 20k a ride in 2hr. If I spend more time on double track or groomed trails I can do that in an hour but if I go to single track, hidden in the woods and I personally have never ridden it. I can average as low as 7k depending on steepness and technical ability. (especially when you end up hiking 30% of a trail)
What I plan to ride on exclusively is an old railway track, but in the fall and winter only.
The trail is flat, the odd rock or tree, very little hills. I am new to the area and will explore trails that exist off of this which, no doubt, will contain single track, hills, more technical terrain.
So, based on that ratio of 2:1 for non-technical terrain I did an equivalent of a 40k road ride. hmmm, not bad, didn't feel equivalent to 40k ride though.
one thing i would suggest is to ride with others that know the paths. and find some more technical trails.
they will more than likely ride faster than you and this will keep you pedaling harder.
i found that when i started riding with others it suddenly got harder. i could go ride ten miles on the street or 4 or 5 in the woods and it seemed the same, by myself.
i went on a group ride and after two miles, i was beat.
these guys just kept going and going and going....
but this may not be the case w/ you if your a roadie and in shape. i'm not in the best of shape but i do have better bike handling skills than most.
that is the only thing that let me keep up w/ the guys in the group, more than likely.
08-28-02, 11:38 AM
Cool, your ratios put me at about 700 miles a week! :D Moving a mountain bike is much harder on your body, that's why the pros train on the road.
08-30-02, 06:39 PM
Wll if it has any merit, my buddy agreed to do the 24 hours of adrenalin, (ok I conned him into it, actually i lied to him, I lied a lot, but dont tell him though...)
He is a real road head, and does about 500k a week.
He said that the 23km course to him was like doing 100k on the road, Im not so sure, because on road in 2 hours Im only 50 or 60k... but then Im still on a mountain bike...
But your upper body does take a lot more abuse, punishment and gets much more work...
08-30-02, 08:42 PM
I used to spend a lot of time in the gym. The funniest thing I have witnessed due to my recent jump to mountain biking is actual size increase in my arms and shoulders. My strength has increased and my back has gotten bigger.
I have also always had huge legs from football and basketball and I have even seen a size and strength increase as well. Mountain biking is by far and away the most rigorous sport I have participated in.
Wife and I did a 35km ride on Saturday. Sure, we were bugged by some awful town road conditions where it was safer to dismount and use the sidewalks but end-to-end was about 3 hours. We had occasional stops to take in the view and have a drink, so as a social ride, it was a success - very much so.
What I learned about this, is that I'll peg the distance we go on any new rides to no more than 25-30km unless it's an on-road charity ride for example, where 50km would be about right for us.
Another thing I'll also do if possible is make sure that the half-way bail out point is easier going back than carrying on. Just in case we need the easier ride back to the starting point because of injury, that sort of thing.
There are so many variables involved in MTBing that I disregard mileage completely and focus mainly on riding time and occasionally on average heart rate. MTBin allows us to experience terrain like nothing else, it's a beautiful sport. Keep a singletrak mind.
09-01-02, 10:53 AM
I used to have a computer on my bike and all it did was make me worry about the distance I was covering during my rides and it was distracting; I could not see any progress in my strength. I did not install one on my new bike, and now I spend 1 to 2 hours riding in singletrack and I'm having more fun and seeing better progress.
I stopped worrying about distance.:)
09-01-02, 03:07 PM
Hmm I should try that. Because in reality you can better measure you mtb ability with your personal progress over obstacles and tougher terrain. Hmmm..might have to pull my computer for a few rides just to play a bit.
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