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Thread: Mt vs Road

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    Senior Member LessEverything's Avatar
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    Mt vs Road

    I ride a mountain bike (trek 800) on the road, how much of a difference is a road bike on a road than a mountain bike? What speed increases could I expect? Just curious.

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    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Depends... have you outfitted your mountain bike with narrower slick tires? If so that will increase speed and distance significantly.

    Bottom line a road bike is for the road and mountain for trails. Each does it function better if used for its intended purpose. I think you will be amazed at your increase speed and distance if you switch to a road bike.

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    Lot's. It's not the actual top speed you can get to, so much as it is how fast you can get to it and how more easily you can maintain the faster speed on flats, hills, against the wind, etc. It's the feeling of acceleration, the responsiveness. There's just no comparison... like driving a sports car compared to a big SUV.

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    Senior Member hr2510's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    Lot's. It's not the actual top speed you can get to, so much as it is how fast you can get to it and how more easily you can maintain the faster speed on flats, hills, against the wind, etc. It's the feeling of acceleration, the responsiveness. There's just no comparison... like driving a sports car compared to a big SUV.
    I'll agree with Longfemur. The reasons listed are the reasons I prefer riding a MTB for fitness and weight loss. The MTB's are tougher to ride per mile so I get more work out per mile. If you want to get from point A to point B quicker or with less effort, have a longer commute or if it will make you feel better seeing the miles rack up then a road bike is the way to go.
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    Senior Member piper_chuck's Avatar
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    I always found my road bike to be more comfortable for long rides than my mountain bike.

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    Support JDRF b_young's Avatar
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    Most mtb have a 26" wheel, while road bikes usually are around 27". That plus the less friction of the skinny tires makes a big difference on speed. But the ride is usually a little smoother on a mtb.
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    Here is a silly question: After returning to biking after nearly two decades (and then only for the briefest of flings) I have decided to go the mountain bike route. I wonder if a suspension is preferable to a hardtail? Any thought on Cannondale, GT, or Gary Fisher? I am all about being comfortable and yes I NEED to lose weight!!!.
    Thanks to all. I am a newbie to the forum and am in awe of you all!!!

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    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightbyrd View Post
    Here is a silly question: After returning to biking after nearly two decades (and then only for the briefest of flings) I have decided to go the mountain bike route. I wonder if a suspension is preferable to a hardtail? Any thought on Cannondale, GT, or Gary Fisher? I am all about being comfortable and yes I NEED to lose weight!!!.
    Thanks to all. I am a newbie to the forum and am in awe of you all!!!
    It depends on your weight, at under 150lbs any suspension should work, between 151 and 230 you should be okay with an air ride suspension, over 230 and I would say forget it, go with a hard tail.

    I would actually recommend one of the lower priced bike shop hard tails, at least until you see if you like trail riding, if you don't your investment is fairly small, and you can always hybridize a hard tail, something much harder to do with a full suspension. If you find you really like trail riding, and want to get into more technical stuff, and get some weight off, you can still get a full suspension......

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I did a long flat trail ride on my mtb, Trek 8000 with knobbie tires. I averaged 16.0 on hte 42 mile ride. I was busting my hump.

    On the same 42 mile ride, I do 19.0 average busting my hump on a roadie.

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    Steel is Real. markw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LessEverything View Post
    I ride a mountain bike (trek 800) on the road, how much of a difference is a road bike on a road than a mountain bike? What speed increases could I expect? Just curious.
    Substantial. Even if you put slicks on your MTB, you're riding a shorter tire, and lower gearing. So you spin like crazy to reach speeds a road bike reaches just cruising. 44/34/24 mtb vs a 53/39/30 for a road bike. Cruise on an mtb if I remember right is around 12-14, while a road bike is 17-19 for the average rider. When I went to a road bike from an MTB I knocked like 15 minutes off a 12 mile commute.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw View Post
    Substantial. Even if you put slicks on your MTB, you're riding a shorter tire, and lower gearing. So you spin like crazy to reach speeds a road bike reaches just cruising. 44/34/24 mtb vs a 53/39/30 for a road bike. Cruise on an mtb if I remember right is around 12-14, while a road bike is 17-19 for the average rider. When I went to a road bike from an MTB I knocked like 15 minutes off a 12 mile commute.
    Exactly. Road machines are definitely faster, and, easier to maintain cruise speed. Also, I find that in order to maintain a vigorous pace on my MTB (slicked, with a 48 big ring), the longer crank arms will eventually wear me out. Having said that, I prefer my mtb for loaded rides because it's like a tour bike in most respects, being old school with all the attachment points. It's also extremely comfortable with the odd bars I have on it.

    My two road bikes are very different from each other. The Sequioa Elite is as comfortable as my Trek 520 all day long, but won't haul extra stuff. The newest addition is a '95 Scott roadie that is all steel, and is very fast, with a high fun factor. However, I'm not sure I'd like to use it on a century due to the stiff, crisp ride. The Sequioa is a dream machine at 100 miles - like the Trek.

    I've ridden the MTB on a few centuries, did well, but definitely noticed some knee soreness because of the higher lift of the cranks.

  12. #12
    Chubby super biker bdinger's Avatar
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    I second everything said here. My flat-bar road bike, I absolutely love for distance and speed. When I only have two hours, but want to get some decent mileage I go for the roadie. Heck, on Saturday I clocked 20 miles in a hair over an hour, then did a "recovery" 10 miles in another 40-ish minutes. I was not tired at all when I got home, and actually felt pretty good. The same ride on my MTB would have been slower, and requiring more effort.

    That being said, I find that for in-city riding I enjoy the MTB more. I can literally ride over anything without worrying, and that right there is worth the speed hit. As such, I'm outfitting my MTB with slick tires here soon (Michelin Transworld City 26x1.5) and giving it the "commuter" job. The flat-bar-roadie will be saved for road rides, where it shines and seems to be the happiest.

    YMMV, but that's my experience(s).

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Wind resistance is also a big factor. The more upright you are, the greater the drag.
    I've also "heard" that the drag is a function of the velocity^2. Twice the speed equals 4 times the drag???

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