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  1. #1
    Fat On A Bike
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    Mountain Bikes vs. Road Bikes

    This is my first post, so be gentle...
    I am riding on a mountain bike - TREK 4300 '10. Started over a month ago, and really enjoying it.
    Currently I am riding roads more then trails, to get in a better shape then I have started (~300lbs).

    From reading the forum I have noticed more people are riding road bikes then mountain bikes.
    Is this for a reason related to weight or just the selection which more people are doing?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Most riders like to ride farther as they get stronger.
    A road bike will get that done faster.
    I started on a MTB, the low gearing and kobby tires are not a fast way to go.
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  3. #3
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I started on a road bike, then purchased a used mountain bike for some dirt trails. I knew I wanted a road bike over a mountain bike or a hybrid bike. Others start out with the want to ride, and the LBS will guide them to what they think the person wants. Sometimes things change.
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  4. #4
    Cycling afficianado keesue's Avatar
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    My first bike back was my Cannondale F600 which I bought to get back in shape and loose weight. I rode it exclusively on the street. I subesquently purchased my Lemond to ride with the road club at work. I ended up putting street slicks, Conti 1.3 on the Cannondale, to get the faster ride. I ended up with a Specialized Enduro for trail riding but most of my riding is on the road. My latest bike is a single speed Torelli.

    It sounds like you are a good candidate for a road bike too. It's good to have both. One can never have too many bikes. There a guys here with a stable full of them. Heh...
    Ridin' the back streets of San Fran on a Lemond Zurich, Torelli Tipo Uno, Cannondale F600, Specialized Enduro, a Dawes SST and Puch MTB to fetch beer .
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  5. #5
    Fat On A Bike
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    OK... so from the suggested you are saying it would be harder on me to advance on the mountain bikes compared to a road bike?

  6. #6
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    No, you can get in Great Shape with a mtb.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    For me, it came down to which was more convenient. I was living in NY when I started and only 1 mile away from a trail...road biking there is a bit of problem for a novice because the traffic is so aggressive. My first bike there was a mountain bike. After I moved to St. Louis, I'm almost exclusively on my road bike because driving to a trail 30 miles is more of a hassle than just hoping out the door and going.

    A dainty road bike isn't really made for a clyde, however, many road bikes are perfectly fine, just some things need to be taken into consideration. Often a cyclocross bike with slicks is a good solution for a road biking clyde.

    Figure out which kind of riding you'd like to do, and go from there! I don't recommend a mountain bike if you want to stay on the roads though. You will be frustrated with the speed and wear out components faster than necessary because you'll be one or two gears all the time...ask me how I know!

    These forums are filled with people who were beginners at some point and are all at various stages on their journey. Welcome!

  8. #8
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Once you reach a good condition you will want to go faster and farther.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  9. #9
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    Just depends on where and how you want to ride, what you want to get out of riding, and what your riding goals are as it relates to your personality.

    I am partial to Mtn bikes. I love nothing more than to negotiate a fast flowing single track. Now, having said that, I am by no means a Mtn biker. I probably spend 80% of my bike time on streets and roads, but I have had the best year of riding this year, with 1,300 miles of mixed, hard road, gravel and trail. My bike is heavy and would be considered a "boat anchor" to most road bikers, but it suites my personality.

    i borrowed a buddy's road bike and was just not that into it. The bottom line is that you need to find the riding that suites you, and not worry about the masses. You will probably own more bikes in the next few years than you did your entire childhood. it just comes with the activity.

    No matter what you decide, put fun at the top of your list and you will be fine.

    Have Fun

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  10. #10
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I ride a road bike on the road and one of two mountain bikes on trail. It makes sense to use the right equipment for the task. That said you can do whatever you want provided you just get out and ride. If you are more on road than trail, then I suggest getting road slick (tires) to replace knobbies if you haven't already.
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  11. #11
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaadd View Post
    OK... so from the suggested you are saying it would be harder on me to advance on the mountain bikes compared to a road bike?
    Advance to what? What is your goal? Do you want to get in shape and lose weight? Then that mountain bike will do that for you. Keep in mind, riding a MTBike on road is like 2 - 3X's harder than using a road bike (more weight, more rolling resistance etc). Makes for better aerobics and cardio.

    If you want to get really fast and ride in a club and wear fancy kits? Then you probably should consider a road bike.

    Bottom line - just ride!
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  12. #12
    Fat On A Bike
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    My goal is to enjoy and to lose weight.
    I am riding roads mostly since I can just get out of the house and just ride.
    On the weekends I am to make the effort and ride trails.

    I wish I had a close by trail to fully utilize the bikes. but I need to go by with what I got.

    I am doing this for my soul more then anything else. up until now it is more then rewarding

  13. #13
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Then don't worry about the bike... you have the right attitude! It is about the rider and your health and well being. If at some point, it becomes a real passion, then go bike shopping.

    BTW I have a buddy who has 3 custom mountain bikes, 3 custom road bikes and a custom cyclecross and he doesn't ride... the bikes are just pretty decorations in his apartment... you see what I am getting at?
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  14. #14
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaadd View Post
    OK... so from the suggested you are saying it would be harder on me to advance on the mountain bikes compared to a road bike?
    I'd say you could get in better shape on a mountain bike than a road bike. Road bikes are wonderfully efficient. You can ride a long ways on very little energy. A mountain bike...with knobbies...is much harder to push along. More effort = more energy usage = more weight loss.

    Ride 'em on dirt trails and things are even harder Plus they are more fun there than on the road.
    Stuart Black
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  15. #15
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    I used to ride a road bike, but once I got my first mountain bike I've never ridden anything else. I like the upright seating, low gears, and ability to run a wide variety of tires. If I want to go faster I put on semi-slick tires.

    There's some loss in efficiency. Riding on the drops of a road bike improves your aerodynamics, but puts a crick in my neck and my back hurts. I'm willing to give up the efficiency for bigger tires that are more resistant to cracks and holes in the pavement and being able to see around myself more easily.

    Lately I've turned to riding my full suspension bike everywhere, road and mountain. I like the way it soaks up the bumps, and again I'm willing to take the small penalty in efficiency.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    There are also, get seated for this, HYBRID bikes!!!! Some are geared more towards road or mountain. Specialized makes two basic hybrids, The Sirrus, which is really a flat bar road bike, and the Crosstrail which is better for bike paths, smooth single track, dirt roads, etc.

    I have the Sirrus. It has a nice upright position that makes cycling FUN, and doesnt put pressure on my shoulders (I think I have some damage from my prior job ) I also have a mountain bike for trails, or...uhh mountain biking I dislike drop bars with a passion, but thats me.

    you dont have to ride a road bike. Sure, they are faster. But since when was speed what we were after to lose some weight? Don't discount some of the higher end hybrids, the Trek FX line or the Specialized sirrus line (among many others) that combine the more comfortable riding position of a mountain bike, while having road size wheels/tires and slightly more road friendly gearing. You dont need 28x34 gear combo on the road, short of some steep hills in my area!

  17. #17
    SpeedFreak
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaadd View Post
    My goal is to enjoy and to lose weight.
    I am riding roads mostly since I can just get out of the house and just ride.
    On the weekends I am to make the effort and ride trails.

    I wish I had a close by trail to fully utilize the bikes. but I need to go by with what I got.

    I am doing this for my soul more then anything else. up until now it is more then rewarding
    A few months ago, I started off just like you. I started riding seriously on a 2002 K2 Attack FS MTB on the roads. I hit the road because the trails around my home would give me an inconsistent work out. Also, the trails required me to "shuttle" the MTB to and from, or ride a long ways on the road. So I stuck to the road.

    I did that for almost 3 months and thought nothing of it. I got into good shape, I got stronger and faster, just by riding that bike. The only thing I did was to switch out the knobby tires to street tires (Continental Town & Countries). This improved the handling quite a bit. It also made the ride smoother and much, much quieter, and definitely rolled faster.

    Because of the extra weight of that Full Suspension MTB, by body worked harder and I got into shape faster. Of course, every road cyclist including their grandpa and Athenas passed me on the road!

    I have since switched to a road bike. The RB is so much faster! It also handles so much better and gets up and over hills sooner. Every ounce of my energy goes into forward motion. However, it sure was a lot less comfortable! Am I glad I made the switch? Hell yes! Now when I ride my old MTB it feels like I'm in a tank! However, it sure has a smooth and comfortable ride!

    It is up to you though. If you are enjoying your MTB on the road and you don't wish to go faster, stick with it. Just go with street tires that are smoother and roll faster.
    Palomar01

  18. #18
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    At 290 pounds and riding a road bike TREK 720 1985 (bought new) I find the selection of 27" tires limited. Currently running 33mm cross section World Tours (32-630). I was considering spreading rear to 135mm and moving to 700c wheels with 9 speed cassette .... instead I did this:

    I just bought an old Specialized Stumpjumper (ebay with shipping $175).
    I plan to eventually put Schwalbe Marathon Supremes on it (50-559) actual cross section around 45mm. This Stumpjumper has a U-brake in the back so it is late 80s vintage. I think the Fork is a 22.2 mm quill so standard road equipment can easily be used.

    I am 6ft 1" with short legs (max standover is 34" puts me on bar without shoes) My TREK is at my max.

    I bought a Stumpjumper with standover of 30.5 inches. Plan to ride it as it arrives and then start revising. I will likely put in a stem riser and transfer drop bars from and old free Fuji.

    There are a lot of early mountain bikes without suspension that are available for far less than most bikes. I picked Stumpjumper because it had quality equipment and was the early mass produced bike.

    My Trek has a Brooks saddle the B33 which I recommend for those around 280 lbs.

    With the exception of Rivendell Atlantis it is hard to find a frame that will accept a 45mm tire and fenders. I was considering a Surly LHT but figured this would be an interesting experiment.

    When I looked at Specialized Stumperjumpers from the 80s they look easy to convert into Cycle camping worthy vehicles.

    Since I am in Western Washington all of those MTB gears will be used when on the road as we have hills and mountains.

  19. #19
    foolishly delirious RatedZeroHero's Avatar
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    I live in rural Nebraska at the moment... I like to take the MTB out on county roads and ride 20+ miles on graded gravel roads... NO TRAFFIC... more scenic and just a nice place to ride... plus I ride my MTB in town for errands and primary transportation...

    but the road bike is faster and speed = fun... 30 mile rides are a great workout!!!

    so keep the 4300 get in better shape and start hitting some singletracks in your area and get a roadie for fast long rides!!!

    my plan is to ride... where ever when ever... just try to ride...
    Last edited by RatedZeroHero; 10-02-09 at 02:59 PM.

  20. #20
    Bicycle n00B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jboyd View Post
    Just depends on where and how you want to ride, what you want to get out of riding, and what your riding goals are as it relates to your personality.

    ...

    No matter what you decide, put fun at the top of your list and you will be fine.

    Have Fun

    Jay
    Could not have said it better myself. I chose to be a bicycle commuter. That's my style. I ride what some call a "hybrid". I call it my commuter bycicle. I commute 5-6 days per week, 10 miles one way, to-and-from school. I probably won't ride more than 25 miles at one time in my life. As I said on another board, the probability of my riding 100 miles, for any reason, is about the same as my winning the Powerball lottery jackpot.

    Still, I enjoy riding, and have made my choice and my commitment to continue doing so. Since mid-May I've dropped 37 lbs. My resting heart rate has gone from 82 to around 60. My bp has dropped into a range many 20-year-olds don't achieve. I've dropped 5 inches around the middle, and continue to lose both weight and inches. I feel healthier and stronger overall than I've felt in last 10-15 years of my life.

    So, decide what you want, then learn how to achieve the goals you set. If you want to be a cyclist... Congratulations! You already are.

    Keep riding!
    I reserve the right to be wrong at any time. :D

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  21. #21
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    the people saying that a mtb will help you lose weight faster due to it being inefficient are not going fast enough on their road bikes

    sticking with the mtb is fine... get some slicks if you are mostly on the road

  22. #22
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heckler View Post
    the people saying that a mtb will help you lose weight faster due to it being inefficient are not going fast enough on their road bikes

    sticking with the mtb is fine... get some slicks if you are mostly on the road
    Do get slicks. Trail tyres are prone to nasty skidding problems on the road - especially if you have to brake or turn hard. The grip "walks". And no, the grip doesn't help in rain. Get slicks.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    I moved to a road cycling because riding trails on an mtb kicks up a bunch of dirt that *needs* to be cleaned and I dont have time to clean bikes after every (trail) ride. Riding on road with knobby tires seemed like a waste to me.

    Oh, and I know it's mainly engine, but looks wise, road bikes are more appealing to me. Having said that, maybe one day I'll get an mtb again coz riding trails is definitely more fun.
    1 cx bike, commuter (light off road), 2 road bikes (sportives and fair weather commuter), 1 mtb (off road fun and antics)

  24. #24
    Senior Member bamacrazy's Avatar
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    The more I ride, the more I come to love all aspects of cycling. I love road bikes, mountain bikes, and cyclocross. If you love em all, ride em all. Cyclecross is the best of both worlds, but I take my mountain bike places where I would never take my Cross bike.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  25. #25
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heckler View Post
    the people saying that a mtb will help you lose weight faster due to it being inefficient are not going fast enough on their road bikes

    sticking with the mtb is fine... get some slicks if you are mostly on the road
    I ride plenty fast enough and far enough on my road bike. A mountain bike takes more energy to push through the air...weight and aerodynamics work against you on an upright mountain bike.

    The point of weight loss is to use more energy than you take in. Bicycles are incredibly efficient users of energy. Nothing else on the planet touches it in terms of miles per calorie. A mountain bike is less efficient than a road bike in all aspects. A 25 mile ride on a mountain bike (even with slicks) takes much more effort...and burns more calories...than a road bike does. Keep the knobbies on and you'll burn even more energy. Take the knobbies out on dirt (up hill and down) and you'll burn even more.
    Stuart Black
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    Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
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    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

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