I know I have only just got the thing but I surprised myself yesterday. Did a road ride with a couple of Mountain bikers so I took the road bike- One of these mountain bikers is fit and he does not like to be beat. He is always the first one up the hills and the one that puts on a bit too much pace for comfort on the flat to lose everyone else. This is one fit rider and the saving grace is that he is only a 40 mile rider, before he blows.
Back to yesterday-Did the road ride on one of our short routes and it is fairly flat. Found out that The Skinny tyres sink in Beach gravel around the harbour, but Did not expect anything else. Then we started on the way back and it is a gradual uphill rise for the 14 miles home. I set the pace at 16mph and towed the other two along very comfortable- They were on knobblies remember. Then we started on the long drag and the fit rider decided to take the lead- He raised the speed from 16 to 20mph and we lost the 3 rd rider which annoyed me a bit as I like to ride with others and not slaughter them. Still I stayed with him for 2 miles until the slope became a hill. That road bike of mine did not slow down so pushed the lead rider until he slowed. No problem- just pull past him and keep the speed up. Got to the top and stopped to wait for the group to collect. The fit rider just rode past- but this is the point that we always collect. I waited for the 3rd rider and we carried on. That long drag at 20mph- I had to push but it was easy. then the final hill and OK out of the saddle but easy again.
Back to the reason for doing this ride yesterday- I felt hungry so called into our favourite cafe on the seafront for a couple of Buns. I know I have posted this picture before but it is well woth showing again.
These road bikes do go fast on the roads and they do go up hills at sensible speeds. I now realise why I struggle to stay with road bikes on the metric and 100 mile rides towards the end. Now I know a mountain bike is for rough graound and road bikes for roads- but I never realised how much difference there is in the two bikes types. Then there is the bit about road bikes not going off road. the others were on mountain bikes so we took a couple of miles on a smoothish trail. Not hardpack- just loose soil through a wooded area. The road bike did reasonably well- I did not chance it on the downhills as there were a few lumps and jumps on this trail but uphill it worked and on the flat it held its own- even though I was looking for the smooth bits.
So next time you go out with the mountain bikers on the road rides- Don't laugh at how slow they are- They are slow but the effort required to get them working well on the road is a lot more than you think it should be. And next time I get overtaken by a cyclocross rider on my favourite offroad hill- I will not feel so bad. They will work efficiently offroad - if the tyres are suitable and the wheels strong enough, But I think I will still get them on the downhill with my nice fat Knobblies.