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Old 04-23-07, 04:26 PM   #1
SaiKaiTai
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So, everyone -I mean EVERYone- says...

That a road bike'll change my life. It's so much quicker and more responsive. Climbing is so much easier...
It's that last part I wonder about. How much easier, exactly? I am not the best of climbers... mediocre would be complimentary. I AM getting better but I have so little gas in the tank when it comes to hills. I mean, I don't expect the LeMond to be a cure for asthma but how much improvement should I expect to see, out of the gate?
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Old 04-23-07, 05:03 PM   #2
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Me, I feel just like you are talking about. I got my road bike last June, and it does want to jump and move quicker, but the hills are still difficult. My biggest project for this year! But, even so I do love my road bike! I would like to say you will be absolutely astonished at how you can climb, but really you will only be astonished if you think your new bike will make it easy.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:14 PM   #3
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Those hills that you could just carry before will now seem easy. You will be able to hold much more speed from the bottom to the middle so you will have more energy for the top.

Those long hills that slow you down and make you dig will still require work.

The road bike does not like to be bogged down in too low a gear. If you keep moving faster you will cover more ground and get to the top of many hills before you run out of energy.

Of course I'm not much of a climber either so my advice may not be worth much.

Did I mention that they go down hill like a bat.......
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Old 04-23-07, 05:15 PM   #4
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I did try it out on one small climb when I test rode it and it seemed to be easier but I didn't know if it was easier or I was just pushing harder. I figure with less weight and a smaller contact patch, it would have to roll easier. Seems to me, when I had my last roadie 20 years ago, that the climb back home was easier than it is now. But that was 20 years and 30 lbs ago, so who knows really? But I DO believe it will make it easier, I do!
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Old 04-23-07, 05:15 PM   #5
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I did try it out on one small climb when I test rode it and it seemed to be easier but I didn't know if it was easier or I was just pushing harder. I figure with less weight and a smaller contact patch, it would have to roll easier. Seems to me, when I had my last roadie 20 years ago, that the climb back home was easier than it is now. But that was 20 years and 30 lbs ago, so who knows really? But I DO believe it will make it easier, I do!
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Old 04-23-07, 05:25 PM   #6
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Very fair question. It does make it easier on hills if the bike is lighter and geared properly. It is mostly due to the reduced overall weight of the bike and it can be calculated.

That being said, I still haven't found a bike light enough to where it still isn't hard at times tackling hills. You still have to push hard on the pedals--harder than you might like to. It's just NOT as hard as it is with a lighter bike. It is also much more helpful on longer and steeper hills. It is also measurable in increased speed and reduced time spent climbing a hill but probably not as dramatic as you might think. The biggest thing is that you have a little more gas left in the tank at the top of the climb.

I've done the Assault on Mitchell on a 22 pound bike and also on a 16 pound bike. I liked doing it on a 16 pound bike MUCH better. The time difference was about 1 1/2 hours over 8 1/2 hours...but I weighed less....had ridden 20,000 more miles......and was riding like heck trying to stay out in front of my brother!!!!
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Old 04-23-07, 05:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
That a road bike'll change my life. It's so much quicker and more responsive. Climbing is so much easier...
It's that last part I wonder about. How much easier, exactly? I am not the best of climbers... mediocre would be complimentary. I AM getting better but I have so little gas in the tank when it comes to hills. I mean, I don't expect the LeMond to be a cure for asthma but how much improvement should I expect to see, out of the gate?
vs what? A 26-mtb w/ slicks? 2 mph when not exhausted.

When exhausted. Same mph @ easier gear and some fumes left in tank instead of only tears.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:42 PM   #8
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On either bike, you're still the 'motor!'
Try it for an extended ride yourself and then choose.
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Old 04-23-07, 05:47 PM   #9
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Despite the hype, I never have found a road bike, "that wants to climb like a mountain goat." You'll still need a decent engine. However, with a properly geared road bike, hills will be somewhat easier to handle. The same distance will seem significantly shorter. And the fun factor wil be....well, you'll see.
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Old 04-23-07, 06:03 PM   #10
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My only experience is with short inclines, or little hills, or whatever, and my only road bike experience is 150 miles on The Diego so far.

That said, these short inclines and little hills are barely noticable when I ride The Diego. Proves nothing of course, but I ain't complaining. In fact, I'm just sayin. . .
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Old 04-23-07, 06:31 PM   #11
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I'm assuming you're now on a mountain bike. As others have said, just the fact that a road bike is quite a bit lighter and has easier rolling wheels will make a big difference.

I see so many people on mountain bikes, and they never leave the pavement. I wonder why did they buy mountain bikes? Mountain bikes are specifically designed for off road use. They have heavy stout frames, they have geometry made for turning and twisting and going over very rough surfaces. The wheels are huge and have knobby traction.

Riding a mountain bike on the road is like riding a jacked up, stiff suspension, knobby tired off road jeep on the highway. Sure it works, but wouldn't you rather be in a comfortable passenger car... or a comfortable sports car. That is the difference.

Frankly, I don't know if the hills will be any easier, but you will be more comfortable and go faster for any given level of effort.

PS: re: the engine thing. Yes, you will still have the same engine (for me the old and fat version). But which engine will work more smoothly, more efficiently, or push the vehicle faster: the 5.3 liter GM engine in the Knobby tired, uncomfortable Hummer or the 5.3 in the 'Vette?

I love road bikes on the road.
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Old 04-23-07, 06:35 PM   #12
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I think it makes a big difference. I noticed a huge difference on a tour using my 19lb roadie (25's) versus my 26lb tourer (28's). I ride my 30+lb commuter (with 20+lb pack) most of the time, so either roadie feels like riding a cloud.
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Old 04-23-07, 06:49 PM   #13
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Thanks all... I guess I should have made clear that I'm looking for -nor expecting- miracles. I understand going into this that the bike isn't going to do it without me. I'm just trying to get a handle on the INCREMENTAL differences the bike'll make. My current bike is a hybrid as opposed to a full-on MTB. I think of more as an "Off Road" bike. That's why I bought it... good -not great- on the road, good -not great- off the road; it just lets me go where I want to go as the mood strikes. For longer rides, though, and for climbing, I see its limitations; hence, the LeMond. Just sayin', is all
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Old 04-23-07, 07:02 PM   #14
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Jump on the hoods..look down and it seems to go better....
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Old 04-23-07, 07:10 PM   #15
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Reminds me of the Italian racer who always carried his bottles in jersey pockets so his bike weighed less on climbs. Real climbing is never "easy" except for our perceptions making it so. A significantly lighter bike is more noticably "nimble", quick, etc. But of course you'll still be breathing hard and eventually drowing in lactate even on a road bike. No magic.

Personally, I feel more graceful and road capable on a road bike....partly because of the geometry, partly the nimbleness, partly the lighter weight, partly the skinny tires, and largely the riding position. Looking down at the bike on climbs, a road bike just looks like less to drag along with me. DG's endlessly true maxim about cycling being 90% mental is good here, too.

But, WTF: whatever works, dude. And most dudes here would agree that you need to, and eventually probably will, move to some form of roadbike. One bike is never enough.
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Old 04-23-07, 07:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
Very fair question. It does make it easier on hills if the bike is lighter and geared properly. It is mostly due to the reduced overall weight of the bike and it can be calculated.
The intangible is posture. The riding position seems to make a profound
difference. To exaggerate just a little, at the end of a ride my major muscle
groups aren't all that are tired. My eyebrows are tired. My sox are tired.
It seems that every part contributes rather than just occupies a seat.
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Old 04-23-07, 07:23 PM   #17
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40% faster is not an unreasonable expectation.

Hey, it's not about speed, it's about the babes, and the Lemond is a hot bike. Wear your Lycra and everything else will fall into place.
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Old 04-23-07, 07:43 PM   #18
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Hill climbing = lungs and legs. All things considered, the type of bike has little impact
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Old 04-23-07, 08:21 PM   #19
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I think you should go ahead and buy the Nike shoes with the swoosh on them. I'm pretty sure the new bike will make you fast enough to avoid any danger of embaressment from wearing shoes with a swoosh.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossChain
...snip...

But, WTF: whatever works, dude. And most dudes here would agree that you need to, and eventually probably will, move to some form of roadbike. One bike is never enough.
I'm guessing you missed that part of the story?
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Old 04-23-07, 09:08 PM   #21
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Welcome to the LeMond Club.

I've ridden lots of bikes of all types and love every one of 'em from the lowly factory floor utility bike to some of the high end stuff. But the ultimate rush, for me, can come only from a well tuned, responsive, lively, road bike. I cannot explain why this is true, but Cross Chain's second paragraph above ^ comes as close as anything I've read lately.

Congratulations.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:09 PM   #22
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While I do think the lower weight and lower resistance from the tires do contribute to the better climbing of road bikes, I believe that a bigger factor is the way the rider's position on a road bike transfers power to the rear wheel. More of the power from your legs, torso and arms are sent through the pedals because of the more agressive athletic body position on the bike.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg
While I do think the lower weight and lower resistance from the tires do contribute to the better climbing of road bikes, I believe that a bigger factor is the way the rider's position on a road bike transfers power to the rear wheel. More of the power from your legs, torso and arms are sent through the pedals because of the more agressive athletic body position on the bike.
Maybe, but ask any mtb racer about his position and he'll say it maximizes his power potential-- and much of what they do is climb some pretty intense stuff. While many on-road mtb riders may sit upright and comfy, many mtb racer types look pretty intensely set-up for power. Besides, when climbing most of us don't want body weight too far forward.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:47 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossChain
Maybe, but ask any mtb racer about his position and he'll say it maximizes his power potential-- and much of what they do is climb some pretty intense stuff. While many on-road mtb riders may sit upright and comfy, many mtb racer types look pretty intensely set-up for power. Besides, when climbing most of us don't want body weight too far forward.
Yes, in fact I do race MTBs and the climbing is very intense. And the position of a racing MTB is very different from the position of a comfort bike or hybrid. Standing and climbing on a MTB using bar ends is very similar in many ways to standing and climbing on the hoods on a road bike, a very powerful position. The sitting and spinning positions are also similar, but the weight distribution is different, tailored to the terrain.

I'm not sure what you meant by the last part of your message.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
Yes, in fact I do race MTBs and the climbing is very intense. And the position of a racing MTB is very different from the position of a comfort bike or hybrid. Standing and climbing on a MTB using bar ends is very similar in many ways to standing and climbing on the hoods on a road bike, a very powerful position. The sitting and spinning positions are also similar, but the weight distribution is different, tailored to the terrain.

I'm not sure what you meant by the last part of your message.
Bluesdawg, I was responding to what I perceived was the idea that roadbike riders have a more aggressive position in climbing-- hence rb's are more efficient climbing machines. If I misread, then my bad. Having wheezed up hills on both bikes, I realize they have evolved as they have to suit need and each works best in their own briar patch.
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