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Old 01-23-12, 08:51 AM   #1
bigbadwullf
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Want to climb better?

Get a mountain bike and USE it! Only 2 weeks back on the mountain bike and I climb a lot better. Road bike feels like a toy now.
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Old 01-23-12, 08:59 AM   #2
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We don't have what you guys call hills here in Florida, but we do have areas of central Florida that have, what we call rolling hills. These areas seem to be the select location for most of the century plus charity rides throughout the state. I don't have a mountain bike, but I often use my hybrid to climb bridges and some of these hills to prepare myself for these charity rides, that I do quite often throughout the year. You are correct! Climbing with a heavier bike does make a difference when you switch back to a road bike.
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Old 01-23-12, 12:22 PM   #3
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It's because your MTB riding has you doing more climbing. You get better at climbing by doing a lot of it. It doesn't matter if it's on a mtb or road bike.
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Old 01-23-12, 12:53 PM   #4
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It's because your MTB riding has you doing more climbing. You get better at climbing by doing a lot of it. It doesn't matter if it's on a mtb or road bike.
Or the fact that the gearing on a MTB is lower. I can climb like a billy goat on my MTB It might be because my low gear is a 28X34? My MTB is a lot heavier but I climb a lot better. However I also climb a lot slower.
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Old 01-23-12, 12:58 PM   #5
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I've used a similar strategy only with a fully loaded touring rig. After riding it for a week or two, and climbing the 17.5% grade to get back to my home, my unencumbered road bikes felt like they had after-burners built into them.
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Old 01-23-12, 01:04 PM   #6
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I think you guys may be missing the point. Riding a mountain bike offroad is a more intense activity than road riding no matter what bike you ride on the road.
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Old 01-23-12, 01:13 PM   #7
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I think you guys may be missing the point. Riding a mountain bike offroad is a more intense activity than road riding no matter what bike you ride on the road.
I don't doubt the intensity, but I thought the OP was talking about climbing, not necessarily mountain bikes. Perhaps his intent was to talk about mountain bikes. If so, I missed it. I can, however, attest to the fact that climbing with 65+ lbs of gear will improve your overall climbing.
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Old 01-23-12, 01:23 PM   #8
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I can, however, attest to the fact that climbing with 65+ lbs of gear will improve your overall climbing.
Especially when almost half that weight is the bike itself. Add to that the big, gnarly, rumbling mudder tires they have and you got yourself one big workout. Because I am a dedicated roadie I abhor getting on my MTB.
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Old 01-23-12, 01:58 PM   #9
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Wasn't talking weight. My MTB doesn't weigh much more than my road bike. Just riding up steep, technical hills has improved my legs/cardio that much in just a couple weeks of riding. Went out on the road bike and rode some hills and it seemed like nothing. Definitely use more glutes on the mtb.
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Old 01-23-12, 02:18 PM   #10
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Wasn't talking weight. My MTB doesn't weigh much more than my road bike. Just riding up steep, technical hills has improved my legs/cardio that much in just a couple weeks of riding. Went out on the road bike and rode some hills and it seemed like nothing. Definitely use more glutes on the mtb.
Of course. My MTB weighs upwards of 35lbs and my Trek 460 around 22.5 in present trim. I get an improvement just riding the MTB on flat sidewalks for a week. That's all it takes, and how much more the improvement doing what you are. Ride on!
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Old 01-23-12, 03:04 PM   #11
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Riding up hill is hard wether on Mountain Bike or Road Bike--it is great for the muscles and of course the heart.



This trail (Mitchell Canyon) has 2 miles of 20-25% grade, start at 400 feet and ends 3,000 feet and often will go to the summit at 3800 feet on the road, on average twice a week this past year!
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Old 01-23-12, 03:07 PM   #12
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Now THAT is a work out!
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Old 01-23-12, 03:15 PM   #13
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I think you guys may be missing the point. Riding a mountain bike offroad is a more intense activity than road riding no matter what bike you ride on the road.
Only if you are loafing during your road rides. There's a reason that MTB racers train on the road and it's not because its easier.
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Old 01-23-12, 03:22 PM   #14
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I'm more of a roadie than a mountain biker and I often argue with my mountain biker only friends who claim that road riding is too easy and not much of a workout. The most serious of the mountain bikers are very aware of the workout value of long, fast and hilly road rides. It is a big part of their training for mountain bike racing.

But that does not take anything at all away from the point BBW made about riding mountain bikes on mountain bike trails. More than once I have come back to mountain biking after a long stretch of only road riding and have been shocked and humbled by how quickly I have to stop and struggle to catch my breath and for my heart to stop pounding so loudly I can almost hear it echoing through the hills.
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Old 01-23-12, 04:53 PM   #15
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Riding a mountain bike offroad is a more intense activity than road riding no matter what bike you ride on the road.
Go out on any bike you want and see how long you can maintain 30 mph on a level road with no wind, and then get back to us.

After riding a roadie for so long, I don't really like getting on my mountain bike. Because of the upright position I can't get as much power to the pedals as I can on a road bike. That, and it makes my butt hurt...
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Old 01-23-12, 05:14 PM   #16
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I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing there's an element of your body becoming accustomed to specific kinds of activity. Hence, when you venture into territory that the body's not currently used to, it gets harder. Perhaps the reason people cross train?

Well at least I hope that's part of the reality. I'd hate to see this turn into..."Yeah, well XYZ is harder than ABC."
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Old 01-23-12, 05:21 PM   #17
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I'm more of a roadie than a mountain biker and I often argue with my mountain biker only friends who claim that road riding is too easy and not much of a workout. The most serious of the mountain bikers are very aware of the workout value of long, fast and hilly road rides. It is a big part of their training for mountain bike racing.

But that does not take anything at all away from the point BBW made about riding mountain bikes on mountain bike trails. More than once I have come back to mountain biking after a long stretch of only road riding and have been shocked and humbled by how quickly I have to stop and struggle to catch my breath and for my heart to stop pounding so loudly I can almost hear it echoing through the hills.
I also didn't realize he was talking about riding in the dirt. I thought he was talking about the same hills we do on our road bikes. The style is so different for me it dosn't translate much. But I tend to ride my MTB to the dirt so some of the hills are the same just the MTB is slower. My mistake.
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Old 01-23-12, 06:13 PM   #18
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I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing there's an element of your body becoming accustomed to specific kinds of activity. Hence, when you venture into territory that the body's not currently used to, it gets harder. Perhaps the reason people cross train?

Well at least I hope that's part of the reality. I'd hate to see this turn into..."Yeah, well XYZ is harder than ABC."
I agree. Riding up long steep hills on a mtb requires a lot of upper body in addition to being pretty much stuck in one position on the bike. After a few mtb rides I get re-aquainted with the position and relax the upper body and just climb and even add some OTS. On a road bike climb I can pull on the bars efficiently and be all over the saddle and OTS breaking up the effort to allow for some recovery.
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Old 01-23-12, 06:36 PM   #19
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Only if you are loafing during your road rides. There's a reason that MTB racers train on the road and it's not because its easier.
This.
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Old 01-23-12, 06:57 PM   #20
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I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing there's an element of your body becoming accustomed to specific kinds of activity. Hence, when you venture into territory that the body's not currently used to, it gets harder. Perhaps the reason people cross train?

Well at least I hope that's part of the reality. I'd hate to see this turn into..."Yeah, well XYZ is harder than ABC."
Yes. I am quite sure that this does happen. As for one being harder than the other, I think they are both equally hard. By saying mountain biking is more intense, I am speaking of how quickly it will tire me. After 2 to 3 hours of moderately hard mountain bike riding on the kind of trails I usually ride, I am pretty much used up and ready to call it a day. Much the same way I feel after a metric or a century. I probably haven't used as much energy and I'll probably recover faster from the MTB ride, but at the time I am equally used up.
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