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Old 03-12-06, 01:52 PM   #1
davidmcowan
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New bike riding tips...

I've ridden mountain bikes and my semi hybrid like commuter for some time, I just got this new road bike and I've been thinking there are probably different considerations in riding the road bike.

Any experienced users out there who know some of the key differences?
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Old 03-12-06, 02:27 PM   #2
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The bicycle might feel a bit "twitchy" to you, perhaps a little bit less stable, but you'll get used to that as you ride it more.

I ride both road bicycles and mountain bicycles, and I can't think of any other differences.
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Old 03-12-06, 02:32 PM   #3
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From personal experience, wind is much more of a factor with road riding.
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Old 03-12-06, 02:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neaolin
From personal experience, wind is much more of a factor with road riding.

How's that?
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Old 03-13-06, 10:59 AM   #5
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Air drag goes up as the third power of velocity. At the higher velocities people tend to on road bikes aerodynamics become more important. Someone in a full tuck is generally less stable than a MTB rider sitting up with hands out on the ends of the grips.
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Old 03-13-06, 12:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmcowan
How's that?
When most people mountain bike, they are on trails and surrounded by trees. The trees cut down the wind big time. And I use to mountain bike right outside of Cheyenne, WY. If the trees could cut down the wind there, they can cut down the wind anywhere (cause Cheyenne is very windy).

When road riding, the wind has much more of an effect on the riders. This is why many riders ride in groups, so they can draft. When it is to your face or side, you struggle. When the wind is to your back, you fly. Also, it doesn't have to be very windy to affect riding. Personally, I'll ride in wind anyday. Better workout for me.

I think a lot of it (pertaining to road riding) also has to do with the lightweight wheels, and their lack of centripetal force. I say that because when I road ride with a heavier wheelset, I ride faster into the wind. But that is another topic that will open up a can of worms.
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Old 03-13-06, 12:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neaolin
I think a lot of it (pertaining to road riding) also has to do with the lightweight wheels, and their lack of centripetal force. I say that because when I road ride with a heavier wheelset, I ride faster into the wind. But that is another topic that will open up a can of worms.
Nope. The weight of the wheels or any other part of the bike, has almost no bearing on the effect of wind. Riding on the road generally exposes you more to the wind than riding MTB trails in the woods because you are generally further from the trees. You also ride trails slower than roads so the winds drag force is less on trails than on the road.
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Old 03-13-06, 01:36 PM   #8
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I don't think wind would be a factor at all.

Potential factors:

1. learning to ride in the drops, if you so choose to ride in that position
2. thinner tires need more checking for air pressure
3. lighter weight, means it will be able to change direction faster
4. Your downhills might well be faster.
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Old 03-13-06, 01:59 PM   #9
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Well, just my theory. Maybe it is just my riding style, I don't know and I don't really care. All I know is that I ride faster uphill and against the wind with the 700x28s. Everything else, the 700x23s win hands-down (and yes, I check tire pressure and ride in the drops). Mountain bike tires are a completely different story though, so this is a bit off topic (but I don't mind).

Oh, another difference between road and mnt bike riding. With road riding, you have to put up with cars. Not just the cars themselves, but the people in them. You'll get things thrown at you. They'll try to scare you by yelling at you as they zoom by. If you ask me, they're idiots. They're risking attempted assault, manslaughter, and/ or murder charges just to show off to their high school buddies. It is up to you whether or not you let it bother you.
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Old 03-13-06, 04:12 PM   #10
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Practice in a big, empty parking lot. Find out how fast you can stop, how tight you can turn, what the best gears are for different speeds and accelerations. Road bikes are different. It will take some time and practice to learn. Develop your skills gradually.

With proper set up, saddle will be high. Make a habit of getting off the saddle before stepping out of the pedals.

Higher bike means its easier to go over handle bars. When braking hard, move your weight BACK.

Learn to lean into turns. To get a good lean, countersteer. This means, to turn right, twitch the handlebars to the left a bit. The resulting lean to the right will have you turning right much faster than just steering. Try it in the parking lot. You'll be surprised how eagerly the bike turns.

Lean forward, flatten your back. Push the pedals with your glutes. Breath with your tummy, not your shoulders. Elbows should always be bent.

Car behavior varies from place to place. I've never had a problem, but this is a college town. So far as I know, all states give bikes the same rights and responsibilities as cars. Ride on the right side of the road, obey traffic laws, be predictable, assert your right to be on the road, and people will leave you alone. Stay out of the gutter. Never ride into traffic. Don't "filter" through lines of cars.

Identify some good roads for road bikes. Crazy roads you know in your car often have quiet streets running parallel to them. Do some scouting in your car first. Ride your chosen routes regularly. Learn where the potholes, drain grates, blind corners, and other hazards are.

For useful information, check Sheldon Brown's web site. A good book to read is "The Art of Urban Biking" by Robert Hurst.

The gains in speed, efficiency, and handling with a road bike are dramatic. You're going to love it. Best of luck to you.
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Old 03-13-06, 04:49 PM   #11
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Someone with more mechanical experience check me on this. That MTBs and some hybrids have higher bottom brackets so as to get over obstacles. Road bikes have lower BBs. So, in a sharp turn you are more likely to have a pedal hit the ground on a road bike. No? I generally keep the outside foot down and coast thru sharp turns long before I would be leaned over far enough to have the pedal strike the road.
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Old 03-13-06, 07:10 PM   #12
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You'll find that road tires are a bit more fragile than MTB tires; avoid sharp edges, potholes, seams, and the like.

It should be second nature to corner with the inside pedal up.
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Old 03-13-06, 11:24 PM   #13
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It may seem at first that you get started faster and get going faster on a MTB. This is because most people don't "downshift" in anticipation of starting from a stop. With a MTB this isn't as much of a factor, because generally none of the gear ratios are as "deep", so even if you are in an inappropriate gear ratio, you won't be for long. However, with a road bike and its lesser rolling resistance, better aerodynamics, etc you may likely be in a fairly deep gear ratio before that stop light turns red. Thus, when you start pedalling, it will seem like a very "slow" bicycle.
In short, you will need to learn how to use your new ratios effectively.
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