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  1. #1
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    mtb & road bike mph question

    I own and ride a Tassajara by Gary Fisher. This is my first bike shop type bike. I bought a mtb because i live out in the sticks so to speak. I have to ride 3 miles of sandy roads to get to pavement. I do a lot of road riding (once I reach the pavement) and some off road trail riding on the weekends. My question is all things being equal would i notice an increase in my average speed on a road bike (on paved roads of course) over the mtb? I'm thinking about saving my pennies and getting a road bike also

    thanks in advance.... Jay.......
    If i'm walking my bike is busted.

  2. #2
    Look Ma, NO hands!
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    I notice 1-5 mph difference between my mt bike with slicks and my road bike. The faster you try to go the more you will see an increase with a road bike. I feel more comfy on a road bike for long rides also, over 1 hr or so.

  3. #3
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    A road bike will always be quicker. However a MTB with some high pressure slicks and bar ends can get up quite a speed also. I use to ride my MTB to work in times very similar to my road bike. The main difference is that the MTB took a lot more energy to do it, and therefore I took longer to recover

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    About 2 mph+ for the road bike over a mtn bike with high pressure slicks.

    About 3-4mph for the road bike over a mtn bike with lower pressure rugged knobbies.

    If you are looking for more exercise and fitness, keep the mtn bike amd go the speed of the road bike!!
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  5. #5
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    Other differences to consider, road bikes are geared higher, have bigger diameter tires which also have a higher psi then the mtb tires causing less rolling resistance and are a lot lighter.

    You could put some semi-slicks on, change the rear cassett to a road cassett (i would leave the mtb cassett on though since both road and mtb cassetts have 11t cogs on them and you would still have the hill climbing 32t or 34t cog), use a larger big ring up front and run higher psi in the tires. the mtb still wont be as efficiant on the road as a road bike but it will help. And with the semi-slicks you will still have some grip for your off-road excursions(sp?)


  6. #6
    Pain Cleanseth Feltup's Avatar
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    Get a cyclocross bike.
    It is better to lose clean then win dirty. Don't ride dirty

  7. #7
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    Road bikes are just an easier ride so you are faster without really trying.

  8. #8
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    If your sandy roads are hard packed and not too soft, a cross or touring bike with 28 or 32 mm tires would be best. The drop bars with choice of multiple hand positions would give both speed and comfort.

  9. #9
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Funny Story:

    Once I went out with my road group, about 2 years ago, and took my mtb bike and it had slicks.

    I was having a little knee trouble and I wanted some....easier gearing to baby my knee abit. Because if I was on my road bike I would be up on the top gear and it wasn't good for my knee.

    So we set off, 15 minutes later the rest of the group was so far ahead, I just decided to vear off and ride on my own. I just could not keep up (not because of the knee) no matter how hard I tried. It was the gearing. The largest chainring on my mtb bike is the same size as the small chainring on my road bike.

    I was like you many moons ago and used my mtb bike for road riding. I was getting alot of wrist and neck pain. My LBS recommended a road bike. What I got was a custom built sport-touring Marinoni. Pain never came back.

    MTB bikes are just horrible on road rides over an hour. IMHO.

    Digger
    Originally posted by Bones_McBones: Wow Digger, wow! You've earned my respect.... I know ashoposo got werked up. You are the gutter pig of Trollheim.

  10. #10
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    Some very good suggestions and points thanks all.

    I'm not really concerned about how fast I go, I was just kind of curious because I cant keep up with some of the people on the trail (paved trail) riding road bikes. And could keep up with a lot of the people riding mt bikes and such. And if the extra effort means a lil better workout thats ok too (lost almost 70lbs to date). I had never thought about the comfort level on long rides though. Now that im getting in better shape (bike shape anyway) I'm going for longer and longer rides, on the weekends i'll ride 30-40 miles on sat and sunday. Sometimes at the end of the ride my neck will kind of hurt and my hands will start going numb (they go un-numb when I move em around though). Would a road bike be more comfortable on longer road rides? I'm not physically drained after a 40 mile ride but if my neck and arms//hands are bugging me to much I dont feel like riding any further.

    Ohhhhh the sandy roads I have to ride on are all LOOSE sand with patches of hard stuff. It seems everytime the stuff starts to get packed good they come and mess it all up with a road grader LOL. I was thinking about the semi-slicks for my next set of tires. Wont be long the soft off road tires that came on the bike are wearing out pretty fast at 15miles a day and 30+ on the weekends on pavement LOL. But i'm having lots of fun and enjoying my first real bike so its all good

    I'm getting soooo hooked on riding that I know im going to have to save my pennies for a road bike.

    Love this forum thanks for all the good advise and suggestions....... Jay
    If i'm walking my bike is busted.

  11. #11
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    The biggest difference you'll see will be on climbs.......but I guess it doesn't matter when you live in Fla.
    .cinelli.olympic.surly.long.haul.trucker.kona.ku.surly.steamroller.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otherland
    Some very good suggestions and points thanks all.
    Sometimes at the end of the ride my neck will kind of hurt and my hands will start going numb (they go un-numb when I move em around though). Would a road bike be more comfortable on longer road rides? I'm not physically drained after a 40 mile ride but if my neck and arms//hands are bugging me to much I dont feel like riding any further.
    A road bike with road bike handlebars will mostly likely solve your problem. As I said, I had the same neck and wrist problem on my MTB bike on the road after 1 hour. I tried adjusting my stem length several times, helped a bit, but it was when I went to a road bike that the problem went away totally.

    You see, a road handlebar offers more positions for your hands and if you keep them moving (comes natural, you do it without thinking) the neck and wrist troubles abait. Of course, if you ride for 8 hours, it'll probably flair up :-)

    As for the 3 miles of sandy roads, all I can suggest is a touring type road bike with 28-30mm tires. Or walk the 3 miles to a paved road. I also live on a dirt road, but I am only 1000 feet (300 metres) from the main paved drag, so I walk it.

    Digger
    Originally posted by Bones_McBones: Wow Digger, wow! You've earned my respect.... I know ashoposo got werked up. You are the gutter pig of Trollheim.

  13. #13
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    Something that you don't specify is for how long are you going to be riding over roads. If you are going to ride exclusively over roads get a road bike, even more if you are going to ride over long distances. There is nothing better, period! Also, Are you riding alone or in a group? Don't spect to keep the pace riding with a bunch of roadies if you are on a mountain bike.

    Now if you are like me that ride up to 30 miles of a mixture of roads and rough terrain (from mud to soft sand) all in the same day you should consider other options. Cyclocross bikes are a good match for what you are describing; it all depends on how technical the trail is. You can also take a look to a 29er mountain bike. 29ers have standard mountain bike geometry frames that accepts 700 wheels with either slick/narrow 700x22 tires or the so call big/fat/knobby 29x2.1 inch tire (which is a 700x52 tire), or you can go like me 700x42 IRC Mythos slick (which is slick only in name) or the 700x44 WTB. Gary Fisher make a couple of models, mine is the Dualsport 129. Something else that I like in this model is that the chainrings are bigger 48/38/22 instead of a 42/32/22 like in the Tassajara; the rear cassette is a standard 9 speed 11-34. I was a little concern about this when ridding on difficult terrain but I get used to it and I'm happy. Also the fork has a lockout system so you can "turn" off the suspension when riding over roads. There are even full suspension 29ers but since you are going to ride over roads I think that a hard tail will be more efficient. Take note than even with all those changes a dedicated road bike will be always better over roads. Other style to consider is a hybrid bike, but take care when talking about them; members of these forums are a little hostile against hybrid bikes.

    Now, the Tassajara is a great bike if I'm you I will spent much less money and make some of the changes suggested by other members. Try more narrower/slick tires first, it doesn't have to be a traction-less tire just less aggressive. Also try changing to bigger chainrings as suggested.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
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    I mostly ride alone, but you know how it is when you get passed or see somebody in front of you. You try to keep up or gain on the ones in front LOL

    Hmmmm not really sure how much more I would ride on the roads, but if I was more comfortable in the saddle on a road bike I might ride longer. So far the longest ride I have taken on on the mtb is about 54 miles. I've only had the Tassajara lil over 4 months. Before that I wore out 2 wally world bikes (nephews and mine). I really just started riding the longer distances (long for me 30-50 miles) after I got the new bike. I would like to work up to a century on the weekends but I dont know if that is really do-able on a mtb? I could go faster on my bike, i'm still not in the biggest gear (not in good enough shape for that yet LOL, but i'm working on it). Right now during the week I ride aprox 3.5 miles on sandy road and about 11.5 on pavement a day. My parents live off of the main paved road I ride on so I could park there and ride if I did get a road bike.

    Do i need a road bike, probably not. Can I afford a road bike right now NOPE lol. Do I want a road bike, hmmm kinda think I do but will probably just get new tires for now.

    bottom line, I have no idea what i'm doing but I sure am having fun riding

    Thanks again.... Jay....
    If i'm walking my bike is busted.

  15. #15
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    What you really should be riding is a cross bike!
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  16. #16
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    Here's a link to a pic of a Surly Karate Monkey. It's a 29"er, and this one is set up real nice with dirt drops. Put some cyclocross tires on it and a road cassette and it would be perfect for the type of riding you describe.

    http://forums13.consumerreview.com/c...YYI.0@.efdb2b4

    EDIT: This frame can be had on the internet for about $350.00. A set of wheels will put you back $150.00 on Ebay, and use the stuff on your bike to build the rest of it up, then when you can afford it, put that bike back together.
    1 Chainring; $35, 1 Cog; $25, 14 Gears; Priceless.

  17. #17
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    I ride long distance on both roads and off-road and my MTB is set up with a knobie on the rear wheel and slick up front.

    Had I been using a road bike today,I would've been killed. I was approaching an underpass when a pack of vehicles came out of nowhere at high speed just as I hit a sandbar on the shoulder (which was slanted downwards towards the road). I almost lost control and was trown into traffic,but it was that "knobie" on the rear that saved my ass,since it would not waiver and spin out.

    Without much wind I can maintain 18-20 mph on the flats with a MTB (C'dale). I'm not worried about losing 2-4 mph after what happened today. Try riding a road bike through a sandbar and you'll understand what I mean. Hope this helps you with question.

    Regards.
    Last edited by JCM800; 11-19-03 at 06:21 PM.

  18. #18
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    The number of times I tried to keep up or catch roadies on my Mtb before I aquired my own road bike are countless, when I look back and think what an idiot I was for ever thinking I could stay with them.

    Now the shoe is on the other foot, When I cruise past the Mtb riders and look back to sometimes see them flogging themselves to death trying to stay on my wheel, I can become a little arrogant by teasing them along for a while, then suddenly giving the pedals a power tap... rotten, I know, but exillerating all the same....

  19. #19
    Member fatman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by willic
    The number of times I tried to keep up or catch roadies on my Mtb before I aquired my own road bike are countless, when I look back and think what an idiot I was for ever thinking I could stay with them....
    Same idiocity goes to a rodie trying to catch a mtbier on the dirt. Even a cyclocross rider trying to keep the pace with a mtb on a rock garden. If you ride only on roads wanting to go fast get a road bike. Anything else I will go with a MTB.

    Quote Originally Posted by digger
    MTB bikes are just horrible on road rides over an hour. IMHO.
    No matter wath type of bike you have you should feel comfortable on it. If your MTB was horrible on the road for one hour it will be worst on the dirt for one hour. That's why you should select a proper bike geometry for you body and riding preference from the beggining. Then make fine adjustments to fit the bike properly.

  20. #20
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    I really dont care how fast i'm going, I just use other riders as motavation sometimes. Its ok if im peddling a little harder than they are, better work out for me LOL I was mostly just curious if I used the same amount of physical exertion on a road bike that I do on my mtb if i would go a little faster on the road bike. Either way i'm enjoying riding and losing lots of weight and lowering my BP. (lost over 60lbs so far) So its all good I'm 35yrs old and started biking almost 2yrs ago on a cheapo from wally world LOL. Hell i've been over weight and not very active most of my adult life, just wish I would have found biking years ago..... but better late then never. I love the bike I have now and am sooooo glad I got it, because I do like to hit the trails with it sometimes (and the sandy roads on the way to the pavement).

    Thanks for all the suggestions and good advice everybody. I think for now i'll get a pair of semi-slicks for the mtb and save my pennies for a road bike. I wanna be like everybody else on the forums..... own more than 1 bike LOL j/k
    If i'm walking my bike is busted.

  21. #21
    Roadie wannabe w417h3r's Avatar
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    If you can't afford a road bike for now, it's okay i guess, from the terrain over which you cycle on. A mtb with slicks goes faster than one w/o, but gives you more grip on the sands if you're on knobblies. I don't know what your bike setup is like, if you're on standard Deore, with M540 wheelset or one with XTR hubs, you'll be some of the faster mtb around. If you like, can even use a rigid fork to shred some weight off your bike.

  22. #22
    Senior Member digger's Avatar
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    [/QUOTE]No matter wath type of bike you have you should feel comfortable on it. If your MTB was horrible on the road for one hour it will be worst on the dirt for one hour. That's why you should select a proper bike geometry for you body and riding preference from the beggining. Then make fine adjustments to fit the bike properly.[/QUOTE]


    Gotta disagree with ya there bud, at least in my case. On the road, with a MTB you don't move around much and I find it uncomfortable after about an hour.

    Off road on the same MTB an hour is no problem, as i move around more, standing, sitting, leaning, frequent stops, etc.

    Both my mtb bike and road bike (both Marinoni) are custom made, so they fit.

    If you like a MTB on road, great! All my best, have fun, be careful, etc. If someone is finding neck and wrist problems then in my experience a road bike would be an option. Or try road bars on a mtb bike....?

    Just MHO.

    Digger
    Originally posted by Bones_McBones: Wow Digger, wow! You've earned my respect.... I know ashoposo got werked up. You are the gutter pig of Trollheim.

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