So some random thoughts have been banging around in my head lately as to the roadie vs. mtb "debate" (for lack of a better word).
Why is it that most people think road bikes are more efficient than mt. bikes?
My personal vote is that they are not.
Lets take an example, or situation, to explain my line of thinking:
Lugged steel road bike with 105 components, bare wheels (no tires/tubes) in a repair stand.
Lugged steel rigid mtb with XT components, bare wheels in a repair stand.
Both bikes are highly tuned, meaning the hubs are properly lubed/adjusted, chain is in good nick and properly oiled, brake pads are not rubbing, derailleurs are finely tuned and adjusted.
Should not the drivelines (hubs, gears, derailleurs and BB) all deliver about the same drag due to whatever accumulated friciton from seals or whatever?
Now then, wouldn't the mtb with (probably) larger diameter tubing deliver the power from the crank to the rear wheel more effectively than the road bike with smaller diameter tubing?
If so, this may only be a percent of a percentage point, right?
So then, you put a 26 x 1.2 slick on the mtb, pumped up to 90 psi, and hit the road.
You put an equal sized tire on the road bike, pumped up to 90 psi, and hit the road.
Wouldn't the mtb deliver the power from the hub to the ground more efficiently than the road bike due to its shorter, and therefore stiffer (or more resistant to deflection, anyway), spokes?
I've never been really comfortable on a road bike in spite of doing the Serotta fitcycle fitting exercises.
I've always been more comfortable on a mtb. Don't know if its the longer top tube, or the more upright seating position, or what it is, but there it is.
I know seating and positioning are paramount to comfort and therefore efficiency, so this point probably is moot in my argument.....
At any rate, the drivetrain can't possibly offer up much difference between road and mountain.
The wheels maybe but the only real difference I see is the diameter. Seems to me that the smaller diameter wheel would be more efficient, but then I'm no rocket scientist engineer type.
The frame may account for some negligible difference as well, but, really, they're both about the same (at least when comparing apples to apples, i.e., steel to steel or carbon to carbon). Right?
Any thoughts / comments?