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Old 08-27-12, 01:49 PM   #1
GrumpyKenyan
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Newbie Question: Road bike or mountain bike?

I almost feel dumb asking this question, but I don't know if the difference really adds up to all that much for a new rider - I've been riding for about a month. For now, I'm just focusing on building up endurance for when I go back to America. Aiming for a decent speed on some of these roads, and the traffic that comes with them, would be stupid at my current lack of skill and finesse.

Most of the roads I ride on look like this

with accompanying pot-holes, ditches, fallen tree branches, etc. Many of the inner-city roads like this have a lot of traffic and public commute that keeps me from safely reaching faster speeds (unless I go during the quiet hours, such as when this picture was taken).

Normally, I would assume a road-bike would be just fine for this. However, a couple days a week, I like to go on rougher roads like...

You have the smaller "mini-lanes" to the side, but those are small and oftentimes have slower riders on them, which forces me to use the rockroads if I want to continue pushing myself. Would a road-bike be able to handle this?

And I'm working on this road right now. If there's one road that demands an off-road bike, I think it's this one.

But if a road bike would suit my needs better, I'd be willing to forego this little pet-project since I doubt I'll find roads and views like this in America. I could always come back and try again with a better bike.

So would you get a road bike or a mountain bike? What I have right now is a mountain-bike, but it's be rather easy to trade it in. I just don't want to be training with the wrong tool if it'll somehow hinder my growth in the sport.

Thanks for putting up with questions from a new biker
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Old 08-27-12, 02:25 PM   #2
iheartbacon
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Have you looked at a cyclocross bike? It's like a road bike but it has fatter tires with a more aggressive tread.
http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=jake

There's also this, a bike designed for African riding conditions.
http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?co...ricabike_three
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Old 08-27-12, 05:52 PM   #3
steve0257
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A road bike with wider tires should work. Either a cyclo-cross or touring bike. A good mountain bike would also work, but my preference would be no shock absorbers.

Don't know what it would cost, but this sounds like what you are looking for. http://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo/
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Old 08-27-12, 08:29 PM   #4
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If you just want to build your cycling muscles, and cardiovascular, the mtb will give you the workout for that. If you want to go faster in Kenya, the suggested cyclo-cross or a touring bike with wide tires will be a little faster. If you want to go fast in the US, wait until you return and buy a light road bike with very skinny tires.
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