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Old 02-15-05, 04:48 PM   #1
HaagenDas
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Speeds Question

I guess I'm trying to balance the requirements for my next wheels. What I'm really after is something that will go down an old farm road that's not too rough. I also want something that will get me out to the airport or the next town down the road. I like the thought of a "mountain" style bike but do you sacrifice much in cruising speed.

What would be the road cruising speed of a mountain bike and a road bike?

Anyone got a GPS on their bike?
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Old 02-15-05, 04:55 PM   #2
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On my mountain bike, with knobbies, on the street, during my commute, I can easily maintain 18 mph. On the way home it seems to drop to about 16 mph (I guess I'm in a hurry to get to work). But I've been doing this a loooong time! Your speed, however, may vary.

Don't worry about pushing your speed until you have a good mileage (or is that kilometerage?) base built up.

Road bikes will be faster in general, but rough roads will be tough on those skinny tires.

I carry my GPS reciever if I'm searching for a Geochache or Letterbox. Otherwise, no.

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Old 02-15-05, 05:02 PM   #3
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I didn't see your post about "Newbie Question" until after I saw this one.

If you've had knee replacements, be very sure your MD says it's OK to start riding. I know a lot of MD's will simply say NO. In that case get a second opinion. Cycling is just too good for you to miss out!

Take it slowly! Don't push big gears. Work up your cadence to about 80 rpm if you can.

Cycling is unusual in that, unlike most sports, when the cycling is easy you are doing yourself the most good.
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Old 02-15-05, 05:21 PM   #4
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Thanks Eubi. I've been working my way up to the bike for a few weeks now. Exercised heavily in hospital and took off 20 of my 114 Kg massiveness. Then I got a stationary exercise bike on the recommendation of my Physio. I was seriously unfit from years of sedentary work. Just looking at it made me get a puff up. I had to start on the exercise bike by putting a chair behind it to get the pedals to go around. I used that bike for two weeks and got repairs done on my old road bike... prolly a racing style machine with the handle bars curled under. I started walking and now can walk around the block without knocking myself out too much. Can ride the bike around the block three times. Also been doing trial runs to see if I could make it home from work. I only live six blocks away from my work place and I've been able to do five blocks in my trials. Unfortunately the ride to work will be entirely downhill.

Today was a big day. Rode to work.. this arvo, I'll have to make it home. I haven't taken the old girl out of low gear yet and that's good. The top of the hill is a bit tough but I can feel it doing me good.
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Old 02-15-05, 06:38 PM   #5
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Okay, I've just read that big tires and suspension equate to more work and less speed. Would this be true and to what degree?
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Old 02-15-05, 07:32 PM   #6
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well yes big suspension and fat tires does mean less speed, but its hard to really throw a number on it. If your planning to go to down old farm roads and anything not on pavement your best off with a mountain bike. If your going on road just stick some slicks on. I would avoid full suspension since it does not sound necessary in your situation
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Old 02-16-05, 08:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaagenDas
Today was a big day. Rode to work.. this arvo, I'll have to make it home. I haven't taken the old girl out of low gear yet and that's good. The top of the hill is a bit tough but I can feel it doing me good.
Great! Just keep it slow and build up your kilometers. Or is that kilometres in NSW? If that hill gets too tough, there's no shame in walking.

If you're worried what other cyclists will think if you walk your bike, just let the air out of one of the tires. We've ALL been there!

By the way...why did you ask about the GPS receiver? Do you Geocache or Letterbox?

Last edited by eubi; 02-16-05 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 02-16-05, 07:14 PM   #8
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It sounds like you are doing great. Your "old" road bike should work well on dirt roads and rough roads, if you put on the biggest tires that fit your rims and frame.

Be sure to use "easy" gears...easy gears let you spin your legs rapidly, while putting a minimum of stress on your knees...you won't break any "speed" records, but who cares? The "easiest" gear, of course, is your smallest chainring in front, and the largest cog in back. That combination should get you up the typical hill without overstressing your knees and legs.

If you keep at it five or six days a week, a year from now you won't even notice some of those hills that seem so hard the first few times.
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Old 02-16-05, 08:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubi
Great! Just keep it slow and build up your kilometers. Or is that kilometres in NSW? If that hill gets too tough, there's no shame in walking.

If you're worried what other cyclists will think if you walk your bike, just let the air out of one of the tires. We've ALL been there!

By the way...why did you ask about the GPS receiver? Do you Geocache or Letterbox?
Yup, correct spelling is kilometres, although I expect in a few years we'll take up the American spelling dammit.

Ahh, I can struggle up the hill so I'm keen to see how long it takes before it starts to get a bit easier.

With regards the GPS, I was just going to use it to measure speed and distance of my two wheel soujourns. Don't even know what Geocache is and assume Letterbox is doing pamphlets.
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Old 02-17-05, 06:17 AM   #10
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There are a couple of options that come to mind that would allow you to do mild dirt roads, commute, and also road-ride without sacrificing much in the way of speed: either a cyclocross bike or a touring bike. Equip either with suitable tires and you're on your way. (Add fenders for the nasty commuting days.) You might also enjoy the geometry of a touring bike, designed for long days in the saddle. The tire choice balances weight, rolling resistance and comfort, and it sounds like you wouldn't need tires with much in the way of tread for traction. Both my road bikes have 700x25 tires with no tread; with either bike, I do club road rides and I also ride them on the local compacted dirt/crushed gravel path with no problems whatsoever.
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Old 02-17-05, 06:50 AM   #11
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I must strongly recommend a mountain bike. Your comfort and easier gearing are worth more than the extra speed of a road bike. You may wish to purchase a road bike in the future, but for now, a mountain bike will be more enjoyable.
I have found:
1) Road tires do not work well on dirt/rough roads. Poor traction, affected by ruts and they will get ripped up quickly. You can't work around this. Mountain bike tires work wonderfully on bad surfaces, well cushioned and easy to steer.
2) Seating position might be uncomfortable on a road bike? It's not for everyone. You must decide how fit you are for this. There will be much weight on your wrists, you probably haven't experienced this yet. Your neck might be a problem too, as you will be looking up for long stretches (scanning the road ahead).
3) Road bikes are much faster, knobby mountain bike tires are, by their nature, dreadful on highways. You can chose treads that will work pretty well on paved roads.
4) You should definitely do this. Cycling is my favorite sport, at my tender age of 47, it's the only sport left where I can sweat alot and not hurt myself.
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Old 02-17-05, 11:04 AM   #12
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For general purpose mixed riding you need a general purpose wheel/tyre. A road racing setup is just as unsuitable as an off-road racing setup.
Tourists are the experts in mixed riding and can expect to ride on good roads to rough tracks, all on the same setup. They do this on 26" and 700c wheels equally well.
In my touring club, the standard setup is a 700cx32mm (continental top touring), although some use a lighter tyre.Our MTB riders switch out the knobblies for slick or semi-slick 1.5" rubber for a similar riding effect. There is no measurable difference in efficiency betwen these 2 setups, the main difference is in the alternate uses. With an MTB you can fit knoblies and take to muddy tracks. With a touring bike it is easier to fit narrow tyres for a fast day ride.
There are several gearing setups you can use. A road racing double is too high, but a compact double (34/48) is do-able.
An MTB triple is a bit low but usable. It is good for carrying heavier loads on tracks so that is what I have fitted to my tourer.
For daily riding I use a road triple (28/38/48) and can ride any surface.
Whether you base your machine on a hard-tail mtb, a tourer /cyclo-cross bike or a lighter style hybrid, they will all do the job. Just avoid the extremes of design that are intended for special purposes, such as full suspension MTB or road racing.
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Old 02-17-05, 11:39 AM   #13
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you could have a mountain bike that's road oriented. or possibly a cyclocross bike? Your speed will be a bit slower, but not significantly in relation to your speed on a road bike. Atleast that's the result for the mass majority.
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