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Old 04-11-10, 05:18 PM   #1
thehammerdog
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road vs mt bike conditioning

I ROAD MY mT bIKE TODAY FOR THE FIRST time and it was a sux fest.....it appears that road bike conditioning does not = mt bike conditioning. I have been riding some on the road felt actually pretty good , short but fast loops 10-12 miles each some hills basically just trying to improve conditioning..I road the Mt bike today kinda hilly loop not as long but I almost died several times.....lungs & heart were toast......I know it requires more concentration but my body felt like gumby......is it me or it is comparing the two not a good idea?
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Old 04-11-10, 06:42 PM   #2
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I know what you mean. Depending on the terrain, I guessing almost 1 mile mtb = 2 mile rd. I've also learned that I need to stay away from the mt bike when doing a recovery ride...HR goes too high even with the granny gear.
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Old 04-12-10, 12:12 AM   #3
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I'll be doing lots of experimenting with mtn vs road this season. Some road racing, some short track XC, and then some 50 and 100 mile mtn races. Been doing about 10-15 hours a week split between the two. Seems OK going back and forth. The idea of heart rate spikes I think will translate to road biking pretty well.
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Old 04-12-10, 05:47 AM   #4
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Hey, go watch the "hell of the north" and tell those guys how easy road riding is............

As far as MTB riding, you could be talking any thing from a gravel road to single-track outside of MOAB.

No, there is no way to compare trails, roads, even different rides on the same route (weather can change things) - why not take up running.
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Old 04-12-10, 07:10 AM   #5
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Keep in mind if you aren't pushing yourself on the road you will not make gains for XC riding. I find that both types of riding seem to compliment each other if you are pushing it. I ride roads on the weekend and trails during the week and seems that the stamina or endurance developed while on the road ups my game on the trail and the quick ups and downs plus the terrain of XC riding helps handling on the road bike when encountering different road conditions. Keep doing both with this in mind and you will see improvements from both that will up your riding. Remember if you do some training in the off season you will start the year with less stress of starting up again, anything is better than nothing and remember to push it a little.
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Old 04-12-10, 07:32 AM   #6
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Also, keep in mind that you are actually having to RIDE and muscle that bike in the woods. I work sometimes 3x as hard in the woods. #1 you are riding balls out and still trying to pick your lines and not crash on what most times are not so even surfaces,rocks,creeks, short, steep climbs, not just sitting and spinning on the road.

I ride both, I love both, its a coin toss for me but I do work alot harder in the woods.
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Old 04-17-10, 05:47 PM   #7
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I find road cycling improves my constant aerobic strength whilst mountain biking greatly improves my anaerobic strength. I like to say "road cycling improves my endurance while mountain biking improves my strength," but they both play their part. I find if I am mountain biking hard for a few weeks and then switch to road cycling, the hills I once struggled with seem so much easier. Likewise, when I switch from weeks on the road machine to the mountain bike, I find that it's easier to do longer and longer distances. I also find I develop more upper body strength when mountain biking from muscling the bike around.

I suppose my attitude is different on the different bikes. On the mountain bike it's "how fast can you go?" and on the road bike it's "how far can you go?"

Mile per mile, mountain biking is a lot harder.
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Old 04-17-10, 08:02 PM   #8
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I ride both and enjoy both. Lots of training on the road bike. Lots of endurance rides on the mountain bike.

As far as conditioning goes....the mtn bike is much harder mile for mile. Much harder mentally and physically. I've done some 6 and 8 hour mtn bike rides and they are a lot worse than the road rides of the same time. Once you start getting the long moutain bike rides in....the road is almost a vacation.
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Old 04-20-10, 11:15 AM   #9
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For me, the spinning on the road has helped endurance for flatter XC portions on my off road rides and both the short and longer off road climbs help me on the road.
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Old 04-20-10, 12:19 PM   #10
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Mountain biking is physical. Road biking is mental. You need to do a lot of interval work on the road so you'll be more ready for the MTB. Many MTB pros ride road during the week to hone their fitness, then MTB on the weekend for the skilz.
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