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Anyone does mountain bike or gravel stuff in addition to road?

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Anyone does mountain bike or gravel stuff in addition to road?

Old 07-14-18, 12:55 PM
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Anyone does mountain bike or gravel stuff in addition to road?

i have a mountain bike that i used exactly 1 time for actual mountain biking. i had a cross bike that i basically used as a back up road bike the entire time I had it, and used it exactly 1 time for actual off roading. personally i've never invested the time/effort to get involved with the cycling community outside or road. it's easy to just gear up and leave from my door, as opposed to having to commute to a park/trail and then ride. i also feel like it's not a great way to get in exercise, more like a way to chill out and recover. lastly, i feel like in order for mtb or gravel to be enjoyable, you need to build the skills and a friendship circle, which takes time, and will power. It sucks to go from a good roadie to a newb mountain biker. i'm wondering what other people's perspectives are on this.

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Old 07-14-18, 01:16 PM
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Is this a "racing" question?

I grew up with a road bike. But, mostly as a roadie commuter.

Never got that interested in MTBs.

I have tried gravel biking a little bit... well, I have at least 2 routes with significant gravel segments that exceed the capacity of my road bikes. However, I'd rather just have paved roads. I didn't like the loose gravel on one of those routes, or the big stones on the other. But, will probably head out there again... sometime. The alternative roads are pretty bad.

I do have an extended "gravel" tour planned, when I get a bike ready for the ride, and good weather.

The "gravel" bikes usually get used for carrying panniers or pulling a trailer.
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Old 07-14-18, 04:42 PM
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I do both. Used to only mtb but got into the road thing. I switch off almost every other ride.
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Old 07-14-18, 04:47 PM
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One benefit of off road is learning bike handling. I just picked up mountain biking and it has improved my road bike handling immensely.
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Old 07-14-18, 06:51 PM
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see "bikes" - just got off the MTB actually.

Can you ride to a TH from your front door? It takes me 10-15 min of pedaling on the street to get to trails but I don't mind it at all. Also, who cares if you're a crappy mtn biker? Unless you're trying to race XC and/or the terrain you ride on is very technical, you'll probably be an objectively fast mtb'er due to your fitness.
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Old 07-14-18, 06:53 PM
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Gravel roads are still roads.
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Old 07-14-18, 06:56 PM
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I bought a mtn bike a few years ago and have ridden it all of 6 times. I had fun on those rides, but had no skills (I had to have a wheels repaired after one of those rides), so I just signed up for a skills clinic at the beginning of Sept. The plan is to ride more this fall after race season is over.
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Old 07-14-18, 07:22 PM
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The best way to get MTB skills is to ride!

MTB is my preferred easy/unstructured day, and off-season activity. In general and on average, trail is more fun than road IMO. Road is great and glorious and road racing can be awesome, but for a solo ride with no set agenda I'll take out the MTB nearly every time.
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Old 07-14-18, 10:31 PM
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I'll be racing CX this year; it checks both my weaknesses; surging and bike handling. I don't think my bike handling is noticeably bad but I see what some people can do on a bike and if I can just get some of that it'd be a major bonus. I'll still probably ride my bike 90% of the time tho.
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Old 07-14-18, 10:44 PM
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i'm just trying to see if my mountain bike is worth keeping.. if i only use it once every blue moon, then i'll probably down size and sell it...
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Old 07-15-18, 07:27 AM
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I don't race but I've been riding road bikes for 35+ years, been a member of a road club for 29 years. I think mtb riding is a great change of pace from the road, especially when I get a little burn-out, get sick of cars, get down about friends crashing, etc.
Most roadies aren't interested but some are and I can get a good group organized sometimes to do a long dirt ride. The vibe is different, the fastest riders aren't trying to drop the others and the slower riders aren't blowing themselves up trying to hang on.
It's also fun solo or with just one other rider.
Track racers seem to do pretty well off-road but some of the best mtb riders I know are also good road riders and racers.
I also always had crappy mountain bikes and sometimes they would sit for months while I stayed on the road but this year I bought a modern "plus" bike and it's so much more capable and so fun to ride I have spent a lot more Saturdays in the dirt than on the road.
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Old 07-15-18, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
i'm just trying to see if my mountain bike is worth keeping.. if i only use it once every blue moon, then i'll probably down size and sell it...

basing what what you’ll do on rhe opinions of others is sort of silly, no? I was a sponsored mtn biker back in the 90s. Now I’ve raced on the road pad for like 15 straight years. I live in one of the best mountain bike parks on NJ. As in literally an entrance trail is a five minute walk. But for some reason I just can’t get into it. I've ridden less than a half dozen times in the three years I’ve lived here. On top, one of me best friends is an increible mountain bike racer. So if I wanted I could easily ride with him on a regular basis. Point being any number of people could list all the reasons I should do it, but why not just follow my natural inclination?

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Old 07-15-18, 09:40 AM
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also paging @Ttoc6
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Old 07-15-18, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post



basing what what youíll do on rhe opinions of others is sort of silly, no? I was a sponsored mtn biker back in the 90s. Now Iíve raced on the road pad for like 15 straight years. I live in one of the best mountain bike parks on NJ. As in literally an entrance trail is a five minute walk. But for some reason I just canít get into it. I've ridden less than a half dozen times in the three years Iíve lived here. On top, one of me best friends is an increible mountain bike racer. So if I wanted I could easily ride with him on a regular basis. Point being any number of people could list all the reasons I should do it, but why not just follow my natural inclination?
just trying to get a read from other people's experience on whether making the investment into mountain biking is worthwhile.
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Old 07-15-18, 04:07 PM
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I've never been a "member" of a bike club but have ridden solo on pavement for 40 years. A year ago, I bought my first mountain bike, because Trees Don't Text. I haven't given up on paved road riding; I still ride the chip seal and asphalt, predominantly. But gravel forest service roads and trails call to me. I've bought two more mtbs in the last year. Climbing gravel mountain roads is great for your physical conditioning as well as your personal character. It is a definite value added aspect to your paved road riding. Do it.
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Old 07-15-18, 04:45 PM
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I did my first gravel race this weekend (see the race stories thread) and my first real mtb race this year. It's a fun change of scenery from road racing. The community of these two groups seem to be more welcoming than road racing and the atmosphere is just different. Talking with a buddy this weekend we had a discussion about nordic skiing as we both picked it up this last winter. We both found it pretty fun to start over with a sport. Learning the technique and intricacies of the thing is invigorating. I recommend you spend some time to get out and just enjoy the trails.

(and to your point about mtbing being easy... hahahaha. I used to do mtb rides as my recovery rides until I realized I was basically just pegged anytime I was on dirt. It's hard to control yourself.)
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Old 07-15-18, 07:10 PM
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Trees may not text, but you'll hit a lot more of them.
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Old 07-15-18, 07:52 PM
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that is true, on the flip side.
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Old 07-15-18, 08:11 PM
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Dirt rash hurts a lot less than road rash
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Old 07-15-18, 09:06 PM
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I bought a mtn bike just over a year ago. Crashed almost every ride. Found that it wasn't very good for fitness. Doesn't have a power meter. I have limited time for working out, so just haven't been able to fit in mtn biking.
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Old 07-16-18, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
I bought a mtn bike just over a year ago. Crashed almost every ride. Found that it wasn't very good for fitness. Doesn't have a power meter. I have limited time for working out, so just haven't been able to fit in mtn biking.
You were doing it wrong, if you crashed all the time and got no fitness benefits. Just saying.
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Old 07-16-18, 10:40 AM
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I started on BMX, then MTB, then added road - though I never stopped riding and racing XC. It's great to have both available to avoid mental burnout and keep things fun.

It's usually way easier to take a great MTB rider and adapt them to road than vice-versa. It's kinda like trying to turn a high-level cyclist into a runner - they keep trying to progress too quickly as their high fitness level won't let them take it slowly. With running, it means repetitive stress injuries; with MTB, it's constant crashes as the fitness keeps writing checks the skills can't cash.

If you develop good offroad skills it's a huge help in technical crits, and the on/off nature of XC racing is good training for crits as well. And it's fun.
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Old 07-16-18, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
You were doing it wrong, if you crashed all the time and got no fitness benefits. Just saying.
True.

I started on mountain bikes. Then I moved west, where there are cactus and rattle snakes. I bought a road bike because I didn't like getting three flats ever ride and worrying about coming up on a snake, of which I have an irrational fear. To this day, I'm a much better bike handler because of my time on the trails.
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Old 07-16-18, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Radish_legs View Post
I bought a mtn bike just over a year ago. Crashed almost every ride. Found that it wasn't very good for fitness. Doesn't have a power meter. I have limited time for working out, so just haven't been able to fit in mtn biking.
That's exactly why you should buy one. We have a pretty big off road community and all those guys are great at bike handing. While road may be king for fitness, off road is king for balance and awareness which does apply to the road.

Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
True.

I started on mountain bikes. Then I moved west, where there are cactus and rattle snakes. I bought a road bike because I didn't like getting three flats ever ride and worrying about coming up on a snake, of which I have an irrational fear. To this day, I'm a much better bike handler because of my time on the trails.
Don't forget sand, which essentially is like biking through a Sarlacc Pit.

My irrational fear is mountain lions, although we shouldn't talk about our irrational fears online because if we die to a rattlesnake or a cougar, we'll be the subject of 100's of 'Guy that has irrational fear dies to irrational fear thing' articles.
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Old 07-16-18, 11:21 AM
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i used to have a mountain bike, but never really rode it because I couldn't figure out how to fit it into my fitness building for road racing. I didn't ride it much and sold it. I'm actually considering buying another one since I'm not really racing that much anymore, but I think you guys just talked me out of it.
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