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Mountain Bike vs Road Bike...

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Mountain Bike vs Road Bike...

Old 05-19-24, 12:33 AM
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Mountain Bike vs Road Bike...

A few mountain bikes have come my way, over the years but only one remains and I finally got around to ensuring the bike was road worthy and safe to ride. So, I took the Devinci out for a ride...



The ride quality left a lot to be desired. The bike felt clumsy, awkward and noisy. To that add that it did not feel stable, to me. Put another way, I will stick with my vintage road bikes and pass the Devinci on, if I ever get around to it.

Now, all that said, is it me and am I being unfair to the bicycle. Perhaps, it is unfair to compare the mountain bike ride quality to road bike ride quality. I was, however, wondering, if anyone else has experienced this sort of thing.
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Old 05-19-24, 01:02 AM
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I have 2 mountain bikes that are pretty much road/training ride bikes.

junk that was in the bike lane

Both of these bikes ride "softer" then my road bikes over rough terrain. Could be all the seatpost, chainstay length, something in my head, or whatever. Yet if I want to cruise on the bike trail or do some gravel riding (with a tire swap on the bontrager) it's perfect. Neither of my bikes are noisy, clumsy, or awkward. They aren't the most confident inspiring 30+mph descenders, but they do okay. I do more of an "aero hoods" type position where I hold my forearms flat and tuck down for high speed descents on these mtb's.
You may notice I run road, or almost road tires. I find this is the most important change, especially in the front for good confidence and grip on the road. Unironically the worst crash I had on a bike involved the bontrager, sand, mud tires, and a bike trail.

If I was buying a mtb for the road again it would be ridgid, and of course have 3x8. The ridgid bikes are just nicer to stand with on the road, and a nice fat tire is enough suspension for most normal bad roads.
Riding road bikes are great too, but to me it's a different experience which is great. Having options is what it's all about. You can always meet in the middle with like a gravel bike(big tires+drop) or a hybrid(flat bars+700c) to see how it is. I just like 26in since I am a luddite.
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Old 05-19-24, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa
A few mountain bikes have come my way, over the years but only one remains and I finally got around to ensuring the bike was road worthy and safe to ride. So, I took the Devinci out for a ride...



The ride quality left a lot to be desired. The bike felt clumsy, awkward and noisy. To that add that it did not feel stable, to me. Put another way, I will stick with my vintage road bikes and pass the Devinci on, if I ever get around to it.

Now, all that said, is it me and am I being unfair to the bicycle. Perhaps, it is unfair to compare the mountain bike ride quality to road bike ride quality. I was, however, wondering, if anyone else has experienced this sort of thing.
I was lucky enough to find a cheap Cannondale M300, then upgraded. I put slightly thinner Town and Country tires on it, but it is less adept on the road. Put it in the gravel or grassy trails and it feels at home. With knobby tires and a dirt trail, it loves it.
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Old 05-19-24, 04:02 AM
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A nice steel frame MTB with a rigid or decent quality air suspension fork can offer a lovely ride in my opinion. The Devinci doesn’t strike me as something that would give me warm fuzzy feelings when riding, but I’ll bet it’s durable. At the end of the day, mountain bikes just aren’t designed to feel good on the road though. That said, I do a fair amount of road riding on a rigid MTB and enjoy it. I’m more interested in comfort and scenery enjoyment than speed, and road rides for me often include a gravel or fire road detour.

Also most of my riding these days is with a toddler on board, so maybe I just need to convince myself I don’t miss my road bikes too much

(frame not technically vintage but getting close!)

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Old 05-19-24, 05:25 AM
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The real measure of how good a ride the mt. bike provides is when it is ridden on terrain it is designed for, off road, single track, etc.... It's likely going to suck on asphalt. So don't ride it on asphalt And don't judge it's ride quality when it's ridden on asphalt. .
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Old 05-19-24, 10:08 AM
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Could it be a fit issue? When a bike isn't comfortable I find any negative ride quality issues are magnified.

Old suspension forks can suffer loss of proper damping, and there are tires and tire pressure to consider.

I commuted for several years on my mtn bike and needed to set it up for pavement. That began with tires, adding a shock post and bar end grips. Once dialed it worked great but I would not have bothered had the bike itself not fit. It was bombproof and a better mount than a road bike, for the route. Eventually replaced with a belt drive commuter.
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Old 05-19-24, 11:29 AM
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@randyjawa - I have a 19978 RockHopper that I have used for commuting, some off roading but mainly on the road. With 2.1" street tires pumped to 5 under max and outfitted as below, it worked fine. It was not a road machine kind of ride.
The Rockhopper for commuting.


for trails


Now with disk front brake


You might recognize this one for the road.


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Old 05-19-24, 12:18 PM
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Interested in cyccommute 's thoughts as I know he rides some mtbs on the streets.
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Old 05-19-24, 03:51 PM
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Occasionally I hop on my son's MTB because it has a nice big basket. But I can never get used to riding that front suspension on the roads. Especially the severe brake dive. I suppose there is a reason why the newer hardtail MTB's come with lock-outs to lock out the suspension.
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Old 05-19-24, 03:58 PM
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I use my 1993 Giant Tourer hybrid on roads and on gravelly terrains, for heavy accidented trails or very poor condition roads one of my MTBs
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Old 05-19-24, 05:29 PM
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A few years ago, I fussed with this...



Ending up with this...



And, even though I did like the ride quality, I only kept the bike for a few days. Someone followed me home, expressed interest in and bought the bike right on the spot. I, sometimes, wonder if I should try that sort of thing again.
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Old 05-20-24, 06:08 AM
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I like my no-suspension 1988 Schwinn with 26x1.95 tires (less knobby than the ones pictured from a few years ago) at 65psi on both paved or dirt roads. Road bikes are indeed more responsive, faster, and just plain fun, but this one is a superb "Swiss Army Knife" allrounder, beach cruiser, commuter, city bike, and grocery-getter that has become my everyday rider.

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Old 05-20-24, 06:50 AM
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That bike might be perfect for some types of riding, but it sounds like you don't do much off-road riding. If you take that out on the same roads as your road bike, of course it's going to feel clumsy, awkward and heavy. It shouldn't be noisy though, except for tire noise on the pavement, if that's what you mean.

You don't need a suspension fork. For your riding it just adds weight and complexity. A rigid MTB frame, with lighter tires would give you an entirely different experience. Even if you put lighter/smoother tires on that Devinci, it would turn it into a different bike. Tires make the biggest difference. Personally I like Continental Travel Contacts since I ride a lot of dirt roads, but I also have a MTB with 1.5" Panaracer Paselas.

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Old 05-20-24, 11:15 AM
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Mine after a refresh, still more or less my former commute setup.

Find it comfortable in most settings, and can't guess if anybody else would feel similarly.
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Old 05-20-24, 05:47 PM
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I rescued this Rockhopper from the dump and gave it a complete makeover. I like the end result so much I sold the dedicated Nishiki Touring bike in favor or keeping the Rockhopper.
In your case I suspect replacing the front suspension and putting on some asphalt friendly tires would make a world of difference.


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Old 05-20-24, 09:43 PM
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From the mid 1990s and on, the vast majority of MTBs that hit the streets were low-mid level, price-point, Sporting Goods store commodities; much like how every 1970s Bike Boom Ten-Speed is now an “old racing bike” because it has drop bars and toe clips.
The difference is in the details, and most people don’t know the difference because they don’t have any experience with the really good stuff.

The OPs Devinci is one of these; a price-point bike. Nicer than some, but nothing really special.

There’s an old MTB adage, attributed to Keith Bontrager: “You can have Strong, Light or Cheap, pick two”
With regard to bikes, and MTBs in particular;
Strong and Cheap is heavy,
Strong and Light is expensive,
Cheap and Light? Broken.
Thats why you don’t see a lot of inexpensive lightweight MTBs.

I have a couple of old, lightweight MTBs and neither of them were cheap ( a Klein and a Cannondale) The Klein has a rigid Spinner fork, BMX wheels and high-rise bars and is my current favorite; it’s a fast, smooth cruiser that will huck a curb and scramble down a footpath without batting an eye.
The CAAD-3 F-900 Cannondale is a ferocious climber, and one of the most aggressive bikes I own, from the peak of the NORBA style XC hard tails. It works the best if you’re giving it at least 8/10ths.
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Old 05-20-24, 10:01 PM
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Well, I actually have been giving some thought to buying this. The bike is in really good, darn near perfect, condition and my guess is that it would probably be more fun to ride than my found at the dump for free Devinci. This is probably one of the highest end mountain bikes to come my way ever. The bike will never get full value where I live...




The fellow who owned the Ritchey passed away. I helped to sell some of his bikes for his widow and bought this one for myself...
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Old 05-21-24, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Ironfish653

There’s an old MTB adage, attributed to Keith Bontrager: “You can have Strong, Light or Cheap, pick two”
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Old 05-21-24, 08:01 AM
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I've had a couple of Klein hardtail mountain bikes that I used on trails but I found that I really didn't like that style of riding much. Part of it was inexperience on the technical terrain and the other part was not wanting to drive just to get to a place to ride. I prefer to ride from my house. So, both Kleins were sold and the stable is mostly road bikes now. I still have two mtb's - a 93 Trek 950 fully rigid that I'll use on gravel MUP's and a 91 GT Karakoram that I am converting to a drop bar/smooth tire set up for paved MUP's and just riding around town. That's the bike for days when I just want to "putz" around to yard sales or just wander with no time limit or expectations. Years ago on another drop bar mtb conversion I had ridden the 10 miles into town to go to some yard sales and later got a text from my wife "when will you be home." My response was "not sure, I'm on the slow bike."
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Old 05-21-24, 09:25 AM
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Take your road bike on a mountain bike trail and see how smooth and steady that feels!
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Old 05-21-24, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by AdventureManCO
Interested in cyccommute 's thoughts as I know he rides some mtbs on the streets.
It would depend on the circumstances. If I’m going to ride primarily on pavement, I’ll ride a road bike. But if the opportunity for riding dirt on the route arises, a mountain bike is a lot more fun. If I’m touring, I’d not opt for a mountain bike for a primarily road tour. On the other hand, if the mountain bike tour has even mostly pavement, I’d rather have the mountain bike capabilities off-road.
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Old 05-21-24, 05:16 PM
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MTB’s are versatile and can be fine on the road - unless someone in the group shows up with a road bike
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Old 05-21-24, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa
A few mountain bikes have come my way, over the years but only one remains and I finally got around to ensuring the bike was road worthy and safe to ride. So, I took the Devinci out for a ride...



The ride quality left a lot to be desired. The bike felt clumsy, awkward and noisy. To that add that it did not feel stable, to me. Put another way, I will stick with my vintage road bikes and pass the Devinci on, if I ever get around to it.

Now, all that said, is it me and am I being unfair to the bicycle. Perhaps, it is unfair to compare the mountain bike ride quality to road bike ride quality. I was, however, wondering, if anyone else has experienced this sort of thing.
do not understand ‘did not feel stable’ ???

at a minimum the mountain bike should be more stable - ? - due to the design / geometry … especially compared to some vintage road bikes that can be a handful (due to a relatively low trail number)
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Old 05-21-24, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by randyjawa
A few mountain bikes have come my way, over the years but only one remains and I finally got around to ensuring the bike was road worthy and safe to ride. So, I took the Devinci out for a ride...



The ride quality left a lot to be desired. The bike felt clumsy, awkward and noisy. To that add that it did not feel stable, to me. Put another way, I will stick with my vintage road bikes and pass the Devinci on, if I ever get around to it.

Now, all that said, is it me and am I being unfair to the bicycle. Perhaps, it is unfair to compare the mountain bike ride quality to road bike ride quality. I was, however, wondering, if anyone else has experienced this sort of thing.
do not understand ‘did not feel stable’ ???

at a minimum the mountain bike should be more stable - ? - due to the design / geometry … especially compared to some vintage road bikes that can be a handful (due to a relatively low trail number)

maybe it’s the fit / seating position … narrow bar ? …
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Old 05-21-24, 08:05 PM
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Maybe get a quality shock?
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