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Who rides MTB on road?

Old 03-07-18, 12:12 PM
  #1  
Cyclocujo
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Who rides MTB on road?

So, who rides their MTBs on the road? I find myself doing it allot. You tend to do that in New Orleans because we have no elevation and the few trails we have are almost always underwater. I don't own a road bike and don't know when I will get one....if I get one. I don't ride for time or speed....I just ride allot. I like the versatility and durability of a MTB, especially with NOLA's pothole laden streets. I know I can get a more efficient ride on a road bike, but until the day I actually get a road bike, my Giant Talon 4 gets a good workout on or off the road.
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Old 03-07-18, 12:35 PM
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Put a set of slick tires on a MTB, and it's damn-near as efficient as a road bike, especially on flat terrain. Lots of folks use MTBs as city bikes, and I've been using mine on mostly pavement for years.

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Old 03-07-18, 01:18 PM
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Yep. Been doing it since 1995.
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Old 03-07-18, 02:01 PM
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used to have a blast on this one. it was actually fast as heck. sold it & also it's replacement. been thinking about getting another & throwing on some expensive Compass tires just for kicks
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Old 03-07-18, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Yep. Been doing it since 1995.
Another here, since '02 when I resumed cycling. Since '10 I've split my time between my flat-bar road bike and my roadified hardtail. But until '10, all my riding (mtb and road) was on the same hardtail, including my first true 'century' ride (did it just to see if I could).

The Blue Pig:
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Old 03-07-18, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
used to have a blast on this one. it was actually fast as heck. sold it & also it's replacement. been thinking about getting another & throwing on some expensive Compass tires just for kicks
Heh! I just ordered a set (Naches Pass). Been dying to try 'em for ages.
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Old 03-07-18, 02:06 PM
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I ride my MTB on the road for short trips to the grocery store, but for my longer commute to work I stick with my road bike.
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Old 03-07-18, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Yep. Been doing it since 1995.
You must be tired.
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Old 03-07-18, 02:48 PM
  #9  
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I use my road bikes and hybrids on the road but have no need to use a mountain bike. A fully rigid steel MTB with slick tires is a fine bike for the streets, though slightly overkill but going with a suspended bike is just silly. You wouldn't ride your road bike on a mountain bike trail would you?
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Old 03-07-18, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I use my road bikes and hybrids on the road but have no need to use a mountain bike. A fully rigid steel MTB with slick tires is a fine bike for the streets, though slightly overkill but going with a suspended bike is just silly. You wouldn't ride your road bike on a mountain bike trail would you?
Plenty of areas have such badly cratered pavement that a traditional road bike with skinny tires would either break or destroy the rider's spine in short order. Plus it's a lot easier on a MTB when you hop up on curbs and such.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
Heh! I just ordered a set (Naches Pass). Been dying to try 'em for ages.
jealous what width?
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Old 03-07-18, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Plenty of areas have such badly cratered pavement that a traditional road bike with skinny tires would either break or destroy the rider's spine in short order. Plus it's a lot easier on a MTB when you hop up on curbs and such.
Yes but skinny tires are silly. Yes if you are comparing a road bike with 23c tires with a MTB with 2.0 tires the MTB would win but with a modern bike with more tire clearance I would take the road bike with some wider tires. Since I am riding on the road I see no need to hop up and down curbs, I would get a BMX bike for tricks and just silly riding.

I do ride on bad pavement and generally my tires are 28c minimum but typically however in 35-38 range and my bikes are generally steel or Ti though certainly my Langster can be a rougher ride but it is stiff aluminum with limited tire clearance.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
jealous what width?
They're the 559 1.8" ones (nominal), so about 46mm. I thought about the Rat Trap ones (2.3"), but a little wider than I need.

They'll replace Vittoria Voyager Hyper 1.8s. Those roll well, and are tough, but ... heavy! I used Pasela TG (folding) in 1.75 for years -- always worked well, and rims are older (circa 2007) Mavic 717XC, so narrow internal width by modern standards. I'm thinking of the Compass tires as a lighter/quicker/smoother version of the Paselas.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:39 PM
  #14  
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Here, we have roads that are paved, but morph into gravel and back again. Our pavement is subject to the freeze thaw thing, so pretty much sucks. I seen quite a few bikes with 28-32's get squirrelly on gravel road descents!

I also think my MTB convert will carry more reliably than a road (even touring) bike.
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Old 03-07-18, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Yes but skinny tires are silly. Yes if you are comparing a road bike with 23c tires with a MTB with 2.0 tires the MTB would win but with a modern bike with more tire clearance I would take the road bike with some wider tires. Since I am riding on the road I see no need to hop up and down curbs, I would get a BMX bike for tricks and just silly riding.

I do ride on bad pavement and generally my tires are 28c minimum but typically however in 35-38 range and my bikes are generally steel or Ti though certainly my Langster can be a rougher ride but it is stiff aluminum with limited tire clearance.
I think any disagreement here stems from a cloudy definition of 'road bike'. There are plenty of flat bar hybrids and commuter bikes that are factory equipped with front suspension. Would you consider them road bikes? And if so, are they silly just for having front suspension?

As for the aluminum thing, even my F4 mountain bike I pictured above, with its nice wide 2.0" tires, rides really stiff if I lock out the front suspension. It has an aluminum fork though, which I understand is an almost unheard-of thing these days due to the rough ride they afford.

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Old 03-07-18, 05:01 PM
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My 1997 Nishiki Blazer commuter/utility bike. High-gears and long cranks. Studded snow tires in the winter.
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Old 03-07-18, 05:11 PM
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Vintage MTBs (with rigid forks) and slicks make fine commuters and with studded tires make fine winter bikes. Of course the OP who lives in New Orleans may not need those studded tires too often, : )

The streets in New Orleans are crummy and a bike that can take a somewhat larger tire is useful there for sure.
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Old 03-07-18, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
I think any disagreement here stems from a cloudy definition of 'road bike'. There are plenty of flat bar hybrids and commuter bikes that are factory equipped with front suspension. Would you consider them road bikes? And if so, are they silly just for having front suspension?

As for the aluminum thing, even my F4 mountain bike I pictured above, with its nice wide 2.0" tires, rides really stiff if I lock out the front suspension. It has an aluminum fork though, which I understand is an almost unheard-of thing these days due to the rough ride they afford.
A hybrid with a suspension fork is really a mountain hybrid designed for off road. The odd "comfort" bikes are just an outright abomination and a severe mish-mash of usually low end parts on a aluminum frame to make a heavy, clunky ride that is only marginally comfortable due to the heavy suspension. A better comfort bike would be a more flexy steel bike with a carbon fork with a nice long head tube and a more comfortable upright geometry with decent enough parts that are lower maintenance to shift well and make it easy to get up hills.

Stiff riding is not as fun unless you are racing, comfort is key my friend and steel is, as it always has been and always will be, real!
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Old 03-07-18, 06:49 PM
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Two of my friends have mountain bikes that they never take off-road. One recently admitted that he prefers walking to cycling (I've suggested that maybe it's just his undersized used bike that's less enjoyable), while the other commutes and does some light touring, but neither of them seems willing to even put on slicks. I complain about the bad roads in Seattle, but they definitely do not require mountain bikes with knobby tires to navigate. I chalk it up to them going with what's familiar vs. exotic. I think people in my age group who aren't really into cycling tend to have mountain bikes because those were all the rage when we were kids learning how to ride. People who are into cycling, like those on this thread, obviously have better reasons for riding one or the other.

I probably wouldn't have been so willing and ready to get a road bike myself if not for the fact that my dad taught me how to ride his single-speed when I was young and too small to even mount or dismount it on my own. After that bike was stolen, I didn't use a drop bar again for 20+ years, but figured I could manage on a bike that actually fit. Personally, I've found riding on the road is much more enjoyable on a road bike than on any other style. I feel like I'm riding with the road instead of trying to conquer it with a piece of equipment above the road. Subjective and maybe with self-selection bias, so not trying to state that difference as a fact, just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-07-18, 08:18 PM
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My Rockhopper Comp. Liking the North Road bars. Gets me less racked out the the flat bars and offers more positions for hand relief.
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Old 03-08-18, 09:23 AM
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For me, the times I have prefered a mtb-based bike over a traditional road bike has been for commuting and city use.

IMO, unless you wanted a comfort hybrid, MTB-based bikes used to be the best option for city use If you wanted to run bigger tires (which I always have).

And they are still good for that, though I prefer a rigid bike, and also older (pre-2000) mtbs had better geometry for road use (though worse for trail use), IMO.

However, there are now a lot of really well though out “city” and “gravel” bikes that I would prefer over current hardail or rigid MTBs.

For one, as MTB geometry has gotten much better for trail riding, I find them less fun on the road.

Second, modern city and gravel bikes often have better gearing and plenty of mounts for fenders and racks. Very road-like in handeling, but can take big tires.
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Old 03-08-18, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
You wouldn't ride your road bike on a mountain bike trail would you?
I do.
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Old 03-08-18, 09:50 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Yep. Been doing it since 1995.
Gotcha beat by 11 years.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I use my road bikes and hybrids on the road but have no need to use a mountain bike. A fully rigid steel MTB with slick tires is a fine bike for the streets, though slightly overkill but going with a suspended bike is just silly. You wouldn't ride your road bike on a mountain bike trail would you?
No, you can't really ride a road bike off-road (I'm sure someone will chime in with a story about riding a 23mm tire carbon fiber Wonder Bike® on the gnarliest of trails but that's way out on the tails of normal riding). But the corollary isn't true. A suspended mountain bike (depending on the suspension) works quite well on the road. It also happens to work quite well off-road. Combine the two and you have a match made in heaven. Sort of the mullet of bicycling

I regularly ride a mountain bike that is mountain ready on streets. When I find some trail that looks interesting, I can go bombing off into the woods. My commute includes areas where I can ride off-road on fast trails for miles which helps break up the monotony. I actually have a couple of mountain bikes I use for on-/off-road commuting

DSCN0298 by Stuart Black, on Flickr
image by Stuart Black, on Flickr

The bottom one does winter duty with studs.

Yes, they are a bit slower than road bikes but not by much.

I also have a couple of dual suspension mountain bikes that I use for commuting and riding. One of them resides in Arizona as my only bike there. Both are Specialized Epics which means that they have rear ends that are locked out while pedaling and go active when they hit something from below. With a fork that locks out, the whole thing is rigid but a simple push of a button activates the suspension when those trails into the cactus looks inviting.

Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
Vintage MTBs (with rigid forks) and slicks make fine commuters and with studded tires make fine winter bikes. Of course the OP who lives in New Orleans may not need those studded tires too often, : )

The streets in New Orleans are crummy and a bike that can take a somewhat larger tire is useful there for sure.
Not for New Orleans but for areas where it snows a front suspended bike far outshines a rigid one. Riding in snow is a bit like riding in sand or on a trail that is firm with sandy bits. The suspension floats up and over soft spots where a rigid bike will dig in. If I forget to activate my fork, I often experienced that digging in and regret not opening up the suspension.

The Moots above has only a small amount of travel on the rear but that too helps. Like most rear suspension, the rear squats down and digs into the ground to give a bit more traction. Add on studded tires and the bike goes where I sometimes can't walk.
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Old 03-08-18, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post



Not for New Orleans but for areas where it snows a front suspended bike far outshines a rigid one. Riding in snow is a bit like riding in sand or on a trail that is firm with sandy bits. The suspension floats up and over soft spots where a rigid bike will dig in. If I forget to activate my fork, I often experienced that digging in and regret not opening up the suspension.

The Moots above has only a small amount of travel on the rear but that too helps. Like most rear suspension, the rear squats down and digs into the ground to give a bit more traction. Add on studded tires and the bike goes where I sometimes can't walk.

Call me skeptical on using a front suspension bike as a winter commuter. I hear you that your experience is different than mine. I love suspension for going off road but not so much for riding on road even on snow and especially on gravel. Rigid MTBs make fine gravel bikes as well as all around commuters.
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Old 03-08-18, 10:30 AM
  #25  
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[QUOTE=General Geoff;20210319]I think any disagreement here stems from a cloudy definition of 'road bike'. There are plenty of flat bar hybrids and commuter bikes that are factory equipped with front suspension. Would you consider them road bikes? And if so, are they silly just for having front suspension?
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
A hybrid with a suspension fork is really a mountain hybrid designed for off road.
Anything with 700c wheels and 1.5"/45mm or narrower tires and a suspension fork is a hybrid aimed for comfort, not off-road prowess (CX and XC racebikes not withstanding) Of course, some people consider any unpaved surface, like the C&O or Katy trails to be 'off-road'


Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
As for the aluminum thing, even my F4 mountain bike I pictured above, with its nice wide 2.0" tires, rides really stiff if I lock out the front suspension. It has an aluminum fork though, which I understand is an almost unheard-of thing these days due to the rough ride they afford.
It's a Headshok, so it doesn't count. Lockout or no, it's a suspension fork. And Aluminum is Cannondale's thing.
The stiff fork and short travel make it a sharper handling rig in the tight stuff, and with enough air in it (I run my F-1000 at ~100psi) it'll take the edge off of bigger hits without bobbing up and down when you're just going down the road.



Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Since I am riding on the road I see no need to hop up and down curbs, I would get a BMX bike for tricks and just silly riding.
Hopping curbs isn't just 'tricks and silly riding,' it can be a useful survival skill when you have to share the road with larger vehicles with less-than-attentive operators. I'm not secure enough in my self-assured smugness to 'take the lane' on a 45-55 mph 4-lane, with a hard median and curbs on both sides during peak traffic, so over the curb and on to the sidewalk. They don't always put those ADA ramps in the most convienient spot, being able to clear a curb at speed is a nice option to have.
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