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Changing from Mountain to road bike.

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Changing from Mountain to road bike.

Old 01-21-19, 05:41 PM
  #1  
Larsenex
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Changing from Mountain to road bike.

Greetings folks,


First a quick run down on me. I am 51 and fat, like 5'7" and 220 with an inseam of 33". I am actually in good shape and Ill explain. I work in an office on my ass 9 hours a day with not much chance to get up except on my lunch. I ride a Trek Mountain bike with a flat bar. My ride one way to work was about 7 miles thus 14 per day. I have been riding for 12 years at least 2x a week and all five days from Spring to Fall and never skipped rides. When I do not ride due to heavy winds or rain Ill go to the gym for an hour at 4am in the morning and do weights and cardio. I do not smoke or drink and constantly try to battle my weight which centers itself on my stomach area (buddha belly). I am losing the fight....


I moved further out. Now my ride will be 10 miles each way. It will be road only and some traffic but not too bad. I carry a pack which easily weighs in to another 15lbs (clothes for work and a lunch, I also carry tools for a bike repairs). Now the ride is just beating me up a bit as it is longer then I am used to. I had been wanting to migrate to a road bike as some of my friends say its is more comfortable for longer rides and obviously faster. I will have long stretches of flat road terrain which the mountain bike can be 'meh' at best on.


I also want a single cassette gear system (so many broke front derailleurs). I am looking at either the
  • Raleigh Willard 2 Bike # 14-17-1882 52cm, $1109.00

or the
  • 2018 Marin Gestalt x10, $1049.00

I have so many questions Ill try to consolidate them here.
  • I was intending to get a 56 cm bike but the manager at Adrenaline bikes said it would be too big. Is he correct?
  • I do not use clip pedals, should I or will not clip be ok for commute road use?
  • Drop bar vrs flat bar? Most of the videos I see advocate drop as slightly better but I do have some hills to over come, can drop be ok with them?

I am worried that I am so used to my mountain bike that Ill struggle with a road bike with drop bars. Again I made the choice to get a new bike and try something different. I consider myself reasonably experienced as I have always rode a bike to work over the last 38 years and much more in the last 12. I have a 'duck' splay to my foot stance. My feet splay outward on the pedals of the mountain bike which makes me think using clip on pedals will be painful or uncomfortable. I am willing to endure this if my body will eventually change and adapt to it.


If you have any advice I am happy to hear it.
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Old 01-22-19, 08:29 AM
  #2  
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Size-I like to ride before I buy-most think the size of my LeMond road bike would be too small for me--fits me perfectly--I don't put much confidence in bike size as even in the "same size", diff. brands of bikes may fit/feel very differently. You don't need clipless pedals-"BMX" pedals with pins will keep your foot securely on the pedal, can use any shoes you want, and place your foot in any position that works for you-have these on my road bike: https://www.modernbike.com/s?search=zuzu+pedals And why not a hybrid-sounds like one would be suited towards your usage. Most have multi-speed front derailleurs, but don't incur the hard usage a mtn.bike may incur. Don't see why a properly adjusted and well maintained frt.der. would break? Hybrid examples: https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/bikes/on-road/city Hope some of this helps.
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Old 01-22-19, 08:48 AM
  #3  
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At first glance those two bikes look like the right tool, as long as they have rack and fender mounts.

As far as drop vs flat bar... I think the fit and handlebar setup is the biggeat determinant of whether you will like drops. Too many people think that drops=racing and set the bars up too long and low, find it uncomfortable, and decide they donít like drops.

Personally, for 10 miles each way on the road, Iíd get a road bike like the ones you are looking at. I know they are called ďgravelĒ bikes, but to me they are simply versatile road bikes.

Flats pedals vs clipless.... whatever. If you are in a big rush and plan to hammer all out as hard as you can, you might finish a 40 minute commute 1 minute faster. That is if the weight of the extra pair of shoes you carry for work does not negate the advantage of the clipless.
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Old 01-22-19, 08:58 AM
  #4  
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Greetings: Your increased commute distance puts you out near reasonable limit for a bike commute. Also, over time, age will become more of a factor as your trunk size shrinks. Saddle to bar fit will change to a smaller size. Probably not needed yet, but for your next commuter bike, you might consider a pedal assist, electric. See if a dealer will loan one or rent one and do a trial ride on your commute. See if you like the time reduction and arriving fresher for your work day. Don
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Old 01-22-19, 09:08 AM
  #5  
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Regarding sizing, I would second what freeranger said. I too ride road bikes that the internet insists are way too small, but years of experimenting and an exhaustive 3 hour bike fit confirm are in fact correct for me.

That said, for MOST people your hieght (5í- 7Ē), 56 in most bikes is pretty big.
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Old 01-22-19, 10:52 AM
  #6  
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Welcome!
You have a lot of good choices. A 10 mile commute is great, should get your heart rate up for a bit a couple times a day. Bicycling is good if you want to loose weight - you can burn a good amount of calories with little impact to your body. What you eat is the other side to loosing weight - but that's another thread. Don't think you're loosing the battle - maybe you just haven't figured out how to work with your body yet.
For clips, bars, racks, packs, bike styles, etc. there is an abundance of information on these forums. Read.
I'm 6'0" and ride a 56cm frame.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:06 AM
  #7  
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Gotta find what's comfortable in terms of sizing. At first glance of your height, 56 would seem a little large. A 54 might be better, but your inseam is around what mine is and I use a 56. I'm 5'10. IMO clip-ins are superior and help power efficiently. You can adjust angles and what not, but having your feet straight is best. Also there should be little reason you're breaking front derailleurs, especially in a road application. Also you could check out cyclocross bikes which are basically a road bike that has ever so slightly different geometry. All-Roads are very similar as well. Cross bikes generally have single crank rings, so no front derailleur and more width for wider tires. Mine has two rings. I prefer the flexibility. These can serve some slight mountain activity. I've done easy single track on mine. Also drop bars, yes.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:09 AM
  #8  
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Flat pedals are fine. There are various figures floating around .... most in 5-6% range---for the greater efficiency of clips, but those are done with experienced riders with very developed pedal motions. Most casual riders will probably not see any benefit. (I commuted on flats for well over a decade, and the big issue is that in heavy traffic they are safer, IMO. I went to clips and found that I couldn't get off the bike as quickly when things (meaning "stupid drivers") went wrong )

Drop bars can be set up so the hood are where the flat-bar grips were, the flats will set you up higher, and the drops a little lower.

For sizing, this calculator is Sometimes useful. It works for me, but no guarantees. (https://www.competitivecyclist.com/S...ulatorBike.jsp) A 56-cm bike (of course, every manufacturer measures differently, and every bike differs) is generally recommended for 5'-10"----6-foot or so. At 5'-7" I'd say it might be too big.

You definitely want to do a couple test rides.

As a larger-than-he-wants-to-be rider myself .... the only time biking really cut my weight was when I either did 30-50 miles per day of hard riding (way too out-of-shape for that stuff now) or when I did an hard hour in a spin class before an hour ride. Diet is what determines body fat, not exercise. I can go to a gym and really push on the eliptical and burn (what they claim) is 1,000 calories in an hour. I can eat 1,000 calories in a 15 minutes and want more. Most rides I probably burn way less than half that, because I don't push hard. What I eat and when I eat pretty much determines how far overweight I am at any given time. Exercise helps, but three slices of pizza can wipe out the weight-loss effects of any ride.

Still, the way you ride, daily most of the year ... that's awesome. Having done it for many years (back in the glorious days of early middle age) I know itchanges your mind as well as your body, in positive ways. I envy you a little. Except on the third day in a row of cold rain .....

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Old 01-22-19, 11:23 AM
  #9  
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I agree with the previous poster that said get a bike fit first, it is an additional expense but will give you an informed opinion from a professional regarding your concerns, blind on the internet is only going to give you very general rules of thumb, that said I think a 56 is too big!

Have you tried putting slicks on your current bike and try that for awhile to see how it feels? Road bikes are primarily faster due to the more aerodynamic riding position, if you are so upright on the road bike it really negates that advantage. The other is the lower rolling resistance tires, that is why I suggested going to slicks or inverted tread mtb tires, something that will allow you to roll better on pavement. If you google bike tire rolling resistance you will see Schwalbe Thunder Burtís which have a bit of knobs but roll better than many road tires.

Your choice of gravel bike category is a good one as many have mounting points for racks and fenders which the majority of road bikes do not. Depending on road conditions and traffic, I like the new 650b road plus tire size from WTB, 27.5 inch wheel diameter which allows 47 c tires which makes broken pavement more comfortable and offers the ability to ride trails or on rough shoulders when that is safer.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:31 AM
  #10  
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If you do decide on the fitting route, I would suggest looking for a fitter that has a dynamic fit bike, these bikes have motors in them which move the bars, seat, stem in-out, up-down so you will feel the changes immediately, it should cost $200-400 but I have recommended this to several people and all have enjoyed the experience.

The Surly Midnight Special is an example of the style of bike I was referring to.
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Old 01-22-19, 12:54 PM
  #11  
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my 2 cents:
  1. drop bar
  2. don't need cleated pedals & shoes, but I like "1/2 clips" cuz they provide just the right amount of foot retention without bothering with a whole 'nother world of "stuff" (but I should share that I'm using cleated pedals & shoes on my road bike for joy rides but haven't noticed any abundance of improvement) but since you are an experienced rider, it might be fun to experiment with cleated pedals & shoes
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Old 01-22-19, 01:41 PM
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MTB bar ends = riding on the hoods of a drop bar. I ride the hoods 90% of the time on a road bike.
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Old 01-22-19, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Larsenex View Post
I am worried that I am so used to my mountain bike that Ill struggle with a road bike with drop bars.

If you have any advice I am happy to hear it.
Don't try to muscle the road bike ike a mountain bike using the upper body.

Relax, sit still and spin the legs. That's all.

I've seen mountain bikers new to road bikes flailing all over the place, rocking back and forth, exerting lots of energy attempting to get the bike to turn or climb. It isn't necessary. Just chill. Relax the upper body and spin to win.

Good luck. I hope you enjoy the ride.


-Tim-
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Old 01-22-19, 02:38 PM
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My wrists will yell if flat bars for very long (more than a few miles). Think MTB guys (and Gals) going down a flowy trail. Top to bottom in 15~20 minutes is a longish ride. They need the leverage to flick the bike in the tight turns and rough stuff.

Road, not so much ... I use slight up to 4" riser bars with a back sweep around 9* to give my wrists a rest and I move my hands around. To old to do a lot on real drop bars with a race stem. Drop bars with an elevated stem, maybe, for some rides. But I sold my last drop bar bike before Christmas and I have not started a new gravel bike yet (but I have a chassis hanging in the tractor shed).
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Old 01-22-19, 05:10 PM
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I cannot speak on your named specifics ,, Go in a bike shop try on different bikes for size..

Types A, straight bar + Bar Ends skinny road wheels is a Fitness Bike little wider is a Hybrid then ... with drop bars these are road & gravel bikes.. Etc (See Above)

some clever gear systems include geared Cranksets with 2 or 3 gears needing no derailleur. Chain ring on 1 side of gearbox, cranks on the other..
so turn at differing rates....

Internal gear hubs are another damage resistant drive train option .. 3 4 5 8 11 14 speed.. ..

Basic theme go forth and test ride bikes..

I was intending to get a 56 cm bike but the manager at Adrenaline bikes said it would be too big. Is he correct?
I'd have to see you on the bike in person ....Agree? not 56? I'd guess so.. sloping top tubes or horizontal? it matters..






....




....

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-22-19 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 01-22-19, 11:18 PM
  #16  
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Iím probably going to be the outlier on this thread, but here goes. Either of those bikes should work for your needs, and at 52cm, you should be in the ballpark for your size (my boys are both 5í9Ē with short legs, and they both ride 52s). For commuting, you might want to check the geometry of the two bikes and go with the one that has the shorter top tube. As far as a front derailleur, you will use them much differently (less harshly) than you might on a mountain bike, so I wouldnít be afraid of that. You might also want to consider the tire size of the two. The Willard has 700cx40 tires which would be solid for commuting and rougher roads/bad weather but a little wide for longer distance riding. The Marinís 709cx32 tires are a good, all-around size but maybe a little less forgiveness to road anomolies.

Hereís where many might disagree with me. I assume you are ordering this bike online - otherwise, you would be getting at least a rudimentary fitting at a shop. While many people have bike size preferences based on specific characteristics of their body shape, most riders fall into a fairly normal body shape. Many bike companies have designed their bikes along these standard shapes and sell them Small, Mediom, Large, and X-Large sizes rather than the traditional centimeter sizes. That allows for a fair amount of latitude in getting the perfect fit. The thing is, once you get the bike, thatís when the real sizing starts - moving the seat, adjusting the handlebars, getting the right stem length, etc. That will occur over time. Now, if you intend on racing or doing very long rides, thatís when a detailed, more complete fitting might be appropriate before you sink money into an expensive bike. Iím not saying that a basic fit by a knowledgeable salesperson isnít necessary - Iím suggesting that if you get the right size, youíll be able to zero in on the fit over time.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-23-19, 10:58 AM
  #17  
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I'd suggest adding inline brake levers on the tops of your bars. When switching to drop bars, you'll probably find that for a while you'll need to ride the tops a fair amount of time and since you're commuting, you may need to brake suddenly. Having levers where your hands are will save precious time if you need to react quickly.
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Old 01-23-19, 11:20 AM
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I have to say that I did not find my MTB uncomfortable at all over distance. If I wanted to get "aero" I rode on the bar ends. I used 1.25" slick tires at 100psi. I notice no difference in speed or comfort compared to my current road bike, although they definitely feel different to ride. That was a rigid cromoly MTB. I also rode an aluminum with front suspension using the same road slicks for about a year and again there was no appreciable difference (with fork locked out).

In other words, you don't necessarily need to switch to a road bike for 10 mile rides, unless your bike is a 30lb clunker with full suspension or something.
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Old 01-23-19, 11:36 AM
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Drop bars are the way to go. Get them up near saddle height if possible. I am your height and weight and ride a 54cm Soma Pescadero or an 18" Salsa Fargo. A good set of flat pedals is fine for hour or 2 rides at a time. My commute is 40 miles each way, so full rides are hard to do more than a day a week. I can do half commutes parking my car at the 20 mile point every day if I'm not running errands. Get a rack and pannier set on the bike so the pack isn't on your back and start looking for a longer way home.
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Old 01-23-19, 11:49 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Larsenex View Post
Raleigh Willard 2 Bike # 14-17-1882 52cm, $1109.00, 2018 Marin Gestalt x10, $1049.00
I like the Marin better, it's a more up-to-date design. That's me, though.
​​​​​​

I was intending to get a 56 cm bike but the manager at Adrenaline bikes said it would be too big. Is he correct? - I'd say a 56 is likely too big for you. Bike size is tricky, especially since every manufacturer uses a different way to size their bikes. I'd try out bikes in a shop and figure out what feels right. Then determine the effective top tube of that bike and use that as a guide when you look at other bikes. At a high level, effective top tube is the first dimension to understand.

I do not use clip pedals, should I or will not clip be ok for commute road use?- this is personal preference. Flat pedals with pins are a great option for riding on the road as you can use regular shoes.

Drop bar vrs flat bar? Most of the videos I see advocate drop as slightly better but I do have some hills to over come, can drop be ok with them? - drops give you more options for hand placement, that's the main benefit. Climbing with drops is no harder than climbing with a flat bar.

I have a 'duck' splay to my foot stance. My feet splay outward on the pedals of the mountain bike which makes me think using clip on pedals will be painful or uncomfortable.
This may be because your saddle is too low. There are many guides and videos online on checking this. Setting your saddle to a proper height is one of the single biggest things you can do to make road riding easier and more comfortable. It's also free and quick to do.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
I like the Marin better, it's a more up-to-date design. That's me, though.
​​​​​​

I was intending to get a 56 cm bike but the manager at Adrenaline bikes said it would be too big. Is he correct? - I'd say a 56 is likely too big for you. Bike size is tricky, especially since every manufacturer uses a different way to size their bikes. I'd try out bikes in a shop and figure out what feels right. Then determine the effective top tube of that bike and use that as a guide when you look at other bikes. At a high level, effective top tube is the first dimension to understand.

I do not use clip pedals, should I or will not clip be ok for commute road use?- this is personal preference. Flat pedals with pins are a great option for riding on the road as you can use regular shoes.

Drop bar vrs flat bar? Most of the videos I see advocate drop as slightly better but I do have some hills to over come, can drop be ok with them? - drops give you more options for hand placement, that's the main benefit. Climbing with drops is no harder than climbing with a flat bar.

This may be because your saddle is too low. There are many guides and videos online on checking this. Setting your saddle to a proper height is one of the single biggest things you can do to make road riding easier and more comfortable. It's also free and quick to do.
^^^ This has not occurred to me.. I will definitely look for those videos. Thanks
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Old 01-23-19, 01:09 PM
  #22  
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Thank you to this forum.

I want to say thank you to every one who posted on my first thread requesting information about my questions. This forum has made me feel welcome and I got the information I really needed. I am going to see if i can get Adrenaline bikes to size me then order the bike. Drops for sure, Flat pedals with pins, less pizza more water more riding, going with the Marin.

Now I do live in Goat head country up here in Ventura County.

I was looking at some of the threads here and found one regarding tubeless.

Is this worth investing in? I am fairly competent at changing my flat tires at roadside or at home, not sure if the expense is worth just changing tubes. I will say it can be so bad I change a tube 5x in a row which is irritating as hell.

Again thanks to all of you for taking the time to give a new member to the forum some advice.
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Old 01-23-19, 01:48 PM
  #23  
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There is a progression. Good tires with Kevlar belts and a slime tube will go a long ways in thorn county. I don't like slime myself, so opt for slightly thicker tubes. Two ways to get there. Thron Proof tubes, or the next size up which do not stretch as much when inflated, so have thicker walls.

Good tires with belts are the number one best preventative.

Tubeless is good, but you are carrying liquid sealing compound in the tire at all times, so as soon as you dismount, it may be gone... All brands of compound are not made equal ...
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Old 01-24-19, 09:14 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Larsenex View Post
I want to say thank you to every one who posted on my first thread requesting information about my questions. This forum has made me feel welcome and I got the information I really needed. I am going to see if i can get Adrenaline bikes to size me then order the bike. Drops for sure, Flat pedals with pins, less pizza more water more riding, going with the Marin.

Again thanks to all of you for taking the time to give a new member to the forum some advice.
Just as an FYI, it's considered a little disingenuous to go to a shop, get sized and fitted, then go home and order the bike on line. (especially if it's a brand the shop carries)
Also, the proportions of a bike frame can vary a lot from brand to brand and model to model. Not all 56cm will fit the same. If you get the bike a the shop you got fitted at, they (often) will swap components like stems and seatposts, to adjust the bike to you, as part of the delivery set-up. With an online bike, that's all up to you.
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Old 01-24-19, 09:37 AM
  #25  
Cuyuna
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I have thousands of miles on my old Paramount Series 5, but got to an age where drop bars were just too uncomfortable. Nice for racing, but kind of pointless if you're looking for comfort on a bike that you're using for exercise and calorie burning, not speed.

Consider one of the hybrid-type bikes like the Trek FX series.

Weight loss...calorie burning helps, but as long as you can eat more calories in 5 minutes (think glazed donut) than you can burn in an hour on the bike....weight loss is going to be about calorie intake, not calorie burning.

Last edited by Cuyuna; 01-24-19 at 09:40 AM.
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