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muchbike 08-29-09 01:28 PM

MTB vs road
Just began riding again this Saturday morning. Got my MTB (Schwinn Frontier) out this morning & rode 10 miles. The ride had some good inclines and stretches. I have a road bike (1987 Bianchi) that I haven't ridden in many, many years. I was an avid cyclist for yeard but the road bike has been retired for quite some time. I did work my way up to a century ride. Honestly it's going to take a major tuneup to get it going but it will be worth it.

Question - riding 10 miles on a MTB compared to riding my road bike? Obviously the MTB is heavier, bigger tires, off road trail design tread. My road bike is much lighter, smaller tires, gearing different, etc. What I am trying to say is - it takes a lot more effort to ride a MTB 10 miles than a road bike on the course I rode today. Is there a comparsion ratio that can be considerd here? Riding 10 miles on the MTB would be like riding what 13 miles - 15 miles on my road bike?

Let me know what you think.


Velo Dog 08-29-09 02:24 PM

Depends on a few variables, but I think the major one is tires and tire pressure. I got back into cycling on a mountain bike in the '80s after a 10-year post-college layoff, then started doing road rides with some co-workers. They all had fairly expensive bikes, but I was the new guy with a new family and couldn't afford one. I did many rides in the 30-70 mile range with a mountain bike on road tires before i finally got a roadie.
It's been several years, but as I recall, I rode at 12-13mph average on the mountain bike with knobbies at about 50 psi, 15-16 with 1.5-inch road tires at 70psi, and 17-18mph on a mid-range road bike on 28mm tires at about 95psi. That's on mixed terrain, rolling hills, suburban rides--just riding around, basically. When I trained hard, I could cruise at 21-22 on the roadie, but that's about all I had in me genetically.
Any conversion factor would be a guess, but if you're running offroad tires at the usual 45-50psi, I'd assume you could figure it's 20-25 percent harder than the same ride on a road bike.

muchbike 08-29-09 02:46 PM

Thank You - so MUCH - for the info & expert opinion. Makes me feel better. (and quick reply)


Lord Chaos 08-29-09 03:31 PM

It's really a matter of how hard you want to work. You give up some efficiency to ride a mountain bike on the road, but I still do it because I like the upright seating, and the tires get fewer flats. I have no strong desire to get a road bike. I used a rigid Ritchey mountain bike for years, but now I'm mainly using my full-suspension bike for everything. It's comfortable.

stapfam 08-29-09 03:45 PM

If you were talking MTB in Offroad MTB trim and doing the MTB bit offroad- then you could say that the MTB is 95% harder than the same distance of a road bike on the road.

I used to ride Mountain bikes solely and may change the tyres for a metric century on the road- But I have a 40 miler that I do. On the road bike I do it in 2 1/2 hours. On the mountain bike in offroad trim-I do it in 2 1/2 hours.

It has a few slopes in it but one section with plenty of sharp corners and 5 miles at the end with plenty of traffic. It's just that the MTB suits the conditions better. All I know is that the MTB is hard work and the road bike is easier.

DataJunkie 08-29-09 04:09 PM

It all evens out in the end if you do it right. Go faster on the road bike and longer distances. Mountain bike shorter distances with more obstacles. I like both but love the road by far. That being said I plan on mountain biking more this coming up cold weather season.

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