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Lost potential MTB vs road bike?

Old 07-03-14, 11:03 PM
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Lost potential MTB vs road bike?

If a recreational rider with a goal of fittness spends most of his time around the 75 gear inch on an mtb with sorta smooth tires riden on the road,would he benefit by switching to a road bike?
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Old 07-03-14, 11:23 PM
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Benefit how? If your goal is fitness the answer is no, you'll get the same boost in fitness by riding your MTB around as you would a road bike.

If you want to go faster then yes you will see a gain in average speed by riding a road bike.
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Old 07-03-14, 11:24 PM
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75 GI and road tires. My vote is going with the road bike.
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Old 07-03-14, 11:26 PM
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I have both. An mtb slicks with a good top gear ratio is only marginally slower than a roadbike. The roadbike wins with a head wind and riding over 45kmh but I don't do that all that often so it bothers me not.
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Old 07-04-14, 07:56 AM
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ok, do you turn that 75" gear over slowly or rapidly

Want to keep the same handlebar type?


Got at least A $500 budget?

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-04-14 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 07-04-14, 08:00 AM
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Fitness is fitness is fitness right? What matters is whether the bike fits you and you are comfortable riding it. After that, it depends on you, not the bike. Whole different story if you want to do competitive riding.
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Old 07-04-14, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103
I have both. An mtb slicks with a good top gear ratio is only marginally slower than a roadbike. The roadbike wins with a head wind and riding over 45kmh but I don't do that all that often so it bothers me not.
You can get very good rolling tires for 26" wheels. Assuming you don't have suspension on your MTB, then the largest difference between it and a road bike is aerodynamics, and you'll notice that effect most at 15 mph or larger. (And you can make yourself more aerodynamic on a MTB, too).

So, small speed difference (unless you're really riding quickly) and as for fitness, no difference.
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Old 07-04-14, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by XXLHardrock
If a recreational rider with a goal of fittness spends most of his time around the 75 gear inch on an mtb with sorta smooth tires riden on the road,would he benefit by switching to a road bike?

Yes.
- 3 to 5 different hand positions on the bars, tops, hoods, stretch in the drops or back of the drops, and aero bars.
- STI's being so convenient you get to be obsessive about shifting
- you can join the 41 Fashion Club with a whole new Roadie Wardrobe. Visor-less helmet included.
- n+1 by default
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Old 07-04-14, 08:51 AM
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Fitness is a product of duration and intensity. You can do it a zero speed and zero distance on a trainer, moderate speed and distance on an MTB, or greater speed and distance on a road bike. Use whichever one or combination works for you with respect to convenience, time, opportunity, and motivation.

Times and intensities are usually schedulized to promote optimal training response for the intended purpose or goals, AKA training plans.
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Old 07-04-14, 08:53 AM
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Could actually hamper fitness if you get a much lighter, more aero road bike and ride it the same speed/distance as you ride your MTB.

If you ride all road and would like to go faster/farther, then definitely get a road bike!
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Old 07-04-14, 08:54 AM
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Lost potential? If you mean speed yes, you lose speed by riding a MTB. I recently switched from a hybrid to a road bike and picked up about a 1-1.5 mph average speed increase. It makes it more fun for me to ride fast, so I ride more, which is making me fitter. Your results may be different.
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Old 07-04-14, 10:05 AM
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If fitness is the goal, you'd most likely spend less time riding the MTB vs a road bike since you'd be working more on the MTB to burn a certain amount of calories which would result in less time to spend riding.
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Old 07-04-14, 10:18 AM
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I mostly ride the MTB winter, road bike late spring summer early fall. MTB weighs 35# (front suspension hardtail) & has slicks pumped to 75. Roadie has 115 psi tires & weighs 19#. Same route, the Roadie is ~7% percent faster. Despite winter weather (rain, wind & I pick my winter riding days), the summer weather wind is more constant & brutal.
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Old 07-04-14, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by XXLHardrock
If a recreational rider with a goal of fittness spends most of his time around the 75 gear inch on an mtb with sorta smooth tires riden on the road,would he benefit by switching to a road bike?
I have and ride every kind of bike.

Say you have a standard-issue MTB hardtail with knobbies. On pavement you will be about 5kph slower than a road bike. What I mean by road bike is something with drop bars and roughly 1" high pressure tires. Convert the MTB to narrow slicks and you will cut that disadvantage by about half. You will still be hobbled by 10 pounds of unnecessary weight, energy-sapping suspension bob in the fork, and a high riding position that catches a lot of wind. Plus the smaller wheels and (still) fatter tires will have higher rolling resistance that a road bike.

This is at 30 kph. The road bike advantage will increase as speed increases.

The worst kind of bike for getting somewhere on pavement, apart from perhaps a unicycle or a stationary exercise bike, is a cheap full-suspension rig from a department store. Due to the even higher weight, fatter tires, and suspension bob in the front and rear, the handicap on this kind of bike increases to about 10 kph. Plus the full-suspension bike will have noodly, imprecise steering, and the knobby tires will result in terrifying cornering at speed. Slick tires actually have better traction on pavement. Knobby tires are only useful on loose surfaces such as gravel, mud and snow. Bike tires cannot hydroplane.
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Old 07-04-14, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Jseis
I mostly ride the MTB winter, road bike late spring summer early fall. MTB weighs 35# (front suspension hardtail) & has slicks pumped to 75. Roadie has 115 psi tires & weighs 19#. Same route, the Roadie is ~7% percent faster. Despite winter weather (rain, wind & I pick my winter riding days), the summer weather wind is more constant & brutal.
35 pounds? Egads!

My MTB and roadie aren't as different from each other as that. Both rigid and steel. 24 lb MTB. 21 lb roadie.



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Old 07-04-14, 10:45 AM
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& door No.3 buy the straight bar bike & have trekking bars swapped in place of the straight bars
in the shop before you take it home..

you can do that with a Hybrid, 700c wheels, thinner Higher pressure tires,
Or even your existing MTB.

you gain more hand positions on the figure 8 bend of them

near and far reach, works like Up and down on drops , for headwinds etc.
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Old 07-04-14, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
& door No.3 buy the straight bar bike & have trekking bars swapped in place of the straight bars
in the shop before you take it home..
Or even go whole hog and put on some drops and brifters...

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Old 07-04-14, 11:43 AM
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​Thanks for all the input so far.Hardtail w/o front lock out. The bike has a range of 17-100 gear inches. The rider obviously has a little trouble with the high end and is thankful for the bottom end. I've been eyeing an old Fuji American (because those old bikes came in some very large frame sizes) and noted that the top of it's gear range is 101. So its basicaly the same. I can only have one bike because it rides in the sleeper of my tractor/trailer. Its the one toy I take along with me. Drops don't really appeal to me as my seat is quite high and my neck hurts when thebars are so low, havIing added a steerer extender to my current ride already.
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Old 07-04-14, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Rider_1
I keep forgetting that I am in the general forum.

I like to ride for distance, at a good speed. In that regard, I am always surprised at how many people don't ride road bikes. What are people afraid of? If you are interested in anything approaching touring or distance riding (eg. I'll usually ride ~100Km with few stops/rests), you can't beat a road bike. They are just so much more comfortable and efficient. I have had mountain bikes, and currently have a flat bar road bike as well as my regular road bike, and there is no way that they provided the same level of fitness, mostly because they broke me rather than built me up. By that, I mean that after 10-15 KM on a MTB, my knees were killing me because the bike was so damn heavy. You can't reach your fitness goals if the activity is injuring you.
Seems like gearing choices, saddle height, q-factor might be more likely culprits besides just the weight of the bike when it comes to knee pain.


Originally Posted by Rider_1
Would you run a marathon in work boots and carrying a fridge?
No, but if that's what riding an MTB is like for you then you have the wrong MTB. Must be rolling an AM or DH rig instead of an XC model.
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Old 07-04-14, 12:15 PM
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[QUOTE=LesterOfPuppets;16908184]Or even go whole hog and put on some drops and brifters...

[/QUOT
E]

That's a hot looking bike. Are those 26" wheels? The big chainring looks huge in comparison.
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Old 07-04-14, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
35 pounds? Egads!

My MTB and roadie aren't as different from each other as that. Both rigid and steel. 24 lb MTB. 21 lb roadie.




Other than psychological, your bikes are essentially the same with the biggest difference being up right position windage on the mtb (and maybe some rolling friction). Which to say, they are the same if you ride the roadie upright on the bars. My MTB is heavier, has hurky build with heavier wheels, tires, suspension forks, disc brakes, etc. more mass as well as way more windage. But I actually kept track of over 155 rides on the same course (14 miles) and the roadie was 7% faster. Say 1 mph+ which squares with the general quote of 1-1.5 mph faster (I'm on slicks, not knobbies). Because the course is flat I attributed that to mostly windage and some weight (acceleration & rotating mass). FYI, the 8-14 mph headwinds with gusts higher that I commonly get on that course are the real equalizers. 7-8 miles of that at 13-15 mph is a real workout.
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Old 07-04-14, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rider_1
However, I also believe that a road bike beats pretty much any MTB in road riding. Go figure.
This is true. There is no overlap in performance. You can do a bunch of mods to a mountain bike such as installing high-pressure slicks, ditching the useless front suspension, lowering the bar position etc. But a road bike will always be faster.

The other negative of MTBs on the road are the flat bars. After 10 miles with no change in hand position possible, your arms and hands will be asleep.

I don't know why so many people buy mountain bikes. I would guess that only one in 10 ever see real mountain biking, with most never even venturing off-pavement. It must be some kind of weird customer preference thing, where the vast majority of the cycling public would be better served by a hybrid, but they just don't sell.

As far as getting a better workout on a MTB, this is untrue. You will expend the same effort on the road bike, but you will travel farther and/or faster. On an MTB you will be more likely to give up riding, due to the impediments extra weight and sluggish wheels/tires. And you will be more frustrated and more self-critical in seeing legions of other riders pass you like you are standing still.
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Old 07-04-14, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer

I don't know why so many people buy mountain bikes. I would guess that only one in 10 ever see real mountain biking, with most never even venturing off-pavement. It must be some kind of weird customer preference thing, where the vast majority of the cycling public would be better served by a hybrid, but they just don't sell.

.
You haven't been in the bike section of Walmart or target before have you? Or been in the mind of a "i want a bike but only know what i knew when i was a kid" person like i was in dec. That's all there is is mtbs. In bright colors with full suspension and disc brakes for $99. Looks good to someone buying their first bike as an adult compared to the maybe 1 hybrid they have that, just like the few beach cruisers they have, looks like something your approaching-retirement parents would buy.

I bought my mtb in dec because I didn't want a curly bar bike with skinny tires, knew it would go offroad very occasionally and really had no idea it was slower. As far as I knew, people probably rode road races on a mtb. Seriously, I knew driving big cars and trucks and bikes = slow, one's not going to be faster than the other muscle is all that matter. I'd never heard of a hybrid.

They could redo one of their bright color disc mtb frames to take 700c wheels, higher gears, lose rear or both susp, advertise it on the flyer "faster than MTB!" and give it a name like StreetRipper 2000 or partner with a car manu for a name like some cheap mtbs have done call it WRX or something. Might sell.

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Old 07-04-14, 04:04 PM
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Speaking of Walmart bikes.

Plenty of mid 90s rigid MTBs are faster than this:

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Old 07-04-14, 11:21 PM
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You'll be faster with less effort on a roadie than on a MTB. I recently put some slicks on my full suspension MTB and I can keep up with a 13 - 14 mph pace but it takes more effort than my commuter. I just started riding a Giant Escape 1 commuter and doing 13 - 14 mph is a breeze. I can only imagine what it would be like on a road bike that is lighter. For reference, my s-works FSR weighs in at 24 lbs. My Giant weighs in at 24 without the saddle bag. But without the lost energy lost bobbing up and down on the suspension, I'm quicker and it's easier.

I'm with everyone else on the n+1 thing. I'm contemplating getting a roadie. I tried out a Specialized Roubaix and wow, it felt fast. Not sure if I was any faster, but it felt tat way.

Of course, YMMV.
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