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Mountain to Road/Touring

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Mountain to Road/Touring

Old 06-13-05, 03:31 PM
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RT
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Mountain to Road/Touring

I'll try to keep this brief. All previous threads I have seen in this forum compare MTB to Road. My question is a bit different. Having been a lifelong MTB rider, mostly commuting, I have been shopping extensively over the last month to find a bike suitable for a 750 mile tour this summer and commuting 30 mi/day after that. I have ridden Cyclocross bikes, but they seem geared less for the road and more for light trails. Road bikes have a completely different geometry than my Giant Rainier and, while they do go much faster, give me trouble standing and pedaling, and I cannot imagine what would happen to me if I wiped/got a flat doing 40+ downhill.

My goal is to get a bike that weighs less than my 30 lb behemoth, but is as close to as durable. I have ridden many bikes but have narrowed my choices to: Fuji Cross Pro, Jamis Ventura (Venure?), Fuji Sihouette (flat-bar roadie) and a Specialized Sequoia (& Sequoia Elite). As far as comfort over long hauls, can anyone recommend something in the $500-$1,000 price range? Any of these bikes would make me happy, but my main concern is durability. Also, if I have forgotten anything, please interject. Sorry for the lengthy post - hope I provided enough information. Cheers!
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Old 06-13-05, 05:49 PM
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Road bikes have a completely different geometry than my Giant Rainier and, while they do go much faster, give me trouble standing and pedaling, and I cannot imagine what would happen to me if I wiped/got a flat doing 40+ downhill.
Why do they give you trouble standing and pedaling? Also fear of wiping out at 40 mph is not a good reason to rule out a road bike. You can probably achieve 40 mph on any severe descent with a narrow tired bike and the proper gearing.

If speed is not a concern than maybe the bike you presently own will fit the bill? I used to think that a road bike would be uncomfortable. I was wrong. I find my road bike more comfortable than my MTB on long rides. The drop bars are much better for the hands and arms.
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Old 06-14-05, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Why do they give you trouble standing and pedaling? Also fear of wiping out at 40 mph is not a good reason to rule out a road bike. You can probably achieve 40 mph on any severe descent with a narrow tired bike and the proper gearing.

If speed is not a concern than maybe the bike you presently own will fit the bill? I used to think that a road bike would be uncomfortable. I was wrong. I find my road bike more comfortable than my MTB on long rides. The drop bars are much better for the hands and arms.
When standing, I feel as if I am too far over the front wheel, or my hands are too low. I'm sure it will take getting used to. I am concerned about flats and wrecks because of higher tire pressure and the fact that during a test ride, I ran over a small rock and it almost tossed me. I need stability, comfort and durability, and was wondering if a Roadie or Cyclo would be best as far as these three things my MTB provides without the weight. Thanks!
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Old 06-14-05, 07:14 PM
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I just got a mountain bike after thousands of miles on my mountain bikes the last couple years. I too made the mistake of not wanting change. My first ride on a road bike and i thought, "screw this, this thing is uncomfortable." I soon put the notion of a roadbike out of my mind.........At least for several months.

It kept eating at me though since I knew that I could gain a BIG speed advantage. That was appealing because i wanted to do some longer rides. Well, finally i gave in. I have had it for a little over 1 month and have a little over 1000 miles on it. I still ride my mountain bikes several times a week as well.

I think your concerns are unwarranted. A roadbike is very stable. Especially since they are normally only ridden on smooth pavement. A mountain bike is usually taken just about everywhere which usually ends up dumping you on your butt at some point. (at least it has me.)

Give the road bike a chance. It has just as much if not more comfort. Once you get used to it. They are just as durable as well. At least in terms of where they are ridden. Most good road bikes last at least as long if not longer than mountain bikes.

As far as stability, that is not an issue either. The roadbike usually is going faster so does require a bit more attention at times but also, there are never as many obstacles out on the road as you would normally encounter with a mountain bike. I ride my mountain bikes on gravel and dirt roads a lot, so I have to focus there too.

Honestly, i think you need to go find a shop that you are comfortable with and talk to them. Look at several bikes and several shops until you find the right match. I promise that it will only take a couple hundred miles on the road bike and you will be very comfortable on it. It is a little uncomfortable at first but not for long. I did my first century on mine a few weeks back. I would have never been that comfortable on my mountain bikes despite riding them every day for the last couple years and 10,000 miles.
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Old 06-14-05, 08:23 PM
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I too am converting from a (Wal-Mart) MTB commuter to a Road/Touring/Cyclocross commuter. I also want to do centuries and a cross-country ride (fully-supported). I seriously considered buying a new Jamis Aurora ($700-750) to do everything, until I decided to find an 80s/90s touring bike (<$250) for year-round commuting to college (3 miles each way with a rack and panniers) and general riding, and a more recent model road bike (around $500) for the other stuff.

I decided on a touring bike for commutes for a couple of reasons. Touring (and cyclocross) bikes can take thicker tires (for stability) AND fenders for riding in the rain/snow. Touring/cyclocross bikes also have longer chainstays so that my feet (size 11.5 shoes) shouldn't hit my panniers.

I do have some questions that might clarify your requirements. How much are you expecting to carry on your bike during your 750 mile tour? How much do you expect to carry with you on your commutes? Will you be commuting all year? How will you store your bike at work?

I'd suggest checking out the commuting forum (especially the pictures of what other people commute on) and if you are expecting to carry a lot of gear on your tour this summer, check out the touring forum.

Good Luck
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Old 06-14-05, 08:39 PM
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I am a MTBer that just bought a road bike. The road bike is a blast. It is a whole different ride but a lot of fun.

Check out the KHS bikes. Great rides and you tend to get a lot of bike for your money. I got a great deal on my entry level Flite 300. I couldn't be happier with it. I didn't have to spend a fortune which allowed me to get pedals, shoes, computer, and other stuff.

Good luck.
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Old 06-15-05, 03:09 AM
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A touring bike is probably the best all-rounder if you dont want to do extreme off-road stunts. You can get touring bikes with 700c wheels or with 26" MTB ones.
Touring bikes come in a couple of styles:
Fast touring: Close to road bikes, suitable for centuries, fast/long commutes and hostel touring.
Club touring bikes: Suitable for loaded touring holidays and day rides. Include most production tourers (trek 520) and cyclo-cross derived tourers.
Expedition bikes: Purpose built for long-haul expeditions inc tracks and trails (eg Bruce Gordon BLTx).

Some people reckon tourers are just road bikes with.....[some differences]. In fact they are class all to themselves. The defining feature of a touring bike is not 700c wheels or drop bars, it is the ability to carry rider and luggage long distance in comfort.
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