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Seems like almost everyone in my city uses a mountain bike for urban use. Why?

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Seems like almost everyone in my city uses a mountain bike for urban use. Why?

Old 08-10-12, 09:27 AM
  #26  
Carbon Unit
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You may be looking in the wrong place. Ride through Irvine on a Saturday or Sunday morning and try to count the road bikes. I do group rides out of Deerfield Park Saturday morning and we have on average 100 road bike leaving the park but have had more than 300 on some occassions and we are not alone on the road. There are lots of other riders on the road at the same time.

As for no mountains, I hope you are kidding. There is a park that is a 10 minute ride from my house that is great for mountain biking. It backs up to Irvine Park which connects to Santiago Canyon, Irvine Lake, Mojeska Canyon and O'Neill Park. This is just part of the mountain biking around Orange County. Someone could ride a century in mountain bike trails if they wanted.
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Old 08-10-12, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Elduderino2412 View Post
Personally i think a mountain bike is probably the best bike for the average person. They are so versatile and rugged.
Plus most people don't own more than one bike. If you were to buy one bike and needed it to do trails, roads, MUPs, and rail trails, what would you buy? It sure as hell wouldn't be a road bike. I take my MTB camping with me because I can ride anywhere with it even though most of the riding is on the paved roads. I ride my road bike 99.9% of the time at home however because I do long distance road riding and don't really have time to do actual mountain biking with two kids and a job. But when I had just one bike, it was an MTB.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:05 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
You may be looking in the wrong place. Ride through Irvine on a Saturday or Sunday morning and try to count the road bikes. I do group rides out of Deerfield Park Saturday morning and we have on average 100 road bike leaving the park but have had more than 300 on some occassions and we are not alone on the road. There are lots of other riders on the road at the same time.

As for no mountains, I hope you are kidding. There is a park that is a 10 minute ride from my house that is great for mountain biking. It backs up to Irvine Park which connects to Santiago Canyon, Irvine Lake, Mojeska Canyon and O'Neill Park. This is just part of the mountain biking around Orange County. Someone could ride a century in mountain bike trails if they wanted.
haha. i lived in deerfield for a while and used to do that group ride pretty frequently. i bet i did some rides with you.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:14 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by fly:yes/land:no View Post
Originally Posted by Carbon Unit View Post
You may be looking in the wrong place. Ride through Irvine on a Saturday or Sunday morning and try to count the road bikes. I do group rides out of Deerfield Park Saturday morning and we have on average 100 road bike leaving the park but have had more than 300 on some occassions and we are not alone on the road. There are lots of other riders on the road at the same time.

As for no mountains, I hope you are kidding. There is a park that is a 10 minute ride from my house that is great for mountain biking. It backs up to Irvine Park which connects to Santiago Canyon, Irvine Lake, Mojeska Canyon and O'Neill Park. This is just part of the mountain biking around Orange County. Someone could ride a century in mountain bike trails if they wanted.
haha. i lived in deerfield for a while and used to do that group ride pretty frequently. i bet i did some rides with you.
We probably did ride together. I been riding with BCI as they are known since 2006.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:15 AM
  #30  
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People dream big when they are buying a new toy.
"If I get the mountain bike I can ride the continental divide someday"

I think most MTB riders would be much better off with a comfort bike or maybe a hybrid.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:45 AM
  #31  
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Observations from the MUP:

1) The preponderance of bikes sold at such establishments as Wal*Mart, Target, etc., are mountain bikes/hybrids. If it's not a mountain bike, it's a cruiser. I think Wal*Mart only has one road option as it is, which explains why you're seeing so many mountain bikes in the first place - most people aren't shelling out much money for a bike and as a result, they're buying what's available.

2) Riding position and formality have a lot to do with it. Around here, anyone on a road bike is a fairly serious rider in at least some kit. A lot are down in their drops, on their aero bars, etc. This probably is a psychological barrier for casual cyclists who may not feel as though they're part of the "in-group" or who may not want to be part of that scene. Might be similar to how you feel looking at Harley riders in their black leather vests or people in full sport motorcycle kit.

3) Versatility matters, too. Whether they're on high-end or low-end mountain bikes, I see a lot of them make use of the dirt trail which runs parallel to the paved MUP. I know when I owned a MTB, I loved finding insane routes to bomb through, too. Staircases, big hills, etc. It was fun!

4) My personal opinion is that there is some of the same mentality behind *some* MTB ownership that goes into *some* SUV ownership. Perceived toughness, ruggedness, and using the bike as a lifestyle statement in the same way many people might own a Jeep but never take it on a trail. But is that really a crime?
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Old 08-10-12, 10:51 AM
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If someone wants basic pedal transportation a mtb makes sense. You can jump curbs with them and they are cheap. A good choice for a commuter.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:56 AM
  #33  
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The mountain bike is a prudent choice for transportation in that region. They come in especially handy for escaping the notorious Orange County Cougar.
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Old 08-10-12, 10:59 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by PartsMan View Post
People dream big when they are buying a new toy.
"If I get the road bike I'll be fast; maybe I'll ride the Tour or RAAM someday"

I think most road bike riders would be much better off with a comfort bike or maybe a hybrid.
fify
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Old 08-10-12, 11:42 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Golfster View Post
The mountain bike is a prudent choice for transportation in that region. They come in especially handy for escaping the notorious Orange County Cougar.
It depends on which kind of cougar. The two legged kind, yes but a four legged cougar killed a few mountain bikers a few years back on a Porter Ranch mountain trail.
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Old 08-10-12, 02:40 PM
  #36  
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Why not ride them?

Mountain bikes have wider tires which is often more comfortable than high pressure road bike tires are.
Mountain bike tires often have more tread than road bikes, which makes them a little bit more likely to not get a flat.
Mountain bikes are more upright than road bikes. You can see around you easier to avoid dangers.
The width of mountain bike tires means you are less likely to be affected by the terrain like small cracks or potholes
Most stores that sell bikes carry more mountain bikes than road bikes, and at a more affordable price.
Your mountain bike looks more like everyone elses bike, it doesn't stand out as much to a thief
Mountain bike frames are usually pretty stout things that can take a lot of abuse

I could go on and on.
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Old 08-10-12, 03:19 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Savagewolf View Post
Mountain bikes have wider tires which is often more comfortable than high pressure road bike tires are.
Mountain bike tires often have more tread than road bikes, which makes them a little bit more likely to not get a flat.
Mountain bikes are more upright than road bikes. You can see around you easier to avoid dangers.
The width of mountain bike tires means you are less likely to be affected by the terrain like small cracks or potholes
Most stores that sell bikes carry more mountain bikes than road bikes, and at a more affordable price.
Your mountain bike looks more like everyone elses bike, it doesn't stand out as much to a thief
Mountain bike frames are usually pretty stout things that can take a lot of abuse
With the exception of what I bolded, that's all post-hoc justification. The real answer is:

Originally Posted by slowandsteady View Post
Because they are cheap, readily available and multi-purpose.
And 'multi-purpose' is pushing it. In the 70s bike boom there were all kinds of reasons given why the 10-speed was ideal for riding around the neighborhood (skinny tires for efficiency!). In the 90s when mountain bikes became cool there were all kinds of reasons given why mountain bikes were ideal for riding around the neighborhood (cushy tires! jump potholes!). And now that fixed-gears are (were) cool there's plenty of reasons conjured up why they are ideal for riding around the neighborhood (simple! low maintenance!). These functional reasons have very little to do with why most people actually buy and ride these bikes.
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Old 08-10-12, 06:59 PM
  #38  
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Many people are intimidated by road bikes and perceive them as twitchy and dangerous. A mountain bike seems familiar and sturdy. Yes, a hybrid would do just as well, but many people just don't get the difference between them. They see every flat bar bike as "mountain bike" and every drop bar bike as "racing bike". I've heard people refer to my touring bike as a "racer".
In the rack where I work, it's mostly cheap department store "mountain" bikes, a few conventional hybrids, two or three internally geared hybrids (not including mine), one fixie, and a few old rigid mtbs that were reasonably good quality in their day. Once in a while I'll take the touring bike, and was surprised one day to see another of the exact same model in the rack when I arrived. I'm always surprised when I see a road bike of any kind there, although a lot of 'cross bikes are sold and used here due to the lousy roads.
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Old 08-10-12, 07:20 PM
  #39  
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I like riding my "hybridized" mountain bike around... (with 42mm wide slick tires).
The only things that i don't like are:
1) the squishy low-end suspension fork.
2) the flat bars, narrow drop bars work great for moving around traffic (for me it's 42cm in the road bike vs 58cm in the mtb/hybrid), i don't like hipster-style very narrow flat bars.
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Old 08-11-12, 01:03 AM
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+1 to convient and cheap

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

+1 to the familiarity and also versatility

+1 to road bikes are percieved as racing bikes, and are unsafe due to thin tires and are twitchy.

This is what I initially thought when I started riding.
My first bike was an old front suspension mtb and I always thought that road bikes were all the same and were race bikes. I also thought that they were harder to ride and not as safe.
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Old 08-11-12, 02:17 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by stanseven View Post
forgot
- you can pass road riders in full kit on zipp wheels
8-

Last edited by AdelaaR; 08-11-12 at 02:21 AM.
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Old 08-11-12, 03:25 AM
  #42  
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Hybrids and MTN bikes are the most versatile bicycles for road/off-road treks. They are also the best bikes to use for utility purposes, when they have mounts for racks.

However, there's absolutely no substitute for the feeling released by a bonafide road bike flying at top speed down a unobstructed smoothly paved incline on a warm sunshiny day, when you're tucked firmly into the drops with both speed and trepidation held tightly under your wings!

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Old 08-11-12, 05:58 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by HBxRider View Post
......I think they are choosing to ride mountain bikes because it's a macho thing. Or they think they will look uncool riding a road bike......
No Macho to it, nor fear of being "uncool" on a road bike. During the '80s and '90s the MTB became the default generic "bicycle" to middle America in the same way that the beach cruiser was in the '50s and '60s. Its not a "mountain bike" to them, its a "bicycle". Even with the advent of the hybrid most people just see them as just being a different looking "bicycle".

Ultimately, it is only cyclists who draw distinctions like road vs cyclocross let alone TT vs racing vs touring, or DH vs CC vs city bikes vs hybrids, and BMX bikes are just "kids bicycles" to most people.

To everyone else a mountain bike has two wheels with fat tires, upright handlebars, a comfortable seat, and pedals, so it is a "bicycle" and it simply resembles something they would be comfortable on as they were with the cruiser than a road bike with low drop bars requiring a rider to lean over so far.....

Last edited by Stealthammer; 08-11-12 at 06:05 AM.
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Old 08-11-12, 09:17 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
-wider tires have less rolling resistance and so they are actually faster than narrow tires ... when ridden at moderate speed, which is what happens in suburb traffic.
So wider tires are faster when you're not going as fast. Cool.
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Old 08-11-12, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Burglar View Post
So wider tires are faster when you're not going as fast. Cool.
Correct.
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Old 08-11-12, 10:26 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by HBxRider View Post
I live in orange county, CA. The middle of suburbia. Almost all the roads in my city has a bike lane. The pavement is well maintained and the roads are wide. My city is recognized as a bike friendly community by the LBA.

Yet 90 percent of the people I see riding in the street (commuters and casual riders), and people on the beach trail, are riding mountain bikes (if not beach cruisers).

There's no mountains around here, and I don't even know of any offroad trails in the city. Zero unpaved roads.

I think they are choosing to ride mountain bikes because it's a macho thing. Or they think they will look uncool riding a road bike.

I use my road bike for running errands around town, as well as the long distance fitness rides. More people need to know that road bikes are good all purpose bikes, at least for the suburbs. Who doesn't want to get to their destination faster?
For the same reason they ride suv's on suburban streets.
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Old 08-11-12, 11:05 AM
  #47  
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I think it has more to do with being able to ride @ the beach, & in the sand. Plus the suspension, & tires help comfort.
They like their bikes "cushy" much like the lifestyle in the "OC". ;D (joke)
I always hear that song California...California... when I think of "The OC" because of that stupid show.
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Old 08-11-12, 11:24 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by HBxRider View Post
I live in orange county, CA. The middle of suburbia. Almost all the roads in my city has a bike lane. The pavement is well maintained and the roads are wide. My city is recognized as a bike friendly community by the LBA.

Yet 90 percent of the people I see riding in the street (commuters and casual riders), and people on the beach trail, are riding mountain bikes (if not beach cruisers).

There's no mountains around here, and I don't even know of any offroad trails in the city. Zero unpaved roads.

I think they are choosing to ride mountain bikes because it's a macho thing. Or they think they will look uncool riding a road bike.
Because mountain bikes are common, inexpensive, and even available at K-mart. Back in the 1980s they'd be riding "ten speed" road bikes which were common, inexpensive, and even available at K-mart. In my parents' time they'd have ridden 3 speeds with fat tires which were common and inexpensive (compared to Italian road bikes).

I use my road bike for running errands around town, as well as the long distance fitness rides. More people need to know that road bikes are good all purpose bikes, at least for the suburbs. Who doesn't want to get to their destination faster?
1) The least expensive road bike stocked by many LBSes is easily 2X their least expensive mountain bike.

2) They don't know better. My daughter didn't think much of my suggestion to get a road bike until she actually tried one.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-11-12 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-11-12, 11:28 AM
  #49  
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I ride a hardtail and I feel safer on it than my sister's racing bike from years ago. It was too thin and unstable for me and I just feel safer on an MTB as it has the chunky tyres and frame.

Its also useful to be able to choose a road route somewhere or take a trail route.

MTBs are versatile for any surface tho mine certainly is faster on a trail surface.
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Old 08-11-12, 11:36 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by apollored View Post
I ride a hardtail and I feel safer on it than my sister's racing bike from years ago. It was too thin and unstable for me and I just feel safer on an MTB as it has the chunky tyres and frame.

Its also useful to be able to choose a road route somewhere or take a trail route.

MTBs are versatile for any surface tho mine certainly is faster on a trail surface.
Same can be said for a CX/Cyclocross.
Any mild/light trails can be ridden on with a road bike no probs, a little faster on a CX since the frame is build stronger, & they can fit wider tires.
The only time my hardtails see any use now a days is when the snow falls. I love my dropbar bikes so much now!
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