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MTB v Road Bike differences in power

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MTB v Road Bike differences in power

Old 08-20-14, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LMaster
On the plus size, my road bike should be ready tomorrow (Cannondale CAAD 10, shop had to build it up but should be ready) so I'll get many more chances to play with these fantastic speed machines.
Ah, if you just want to go effortlessly fast, you need to get a recumbent instead. :-) Or in addition to. While you may be shunned, the only place you won't own the KOM's are the exceptionally short sprints and climbs that are steep enough to kill the aero advantage.
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Old 08-22-14, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by anotherbrian
Ah, if you just want to go effortlessly fast, you need to get a recumbent instead. :-) Or in addition to. While you may be shunned, the only place you won't own the KOM's are the exceptionally short sprints and climbs that are steep enough to kill the aero advantage.
People always say that about recumbents, so it must be that the fast kids don't actually ride them that makes the speed claims hypothetical rather than real in my experience.

Around the Ann Arbor area, we've got rolling hills that would seem ideal for a momentum rider on a recumbent to tear it up, but I know who most of the top Strava riders are around here, and none ride 'bents. I mostly see old dudes on 'em, moving along nicely, but crushin' nothin', and definitely taking no KOMs.

Last weekend I passed a guy on a high racer with 700c front and rear; I slowed to chat with him about how that struck me as unusual, but then I resumed my pace to catch back up with the gang, and left him behind.

We've got a fair number of bent riders around here, too, and even a shop that stocks Bacchettas, so you'd thing that if someone were going to blow it up on one, I'd have seen it once over the past 27 years I've been riding here, but... I did see some fast bent riders in the Lansing area in the early '90s, but while I may have had to work to catch 'em (I think they all use mirrors!), I can't ever recall being dropped by one.

Though a recumbent trike I do want one of these, the Bluevelo Quest:

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Old 08-22-14, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
People always say that about recumbents, so it must be that the fast kids don't actually ride them that makes the speed claims hypothetical rather than real in my experience.

Around the Ann Arbor area, we've got rolling hills that would seem ideal for a momentum rider on a recumbent to tear it up, but I know who most of the top Strava riders are around here, and none ride 'bents. I mostly see old dudes on 'em, moving along nicely, but crushin' nothin', and definitely taking no KOMs.
Outside of IHPVA-style racing, I've never seen fast kids riding recumbents. Of the recumbent riders I do know, none are interested in posting to Strava. From personal experience, taking KOM's that suit a recumbent is easy enough that I'm not going to go stomp on them (and potentially become unwelcome on group rides when I ride my road bike). There is a local 26mi segment that the top dozen+ positions are held by a group ride of pro/cat1/2 riders, and that's what I'm going to aim to beat this fall.

Here is a segment that was KOM'd on my very first ride on a faired recumbent (and I was no where near as fit as other riders ... 2nd place is an experience TT rider on a TT bike): Strava Segment | Clover Valley-Rawhide CCW lap
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Old 08-23-14, 03:35 AM
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Faired?! That's cheating!

I'm not surprised you pulled that off, and the speed may be great for your fitness level, but that KOM is not out of reach on an upright. Zero rise, 2.5mi segment at 28mph? We've got a segment like that, with .1% rise over 2.5mi, and while it's hard to compare, the KOM is 28.7mph, and all top 10s are north of 27.5mph. All uprights, insofar as I can tell, primarily kids on UofM team, but local AAVC racers, too. I don't know how to link from the Strava app on the iPhone, but it's in Chelsea MI, segment called Dexter-Chelsea Sprint, if you wanna see it. I'll try to link later from computer.

Anyway, I know faired recumbents can be fast, but they're so rare; I can only recall seing one out here on the road. How much faster is it than unfaired? Substantially?

Oh, and congrats on the KOM; always nice to have earned one of those crowns!
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Old 08-23-14, 04:59 PM
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First off, just wanna say thanks to everyone for the thoughts! Definitely got some good insight and tips here that helped me to understand what was going on and key issues I should pay attention to.

Some updates/thoughts: Well, I have the road bike now and got out for the first real ride on it today trying to really pay attention to what has been said in the thread. I think there is truth to many parts of what people said

1) Posture - I definitely wasn't keeping as good of posture when riding on the hoods, and that was restricting my breathing some. Switching frequently between the tops trying to feel similar to how I do on the MTB then back to the hoods keeping good, open posture was helping noticeably. I was having less of the 'constricted' feeling that made me so uncomfortable last time. This, by and large, fixed my problem with feeling like I was working too hard. Now I'm just feeling a little bit like I'm limited by leg power again, much like how I felt when I started cycling 4-5 months ago.

2) Setup - I still do feel less powerful on the road bike, and while some of it might be in my head, I do feel some of it could be real. Looking at the differences, my MTB is a 12 year old POS from when I was 12 years old. The frame is too small for me by a reasonable margin, and I noticed that my pedal position is very different, with my legs more behind me and pedaling much more off the heel on the MTB. On the road bike I feel more out and front of me due to the incorrect position I've adapted to on the MTB (sort of like a recumbant feeling, but WAY less extreme ofc) and definitely the natural foot position here is more of my toe on the pedal as opposed to the heel.

The other difference is that because of seat height differences, my pedal stroke is much choppier on the road bike as my leg angle with the pedal at 6' is much less bent.

I think all these are good things long term, but I'm definitely not used to them at the present moment in time; and I don't think it's impossible that I've developed muscle power/efficiency on the incorrectly sized MTB that doesn't function as well on the road bike.

It's worth noting though that by the end of the ride I was already starting to feel better and the road bike itself is fun as hell to ride.

Today's ride: Bike Ride Profile | Gold Camp + Centennial Trail + Sinton Train - Aerobic near Colorado Springs | Times and Records | Strava
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Old 08-23-14, 05:12 PM
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Cheating!? hah, on a Quest you don't even need to worry about staying upright!

My (simple) assertion is that on a flat segment a recumbent (assuming a Bacchetta-like high-racer with seat tilted all the way back) will be faster than a roadbike. I've got dozens of segments with power data that show for the same measured power (in my case a Powertap, dunno if others were at the crank/wheel) my unfaired high-racer is faster than road riders producing similar power on road bikes. I concluded that my high-racer was at least as fast as a TT bike (not based on power data, but my assumption that I was far less fit than the TT rider, but able to maintain comparable speed).

I'll leave it to recumbo-evangelists to explain why there aren't more recumbents at the top of the Strava charts. I would say though that if you got those fast UofM guys on a "performance" recumbent, they'd be faster still. My next bike will be an S-Works Roubaix or a Domane, so I'm *heh* going backwards.

As far as the faired bike, I only rode it ~4 times. Maybe three times to get oriented, then a double century (Death Valley's fall ride, ~9k ft of climbing) two weeks later. I came in ~30min after the leader, though my rolling time was the same (~10h40m). It is definitely much faster on the flats than anything else (unsure how it'd compare to a Quest ... one was on the ride, but he was having a bad day ... I'd definitely walk away from him on a climb though due to the weight difference), but it wasn't very pleasant to ride (noisy, hard to get into, very hot, and some pucker-inducing cross-wind experiences).
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Old 12-16-14, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Faired?! That's cheating!

I'm not surprised you pulled that off, and the speed may be great for your fitness level, but that KOM is not out of reach on an upright. Zero rise, 2.5mi segment at 28mph? We've got a segment like that, with .1% rise over 2.5mi, and while it's hard to compare, the KOM is 28.7mph, and all top 10s are north of 27.5mph. All uprights, insofar as I can tell, primarily kids on UofM team, but local AAVC racers, too. I don't know how to link from the Strava app on the iPhone, but it's in Chelsea MI, segment called Dexter-Chelsea Sprint, if you wanna see it. I'll try to link later from computer.

Anyway, I know faired recumbents can be fast, but they're so rare; I can only recall seing one out here on the road. How much faster is it than unfaired? Substantially?

Oh, and congrats on the KOM; always nice to have earned one of those crowns!
oh no, shouldn't have told me about the Dexter-Chelsea Sprint. Well, that segment kom will be broken as soon as I get down there with my nocom lowracer. Don't believe me? How about this segment in Chelsea........ I've got this one with the nocom. Did it at the hellava ride this year. Strava Segment | Harvey, Cavanaugh Lake East, Clear Lake to Chelsea oh and this one was another good one...... also in Chelsea Strava Segment | Cavanaugh Lake Rd (Finish Line, Welcome to Chelsea) power output was pretty low though, I'm running the garmin vector pedals and I
'm pretty sure I lost connection with the left pedal ........plus had a bit of a tailwind.

for an uphill segment though or a rolling segment here are some with some respectable power. Strava Segment | Price climb
and this one was done locally Strava Segment | 69 climb this is a recent segment at Kensington called smooth pavement. 40mph https://www.strava.com/segments/6207597

Last edited by lowracer1; 12-16-14 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 12-16-14, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
People always say that about recumbents, so it must be that the fast kids don't actually ride them that makes the speed claims hypothetical rather than real in my experience.

Around the Ann Arbor area, we've got rolling hills that would seem ideal for a momentum rider on a recumbent to tear it up, but I know who most of the top Strava riders are around here, and none ride 'bents. I mostly see old dudes on 'em, moving along nicely, but crushin' nothin', and definitely taking no KOMs.

Last weekend I passed a guy on a high racer with 700c front and rear; I slowed to chat with him about how that struck me as unusual, but then I resumed my pace to catch back up with the gang, and left him behind.

We've got a fair number of bent riders around here, too, and even a shop that stocks Bacchettas, so you'd thing that if someone were going to blow it up on one, I'd have seen it once over the past 27 years I've been riding here, but... I did see some fast bent riders in the Lansing area in the early '90s, but while I may have had to work to catch 'em (I think they all use mirrors!), I can't ever recall being dropped by one.

Though a recumbent trike I do want one of these, the Bluevelo Quest:

bents not taking any koms? I've got a pretty fair share at island lake and Kensington as well as most at stoney creek now. up to 161 koms under my belt now..... Its not a big deal though. Racing recumbents are just plain fast. It requires less wattage to go fast. Anything over 4% grade going up and I'll have to let the upright guys have it. Give me a longer course with some hills thrown in and those I can do faster than most uprights.
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Old 12-17-14, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lowracer1
oh no, shouldn't have told me about the Dexter-Chelsea Sprint. Well, that segment kom will be broken as soon as I get down there with my nocom lowracer. Don't believe me? How about this segment in Chelsea........ I've got this one with the nocom. Did it at the hellava ride this year. Strava Segment | Harvey, Cavanaugh Lake East, Clear Lake to Chelsea oh and this one was another good one...... also in Chelsea Strava Segment | Cavanaugh Lake Rd (Finish Line, Welcome to Chelsea) power output was pretty low though, I'm running the garmin vector pedals and I
'm pretty sure I lost connection with the left pedal ........plus had a bit of a tailwind.

for an uphill segment though or a rolling segment here are some with some respectable power. Strava Segment | Price climb
and this one was done locally Strava Segment | 69 climb this is a recent segment at Kensington called smooth pavement. 40mph Strava Segment | Smooth Pavement!
Respect!

And you crushed my 125th and 93rd place rankings on those first two Chelsea segments!

Hahaha! Well I stand corrected...and in fear of running across you, Lowracer!

Hopefully I'll see you out there!
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Old 12-17-14, 04:23 PM
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Damn, this is what you're burnin' it up on, Lowracer1?



Yeah, that looks like it would be awfully fast!
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Old 12-19-14, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Damn, this is what you're burnin' it up on, Lowracer1?



Yeah, that looks like it would be awfully fast!


yeah that's a nocom allright. this is mine though.

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Old 12-19-14, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Damn, this is what you're burnin' it up on, Lowracer1?



Yeah, that looks like it would be awfully fast!
I'm surprised that you never saw this brand of cereal on your stores shelves in Ann Arbor.

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Old 12-19-14, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by lowracer1
yeah that's a nocom allright. this is mine though.

[undrstmnt] Much nicer. [/undrstmnt]

Wow! Totally wicked! That looks like a super getaway machine.

Are the crank arms not in the same plane? Why?
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Old 12-19-14, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
[undrstmnt] Much nicer. [/undrstmnt]

Wow! Totally wicked! That looks like a super getaway machine.

Are the crank arms not in the same plane? Why?
the crank is a ROTOR RS4X crank. big ring is 58 T.... 155mm crank arm length. Rotor cranks have no dead spot in the power stroke. When your left or right pedal is at the dead spot in the revolution, the opposite pedal is already positioned in the power stroke.
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Old 12-20-14, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Respect!

And you crushed my 125th and 93rd place rankings on those first two Chelsea segments!

Hahaha! Well I stand corrected...and in fear of running across you, Lowracer!

Hopefully I'll see you out there!
I would like to see what you can really do on the finish line to Chelsea segment Chad.... I see that your 93rd place ranking was done at a 135bpm attempt.
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Old 12-21-14, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by lowracer1
I would like to see what you can really do on the finish line to Chelsea segment Chad.... I see that your 93rd place ranking was done at a 135bpm attempt.
Ah, yeah, well, you're right...I've never gone for it on that segment; I'm usually on that route alone, and find it easy to forget about the segment, probably because I know most of the top 10 belong to the AAVC racers who group sprint it, and I just can't can't get a decent ranking alone against that...nor against Nocom riders! Someday, though, I'm sure I'll be with my club's A team and I'll get a lead-out good enough to make a serious effort. Thanks!
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Old 12-21-14, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster
Ah, yeah, well, you're right...I've never gone for it on that segment; I'm usually on that route alone, and find it easy to forget about the segment, probably because I know most of the top 10 belong to the AAVC racers who group sprint it, and I just can't can't get a decent ranking alone against that...nor against Nocom riders! Someday, though, I'm sure I'll be with my club's A team and I'll get a lead-out good enough to make a serious effort. Thanks!
I can see where you are coming from. Strava is supposed to be based on individual efforts.... not pace lines, motor pacing, and many other methods that don't follow the guidelines of individual effort. I'm just happy that strava finally let recumbents be on the leaderboards.
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Old 03-28-23, 10:58 AM
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Hmm...I have a similar problem as the OP but in my case I not only feel slower on my gravel bike but I am slower in terms of speed compared to be MTB, which is not a newish hardtail but in fact a 2007 hardtail weighting 13kg compared to my 8.5kg gravel bike. On average, on the same route which consists of rolling terrain and 60% asphalt I'm one km/h slower despite being more aero, more lightweight and pretty much having a better bike in every regard. Any ideas as to why? I presume, muscular imbalances? Full disclaimer: I used to ride my MTB without clip-less pedals, i.e. normal pedals and trainers.
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Old 03-28-23, 11:24 AM
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