To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

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danbt
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To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby danbt » Mon Sep 23, 2013 20:35 pm

Hi all,

Apologies if you don't deem this topic to be in the right forum, but I'm unsure where else to start it.

I'm aiming my question(s) at you former MTB'ers turned Roadies.

How much of a difference is there between riding a MTB with Road tyres and a dedicated Road bike, on the road?

Currently, I ride a Specialized Rockhopper SL 2010 MTB with a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus Road Tyres and to be honest, I find it really hard work.

I know that a good chunk of the reason I find it hard work is that, I am unfit. I am overweight and am trying to sort that out!

Alas, I do know that there will be a difference to what I'm currently riding to a dedicated road bike.

So, how big is that difference?

Cheers guys.

andrewjoseph
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby andrewjoseph » Mon Sep 23, 2013 20:48 pm

There is a big difference, road bike generally lighter, but gearing harder, unless you get a decent 'touring' triple setup with mtb rear mech and cassette.

The main difference is:

handling, the road bike has faster handling due to geometry.

Riding position, drops are narrower than mtb bars.

Braking, be prepared to be scared. My first road bike was a boardman with caliper brakes. After the hydraulic disks of my mtb it took a lot of getting used to. When I decided I wanted a Tourer, I had one with cable disks, I feel much more confident. On this bike.
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Kajjal
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby Kajjal » Mon Sep 23, 2013 21:12 pm

Having recently bought a road bike after many years mountain biking yes there are differences. Road bikes are faster, you feel a rough road surface more and the braking / handling of a road bike is not as sharp as a mountain bike but fine once you get used to it. I weight about 95kg and enjoy riding both.

Iand-83
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby Iand-83 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 21:16 pm

Unless your very lucky and get the bike set up right first time be prepared for lots of fettling till you get comfertable. I have had my road bike for about a month and still fine tuning the set up to get rid of any aches and pains caused by bad positioning.

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♠ChumBucket♠
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby ♠ChumBucket♠ » Mon Sep 23, 2013 21:48 pm

I went to a road bike from a slick shod MTB. Gave the road bike more than a long enough chance & tried everything possible to get comfortable & feel right but it just never happened. Against normal perception, my 14KG MTB is faster, more comfortable, more stable, better handling & easier to ride than my 10 KG, carbon forked roadie!! I ride for pleasure & lost it with the road bike, I saw no gain but more pain!!
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DesB3rd
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby DesB3rd » Mon Sep 23, 2013 22:01 pm

Coming back the other way (several years off the MTB) and it felt like getting on dutchy-fatbike with all the weight over the rear wheel, comfortable and reassuring - strong, progressive steering & brakes - but slow &remote from the road...

danbt
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby danbt » Mon Sep 23, 2013 22:11 pm

Cheers for the replies guys.

It's probably worth adding some more information to give some context.

I'm around 6ft2 and Id say in the region of 16-17 stones (the real figure, I do not want to know).

I am very, "stocky," extremely broad at the shoulders but also hips. An endomorph if you ever did see one.

My primary goal with cycling is for fitness and weight loss. But, I feel this is where I may be going wrong.
It's hard to be passionate about it as I feel I am doing it as a means to an end, instead of because I really want to.

I used to love cycling when I was a bit younger and I'd like to reclaim that feeling, as well as losing weight.

I live in Birmingham currently, and am about to embark on my final year of Uni.

I have a car, but could possibly commute to Uni. Only around 4 miles each way, but in traffic.

I have been on 2 rides this week, each only about 5 miles in total, and although I enjoyed it during the ride. The 2 or 3 days following, I just haven't been able to sit down without pain.

I wear a padded bib and I believe I have my saddle at the right height, but it still hurts a lot.

I'm wondering whether this is purely because my ars* isn't used to it, and I need to toughen it up, or whether my saddle isn't right for me, type and adjustment wise.

Any tips guys?

Cheers.

scoobaru11
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby scoobaru11 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 05:22 am

I road a Trek hardtail for a year on the road before I moved to a road bike. Firstly your bum and sit bones do take time to harden up a tad but a correctly adjusted saddle makes so much difference. I used to carry some tools with me to adjust on the road till it was as good as I could make it. Unlike off roading because you're seated most of the time its important to measure your bum for the right size saddle.
For me the biggest changes on the Road Bike were brakes or lack of and Drop Handlebars. Both of these caused me major problems to begin with. I'm planning a new bike next year and it WILL have disc brakes! The roads are just too busy to mess about with callipers. The drops are fine now but took a while till I was comfy.
As for weight, diet will be give you far more gain than cycling ever will. Cycling has raised my fitness levels but weight loss is diet :-)
I was 18st I'm now down to 16' 8. Hope this helps.

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jamiekavanagh
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby jamiekavanagh » Tue Sep 24, 2013 06:05 am

As other have mentioned, the biggest differences are road feel, riding position, setup and brakes. Coming from a full susser with XT hydraulics, I was amazed that roadies survive for very long on the roads. You feel everything and potholes are now a problem rather than something to hop over. Rim brakes are poor compared to discs and the first upgrade you would need would be decent brake pads.

Riding position is more contracted as you're not as upright as on an MTB. If you go for a road bike, lower the stem gradually as you gain flexibility. Bike setup is the biggest problem. On an MTB, you get the saddle height right, set up the suspension, get the SPD float and you're golden. On a road bike, it can take months of messing around to get everything "just so" or £100 on a bike fit.

However, the payoff is speed. From cruising at 12-15mph on my Commencal, I'm now cruising at 20mph on my Planet X. It's faster off the lights, takes less energy to propel and as long as you have the roads, offers a lot of fun. It's not better than riding an MTB, it's different.

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smidsy
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby smidsy » Tue Sep 24, 2013 06:21 am

Coming at it from totally the opposite, having been a road cyclist puting in a good few hours over the last 2 years I bought a MTB this week to use around my new area over winter (to mix it up from just being on a turbo when the weather is really bad.)

I have currently only done 10 minutes on it (to set things up) and all I can say is I am not sure I will be using it much. Feels totally alien and really heavy and slow by comparision.

I suppose it is all about what you are used to.
Yellow is the new Black.

Schoie81
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby Schoie81 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 07:57 am

Dan,

I've got into road bikes this year after only ever having ridden mountain bikes and for the last two years, I did quite a bit of on-road cycling on my MTB. To be honest, in terms of speed and ease of cycling, I think that depends on the terrain - on a mostly flat route, road bikes are by far quicker, but on very hilly terrain I find there's little difference between the two - I get up hills quicker on a road bike, but I'm dead when I get to the top so I have to cruise for a while to recover - on the MTB it takes longer to get up in a low gear, but once at the top I just pick up speed again. On downhills there is no difference for me - I could probably go faster on the road bike, but I don't have the bravery to do it - not yet anyway! My MTB is a hardtail though - if you've got full suspension you might find the difference in speed and ease a bit more obvious.

With your 'rear end' - it does take some getting used to, and if you're overweight, I guess this wont help the matter. On both my MTB and my road bike, when I first started riding regularly over longer distances I was hurting when I got off - but it doesn't last long, if you ride two or three times a week and after a fortnight you're still getting pain, I would suggest you need to adjust your setup somewhere. I guess road bikes are a little harder on the bottom than MTBs as your suspension and big fat tyres take a lot of the pounding that otherwise goes straight to your rear!

The biggest differences for me were the riding position and the unsteady feeling due to the skinny tyres. The first time I took my road bike out I got back and thought I'd made a massive mistake. Just 5miles and I felt like I'd been riding for hours and couldn't wait to get home and be thankful I'd survived. But three months later and I completed my first 40mile ride last week! The differences in riding position are huge, but you'll be amazed how quickly you'll get used to it. And I still ride on the hoods, very rarely am I down on the drops - so another thing I'll have to get used to when I start riding down there more! Its going to feel very very odd getting back on my MTB now.

Finally I disagree that you wont lose weight by cycling and that you need to diet to do that. I used to weigh nearly 15stone, and after two years of cycling, I now weigh under 12stone and I haven't changed my diet at all, in fact if anything, I eat more - after a ride on the bike I eat pretty much anything and everything I see!! My belief with weight loss is you need to make changes you can sustain permanently so try cycling, but if you find you don't enjoy it and you are only doing it to lose weight and get fit, then I would suggest you try something else until you find something you like. If you don't enjoy it, sooner or later you'll give up and you'll probably put the weight back on. Same with your diet, if you can cut things out it'll help, but don't cut out foods you enjoy, at least not all of them, unless you've got bucket loads of will power you wont be able to do it forever and when you stop it will all go back on again. If you want to lose weight then you clearly need to make changes, but do things you enjoy and don't cut out the things you'll miss, otherwise it'll be so much harder and probably doomed to failure from the start.

Good luck and let us know how you go on!! :)
"I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"

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jamiekavanagh
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby jamiekavanagh » Tue Sep 24, 2013 08:00 am

smidsy wrote:Coming at it from totally the opposite, having been a road cyclist puting in a good few hours over the last 2 years I bought a MTB this week to use around my new area over winter (to mix it up from just being on a turbo when the weather is really bad.)

I have currently only done 10 minutes on it (to set things up) and all I can say is I am not sure I will be using it much. Feels totally alien and really heavy and slow by comparision.

I suppose it is all about what you are used to.


Find a good off-road course before you bin the bike. Bang through a forest with your backside hanging over the back wheel while holding on for dear life as you navigate your way over jumps, through switchbacks, dodge trees, wildlife and bomb down a 1:4 gravel track at full speed and you'll soon change your mind!

Context is everything. A road bike is boring if you don't have the road or conditions to push it and yourself. Mountain biking is exactly the same.

danbt
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby danbt » Tue Sep 24, 2013 09:51 am

Thank you all for the replies.

I think my main battle here is with my fitness and body.

I immediately feel defeated when my body tires after 30 minutes of riding, when in fact, this should spur me on to improve.

I'm going to go and adjust my saddle, get on the bike and go for a ride.

Thanks all.

markhewitt1978
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby markhewitt1978 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 09:55 am

If you're not used to it then getting tired after 30 minutes is normal. You just need to do further and do more each time.

cougie
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby cougie » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:23 am

I don't think you need bother with a road bike. It will be a little bit easier - the bike will be lighter - the forks rigid so no energy lost - the position more aero - but that won't help you burn calories. If you want to lose weight - you want to burn more.

You need to look at the diet you have - its so much easier to eat more than you can possibly burn. A 5 mile bike ride will only burn a couple of hundred calories at best.

To put this in context - we have a charity bike ride round here and every year I see hundreds of people of all ages, shapes and sizes riding it - its a minimum of 30 miles. Some of their bikes are just heaps - so nothing good like yours. You must be able to ride for an hour at least. Some of these people make the return trip - so 60 miles for novices on BMXs !

Eat less and keep up the exercise. You're no different to the rest of us - if you consistently train - your body will respond and you will improve.

Birmingham has plenty of canals - you could ride there and explore - I know this as I ran there last weekend - from Stratford - that was a fun run. You should be able to ride there if you put your mind to it.

And your bum will get better. Toughen up buttercup !

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Monty Dog
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby Monty Dog » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:25 am

MTB has a more upright position - you're putting more weight through your backside, so will feel more discomfort. Unless you're running out of gears on the road i.e. averaging over 18-20mph on the flat then the MTB should be sufficient but might be better modified for road use: swap the heavy, energy-robbing suspension forks for rigid ones. Fit flat bars and bar-ends for a more stretched out position and to get some weight off the saddle. I expect it's simply down to getting in the mileage and improving your fitness rather than the bike per se. I've gone from predominantly road/CX to mixing with MTB - they are just different types of bike best suited to the conditions they're designed for. I wouldn't expect my road bike to be any use on deep sand and likewise, my MTB with 3" wide tyres feels a bit sluggish on the road.
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danbt
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby danbt » Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:29 am

Well there we are,

Back from a good 45 minute ride in an area we call, "The Valley." Which is basically just a trail made of gravel/clay/mud that runs along a stream in an oval around some foliage and forest.

I over-estimated the grip of my tires (Schwalbe Marathon Plus 1.5") And under-steered straight through a section of mud and put myself in a bush of stinging nettles!

So my left arm features a nice gash from an ever-so-kind tree branch and my right arm is covered in a stinging rash, but, how about it... my ars* is fine :) I shifted back my saddle by about an inch, and I think it has made a difference.

Not sure if I could get rid of my MTB to be honest, I enjoyed that :)

Kajjal
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby Kajjal » Tue Sep 24, 2013 13:05 pm

jamiekavanagh wrote:
smidsy wrote:Coming at it from totally the opposite, having been a road cyclist puting in a good few hours over the last 2 years I bought a MTB this week to use around my new area over winter (to mix it up from just being on a turbo when the weather is really bad.)

I have currently only done 10 minutes on it (to set things up) and all I can say is I am not sure I will be using it much. Feels totally alien and really heavy and slow by comparision.

I suppose it is all about what you are used to.


Find a good off-road course before you bin the bike. Bang through a forest with your backside hanging over the back wheel while holding on for dear life as you navigate your way over jumps, through switchbacks, dodge trees, wildlife and bomb down a 1:4 gravel track at full speed and you'll soon change your mind!

Context is everything. A road bike is boring if you don't have the road or conditions to push it and yourself. Mountain biking is exactly the same.


This is good advice, my MTB Is a light, stiff XC hardtail but can feel slow on the road up hills especially. Off road it really flies eating up trails in the same way as a road bike eats up the roads. Take a decent mountain bike through a forest or into the middle of nowhere on rocky trails and they rapidly make sense.

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♠ChumBucket♠
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby ♠ChumBucket♠ » Tue Sep 24, 2013 15:05 pm

Monty Dog wrote:MTB has a more upright position - you're putting more weight through your backside, so will feel more discomfort. Unless you're running out of gears on the road i.e. averaging over 18-20mph on the flat then the MTB should be sufficient but might be better modified for road use: swap the heavy, energy-robbing suspension forks for rigid ones. Fit flat bars and bar-ends for a more stretched out position and to get some weight off the saddle. I expect it's simply down to getting in the mileage and improving your fitness rather than the bike per se. I've gone from predominantly road/CX to mixing with MTB - they are just different types of bike best suited to the conditions they're designed for. I wouldn't expect my road bike to be any use on deep sand and likewise, my MTB with 3" wide tyres feels a bit sluggish on the road.


Good advice, you can make drastic changes to your current bike for little money.

I flipped the stem down, removed all spacers, rotated the bars slightly so they didn't stick up, locked the forks off, fitted small lightweight bar ends & put conti semi-slick tyres on. The difference on the road was amazing!
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andrewjoseph
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Re: To all former MTB'ers: How different is it?

Postby andrewjoseph » Tue Sep 24, 2013 19:07 pm

I enjoy my road bike and do a lot of camping on it,but there is no way I'd give up my mtb. No need to chose only one, have at least two!
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