Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Diphthong
Joined
·
4,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been riding a mtn bike for 7 years now. I bought my first road bike back in November. I bought the road bike to get in more rides in a shorter time so that I can spend more time with my 10 month-old daughter. A 2 hour ride on the mtn bike takes 3 hours (or more) by the time you travel to and from the trailhead.

I haven't been able to do any mtn biking since the fall and I just got out for the first time this year. All I gotta say is that road riding is soooo boring compared to some good singletrack. My road bike is nice and fast but it can get boring pretty quick out on the road. I don't think it's the routes I take because they are pretty varied. I'm lucky enough to live in a great place (Colorado) for either road or mtn biking. Maybe it's the "danger" of bombing down a rocky singletrack that get's me going. The danger of sharing the road with a car/truck/suv just isn't the same thing. Another thing I've noticed is that when I'm riding around the mtns I don't think about anything but the ride. On the road, there's too much time to think about mundane everyday stuff. Mtn biking is a true escape from day-to-day life for me. I could ride my road bike 100 times more than my mtn bike but I don't think I would make a permanent switch.

Anyway, I was just rambling and wondering what other people thought. Anyone out there switch permanently from mtn to road? What made you switch? Don't you miss it? Is it an age thing? I'm sure there are a number of roadies that mix in a little mtn biking now and then but always go back to the road. What's the big draw for you to stick to the road?
 

·
eminence grease
Joined
·
18,538 Posts
I switched from MTB to road. For the first year or two, I tried to both equally. Then, little by little the MTB riding more or less disappeared. Last year I rode about 30 miles on dirt of 6500 total. And almost all of that was while I was on Christmas vacation in Sonora.

I have excuse, because I have miles of endless adobe dirt to ride on starting at the end of my street.

So why the switch? Road riding is so much more fun than MTB. I can let my mind wander, I get to go really fast and I can get in a lot more miles and see a lot more things for the same commitment in time. MTB seems coarse by comparison. Nary a chance it will change for me; I'm planning to keep 1 MTB "just because" and sell the other two off in pieces.
 

·
Devoid of all flim-flam
Joined
·
7,299 Posts
I can understand where you're coming from, but my viewpoint is pretty much the opposite of yours. As much as I enjoy getting out into the wilderness on my mountain bike, I ultimtely find it to be a less pleasurable experience. To me, mountain biking takes a lot more physical and mental effort than road biking. It's not the blithering, zen experience that road biking is. I have to concentrate too much on the trail beneath my wheels. When the surfaces get sketchy, I get paranoid. Mountain bikes feel clumsier and clunkier than road bikes, at least in my experience. Despite the lower gears, climbing hills on a mountain bike is more difficult. Not only are you hauling a lot more weight up the incline (thanks to the heavier bike and the Camelback on your back), you're going too slow to get a cooling breeze. You have to scrunch yourself into an extremely awkward position to keep the front wheel on the ground. What's more, mountain biking seems to be an anaerobic sport rather than an aerobic one. You're either huffing, puffing and grunting like crazy, or you're blasting down a hill, doing little more than squeezing the brakes. In short, yes I admit it, mountain biking takes too much concentration, conditioning and skill for this lazy roadie. I mountain biked for years, and I still do get out onto the trails. But I like zooming along on my Colnago a whole lot more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I was 100% mtb and now getting more and more into road biking. I also live in CO and like the ability to roll out of the driveway and hit some beautiful rides and crank out a lot of miles in a short amount of time. One suggestion may be a cross bike. Depending on where you are in CO, there are lots of opportunities to roll outta your house, hit some road and then fireroad or even singletrack on the cross. Lots of fun. I'm in Boulder and my new fav ride is shooting up 36 to Lyons and then hitting Hall Ranch on the cross bike. Great combo of road, dirt road and then some pretty techy singletrack. Anyway, may be worth trying out if pure road isn't doing it for you. Give the roadie some time first because it does take a bit to get used to. Just some thoughts. S
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,069 Posts
Both are fun, just in different ways. I started doing mostly mountain biking, now I am doing mostly road, with some cross and mountain throw in. Its all good!

:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
279 Posts
Weird. I rode Hall Ranch for the first time yesterday and enjoyed it a lot. I'm down near Golden and everything down here is pretty tame. I'm from the east coast where sliding shale, wet roots and sick drops are the norm.

But to the topic, I like road more (started off mtb'ing, and mtb racing) as I have more options, more variety. I can just leave my house with no idea of where to go and just ride and ride. Mtn is limited a lot of times. If you do your route, and you're done, all that's left is to do it again. With road the rides are honestly endless.

And if I had the choice of bombing down twisting singletrack, or bombing the Morrison side of Red Rocks or down Lookout, I'll take the road version any day. Way harder, way faster, way funner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I think.......

I think that I do a pretty good job of keeping the two separate, you know, taking each one for what it is. In my opinion, they are two very different disciplines, kind of what you're saying in the first place. At the same time though, I think that I do one to compliment the other. I do one to try and make the other one easier. I have great stories and memories from the road, and great stories and memories from the trail. I couldn't honestly say which one is more fun. Besides, owning a roadbike makes it easier to ride and stay in shape when the trails are wet and sloppy. It eases the pain. Good singletrack is in a class of it's own though. Singletrack is like sex and pizza..............
 

·
Juanmoretime
Joined
·
2,203 Posts
If I had to give up one or the other

it would have to be mountain biking although it's not because of liking the roadbike more. Both are awesome, road biking is just so much easier to do. I love getting out on the singletrack and the challenges that every hole, rock, log, climb and desent brings. The problem is the time it takes to get there. For me even a two hour mountain bike ride involves 4 hours of time by the time I get my gear together, drive to the trial, get out there and then get back home, I rarely have that kind of time on my hands. Plus anything more than the local trail system, and there is only one within a reasonable distance, involves a major road trip. The wife only allows me a couple of those per year. My work and family dictates my time and the road bike starts right at my door.

Maybe since I only get to ride my mountain bike 5 or 6 times a year is what keeps it so special.
 

·
hi, I'm Larry
Joined
·
2,254 Posts
Long time roadie point of view

It's about focus. Mountain biking forces you to focus. In road riding you learn to focus.

I have no problem jumping on the road bike and leaving all it all behind. Plenty of things to focus on while on the bike even in the flat corn fields here in the middle of nowhere Iowa. Focus on pace, cadence, energy leaving your legs and entering the pedal throughout the circle. Speed, wind, grade, heart rate, how you feel. Focus on waypoint times, how you are meeting your training objectives. Focus on the bike up ahead and if you should wander up and say hello, grab a wheel or blast on by. Focus on downhill sprints, just how fast is 50 MPH on a bike. After a short while of focus I have a tendency of zoning out, I am still aware of all the above but my head is also in a completely different place (my happy place).

Or if you need motivation to focus, then go play in the traffic, see if you can pass a few cars, surf some SUV's. Go find a hammerfest group ride and try to hang on. Race. Draft at 29 MPH inches behind the wheel in front of you. Take that turn faster than you really should. Dodge a few wrecks to get your heart going. Sprint up to 40 MPH even though you have nothing left. There is plenty of intensity to find on the road also.

PS: It's against my religion to hang my bike on or in a vehicle, with the exception of racing. It just is not right. Too much fuss and muss.
 

·
The Riddler
Joined
·
194 Posts
I was worried for a bit, but...

I know which one I really like. Over the winter I just rode my road bike on the road and trainer, building fitness and stuff. I hate riding in the snow (unless its on a couple of planks!), but in late february we had a real warm week and I went for a mountain bike ride. I completely forgot how fun it was. Bombing technical downhills, grinding away at impossibly steep uphills. Just getting lost, not having to hog the middle lane just to make a left hand turn, it all made me wonder how I had been away for so long. Sure hauling on a roadie, flying down downhills (which scares me shitless for some reason), suffering in my 42 on some no name backcountry road (never will i use that damned 30), its all fun and I enjoy it a lot. There's nothing like mountain biking though, I don't ever think I could just slide away from it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
I do both...why choose?

Road biking is a different kind of fun.

Some words to describe each-

Mountainbiking: wilderness, X-treme, big-air, dirty, crash alot (which can be fun, in a way), rocks, brush, scratches, dirt, mud, cliffs, single track, bone jarring decents, etc etc you get the point.

Roadbiking: Refined, smooth, fast, efficient, zen-like, efficient, distance, relaxing OR thrilling, efficient, did I say efficient?, style, "you biked how far?!?", mental, non-clunky (unlike mountain bikes), quiet, etc.

Either way, both types of fun appeal to me, to different moods Im in and to different personalities. But I find myself on the road alot more...
 

·
Bikespace member
Joined
·
4,445 Posts
to me they are different things and provide different necessities.

i'm riding the road more now because:
my newest bike is a road bike
less light = less time - i can leave from my front door - by the time i get to the trail, i'm a quarter of the way through my road ride.
but the road also lets me hit 40+mph on the downhills
going that fast on skinny tires is a thrill on its own
it's easier to zone out, meditate, etc while on the road when traffic is light
most of the fast guys i know on mtbs also do a lot of road miles
provides a more aerobic workout

mtbing provides the kind of "playing in the dirt fun"
it requires a different kind of focus
requires different muscle groups
i nice way to get out to nature
provides a different kind of solitude
usually smells better on the trail then out by the farms or car exhaust
provides a more anarobic workout
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,750 Posts
Coolhand said:
Both are fun, just in different ways. I started doing mostly mountain biking, now I am doing mostly road, with some cross and mountain throw in. Its all good!

:D
Both have their plusses and minuses. Since I have 2 young kids my time on the bike is limited somewhat and driving 30 minutes to the trailhead to MTB cuts into my riding time so most often I just ride on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,750 Posts
JPRider14 said:
Weird. I rode Hall Ranch for the first time yesterday
How was the trail? Is the rock garden getting more technical? Seems that erosion and such are making that a harder section every year. At one time I could clean most of it--now I have to dab quite a bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
And trolling is more fun than either.

I doubt there are many on this board who have done no mountain biking in their lives. For some reason we're unconvinced. Posting this on a mountain bike board makes sense, posting it here invites the question "Who gives a **** what you like or why you like it?"
 

·
Diphthong
Joined
·
4,986 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Like I mentioned before, the reason I bought the road bike was to spend less time away from my family. When I'm on the road bike it's fun and I enjoy my time out there. The only time is doesn't seem so fun is when I get back on the mountain bike.

As for "Who gives a **** what you like or why you like it?" - isn't that what most of this forum is about...asking people their opinions? If you think I came here to bash roadies or start a "mountain biking roadie" support group you're wrong. It's just a little lively discussion about why you enjoy riding either bike type. If you're still "unconvinced" that's a good thing because this wasn't a sales pitch to get you to go out and buy a mountain bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Hmmmm, do both, and enjoy both. Have to say, though, there's just something about riding some nice techy singletrack and allowing your mind to go blank. You're concentrating so hard on what's in front of you that you physically can't think of anything else, and yet much of your riding becomes subconscious, a nudge to get around this rock, or a slight tug on the bars to get the front up over that log, or getting your weight back slightly for the downhill, etc. Road biking allows me to think more, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing.

Just some thoughts...
dante
 

·
All-purpose bike...
Joined
·
80 Posts
The answer to achieving cycling-nirvana...

DSR said:
One suggestion may be a cross bike. Depending on where you are in CO, there are lots of opportunities to roll outta your house, hit some road and then fireroad or even singletrack on the cross.
Yesterday's ride: 7 miles of pavement and 43 miles of dirt road into the hills bordering Colorado and Wyoming.

When the snow clears out of the mountains, the rides will be paved roads to forest service roads to single track, and then back again.

What could be better than leaving your backyard on two wheels and experiencing all the terrain that the rocky mountain west has to offer?
 

·
Roadbikereview Editor
Steelman Eurocross bike
Joined
·
2,977 Posts
ha, ha, my compliments to everyone for exercising restraint and not just pumelling you into the ground and accusing you of trollingl. A lesser crowd would have let this degenerate into a flame war. You're using harsh words like 'boring' but I think your question is sincere and the feedback from folks is really, really awesome. Some more things I can add about road biking:

Time and opportunity - It's been said already but I'll repeat it. Busy folks want to ride their bike. Any bike. Road biking from your doorstep as soon as the weather clears is just the definition of opportunity.

Distance and elevation - Folks can ride from their doorstep and ride 80 miles across the mountains to the ocean and back. Altimeter shows 7000 feet climbed. Ok, just an example but covering this much country on a saturday morning is nirvana. When you start caring about your average speed, you'll realize that you're getting converted.

Lane and a half climbs - This really got me hooked on the road bike. I've discovered about 5 roads that climb up 1500-2000 feet that are lane and half wide through redwood forests. Almost no cars, just nature and a bunch of happy riders. (norcal- old la honda, kings mountain, west alpine, tunitas)

Fitness and Racing - If racing is your thing, road biking is the way to get fit. There is also the sad reality that mountain bike racing has disentegrated while road racing has flourished.

Group rides - club rides, centuries, fast rides. A fast group ride with 100 people can be a rush. Riding faster than you can alone, drafting, getting dropped! This is a whole new world different from mountain biking where you ride at someone else's pace. It's a different kind of fun and it can be addicting.

francois
 

·
aka Zonic Man
Joined
·
593 Posts
francois said:
Fitness and Racing - If racing is your thing, road biking is the way to get fit. There is also the sad reality that mountain bike racing has disentegrated while road racing has flourished.

francois
No kidding, eh? Suzy's done 14 races this year, 13 of them road races.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top