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Well, after 19.5 years of mountain biking, I decided late last fall that I was going to get a road bike. It is my first road bike (if you don't count the Fuji 10 speed I briefly owned & seldom rode 20 years ago).

I'm a mountain biker at heart and didn't really want to detract from that. But I live in the midst of New Hampshire's White Mountains, with "notch" rides in all directions. I was envious of my friends who told of multi-notch centuries and felt there was a void, something very cool all around me that I was missing. I also felt like it would make me a stronger mountain biker and give me some riding during our extended mud season, so I finally made the decision to just do it.

The bike arrived in December on a nice day that allowed me a quick shakedown ride. It was sketchy; it felt stretched out and strange and I wasn't sure it was so good. The bike shop wanted me to bring it in so they could make adjustments: a shorter stem, lowered and moved the seat forward. Hmm, this felt better...

Saturday was the first real ride, a mellow-paced ride with a friend. We tallied 33 miles of relatively flat terrain, and it felt really good. Fast, smooth, almost effortless. A couple roads were heavily frost-heaved and cracked, and even on this "technical" terrain, the bike just felt like it fit me.

Yesterday I got up hoping for mild temps, and there were. The family was busy for a bit, so off I went. I followed the back road to the wide shoulders of Route 302, and rode to the top of Crawford Notch, had a Clif bar, and rode back. With a little bonus loop added in at the end, it totaled an even 50 miles, with a healthy dose of climbing.

It's all very new, a little foreign, but I like it. And it's kind of cool to be a newbie again.

One thing: I'm not sure I understand these drop bars. Riding on the drops seems twitchy and strange. How often do you use them? What situations? I'm sure I could design a handlebar that was way more comfortable than the limited hand positions the stock bars provide; probably they're already available(?).
 

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Welcome to the full time mountain biker roadie wanna be club.

I got mine last summer and still feel like you describe, guess that there's some getting used to so take it easy and enjoy the ride.
 

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Welcome

You can ride on the hoods almost all of the time. The best time to use the drops is when you are pulling someone or riding into the wind. Have fun. BTW roadriders crash a lot less. If you fell you're doing it wrong.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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radair said:
One thing: I'm not sure I understand these drop bars. Riding on the drops seems twitchy and strange. How often do you use them? What situations? I'm sure I could design a handlebar that was way more comfortable than the limited hand positions the stock bars provide; probably they're already available(?).
Have fun! One thing for sure, it is easier to get a quick ride in on the road.

Personally, I rarely use the drops and spend most of the time on the hoods, and on the flats for a change of hand position. But the drops are good for some things. First, headwinds. Get low and it does help. Second, sprinting or hard acceleration. Third, decending where it is much easier to countersteer (push down on the outside hand) AND gives you a more secure grip than other hand positions.

Like with many things, it gets easier with time. And it is going to help you a lot when you hit the trail.

What did you get?
 

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dr hoo said:
......Like with many things, it gets easier with time. And it is going to help you a lot when you hit the trail.

What did you get?
Thanks, I'll keep trying them before I break out the hacksaw.

Hoo, you know it's not about the bike! But I bought a Cracknfail R5000.
 

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Fast huh! I always though road biking had to be the dullest thing ever, I mean where is the fun in riding on a mostly flat mostly smooth road for hours...

Then I tried it, found out there is a world of diffence between riding a bike on the road and a road bike. I love bombing down hills at 45 mph on road, cranking along at 20 without working too hard... simply fast.
 

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spyro said:
...I love bombing down hills at 45 mph on road...
Well, that was my next question. I only went 40 mph down from the pass, but the bike was twitching, like it wanted to go into high speed wobbles. A friend had told me if that happens to put your knee against the top tube, but that only helped a little.

Definitely not like descending on 2.5s.
 

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ive never had high speed wobbles on any bike i have ridden, so i cant help. I have heard that relaxing and doing the whole top tube clamp with your thighs helps.
 

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Wobbles: check headset adjustment to make sure it's not loose, relax your upper body more. I had the problem above 35mph when I was newer. Not sure what exactly removed my wobble, but I'm fine at 46mph now, did a stem swap and rode more, not sure when it went away but it's gone and I'm glad.
 

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radair said:
Hoo, you know it's not about the bike! But I bought a Cracknfail R5000.
Well, since until last year I rode a six speed freewheel/downtube shifting steel bike that I bought for $300 used, I can definitely say it is not about the bike. But you got a good one.
 

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phil. said:
Wobbles: check headset adjustment to make sure it's not loose, relax your upper body more. I had the problem above 35mph when I was newer. Not sure what exactly removed my wobble, but I'm fine at 46mph now, did a stem swap and rode more, not sure when it went away but it's gone and I'm glad.
Yeah, check headset, check wheel true and rear dish, check alignment if you want to really cover your bases.

Also, remember the road is not a trail, so you don't have to hang your butt off the back! If you get your weight back on the fast descents, the ligher front end can make things feel twitchy at speed. And since the HT angle is steeper than your MTB, it is not going to feel as stable at speed until you get used to the thing.
 

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some bikes tend to be more twitchy than others. Everyone I ride with has a Trek and they are always complaining of this "twitchiness". I'm a downhill specialist, and easily ride away from everyone going downhill and I have never felt my Look381 twich once and I've had it over 55 mph. I really think it is just an issue of knowing how to ride and relaxing more than anything. Welcome to the road, the MTB will be for sale shortly.
 
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