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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I started out as a mtn biker and over the past 6 months have focused mainly on road biking.
In the beginning the road bike thing kicked my butt, but I've gotten in much better shape to the point that I'm averaging about 100 miles a week with quite a bit of climbing and recently did my first century.

Well, last night I dusted off the the mtn bike and took it out on what used to be my regular loop around the lake - it's a pretty good 14 mile ride with a decent amount of climbing.
I was thinking with all the miles I've been putting in on the road bike it would be fairly easy.....wrong!
I was whipped pretty good by the end of it and the climbs had me at max heart rate for a majority of the time (estimated by the sound of my heart pounding in my ears)

I think it's more like doing wind sprints -vs- distance running.

I'm now going to make sure the mt bike is out of the garage at least once per week.

Anyone else cross train on the mtn bike?

-Rich
 

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rzims said:
Anyone else cross train on the mtn bike?

-Rich
I'm similar to you. I ride my road bike the most as I can go from my house, but enjoy mountain biking more when I can fit it in. I haven't experienced a drop off in fitness going from road to mountain. In fact just the opposite. It is possible that you were trying to go faster when you got back on your mtb. For an apples to apples you should compare your time on your mtb ride pre-road to your post-road time.
 

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I do both. I also started out mountain biking, and last year got into road. My endurance has certainly increased from road riding. Make sure that you are doing sprint, hill climb and TT workout in your road training routine, and the hills will get easier. I used to hate hills, and now I rock them. Mountain biking is different than road. My MTB TT heart rate is about 10 bpm higher than my road TT heart rate. MTB is much more variable, and if you always go out and ride flat roads at the same pace you'll die on the trail.
The thing that giving me trouble now is that my technical skills have declined. I used to be a lot faster on tough downhills, but I'm just not steady enough to bomb them now. I try to hit the trails once every week, with more or less depending on whether I'm racing road or mountain the next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I was talking to my buddy that I rode with and he commented that our pace last night was quite a bit faster than in the past so that probably has a lot to do with it. It was weird just spinning up some of the hills as it feels like you're not getting anywhere.
I also wasn't as fast or comfortable on the downhills - getting used to living at the edge of traction again will take some time.
After being back on the mtn bike, I realized how much fun it is and really missed it.
Will definitely be mixing it up more going forward.
 

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I've been riding MTB for many years and took up road biking about 4 yrs ago. I found that my endurance, climbing and breathing while riding MTB have improved noticably since I've been riding road.

I use my road bike primarily as an MTB traing tool. I can get in a great workout in only 1.5-2 hours on the road where MTB can take up 4 or 5 hours out of my day beaue I have to drive to the trailhead.

The ride I do most often on the road takes me through the many subdivisions near my home. I have a regular route that utilizes every hill and turn in town with lots of hard sprints and hard braking followed by hard acceleration to bring me back up to speed. I rarely spin along at an even pace for more then 1/4 mile on this ride and I think this better simulates the anerobic nature of MTB rather then spinning along at a steady pace for miles and miles.

One of the things that I like most is the stark differences in the two disiplines. My main mountain bike is a 32lb full suspension trail bike and my road bike tips the scales at just over 18lbs. There is NOTHING cooler then hopping on my road bike on a Monday after spending the weekend on my MTB...I'm soooo fast:D.
 

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Long time road biker- new mtn biker (if you don't count those crappy late 80s mtn bikes I just rode on paved trails.... years ago, in another life). I just purchased a Bianchi Doss a few weeks ago and am loving it.

I moved to, well, the mountains- and I can ride for miles off-road from my backyard. I had to buy a mountain bike--- never mind that fact that I will need studded tires to ride next winter.

I find mountain biking kicks my ass. Hills are much steeper than on the road. It doesn't help that I don't have any technical skill. But it is a blast- and a hell of a workout. I still love the road- but variety is the spice of life.
 

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Recreational mountain biker for couple of years. This year with all the rains and my brother getting into road biking made me get a road bike. Although I haven't been able to ride as much I wanted on both the road and mtn, I am noticing that cross training is helping out on mtn biking. The same hills that I was doing took less effort and I was much fresher at the end of ride.
 

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Like everyone else..............

.........I use the road bike primarily for training for XC racing

I started doing this last year and I experienced the same thing you're going through. I could ride for miles on end at a decent pace on the road bike but would be huffing and puffing in less than half the same distance on dirt

I figured it had something to do with the fact that my FS MTB was approx twice the weight of the road bike so you're obviously exerting way more energy to propel the bike. Throw in the additional resistance from riding knobbies and the fact that you probably run way way less PSI in your MTB tires and it starts to make sense

Don't forget also that all the jarring from riding rough terrain tends to beat you up wear you down as well
 

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I also started doing MTB, then got a roadie to extend my pedal time & get cardiopulm work without getting beat-up by the trail. It's easy to get lulled into thinking more road miles = better fitness. Above perhaps 200-300mi/wk that may be true, but doing 100mi/wk can be done with low intensity and at low HR's. Roading over the past 4-5mo has helped my local MTB lap times ALOT. I try to approach every club road ride with a purpose. Some days are periodic fast sprints, attacking hills, or trying to hang with the lead (semi-pro) pack for as long as I can. Other days are lower intensity endurance, or recovery rides. If you only do endurance/recovery road sessions you can expect your MTB performance to suffer.

MTB racing is attack/recover/attack/recover. Try to design your road sessions to maximize that.
 

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Absolutely. Sure you may be able to ride 100 mi but try & negotiate a tricky trail where it is all technique & dancing your bike. The mtn bike keeps you pure.
Think about Lance Armstrong splitting off across that field 2 years ago. That was all mtn bike confidence & finesse.
 
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