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Beginner Question(3 posts)

Beginner QuestionJim Lukens
Mar 8, 2001 6:10 PM
I've just started road riding. I've been riding a Mtn Bike with slick tires and a riser stem. My rides thus far have been only 8-10 miles at a time once or twice a week, but I'm thinking road riding is something I'd like to do more of and I'm considering buying an entry level road bike. I also live near the Blue Ridge Parkway and have visions of touring dancing in my head.
How much of a difference would a road bike vs an adapted Mtn Bike make to a beginner? Would I be better off using my existing set up for awhile?
Also, a bike shop here in Asheville has a used (1999, I think) Cannondale R400 for sale for $400 which seems to be about my size. I'm planning on test riding it soon. Sounds like a decent deal to me, just fishing for comments.
Any help would be appreciated.
re: Beginner Questioncaldwell-cougar
Mar 8, 2001 8:21 PM
Jim- When I first started to make the switch from MTB to road I tried to do it on a y-11. Although I could make up for lost time on hills and the bike was reasonably light, I was working 5x harder than the guy next to me on a road bike.

You can indeed stay using a MTB on the road if you wish but you're giving yourself an immediate disadvantage. If you do, I would highly recommend "slick" tires and increased the tube pressure to at least 100psi. This will at least assist in the rolling resistance you're getting from your present tires.

I own an R400 (beater bike), but I assure you that it's far from a beater bike. It was the bike I learned to ride on the road with and it was a priceless investment. Try it out and see if you like the stiff feel and 700c style wheels and tires.
re: Beginner QuestionGreg Taylor
Mar 9, 2001 12:26 PM
Give the R400 a spin -- it is an excellent place to start. If you are looking to tour, pay attention on how the bike is set up. Does it have a triple chainring? Will you carry panniers? If so, can you mount a rack (or racks) on the bike to carry them?

Using a mountain bike on slicks is a compromise at best. The gearing is shorter, your position on the bike is different, and it just isn't really a "road" bike, is it? That said, a mountain bike can be a decent touring vehicle, especially in a hilly area. That short gearing may be a godsend on steep climbs in the Blueridge, especially if you are doing a loaded tour. I rode around Ireland on my old Trek 930 mountainbike with a set of panniers out back and skinny (1.25 inch) Panaracer Pasela tires on the rims. I wasn't the fastest thing on the road, but I was able to grind up some really wicked hills...