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Help a MTB'er get a road bike.(12 posts)

Help a MTB'er get a road bike.DCS
Jun 26, 2001 8:32 AM
Long time mtb'er, and I have recently moved and can't get to the trails as often as I would like (especially after work). I have decided to get a road bike to help me train and stay in shape for mtb races. I'm completely clueless and open to suggestions. I currently ride a Fisher, so I was loooking at the LeMond's, but again, I'm open. Btw, I'm 5'11, 160 lbs, 32" inseam, what sizes should I be looking at? Thanks in advance for your help.
re: Help a MTB'er get a road bike.Mabero
Jun 26, 2001 9:21 AM
Depends on how much money you really want to spend...the Lemond Zurich is good steel frame with a decent component group (full Ultegra). It rides really smooth but it is heavier than other similar priced's all preference. If you are just looking to commute I would stay with steel and Lemond makes great steel frames especially the Reynolds 853 frame. If you want to do more than just commutting and having fun on the day off just test ride...
Jun 26, 2001 9:21 AM
the most imposrtant part. I would like to spend around $1500 (maybe $2000 if there is a considerable difference). Thanks.
Jun 26, 2001 10:01 AM
Glad to have you here. I went through this a few months ago.

You need to decide, among other things, fit and frame materials. Look at for a discussion of fit. Greg LeMond's book, something like Complete Cycling, is out of date on a lot of things, but has a good fit discussion.

Frame material is a controversial subject. At your budget you can buy Aluminum, Steel, or low end Titanium (such as You can find many many discussion of the relative merits of frame materials.

Then, of course, you can get into the entire Shimano vs. Campy controversy as well. Once you decide on the brand, you will need to decide what level equipment you want, which might force a trade off on the other components.

You can buy on line (such as or from an LBS. That depends a lot in how comfortable you are in sizing. You can also consider used as bikes lose a good bit of their value quickly.

Good luck, and ask questions here.
What's cyclocross ??DCS
Jun 26, 2001 12:28 PM
also, what is "touring"? sorry, I'm not familiar with these terms.
What's cyclocross ??badabill
Jun 26, 2001 4:44 PM
Cross bikes are a great first road bike for the MTBr. I have a Surly cross check set up with 105 triple front and LX rear with 700x35 ritchy tires. Its a go anywhere workhorse. Throw on a set of road wheels with 700x23 tires and you are set for any road ride. The Airborne carp diam (sp?) is a great deal in Ti, and is lighter than my steel beast, but if you dont mind the wieght the surly is much cheaper. Just my 2 cents worth
Same predictament-have this offerThe Great Satchmo
Jun 26, 2001 11:36 AM
I too am looking for a road bike. What do you think of this setup that is being offered? '00 klein Quantum Pro (sweet sedona orange color) framset w/ 105 groupo. Wheels I think are Rolf Vectors or comps (not reall sure on this one). Rest of stuff is whatever (maybe what comes of the lower end kleins). This is all new and not used. What would you expect to pay for this. I believe it to be a good deal. Also, how much more should I expect to pay to go to an Ultegra setup? What are the performance benefits? Is it worth it for an intermediate rider who still plans to ride more mountain? Thanks in advance.
Cross/Dirt/Touring BikeRich Clark
Jun 26, 2001 11:56 AM
You could get an Airborne Carpe Diem set up as a dirt bike or as a cyclocross bike. Ti frame, cro-mo cross fork, your choice of drop bars with either STI or bar-end shifters, or flat bars with MTB shifters. Get a road front and MTB rear, or all-MTB drivetrain. Get touring tires or cross tires. Cantilever brakes with the STI levers, or V-brakes with the separate brake levers and bar-cons.

I know a couple of people who commute on 'cross bikes, and swear they're the most versatile all-around road bikes you can get. I have a carpe Diem set up as a commuter/tourer, and I think Airborne's approach to user configuration is revolutionary. Worth a look, just to play with it. The frames are damn nice, too.

Okay... Here's the opposite tac...FlySpinner
Jun 26, 2001 1:49 PM
Since you are into Mtn Bike Racing, Why not buy a second wheel set and equipe them with slicks? This way you are still training with the variables (weight, riding position, gearing, etc.) that you will be racing with.

I have a kai tai that I use to change the pace in the winter from my raod bike. But, I would not fill that I could train on one to race on the other. Mtn Bike riding position is much different from the Road Bike position.

I am not saying that one type of bike can not supplement training for the other type, but as primary training... I use the Mtn Bike to train at smoothness when spinning, climbing (as a change of pace), and just to still be riding when I take a break from the road. I often ride the Mtn. Bike on the road. In fact, I remember a couple did the Mt. Mitchel ride on their Mtn. Bikes.

That's my two cents worth... Hope you find the best solution for you.

BTW... The Zurich is a good bike. It has a relaxed seat post angle similar to the Mtn. Bike's. Also check out the Klein Quantum (Triple 105 grouppo), and the Specialize Allez Elite (Triple also).
here's what I did this year....IAmtnbikr
Jun 26, 2001 7:51 PM
I too have ridden mountain bike stuff, and was in the market for a reasonably nice road ride for those days when the trails are too muddy, or for the weekend rides on the pavement. I am 5'8"; 165; with a 30" inseam. My mountain bike frame size is an 18.5" Giant XtC DS1 for comparison. I looked around and read up on what is out there, and settled on a 2001 Raleigh R700 in the 53cm size. My guess is you may fit a 56 or 59, but be SURE to test ride what ever you buy, to be sure of proper fit. The Raleigh is a nice value, with nearly all Ultegra stuff, which is the roadie equal to XT. Only the Dura-Ace is higher up the chain in Shimano's road groups. The bike has nice component on it, but maybe a few changes would help. The bike is fairly stiff, and thus maybe a wheel swap would help, I went to Spinergy Xaero's and they really took the edge off the ride on rough pavement. Also, the OEM bar tape blows, get something else. Read the reviews, see what you like, I got Profile stuff and like it. Retail is $1500, although you can surely get a deal, mine was $1350. I find I enjoy riding the pavement FAR more than I expected! Good luck and have fun on the road too.
welcome to the roadbianchi boy
Jun 26, 2001 8:31 PM
First and most important piece of advice: Get a good frame fitting done at a bike shop, even if you have to pay for it. You can do it yourself by following directions such as at, but it's easy to screw up. Believe me, I screwed it up and I've been riding road bikes for 25 years. If your bike doesn't fit, it doesn't matter how much money you spend or whether your frame is carbon or ti or steel.

Second, in your price range I would strongly urge you to consider a quality steel frame with either Shimano Ultegra or Campy Daytona or Chorus group. You might be able to afford some of the less expensive ti frames, but I wouldn't skimp on the components to get the most expensive possible frame. Steel is the standard that everything else is compared against. It may be a little heavier, but big deal. Too much is made out of a few pounds or ounces. Comfort and quality of ride are much more important, and I guarantee you that if you start riding some serious miles you will notice the difference between steel and aluminum. I bought a fairly expensive aluminum frame bike last fall and ended up removing all of the components and putting them on my old steel frame I've had for 16 years. It may be heavier, but it rides so much smoother.

Once you've got your frame size nailed down, I would suggest shopping your LBS's to see what they've got in stock and then compare that with what you can find at GVH has an incredible selection of quality steel frames. You can buy a topnotch Italian steel frame with Campy Daytona or Ultegra gear for less than $1,500 at GVH, and can easily upgrade to Chorus for less than $2,000.

Another route would be buy a used road bike. The problem what that is you might be tempted to buy something that is the wrong size because the price is right. In most cases, it's probably cheaper in the long run to buy something new because they will install all of the components exactly to your specification -- eg, saddle, stem length, etc. You can spend a lot of money on an "inexpensive" used bike changing components.
another vote for slicks and mtb...gromit
Jun 27, 2001 6:33 AM
You should buy some cheap slick tyres and put them on the mtb first. Then get out and ride.
When you reach one or more of these points:
- you realise you are only using three of 24 gears
- you want to catch the roadie in front but can't because you've spun out or the bike's too damn heavy
- you feel the need to get more aero, into headwinds or on fast descents
- you want to ride in roadie groups
- you realise you are a bit squirrely at 40+ mph
that's when you need a road bike, otherwise slicks are fine.
You can use the time spent on slicks to save up for a really nice road bike that you won't want to trade in after a year or two.