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NEED HELP..want to switch to road biking..QUESTION(5 posts)

NEED HELP..want to switch to road biking..QUESTIONstac
Jul 23, 2001 9:35 AM
Ok guys, Im a female mountain bike racer who has been doing some road biking w/ my mtb on the road once a week for my endurance ride. I only go about 40 or so miles...but I really enjoy it. So I was thinking of getting a road bike and prehaps doing that for a while (the racing scene has eaten me up so far and I need a break) So..where do I begin? First..what size bike?? I am 5'11 w/ a 32 inch inseam...so what cm size bike should I be looking at?? Also, what is the difference between componants on a road bike?? On my mtb bike we have loow stx alvio to Lx, XT, XTR????
And finally...training..if I want to switch to doing road races...how should I train?? On my mtb I do hill work, intervals, a endurance ride and then a singltrack ride...any difference> Will road biking help me as a mountain biker?? When I ride the orad it seems so much easier than my mountain bike rides...why??
Ok...hope you guys can fill me in..any help or suggestions is greatly apppreciated~!!!!
Thank you
re: NEED HELP..want to switch to road biking..QUESTIONLone Gunman
Jul 23, 2001 10:14 AM
S,
I did some quick calculations with the 32" inseam quote and 53cm Center to Top and a 54cm Center to Center. These are BALLPARK estimates and each frame is different. Lemond frames are larger with a longer top tube and myself, ride one that is one size smaller than my measurement calculated size. You didn't mention frame material interest so that part of discussion is wide open. Frame size calculations and what frame fits you correctly is what is very important. I do see alot of female racers on Lemond bikes. Components, I would look for a bike with 105 or better which is Ultegra and then top of the line Dura Ace in Shimano components. 105 and Ultegra is very reliable stuff, Dura Ace if you ride more than 10,000 miles a year.
Just an opinion, I think the MTB racing involves alot of power where road biking deals alot with endurance and aerobic capacity. I have always felt that you can trade endurance for power but you will suffer if you try to trade power for endurance. Training to race, get a manual(Friel, Cyclists training bible) or PC coach and gain some knowledge on how to develop a plan to train for racing.
re: NEED HELP..want to switch to road biking..QUESTIONMikeC
Jul 23, 2001 10:44 AM
Stac-
Your questions are good, but they're also very involved. I'd suggest that your first step might be to do a series of searches of this forum, using terms like "sizing," "fitting," "component groups," "training," etc. An hour or two reading the comments, opinions, and arguments will convince you that a) there's usually no single right answer, and b) the more you effort you dedicate to understanding the issues, the better off you'll be.
One shortcut might be to follow the posting trail of the legendary "Kristin," (Hi, Kristin!), a forum member who's kept this discussion group enraptured from the purchase of her first road bike through her ever-increasing growth as a rider. (You can search using member names, as well as cycling terms).
Note: You might want to search the Board archives, as well as the more recent posts.
a few answers...ScottH
Jul 23, 2001 12:19 PM
I started road biking about six years ago so I would still be able to ride after a good rain. Now I'm on the road bike more than my mtb.

I'd say the training for road racing vs. mtb racing is about the same. On the mtb you need a little more upper body strength and I tend to be more anaerobic. Road biking will definitely improve your mtb performance.

The top Shimano road groups are 105, Ultegra, Dura Ace(best). Just like on the mtb, more money means less weight but little performance gains. Compared to an mtb, a road bike is almost maintenance free. Other than replacing tires, I seldom have to do anything to my road bike.

Fit? You are on you own on that one. I'd suggest going to your lbs. It might be a good idea to bring your mtb as well.

One more thing, if you are fed up with NORBA races, check out endurance racing...6,12,24 hour events. It's completely different. Most of the racers are actually having fun. I only do one or two XC races a year but I make every endurance event within driving distance. I tried my first one in 1999 and I have been hooked ever since. Check here for the major events: http://www.grannygear.com/
re: NEED HELP..want to switch to road biking..QUESTIONjtolleson
Jul 24, 2001 5:59 PM
FYI, we ain't all GUYS here.

Size varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and is much more fine tuned than with mountain biking. Especially for women, where top tube length can be an issue more than seat tube length. At your height, I'd guesstimate you as a 56 cm in many manufacturers, but go to a good shop for the right fit, and some companies are notoriously long in the top tube.

If you are looking to be a serious roadie, your training regimen wouldn't vary much. Combining distance, climbing, and interval work remains key.

I'm not sure that road biking is a huge asset to making you a better mountain biker. I think the "anaerobic burst" nature of mountain bike is different. Road work is more endurance oriented (I'm oversimplifying).

Componentry. Unlike most (all?) mountain bikes, road bike selection involves two different manufacturers with two different component lineups. For Shimano, the bottom-to-top lineup includes Sora (or RSX), Shimano 105, Ultegra, then Dura Ace. Since I don't ride a bike equipped with Campagnolo (the alternative), I can't remember the line up.

If you really like speed, and covering lots and lots of country, I think you'll find road riding an excellent complement to your mtb work.