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Are Roadbikes now more Popular than Mtn. Bikes?(22 posts)

Are Roadbikes now more Popular than Mtn. Bikes?gregg
Aug 31, 2001 10:24 AM
With the seeming Roadbike craze, is it fair to say that Roadbike are more popular than Mtn. Bikes?

These factors come to my mind:
-The road race categories for the Sea Otter filled up way before the mtn. bike races (yes, I know the fields are smaller, but still an indicator)
-Companies like Airborne (that started by making mtn. bikes), now sell more road bikes than mtn. bikes
-Biggest following of the TdF ever for Americans this year
-Lance is a bonafide American celebrity, John Tomac/Ned Overend is not.

(p.s. I know there was a thread during the TdF about being part of a fad, but I thought I'd take a short break from answering questions and post an actual topic in here today!)
Who said you could ask a question? ;-)Mike
Aug 31, 2001 10:31 AM
I think if they're not more popular, they're becoming more popular. IMHO, one factor is the difficulty many people encounter in getting to the trails. My guess is that the majority of the people in the states who mountain bike have to drive to trails. Driving takes a lot of the fun out of it. Sure, we have to deal with speeding SUVs on the road, but most of us can just roll out of the garage and get in a decent road ride. Who wants to spend as much time in the car as on the bike?
re: Are Roadbikes now more Popular than Mtn. Bikes?stevemtb
Aug 31, 2001 10:34 AM
Being both a roadie and a mountain biker, I would say, IMHO, that road bike sales don't even come close to MTB sales.
If you are strictly a roadie, then that is what your focus is on. You notice a lot more coverage in road related events, etc.
But the MTB world is enormous. I would venture to say that mountain bikes outsell road bikes 50 to 1.

Anyone know exact figures?
re: Are Roadbikes now more Popular than Mtn. Bikes?pmagnien
Aug 31, 2001 10:34 AM
"Lance is a bonafide American celebrity, John Tomac/Ned Overend is not."

We went through this with Greg Lemond. Unfortunately, Greg was a household name so long as he kept winning the Tour (or kept recovering from shotgun wounds). The American media, and thus the American public, has a short memory. Lance's story is a bit more interesting, but still, this is a short lived boost. Lance is actually one of the few athletes who enjoy "first name" recognition. Along with Tiger and Michael.

It won't have a permanent effect until the Nintendo generation decideds they need a little bit more exercise. The problem is not MTB versus road, it's being a big fatso, Nintendo generation, burgerking chompin america versus an exercising America.

I'd gladly "surrender" the obvious superiority of road biking to the mtb crowd if it would guarantee that my future kids will put the video game controller down and hit the trails. That does it, i'm never buying a video game system for my kids.
In some areas, yes. For now...Cima
Aug 31, 2001 10:35 AM
It seams popularity of road riding vs. MTB is a sinusoidal trend that lasts for a few years. With Lemond's victories in the late 80's, road riding was very popular. It's now trendy again with LA's success .When the MTB revolution began in the 90's, and shops could hardly give road bikes away.

This was also regional. Here in Colorado, the mountian towns are full of MTBer's and there are few roadies. But on the plains, roadies are much more abundant.

No.............Len J
Aug 31, 2001 10:43 AM
not if you measure it by unit sales. There are still many more mountain bikes sold than Road bikes.

High end bikes?Dave Hickey
Aug 31, 2001 12:01 PM
I'd like to see the numbers for high end MTN vs RD. I realize MTN outsells Road by a wide margin but that number includes Walmart/Toys R US bikes.
In their place...MrCelloBoy
Aug 31, 2001 10:43 AM
I'd say RB's are more popular on pavement while MTB's are more popular off road. ; )
re: Are Roadbikes now more Popular than Mtn. Bikes?Tylerman
Aug 31, 2001 10:50 AM
If you look beyong the myopia of mere sales figures, and get to the heart of the question, I would say that road bikes are far more "popular" than MTBs simply because more people actually ride them. Any schlub can run to K-Mart and buy a pseudo-mountain bike, ride it once or twice with their girlfriend, then put it in the garage and let it collect dust. But a road bike is bought by someone who intends to use it. Go out on any given day on some singletrack and then go out to the next weekend training ride and tell me where you see more people? Don't get me wrong, I like my MTB, but since I started road riding I barely touch it.
I think you've hit the nail on the head.look271
Aug 31, 2001 12:53 PM
Go anywhere on a weekend near here (Harrisburg Pa), and you'll find roadies everywhere. Go to the nearby trails. Very few mtbs. I'm sure that most of the "mtb" sales are of the Walmart/Toys are us variety, as well as low-end trail mtbs. Very few miles on those bikes.
Thanks for the plug - your waterbottle is in the mail!Jermey Mudd
Aug 31, 2001 11:15 AM
Airborne Marketing Department....
Thanks for the plug - your waterbottle is in the mail!peloton
Aug 31, 2001 11:21 AM
Wow- Gregg posting in his own forum just to get a waterbottle? Is these waterbottles the reason for the new format?! :)
Thanks for the plug - your waterbottle is in the mail!Jeremy Mudd
Sep 4, 2001 4:48 AM
This is sad that someone would impersonate me and post something like this. Get a life. You can't even spell my name correctly.
No, not where I live.ACH
Aug 31, 2001 12:05 PM
Just because of the fact that there are more dirt roads here in central/northern AZ that asphalt ones. I won't let that stop me though.
Not Around HereRich Clark
Aug 31, 2001 12:14 PM
Road riding has remained more popular in warmer climes, I think, than places like here in the Northeast, or the upper Midwest. Certainly most bike shops around Philadelphia still carry maybe 10-20% road bikes, about the same hybrids/comfort bikes, and the rest MTB's.

And there are almost never any road bikes in sporting goods stores and mass marketers. That's a pretty good indication that casual riders are no more ready for drop bars now than they were when they abandoned them the minute derailleur-equipped upright bikes appeared on the market en masse 20 years ago.

It might be interesting if we could learn how many *miles* are being ridden per bike type, however.

Not Around Herebuzzkill
Aug 31, 2001 3:38 PM
I vaguely remember reading somewhere that only about 10% of all mountain bikes purchased ever get off the road.
Not Around HereRich Clark
Aug 31, 2001 5:06 PM
Yeah, when I said "road riding" I was referring to riding road bikes rather than riding other types of bike on the road.

Roadbikes v. Mtn. Bikes?MJ
Sep 4, 2001 4:56 AM
it's about being well rounded

most roadies have a mtb.

most mtb. owners do not have a road bike

most roadies can ride off road to a pretty decent standard

even most serious mtb. owners couldn't ride a paceline if their lives depended on it - it's just not as transferable a skill

I agree with the other posters re the affront perpetrated against so many people that is the low end mtb. and that most never get to the trail...
Roadbikes v. Mtn. Bikes?SS_Billy
Sep 4, 2001 5:40 AM
Those low end mountain bikes probably never hit the dirt for the same reason that the $50,000 tank (SUV) never hits dirt...freakin' posers! Now, it so happens I own 3 bikes, a geared MTB, a SS mountain bike, and a fixed gear road bike. Can I ride a pace line on my fixie, you bet. Which one gets the most use? Well, lets just say that the geared MTB gets the least use...
Roadbikes v. Mtn. Bikes?MJ
Sep 4, 2001 6:10 AM
what gears do yo use on the fixed gear roadie to keep up a paceline? what about hills?

you are clearly not the typical mtb. owner
ask again when you see road bikes at kmart and searsSpiritual Haiku
Sep 4, 2001 7:56 AM
then we'll know that they've come back to the mainstream.

perhaps others have, but not since the 70s/80s have i seen 'em at the mall. my first road bike came from sears, where they were easily had in the late 70s. as mtbs, bmx and cruiser-model huffy/magna-equivalents can be had at nearly any buy-all store in a mall or shopping center in major cities, i'd say that they're by far more popular with the populace than road bikes.

another consideration: the most inexspensive road bike (mass marketed) you can get is around $400 (correct me here if i'm wrong). i can get a huffy from kmart for $57. goes to the specialization of road bike consumers. i guess.
Out here where the dirt is 5 minutes away...Retro
Sep 4, 2001 7:57 AM
There's no question mountain bikes are still way ahead in Reno--but for a lot of people here, National Forest land is just down the block. You can be on dirt in five minutes, which makes it a lot easier.
Road RIDING has become a lot more popular, though. I see an amazing number of people rolling around on pavement on their 45psi, 2.3-inch knobbies, usually in the big ring, cadence about 37rpm. I always want to tell them, "Jeez, gear DOWN, will you?."
As for trends, I've been riding here for more than 20 years, about half road and half mountain. In the last five years, the growth in road bikes has been enormous--triple or quadruple the number you used to see--while mountain bikes have been pretty static. Seems like a lot of people who started with MBs are buying roadies so they can go faster.