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Doesn't it hurt ?(15 posts)

Doesn't it hurt ?Tony
Nov 20, 2001 12:56 AM
G'day all,

I've had my MTB for a few years now and I'm commuting to work as often as I can. I've wanted a road bike for a while but I'm concerned about how unfomfortable they are in comparison to a MTB on commutes and long weekend/weekday rides. With no suspension, if you don't call carbon forks suspension that is, doesn't it hurt to ride a road bike for long distances ? It is uncomfortable at times on my MTB with padded shorts and marzocchi forks, so I dread to think what it'd be like on a road bike at longer distances.

All comments would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading


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re: Doesn't it hurt ?I Love Shimano
Nov 20, 2001 1:10 AM
You no tough guy if you no handle road bike like real man!
re: Doesn't it hurt ?DrD
Nov 20, 2001 4:03 AM
Well - that's going to depend on what sort of trails you are used to mtb'ing on - if you ride a FS rig on relatively smooth, soft dirt trails with an occasional rock or root, the road could feel a little bumpy, I guess - if you ride rocky, technical trails with lots of drop-offs, etc, the road is going to feel smooth as glass.

Generally, unless you ride through lots of potholes, the road is very smooth - the bumps you will feel are mostly in the form of vibration from small irregularities here and there in the road (or everywhere on a chip-sealed road) - carbon forks do a decent job taking the edge off of that sort of thing, as do good tires. The biggest transition which may cause some discomfort is the riding position - you are much more upright on an mtb - you also typically spend less time on the saddle when mtb'ing, which can be an issue as well.
Just the oppositepmf1
Nov 20, 2001 4:44 AM
The idea of riding a mountian bike long distance makes me shudder. Road bikes are made for this purpose. They're lighter and more aerodynamic. The narrower tires and lighter wheels translate to less effort (I've heard 30% less). Its a more comfortable position, believe it or not. There are many different parts of the bars to rest your hands on so they won't get sore (unlike a mtn bike bar).

Yeah, hitting a bump transmits more shock, but your on the road not a trail. the bumps should be much less frequent and severe. If you're riding on pavement, especially long distance, get a road bike. You won't regret it.
Just the oppositeTrent in WA
Nov 20, 2001 6:30 AM
This is my experience as well. My MTB--which is, admittedly, the beater bike I use on the road--has a geometry that, while being more upright, dumps a great deal of weight on my hands, whereas my road bike suspends my weight more equitable between them and my butt. If you want to make your transition as smooth as possible, consider getting a 'cross bike and putting slightly wider (28-32mm) tires on it; it'll absorb bumps better on the road and be fun to ride in the woods.

Keep us posted!

re: Doesn't it hurt ?slow-ron
Nov 20, 2001 5:59 AM
I began riding 12 yrs ago and for 10 yrs is was exclusively on a MTB (full susp to boot). When I began riding on the road a few years ago I though that my position on the bike was very uncomfortable and my back was stiff after rides, something I never experienced on the trail. For whatever reason, however, I grew into my road bike and I now find it more comfortable than my mtb. I'm actually thinking of lowering the bar on my mtb to match my road rig. So, if it's a bit strange riding on the road at first don't give up. Also, I don't like the ride on Aluminum road bikes (I ride steel) but this may be because I haven't ridden a good one.
Road bike comfort depends on a few thingsTig
Nov 20, 2001 6:22 AM
Cool fish on the bottom, BTW.
Seat: Finding a seat that feels best for your bottom is not always easy, but riding on anything less will cause plenty of discomfort on even short rides. On the road, you will be sitting most of the time, unlike riding an MTB off road. Thick gel seats are the worst for most riders.

Position: There have been hundreds of posts in here about correct fit. First, the bike frame has to fit. You can adjust the seat, post, stem (change size/angle as well) to help dial in a good fit. Without a proper fit, a nice Colnago C-40 won't even feel comfortable. I won't even go into petal cleat placement!

Frame and components: Yet another book could be written on this subject. A frame's geometry, material, and how the material is used and shaped can make the ride feel almost any way the builder wants it to. Handlebars, stem, seat post, and wheel choices can radically alter the comfort or efficiency of a bike.

Tires: Size and design matter. A 20 mm tire will feel much rougher than a 25 or 28 of the same design. Materials and casing thread count contribute to a designs ride as well as durability.

This is all very basic info, but I just wanted to bring up some of the factors that can make a road bike feel comfy or painful.
Nov 20, 2001 6:44 AM
But you can do any or all of the following to help:
1) wear gel padded shorts
2) use a sheepskin seat cover
3) wear a cup
Nov 20, 2001 8:39 AM
What about a cortisone shot in the ass? Pain, what pain? I don't feel no stinkin pain!
A CUP????? BWAHHAAAAAAAHHAAA!!!! (nm)TB Hallaran
Nov 20, 2001 3:27 PM
Rainbow Trout or Mud Cat ?breck
Nov 20, 2001 7:07 AM
Fly rod or trot line?
Artificial fly's or live bait?
Stream fishing or lake?
Hip waders or Bass Boat?
Sports car or 4WD truck?
French Cuisine or burger & fries?
Cool Jazz or Chicago Blues?
(Miles Davis or Johnny Young :)
City Life or Outback?
Road bike or Mtb?
All of the above or None of the above?

RE: Road Vs Mtb & Vicey-Versa...
"It Only Hurts For a Little While"
- The Ames Brothers

It's a mind-set; got nuthin' to do with duh-bike :)
Two thingsvanzutas
Nov 20, 2001 7:29 AM
Wider tires will help.

If you are really riding on rough stuff. you can always get a Rock Shox Ruby fork. I have seen it on a few bikes and heard that people really like it.

Fit is THE big factor...cory
Nov 20, 2001 9:06 AM
I rode for 25 years in the "standard" butt-up, low-bars roadie position, including many centuries, and never really did more than tolerate it--I thought that was how it had to be.
When I got my Atlantis, I set it up the way Rivendell recommended (I won't bore everybody with it again; check, and I can do 50 miles now with far less discomfort than I used to feel after 15. No kidding--comfort is such a non-factor that I don't even think of it anymore. I just get on the bike and ride until my legs get tired. Worth a try...
Nov 20, 2001 4:02 PM
Trick is to get the right equipment, which is the equipment that fits. Once you get riding position and the saddle dialed in it's no big deal as long as you have the time in the saddle. Your butt will be sore after the first ride after a layoff, but once things get used to it there really isn't any problem - it's like buying sensible shoes. Yeah, stiletto heels make my feet hurt.....

Got no problem doing a century one day and then a 7+ hour epic MTB XC ride the next. Now my legs, back and neck are a different story.

Start with getting a more comfy setup on your MTB. There is also a LOT of difference between various road bike designs and materials. Some riders will use a suspension seatpost, but that doesn't make your saddle any more comfy. Check out the WTB SST 98 for a nice MTB saddle - love mine.
butt time and setupDog
Nov 20, 2001 4:20 PM
As mentioned above, you really need two things. First, you need decent equipment that works for. No saddle will work for everyone, for example. This may take some experimentation. Second, you need time in the saddle. I actually have, believe it or not, callouses on my butt, feet, and the palms of my hands. Your body adapts over a long period of time. You neck gets stronger and can tolerate craning your head back for hours and hours after doing it a lot. I got ready for the 508 this fall by doing 200 mile rides alone, staying down on the aerobars 99% of the time. At first that killed my neck, but then it adapted. I was actually quite comfortable riding 36 hours almost continuously. It took a lot of time and experimentation getting there, though.

If something continues to hurt despite riding time, you probably need to change something. Make the bike fit you, not the other way around. Also, don't take any one opinion on setup as the only way. Someone may say your knees need to be x position or something, but that may very well not work for someone else. Opinions are nothing but a starting point or one way to do it, which may very well work for the majority of people, but not at all for some. Keep that in mind as you receive advice.

I am much more comfortable on a road bike than mountain bike, as the weight is more evenly spread on feet, hands, and butt.