's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Road vs. Mtn - Tell your story(29 posts)

Road vs. Mtn - Tell your storyTad
Dec 7, 2001 11:12 AM
I did strictly mtn biking for a couple of years. I even made fun of roadies all the time! I finally gave in and bought a road bike to help train for mtn bike racing, and now I ride road A LOT more. For me, it's the speed, the rhythm, the smoothness, and especially the challenge. You can go as fast as your legs and lungs will take you!

It's tough to beat the scenery and remoteness of a good mtn bike ride, but the road is great. I take back all the mean things I once said.
Say 10 Hail Marys...........STEELYeyed
Dec 7, 2001 11:19 AM
to the patron saint of cycling and all is forgiven.
Say 10 Hail Marys...........weiwentg
Dec 7, 2001 11:42 AM
pray also for my best friend, stuck in the dark side since he was a teenager. he has yet to see the light. :P
re: Road vs. Mtn - Tell your storygtx
Dec 7, 2001 11:50 AM
road riding will improve your speed on the mtb (most serious mtb racers spend much of their time on the road bike), and mtbing will improve your handling skills on the road bike--make you a much faster descender and a safer, more skilled rider in general. Do both!
re: Road vs. Mtn - Tell your storyp1rana
Dec 7, 2001 12:38 PM
Im just getting into road biking but the times ive had i could say the difference is like Dueling Dragons (two rollercoasters in orlando), one is more for the speed and smoothness and the other for the thrill and varie a bit more.
It's all good.grzy
Dec 7, 2001 12:39 PM
Both offer quite a bit - best thing is the people you meet doing both. It's also nice to find that while your buddy may destroy you in one area you may be able to wax him in the other - all in good fun of course!

Each one adds another aspect to the sport of cycling.
re: Road vs. Mtn - Tell your storyPatricia
Dec 7, 2001 12:40 PM
Right, Tad, both are great. My story is the reverse of yours though : from road to mtb cycling, but I've reached the same conclusion as you - they complement each other perfectly well.
One question though I've been asking myself : so far, I've taken to mtbiking at the end of the road season and left off mtbiking at the beginning of the road season..What happens if both are continued at the same time ? Is it possible to be good at both of them and to alternate the trainings ?
I strayed, but I returned to the fold ...tarwheel
Dec 7, 2001 12:51 PM
I started road riding again in the summer of 2000 after mostly mtn biking for several years. Now I rarely touch my mtn bike -- it feels so clunky, heavy and slow. Mtn biking was fun for a while, but I've returned to my true love. The good thing about the boom in mtn biking is that many of these heathens may someday see the light and discover the road. I have nothing against mtn biking, though, but I just enjoy the speed, smoothness and feel of road riding much better. If I'm gonna spend time in the woods, I'd rather be hiking.
Road vs. Mtn - Road is better as a sport, MTB is better as an...Bruno
Dec 7, 2001 12:55 PM
To me Road is better as a sport, MTB is better as a recreational activity.

In road its more about riding faster than others (or yourself). It has much more history and tradition as a sport. In MTB you can ride in much nicer places and its more about being there. I do mostly road because I live in a city, I would preffer to do MTB in the forrest if I wouldn't have to drive for two hours to get there.
That is exactly the way I feel too -NMTig
Dec 7, 2001 2:23 PM
Dec 7, 2001 3:31 PM
I guess MTB racing is about riding slower than others?

The history of road bike racing is simply part of the age of the sport and it's legacy - it has nothing to do with being better. It has history b/ cit's old - not better. Boats have more history than airplanes. Skiing is way more refined than snow boarding. Well, duh. Fact of the matter that more people are starting to race by trying MTB races than road - mostly b/c they see the roadie world as a bunch of intimidating a-holes. At the very least the roadie world should recognize that MTB racing is valid and can be a source of new road racers. Much of the recent growth in road biking is due in part to the growth in MTB. if road biking were truly a "better" sport then MTB's wouldn't even exist.

Take your road bike down through Big Sur or up into the Sierras and then discuss which mode offers access to more beautiful places. Try and keep up with some of the serious MTB racers when on their road bikes for training.

It's kinda funny how the roadie side of the bike world is so elitist and looks down at everything else. Half of those goofy non-serious MTB people with no sense of history can really kick your butt and the shaved legs that support them. You need to get out (to the trails) more.
thats bullshitWoof the dog
Dec 9, 2001 3:12 AM
anybody below a pro is not worth riding w/ on the road. A lot of these mtn. expert types can barely hold wheel in a cat 4 race. Admit it, road riding is superior in terms of speed and endurance, which is whats this is all about. Everything else is secondary. A good road rider could kick butt in a beginner mtn. bike race while the opposite does not happen. Seeeeee!

Woof the advocate of you know who.

P.S. what I say is partially true though.
bullshit or dogshit?RaiderMike
Dec 9, 2001 10:04 PM
I recently built my first roadbike to help rehab after ACL reconstructive surgery, I have mountain biked since 1991, and though I havent rode my new road bike yet I have a hard time believing that roadies are better athletes than MTB'ers. For 1 mbt'ers have the most efficient pedal strokes of any cyclists, and Lance Armstrong uses a mtb like pedal stroke( see his training book pg. 136) second, I am not a pro level mtb'er by any means but I did put in about 125 miles a week on my mtb, including a 25 mile road loop that is mostly flat with a few rolling hills, and a 4 mile section that runs along the beach into a headwind that is usually 25 mph in the summer time. I can keep a 18 mph average on the loop on my 27 lb. mountain bike with 35 lbs. of air in the knobbies, which isnt too shabby. I cant wait to break out the 19 lb. road bike to see how much faster it is. I have a 35 mile loop in my back yard that includes a 6 mile 2000 foot climb in elevation, and some of the most technical downhill you could think of. It takes 3 hours to complete, and I would be happy to take you with me to see if you could hang with me. Interested?
no, raidershitWoof the dog
Dec 10, 2001 5:53 AM
Doing intervals with your tongue out on the bars deserves more respect in my book than practicing dumbass bmx-type tricks or viewing the scenery. I have heard that serious mtn. bikers ride road most of the time. Why is that? Because they can obtain a better fitness on a road bike, which deserves more respect by definition (better fitness!). Getting that fitness is harder than anything else in biking, either road or mountain. GET IT?
you wanna ride or what?RaiderMike
Dec 10, 2001 9:05 AM
MTB'ers that train on the road do so because it is easier on your equipment, and easier on your body, because you can go out and just ride without having to deal with the pounding your body takes while riding in the woods. There are mtb'ers that are just out to see the scenery, but there are roadies that do the same, so its not just mtb'ers, I see it everyday, some dude riding around at about 60 rpm like he's out for a Sunday drive. I ride on the road but only when I cant find a riding partner. Training in the woods is necessary, and if you do it right can be a better workout than pedaling on the road, you have to work the gears to keep your cadence at the right level, and you dont get to rest on the downhills like you can do on a roadbike, not to mention polishing your bike handling skills. Doing bmx type tricks is freeriding not to be confused with serious x country racing or riding. Your comment about only pro level mtb'ers being worth a damn is untrue, most mtb'ers dont race at all. Anyone who is in shape can ride on the road at a good pace, but when riding in the woods being in shape is just as important, but bike handling skills are just as important so a MTB'er that is in great shape can do well at a road race, but the opposite is not true because in MTB racing being in shape, is only half the battle.
you wanna ride or what?Woof the dog
Dec 10, 2001 11:12 AM
You speak some truth and I was a bit sarcastic when saying that only pro's are worth a damn. Still, two things got my attention:

>Your comment about only pro level mtb'ers being worth a damn is untrue, most mtb'ers dont race at all.

That doesn't make sense. You'd expect those who don't race to be even worse than those who race. Thus, your argument against my statement (that you thought was untrue) is not legit! Remember, the best way to improve in racing IS racing.

>Anyone who is in shape can ride on the road at a good pace,...

What do you mean shape? Having strong arms, good abs and square buff shoulders? Having good lungs? None of that is "worth a damn" unless you practice a good pace on a bike and you actually developed your muscles for that particular workout. Runners, for example, get on a bike and can have a very good endurance, but they lack intensity and in muscle department where a roadie would outsprint and outclimb them with a worse cardio, I think.

You have to look at which resulting situation is worth more: being a weaker mtn. biker with superb technical skills Or beign a good roadie but suck in technical skills. To me its the latter. I am sure I'd get all the technical skills I need much faster than I would be able to get all the fitness I obtained after years of smart hard training. No?

The above statements do not imply that I am a good road dawg. I may shave my hind legs and a tail, but not all that fast. Okay? So none of this personal stuff like hey lets see who wins in mtn. biking.

Gotta go shave my tail

you wanna ride or what?RaiderMike
Dec 10, 2001 12:46 PM
So I can only race once a week and just give up on riding the rest of the week? Not everyone has the funds or the will to race, but they can still ride alot, and you and I both know that the more you ride the better shape you will be in ( when I say shape I mean bicycling shape since that is what were talking about). I race a little but have a friend that races alot. I ride 4 or 5 times a week and he only rides 2 or 3. When we do ride together he has a hard time keeping up, and when I do race he cant hang with me. So just because a person races alot doesnt make him a faster rider. Technical skills are much harder to acquire, anyone who rides alot at a good pace will eventually get into better shape, but I have seen people who have been riding mountain bikes for years who never get the nerve to let it go down a nasty downhill, or ride fast in the rocks or roots, it is just something that takes a while to learn.
Dec 10, 2001 1:24 PM
Chances are if you're pussy when it comes to the nasty stuff you'll always be a pussy. Why? Your mind, unwillingness to crash, and/or lack of coordination are holding you back. Riding more will help, but most aren't willing to venture over to the dark side. If you're out of shape but have the bike handling skills you can fairly easily get into shape.

Ultimately it ain't a black and white world - in my view most of the best riders are good at both.
Dec 10, 2001 10:41 AM
Recognizing what you may have written was intended as flame bait, but in case it wasn't....

Cat 4 is more akin to the Sport level in MTB racing. Beginner class is like Cat 5, with an equal amount of sand bagging going on.

You need a reality check - come to the Sea Otter Classic in March, or the World Cup in Napa (or Santa Cruz *anytime*) to see your theory get destroyed. Noting funnier than some he-man roadie trying to hang in an MTB race where endurance and speed are as important as handling and being able to spike the heart rate. Why is it that I can ride with the same group of very accomplished riders and be on the B-team on the road bike yet be on the A-team on the MTB? We're talking about guys who routinely place in both road and MTB national championships. I'm not talking about the DH crowd - just the XC racers. We're talking about skill sets that have some overlap, but also some differences. To be fair there are some accomplished MTB types that are down right scary on the road, but that's not everyone. I've also been on "hella XC" rides with roadies that have bonked horribly - so much for superior endurance and speed - about the only thing they can do quickly is call for sag or grovel for your GU.

To say one is superior to the other is moronic - they both have their advantages.
DelusionalWoof the dog
Dec 10, 2001 11:15 AM
oh ok. Whatever you say, grizly monkey.


MTB racing will always live in the shadow of road racing...Bruno S
Dec 9, 2001 5:25 PM
The same way F1 is at the top of car racing. The reason is that conditions of these races are set for what, in fact, is the essence of a race: going as fast as possible. Any other cycling sport like MTB, cyclocross and BMX are variations and will never substitute road racing as the top cycling sport.

In my post I said that "To me" road is better as a sport because I can practice it easier. Are roadies better athletes than MTB? No. At the moment the top cyclist is LA and it happens to be a roadie but maybe 5 years from now there is a charismatic, dominating figure in MTB that has covers in Time and SI.

BTW Airplanes do not have their origins in boats. Its is a newer, different technology and cannot be compared.
It's all Relative.grzy
Dec 10, 2001 1:41 PM
Not that many F1 fans in the deep south. Road rally has a huge following in places other than the US. F1 is top world wide b/c that's where the big money is. A typical stockcar racing fan will have a different view on things. I think that history is proving you wrong - MTB racing is becoming widely popular and has shown huge growth - to say that it will never surpass road racing is a naive statement saying that you know the future. In essence we're talking about a paradigm shift and the progression of technology - we humans have done pretty poorly at predicting the future when technology changes. Ultimately many of us are completely biased towards the roadie view of things - sure road bikes are becoming cool again, but who are the buyers. Often they're MTB'ers looking for a way to maintain and improve fitness when the trails become unrideable. You can't say that they've sold their MTB's and sworn off getting muddy. Nor can you say that roadies won't continue to buy and enjoy MTBs. To say that it is better and more noble to test your legs, fitness and skills on pavement is vastly superior to dirt is absurd.

You missed my point about boats/planes/etc. - I never said one had it's roots in the other (actually there are some strong similarities) actually the Wright Brothers built bicycles. What I was saying was that just because something has history doesn't make it better. Road bike racing has history b/c it's old - plain and simple. In 50 years MTB racing will have lots of history. BFD. You can't point to the legacay of something and say it's better - otherwise we'd be having this conversation on IBM punch cards. It's quite valid to compare boats to airplanes - after all it's the movent of a vehicle through a medium afforded by better understanding of the underlying technology, materials and design tools.
re: my storydzrider
Dec 7, 2001 12:59 PM
In 1984 I bought one of the first mountain bikes I saw. It had friction shifting. I commuted on it for years, but never felt at home on trails. I hated using my brakes on down hills and I missed the rhythm and steady effort of road riding. I was also ill at ease with the trail damage I noticed when I ran the same trails. Now I ride on the roads and run on the trails and that's enough for me.
Riding to ride!MrCelloBoy
Dec 7, 2001 1:43 PM
Started out as a roadie. got dropped once too mny times and took up mountain biking for a few years during the "teen" years of the sport (1980's). got back into road riding again around 1987 and loving both now. I ride my road bike on trails occasionally, to blow peoples minds and have fun keeping the balance and clearing the bumps with 23mm tires and no suspension. Each type of riding improves my abilities in the other area.

Here's a photo of the venerable 1986 ibis road.
re: Road vs. Mtn - Tell your storyHuevos Rancheros
Dec 7, 2001 2:24 PM
Must agree. I've been riding XC for about 7 years and had pretty much reached a performance plateau. Then I got myself a road bike and within three months I've noticed a dramatic difference. Riding road helps you reach intensity levels that are hard to reach during technical XC rides and it helps combat the monotony in areas where trails are scarce...I must admit though, you can't ask me to choose between either one, cycling rules on dirt or pavement.
Did you ever post your comments here under the name ...cyclinseth
Dec 7, 2001 2:25 PM

By the way, I kind of miss that goofy bastard.
give cross a trybadabill
Dec 7, 2001 2:53 PM
Dont forget to throw in cyclocross. Since building up my Surly cross I ride the MTB a lot less. Being able to ride to the trails than doing a little singletrack and fire road action is alot more fun for me. Crashes on the MTB caused me to rethink my priorities. With the cross bike I have to slow down on tough trails so I crash much less, plus the added fun of riding the road to and from the trails.
re: Road vs. Mtn - Tell your storyBrianU
Dec 7, 2001 6:32 PM
I love both. I like the fact that I can jump on my road bike and ride out my driveway without having to drive somewhere first. I love the competiveness of group rides, as well as those early mourning Sunday solo rides. It definitely has made me faster on my mountain bike. If I absolutely had to pick only one over the other, I would say that I prefer mountain biking. No cars to deal with, I love being in the woods and the rush from pushing your abilities to the egde. 20mph on a twisty singletrack with trees only inches from the end of your handlebars feels 10 times faster than anything I've ever done on a road bike. I like the fact that its not how fast I can go, but how fast can I get away with going before busting my ass. Sections of local trails still give me one hell of a rush after 6 years and I do not think the pucker factor will ever go away. Anyone who thinks mountain biking is slow....well they must be riding slow.
I've almost always been mostly road, some trail.Humma Hah
Dec 7, 2001 8:32 PM
I've always treated a bike as transportation, and that means riding pavement. However, I've always ventured off of pavement for some rough stuff. The cruisers I've always adored were built for such use, and it always seemed natural.

In college, I intensified both my road use, and the severity off-road, leading to my present bike being ruggedized into one of the first "mountain bikes". I'd say I still rode it 90% on pavement.

Now, to preserve it, I ride it almost exclusively on pavement, although it is still quite capable of a romp in the dirt, including some true MTB activities. However, I keep a MTB up at the cabin for the more abusive activities. So far this year, the cruiser has something like 3500 miles, the MTB about 300.