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Crossing over from mountain to road biking ...(14 posts)

Crossing over from mountain to road biking ...HouseMoney
Dec 1, 2002 1:47 PM
"I thought this was supposed to be easier than mountain biking?"

A few random thoughts after my first two rides on my new road bike (after about a 20-25 year layoff):

It took me a few times of reaching down for my drinking tube on my first ride until it sank in that I wasn't wearing a Camelbak.

I still find myself reaching for my brake levers while my hands are on the horizontal section of bar. This is either a habit from my mountain bike, or a holdover from the last time I had a road bike since that one had dual brake levers on each side. I just learned that I can carry more speed into a downhill turn than I thought.

Sidi road shoes are just as comfortable as Sidi mountain shoes.

I "only" rode 16½ miles my first day (in about an hour) and was still feeling it the next day. A friend of mine who rides road/mtn/tri's would tell me that mountain biking was harder because riding 10 miles off-road would be comparable to riding about 30 road miles. My body didn't agree. (This is the same friend who suggested I get a road bike in the first place, so I'll go easy on him.)

I never cared for a cycling computer on my mtb, but after one ride, I had to have one for my road bike.

After two rides averaging a hair over 15 mph, I'm slow.

I like Campy shifting, although the jury is still out on whether it was a good idea getting a double instead of a triple. The only saving grace is I opted for a 28 tooth cog in the rear. Time to hit the gym.

My full-suspension mtb is 10 lbs heavier than my road bike. Ouch!

The pump head of my '97 Trek floor pump would blow off the valve stem at around 80 psi. Good excuse to buy a Silca.

Finally, thanks to all who gave advice prior to my purchase. I really liked the Cannondale CAAD5 (vs. Bianchi, Trek, Univega), but after riding Veloce, 105, & Ultegra, I preferred Campy. Fortunately, my shop had a frame in my size (58cm) so I went with a full Campy Centaur build kit w/ Mavic OP rims, ITM bar & stem, Michelin Axial Carbons, and Look 206 pedals. The only thing I'm not happy about so far is the Selle Italia Nitrox saddle. I'll give it a few more rides to see if it'll "break in" before I trash it.

All in all, my road bike may get more use than just a "training tool" for mountain biking! I hope we get some balmy days this winter. Here's a pic of my stealth bike.
re: Crossing over from mountain to road biking ...j-son
Dec 1, 2002 2:02 PM
You wrote:

"After two rides averaging a hair over 15 mph, I'm slow"

I wouldn't call you slow at all. 15 mph is a respectable cruising speed ... especially for this time of year and certainly for someone who is new (again) to road riding.

Even during the middle of the summer, I generally average 15-17 mph on my cruising/fun rides. I don't ride much faster unless I 'm on a hard ride or event.

I think my fastest average speed this summer was a little over 19 mph for a hilly and windy metric century in July. This was with my wife, who is a terror on her Steelman.

Reagrds,
Jason
Not easier... differentTig
Dec 1, 2002 5:06 PM
Not easier... different.

It's just like riding a bike! LOL

Camelbak's are OK for the road, no matter what any elitist might think (and who cares what they think!).

You'll get used to the brake location.

Road Sidi's fit nice, but can have problems with stuff breaking or falling off.

You are new to the road, so take it one ride at a time. Speed and endurance will come with consistency. Both MTB and road can be as hard as you want, but not always as easy as you want. I still say fast sport class MTB races were harder than any road or track race I ever did. On the road, stand to get out of the saddle to prevent a sore butt. Change hand positions on the bars. Try relaxing your shoulders.

Computers are great for monitoring stuff. However, if you ever become a die-hard roadie and are beginning to burn out, try removing it for a few weeks and just go out and ride for pleasure.

Average speed is a deceptive number. It accounts for every slowdown, stop sign, and any other below your "physical average" speed. You can spend most of your riding time at 21 and still show only a 16 average with a few too many stops.

Unless your knees are old and you live among serious climbs, you can make do with a 28 cog. The best thing about a triple is that you can use a 11 or 12 X 23 freewheel set and get a bunch of useful mid-range gears in a close ratio spread. The more you ride, the better these choices feel.

The weight difference really is unfair to FS bikes. I wonder if I'll ever get away from a good ol' hardtail?

Before replacing the whole floor pump, replace the rubber head washer or whole head.

Nice bike! Good luck on finding a saddle that suits your needs. This is one of those individual things.

Have fun, keep asking questions, and enjoy the new bike!
Lots of us have done what you're doing. Be careful...eyebob
Dec 1, 2002 5:40 PM
because you'll find that you ride the road way more than mountains.

As far as the saddle goes, keep trying the fore/aft positioning as well as the tilt before you give up on it. The oldsters around here will swear that it's all about the positioning, not the type that you have.

Come around here often and ask all the questions that you need to.

BT

PS Shaving the legs yet?
great post...nice insights (nm)Frith
Dec 1, 2002 6:34 PM
Give it a ew good months...GreenFan
Dec 1, 2002 6:39 PM
Before seriously considering swapping any parts or pieces, your butt might need a little time to get used to the new saddle just as much as the new saddle needs time to get used to you. Ditto the comment about average speed being deceptive, any number of variables can influence your average speed...number of stops, how you come to a stop, long slowdowns before a stop, a good stiff breeze in your face will seriously damage your average as well...a much better indicator of progress is wattage, but then again if power taps were cheap, we would all have one. Probably the biggest difference between your MTB and your road bike will be this...riding offroad through dirt and hills, rocks, roots, and all the other things that make off road riding technical favor a lower more power intensive cadence, road riding on the other hand is benefitted by a higher cadence, whether accelerating out of a turn, spinning up from a stop, spinning up to prepare for a good downhill, etc...it all boils down to a higher cadence than your used to on a MTB, so give your knees a rest and use the 39 ring a bit more...you'll see a difference soon enough.
Give it a few good months...GreenFan
Dec 1, 2002 6:40 PM
Before seriously considering swapping any parts or pieces, your butt might need a little time to get used to the new saddle just as much as the new saddle needs time to get used to you. Ditto the comment about average speed being deceptive, any number of variables can influence your average speed...number of stops, how you come to a stop, long slowdowns before a stop, a good stiff breeze in your face will seriously damage your average as well...a much better indicator of progress is wattage, but then again if power taps were cheap, we would all have one. Probably the biggest difference between your MTB and your road bike will be this...riding offroad through dirt and hills, rocks, roots, and all the other things that make off road riding technical favor a lower more power intensive cadence, road riding on the other hand is benefitted by a higher cadence, whether accelerating out of a turn, spinning up from a stop, spinning up to prepare for a good downhill, etc...it all boils down to a higher cadence than your used to on a MTB, so give your knees a rest and use the 39 ring a bit more...you'll see a difference soon enough.
Like you I'm a MTB'r starting road...Souxsie
Dec 1, 2002 6:56 PM
..and I love it! Have been on an old bonded alum Trek from the 80s for two months now and am switching (hopefully ) to a Giant Carbon TCR.

My only worry is learning the pack mentality of road racing. Is racing something you've considered as well?

I also hope that when spring comes I'll still be able to hit the singletrack without being to "road-minded".
What are your thoughts on the Giant Carbon?JD88
Dec 2, 2002 5:01 PM
I've read nothing but praise for this bike and everyone i've spoken to who has ridden it says the same.
Very nice bike!!!!! <nm>nothatgullible
Dec 1, 2002 7:22 PM
could be the angle of the photo, but is that a wrecked fork? nmelviento
Dec 2, 2002 8:01 AM
I certainly hope not !!HouseMoney
Dec 2, 2002 8:30 AM
Brand spankin' new frame and fork. I haven't wrecked ... yet. Hopefully, it's just the angle of the pic since I think the front wheel is turned ever-so-slightly to the right as the h-bar rests against the wall.
Size?castrello
Dec 2, 2002 10:01 AM
Im sorry that I always ask the same question on this forum, but what is your proportions? Ie heigth, inseam? How long is the stem? Do you like the feel of things (reach, frame etc)?

Im also planning on a CAAD 5 or possibly CAAD 7, and you seem to be close to my proportions, judging by your seat height and frame size.

-mattias-
Size?HouseMoney
Dec 2, 2002 10:44 AM
About 6' tall; inseam is around 33.75 - 34" in socks; my stem is currently a 110mm, but I was told I'll probably want to go longer & more stretched out as I get more into road riding. As a beginner, it feels ok. My arms are fairly long. I forget what the actual arm length is (I think it was 26.75" from shoulder to pencil-in-hand), but I usually wear a 34-35" dress shirt sleeve. I have also retained very good flexibility from my former karate days (palms easily on floor once warmed up).

'02 58cm CAAD5 has a 575mm tt.