Benefits of road bike over mtb?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by whitey818, Jun 27, 2010.

Tags:
  1. whitey818

    whitey818 New Member

    22
    0
    0
    I really want to get me a road bike soon for longer rides, I have been putting around 100 miles a week on my mountain bike. The mtb is working out fine but I think the road bike would make the 24 mile round trip to my parents house much more comfortable plus I would like to start doing farther rides. That ride is all highway with a few slight inclines but my ride to work requires almost all side walk, very flat but kinda rough bumpy concrete.
    How well does a road bike deal with rough surface, I have never even sat on a bike with drop bars. Also there is about 1 mile of smooth dirt road to get to my parents house that I would be willing to walk if the thin tires can't navigate but would much rather peddle.
    How do you figure out the proper sizing of a road bike my mtb is perfect for me at 20". What ever I end up getting it will be used, probably from Craigslist so no initial help on selection from a bike shop.
    I guess what I am wondering is will it be that big of a difference between my mtb w/slicks and a road bike on longer rides and will the road bike be able to handle the rough sidewalks on my way to work without damage to it or me?
    Thanks to those who made it through all my rambling for what probably could have been writen with less typing! :D
     
  2. djcyberlegend

    djcyberlegend Group rookie

    392
    1
    0
    For starters, the gearing on a road bike is much different than that of a MTB - mainly bigger chainrings on the cranks and smaller cogs on the wheel, the end result being faster speed. As you also mentioned, you will definitely want to lose the knobby tires when riding for long distances on pavement, the knobbies give a lot of rolling resistance so you'll need to pedal harder, after a few miles your legs are guaranteed to turn to Jell-O... :eek:

    A good road bike should be able to handle some bumps, if you have some mild gravel in the mix, you can always use a slightly wider tire for better traction.

    For a starting point on sizing and fitting, check out these links:
    Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist
    How to Fit a Bicycle - by Peter White Cycles

    Good luck.
     

  3. whitey818

    whitey818 New Member

    22
    0
    0
    Thanks for the 2 sites on fitting dj and the info on the chainrings. I have Kendra Kwest 1.5" slicks on my bike now, big improvement over the nobbies. Thats what got me wondering how much of an improvement a road bike would be, just worried if the road bike could handle the rough ride on the jarring sidewalk to work and if it would be a big improvement on longer rides, seems obvious but the biggest difference between my mtb and road bikes, besides the tires, is the drop bars and the gearing. My bike is a rigid with 701 aluminum frame so its a pretty light bike.
     
  4. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

    1,501
    1
    0
    You may want to look into a hybrid for the type of riding that you are doing. They have bigger tires than a road bike and will handle rough surfaces better. They also offer a more comfortable riding position. Another option is a cross bike which is similar to a road bike but has bigger tires and is designed for mixed surface riding.

    You could also just buy a set of slicks for your mountain bike. I used to commute 24 miles round trip on one and it did a great job. Obviously, a mtn bike with road tires will not be as fast as the other options, but it's a vast improvement over knobbies on the road.

    If you really want a road bike, I would go with something steel over aluminium. Steel soaks up the bumps much better than beer can material does.
     
  5. whitey818

    whitey818 New Member

    22
    0
    0
    Yea, it would diffinitely be a steel bike, probably an older one. I think I am going to go check out some yard sales and flea market this weekend and see if I can find something cheap to give it a try. I have slicks on my mtb, and is a vast improvement. Just got back from a 30 mile round trip on it and feel pretty good other than hungry as all get out. lol
     
  6. TRAILBLAZER86

    TRAILBLAZER86 New Member

    29
    0
    0
    Sounds like me, I love going on long rides, and I have a little over 1300miles on my year old scott now, it' amazing how fast those miles adds up.
     
  7. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

    274
    0
    16
    dont get mad get cross

    The main problem with a hybrid bike is the flat handle bars. The neat thing about road bikes in general is that they let you "get out" of the wind by going down on the drops. since the main drag on a cyclist after about fifteen miles an hour is the volume of air you are pushing out of the way if you can cut that by even a small factor it makes a big difference.

    The bike I might recommend is a actual cyclocross bike these have low gearing and a lot of room around the forks and brakes (the brakes are usually V-brakes or disks) that allow a medium size tire with a fender and they have a relaxed frame geometry for going over bumps.

    First thing I would do is take off the nobbies and replace them with 700 by 28 or thirties and set it up with a good rear rack and fenders. Yes fenders, they keep your bike and you cleaner even when its not raining and when it is it's really nice to not have the slime from the road on your face and backside.

    you might look at Surly and see if they still make a touring bike. When I lived 16 miles from work I had a good size pannier bag and kept a change of clothes with me so I wasn't quite so gamy after I got to work. (thats why the rear rack) this also lets you carry the tools you need and maybe the rain gear.

    Mountain bikes are a way to go and I have commuted thousands of miles on them but, they are not the most efficient way you can go.

    Mike
     
  8. RUSHTHEMALL

    RUSHTHEMALL ALWAYS IN A RUSH

    28
    0
    0
    am no expert,but i know one thing,i live in nyc and there is many pot holes and cracks and just plain debri around and on the street,i was going to get a roadbike,but i feel a mtb is much stronger for the rough terrian,furthermore the wheels are thicker than a roadbike or your regular 10 speed by far.because their is often many times broken glass on the sidewalks and streets.if i had a roadbike i most definatly would of had quite alot of flats.this city is rough,so i need a tough bike.a rush cannondale
     
  9. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

    274
    0
    16
    The question is what kind of road bike? I have never been to NYC but I remember seeing a video about the bike messengers there and I don't recall very many of them using mountain bikes. I don't think I saw one fully suspended one there either. Like I said before a cross bike has very stout wheels and if you use thorn proof tubes and tire protectors and you keep your tires inflated properly you won't get to many flats.

    I commuted about twenty miles each way with that set up and after about a year and a half I had worn down the tire so much I had a bald spot about three inches on my back tire and it still did not blow. I did that without skid stopping(that one was not fixed anyway)

    When you ride a mountain bike on the road and you keep those knobby tires on it you hear a buzzing sound. That sound is energy being wasted.

    I have set up people to ride on the road with mountain bikes and they do a OK job but, they were not designed to ride on the road They were built for the trail and if I was to go out to the woods and jump some stumps a mountain bike would be my first bet.

    Mike
     
  10. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

    12,349
    650
    113
    Unless you're building up a weight weenie bike, you can get some pretty stout 700c wheels, so don't confine yourself to one type of bike or another based on wheel size alone. Potholes are going to be rough on wheels no matter the size, so avoid them at all costs. Don't forget that a wider tire is going to be exposed to more road debris, but also at a lower psi.

    Just my two cents.
     
  11. synack

    synack The Back Row

    2,514
    0
    36
    You should be able to find a really cheap (free?) steel road bike on craigslist to test out. I would bet that you will like the ride a lot better, even with the rough surface. I'm not saying that road bikes are better than Mtn bikes (I have both) but that a road bike is probably a better choice for a commute. I doubt you will have much issue with the slightly rough surfaces.

    You get there faster with less work. :)
     
  12. greenhorn

    greenhorn greenhorn

    128
    0
    0
    Just one other thought for you to process. In many states it is not legal to ride your bike on the sidewalks. I know in PA many riders use the sidewalk but according to state law you could get a ticket. Just more to think about with your decision. Maybe a road would suit you if you stayed off the sidewalk.
     
  13. rawhite1969

    rawhite1969 Back in the Saddle

    106
    0
    0

    I switched from a cross bike to a hybrid, and am carrying more avg speed (by 1.5mph) and am more comfortable. Riding with flat handlebars with bar ends, so I have the ability to get out of the wind on the downhills, and have extra leverage on the uphill climbs. 100 miles a week on it and is a geometry that works well for me (the cross bike was never comfortable).
     
  14. whitey818

    whitey818 New Member

    22
    0
    0
    As far as the sidewalk goes, I have cut down the use of it to less than a mile on my commute to work by finding an alternate route,( even added 2 miles to the trip!) but the road that I use the side walk on is way to busy to attempt riding with traffic, the only way to risk it has you riding on white line and dodging gutters. My mtb does have a flat bar w/bar ends, I have learned to use the bar-ends to stretch out and make the ride much more comfortable and get under the wind a little. I rode my Raleigh Sports for a couple days this week and really appreciated the light weight, multi-geared MTB today, lol.
    I still haven't been on a road bike but not going to rush out and spend money just yet, the mtb is not too bad, but I am keeping my eyes out at the thrift stores and Craigslist. Even if I end up getting a bottom line one or older one it would give me an idea what to look for, plus I like to turn wrenches.
     
  15. fixxt

    fixxt New Member

    34
    0
    0
    Turning wrenches is the big reason I still have my mountain bike. Its probably easier to just go out and buy a nice roadbike, but I've had a pretty good time tweaking and altering my big heavy mtb to run better on the road. Mtb components are usually cheaper, too, and 26'' slicks seem to be a bit cheaper than their 700c counterparts.

    It also feels pretty good passing people on expensive bikes when you're riding a mountain bike so old you can't even tell what brand the frame is anymore.
     
  16. whitey818

    whitey818 New Member

    22
    0
    0
    Hear ya on the old mountain bike, lol. The slicks makes a world of difference in speed, comfort, and feel.
    Here is my bike with the Kwest's on, just yesterdat I watched the 500 mile mark roll by on them:
    [​IMG]

    I think I am going to order these, Nashbar Slick Wire Bead MTB Tire - 26x1.0 to 26x1.75 , next week to see how I like the skinnier, higher p.s.i. tires.
     
  17. retromike3

    retromike3 retromike3

    274
    0
    16
    I used to sell UNAVEGA B.I.T.D. first "real" job I got at a bike shop.(cool) I still have a pair of Ned Overand drop handle bars made just for mountain bikes. Unfortunately I don't have a bike for them.(yet)

    Something that is real demoralizing is being passed on your road bike on somebody on a mountain bike. That happened to me on Saturday when my riding buddy and I were going up a steep part of my usual route. I got dropped and he waited at the light at the top of the hill laughing at me. Then when we took of again he dropped me again.

    I think I need to get in better shape or find slower friends.

    As for tires I set him up with IRD 26 1.5 semi-slick tires. Next time Ill fill them with water.;)

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  18. whitey818

    whitey818 New Member

    22
    0
    0
    Lol, you won't have to worry about me passing you on hill or flats, I am probably in far worse shape. Did a 20 mile ride earlier and my average was 16mph, that is an improvement but on my commute with traffic my average is around 13mph.