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  1. #1
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    Riding on the road?

    Over the years mountain bikers - more specifically competitive racers - have crossed over onto the road for training to help build those endurance needs.

    Most of us have lives that are full of "stuff" that has a way at chipping at our "bike time", and we all know that the more time I the saddle the better conditioning we have.

    So weekend warriors, simple question: Do you have a road bike and if so, how often do you ride it, do you find it helps with your mountain biking?

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    Last edited by csgaraglino; 11-06-2013 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
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    On any given week during the warmer months I ride my road bike 2-3 times (anywhere from 20-40 miles per ride) and then mountain bike on weekends. It has definitely helped with my endurance and speed on my mountain bike.

  3. #3
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    I ride my rb 2-3 times a week
    My shop has a nice 12 mile riding loop a few miles away
    Still ride the mb all weekend and night rides after work

  4. #4
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    1-2 times a week on the road bike, 50-70km. why? I can put the kids to bed and hit the empty roads at 9pm. To get to trails would be very difficult to fit in after that.
    also use the old beater mtb with 1.5" tyres for commuting 1-2 times a week, again fits in saddle time that I wouldn't get otherwise.
    definitely helps in cycling fitness but does nothing for trail skills.

  5. #5
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    I commute to work most days which is great for getting miles in. I just bought a road bike and hope to get out at least a couple times a week on that. The trails around here get pretty un-ride-able in the winter due to mud and slop so I have to look for alternatives.

  6. #6
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    during the warmer months I ride with a few guys and one of the guys lets me ride one of his road bikes...and we ride twice a week...and I feel like it helps alot with endurance..the only bad part of it is the fact that people will try and have a head on collision to pass..but thats part of it..I guess.
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  7. #7
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    I ride the road bike during the weekdays probably once a week. It definitely helps with endurance and cadence. It helps also to remember why I prefer MTB

  8. #8
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    I ride the roads and gravel a lot during the colder months. Trails get too muddy, days are too short, I have a geared mountain bike with slicks for the road and also a single speed geared for the roads during the winter. It is still a lot of fun and helps me with my fitness. I miss the trails during the winter and ride them on weekends unless the weather somehow stays dry and warmer.

  9. #9
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    I started riding ~25 years ago, and it was about 75% MTB / 25% road for 13 years. Then, I didn't ride for 5 years, then started road riding (5 years ago), which has included 90 km Saturday group rides; 60 km Sunday rides, and a 1 hour loop (50 km - LOL) twice during the week during the summer. Winter, not so much.

    This summer I've re-discovered mountain biking, and am probably as jacked (if not more) than I was before about MTB. It's soooo much fun, probably largely due to the new dually, and it's nice not having a fight with a motorist every ride. So the road bike is getting used a lot less now, but the Saturday rides are still fun if the weather is nice.

    Back in the old days of XC racing, everybody also did time on the road bike. It's invaluable if you're concerned about fitness.
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  10. #10
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    Hmmm... So from what I am hearing, a road ride a couple times a week would be really good for endurance, but it seems that it does not have to actually be on a read bike? A converted cyclocross or a MTB with road tires would do the same conditioning?

    The only thing I have more that the city, is sucking carbon monoxide! Gotta figure that one out?

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  11. #11
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    I picked up a road bike in june and it has been great. I ride more and more during the week, generally a few times a month a longer ride on the weekends instead of the MTB... but still love the mtb... have noticed a good amount in my ability to push for longer amounts of time. not just the short spurts...

  12. #12
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    Everyone I know who is any good on their mountain bike (speed/endurance) also has a road bike. You have to be pretty dedicated if you live in an urban environment to get in the conditioning you need on a mountain bike alone.

    I do 2-3 days weight lifting and 3-4 days biking and while it's easier to stack on the miles on a road bike, 75% of my miles (according to Strava) are on the road bike this year.

  13. #13
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    O tide my MTB on the road. Because it is not as efficient as a road bike, it is a better workout in less time/miles. One bike takes less space than two. It is also less expensive to have just one bike.

  14. #14
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    I think training on a road bike only helps with cardio/muscle endurance and pedaling form, not riding technique/balance/tech ability. Given that, I don't think it's as useful as others do. I can get cardio and work on pedaling on xc rides, so I personally don't see the need to get on a road bike.
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  15. #15
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    agree with rhino, my average xc ride is about 28 miles and 4.5k' of vertical, do that 3x/week and i really don't see any reason to road bike. i do ride from my house to the trailhead, about a mile, so i do get some road riding in, lol

    Here in SoCal, most of our climbs are really long fire roads or singletracks, not the short bursts found back east, so maybe that's a difference, too.
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  16. #16
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    I purchased a cross bike for this reason. We have nice amount of hilly dirt roads around here.

    I also rarely drive to the trailheads anymore. It makes for an EZ 100 miles days.
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  17. #17
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    I'm not a competitive racer, but still do a lot of off the bike training designed to help me at MTB. However, none of it consists of road biking, and I don't currently own one

    I am 100% on board with the James Wilson school of MTB training. What he does for our sport is visionary. https://www.bikejames.com/

    Still, I wouldnt mind having a road bike; would prob use it 1-2x/month at most if i did but I still think you're better off doing targeted MTB specific strength and endurance drills than simply logging saddle miles.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos View Post
    I think training on a road bike only helps with cardio/muscle endurance and pedaling form, not riding technique/balance/tech ability. Given that, I don't think it's as useful as others do. I can get cardio and work on pedaling on xc rides, so I personally don't see the need to get on a road bike.
    I use a road bike to commute, was using the mtb but geez I was ripping through tyres, road bike actually allows me to go further in my hour ride to work as well. With the mtb I could only do ~18kms, but on the roadie I can get up to ~26kms.

    So I think a roadie is definately helping with fitness, it sucks in the single trails though
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  19. #19
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    I commute once a week to work. Helps build base miles. In the warmer months I'll do road riding because it's too hot to mtg. I ride mtb all winter long though. The two are complimenatry imho. However, I do feel that too much road ride saps away at your reflexes on the trail.

    Road riding is good for sustained output. MTB great for power and balance. I own a carbon road bike for fast club/group rides. I have a steel CX bike with full fenders for commuting and social road rides. And my steel hardtail for crashing into trees...
    Just get out and ride!

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