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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... do paved rides screw up mountain bikes?

    This seems like a dumb question, but it seems like after every time I take my bike out on the Silver Comet trail (big ol' paved trail from Atlanta to Alabama) it seems like I screw it up for the next time I'm on a MTB trail. Last weekend, my bike (Giant Anthem II) was in perfect running order & I was tearin' up the trail. This week though, somethin' went screwy. I started Saturday morning out going for a ride with this girl who has a road bike, so obviously it was a better idea to put my mountain bike on her multi-use path than her road bike on my XC trails. Then, today I went to my regular mountain bike trail & the chain is skipping like crazy, shifting by itself when I start climbs, and shifting sloppy when I do actually make an intentional shift. It did this a couple times on the road trail, and prior to that I've never had any problem with the chain skipping at all.

    So, does riding for extended time on the road screw up MTBs? We weren't running REAL hard, but covered 25 miles & averaged out 18mph with the occasional spurt of speed up to 32ish which is a hell of a lot faster than I usually ride that bike for any sustained amount of time. So did I screw it up? How do I fix it? And is there anything I can do to keep it from happening again? I really don't wanna go drop a thousand bucks on a road bike just so I can ride with this girl, even if it would make keeping up with her a whole lot easier.

  2. #2
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    No it does not. The only thing paved roads may do is wear down your tire tread faster. I ride my trail bike quite a bit on pavement with no problem and that's with knobby tires. Sounds like your rear derailleur may be slightly out of adjustment. Check out park tools writeup on rear derailleur adjustments.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Problems like you describe have nothing to do with riding the road. Honestly, I tend to have more trouble keeping the drivetrain working well on bikes I ride off-road; the road bike needs a few minor tweaks for a while after I get new cables, and then I can more-or-less forget about that until the next time I replace the cables.

    Nicer mountain bike tires have a pretty poor wear life on the road, though.

    Nothing important has changed on road bikes since 1990.

    Shimano Total Integration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    If you're going to make a habit of riding road, get a road bike from the last twenty years, and be happy. Don't spend $1000 if you don't want to.

    Really, STI shifters are not that big a deal. But compatibility issues can make it a real pain in the ass to maintain bikes from before the late '80s.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    ok good, that's the answer I was hoping for...just seems like weird timing. According to my runkeeper app, I've had 210 trouble free miles riding XC (including a handful of spills that never seemed to have any ill effects) and 24.8 miles riding on road & now suddenly my bike can't hold a gear. The weird thing is that my first bike (Diamondback Overdrive I decided was too heavy bulky & cheap so I got rid of it) had the same problems after riding once on the comet. It was a bit of a lemon though with a whole host of problems so the 2 aren't necessarily related.

    I'll start with adjusting the derailleur & see where that gets me. Logic says that would cause the problems I'm experiencing...even if I can't come up with a logical explanation as to why it started as soon as I did a longer road ride.

    Good to know about road bike technology Andw, that helps a lot. If I'm not doing any inherent damage to my bike on the road it's not urgent but knowing I can go spend a couple hundred on craigslist for a 20 year old bike makes the idea of a road bike less daunting. Plus, it'll save tires and hopefully be easier to keep up with her. Until then, just as long as I'm not wearing anything out prematurely by riding at speed for sustained time I'll just read up on adjusting my derailleur & keep riding the same bike both places.

  5. #5
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    for where I live a road bike kind of sucks for street riding, just not enough smoothness so you end up swerving to avoid cracks and potholes. i'm looking to eventually build a real lightweight mountain bike specifically for the road. put on some thinner slicker tires and fly.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I drop curbs onto 23mm tires routinely. With a little technique and sensible tire pressure, road bikes are a lot more versatile than some mountain bikers realize.

    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill-E-BoB View Post
    This seems like a dumb question, but it seems like after every time I take my bike out on the Silver Comet trail (big ol' paved trail from Atlanta to Alabama) it seems like I screw it up for the next time I'm on a MTB trail. Last weekend, my bike (Giant Anthem II) was in perfect running order & I was tearin' up the trail. This week though, somethin' went screwy. I started Saturday morning out going for a ride with this girl who has a road bike, so obviously it was a better idea to put my mountain bike on her multi-use path than her road bike on my XC trails. Then, today I went to my regular mountain bike trail & the chain is skipping like crazy, shifting by itself when I start climbs, and shifting sloppy when I do actually make an intentional shift. It did this a couple times on the road trail, and prior to that I've never had any problem with the chain skipping at all.
    If you fell at one point, perhaps your rear derailleur hanger has been bent. Check that to see.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    No it does not. The only thing paved roads may do is wear down your tire tread faster. I ride my trail bike quite a bit on pavement with no problem and that's with knobby tires. Sounds like your rear derailleur may be slightly out of adjustment. Check out park tools writeup on rear derailleur adjustments.
    X2

    It will wear out knobby tires quicker. Thats about it. I took my Reign on a 62 mile road ride once with the factory Nevegal tires and could visibly see a difference from the start of the ride to the end of the ride in the size of the knobby's on the tires.

  9. #9
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    Unless your bike is just mad at you that you made it ride on pavement when it wanted tot ride dirt.

  10. #10
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    Like was already said, maybe faster wear on the tires is all.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Love this picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by KAriadne View Post
    Unless your bike is just mad at you that you made it ride on pavement when it wanted tot ride dirt.
    That's kind of what I was thinking. I was planning to ride dirt that morning until she called asking to hang out...figured maybe the bike was just jealous.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorchedearth View Post
    If you fell at one point, perhaps your rear derailleur hanger has been bent. Check that to see.
    I'm going to check for that tonight as soon as I have some time to look things over, and go through the adjustment guide on parktools to see if that helps if I don't find anything damaged. Can't imagine I wouldn't have noticed it immediately after the fall if I bent something, but I did measure the chain last night & don't see any stretching, which is the only thing that I can imagine would've happened from long periods in the hardest gear, so odds are I did more damage tumbling through rock gardens than trying to impress a girl on the road.

  12. #12
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    Andrew - don't get me wrong I've ridden a road bike around town and it can take it, but my body is another story. I can see the appeal though of the speed, if I get passed it's always by a roadie.

    My tires actually do quite well on the street but they are not soft compound, so not the ideal tires for trail use, although they work quite well still.

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