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  1. #1
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    How much fast will i be on a road bike?

    I know this is a difficult question to answer but i have been thinking of getting a road bike for ages and am not sure how much difference it will make. I haven't owned a road bike (with drops) since i was about 12 (26 years ago)

    I have been commuting on the bike below for several years now. Its my wife's old MTB and it fits pretty well as a commuter. I have the setup as dialed as possible for road, with 700c wheels, vittoria Randaneur tyres in 25mm at 80psi. My commute at the moment is about 26k (about 16 miles) which i consitently do in about 60minutes (57 if i really push). I cruise at around 30kph and it is pretty flat and open but gets busy for the last 5k with traffic and lights.

    My question is how much fast will i be on a road bike?

    I am pretty sick of racing guys on road bikes and either losing or at least doing it harder. I have been thinking about this for a few years and would borrow a road bike to test if i knew anyone who had one but i don't. Will a road bike shave 1 minute off time commmute time? 2 minutes? 5 minutes? 10?

    I know it is a dumb question but i also know there is no such thing as dumb questions, only dumb people.....

    How much fast will i be on a road bike?-img_4284-large-.jpg

  2. #2
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    "how much fast" is hard to quantify; if not impossible.
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  3. #3
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    Its hard to say. A road bike would be lighter with higher gearing, and probably more comfortable and efficient. You'll probably gain 2-3mph on average.

  4. #4
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    You've nearly got a road bike as it is. Can you swap out the chain rings on those arms to add more teeth?

    You could also swap out the bars to a drop set but that is going to be considerably more money once you sort the brakes and shifters too.

  5. #5
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    Are you spinning out at top end? if so a road bike higher gearing will help

    Are riding in an aero postion? if not a road bike (drops) will help

    Are you concerned about acceleration? a road bike (lighter) will help you latch on to someone passing you.

    Do you want to work harder for training effect, a road bike won't help.

  6. #6
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    There is always somebody faster, so if you switch you will not eliminate that issue, and you won't have a mountain bike as a handy excuse for being passed. That said, the road bike could be faster, especially on windy days. I would guess you would not gain much on the 5k with traffic/lights, so if you gained 5mph (over your 30 kph cruising speed) on the remaining 21k, that part of the ride would be 33 mins. If that last 5k takes you 15 mins (a guess, 20 kph), the whole ride would be 48 mins, a savings of 10 mins at most. My 11 mi a.m. commute takes about 15 mins longer when I switch from a cyclocross bike to a mtn bike with wide studded tires, but some of this slowdown is due to to snowy roads and cold temps not the bike.

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    It sounds like you`re pretty fast already (faster than me, anyway). You`d probably pick up a few minutes though, which is a lot in my opinion. Only one way to find out for sure....

    If I were you, I`d start hounding Craigslist for a $200 roadie to see how it went. If you like it, great. If not, turn around and sell it. Buying a 15 year old bike, the depreciation is pretty well played out. For a 16 mile ride twice a day, I`d be looking for a way to mount lights on my road bike for sure.
    Recalculating....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    "how much fast" is hard to quantify; if not impossible.
    According to my calculations it should get him about 10 more "fasts".

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by GDubT
    According to my calculations it should get him about 10 more "fasts".
    No way, dude! With that kind of mileage he can`t afford to be fasting.
    Recalculating....

  10. #10
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    Mountain bike? I don'gotno mountain bike! I don'need no 'steekeen' mountain bike! My gray mustache says it all!

    Fast enough for my age. But I have a poorly developed competitive gene.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GDubT
    According to my calculations it should get him about 10 more "fasts".
    Really? 10 more fasts huh?

    Thanks for the feedback guys, it is all useful. My commute is pretty flat so weight isn't really an issue and i am not spinning out. The cassette is a 26-11 road cassette and the big ring is 44t so gearing isn't the issue.

    I imagine a road bike is going to be a lot more aero both in the riding position and the bike itself which is where most of the benifit would be aswell as a slightly better pedalling position. I am not interested in training (my current bike is fine for that) I just want to shave some time of my commute and i would consider even a 5 minute reduction as a massive gain. Also my competive gene is well developed so when I see another bike, I find it hard to not try and pass them.

    BTW this is my commute http://connect.garmin.com/activity/5...2dd7afe46d%2C0

  12. #12
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    Put a pair of the old fashioned bar-end extensions on those handlebars so you can get more aero in position and do more of a road sprint on the uphills and to latch on.

    Get a small rear view mirror for your helmet so you can time your sprint better(start jumping early enough) for latching on, as a hot shot all-titanium roadie with 3 gram wheels and 14c wide tires starts to overtake you. Then draft about 2 inches off their rear wheel, giving them a look when they want you to take a pull, like "WHA? Do you REALLY want to be seen drafting behind a $200 mtn bike with your $6000 roadie setup????"

    Someone will ALWAYS be faster than you. With your current very respectable pace(I have 12 miles each way and am lucky to break 50minutes with a full gear backpack) and bike, they prove nothing when they pass you with their titanium wonder. BUT, if you can hang on or maybe even drop them, THATS bragging rights.

    How much does that frame weigh? Besides the bar ends, thats the main spot I can maybe see a weakness in your rig IF Thats a REALLY heavy frame. I finally wore out my 1991 resurrected Specialized Rockhopper, and its extremely light steel frame, and picked up a smokin deal on an almost new GT avalanche "aluminum" frame bike. The GT is a PIG and the aluminum is dead and significantly heavier than the old Rockhopper, which I now sorely miss. That frame, with tires and wheels and all else about equal, added about 5 minutes to my 12 mile commute.

    I am guessing you can trim about 3 minutes off your commute (after adding bar ends) with a road bike. Maybe 4 minutes if you want to sink an additional $4k or so. Is it worth it?
    Live in the moment.
    YMMV

  13. #13
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    You'll definitely be faster. Why?

    1. Lower rolling resistance. Putting on narrower slick road tires will help quite a bit. I like 700x23c Gatorskins for commuting, and have only had a flat once this whole year.

    2. More aerodynamic position. After 18mph or so, you're mostly fighting wind resistance. The more aerodynamic you can be, the faster you will go provided you have the fitness and gearing to get there.

    3. Gearing. Most mountain bikes and even some hybrid bikes have gearing that is too low for sustained speeds of 20mph or more. A proper road bike will enable you to pedal efficiently to around 30-35mph depending on the setup.

    I've used an old MTB with 26x1.5" slicks and a Trek Soho hybrid with 700x32c tires to commute on. Both were horrible aerodynamically and the gearing was not right for long distances. The MTB would spin out at 20mph and the Soho at 24mph. They were comfortable and perfect for short trips to the store/bar/park, but not for over 10 miles.

    I would average about 16-18mph on both bikes, and pushing it would get up to around 20mph. Once I switched to a road bike I'm averaging 20-22mph using about the same effort, and 25mph if I'm pushing it.

    On more thing I like about the road bike vs. flat bars is the hand positions. Instead of 1 position like on a flat bar, or maybe two if you have some bar ends, typical drop bars have at least 3. I find that there are four I use, which is nice on longer rides: flats, hands on hoods, front of drops, end of bars in drops.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbowen444
    You did ask "How much fast?".

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by GDubT
    You did ask "How much fast?".
    twice
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  16. #16
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    700c wheels, vittoria Randaneur tyres in 25mm at 80psi.
    so you're basically on a flat-bar road bike already. Your bars are slightly lower than the saddle, depending on your body dimensions that could already be a fairly aggressive position. 18mph is pretty good and I agree that aero effects really kick in there. Can you get rid of those fenders? you could try flipping your stem to get lower or narrower bars to reduce your cross-section to the wind.

    A picture of you on the bike might help. I don't think you're going to get massive gains unless you get a pretty aggressive road position, it's not like you're going from 26" knobbies to 700c 22mm slicks.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_box
    so you're basically on a flat-bar road bike already. Your bars are slightly lower than the saddle, depending on your body dimensions that could already be a fairly aggressive position. 18mph is pretty good and I agree that aero effects really kick in there. Can you get rid of those fenders? you could try flipping your stem to get lower or narrower bars to reduce your cross-section to the wind.

    A picture of you on the bike might help. I don't think you're going to get massive gains unless you get a pretty aggressive road position, it's not like you're going from 26" knobbies to 700c 22mm slicks.
    Good point on flipping the stem. I sort of assumed that had been done, but I noticed it hasn't. Some curved bar ends combined with a flipped stem can give you more than just two aero hand positions if you get creative. You just don't get the full dropped position and you are a bit wider "embrace" than aero bars, although that opens up your chest for better breathing.

    Definitely go to 26x1.25 tires. Geax has that size in their Street Runner series that is very tough and roll easy.

    Learn to draft well. Staying within a couple inches will gain you much. Just remember whoever bumps from behind goes DOWN. I did a bunch of years road racing so not overlapping wheels and tight drafting is second nature, but for some reason a LOT of people getting all torqued off when I draft. You wouldn't think some old geezer, pushing 60 years old, with a full pack on a heavy mtn bike would be that intimidating.

    Or just buy a road bike....but remember, then you HAVE to be faster than all the other commuters on mtn bikes.
    Live in the moment.
    YMMV

  18. #18
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    It will make almost no difference in the part of your commuter with lots of stop lights and intersections.

    It'll probably improve your average by a couple mph on the long, flat parts. You'll probably be a lot more comfortable - that's the big reason I ride road bikes instead of flat-bar bikes on the road. It'll be a lot less work for you to maintain your 30 kph, but going faster will be very difficult - air resistance increases at some really ridiculous rate, I think it's proportional to the square of someone's speed. Something like that.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    mountain bikes are slow There's a 29er in here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB7SNJhaOjI&NR=1

  20. #20
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    Thanks everyone for there input. seems like consensous that a road bike will be faster but how much faster (or how much fast ) depends. I do lilke having the "crutch" of riding a MTB so that if i can't catch someone I can always think "well if i was on a road bike too....." but really i would just like to shave a few minutes off my commute.

    I have tried a flat bar (currently 1inch rise) but haven't flipped the stem. Haven't tried bar ends. Also i could remove the fenders which i imagine would make a difference.... Think i really need to try a road bike to know for sure though....
    Last edited by gbowen444; 01-15-2011 at 03:25 AM.

  21. #21
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    You betcha!
    Since you obviously suffer from the opposite affliction that Brian and I have, no doubt you`d get some kicks out of a sporty roadie. Hell, even I get to feeling like Eddie when I get out of the saddle for a good sprint on my 25 pound Bridgestone. The only difference is that my all out sprints usually only last until I get across an intersection after the light has just turned green for me! Seriously though, they`re a lot of fun and feel a lot different from an mtb- worth trying out to see how you like one.

    BTW, it looks like you tried to put a link at the end of your post that got a little scrambled.
    Recalculating....

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_box
    mountain bikes are slow There's a 29er in here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB7SNJhaOjI&NR=1
    meh - a bunch of spandex tarts...
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    meh - a bunch of spandex tarts...
    They are on bikes and having a blast (for them). I can relate to anyone shedding the steel cocoon. Well, as long as they don't take the 'BMW attitude' (Big Money Wheels) with us mere mortals. I found riding long distances in the heat without spandex is not a good idea, but I'm no tart, more like a Deep Dish Pie!

    Loved the Mountain Bike Bunny hop to the sidewalk and back. That'll sho'em!

    So as far as faster goes, whatever tears your ticket, gbowen444!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianMc
    They are on bikes and having a blast (for them). I can relate to anyone shedding the steel cocoon. Well, as long as they don't take the 'BMW attitude' (Big Money Wheels) with us mere mortals. I found riding long distances in the heat without spandex is not a good idea, but I'm no tart, more like a Deep Dish Pie!

    Loved the Mountain Bike Bunny hop to the sidewalk and back. That'll sho'em!

    So as far as faster goes, whatever tears your ticket, gbowen444!
    hehe, I know- just tryin to stir the pot some
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Trail
    but for some reason a LOT of people getting all torqued off when I draft. You wouldn't think some old geezer, pushing 60 years old, with a full pack on a heavy mtn bike would be that intimidating.
    Drafting places responibilities on both the person in front and the person in back. The person in front may not want those responsibilities. When tires touch, the person in the back goes down, but the person in front can go down too. When I am commuting, I don't want to worry about anyone behind me. So unless invited on, stay off the wheel of someone you don't know.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbowen444
    Really? 10 more fasts huh?

    I imagine a road bike is going to be a lot more aero both in the riding position and the bike itself which is where most of the benifit would be aswell as a slightly better pedalling position. I am not interested in training (my current bike is fine for that) I just want to shave some time of my commute and i would consider even a 5 minute reduction as a massive gain. Also my competive gene is well developed so when I see another bike, I find it hard to not try and pass them.

    BTW this is my commute http://connect.garmin.com/activity/5...2dd7afe46d%2C0
    In the meanwhile, try this on your flat-bar setup:



    On the final stage of our local Midnight Century, I'm generally running ~24mph in that position, on an XC hardtail with 26 x 2.2 tires (granted, they're the magic Conti RaceKing Supersonics). The higher your speed, the more it'll help.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway
    Drafting places responibilities on both the person in front and the person in back. The person in front may not want those responsibilities. When tires touch, the person in the back goes down, but the person in front can go down too. When I am commuting, I don't want to worry about anyone behind me. So unless invited on, stay off the wheel of someone you don't know.
    Yah, i have to remind myself that just because people can plunk $4k into a bike, it doesn't mean they know how to ride. And if they can't handle someone drafting, they obviously don't know how to ride.

    The guy drafting has ALL the responsibility, unless its a agreed thing. The person up front will NEVER go down. I speak from thousands of miles of road riding and racing and mtn biking with people that like to tap wheels for fun. When someone is drafting BEHIND me, I like to give all the signals of what is coming up. THAT is a courtesy and I don't EXPECT that from people I am drafting off of.

    If I am riding a 30 pound mtn bike with slicks, carrying a 15 pound commute pack, and pushing 60 years old. I am going to make my 24 miles a day commute easier any way I can. Although if the person is obviously a bad bike handler that can't deal with someone on their tail, I usually take that as a challenge to blow by them. That hurts but its worth the pain.
    Live in the moment.
    YMMV

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Trail
    And if they can't handle someone drafting, they obviously don't know how to ride.
    Ummm... either that or it means that he isn`t a road racer.

    Just to stir the pot
    Recalculating....

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Trail
    Yah, i have to remind myself that just because people can plunk $4k into a bike, it doesn't mean they know how to ride. And if they can't handle someone drafting, they obviously don't know how to ride.

    The guy drafting has ALL the responsibility, unless its a agreed thing. The person up front will NEVER go down. I speak from thousands of miles of road riding and racing and mtn biking with people that like to tap wheels for fun. When someone is drafting BEHIND me, I like to give all the signals of what is coming up. THAT is a courtesy and I don't EXPECT that from people I am drafting off of.
    Well I completely disagree with all of this. When someone gets on my wheel un-invited (and most dangerously, un-announced which happens often) how do I know that THEY know how to ride and that they THEY are going to pay attention? To many Lance wanna-bees out there who got a new bike for christmas and are just mimicking what they see on TV without understanding the implications.

    The person up front never goes down? Sorry, just wrong. I have personally seen two pacelines go bad and EVERYONE go down.

    It's just common courtesy to ask before you jump onto someones wheel and if you cannot understand why people get upset when you do that then you are simply clueless.

  30. #30
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    I've been known to stop so that someone has to quit drafting off me, or stop too. I'm also not above underhanded tactics to make following me difficult.

    BSNYC did an entry about people showing up and drafting him. He compared it to walking up next to a stranger peeing in a urinal, peeing in the same urinal, and putting your hand on the stranger's shoulder.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway
    Well I completely disagree with all of this. When someone gets on my wheel un-invited (and most dangerously, un-announced which happens often) how do I know that THEY know how to ride and that they THEY are going to pay attention? To many Lance wanna-bees out there who got a new bike for christmas and are just mimicking what they see on TV without understanding the implications.

    The person up front never goes down? Sorry, just wrong. I have personally seen two pacelines go bad and EVERYONE go down.

    It's just common courtesy to ask before you jump onto someones wheel and if you cannot understand why people get upset when you do that then you are simply clueless.
    No, the front is an inherently stable position. The drafting rider creates an ether vortex that acts like a thousand wheels side by side preventing any deviation from 90 degrees to the road. After a long day at work, I once slept the entire ride home with a drafter on my wheel and never even started to topple over. I think that one ride alone was thousands of miles so I really know of what I speak.

    Is this why the riders in the Tour Day France never go down?

  32. #32
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    So, draft will make you much fast?

  33. #33
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    I remember when people used to know how to ride....
    Live in the moment.
    YMMV

  34. #34
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    Here's a cheapie option to try the roadie aero position with the current gear you've got. Maybe it'll help to determine if that is the golden ticket.

    http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Bicycle...5385728&sr=8-1

  35. #35
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    Have you thought about a hybrid? I had a Trek 7.3 FX with 28mm slick tires, and it was pretty damn nice. More relaxed riding position than a road bike, and I'd argue better control, but fairly light, and even when I used it for touring(rode it across the country), it was no problem to maintain a 20mph average under most conditions. Unloaded, 20-25mph was very comfortable, and the gearing was suitable for said speeds. A road bike will be a bit more efficient, but I have to say, the hybrid solution is rather appealing, as the geometry is comfortable and fast, being designed around a 700c wheelset. Unless you have a particular traction issue due to snow or terrain, run tires no wider than 32mm(25-28 will give you the speed you're looking for with a bit more compliance), and make sure they're slick.

    Lots of deals on the trek FX series to be had, but there are many other hybrids out there which would also fit the bill, and cost you hundreds less than a 'road bike' with lower component spec.

  36. #36
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    So.... I decided to make some changes to the bike. I removed the fenders, switched the bars for a flat bar and inverted the stem to put me in a more aero position. I did this all near the end of december.

    Before I made the changes the following was a few stats from my commute.
    Average speed 26.2kph (total distance was 447.6km)
    Average HR 157 (81%)

    Since I made the changes the following are my stats.
    Average speed 26.4kph (total distance was 566.7km)
    Average HR 159 (82%)

    My fitness has varied a bit but on average is about the same i think as shown below (just to get really nerdy about it)
    How much fast will i be on a road bike?-fitness.jpg

    So it seems that while my speed has gone up very slightly so has my effort. I still want that road bike.

  37. #37
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    Very interesting, though I can't say that I really follow the chart part. But I think it is apparent that you truly deserve that road bike now...go get one & report back again!

  38. #38
    weirdo
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    Shazam! Which line is the GDP of India?
    Go getcherself a roadbike before you hurt somebody with that graph

  39. #39
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    Just a bit more info on the graph, it is from sporttracks using the training load plugin. I have a Garmen 305 with HR monitor and record all my rides.

    The Blue area is Chronic training load (CTL) which in general terms represents fitness. The bars indicate a ride although there are more MTB rides than commute rides here. The taller the bar indicating the harder the effort (the one on the 15th August was 6 hour MTB race.) The gray area/jagged line indicates acute training load (ACL) which is basically a measure of fatigue.

    Pretty nerdy but it is fun to graphically see your fitness go up and down.

  40. #40
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    Is it me, or are you over-analyzing your commute bike? To me, a commuter is all about comfort and efficiency. Your commuter rig already looks to play the part.
    I bought a used mountain bike at a pawn shop, added a few upgrade parts I already had (and a few I had to buy), threw some 1.5" slicks on it, and it is the perfect commuting rig. I can ride all day on the thing and still feel good (well, except for my butt!).
    I can ride pretty fast on the thing if I had to, and I get passed all the time by roadies (including the fabulous Kristin Armstrong!).
    I couldn't care less if I can keep up with them- I'm going to work and the only things I worry about is keeping my car off the road and arriving safely.

    Just my $.02.

  41. #41
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    OK , bit of a grave dig..... However I recently purchased a road bike and incase anyone cares, the following is the differences I have noted between commuting on a converted MTB (all be it with 700c road tyres) and a Road bike. Bear in mind my commute is pretty flat, about 26km each way (16mi).

    MTB (converted Kona Caldera with 700c wheels)
    - Avg speed 26.2km/h
    - Avg HR 156 bpm
    - Avg trip time 60m 41s

    Road bike (Cannondale synapse alloy 5)
    - Avg speed 27.9 km/h
    - Avg HR 159 bpm
    - Avg trip time 56m 47s

    So in answer to the question "How much fast will I be on a road bike"? I would say about 6.5% fast or almost 4 minutes per hour. I blame the higher HR on the road bike on the fact that it reasponds a little better to higher effort. i.e. it is very efficient so the harder you pedal the faster you go, whereas on the commuter you tend to lose a bit more in drag due to the more upright position, so don't put it as much effort.

    I have SPD-SL pedals on the road bike which definately don't suit commuting as well. They are much harder to get in to due to the fact that they are not double sided. Also on the road bike I tend to stick to the roads, rather than jumping up and down gutters, which in the long run makes the road bike faster, although maybe not as much fun.
    Last edited by gbowen444; 09-20-2012 at 10:49 PM.

  42. #42
    weirdo
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    Hey, cool! I just hope you don`t try to explain another megagraph to us with data from your new bike
    So, I take it you`re enjoying the roadie? What did you end up buying?
    Quote Originally Posted by gbowen444 View Post
    I blame the higher HR on the road bike on the fact that it reasponds a little better to higher effort. i.e. it is very efficient so the harder you pedal the faster you go, whereas on the commuter you tend to lose a bit more in drag due to the more upright position, so don't put it as much effort.
    I can dig that. I started (and gave up on) a daily record of my commute times last winter in order to get solid numbers concerning my speed with skinny V fat tires. It eventually became clear to me that I was going at it harder when I had skinnies mounted than when I had fatsos on the same bike, so yeah- a zippier ride equates to more enthusiasm for me too.

    EDIT: Whoops- I see you already told us what you bought!
    Last edited by rodar y rodar; 09-21-2012 at 12:42 AM.

  43. #43
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twisted Trail View Post
    I remember when people used to know how to ride....
    Really? When was that?

    Sorry, but drafting is not part of "knowing how to ride". You only need to know how to draft if that is something you want to do. That is a whole aspect of road riding that some people are totally uninterested in. It only matters when some A-hole drags them into it by riding their rear wheel uninvited.

    It's like saying someone can't road ride because they can't do FR stunts.
    Last edited by kapusta; 09-21-2012 at 06:54 AM.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  44. #44
    Monkey Junkie
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    Your route really dictates how much faster you will be. If there are plenty of long, straight, uninterrupted sections of road, then you will probably be a couple minutes quicker overall i would imagine. If your route has lots of stop and go, uneven pavement, pedestrians, and slower moving traffic then it's hard to say. I would choose a flat bar bike generally for city riding, but choose a road bike when there is the ability to go fast. I would say buy a used road bike and have at it.

  45. #45
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    I don't know too much about the topic. But it seems tires are the most important part of adapting a bike to certain specialties and it looks like you have the right ones. And like others have said, as long as you aren't spinning out at top gear (it doesn't seem like it because the frame looks hybrid-ish) The money you would pay for a new bike might not manifest itself in raw speed. But if you'd enjoy your commute more, go for it!

  46. #46
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    I have commuted substantially faster on my road bike than my others (it's a steel frame so still ~23# all-in), like 3mph over the trip which adds up to beating a light or two. But that speed comes w/ no rack/panniers/big-time load reduction. My other commuters are a 700c cx frame w/ 32-35 mm tires and a tourer w/ 26" 50mm tires, and they both go the same speed (~3mph less than the road bike) (w/ different gearing and racks but identical panniers). So the road bike is faster but restricted to lighter loads and mostly nicer weather. The others are also faster on rare occasions of riding them w/ no panniers.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbowen444 View Post
    OK , bit of a grave dig..... However I recently purchased a road bike and incase anyone cares, the following is the differences I have noted between commuting on a converted MTB (all be it with 700c road tyres) and a Road bike. Bear in mind my commute is pretty flat, about 26km each way (16mi).

    MTB (converted Kona Caldera with 700c wheels)
    - Avg speed 26.2km/h
    - Avg HR 156 bpm
    - Avg trip time 60m 41s

    Road bike (Cannondale synapse alloy 5)
    - Avg speed 27.9 km/h
    - Avg HR 159 bpm
    - Avg trip time 56m 47s

    So in answer to the question "How much fast will I be on a road bike"? I would say about 6.5% fast or almost 4 minutes per hour. I blame the higher HR on the road bike on the fact that it reasponds a little better to higher effort. i.e. it is very efficient so the harder you pedal the faster you go, whereas on the commuter you tend to lose a bit more in drag due to the more upright position, so don't put it as much effort.

    I have SPD-SL pedals on the road bike which definately don't suit commuting as well. They are much harder to get in to due to the fact that they are not double sided. Also on the road bike I tend to stick to the roads, rather than jumping up and down gutters, which in the long run makes the road bike faster, although maybe not as much fun.
    Badass post man. I have always wondered how much faster a road bike bike is than a mtb. And now I know. 4 minutes in an hour is quite good. I'm gonna get a cx bike as commuter instead of my mtb.

    I just have one question. How do you feel with the road bike after you get to work? Do you feel more exhausted or more (considering you are moving faster). I mean do you feel fresher and have more energy left with the road bike or the mtb (even though you go faster on the raod bike).

    My goal is not going faster, my goal is getting there with more percieved energy left, and no aches and such ****. I work hard and have a physically demanding job. And laft year I was going on 45min one way commutes and it took me like 30 mins to just get calmed down and feel normal on the mtb. so thats why I'm looking into road/cx bikes.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    I have commuted substantially faster on my road bike than my others (it's a steel frame so still ~23# all-in), like 3mph over the trip which adds up to beating a light or two. But that speed comes w/ no rack/panniers/big-time load reduction. My other commuters are a 700c cx frame w/ 32-35 mm tires and a tourer w/ 26" 50mm tires, and they both go the same speed (~3mph less than the road bike) (w/ different gearing and racks but identical panniers). So the road bike is faster but restricted to lighter loads and mostly nicer weather. The others are also faster on rare occasions of riding them w/ no panniers.
    3mph is like 5km/h and thats a ****load faster! imo
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  49. #49
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Badass post man. I have always wondered how much faster a road bike bike is than a mtb. And now I know. 4 minutes in an hour is quite good. I'm gonna get a cx bike as commuter instead of my mtb.

    I just have one question. How do you feel with the road bike after you get to work? Do you feel more exhausted or more (considering you are moving faster). I mean do you feel fresher and have more energy left with the road bike or the mtb (even though you go faster on the raod bike).

    My goal is not going faster, my goal is getting there with more percieved energy left, and no aches and such ****. I work hard and have a physically demanding job. And laft year I was going on 45min one way commutes and it took me like 30 mins to just get calmed down and feel normal on the mtb. so thats why I'm looking into road/cx bikes.
    For me, bike type never made much of a difference there. Whatever I'm riding, it takes me some discipline to dial it back to a pace that doesn't cost me so much. I like to go fast, so it's difficult for me not to open up the throttle. But at the end of the day, that's about all there is to it.

    There's maybe a few things you can do to set yourself up for a better chance at maintaining an easy pace. Gear selection's big - when I signed up for another quarter at a school with a big hill on the way, I took a look at making my commute easier to do at an easy pace. I had a 40t or 42t inner ring but a compact crank, so swapping to a 34 made things easier.

    The point being, take a look at any aspects of your setup that obligate you to work harder in certain situations or do things in an uncomfortable or inconvenient way. You could have some opportunities there to make your commute easier. But after that, it's all about your attitude.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  50. #50
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    On My Cannondale Bad Boy with tubeless 23 x 700 I can on a flat surface top out at about 44KMh. On a Road bike CADD 8 I can hit 60KMh in same area, same conditions.
    Average can change a fair amount and I say about 4-8KMh average.
    If I drop back to my 700 X 35 on my hybrid then my average speed is down another 4-6KMh.

    Road bikes when you dial them in are far more efficient on the pavement.
    Geometry is just better suited for speed and power. Try pushing a 53X12 on a MTB (i dare ya!).

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