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  1. #1
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Road Bike - Good for New Mountain Rider?

    My wife is new to riding as an adult. She stopped riding a bicycle at age 10, and despite being a very active, very fit athlete, did not pick up riding against until age 23, when she met me. She really enjoys being on a bike, seeing new places, and getting exercise while doing so, but she doesn't enjoy the challenge of the technical aspects of mountain biking. She is willing to learn, but most of the time she just wants to put in the miles. In her defense, mountain biking here in South East Pennsylvania is a rocky learning curve, pun intended.

    Unfortunately, the MTB is her only bike, which would be fine except she's wanting to get into triathlons.

    I'm wondering if getting her a road bike or gravel bike would not only benefit her average speed and comfort on long distance road rides, but also provide some additional skills that may transfer over to MTB, or if she's generally interested in learning MTB to just rent road bikes for events?
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  2. #2
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    Road Bike - Good for New Mountain Rider?

    Road bikes benefit everyone


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  3. #3
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    what Trevor 1976 said ^^
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
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  4. #4
    gasping 4 air
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    I was in the same boat getting back into MTB'ing early this season. While road biking isn't going to help technical bike handling skills off road IMO, it will make a huge difference in the legs and lungs. I was really struggling with the MTB fitness wise, bought a road bike and rode only that due to an injury for a solid month. It was a night and day difference when I got back on the MTB.

  5. #5
    Never Forget 9-11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPIguy View Post
    it will make a huge difference in the legs and lungs
    This.
    It's such a fine line between idiocy and genius.

  6. #6
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    If she's getting into Tri's...get a road bike. Rent the mountain bike as needed...not the other way around.
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  7. #7
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    I think both of you should get road bikes and you should quit trying to get her on the trails. Go on long road rides with her for fitness and the shared experience and then let her do other things with her friends while you go mountain biking with yours. It's much more fun that way.

  8. #8
    I'm your density
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29 View Post
    I think both of you should get road bikes and you should quit trying to get her on the trails. Go on long road rides with her for fitness and the shared experience and then let her do other things with her friends while you go mountain biking with yours. It's much more fun that way.
    /thread
    "Two wrongs don't make a right, but three rights make a left."
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  9. #9
    Ride Instigator
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    Let her do her thing. If she want's to get into tri's, get her a road bike, but keep her MTB around. I wouldn't say that her having/riding a road bike would develop skills that would xfer to MTB but she would certainly benefit with regards to endurance/breathing/spinning efficiency. I always say....every mountainbiker needs a road bike!

  10. #10
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    Road Bike - Good for New Mountain Rider?

    There are mountainbike girls in PA.


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  11. #11
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    get road bike.

    my SO's in the same boat. puts up with the occasional mtb ride, but likes road riding more.

    road biking won't ever get you true tech skills on a mountain bike. you gotta do the stuff, try it, fall, fail, try again....etc to get there. road riding will make you feel more comfortable on a bike in general, and it will make a mountain bike feel way more stable/secure because of the tire width difference. plus, having the legs to ride a road bike hard will translate to speed/endurance on the mountain bike, which is important for beginners to have through more technical/rocky terrain so as not to get bogged down and stalled out. more strength/speed to keep bike moving, everything smooths out = mtb is easier and more fun.

  12. #12
    I love Pisgah
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    Being stronger is always "more funner". Thats half the battle. I heard this yrs ago, and its true.. As a general consensus pool, roadies on average are measurably fitter then the average mtber. Thats just the way it is. Theres a reason many XC and endurance racers train in the road. So for the roadie haters out there, when you see that roadie out and about, theres a big chance that hes just as much a mtber as you are. Just probably stronger haha.
    "I've breathed the mtn air, man" Johnny Cash

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  13. #13
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    Yes, pick up a road bike for her.

    I do both and am glad that I do.
    Life will pound away where the light don't shine, son...

  14. #14
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    Road bikes are the devil.

    They have their place, just not in my garage. If she wants to do triathlons, no reason not to get a good road/triathlon bike. However, it might be a good idea to get a cheap wheelset with some cyclocross tires on it, just to get in miles together. Unless you get a road bike too, she'll smoke you if she's on a triathlon bike.

  15. #15
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    I don't think she's ready for a tri bike. A little too single purpose for her at this point. Maybe later, though.

    I'd really like to put her on a lightweight gravel bike. Not a Fargo, more Vaya. Something that provides the cushion and offroad ability of monstercross, but can still get aero with skinnies and bar extensions.


    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  16. #16
    It's about showing up.
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    Mountain biking is an advanced form of the cycling discipline. Get her a nice road bike, not a tri- or a cross- as their handling is very different, but a road bike. Help her to build skills on a bike dedicated to the proper use. It will be a stronger experience. Other aspects can come later.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 4 Days Ago at 10:38 AM.
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  17. #17
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Mike,

    Solid advice.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  18. #18
    29ers Forever
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    Road biking will only increase endurance on the mountain, but skills on the mountain bike will transfer to washed out roads and such if you are on a gravel bike.
    I would probably recommend a gravel bike, you can always get a second set of tires for it if she wants to ride on nothing but pavement from time to time.
    2013 Trek Cobia- 29er serious mountain bike
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  19. #19
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    Road Bike - Good for New Mountain Rider?

    Why not just get a set of commuter tires for the MTB, have her ride with those on the road and then practice tech skills with the occasional kerb hop, bunny hop, etc?


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  20. #20
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    honestly ask if she's actually interested in MTB or if it's just you pushing her. I can say what it sounds like from your first post...

    Roadies, and especially triathletes are, in my experience some of the worst bike handlers I can imagine. Every tri I do, I'm amazed more people aren't hurt by... not being able to ride in a straight line, corner, or deal with any sort of bump/pavement seam or pebble in the road (I do have a couple funny stories about passing/beating stronger guys than myself because they had no bike handling skills).
    So in short, no; The only thing that will transfer road to mountain is strength or fitness. The skill set required for road biking is such a small subset of that required for mtb you can more or less ignore it.

  21. #21
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    I don't really push her. I did at first, but realized it didn't help the situation. We've done better working on skills in parking lots close to home then 40 miles away up in the mountains on trails she's never ridden. I don't think at this point she is very interested in MTB, well, she's interested, but she's not motivated to go out and practice on her own. She'll go for a road ride by herself, easily, but she won't practice curb hops on her own.

    She likes the idea of us going on bikepacking trips up in the mountains and seeing all the places I've seen, but she just wants to "have" those skills, not actually learn them.

    We've talked about it before, but basically she grew up in a household where the only thing that was ever "pushed" was eating, cleaning, homework and being nice. If you didn't want to play a sport, you didn't have to. If you didn't want to work a job, you didn't have to. If you like History, by all means take more history courses, if you wanted to go school for Art, fine. Their household was all about pursuing things you are naturally good at and enjoy.

    She's got incredible patience, and is a great book learner, but when it comes to skills, she's really only interested when it comes naturally (like running, swimming, etc) or someone is paying you to do it.

    So we've adopted a more natural and organic way of learning MTB skills...just spend time on a bike. Any bike.

    The issue at hand is that she'd like to do more road/tri/gravel races and she doesn't have a proper bike to do so. Her MTB does have slicks, but we all know its not quite the same. Personally, I'm a fan of fat tire on every bike but thats because me and little tires dont get along. She may be different.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  22. #22
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    A lot of the folks that do triathlons, especially sprint tris, are just regular folks on hybrids, mountain bikes, the occasional road bike, and whatever else they have. At least that's how it is in my area, and Joules is right, a lot of times they're atrocious bike handlers.

    With that said, if she has no interest in mountain biking and is looking to get into triathlons and some fitness riding, get her a road bike. A tri-bike is a terrible thing to consider for anyone that isn't competing in triathlons full time and a gravel or cross bike would be beneficial if she would be actually riding on gravels or doing some kind of off roading on the bike.

    Best thing to do is just ask her what she's interested in or take her to a shop and let her test ride some different bikes.

  23. #23
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Well we do ride gravel pretty regularly, in the city with rough roads, railtrails that are cinders, so being able to stuff 40c or 29er tires (with the ability to do 650b as well) might be nice.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    Roadies, and especially triathletes are, in my experience some of the worst bike handlers I can imagine. Every tri I do, I'm amazed more people aren't hurt by... not being able to ride in a straight line, corner, or deal with any sort of bump/pavement seam or pebble in the road (I do have a couple funny stories about passing/beating stronger guys than myself because they had no bike handling skills).

    When I see posts like this I have to come to the defense of my fellow roadies (actually a former roadie myself) because riding fast in a pack requires excellent bike handling skills IMO. You need to be able to hold a 3 inch line at full throttle around a hard corner while delicately feathering your brakes with riders 6 inches in front, back, and both sides of you. I knew a lot of roadies who could ride wheelies, bunny-hop 12 inch curbs (on what would be a $5000 bike today), nose wheelie, track stand, etc., etc. before production mountain bikes even existed.

    I'm with you on the tri's though.

  25. #25
    I love Pisgah
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    I've found that a large majority of the Tri's ride just because its a necessary evil. Not because I like it. Hence many don't have much handling skills.
    "I've breathed the mtn air, man" Johnny Cash

    It's a long way to the top
    . . . if you wanna rock and roll (ac/dc)

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