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  1. #1
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    Do you train on a roadbike?

    Just had my last race of the season (first year of racing) and didn't do as well as I liked. I'm hoping to get a bit more serious about training, and was curious, how many of you ride road?

    There's a trail just outside my house, but for the most part, it's paved. Nothing wrong with that really, it's just killing my tires. So, I thought about just getting some tires that'll last a bit longer on the pavement. Then, I thought about just getting a road bike.

    Thoughts/Suggestions?
    Last edited by JHANguyen; 10-18-2009 at 09:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    yes (x2 as the wife trains on one too)

    i do wish i had a cross bike instead though. more utility (ride road and dirt)

  3. #3
    AZ
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    Road bike is great to train on when trails are closed or you just want to knock out some intervals, good change of pace too.

  4. #4
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    Yes. Road bikes are great for conditioning. I've ridden/raced on the road a lot, and my road fitness allowed me to do well when I started racing a MTB earlier this year. I use an SRM powermeter as well. It's very helpful for interval training.
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  5. #5
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    Yep I spend a lot of time on the road bike. Probably 70-80% of total bike time. It's much easier to get those long endurance rides in on the road bike (3+ hrs). The other thing for me is a mental issue. Since I don't train on the MTB it keeps it fun and I don't get burned out.
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  6. #6
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    Yes. The time I spend on the road is not that enjoyable though, I'm just not a roadie. If I trained 70-80% of my time on the road I'd be burnt out in no time. My estimate is that I spend about 20% of my training time on the road, possibly less.

  7. #7
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    I definately don't consider myself a roadie, it's boring as hell and cars are scary. Luckily there's a lot of bike trail around here. And my pavement time is usually "disquised" as commuting to/from work with route extensions.
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiflow_21
    The time I spend on the road is not that enjoyable though...
    Yeah, that's what I'm a bit afraid of. Don't want to put money into a bike I won't enjoy very much.

    I had a cross bike last year and often put some slicks on to ride road with some friends. I also found it quite boring, but at this time, I wasn't racing XC.

  9. #9
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    Road riding can be a lot of fun if you have a good group of people to ride with. Plus, it really is an effective way to train. Start doing some road racing early in the spring and you'll feel like you're flying by the time XC season gets underway.

    Plus, after all that early season riding... you'll be so sick of the road bike that you'll be thanking sweet jesus that the trails have finally dried out enough to bust out the MTB

  10. #10
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    Road bike allows you work on your pedaling skills. You can do those LSD's and build that necessary endurance. Find a roadie group, most all are fun to ride with. I find the better road riders are motorcyclists OR mountain bikers. The ppl who have only ridden road bikes, don't do as well. The other nice feature is being able to split from the house. I prolly ride my road bike 75% of the time. I have 45, 000 miles on my road bike. lol

  11. #11
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    The advantage to road training is it allows you to ride more and more. I find that I was able to keep a constant tempo....what I mean is that on the decent and flats you can still work hard (especially riding in a pack).
    It also depends on trail access...I have some trails near my home, but I live in a Road Biking mecca...and I find myself climbing better than most cyclist out there.

  12. #12
    zrm
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    Not only do I train on my road bike, I enjoy riding my road bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    Not only do I train on my road bike, I enjoy riding my road bike.
    Same here. I can never decide which I enjoy better, MTBing, or road riding. Depends on my mood, both are fun. I don't see how you can be truly competitive MTBer without having a road bike on which to train.
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  14. #14
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    Depending on the region of the country, I think it would be hard to properly train for races without a road bike. There just isn't enough good days to hit the single track on a mountain bike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak
    Road bike allows you work on your pedaling skills. You can do those LSD's and build that necessary endurance. Find a roadie group, most all are fun to ride with. I find the better road riders are motorcyclists OR mountain bikers. The ppl who have only ridden road bikes, don't do as well. The other nice feature is being able to split from the house. I prolly ride my road bike 75% of the time. I have 45, 000 miles on my road bike. lol
    You aren't serious, are you?

    I'm guessing you don't race on the road.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidR1
    Depending on the region of the country, I think it would be hard to properly train for races without a road bike. There just isn't enough good days to hit the single track on a mountain bike.
    This is the exact reason I got a road bike ~1.5 years ago. The road dries out a lot faster than the dirt. When I can't ride the mtb I pull out the road bike. Any biking is better than no biking, and road training really allows you to push yourself constantly for a long period of time. I do think that it helped me quite a bit this year.

    Another option is gravel with a cross bike. I picked up a cross bike a few weeks ago and it feels like a rocket on gravel compared to my mountain bikes, which adds to the fun factor. I find that I enjoy the rides more on gravel vs road and you can push yourself in a similar way. Gravel is also a great way to keep riding in the off season around here once winter and the cold comes around.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldMTBfreak
    I find the better road riders are motorcyclists OR mountain bikers. The ppl who have only ridden road bikes, don't do as well.
    What would either of those first two groups know about riding in a tightly bunched pack of 60 riders (or more) over varying terrain at speeds of 15-60 km/h for two or more hours?

    The people who have only ridden road bikes by themselves, well that's a different story I guess.

  18. #18
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    Yes. With three kids a job and a wife also trains/races, most of my riding is on the road bike, and much of it is commuting. For awhile, it seemed like the only time I got on my mountain bike was to race!
    If I have a 3 hour window of opportunity, I can do a 3 hour road ride, or a 1.5 hour MTB ride.

    I have in the past compromised and done a 5 hour MTB ride, with half of it getting to and from the forest on the road.

  19. #19
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    another advantage ...

    of the road bike is being easily able to do effective recovery rides. It is hard to do recovery rides off road, but easy to find flat roads for a nice super easy spin. Any training that requires a constant tempo is easier on the road. And riding the road is a lot more fun on a road bike than on a MTB fitted with slicks.

  20. #20
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    I know a lot of people are afraid that road is boring, but i never had that problem. even riding alone 99% of the time i thought was fine. for me, the thing that keeps me interested is how much distance you can cover compared to offroad. it also helps having nice roads to ride on. riding around in circles will never be fun, but if you try to actually go somewhere it can be much more interesting.

    i think it also makes for better benchmarking in training than mountain biking, since i see large differences in my lap times depending on trail conditions, but most road rides can be done in comparable times regardless of conditions (within reason). this helps with tracking progress better than riding offroad.

  21. #21
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    Road riding is a great compliment to mountain biking. If I don't have time on a weekend to hit a trail (40 minutes round trip driving to the nearest for me), I have routes anywhere from 12-50 miles I can do from my front door, or in an hour after work before going home I can hit 15-20 miles outside the office. Pedaling 80-100rpms for 1-2 hours straight does wonders for your leg strength and pedal control, and you can control the level of intervals & recovery times at your whim (depending on your route), versus the trail determining what level you need to be at. Also, sometimes it is nice to just point the bike and pedal without worrying about trees, roots, rocks, whatever, and a nice long downhill hitting 40+ mph is its own rush.

    In addition to all the above, if we don't get a cold enough winter to keep the trails frozen, trail riding is spotty at best without a 2 hours round trip to the rocky trails so the road bike still lets you get out and ride.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by XCFred
    I don't see how you can be truly competitive MTBer without having a road bike on which to train.
    I have a friend who was 2nd at Nationals (Mt Snow) who rarely/never rides his road bike. He rides his MTB on the road to the trail head and does most of his training off road.

    Myself, I pretty much ride my MTB exclusively from December to Sea Otter, and usually do pretty well. I might pull the RB out for a Saturday Morning group ride, but when training for XC, I like to train on the MTB. Specificity

    This year after Nationals (Jul 18) I didn't ride the MTB (not once!) untill a few weeks ago, for a 15min uphill TT. Otherwise its been all road bike, 2000+ miles, and really, I love the road bike. But with CX started, I have transitioned to all riding on the CX, and will grab the MTB for an occaisional XC event.

  23. #23
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    Hi LE, I do race on the road. I like the dark side. lol I have also worked at a bike shop for a long while (after I retired). I always noticed (and snickered) when a bike would come into the shop and front wheel would be pretty and new looking. Not like mine where the brake pads had burned and scratched the rims braking surface. I generally find the BMX to mountain bike to road bike the best of all riders. Me, I'm motorcycle to mountain bike to road bike. I've had my road bike for 10 years. I have learned to love it. I always graph my performance data, HR, power, elevation, etc. Riding the road bike for training and recovery has done wonders for my mountain biking. If any of you remember those semi-slick tires when they first came out, they felt super fast. Riding the road bike is about the same. After a few years, I'm was able to run in a 2-3 higher gear (same bike course). For me, muscle memory is the key. I'm old and I'll never have those 199 HR's ever again. I strive for a recovery ride after each hard ride. This keeps the old legs and knees loose.

  24. #24
    BDT
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    ntt
    Last edited by BDT; 11-04-2009 at 05:53 AM.

  25. #25
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    I spend 80-90% of my time on my road bike--for one simple reason--I can ride right out my front door and don't have to drive to the trail. Kinda a time thing. When I lived in Chico I had great mountain biking after 3-4 miles on the road, so I road MTB's a lot more there.
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