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  1. #1
    DMills
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    road work training

    I'm trying to do more serious on-the-bike training but can only make it to the trails 2 or 3 times a week. What do you do for days you can't hit the trail but want to ride? Do you road bike? If so, what should I look for in a road bike for trail training?

  2. #2
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    Well I'm in a similar boat I only make it to the trails 1 time a week. I sometimes commute (somewhat difficult to do here). But I've just finished tuning my old road bike. Now I will be on the road bike riding the road but I was taking one of my MTB's on the road and doing things like jumping over objects that you wouldn't want to roll over and bombing curbs. One thing i've heard but not yet proven your disproven was people saying riding fast on a road bike makes you faster on the trails.

    So on the road basically you can look for little things that would test your trail skills and aim to try those things.

  3. #3
    more skier than biker
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    road work training

    I race in Pro Open classes (when I can) and I train a ton on the road bike. It can help you build your aerobic engine in ways that just riding a MTB can't (at least on my local trails). Just about all of my competitors put in huge amounts of base miles on the road bike in the off season

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    I race in Pro Open classes (when I can) and I train a ton on the road bike. It can help you build your aerobic engine in ways that just riding a MTB can't (at least on my local trails). Just about all of my competitors put in huge amounts of base miles on the road bike in the off season
    ++++1

    A road bike is a must if you want to be fast for a sustained period of time. Using a road bike gives you a controlled environment to develop a training plan around... log huge base miles on in off season...
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  5. #5
    DMills
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    Appreciate the responses...any suggestions on a decent bike?

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    road work training

    Some of your less expensive road bike options would be specialized allez and actually the trek 7.2 or 3 is like a flat bar road bike.
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  7. #7
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    I'm in the same boat and am going to get a road bike and a turbo trainer. Buy a good bike, but not a race bike. I'm going for a Cannondale Synapse 105.

    A turbo trainer is always helpful also!
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  8. #8
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    I must add that any old bike will do. I road train a lot on a 20 year old rigid mtb with 26" wheels, a small block 8 on the front and a turbo tyre on the rear. Currently it's got 4 working gears at the small end of the block and is fixed in 42 tooth chainring up front.
    It also sports a pannier from time to time.
    I do hundreds of miles on it.
    Also do hundreds of miles on my race mtb with knobblies. Even held my own on a road reliability trial recently averaging over 18mph for 50 miles.
    Don't obsess about the bike!

  9. #9
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    I started riding the road by buying a cheap set of mtb wheels and putting slick tires on them. In June I bought one of the lower versions of the Specialized Allez and it absolutely makes riding on the road more enjoyable than using the mtb with slicks.

    Your in a similar situation as I am, except I can access 1 trail within 20 minutes of my house but it's the only trail and it only takes me 35 minutes. The road bike is a lot more convenient especially if you can ride directly from your house, which I'm assuming you can do. When your in a time crunch it's so much faster to throw on shorts, shirt, helmet, ipod, and water bottle and roll out the door. I keep a small bag under the seat with the basic things I would keep in my mtb osprey bag. When you think of the time involved in going to the trails between getting your gear, getting the bike on the car, driving there, and then unloading. Road biking is so much faster. I ended up buying a 300 lumen light for the road bike. I have a ton of hills right near my house with no traffic, so I'll go out at 9pm and do some hill work for an hour or more when I wouldn't have done that on the trails.

    Hope this helps.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMills View Post
    I'm trying to do more serious on-the-bike training but can only make it to the trails 2 or 3 times a week. What do you do for days you can't hit the trail but want to ride? Do you road bike?
    2 or 3 times a week is a lot for me @ trails.

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  11. #11
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    I bought a road bike cheap from someone on my team. 105 components cannondale. I was doing the rigid steel with skinny tires before. I maxed out about 1 to 1.5 hr on the mountain bike. Now, I'm comfortable doing 3-5 hr on road bike. I would highly recommend going for the road bike.

    If your budget is slim, look on craigslist. you have less internal components to worry about like suspension that can hide big issues. Try for at least 105 components and modern enough to where it is combined brake/shift levers. Beyond that, it is all about budget vs weight/bling.
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  12. #12
    DMills
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    I appreciate all the responses...I'm browsing craigslist as we speak!

  13. #13
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    and fit! It's not a good deal if the bike doesn't fit. If you're unsure of what size you'll need in a road bike you can use the fit calculator at wrenchscience.com to figure it out. You're gonna tend to be on a road bike for longer periods, and without all the moving around that naturally occurs on a mountain bike. Fit, fit, fit. Totally agree on the 105 and everything else. It's always nice if the tires are in decent shape, otherwise plan on dropping $60+ on a new set. You can use that in your bargaining if the tires look sketchy.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlliKat View Post
    I bought a road bike cheap from someone on my team. 105 components cannondale. I was doing the rigid steel with skinny tires before. I maxed out about 1 to 1.5 hr on the mountain bike. Now, I'm comfortable doing 3-5 hr on road bike. I would highly recommend going for the road bike.

    If your budget is slim, look on craigslist. you have less internal components to worry about like suspension that can hide big issues. Try for at least 105 components and modern enough to where it is combined brake/shift levers. Beyond that, it is all about budget vs weight/bling.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  14. #14
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    The only thing I'd add to this is that you should look at CX bikes too. They don't give up much speed to a road bike, but open you up to CX racing too.

  15. #15
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    New or used, stick to Shimano 105/SRAM Apex components or better.
    Also, like someone else said, fit is incredibly important. Going to a knowledgeable bike shop for sizing and fit setup would help you immensely. Like clothes, some manufacturer's 54cm bike will fit like another's 52cm. Heck, even two different bikes between the SAME manufacturer can fit differently based on the geometry. Best way to find what you need is to ride a few, then get a good bike fit.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    The only thing I'd add to this is that you should look at CX bikes too. They don't give up much speed to a road bike, but open you up to CX racing too.
    I seem to know a fair number of MTB'ers that prefer the fit of their CX bike to a road bike. If you are looking to get bang for your buck, a CX bike with an extra set of road wheels could be a good option to look at. It will work really well on the road for logging some miles (unless you are doing some serious racing), plus a CX bike can open up the option for great all surface rides. If you have the ability to hit dirt roads, rail trail, smooth singletrack and road, it can really mix up a long ride and keep it more enjoyable.

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