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  1. #1
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    So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    I can get in one good mtb ride a week,will jogging help? I want to get fitter and start doing a few races. I did a search and didnt find what i was looking for. My buddies now have road bikes and are starting to put it on me on rides. I actually got a road bike but had to sell it because of some un expected bills .

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    Re: So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    Jogging is great cardio. Add in some weights (dead lifts, lunges etc) and you will be faster without a roadie.
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    You need to ride more than 1 day a week to get faster, use that mtb on the road if you have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    I can get in one good mtb ride a week,will jogging help? I want to get fitter and start doing a few races. I did a search and didnt find what i was looking for. My buddies now have road bikes and are starting to put it on me on rides. I actually got a road bike but had to sell it because of some un expected bills .


    Ride more. A lot more. Having some structure to your plan would help immensely. Time Crunched Cyclist if you don't have the hours to put in or google sweet Spot training if your're really strapped for time. But nothing is going to take the place of hours in the saddle imo.

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    Thanks for the input so far.

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    Time Crunched is a good read, but really structured and you'd probably need to have a couple of years steady training and a lot of miles in your legs to require that sort of structure. It's got lots of other good info and is worth reading anyway.

    It sounds like you're pretty new to regular riding? Like said above 1 day a week of riding will not give you much gain, but is better than nothing. Jogging is better than nothing too, but if you have time to jog, ride the bike instead.
    2 rides a week would be the bare minimum for seeing actual improvement in your endurance and speed (I got back into cycling 2 years ago, starting riding twice a week for a year), 3 rides a week is hugely better, and probably a minimum if you want to begin racing. Can you get a trainer to stick your bike on in your house to add a workout or two a week?

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    Dave Wiens have won races, especially the Leadville 100 7 times if I'm not mistaken, without training on a road bike. He's doing all of his training aboard his mtb on dirt. More saddle time and doing intervals both on flats and hills. Each different cardio workout uses a different muscle group, therefore, to get better with cycling, ride more. I also race and I use road biking as cross training but I do more mtb'ing during training in order to get used to my bike and to keep improving my handling skills.

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    If you can't get free to ride you can always scour Craigslist for an exercise bike. It's amazing how much exercise equipment that is practically new ends up for sale on CL after a year or so of sitting in someones livingroom. Many upright exercise bikes with electronic control with have interval workouts pre-programmed into the machine.
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  9. #9
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    So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    I had a road bike that I am selling to free up cash for some upgrades. I still plan on doing my road work on the mtb. In fact when I get new wheels I may keep my old ones and buy some slicks for them, depending on the cash flow at the time. I'm finding that the biggest thing I got out of riding a road bike is realizing that I'm fine riding in the road and it taught me tons about pacing. But I feel I could be just as effective at a slightly lower pace on my mtb, as can you.

    I am kind of like you it seems with the amount of time to ride. I love spending time with my son and wife too much to go bonkers and be on a bike all the time. I thought about a structured program and am not sure it's worth it for where my fitness is. Reading Time Crunched Cyclist and may give it a go but my priority is more effective saddle time for the hours I have.

    Also, a few years ago I did get into jogging when I was traveling lots and not riding more than once a week. The added cardio helped me get quite a bit faster and built endurance, but it was likely a reflection on how untrained I was at the time. I also overdid the running intensity sometimes and it gave me heavy legs when riding. If mixing the two just be sure you recover from running before a planned ride otherwise you'll feel like you're going backwards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GT5050 View Post
    ...I thought about a structured program and am not sure it's worth it for where my fitness is. Reading Time Crunched Cyclist and may give it a go but my priority is more effective saddle time for the hours I have...
    More effective saddle time is EXACTLY what structured training will give you. I've seen a couple posts stating that their fitness level isn't appropriate for structured training and frankly that is a major cop-out.

    The sooner you get structure, the sooner you'll be going faster. It might take you a bit to figure out how to keep the structure fun -and truthfully that can be a big challenge but even that is doable. If your goal is to get faster for xc in the least amount of time, you will get there much faster with a structured plan.

    Without preaching much more, just be honest about where you're at aerobically and your near & long term goals.
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    Re: So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    Yeah I didn't get any faster until I started riding four times a week with a plan of how to challenge myself, thinking about that technical spot on climbs. And then my diet became much more demanding. Then I needed to work on doing more sit ups for my back. Before I knew it the hardest part is finding new music to cook and warm up with. Of course I'm no xc racer, but I think the enduro thing is pretty cool, and it seems to be working for others. Structure builds.

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    I just looked at the 'new competitor' tables in Time Crunched, and they don't look too tough, maybe they are really for relatively new riders (?), it's hard to tell how 'new' the competitor is supposed to be, "less than 5 years" is a little vague.
    I guess I do ride with quite a bit of structure: no more than 2 days off in a row, no more than 3 days on in a row, shorter harder rides twice a week, longer rides Wed night and Sunday am). It seems like I would have to ride road or trainer to do the intervals in Time Crunched, since my trail loop has several short harder hills, spaced out such that I end up doing hill intervals of a sort every lap, timed to the terrain not the clock.
    Like ehigh said, I saw good gains moving up to 4x per week. I figured out I can make a sandwich for a quick lunch and sneak in 2 one hour rides per week on a sort of lunch break. I'm fortunate enough that my work schedule allows that, but it's still very random, I can't say which days I'll be able to ride during the day each week, but I can usually find 2 days to ride. It pays to be creative finding time to ride.

    When I first got fairly fast 20 years ago (a few decent Expert finishes), a riding buddy was an Expert racer, chasing him up a 1600' climb on a 27 mile loop a couple of times a week was a good program! Finding other faster riders to ride with can be great, and adds to the fun and motivation.

    ehigh; try doing 'backwards situps' (I'm sure there's a proper name for them), lay face down on an exercise ball (under hour hips), with your feet under something heavy (I use the end of the couch), drop your head down to the floor (pause), lift your torso and head as high as you can (pause), repeat. Those seem really good for the lower back.

  13. #13
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    a cheap second wheelset with some 1.5 road tires for your mtb would be great. you will need the same exact cassette and disc fyi..

    also, using the same brand/style of hub is recommended, because that way you can be sure the disc fits into the calipers perfectly when you switch them out.

    get a stationary trainer that you can ride at home if needed. riding once a week will keep you weak...haha...see what i did there?

    good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    I can get in one good mtb ride a week,will jogging help? I want to get fitter and start doing a few races. I did a search and didnt find what i was looking for. My buddies now have road bikes and are starting to put it on me on rides. I actually got a road bike but had to sell it because of some un expected bills .
    This is really mundane, shopworn, non-novel, and does not involve tricks or shortcuts or special structured training. Like others have said, riding more is the path to speed. Off-road when you can, road if you like. Also, here's another non-trick: Set up an old bike on a trainer in front of the TV so you can fit riding into changing schedules that revolve around life, work, family, etc.

    I'm not going to dismiss weights or running as part of a good general life fitness program, but, if the goal is to ride bikes faster, then ride bikes more (as long as you don't overdo it - that;s another discussion).

    BP

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    Quote Originally Posted by B Parr View Post
    This is really mundane, shopworn, non-novel, and does not involve tricks or shortcuts or special structured training. Like others have said, riding more is the path to speed. Off-road when you can, road if you like. Also, here's another non-trick: Set up an old bike on a trainer in front of the TV so you can fit riding into changing schedules that revolve around life, work, family, etc.

    I'm not going to dismiss weights or running as part of a good general life fitness program, but, if the goal is to ride bikes faster, then ride bikes more (as long as you don't overdo it - that;s another discussion).

    BP
    This.

    I'll also add two other non-tricks:

    1. Find people who ride lots and are already racing, and do a hard group ride once every week or two, road and/or mtn. Suck it up when you're dropped hard right after the start, finish on your own, show up the next week with a grin and try to get dropped a little later. Repeat for 1-3 years.

    2. Go racing now, even if you currently feel you are slow. It'll make you faster.

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    Lots of good info. With the time change ill be able to squeez in 2 rides on the weekend (early) .

    Thanks

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    So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    There's no need for even a second set of wheels really. Pump up the offroad tyres on your mountain bike to a higher pressure (I use 50psi) and simply ride that on the road.

    You're getting the specificity of the mountain bike position and a good workout for the time spent with the added weight and rolling resistance also.

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    The only bad thing about that is ammering a scwable tire that costs to much as it is

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    So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    According to WKO+ I got 3,500 miles out of my last rear tyre (Specialized Ground Control control 29x2.1), riding a mix of on and offroad on it. It's riding offroad tyres at low pressures on tarmac that really kills them quickly. At higher pressures they last much better.

    A harder tread compound should wear slower and last longer than the super soft tread compounds too.

  20. #20
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    Can you commute to work on your bike? Even if you commute is less than ten miles round trip, those miles will work wonders into your riding.

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    MTB's can be ridden on roads. If fact road riding and hill repeats (on the road) have helped me so much this season. I went from mid-pack last year to up front this and blame it on my dirt road rides.

    During my road rides I incorporate both hill repeats and intervals to up my threshold and V02 max.
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  22. #22
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    I go on road group rides on my MTBs. Do just fine. Try it sometime.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I go on road group rides on my MTBs. Do just fine. Try it sometime.
    Road tires on mtb will really help here! Yes, it is possible to hang with 2.25 mtb tires with tread, but you will suffer! That is the point of a group ride though..so..

  24. #24
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    Definitely don't need different wheels for road slicks.
    I ride my stumpjumper on a daily basis with 1.25 specialized fatboys ($60 a pair) on stock wheels they are a very nice ride that eliminates all the tire hum and go fast.
    Want to train with resistance/weight? Try hauling a chariot behind your bike! I drag my 3 year old all over the palce in one it'll make your legs burn for sure

  25. #25
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    Sweet. Im going to start riding different this week and just pump up my mtb tires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    The only bad thing about that is ammering a scwable tire that costs to much as it is
    I've found that riding the road causes very, very little wear my Schwalbe tires.

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    So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    If you haven't done much road riding on this bike before the main thing to pay attention to initially is your pedal stroke, maintaining a smooth mile eating rhythm, probably in the 80 to 90 rpm cadence range and a still upper body. I always like to imagine a metronome as I'm pedalling.

    Riding on the road without stopping can also show up any existing fit issues with your MTB riding position as it's quite unforgiving. See how your knees, back, hands etc feel afterwards as it could be that your SPD cleats, saddle height and saddle angle etc may need tweaking for comfort.

  28. #28
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    WR304...you reminded me of a song that I love, but have for some reason or anothernot heard it in awhile.Flobots - Handlebars - YouTube ...I can keep a rythm with no metronome...

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    So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    I do like to have music on whilst I'm getting ready for a ride. On a long ride I'll sing songs to myself and tell stories as a way of filling in the time. If I have some catchy tunes on beforehand I can then play them back in my head for the next few hours on the road.

    Today was quite funny. I was heading down the A38 to begin with, which is a flat main road, only it was into a raging headwind. I'd originally intended to turn off and go through the lanes but it was so hard into the wind that it would have been quitting and showing weakness to take the sheltered route. I stayed on the main road instead for the added challenge. 9.7miles in 45 minutes at an average speed of just 12.9mph on the flat.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    I can get in one good mtb ride a week,will jogging help? I want to get fitter and start doing a few races. I did a search and didnt find what i was looking for. My buddies now have road bikes and are starting to put it on me on rides. I actually got a road bike but had to sell it because of some un expected bills .
    I just bought some slicks for my mountain bike, locked up the suspension and went for it. I just switch back to mountain tires in the winter.

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    I have been doing the running/jogging thing. I can see a pretty big drop in my ride times. I have also noticed a huge increase my strength on some of the climbs on one of my routes. There is 2 hills that used to absolutely kill me.

    The running that I have been doing has alot of hills aswell. The first few times I ran it I wanted to just say to heck with it. The gains I've made have made it worth it. I have also recently started incorporating lunges and weighted runs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    Time Crunched is a good read
    No, not really. Carmichael is a charlatan. All his coached results were doped. PM me for link to the 6o minutes segment on him.

    As a word of warning regarding "ride more. Lots more" advice, the unspoken part of the competitive cycling cult is suffering, and suffering more and longer is always better. It's not.

    IMHO, Joe Friel's book is very good. The gym is excellent as is an exercise bike. I do 10 minute suffer sessions and they do great for me. I'm incrementally faster over many months at very low volumes.

  33. #33
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    Run up hills also dont just run. Find a steepish hill and do waterfall runs on it. its really sucks but it is great building and uses other muscles in your legs that running on flat wont do. The pumping of your legs to get up the hill transfers into when you are pumping the pedals. the harder you perform this the easier it is when it comes to crunch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by asphalt_jesus View Post
    As a word of warning regarding "ride more. Lots more" advice, the unspoken part of the competitive cycling cult is suffering, and suffering more and longer is always better. It's not.
    When I first started riding, it was with a group who were super fast to me at the time. Trying to keep up with them every week did get me stronger/faster, but after a while I realized destroying myself all the time wasn't the right way to go. Most of these guys hammer every time they go out, and pretty much always do the same thing. They seem to stay where they're at. Train smart.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kawigreen99 View Post
    When I first started riding, it was with a group who were super fast to me at the time. Trying to keep up with them every week did get me stronger/faster, but after a while I realized destroying myself all the time wasn't the right way to go. Most of these guys hammer every time they go out, and pretty much always do the same thing. They seem to stay where they're at. Train smart.
    Swimming will spike your cardio like none other. Also hill intervals. Long and steep (I use a ski hill). The year I won a ton of races was the year I did my cardio workouts in the pool and more hill miles than trail miles.



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    Re runups: I started doing them about year ago during cyclocross season as I realized I'd need to be able to do a steep runup carrying my bike and recover. I can still spike my heart rate on runups, but I'm much better than a year ago. I use a short hill on my regular training loop and run-up every time I ride there, which is a couple of times a week. You will encounter runups every once in a while in mtb racing and regularly in cx, and it's good to be prepared.

  37. #37
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    Get into HRZ training, many great athletes implemented this by going slower for a little while to build parts of their body up so they can go much faster and break past a plateau.

  38. #38
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    If you're getting more out of running than you are by riding, you aren't riding hard enough.

    I ran Division 1 track (800m and 1500m) and found that I can do much, much more work on the bike, at the same heart rate and RPE, than I ever could wearing a pair of running shoes. Why? Significantly less stress on the joints and muscles.
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    How to go faster with less time in the saddle:

    Mitochondria: The Aerobic Engines

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    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    I can get in one good mtb ride a week,will jogging help? I want to get fitter and start doing a few races. I did a search and didnt find what i was looking for. My buddies now have road bikes and are starting to put it on me on rides. I actually got a road bike but had to sell it because of some un expected bills .
    Here's the deal, you don't need a road bike for training.

    The whole premise behind people's arguments for having a road bike is that you can sustain threshold efforts for long periods of time. Something that you really can't do on a mountain bike trail.

    But, you can do it using your mountain bike on the road. As was mentioned a few other times in this thread, The Time Crunched Cyclist is a powerful resource for you to check out. Great training plan that will pack in loads of improvement through a small amount of time on the bike.

    Just get the bike on the road and push yourself to that threshold consistently. It will feel like it sucks pushing those big tires, but the outcome will be the same as if it were a road bike.
    When I'm not riding I help beginner mountain bikers learn new skills at Texas Mountain Bike Trails.

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    So guess who got a road bike? Found a crazy deal on a 2012 bh zaphire. I can tell you the workout is great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brentos View Post
    I've found that riding the road causes very, very little wear my Schwalbe tires.
    Hah.

    I just wanted to comment on road wear on mtb tires....This depends on what exact tire you are running...and the majority of that tire wear is in the rear. The front tire holds up pretty well on pavevment.

    I ran on my 26er a Spec' Hardrock'r as a rear tire on a couple of my bikes that saw both trail and pavement duty. This tire rolled well and wore well. I think I went at least 2000 miles before I wore through to the purple underlying compound.

    The Rocket Ron's that came on my 29er however... after like 300-400 miles of mixed pavement and trail the knobs in the rear were definitely looking worn. And I attribute this mostly to pavement riding. I didn't like this at all and decided to switch to cheap Race Kings for multiuse.

    I have probably 1000-1100 on my Race Kings this year... cheap non-black chili version... and I've found it to wear slower in the rear than the softer Rocket Ron. However the knobs are definitely worn a bit shorter than the front Race King and climb traction is starting to suffer. I'm wanting to wear it out more on pavement this winter so I can replace it early next spring.

    If you value your rear tire for trail use, have a beater tire to grind on pavement with...always nicer with a spare wheel, or even whole wheelset of beater tires.




    As for training, make sure u get some good climbing in too. Brutal climbs. Climbing makes u stronger in cardio, legs, and core vs. riding around on flat pavement all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    As for training, make sure u get some good climbing in too. Brutal climbs. Climbing makes u stronger in cardio, legs, and core vs. riding around on flat pavement all the time.
    And if you're cursed with no climbing like me here in Texas, get yourself an indoor trainer and crank the intensity up!

    What I would give for a mountain or decent hill nearby...
    When I'm not riding I help beginner mountain bikers learn new skills at Texas Mountain Bike Trails.

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    Over here in the Texas hill County it's not so flat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Blazer View Post
    Over here in the Texas hill County it's not so flat.
    I'm a good 4 hours north of the good stuff there. I love the hill country, but DFW, especially the north side, is pancake-ville.
    When I'm not riding I help beginner mountain bikers learn new skills at Texas Mountain Bike Trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnskee22 View Post
    And if you're cursed with no climbing like me here in Texas, get yourself an indoor trainer and crank the intensity up!

    What I would give for a mountain or decent hill nearby...
    Oh i know what you mean, in my spot of Indiana there is no climbing really. I just did a 18 mile pavement ride yesterday and only gained 74ft lulz.

    And that's why I like heading down to Brown County. 1st trip down back in August this year was tough. And it wasn't just climbing, but going down was tough too. I had a whole group of muscles getting tired, including my core.

    That 3 day trip made me so much stronger though, it was awesome. When I went back down there for a 4 day trip in October I was much more prepared for it thanks to the previous trip. And on the 4 day trip I did something like 78.9 Miles and
    6997ft of elevation total. By the 4th day I was feeling a lot better in climbing ability....though I still need to improve a lot more.

    SO if you can travel anywhere to get that kind of elevation, it is well worth it.

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    So i want to get faster and dont own a road bike...

    Quote Originally Posted by vizsladog View Post
    So guess who got a road bike? Found a crazy deal on a 2012 bh zaphire. I can tell you the workout is great.
    Is that BH Zaphire in the blue / white / black colour scheme? It looks nice.

    http://www.bicycling.com/node/59203

    Are you keeping up with your buddies ok on the road?

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    WoW I do 700 feet of change in an average 10 mile ride here and that's not the DH trails.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    Is that BH Zaphire in the blue / white / black colour scheme? It looks nice.

    BH Zaphire Road Bike Review | Bicycling Magazine

    Are you keeping up with your buddies ok on the road?
    Yup thats it. Got it for 500.00 shipped new in the box.

    My road buddies put it on me....lol. But ill get stronger

  50. #50
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    So got the road bike loved it saw nice increase in my mtb but have had several close calls. Prolly just gonna sell the road bike and build a nice xc bike with an extra set of wheels to put street tires on for riding on a paved greenway

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