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  1. #1
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    Help me decide...

    I am looking for input on how I should go about increasing my speed on the mountain bike. I am looking at this through the lens of equipment. I am aware other things obviously make an impact (strength, nutrition, power to weight ratio, etc.). I would call myself an XC guy, and a mid pack rider.

    I am 47, 5'9" 158lbs and ride a 2016 Stumpjumper Comp 29 hardtail. I ride 3-4 days per week and get between 4-6 hours in per week usually. Like most of us, job, kids, family keep my training time somewhat limited. I do some strength work, and mix in some trail running and hiking as well.

    I like to jump in to a few races, Whiskey 50, 24 Hour Old Pueblo (team) and may try my hand at Leadville again in 2018 (dnf'd this year).

    My question: Would I be better off getting a road bike and incorporate that into my training, OR, would I be better served with getting a full suspension XC bike? Where should my focus be?

    Thanks for the input!
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  2. #2
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Thats a better bike than Jon Tomac won world titles on. Focus on everything but the bike. In your case anyways. You have a legit race bike for an amateur. A road bike would help you with training or you can use hardtail like a road bike. Then get the fs for racing. I would finish all of those races you said on your stumpy then decide first though if you want some travel or like 120/130ish.

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  3. #3
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    cross bike to mix in some long gravel and road rides. Also can put it on a trainer at night when fam is sleeping pound out some intervals like the rest of us old dudes do.

  4. #4
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    Two words: smart trainer

    One of those and a TrainerRoad subscription if you want to get faster

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    Two words: smart trainer

    One of those and a TrainerRoad subscription if you want to get faster
    +1000. Trainerroad is designed for people with limited time.

  6. #6
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Trainers are dumb and dont make you a better rider. They just give you fitness you cant handle when its time to ride trails anyways. Amateurs on trainers is just plain stupid. Get out and ride your bike. Doesnt matter if its up and down your street for 9 hours straight. Ride over curbs, up and down stairs, work on slow speed skills, something. Screw a trainer. It doenst help you ride your bike faster. It makes you have more fitness and there is a huggggggeeeeee difference.

    If you only have a few hours a week and spend it on the trainer you will flame out of cycling and hate it while wasting valuable time you could be enjoying nature and the world. Dont take the fun out of riding your bike until you get 2nd to Howard at Whiskey 50 and need that extra 25 watts to catch him. Which isnt happening so dont use a trainer.

    Basically a traineer is false hope. You see all these numbers go up. Come find me on the trail with that fitness and i will just make you crash by sucking you into lines you cant handle then ride away when you are laying there. Thats amateur bike racing.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Trainers are dumb and dont make you a better rider. They just give you fitness you cant handle when its time to ride trails anyways. Amateurs on trainers is just plain stupid. Get out and ride your bike. Doesnt matter if its up and down your street for 9 hours straight. Ride over curbs, up and down stairs, work on slow speed skills, something. Screw a trainer. It doenst help you ride your bike faster. It makes you have more fitness and there is a huggggggeeeeee difference.

    If you only have a few hours a week and spend it on the trainer you will flame out of cycling and hate it while wasting valuable time you could be enjoying nature and the world. Dont take the fun out of riding your bike until you get 2nd to Howard at Whiskey 50 and need that extra 25 watts to catch him. Which isnt happening so dont use a trainer.

    Basically a traineer is false hope. You see all these numbers go up. Come find me on the trail with that fitness and i will just make you crash by sucking you into lines you cant handle then ride away when you are laying there. Thats amateur bike racing.

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    Lane - I agree with much of what you said and would prefer to get out as much as possible. I am a family guy and unlike a lot of really fast family guys I know I refuse to miss my kids doing stuff to ride my bike. So when I need to, which isn't often, I jump on the trainer at 11pm at night..not much to see outside at that time anyways. Spoke with Christian Tanguy at a race about his training - he was doing 4-5 days a week on trainer and 2 on the mtb due to family responsibilities. No numbers for me just perceived effort.

  8. #8
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkolinIN View Post
    Lane - I agree with much of what you said and would prefer to get out as much as possible. I am a family guy and unlike a lot of really fast family guys I know I refuse to miss my kids doing stuff to ride my bike. So when I need to, which isn't often, I jump on the trainer at 11pm at night..not much to see outside at that time anyways. Spoke with Christian Tanguy at a race about his training - he was doing 4-5 days a week on trainer and 2 on the mtb due to family responsibilities. No numbers for me just perceived effort.
    Using the trainer to make up for a missed ride. Of course thats effective. Doing some trainer based plan. Cycling suicide.

    When i spoke to Tanguay couple weeks ago he said he hasnt ridden more than 6 hours in a week this year except on race day. He also said he has never used a trainer and calls it a torture machine and he would rather not train then ride a trainer. Thats as of September 10th or so. He said back as far as 2011 hes never ridden a trainer. So maybe you misunderstood what he was saying. He told me never buy a trainer. So has Jeremiah Bishop and Tinker and a few others ive spoken to at big races. Also if you are racing only for 1.5hours a trainer could help. Just not for whisky 50 or leadville. You need seat time with bumps and bike handling skills for Whisky.

    Also riding a trainer doesnt help you overcome adversity in your races. Things happen during training outside you cant simulate on zwift. Trainers are for roadies.

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  9. #9
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    Personally, I enjoy my time on the trainer and it's far more time effective for training during the week when I can't easily get to the trails. I've also seen a dramatic difference in fitness, body composition, and speed and it has showed in my results over multiple years. Went from 7:45 for Tahoe Trail 100 in 2015, to 6:20 in 2016, to a 5:45 in 2017. I was on track for a sub 9 at Leadville at the turnaround point but had a knee issue in the second half of the race.

    I ride the trainer during the week since i have limited time, and then ride outside on the weekends to practice skills. It works for me and I'm still having fun.

    YMMV

  10. #10
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    Some great feedback, thanks!

    Many moons ago, I had an old road bike and had a trainer set up in the garage. It was good mental toughness training to get to 60 minutes. The trainer road stuff looks interesting and sounds like it makes riding a trainer suck less.

    I have used my HT in lieu of a road bike, but it has its limitations (1x11 set up) but does the job. I can absolutely do better with strength training, maybe LaneDetroitCity is right, focus on other things but the bike.
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  11. #11
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    I think a good fs mtb could help you go a tiny bit faster with the same effort, also should reduce fatigue on long rides. Road bikes can be great training aids. I'd get both!
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  12. #12
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    I did the Whiskey 50 once on a hardtail. That was enough. Some of the pros are so good they can endure that and still go fast. I gotta have some relief.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Trainers are dumb and dont make you a better rider. They just give you fitness you cant handle when its time to ride trails anyways. Amateurs on trainers is just plain stupid. Get out and ride your bike. Doesnt matter if its up and down your street for 9 hours straight. Ride over curbs, up and down stairs, work on slow speed skills, something. Screw a trainer. It doenst help you ride your bike faster. It makes you have more fitness and there is a huggggggeeeeee difference.

    If you only have a few hours a week and spend it on the trainer you will flame out of cycling and hate it while wasting valuable time you could be enjoying nature and the world. Dont take the fun out of riding your bike until you get 2nd to Howard at Whiskey 50 and need that extra 25 watts to catch him. Which isnt happening so dont use a trainer.

    Basically a traineer is false hope. You see all these numbers go up. Come find me on the trail with that fitness and i will just make you crash by sucking you into lines you cant handle then ride away when you are laying there. Thats amateur bike racing.

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    I think if you lived in a big city where the nearest trails are a 1-2hr drive with moderate traffic and empty roads even further, you might change the way you think about a trainer. I live in Northern Europe too - there is literally like 6 hours of daylight in the winter, so it's next to impossible to ride in the winter if you're not willing to jump on a trainer.

    Trainers don't make you a more technically capable rider, but if you're like me and don't hate them, they are by far the most efficient way to get fit if you don't have trails out of your back door. And that's something more than false hope.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I think a good fs mtb could help you go a tiny bit faster with the same effort, also should reduce fatigue on long rides. Road bikes can be great training aids. I'd get both!
    Agree here, plus, road bikes work when trails are muddy quagmires.

    My personal order of bike priority:

    1. Short travel FS mtb ("race" bike).

    2. Road bike.

    3. Hardtail mtb.

    4. Longer travel FS mtb (moto trail, Moab, etc. bike).

    Kind of like Jayem says below, early in my so-called racing career, I did the Cascade Creampuff 100 on a hardtail. That was enough. Short travel FS didn't really clock out any faster on training segments, but the recovery obtained on the downhills compared to a HT was MONEY when it was 100 mile race time.
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  15. #15
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    I think if you lived in a big city where the nearest trails are a 1-2hr drive with moderate traffic and empty roads even further, you might change the way you think about a trainer. I live in Northern Europe too - there is literally like 6 hours of daylight in the winter, so it's next to impossible to ride in the winter if you're not willing to jump on a trainer.

    Trainers don't make you a more technically capable rider, but if you're like me and don't hate them, they are by far the most efficient way to get fit if you don't have trails out of your back door. And that's something more than false hope.
    Um. I live in downtown Detroit. Closest trail 33 miles which takes an hour to get too. All trails are 1 hour away minimum. Ive never used a trainer and i am doing pretty damn good for myself. Get out and ride your bike. If you are riding the trainer you are missing the point of riding a bike. The guys that ride trainers cant ride their bike. Just pedal it really hard. There are exceptions but i promise if you have to resort to the trainer yoi should find a new sport to train for because you arent actually training for mountain biking you are just increasing your physical capacity to ride the trainer.

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  16. #16
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    Montana rider here... those that donít ride the trainers, skate ski, or similar hard fitness in the winter get dropped on the climbs and in general have a terrible time even trying to use their handling skills in the middle of 10% grade climb when that switch back comes up... it takes both fitness and skills but extra fitness makes the skills much easier to apply.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Um. I live in downtown Detroit. Closest trail 33 miles which takes an hour to get too. All trails are 1 hour away minimum. Ive never used a trainer and i am doing pretty damn good for myself. Get out and ride your bike. If you are riding the trainer you are missing the point of riding a bike. The guys that ride trainers cant ride their bike. Just pedal it really hard. There are exceptions but i promise if you have to resort to the trainer yoi should find a new sport to train for because you arent actually training for mountain biking you are just increasing your physical capacity to ride the trainer.

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    You really seem like you've figured it out. Why not share some real results?

  18. #18
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    You really seem like you've figured it out. Why not share some real results?
    Not sure what you mean by results? In a race or some type of power data? This guy wants to know if a fs or road bike would better serve him to gain the fitness to finish those races. He didnt say win. I didnt say win. I have won cat 2 races, could easily podium cat 1 ss at some races, and am about mid pack cat 1 geared. Ive never ridden a trainer or owned a road bike. Nino hates his road bike, Christoph Sauser didnt own a road bike till he was already world champion and Specialized made him, Howard Grotts isnt riding the trainer or, Bishop, or many many many many HIGH level pros. We are just regular joes. Why suck the fun out of riding your bike to get 12th in cat 2 Clydesdale. Just ride your bike a lot. Sometimes really hard for not that long, sometimes kinda hard for a long time, and barely pedaling for even longer time. Incorporate that into riding your bike. Not the trainer.

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  19. #19
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    LDC - why do you think everyone hates riding the trainer? In all honesty, it's not that bad - doesn't suck the fun out of anything for me.

  20. #20
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    LDC - why do you think everyone hates riding the trainer? In all honesty, it's not that bad - doesn't suck the fun out of anything for me.
    Thats the feedback ive gotten whenever i ask people about their training methods. I ask pros and super fast guys how they train, they all quickly dismiss the trainer.

    I think in the context of this discussion the guy just needs a nice 100-120 fs and use the hardtail to train. Not a road bike or trainer. He needs bike handling as much as fitness. You can get base miles on any bike, you can do an "interval" on any bike. You can go run around the neighborhood and get anaerobic work, indoor rock climbing, swimming, many things are better than a trainer.

    Im not going to turn this into a trainer or not discussion even though i kind of did. Its his topic not mine. I say get a Pivot 429 and ride your hardtail with the biggest chainring you can. Grab a SS mtb too and learn momentum.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Screw a trainer. It doenst help you ride your bike faster. It makes you have more fitness and there is a huggggggeeeeee difference.
    Fitness doesn't help you ride a bike faster?

    People ride bikes for different reasons, I hate trainers too but I don't live in a cold, dark climate and am not gunning for podiums. If someone someone lives in an area that's unridable for part of the year and wants to increase their FTP by using a trainer then kudos to them.
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  22. #22
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Fitness doesn't help you ride a bike faster?

    People ride bikes for different reasons, I hate trainers too but I don't live in a cold, dark climate and am not gunning for podiums. If someone someone lives in an area that's unridable for part of the year and wants to increase their FTP by using a trainer then kudos to them.
    It can help, its not a guaranteed solution. Increasing your ftp doesnt make you faster, taking steroids doesnt make you hit 75 home runs. There are so many more things involved. In fact increasing your power to a point you cant even handle the bike is counterproductive.

    Lots of people put huge motors in cars and dont upgrade the suspension and braking. They crash and burn a lot. When you are maximized skill wise then start increasing your ftp. You can get too fast too soon. My ex gf went from never riding a bike in her life to 4.5w/kg in about 5 months. She then crashed and broke her arm and face and never mtb again. She couldnt ride a bike at 1w/kg and takes some power computrainer classes and all of a sudden has pro level power. Took all the fun out of riding cause now she was hitting speeda that were out of her league handling wise. So you can ride the trainer and get more ftp of course. If you have or had bike handling okay.

    Im speaking directly to the OP. Not in general. He wants to "do" "finish" these races. Not race for the win. He needs to be able to stay on his bike for as much of whisky 50 as he can. A trainer doesn't help that or a road bike. Riding trail does. He wants to finish leadville, 2x20 on the trainer doesnt help that. 6hr rides do. Ride the trainer for 6hrs? Lol go find a new sport. Thats my opinion anyways.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    This guy wants to know if a fs or road bike would better serve him to gain the fitness to finish those races.
    Exactly, we are trying to help OP succeed at building fitness.

    For someone who has 4-6 hours a week to ride, the most time efficient way to gain fitness for a longer event like Whiskey 50 is to follow a structured training plan and use a trainer and power meter during the week, while incorporating skills work and longer rides on the weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    He wants to finish leadville, 2x20 on the trainer doesnt help that.
    With all due respect, you are smoking some strong stuff if you think this.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    Exactly, we are trying to help OP succeed at building fitness.

    For someone who has 4-6 hours a week to ride, the most time efficient way to gain fitness for a longer event like Whiskey 50 is to follow a structured training plan and use a trainer and power meter during the week, while incorporating skills work and longer rides on the weekend.
    I cant even comment then. I do 4-6 hour rides, not a week. I do 12-15 a week and im an amateur mid pack cat 1.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    It can help, its not a guaranteed solution. Increasing your ftp doesnt make you faster, taking steroids doesnt make you hit 75 home runs. There are so many more things involved. In fact increasing your power to a point you cant even handle the bike is counterproductive.
    I suppose that's possible but I've never seen a mountain biker with more power than they can handle, that would be a nice problem to have lol!

    You don't like trainers, I don't enjoy them either but totally disagree that riding one can't help someone do long mountain bike races. Same with road bikes, lots of super fast mountain bikers swear by them.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    With all due respect, you are smoking some strong stuff if you think this.
    Really, my gf and her dad have done Leadville, him 11 years in a row, her 4. All sub 9hrs. Never owned a trainer or did an interval. You know what they do? They get off work and go ride their bike around for ~2hrs. Then on the weekend they do ~6hrs one day at a solid pace, then 4 the next day jra.

    Leadville is like 10 hrs for most. 49 minutes on the trainer isnt helping you condition your body for leadville or any race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    49 minutes on the trainer isnt helping you condition your body for leadville or any race.
    LOL, good to know. I'll make sure to go tell everyone doing 2x20 intervals that they don't work.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    LOL, good to know. I'll make sure to go tell everyone doing 2x20 intervals that they don't work.
    Thank you. The more people getting the truth out the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I suppose that's possible but I've never seen a mountain biker with more power than they can handle, that would be a nice problem to have lol!
    One hell of a problem.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    One hell of a problem.
    Not sure where you guys ride and race bikes then. The moon? Way way too many riders have focused on power because someon trying to get paid tells them thats a good idea. My advice is free. If you cant climb 2ft rock lodges at race pace dont worry about power.


    Not to Peter specifically.. You all should do the Marji Gesick race 50/100. Alot of you would quit cycling, or quickly understand what i am saying.

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    Last I checked I wasn't charging for my advice either. No one's saying you can race just fine without technical skill and that it's not an important part of the equation - but by that same token, if all you're doing is casual rides with no structure, you could gain a lot from doing some more structured, polarized training.

    LDC - I don't know if you're intentionally trolling folks or not, but you come off as a bit smug.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    Last I checked I wasn't charging for my advice either. No one's saying you can race just fine without technical skill and that it's not an important part of the equation - but by that same token, if all you're doing is casual rides with no structure, you could gain a lot from doing some more structured, polarized training.

    LDC - I don't know if you're intentionally trolling folks or not, but you come off as a bit smug.
    Im probably a jerk. I dont take offense to that.

    Now you are taking what i said and twisting it to the extrem opposite.

    I said dont ride a trainer. I didnt say dont train. All my posts are there unedited.

    Enjoy your discussion i gotta go ride in the pouring rain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Im probably a jerk. I dont take offense to that.

    Now you are taking what i said and twisting it to the extrem opposite.

    I said dont ride a trainer. I didnt say dont train. All my posts are there unedited.

    Enjoy your discussion i gotta go ride in the pouring rain.

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    Sorry, you're right, my bad. I do those things on a trainer though, I can do more of it in less time. And I don't mind it. That's all I'm saying.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    Sorry, you're right, my bad. I do those things on a trainer though, I can do more of it in less time. And I don't mind it. That's all I'm saying.
    No worries. You have made a valid discussion about a trainer.

    I believe one reason pros dont ride a trainer much? They ride their bike as a job. So they dont have to ride after work. It is work. So they want to make work as enjoyable but effective as possible.

    I am not arguing the trainer sucks for building power, im arguing there is more to riding than building power and none of those are accomplished on the trainer.

    Not everyone can do this but im moving to Arkansas next week to be able to train outside year round and race in Texas all winter. Like Howard Grotts does and he does alright even if he is afraid to go to Europe So in these discussions all the different people have different lives going that affect their training. Not everyone is a wanna be pro like me.

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    I will say that LDC has some valid points. Trainers do suck and nothing beats time on the bike, especially the mountain bike. If you are training for an endurance MTB race then spending as much time on that bike as possible is critical. I made that mistake once....too much roadie time and very little MTB time. When the race came I sure was in good shape, so good that my speed was more than my technical skills were used to and I crashed out of the race with a broken shoulder, concussion and a ruined season. Point is to ride/train on the bike you plan to race most of the time and mix in road/trail rides with it. Lights were made for night rides and warm riding gear for the winter. Not much reason not to ride under most circumstances. Oh and a little bit of core exercises (3x15 mins per week) will go a long way.

  37. #37
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    I think for the cost of a road bike and smart trainer you can get a cheap fatbike and do those type of races. If you live in snow. Otherwise race cx or gravel or similar as your intervals. I do the pro cx race just to get an hour at max bpm. And ride my bike, in shit weather. Because thats where races are. Outside.

    Its not like i havent made this exavt same thread and had these same argument with the same people. Based on my experience of going from the bong to racing ive found that marketing is the biggest competition you face in bike racing. Hype, bs, coachspeak, catch phrases. Have no fear though, your competition is fighting these same battles.

    Its really simple once youve done it for a bit (2 years). Eat good food, stay hydrated, get good sleep, do the local fast group ride 1-2x a week, do a hammerfest with your buddy 1x a week, couple days spinning around listening to podcasts, two or three times a month do a mtb epic type ride, enter as many races as you can. If you do those things you wil be cat 1, having fun, getting results, staying healthy. When you get all caught up in the coachspeak as an amateur you are spending money on dumb stuff and just causing more confusion in your mind. Then you are like well im 299 watts if i coukd only be 305 lol. No dude, first of all are you overweight, and secomd of all have you maxed out every last drop of that 299. Nope. Lets make power on paper. Want to go faster? Check your air pressure and setup your bike right!

    I bet some of you couldnt ride your bike up your front porch. When you can then worry about power.
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  38. #38
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    Holy crap - this discussion took off! Sorry dudes, I was out riding!

    LDC - You make some great points on a number of topics. No.1 is the marketing hype, which I try hard to see through, but it is tough and you are right that we all fight it.

    I have been riding since 1989, maybe I gave the impression that I have only been doing this for a year or two. I do ride the local wednesday night hammerfest with the guys, I do watch what I eat and when I was training for Leadville, I was up at 4am to get 6+ hours on the MTB here in Phoenix before it got too hot. I have finished the Whiskey 50 in 5:30 on a hardtail.I have the luxury of year round riding living in AZ and also have steep/rocky trails right near the house, and easy single track 10 minutes away. I ride all of it on a rotating basis, based on what I feel like that day.

    The whole point of my original post was to see what my next steps could be to get faster. You all put up some good points, so thanks for your input.

    I am leaning toward adding a FS and keeping the HT too.
    Less f*cks to give every passing day, use them well. - geraldooka

  39. #39
    LDC is ded,deth by trollz
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjkm View Post
    Holy crap - this discussion took off! Sorry dudes, I was out riding!

    LDC - You make some great points on a number of topics. No.1 is the marketing hype, which I try hard to see through, but it is tough and you are right that we all fight it.

    I have been riding since 1989, maybe I gave the impression that I have only been doing this for a year or two. I do ride the local wednesday night hammerfest with the guys, I do watch what I eat and when I was training for Leadville, I was up at 4am to get 6+ hours on the MTB here in Phoenix before it got too hot. I have finished the Whiskey 50 in 5:30 on a hardtail.I have the luxury of year round riding living in AZ and also have steep/rocky trails right near the house, and easy single track 10 minutes away. I ride all of it on a rotating basis, based on what I feel like that day.

    The whole point of my original post was to see what my next steps could be to get faster. You all put up some good points, so thanks for your input.

    I am leaning toward adding a FS and keeping the HT too.
    Thats whats up then. You are a mountain biker. Get a Pivot 429 sl or trail. Ride harder and faster than you ever have. Hope to see you at Whisky!

    It was probably my fault on some of the answers because honestly i thoughy i was replying to the tbread where the guy asked how long till peak fitness so one or two of my posts were about that in this thread by mistake. My bad.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by sperky View Post
    I will say that LDC has some valid points. Trainers do suck and nothing beats time on the bike, especially the mountain bike. If you are training for an endurance MTB race then spending as much time on that bike as possible is critical. I made that mistake once....too much roadie time and very little MTB time. When the race came I sure was in good shape, so good that my speed was more than my technical skills were used to and I crashed out of the race with a broken shoulder, concussion and a ruined season. Point is to ride/train on the bike you plan to race most of the time and mix in road/trail rides with it. Lights were made for night rides and warm riding gear for the winter. Not much reason not to ride under most circumstances. Oh and a little bit of core exercises (3x15 mins per week) will go a long way.
    Yes, and why? Because cramps at 40, 60 or 80 miles in can be a thing, depending on the race and conditions. IMO, you gotta stretch your rides out and get some similar endurance riding to the race, although I'm a big proponent of training off the bike, for endurance riding that does simply take a long time on the bike. When I'm approaching the Whiskey and other similar races, I'm stretching my normal rides out to similar mileage and charging hard, this coming off our winter racing season (fatbikes) too. I can say from experience that it takes a lot of miles to get you in the kind of shape for 50+ races. The 50 is not so bad once you've done a few, you can screw up pretty badly and still limp across the line hours later, but getting into significantly longer distances, you gotta manage your resources pretty well. It's much easier said than done, and it takes a lot of miles IME.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thats whats up then. You are a mountain biker. Get a Pivot 429 sl or trail. Ride harder and faster than you ever have. Hope to see you at Whisky!

    It was probably my fault on some of the answers because honestly i thoughy i was replying to the tbread where the guy asked how long till peak fitness so one or two of my posts were about that in this thread by mistake. My bad.
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  42. #42
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    you don't need a road bike to be good at endurance riding. Its about time and effort, not miles.

    Do you have a bike path or long road route where you can do Tempo, endurance and threshold intervals. 30-1HR on the Gas with no stop? I am lucky enough to have a gravel/bike path route like this. I can average 17.5-18 mph for 30 miles on the FS and hardtail. This type of riding really helps you for endurance MTB efforts.

    Since you have the hardtail, I would look at a FS bike and possibly something with 110-120 up front like an rocky mountain element, pivot429, etc etc. You will probably have a better day on the bike for a big marathon and ultras.

    Today I got slicks on my Hardtail for fun and speed, so I will see how far off I am from some of the road bikes averaging 20 mph+

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    you don't need a road bike to be good at endurance riding. Its about time and effort, not miles.

    Do you have a bike path or long road route where you can do Tempo, endurance and threshold intervals. 30-1HR on the Gas with no stop? I am lucky enough to have a gravel/bike path route like this. I can average 17.5-18 mph for 30 miles on the FS and hardtail. This type of riding really helps you for endurance MTB efforts.

    Since you have the hardtail, I would look at a FS bike and possibly something with 110-120 up front like an rocky mountain element, pivot429, etc etc. You will probably have a better day on the bike for a big marathon and ultras.

    Today I got slicks on my Hardtail for fun and speed, so I will see how far off I am from some of the road bikes averaging 20 mph+
    FJ- I do have some pavement to gravel roads about 20 minutes into a ride that leaves my house. I do hit that from time to time, and it has a kick ass 1,700ft climb on the last 3-4 miles. I hit it a few times training for Leadville, should probably hit it more often.

    Still looking at bikes, I am getting pulled into plus size land as I do my research. I have a few buddies that are riding either 27.5+ or 29+ and can't wipe the grins off their faces. All are coming off the usual xc/single speed and are strong riders.

    I am looking at the 6Fatte Stumpy 27.5+, but it is 150/135, so that will suck pedaling for 50+ miles I imagine. Also, the Fuse Carbon HT with a 120ml fork. Sweet looking bikes. My heart is still leaning toward the Epic. Unfortunately, Pivot is out of my price range ($3K). I am sure plus bikes have been covered someplace in here, but will ask, is anyone riding a plus bike for endurance events??
    Less f*cks to give every passing day, use them well. - geraldooka

  44. #44
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    Tjkm....
    On our Wednesday night rides where are you feeling slow? Last time you hammered that start of the climb to conversation point pretty good then popped. My thinking is this. If you are losing time on the down hills then short travel FS bike it great. If you need more time on the climbs keep the HT. Of my 3 mtn bikes.... My gear carbon HT is the fastest overall. My Steel single speed is second fastest most due to it being SS it climbs different. My 5" FS bike is the slowest of all except for the nasty downhills where I just plow through stuff. The dropper post helps on really techy stuff, but all that means it can't hold a candle the others when climbing. I just put 2.6 tires on the bike and I can bring it out for the ride next Wednesday. You can borrow it for the ride, but I will warn you. While fast downhill it is not fast climbing bike and I don't bring it for the Wednesday ride because I will struggle to keep up on it and for me it makes the down hills too easy for the loops we do. Now I love that bike for going down bell pass for example but I have not done it yet.


    I do think that if you are getting beat up too much riding the west side of McDowells a short travel carbon 4" XC bike might be good. Not maybe ideal for every course, but if it gets you on the trail more it might be the ticket.

    Now when it comes to training. Angry Ray is big into High intensity intervals. These are good to really push hard in a short time. 60-90 minutes of that works. It will not give you long distance legs, but start doing AES rides and your distance will come in. Most AES rides are longer and harder than Whiskey 50 so if you bang those out then doing the Whiskey less about finishing and more about racing and placement.

    Personally I like the interval stuff, but I can't do the same hill over and over. I get bored. So do road bike loop with 35 min high constant effort then 5 2-5 min hard intervals up different hills in Anthem. That is great for summer, but I will say that in winter I tend to Mtn bike more since I don't like roadbiking in the cold. I also do tues SS highclimb rides and started doing a road crit on tuesday. That will probably stop when it gets too cold at 7pm, but that means more SS.

    my FS bike is for techy gnar and fun. I also should add my peak fitness has not really improved much in the past 2 years. However I am faster on the mtn bike due to better bike handling on descents, flats, and climbs. I am faster on rolling terrain from SS where I have to get out of saddle for short punchy stuff to maintain momentum. Endurance is better due to more endurance riding.
    Joe
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  45. #45
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    JoePAz - will email you about next Wed. To answer your question, I feel like I loose you dudes on the downhills.

    I should be in for that ride next week, and would love to try the 5010. It may cure me of the plus, or create a monster. I expect the next bike I get to pull most of the duty, so an short travel xc bike probably checks most of the boxes.

    BTW - JoePAz and AngryRay are two super strong dudes who I am always looking to learn from, and have had the pleasure of becoming friends with over the years.
    Less f*cks to give every passing day, use them well. - geraldooka

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjkm View Post
    JoePAz - will email you about next Wed. To answer your question, I feel like I loose you dudes on the downhills.

    I should be in for that ride next week, and would love to try the 5010. It may cure me of the plus, or create a monster. I expect the next bike I get to pull most of the duty, so an short travel xc bike probably checks most of the boxes.

    BTW - JoePAz and AngryRay are two super strong dudes who I am always looking to learn from, and have had the pleasure of becoming friends with over the years.
    I can easily bring the 5010. You should fit on with little issues. Very different ride experience. It makes the downhills easy, but the climbs hard compared to my HT bikes.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Um. I live in downtown Detroit. Closest trail 33 miles which takes an hour to get too. All trails are 1 hour away minimum. Ive never used a trainer and i am doing pretty damn good for myself. Get out and ride your bike. If you are riding the trainer you are missing the point of riding a bike. The guys that ride trainers cant ride their bike. Just pedal it really hard. There are exceptions but i promise if you have to resort to the trainer yoi should find a new sport to train for because you arent actually training for mountain biking you are just increasing your physical capacity to ride the trainer.

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Streetdoctor View Post
    Bwahahahahahaha thatís funny.
    No kidding.... and a bit ridiculous, with no data to support the comment.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjkm View Post
    I was up at 4am to get 6+ hours on the MTB here in Phoenix before it got too hot.
    pffft... what a wus.

  50. #50
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    Terry,
    What did you end up doing? I would have gotten the road bike and made your other bike SS. The gains i see some of our riding cohorts make just doing the phx road rides is amazing.

    I ended up going the smart trainer route in order to try and get some structure in. I found that just riding around by myself became counterproductive to where i was not pushing myself hard enough.

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