Feel great on the roadie and then go to the MTB and it all feels slow- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Trail rider and racer
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    Feel great on the roadie and then go to the MTB and it all feels slow

    This year (Its nearing winter here) I am starting a new regimented training program and consequently I have been on the roadie a good bit, riding the MTB only twice a week. I am currently 4 weeks into base training...

    Prior to riding and training on the roadie my MTB felt like the bees knees, perfect in every manner, fast, light agile blah blah blah..And it still is IMHO the bees knees, the best MTB I think you can get (But thats another thread!!!)

    Anyhow to cut a long story short, when I get on the MTB after being on the roadie, the MTB feels like a DH bike, bars high, short in the TT (Which it aint) slow with regard to me chugging away (or thats how it seems), wallowing, and really not an enjoyment per se.

    Is it a matter of just getting used to the differences between the road bike and mountain bike or am I doing something wrong or what? I am guessing that the transition from road to MTB is simply something you get used to over time.

    I ride a Medium compact Giant carbon road bike and a medium Ellsworth Truth..

    What are peoples thoughts, comments etc. I would really appreciate to hear peoples insights etc.

    Trevor!

  2. #2
    The Riddler
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    I agree

    Trails definitly feel slower but after hitting the first technical downhill I fully understood the difference. You just don't need to be going 18+ to have fun at speed. When you accept that fast on a road bike is different from fast on a MTB you have a lot more fun. The big ring on a MTB becomes a lot more comfortable as well...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo
    Trails definitly feel slower but after hitting the first technical downhill I fully understood the difference. You just don't need to be going 18+ to have fun at speed. When you accept that fast on a road bike is different from fast on a MTB you have a lot more fun. The big ring on a MTB becomes a lot more comfortable as well...
    Actually 2 things I noticed yesterday whilst out on the trails, was that I seemed faster on the DH sections and in some technical single track and secondly that I was using Big ring alot more. I usually sit in middle ring alot but I was using big a good deal.

    Trevor!

  4. #4
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    Yep. I know what you mean. But...

    Last year I focused on road riding. Bought a Giant Carbon TCR, trained like crazy and did weekly TTs. I only rode my MTB a few times. But while it felt slower and heavier I was actually climbing stuff in a bigger ring than the year before. So it's definately worth cross-training. I just think the longer you're off one the weirder the other feels.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghisallo
    Yep. I know what you mean. But...

    Last year I focused on road riding. Bought a Giant Carbon TCR, trained like crazy and did weekly TTs. I only rode my MTB a few times. But while it felt slower and heavier I was actually climbing stuff in a bigger ring than the year before. So it's definately worth cross-training. I just think the longer you're off one the weirder the other feels.
    Thanks Ghisallo, I was really thinking that there really was something wrong with me. I have a brilliant coach look after me now so I have a strict regimented training program in place, together with a 8-10 8/12/24hr races too. I am going to see if my coach will allow me to hop on the MTB each day for around 10 or so minutes just how the change from road to MTB is not so dramatic for me.

    So, you got a Carbon TCR? It was my 21st yesterday and thats my one of my presents was this - Shame Giant were a little slow in getting it to the LBS (now I gotta wait a few more days)

    I cant wait to ride it:


    Cheers
    Trevor!

  6. #6
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    Cool, I played around with one of those my LBS the other day. Very sweet, nice cranks. The 04 TCR matches my 04 NRS frame which I actually was there merely to visit (pathetic, I know). Here is a photo of my 2003. Kinda fuzzy though.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7

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    I noticed the same thing last year. I don't live to close to any trails so I only got on my mtb to race and preride (with a few exceptions- once school was out I was able to hit the trails a little more). In the end, I just set my mtb and my road bike up exactly the same: same saddle height, reach to the bars and saddle to bar drop.

    I run bar ends, so I made the reach to the bars on my mtb the same as the reach to the "top" of my road bars (where the bar attaches to the stem). When I'm on the barends, the reach is about the same as it is to the hoods on my road bike. The same goes for my saddle to bar drop- it's to the top of the handlebars and only about 3".

    That helped me. Now, I'm having trouble switching from my road bike to my time trial machine (6-8" drop). Talk about using totally different muscles, my hamstrings don't like me right now.

  8. #8

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    I just stay on the MTB road or Trail

    There is a 44 mile paved railroad track one way total of 88 miles near the house. I train by going out on my MTB and trying to keep up (passing ocassionaly) guys on roadies nobbys and all. I feel like I am about to blow up most the time. Its a very competitve deal when you pass a roadie on a MTB. Great training.

  9. #9
    The Riddler
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    I second that Dirty,

    Two of the greatest things to do on a mountain bike. Watching the sun rise on Porcupine Rim and Slickrock Trail, and, passing roadies on a mountain bike. Now that I have a road bike, I hope to never, ever get passed by a guy on a mountain bike. Its that good.

  10. #10
    On your left.
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    I think it is related to force

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor!
    This year (Its nearing winter here) I am starting a new regimented training program and consequently I have been on the roadie a good bit, riding the MTB only twice a week. I am currently 4 weeks into base training...

    Prior to riding and training on the roadie my MTB felt like the bees knees, perfect in every manner, fast, light agile blah blah blah..And it still is IMHO the bees knees, the best MTB I think you can get (But thats another thread!!!)

    Anyhow to cut a long story short, when I get on the MTB after being on the roadie, the MTB feels like a DH bike, bars high, short in the TT (Which it aint) slow with regard to me chugging away (or thats how it seems), wallowing, and really not an enjoyment per se.

    Is it a matter of just getting used to the differences between the road bike and mountain bike or am I doing something wrong or what? I am guessing that the transition from road to MTB is simply something you get used to over time.

    I ride a Medium compact Giant carbon road bike and a medium Ellsworth Truth..

    What are peoples thoughts, comments etc. I would really appreciate to hear peoples insights etc.

    Trevor!
    When I ride road a lot I notice a loss of strength climbing the really steep MTB stuff. So when I'm doing a lot of distance on the road I always try to balance that with intervals up really steep stuff. I do notice on the flat and gentle MTB climbs that road training allows for pushing a larger gear, but for me the bushes moving by and turns arriving quicker makes me feel faster.

    I believe that hard efforts like steep climbs significantly reduce power at the end of a ride/race and this is where experienced riders (not me!) learn to meter their effort. It is a balance because when going slowest is the best place to make up time. Mountain biking is really tricky that way - we need lots of endurance, high base power and ability to make huge power for short periods. Road training is great for the first 2, but doesn't really address the 3rd and certainly not for the cadence range of a mountain biker.
    M

  11. #11

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    try something different

    Quote Originally Posted by Motivated
    Mountain biking is really tricky that way - we need lots of endurance, high base power and ability to make huge power for short periods. Road training is great for the first 2, but doesn't really address the 3rd and certainly not for the cadence range of a mountain biker.
    It is very easy to train "huge power for short periods of time" on a road bike. Find a long climb and try climbing it at lt and every 3min surge for 15-30 seconds and then back to lt. This is how the best road climbers will drop you everytime.

    The Road bike is the ultimate tool for training strength and endurance. The terrain does not factor in as much and you can control the effort so much better either hard or easy.

    The only thing you can not get from a road bike is handling skills that you have to use the mtb for.

    As for the feel of being faster on a road bike it seems pretty obvious. A high end road bike is just about as efficient as you can get. The power applied to the pedals basically ends up at the tire more or less directly. On a mtb you have suspension, lower tire pressures and softer terrain to deal with that will all take some of your power.

  12. #12
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    For what it is worth everyone:

    I altered my setup on the MTB moving my saddle all the way forward (A big change) and readjusted my bars and now the mountain bike feels perfect.

    On the road bike My legs were right over the BB, on the MTB I had a seatpost with too much setback adding an 1" to my TT, when going from one to the other the difference felt odd. Now I feel that both bikes feel perfect and that I positioned in the best possible way on the mountain bike to get the best power from my pedal strokes. Its interesting to note just how much I moved my saddle forward, looking back at my old position I was very stretched out, and now with this setup I am still nicely stretched out but must importantly my position over the BB is better.

    The final adjustment to the bike was rebound, I slowed it a little, as I think it was set to quick before and let a little air out of the shock - Its amazing the bike is a different character now, and feels just right again for the trails.

    Did a MTB ride yesterday and I felt fast on the MTB - What a great change, sometime it is all it takes is a few adjustments to get things right.

    Trevor!
    (A very happy MTBer ready to race his first 8hr of the season this weekend! )

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