As a mountain biker, I thought I was fit, until…
…I started training on a road bike.
I’m more than happy to ride all day around the peak and my riding buddies consider me to be reasonably quick.
However, I’ve just done almost 4 hours, between 137-157 bpm at an average of 107 rpm. I can’t remember the last time I felt this broken.Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
Strange, I find it the other way round. I find mountain biking is more intense – large changes in cadence, very steep technical climbs utilising the upper body a lot more, only short downhills to take you to the next climb – except you don’t really rest on a downhill, they’re just as tiring as climbing, then you’re straight back into hauling your 15kg bike with large, low pressure draggy tyres back up a steep technical climb in soft draggy terrain. I generally need twice the time to do a road ride that is as tiring as a mountain bike ride. Maybe i’m not pushing myself hard enough on the road bike.Posted 4 years agomuddydwarfSubscriber
Out on my hybrid today (broke my road bike) around the Forest of Bowland. Horrible experience, all up or down, not one mile of flatland & a 20mph wind that was in my face all the way round – how does that work???Posted 4 years ago
Normally i have to do much more on the road bike to feel as wrecked as i do on the mountain bike, today would have been hellish on or off road!NobeerinthefridgeSubscriber
One of my mates is a cat 2 roadie, but has always just trained on his own programs. As he’s nearly 40, he decided to have a right go at it this year, and has hired a coach. He’s out in Spain training ATM, and I noticed yesterday he posted a 109 mile ride at an average of 20.1mph.
Bloody hell.Posted 4 years agofervouredimageMember
A few years ago i made the error of doing short 45 – 60 minute road rides at a silly high cadence on a regular basis. I kept it up for 9 months. In terms of mountain biking and motocross i was faster and more explosive on the bikes than i’d ever been, which was great. When i one day decided to go for a 100 mile road ride i almost immediately started to fall apart at 90 minutes. I’d trained myself unwittingly into these 60 minute bursts but anything beyond that and I was completely floored.
I just stupidly assumed that I was now ‘fit’ and could therefore take on long all day rides with ease. The opposite was true.Posted 4 years agomaxtorqueMember
Assuming you are not actually riding your MTB to train for a specific event, then there are lot more things to “slow you down” off road, be that mates pfaffing, people falling off, hazards/features, punctures and all sorts of things that mean you tend to operate in bursts (potentially quite high power ones) and then get a rest. On the road, there is less to stop you, and you can get to a suitable load and just sit at that load, for hrs! I think that might be when people start to actually race off road it tends be harder than they think, because they are used to being able to ride at a lower average load for most of their MTBing. For me, when off road, i also like to leave a little bit in my legs, as often you come round a corner to find something that needs a bit of impulse to clear, be that a drop, rock, log or whatever. If at that point you are completely done, you’re going to be either stopping or falling off at that point…… 😉Posted 4 years agoD0NKSubscriber
Depends how you ride dunnit, I normally break myself on a road bike quicker than mtb but its coz road biking is so mind numbingly boring the only fun bit is the speed and the burning of your muscles so you flog yourself to death. Mtb rides for me tend to be more relaxed, I want to enjoy the downs and clean the ups rather than get the fastest time so I wont be redlining (unless gradient dictates I have to) so I can concentrate on technical sections (like max said above) Lots of people reckon ss kills their legs, reverse for me, gears mean I can push harder both up and downhill, ss is more grunt up coast down.
Short races tho (mtb, never raced road) is just a sufferfest, redlining all the way, ouch. You can force yourself to push harder or ease up for any class of cycling but everyone seems to have their own default riding style for each and will autopilot on that.Posted 4 years agoDanWMember
Hard to gauge intensity from the info provided but based on the HR, that should be an almost all day pace. As others have said, I find a road ride much easier than an MTB ride of the same average intensity (based on HR) mainly because you have so much control of how hard/ easy you can go and the effort is much more constant. On the MTB the spikes in intensity are dictated far more by terrain, mud, super steep sections that come out of nowhere, etc. The breaks in riding crossing gates and so on only compensates so much for the constantly varying intensity on the MTB. If anything a road ride takes much more restraint as it is so easy to keep pushing that tiny bit harder all the time and I have to stop myself getting over excited
Average cadence of 109rpm over 4 hours is very weird but a different story I guess.Posted 4 years ago
Possibly true but the program I’m following doesn’t look at speed or distance, just heart rate and duration. The heart rate range is what they call z2 (of 4, but every scheme seems to be different). The idea is that it’s aerobic without risking and lactic build up.
Still bloody knackering when you’re not used to it though.
Next week, it starts adding in z4 intervals during the long z2 rides. I’m expecting that to hurt a lot.Posted 4 years agoDanWMember
No the best metric al hence why I started with
Hard to gauge intensity from the info provided
I was trying to get across that an typical road ride and a typical MTB ride for most people with the same average HR for both should feel easier on the road due to the more constant and controlled effort rather than constant spikes between very high and very low effort typical of MTB. This seems to be an opinion shared by a lot of the other comments here. Of course it isn’t set in stone, but is a general observation making me feel the road rides tend to feel easier.
If someone is happy riding a MTB all day then a road ride between 137-157 bpm shouldn’t be too taxing on the legs but pretty boring unless you have some cracking scenery. Granted HR isn’t a great measure of intensity or how the total energy was used over the ride but 157bpm max over the ride shouldn’t dig too deep for most people. As the OP has said, the aim was a Z2 ride which should be pretty comfortable.
Nailing a road ride at a constantly higher intensity than is sensible makes a road feel harder for me simply because after plodding through mud at pretty slow speeds the far greater speed is addictive and I can’t keep the excitement in check 😀 Another feeling shared by others here.
Of course everyone’s experiences and local riding vary which is all interesting in itself.
OP, I’d imagine a slightly different position on the road bike accounts for a lot of the initial added difficulties. Again, generally speaking, the two tend to use slightly different position for most people despite best efforts to keep everything the same, using slightly different muscles in different proportions.Posted 4 years ago
I must admit, it’s nothing like my mountain biking. That’s normally bang up a steep climb, wait for people at the gate. Bang back down, wait for people at the gate. I’m sure if I tried the same intensity on the mountain bike without stopping, I’d feel equally as broken if not more so.Posted 4 years ago
Doug, don’t worry, Rosie isn’t training much so that might dictate the pace. Plus, the mountain bike doesn’t seem to have helped much with the road stuff, it might play out the same going back the other way. Most important of all, it’s a holiday!
Ontor, it really wasn’t meant like that. More that the mtb is short high intensity followed by a rest, which is in complete contrast to what I’m trying now with the road bike.Posted 4 years agoFunkyDuncMember
I’m thinking of getting more serious about getting fit, and last weekend did a road ride well canal ride in ‘Zone 3’ . Was far too easy at first but by the time I got home was struggling to keep in the HR zone, legs shot. I guess its just keeping an intensity going without any rest for a period of time.
In the past I have ridden with some very fit roadies off road, and they can keep going for hours and ultimately way fitter, but they almost struggled with the change in intensityof mtbPosted 4 years agoBaznavMember
I get the same I do both to quite a high level road and mtb, when I go out with rodie mates on the road bike I can hold my own just but distance will get me in the end, but if I take them out on a mtb ride I can break them horribly so much so they don’t come out anymore. 😈Posted 4 years ago
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