Road question

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  • Road question
  • Ive been dabbling with Road for several years now. Interest has gone for me and has been for some time. Reasons? Young Kids, family commitments, my age (41) and the ridiculous expense. Like others have said, straight out the door and on the bike. Road bike for me is way way better fitness with a different buzz. Winter riding is always Road so no real cleaning. Its just faffing and cleaning afterwards on the trail bike and I just cant be arsed anymore.

    Whatever floats your boat. Its all 2 wheels.


    I bought my first road bike a few weeks ago. I’d been wanting to try one for a couple of years but just didn’t really have the need or time to, but now I do. It’s mostly used for a 30 mile round trip commute but I’ve done a few longer rides too

    Now, I like it, sure. It’s riding a bike and riding bikes is always good, but it’s not MTBing. There’s no technical challenge in riding fast in a straight line when you’ve been riding motorbikes for many years, and there’s no corners or bumps like on some twisty singletrack.
    And the bike doesn’t feel like my MTBs. It’s a nice bike, and it rides very well, but it hasn’t got the ‘alive’ feeling of an 853 steel hardtail.
    So I enjoy being out on the road bike, and I enjoy getting fitter, but I’ll never be a roadie.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg

    Mindmap which bit of the midlands are you in?

    All these people with “crap” local trails. Is part of the problem that modern mtb’s are too good. If you had a muddy fox courier would your local trails seem better?

    Premier Icon molgrips

    No. Slogging through mud was shit in the 90s, it’s shit today. Actually it’s better today because my bike has more mud clearance and tyres are better.


    The wet summers of the last few years won’t have helped mountain bike sales.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    They’re very different activities that reward in different ways, but here are some reasons why recent years have seen me ride road more than MTB

    – Time/opportunity. I’m a Dad, so don’t have the same opportunities to spend a whole day driving to good trails and having a good length ride. I have great roads on my doorstep

    – Location. There are good trails not far from me, but the quality and choice of good road riding from my doorstep is higher than the quality and choice of mountain biking.

    – foreign trips. A couple of MTB trips to Spain left me very disappointed with UK MTBing when I returned

    – Ability to ride v ability to heal. Unfortunately a couple of A&E worthy crashes have left me feeling more vulnerable than in previous years. I no longer dare ride the speed I’d like to give me the buzz and my bike can go way faster than I can. Rolling out the rigid single speed helps sometimes in this respect.

    – Speed/efficiency. MTBing is a much more physical ride all over workout than road, but doesn’t have that very appealing level of efficient progress that road riding has.

    [EDIT] – This recent good weather has seen me shun the local road club in favour of getting out on my mountain bike 😀

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    Another way I look at it: Road riding is like MacDonalds. Some people love it, some people hate it, but you always know what you’re getting. Mountain biking is like eating out in new restaurants. Sometimes it can be fantastic but other times it doesn’t live up to expectations. I do think I have high expectations, so mechanicals, crashes, poor trail conditions etc spoil rides for me to a much greater extent than they used to.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    anagallis_arvensis – Member – Quote
    All these people with “crap” local trails. Is part of the problem that modern mtb’s are too good. If you had a muddy fox courier would your local trails seem better?

    Probably not I had a crap bike when I lived in loughborough, no amount of crapness can make up for the fact there are no real hills and very little actual trail to ride on.


    If you had a muddy fox courier would your local trails seem better?

    No, I’d just be riding a shitter bike on the same boring bridleways! I only really ride dh/jumps etc so flat bridleways don’t offer much in the way of fun.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    Is part of the problem that modern mtb’s are too good?

    For me I think this is part of the problem. My full susser allows me to ride myself into situations where a fall is going to bloomin’ well hurt. If I ease off, the ride can become a bit dull. My confidence to ride fast often runs out before my fitness does. One of the reasons I loved the snowy winter is that the conditions naturally slowed things down AND provided a bit of padding for crashing 🙂

    I think I’m reaching the skills plateau in mountain biking that can only be sorted with a combination of much more riding and skills training. I’ve seen it happen before with so many other activities I’ve taken part in


    I’m of the Roadie class, 2012. I don’t think I do less mtbing, but I definitely do more riding overall. The convenience of an hour or two a few times mid-week definitely pays mtb dividends. Perversely too what I thought I would find most boring about riding on the road I actually quite like – endless tarmac rather than interesting trail. I guess it’s a meditative zoning-out thing.


    Cyclist here- my favourite is usually whatever I rode last, given just one it would probably be road, bicycles just work better on a smooth surface.

    I am very lucky to have mile after mile of deserted b roads on my doorstep though.

    edit- just read the points above about technical challenge, there are plenty of tech challenges to mastering a road bike handling.


    For me it’s not about training or Strava or anything competitive. Just days out on quiet country roads (Angus/Perthshire mostly), nice scenery, bit of exercise, cafe stops 😀


    I prefer MTB overall but I can do a quick 30 mile road ride from my doorstep in 1.5 hours (I’m not that fast yet), but a decent MTB ride take a lot longer if you count riding to the woods etc. Plus in the winter I get fed up with washing the MTB so i often choose the road bike

    Got a road bike to commute, meh, it’s alright I suppose but I’m not a roadie, I am a commuter. I do find myself deliberately taking longer routes home in the sunshine recently so I can see how it could creep up on you.
    I went mountain biking yesterday and on the way home (in the car) following the roadies up White Down ( a long steep horrible hill) I can’t say what they were doing looked fun, more like torture in fact. I just can’t see myself getting on the road bike during MTB time, it seems too, serious.

    Premier Icon zilog6128

    following the roadies up White Down ( a long steep horrible hill) I can’t say what they were doing looked fun, more like torture in fact.

    There is definitely some truth in that, although the tougher the hill the bigger the sense of accomplishment when you “conquer” it! Strava plays a massive part in the appeal of road biking to me for this very reason!

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    Sometimes these road threads depress me. All this talk of 20/25mph riding from people claiming “I’m not that fast yet”. Do you all just live in the flatlands of Norfolk or something? If I polish off 30 Peak District road miles in 2 hours it’s a good day.

    Premier Icon I_did_dab

    My regular group mtb ride this week was a road ride, and my regular Sunday solo road ride was on the mtb. I just like riding, the more I ride the fitter I get and the more I enjoy it…

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    anagallis_arvensis – Member

    All these people with “crap” local trails. Is part of the problem that modern mtb’s are too good. If you had a muddy fox courier would your local trails seem better?

    if your local trails are like this:

    (and plenty are, even in summer), they’ll be crap whatever bike you’re riding.

    but if your local trails look like this:

    you’ll have a stupid grin all over your face whatever bike you’re riding.


    I think my road miles to mtb miles ratio is pretty high . On strava I’ve done 3712 miles and 3000 of these are on the road. This is due to as others have said being able to do great quiet rides from the door instead of fairly crap rides on my mtb.
    I can get to Inners/ glentress in under and hour so have lost two hours straight away. Having a family I dont like to bugger off every available moment down the borders on my bike so the chances I do get I usually just head out for 4 hours round the local hills and leave the car at home.
    I do still love taking my hardtail out locally with mates and blasting round the local stuff for a couple of hours.
    The other plus side is you get fitter on a road bike and your skills in cornering stand you in good stead for when you do get out on the mountain bike.
    I love road riding as much as mountain biking and at the end of the doing they both beat sitting in the house watching crap TV.

    Sometimes these road threads depress me. All this talk of 20/25mph riding from people claiming “I’m not that fast yet”. Do you all just live in the flatlands of Norfolk or something? If I polish off 30 Peak District road miles in 2 hours it’s a good day.

    Yep, same. But if that 30 miles includes > 1000m of climbing and some twisties (as most of my peaks rides seem to), then 15mph is fairly respectable in my book. I can average 19-20mph on a flat 20-30 mile ride, but add in a few hills and my average slips to 15-16. I’m sure people will be along shortly to deride my fitness, but basically don’t read too much into it. Oh, and go on a supremely flat 20 mile ride – you’ll be surprised how fast you can average.

    TLDR: I agree.

    Never thought it would happen to me, but I bought a road bike 2 months ago and haven’t done a MTB ride since. It’s just so convenient to be able to do a good ride from my door, as opposed to slogging up roads on nobblies or (more usually) driving to get to the start of my route.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    I’ve had a Road bike for about 5 years now, originally I got it to commute on but I’ve been using it more for “leisure” and exploration as well as a couple of group rides on the weekends. I’m still more of an and MTBer than a Roadie, but I’m not really keen on the Tribalism within cycling so I’d rather say I’m a cyclist than anything else…

    Road bikes let you cover more miles faster and more efficiently, and are arguably a bit more convenient, MTBs are more for enjoying the challenges of off-road terrain and trails, both are enjoyable and help with fitness so if you can afford to do both, then go for it…

    Premier Icon Wookster

    Im in the same boat young kids job that takes all my time so traveling to ride regularly is a pain. The road bike is much easier and faster to get out on. I do ride my CX bike a lot in winter on some local loops, really enjoy it but its the same level of washing as a MTB ride but with no driving! The trails a fast but not techie so perfect for a CX bike IMHO.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Some people love it, some people hate it, but you always know what you’re getting

    I see what you mean, but that’s not always the case. If you ride in a new area, you can find some real gems of places that you’ve never seen or heard of before. When I was working down South I found endless miles of quiet B roads in bucolic bliss – thatched cottages, village greens, quaint pubs, shady woodland, the whole works. That was really lovely. Then again up North I found some great valleys up in the hills with solid climbs and fantastic mountain views. Those are the road rides I’ll remember. Plus I have some amazing classic local road routes in South Wales that should be in anyone’s top 10.


    Rocket Dog – I live just the other side of Tamworth so have easy access to North Leicestershire for my road rides. Nothing too steep but the roads are pretty quite once past Market Bosworth.

    My usual route tends to involve Pinwall, Sheepy Magna, Wellsborough, Market Bosworth then various villages like Barton in the Beans, Newton Burgoland before cutting back to the likes of Congerston, Clifton Campville, Whittington, Hopwas etc. I can pretty much get up to a loop of 57 miles (my longest road ride to date). Not epic by any means but I quite enjoy it.

    I keep meaning to explore more around Warwickshire and at some point want to ride to my Aunt’s house in Chipping Norton.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    molgrips, the “you know what you’re getting” comment I made was more the point that riding a road bike on tarmac is the same whatever. Sure, you can have good weather and bad weather, bad potholes and smooth tarmac, but the variables are much less pronounced that even the exact same MTB route from one day to the next. I always come back from a road ride feeling better than I left, but I’ve come back from bad MTB rides feeling more grumpy than when I started.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Well that’s true about the grumpy MTB rides. I guess the highs and lows are more extreme with MTBing than road! There are some trails that are great in the try and impassable in the wet, as any Mountain Mayhem regular knows 🙂


    The benefits of road riding vs. off-road have all been listed above but for me the greatest incentive to ride my road bike is the thrill, the speed and climbing efficency of a modern carbon frame with stiff lightweight wheels (Roubaix SL3 with Ksyrium SLs and Michelin Pro4s) compared with the mountain bike, which although it’s a Ti hardtail with rigid carbon forks is still depressingly slow, flexy and inefficient compared with the roadie.

    Guess I’m spoiled compared to some then – even in winter, this is almost out of my back door and perfectly rideable

    And my house is somewhere behind the tree line, albeit a summer pic

    Don’t really have any pics to do the area justice to be fair, but a bit of mud isn’t enough to put us off.

    equally enjoying road and mountain biking

    came from BMX background in early 80’s:- racing then freestyle

    got seriously into mountain biking in late 80’s:- racing XC, racing DH during 90’s and FR during 2000’s including stint as sponsored rider for 2 Canadian brands and many trips to Canada i.e. Vancouver and Whistler.

    never really got much into road during this period?

    in past year since working as mechanic at a road orientated bike shop, found myself really getting into road. thoroughly enjoying learning a whole new aspect of riding.

    very accessible, great for fitness and power. certain “purity” to a road bike, very simple and stripped down. nowhere to hide when trying to go fast on the flat or up a big hill. much more ‘hardcore’ than I was led to believe

    still enjoying both mountain biking and road. own a high end carbon fibre road bike, and a high end carbon fibre mountain bike. tend to alternate between road and mountain biking every other day.

    big bonus of road is my missus can ride with me (she has a nice carbon fibre women’s road bike). mountain biking scared the sh*t out of her (she did try many times)

    I’m a “born again” roadie: stopped road riding as a student when I got into mtbing, stashed the road bike at parents house, brought it out of hibernation 20 years later last year when they had a clear-out so I now have a retro winter/commuter bike.

    A few things brought me back.

    1) I can ride nice quiet roads right from my door, worthwhile off-road is a half-hour drive away. I can fit a road ride in around work (24hr shift pattern) more easily than mtbing.
    2) 18 months of constant rain/mud got pretty tedious, especially in the chilterns
    3) road riding is the only activity I do with the better half which we actually do “together”, as in able to have a conversation. Mountain biking, motorcycling, snowboarding, scuba diving, we do them all together but only get to talk when we’ve stopped (even if its only at the end of a section of trail). In that respect its a more sociable activity than mountain biking.

    Guess I’m spoiled compared to some then

    glad you can (and do) appreciate that. I spent 2 years living in the US with 20 miles of fabulous steep rocky technical singletrack from my doorstep, a ski resort 45 minutes drive away (with floodlit slopes til 10pm), and excellent rock climbing in stunning surrounds a similar distance away. Oxford isn’t quite the same 🙄 😥


    We had a bad winter about 5 years ago and I had a mate was into road. I bought a secondhand road bike and that was it. Upgrade after upgrade. And 4 road bikes & a turbo trainer later…

    I still ride MTB and have hardtail and full-suspension bikes ~ I was looking to upgrade the frames last week and was surprised to see secondhand prices have gone up a heck of a lot. I suspect the Wiggo effect has hit MTB as well.

    I also noted how my accomplished MTB buddy had far superior bike handling skills to me, a super smooooth pedal stroke and rode at an intensity equal to any of my road training sessions.
    So – its all down to what you put into it.

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