Why Choose a Road Bike For Winter Road Riding?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 57 total)
  • Why Choose a Road Bike For Winter Road Riding?
  • skybluestu
    Member

    Thinking of getting a road bike for 1-2 hr evening rides over the winter for fitness but have been thinking what are the reasons to do so rather than just haul my FS around on the roads as 30lb bike is going to provide a better fitness challenge surely…or am I missing something here?
    Thoughts?

    Premier Icon muddydwarf
    Subscriber

    Simply put, you can go further and go faster on a road bike than you ever will on a MTB with slicks on. Ive recently bought a road bike and I’m loving it, yesterday did a 31 mile loop from my door in 1:46:35 its simply much more fun on the right bike for the job.
    My experience is that road riding on even a slicked up hardtail is dull, slow and unpleasant, that will put you off so you simply don’t go out. Get a road bike and you’ll have the incentive to ride that comes with a new bike!

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    You can ride the FS bike and it will be more of a work out due to weight but you won’t enjoy it.

    You’ll end up riding more on a road bike simply because it’s the right tool for the job.

    If you’re not sure get a cross/all road type bike so you can throw some bridleways and single track in with the right tyres? Bit of a compromise for pure road, but not by much if you get the right bike.

    Yep, it’s not a well known fact, but alot of the French pros train on the road on 30lb full sussers over winter. Come Spring, they’re still no faster than anyone else.

    Premier Icon oldnpastit
    Subscriber

    Road rides are a lot more fun in a group, but there’s no way you’ll keep up on a FS (at least, I couldn’t).

    Jamie
    Member

    Yep, it’s not a well known fact, but alot of the French pros train on the road on 30lb full sussers over winter. Come Spring, they’re still no faster than anyone else.

    Same with the Mexicans.

    5thElefant
    Member

    To my surprise I found that my [recently bought] road bike is comfier than my FS bike.

    Riding either on the road is just as dull, but dull and comfortable beats dull and uncomfortable. And… there are less expensive bits to wear out.

    Premier Icon prawny
    Subscriber

    I wouldn’t get a road bike for winter commuting now. I’d get one of the new cheap boardman disc CX bikes and stickk full guards on it. I’m actually half tempted to sell my carbon road bike now and get one. I hardly used it this year, spent all summer on my MTB.

    Lifer
    Member

    prawny – Member
    new cheap boardman disc CX

    It’s all relative I guess.

    ahwiles
    Member

    let’s be honest, heaving a mountain bike through a head wind and hub deep puddles, over an exposed moor can be be fun in summer, but in winter? yuk.

    on a road bike, you’ll be up an over the hill in minutes – i find there’s less exposure to the worst of the weather.

    When the sun does occasionly shine, the trails will still be 18″ under water. Even in good weather a mountain bike ride will mean hours of cleaning and maintenance.

    But the roads dry out surpisingly quickly, so even fair-weather roadie can get a lot of riding in.

    glenh
    Member

    Riding either on the road is just as dull

    You just need to ride the road bike faster.

    ahwiles
    Member

    and/or ride somewhere nice?

    Premier Icon grizedaleforest
    Subscriber

    If you ride country lanes or roads with poor surfaces in the dark there’s a bigger risk of hitting holes and the like. Your FS would obviously cope OK and feel more secure; lightweight road bike, not so much. => suggestion of a cheap CX bike seems a good one to me.

    If you want to train all winter for riding your mountain bike in the summer, get don’t get a normal road bike, get something with brakes that work well-ish in the wet and full mudguards. Disc equipped road/touring or cyclocross bike or even *shudders* a flat barred road bike. It really is a surprise how wet you don’t get and how much less dirty your road bike gets with proper mudguards. And it really is a surprise when it is raining how long any rim brakes (ie v’s cantis or road brakes) take to start slowing you down if you are used to disc brakes.

    5thElefant
    Member

    You just need to ride the road bike faster.

    I ride welsh mountains. Road bikes aren’t much faster on steep climbs. Faster on descents but road descents don’t do much for me.

    funkrodent
    Member

    Put simply, if you take a FS on the road, you’ll spend a long time going nowhere fast. If you take a roadbike on the road (there’s a clue in the name) you’ll have loads more fun, go loads further and conversely get loads fitter. Mountain biking is a very stop/start form of cycling, on roadbikes you get superfit because you’re able to cycle and cycle comparatively vast differences without a break. I guess that another way of putting it is you very rarely see a fat roadie, but there’s a good few mountain bikers out there working those big hit FS bikes in not perhaps the way that was originally intended… 🙂

    brooess
    Member

    If mountain bikes are fit for purpose for road riding, how come road bikes still exist, years after mountain bikes were invented? 😀

    skybluestu
    Member

    All good advice flowing here and adding weight to my thoughts that it would just be more fun and encourage me out more. Ill be looking to get one through a cycle scheme with work i think. Was thinking around £700ish to get a decent starter bike?

    Thanks all!

    Not a very balanced opinion here, as I don’t own a road bike, but I do a lot of winter road riding on my xc bike, either running skinny slicks or usually summer tyres, which allows me to add in the occasional hard (as in not muddy) bridleway into the ride to mix things up.

    If you’re doing it just for a bit of fitness, and don’t plan epic road rides, just use your MTB. Yes it’s not the right tool for the job, but it’s adequate (to keep you fit) and will save you a few quid too.

    I’m not poo pooing the advantages of a road bike btw, I just get the impression that you just want to keep your fitness up and aren’t that bothered about road riding, it’s more a means to an end??

    clubber
    Member

    An mtb is perfectly adequate but for me at least, it’s much more enjoyable on a road bike.

    Mountain biking is a very stop/start form of cycling,

    I disagree, this very much depends on the individual and their fitness levels. We generally complete most of our rides without stopping, unless we’re doing silly mileages.

    Lifer
    Member

    Cadence wise it’s more stop start than road though, which in terms of fitness makes a big difference. After a few months riding exclusively on the road the MTB as a fitness tool was pretty redundant.

    Cadence wise it’s more stop start than road though

    Yes, put like that I agree.

    ahwiles
    Member

    cbmotorsport – Member

    I disagree, this very much depends on the individual and their fitness levels. We generally complete most of our rides without stopping, unless we’re doing silly mileages.

    would you accept that there is a chance, that this is perhaps, unusual?

    i’ve been on lots of mountain bike rides, lots of them involve stopping for: tops of ascents, end of descents, punctures, crashes, photo’s, faffing with mechanicals, etc.

    toxicsoks
    Member

    I have an alloy Synapse as a winter/foul weather bike. It has ‘guards, decent 25mm winter/wet weather tyres and “good” brake pads (SwissStop). Terrific fun and much faster than the slick-tyred MTB that it replaced.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    a “Winter road bike” should be cheap IMO, Cheap means different things to different people, but you will struggle to find even the most basic disc braked CX machine anything like as cheap as a basic (Triban 3) road bike…

    You can easily spend a lot of money on a “Winter” bike and start eyeing up discs(I’ve don it myself, but eventually talked myself out of it) but that sort of misses the point IMO, it’s a cheaper sacrficail bike to save your nicer kit, so long as it works and is safe it doesn’t need the bells and whistles…

    You could go with a bargain bin (disc braked) MTB and some slick tires, but again I don’t think the compromises quite balance, those cheaper cable discs are not a patch on a BB7 and probably perform about as well as a cheap caliper brake in the long run and a proper drop bar and road bike geometry suit road riding far beter than an MTB, or flat bared roadie ever would…

    As nice as it would be to have discs on the road, I’ve not found many situations where having them would actually have made that much real difference to me, I consider them a Nice to have rather than an essential, it’s a different environment, you tend not to be braking in sudden intense bursts as much you do on an MTB and hence a basic caliper brake is actually perfectly adequate IMO…

    Spend £300 on a basic road bike and ride it through the winter, save your MTB from some wear and tear, but keep the miles up, then make the judgement for yourself, keep that bargain bike as it is, upgrade it a bit, buy a posher road bike or just stick it on ebay and sack the whole thing off… The only real way to tell if it is for you is to gove it a go…

    all IMO of course, YMMV, etc…

    tonyd
    Member

    I wouldn’t get a road bike for winter commuting now. I’d get one of the new cheap boardman disc CX bikes and stickk full guards on it. I’m actually half tempted to sell my carbon road bike now and get one.

    I’m in a very similar place to you. Been commuting 17 miles each way on my carbon road bike in all weathers and I really don’t want to do another winter on it as it’s ruining it. We’re moving house so my commute will drop to 11 miles, I can probably do that on my rigid MTB but I’m very tempted to sell the roady and get a crosser/tourer/steel road bike. Basically something a bit more fit for purpose that I can get decent guards on, racks, etc.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    The ONLY reason to choose a road bike is for speed. However does it actually matter ? If you do 2 hours and complete 25 miles or 35 miles, does it make any difference ?

    clubber
    Member

    cookeaa – Member
    a “Winter road bike” should be cheap IMO, Cheap means different things to different people, but you will struggle to find even the most basic disc braked CX machine anything like as cheap as a basic (Triban 3) road bike…

    It’s a valid point. I’ll counter that by saying that riding a nice bike is more enjoyable and motivating that riding one that isn’t, for me at least. If having a ‘nice’ winter bike means actually riding it rather than being put off by having to ride a bike that feels a bit crap then that’s probably worthwhile.

    Besides, I find that if you stick with fairly cheap cassettes and chainrings then the cost of wear and tear is pretty minimal.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    cbmotorsport – Member
    Not a very balanced opinion here, as I don’t own a road bike, but I do a lot of winter road riding on my xc bike, either running skinny slicks or usually summer tyres, which allows me to add in the occasional hard (as in not muddy) bridleway into the ride to mix things up.

    If you’re doing it just for a bit of fitness, and don’t plan epic road rides, just use your MTB. Yes it’s not the right tool for the job, but it’s adequate (to keep you fit) and will save you a few quid too.

    I’m not poo pooing the advantages of a road bike btw, I just get the impression that you just want to keep your fitness up and aren’t that bothered about road riding, it’s more a means to an end??

    Sums it all up for me perfectly. I’m considering a cheap £200 HT for winter, just to save wearing out the nice FS 29 instead, but i actually couldn’t care less about speed or distance. 1 hour at lunchtime of hard riding is good either way.

    _tom_
    Member

    Put simply, if you take a FS on the road, you’ll spend a long time going nowhere fast. If you take a roadbike on the road (there’s a clue in the name) you’ll have loads more fun, go loads further and conversely get loads fitter.

    This pretty much sums it up for me. I used to ride my mtb with slicks on the road all the time and thought it was fine til I got on a road bike. Now my “fitness” rides are 2-3 times longer and much faster. After having a go on a road bike there’s no incentive to push yourself on an mtb on the road (imo) as it’s still slow, uncomfortable and sluggish compared to a proper road bike. So whilst the road bike is lighter and has less rolling resistance it still ends up being a better workout than the mtb.

    brooess
    Member

    I find I ride more if the bike is pleasureable and efficient to ride.

    A proper road bike just rolls along in comparison to a slicked-up MTB – thinner tyres, lighter wheels, more efficiently-sized wheels, more efficient position, frame better designed for putting the power down.

    So if you want to maintain fitness through winter, get a bike you’ll enjoy riding, and then you’ll ride it more.

    But as above, don’t spank a load of cash, winter bikes have to deal with a lot of grime which can take it’s toll

    core
    Member

    I’d echo the above, you think you’ll ride the mtb, it’ll be harder work etc etc, but it’s just no fun and you end up not wanting to ride.

    I picked up a flat bar road bike (Land Rover), 12 months old, barely used, for £200 – ok it’s pretty heavy as road bikes go, and it’s flat bar, but stuck some bar ends on, and it’s easy to munch the miles, low maintenance, and cheap!

    stumpy01
    Member

    I initially only had one bike; my old Stumpjumper FSR and so to get out on the road in the evenings for a quick ride I bought a cheap pair of wheels and stuck slicks on them. It worked fine. Looked a bit stupid, but it was OK.

    When I got my Inbred I used that for my road rides instead fitted with the same wheels and that was better as there was no rear suspension to bob about.

    Now I’ve got a road bike as well and I was surprised how little speed difference there is between the Inbred and the road bike. Yeah, a headwind really highlights the relative aerodynamics of the different positions so does give the road bike a decent advantage. But the Inbred with 1.5 CityJets pumped up to about 80psi is surprisingly quick.

    cbmotorsport – Member
    Not a very balanced opinion here, as I don’t own a road bike, but I do a lot of winter road riding on my xc bike, either running skinny slicks or usually summer tyres, which allows me to add in the occasional hard (as in not muddy) bridleway into the ride to mix things up.

    If you’re doing it just for a bit of fitness, and don’t plan epic road rides, just use your MTB. Yes it’s not the right tool for the job, but it’s adequate (to keep you fit) and will save you a few quid too.

    I’m not poo pooing the advantages of a road bike btw, I just get the impression that you just want to keep your fitness up and aren’t that bothered about road riding, it’s more a means to an end??

    ^ That sums it up very well.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Thinking of getting a mountain bike for 1-2 hr evening rides over the winter for fitness but have been thinking what are the reasons to do so rather than just delicately ride around on the trails with my road bike as that bike is going to provide a better skills challenge surely…or am I missing something here?
    Thoughts?

    mboy
    Member

    It’s a valid point. I’ll counter that by saying that riding a nice bike is more enjoyable and motivating that riding one that isn’t, for me at least. If having a ‘nice’ winter bike means actually riding it rather than being put off by having to ride a bike that feels a bit crap then that’s probably worthwhile.
    Besides, I find that if you stick with fairly cheap cassettes and chainrings then the cost of wear and tear is pretty minimal.

    AND… (Without spending the OP’s money for him)

    As you’re buying a bike on the C2W scheme, you’re saving a lot of money anyway… You could buy an buy an uber cheap bike yeah, or you could buy a nice one (still with clearance for guards) that as clubber says, you will want to ride more as it’s more enjoyable. Properly maintained, all you should be wearing out is the usual consumables anyway, and then when spring comes, treat the bike to a full service, new cables and some new (faster, lighter) tyres and take the guards off, and you’ll want to ride it through the summer too!

    clubber
    Member

    I will add though that despite this being my winter road bike

    I also have this third road bike that lives at my inlaws, which cost just a bit over £200 (as it was 9 years old) and is very nice to ride.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    You could get more workout on the same route by riding a FS, but it would be better to get more workout by going further and faster on a road bike. Much more fun.

    clubber
    Member

    ‘more workout’ is a meaningless phrase. It’s different, not inherently more or less.

    I use a road bike for my commute, as it’s a lot quicker than my FS. But saying that I don’t enjoy riding it half as much, never had the feeling of the miles flying by on it.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 57 total)

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