Why are Roadbikes so muuch faster?

gez1104 Posts: 8
edited August 2009 in Road beginners

I am new to cycling so forgive this probably obviously stupid question. Why are road bikes so much faster than my Hybrid. If you take away the fitness factor is it purely due to weight of the cycle and width of the wheels?



  • Largely thinner wheels gives less rolling resistance but there is also a big gain from the sitting position to reduce wind resistance - according to experts on time trialling something like 80% of a riders expended energy in a TT id from wind resistance. Got that from "The Science Behind Lance Armstrong"!
  • teagar
    teagar Posts: 2,100
    Because roads are (largley) smooth, the bikes can afford to be an awful lot stiffer too, so a higher proportion of the energy put in through the pedals is transfered into forward motion.

    You see it when you see those gym-wannabes with their shaven heads when they stand up on their £400 mountain bikes. The bike just sinks on its suspension rather than pushing them forward.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • Yeap i agree Less is more..

    largly less rolling resistance as above

    less weight for gravity to hold on to.

    less wind break (although it's still the biggest factor by a mile as stated above, but the least air you need to move out of the way the better, in theory).
    Account requested to be deleted
  • Takis61
    Takis61 Posts: 239
    Erm, and they tend to be lighter bikes too ?
    My knees hurt !
  • gez1104
    gez1104 Posts: 8
    Thank you very much for the explanations, I am changing to a road bike as soon as I can.