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Road bike speed vs MTB speed?

jweighelljweighell Posts: 30
edited October 2009 in Road beginners
I'm currently using an MTB on roads and I'm thinking about switching to a road bike...

How much extra speed can I expect to gain by switching to a road bike?

I know it all depends on lots of things, but I wonder if anyone else has made this switch and did they see much of a difference?

Cheers, Jonathan

Posts

  • I literally got my Road bike today as an upgrade from my MTB with slicks.

    Dude, its the closest thing to flying a man can get without strapping on wings!

    Seriously... Same effort, bigger chain rings, better cadence, more control + massive speed increase!

    Permanent Road convert
    exercise.png
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    i'm about 15-16mph on my mtb, 20-22mph on my roadie.
  • x8swift9xx8swift9x Posts: 268
    Many factors to compare!! Bike weight, tyre width, posture is probably pretty upright on your MTB, if you have suspension then that's absorbing a lot of pedal power. By switching to Road bike (lighter bike, with narrow wheels, a better aerodynamic position and a rigid frame/fork that lets you put the power down) theoretically you should see a good speed increase without effort increase. Now it's time for effort.... VVVRRRRRRRRRZZZZOOOOOOOOOOOM *fast speed noise*

    Your best bet will be to pop into your LBS and test ride a road bike within your budget, that'll give you a feel for the difference. Don't let the switch to narrow tires put you off if it feels odd (you'll get used to it!).
    Road: Felt AR0, Di2
    Touring/commute: Dolan Multricross
    TT: PX Exocet Sold because it was like a sail in the wind (sh*t)
  • Took me about 3 minutes to get used to the tiny tires and being on the horns.

    Some censored even walked out in front of me Pushing a buggy about 5 mins after I first got on my bike, and I must say, the handling and response was Superb!

    Had I been on my MTB Id have killed him and his Baby (im fairly large)
    exercise.png
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Doing the same route around local reservoir I add on about 4 mph on the road bike for similar effort (road bike average 18mph, MTB 14mph). MTB is front susser only and pretty light (Scott Scale 10 at 9.5Kg) with Racing Ralph tyres.

    Main differences leading to increased speed are;

    Lower rider position - less drag
    Higher gearing - on the MTB most of the time you are in highest gear and spin out even on slight hills
    Tyres - lower rolling resistance on rock hard narrow tyres
    Weight doesn't really matter that much (no huge hills here)

    Only had road bike since end of June and only took 1 ride to get used to it. Since then I am doing minimum 100 miles per week on the roadie with one ride at least 50 miles. The MTB has only been out a few times :cry:
    London to Paris Forum
    http://cjwoods.com/london2paris

    Scott Scale 10
    Focus Izalco Team
  • EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
    Don't know from experience but I did a 90 miler at the weekend and I was very impressed with a couple of MTB riders with narrow wheels/slicks on the road.

    As above riding position/gearing etc. must make it harder work but some of the guys on MTB's held their own very, very well.

    Admittedly I was not lightening quick (91.5 miles in 5.75 hours) but we did not streak past these guys as we thought we might. No doubt a road bike is more efficient but changing the wheels/tyres might be a good halfway house if you don't fancy buying a new bike just before winter.
  • One of the down sides of MTB on the road (in my opinion after doing the C2C on a full suss mountain bike). Is the drop in average speed over distance.

    Whilst doing it we annoyed some roadies by overtaking them on the flat, they beat us on the downhill & we had a little lighthearted banter when we met at a cafe.

    I did my 9 mile commute to work this morning on my MTB & it was hard work, did a 12 mile ride offroad on Wednesday & it was a doddle.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • gtitimgtitim Posts: 225
    I guess the clue is in the name -road bike ;)

    You should use whats fit for purpose. There is a reason. The amount of time i've free-wheeled past people on mountain bikes pedalling like crazy on a slightly downhill section is ridiculous.

    I own a mountain bike and I love it, but man its alot of effort on the road! I remember the first time I tried a road bike, I couldnt believe it, I went so fast I scared myself.
  • balthazarbalthazar Posts: 1,565
    Escargot wrote:
    Don't know from experience but I did a 90 miler at the weekend and I was very impressed with a couple of MTB riders with narrow wheels/slicks on the road.
    I've had MTB's happily swish past me on squishy knobblies, as if motor-powered, plenty of times. All the technical variation in equipment, is as nothing compared to the range of human fitness. Being humbled is always good though - it reminds you to stop fantasising that you're Indurain winging up Luz Ardiden and to have a look at the view instead.
  • EscargotEscargot Posts: 361
    Yeah, its funny really. We make all this fuss of weight saving and wearing tight lycra shorts etc. and along comes some dirty MTB rider in baggy shorts, sat bolt upright and travelling at pretty much the same speed :lol:

    As Lance says, it's not about the bike :D

    Having said that, to go off topic, Lance doesn't know what he's talking about.

    I've been to a few events now and it's ALL about the bike. So much so I know exactly how women feel when men just stare at their breasts. I've passed a fair few roadies and whilst they all say hello, none of them actually look you in the eye as they're all too busy checking out your bike. Even when they do talk to you all they do is look down to see what your kit is like. Bloody roadies :wink:
  • I agree to a point that it isn't about the Bike but if you compare like for like cyclists one on an MTB & one on Road Bike the cyclist on the Road Bike would be faster on the Road & visa versa.

    One of my mates is quicker than everyone else on the Mountain Bikes & probably quicker than most Roadies on his MTB. But without doubt he would be quicker still on a Road Bike.
    I'm over 6' and have quite a large head.
  • It doesn't get any easier, but I don't appear to be getting any faster.
  • gtitimgtitim Posts: 225

    Thats a great story but doesnt really prove anything other than that guy is an awesome rider. If he had of been on a road bike he still would have one, and prolly in a much faster time.
  • I doubt that race even happened. Looks more like advertising to me :wink:
  • Uphill not so much of a difference. If you're fat and unfit (as I am) you can only put in so much energy at a stroke.

    Downhill. Fooooooooooooooooooooook so much faster it's unreal.
  • cjwcjw Posts: 1,889
    Aspman77 wrote:
    Uphill not so much of a difference. If you're fat and unfit (as I am) you can only put in so much energy at a stroke.

    Downhill. Fooooooooooooooooooooook so much faster it's unreal.

    +1

    And downhill you can still keep pedaling at 45mph. MTB spins out at 30mph (on the roadie you can do that on the flat)
    London to Paris Forum
    http://cjwoods.com/london2paris

    Scott Scale 10
    Focus Izalco Team
  • sovedasoveda Posts: 306
    Aspman77 wrote:
    Uphill not so much of a difference. If you're fat and unfit (as I am) you can only put in so much energy at a stroke.

    Downhill. Fooooooooooooooooooooook so much faster it's unreal.

    I found a big difference uphill, mainly because you don't have the tiny gears so have to keep pushing bigger gears- faster
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