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Can Mtbrs and road bikes truly get along?

NaveedNaveed Posts: 728
edited December 2009 in MTB general
I just bought a Focus Cayo off Wiggle and have had it for a week. In short it's awful. I bought it for fitness purposes and commuting but the road bike posture is painful and nothing like a mountain bike.

I'm thinking of flogging it and sticking some slicks on my mtb. Anyone else had this issue with a brief flirtation with road bikes, does it get better with time, or is road riding just plian wrong for a passionate mtbr?
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  • BlackSpurBlackSpur Posts: 4,228
    Naveed wrote:
    I just bought a Focus Cayo off Wiggle and have had it for a week. In short it's awful. I bought it for fitness purposes and commuting but the road bike posture is painful and nothing like a mountain bike.

    It doesn't mean it's awful, just that you have the wrong size/wrong bike ;) I know plenty of people that have and regularly use and/or race with both.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling." ~James E. Starrs
  • NaveedNaveed Posts: 728
    The fit of the bike is fine, it's more the low down aero posture that's so stretched out on a road bike. It feels wrong and weird. I just think it would be so strange to ride with such different postures each week.
  • I use both regularly. You'll get used to it.

    You're not staying on the drops all the time are you?
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Well, I think that is about fit. You should buy a bike that you find comfy to ride, it is likely that the reach is too long and / or the bars are too low for you. There are road bikes with more relaxed geometries - I think Focus make one, an Ergo something, or look for sportive or audax style bikes.

    Try flipping the stem and/ or getting a shorter one and / or putting any spacers above the stem, below, and / or try rotating the bars up slightly and / or moving the shifters up the curve of the bar slightly.
  • NaveedNaveed Posts: 728
    I use both regularly. You'll get used to it.

    You're not staying on the drops all the time are you?

    Of course I'm on the drops, isn't that what you're meant to do on a road bike? I don't like resting my hands on the flat bar because I can't brake and I'm usually going pretty fast.

    It's my first road bike, and coming from a die hard mtbr it's something I never thought I would do.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Most of us rest our hands on the hoods for a lot of the time, you can shift gears and brake from there (crook of thumbs go around rubber hood). I only use the drops when really going for it, or when riding into a head wind.
  • turnerjohnturnerjohn Posts: 1,069
    Naveed wrote:
    I use both regularly. You'll get used to it.

    You're not staying on the drops all the time are you?

    Of course I'm on the drops, isn't that what you're meant to do on a road bike? I don't like resting my hands on the flat bar because I can't brake and I'm usually going pretty fast.

    It's my first road bike, and coming from a die hard mtbr it's something I never thought I would do.

    Should be able to brake no probs on the hoods....though road brakes are no where near the power a disk...ha wouldn't want it or it would be lethal :-s !

    The Cayo is a full out race bike (didnt you know that?) so the position is race-like!
    I use a both MTB and full on race bike...the body get used to it and its well worth it. Just dont go crazy.
    You could try flipping the stem for a bit more height (or get one with more rise) and alter the position bit every month.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 25,197
    yeah - I ride both too

    Sounds like you need a bit of position tweaking rather than a whole new bike - but it is a different feel from an MTB (particualrly a more trail oriented MTB!). You re "supposed" to have a flat back when in the drops but i know of very few roadies that go that far, only the super keen racer ones!
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • El CapitanoEl Capitano Posts: 6,401
    I currently have 5 different bikes, all with different geometry and riding positions - a road bike, a time trial bike, cyclo-cross bike, an XC race bike and a do-it-all fun bike (Kona Coiler).

    I ride each of them regularly, so am always changing my riding position.

    The position on a road bike is a lot different to that of an MTB, as you say, a lot lower on the front end. Try riding on the flats. If you're not that confident about grabbing the brakes in an emergency, get some 'frog-leg' levers that sit next to the stem on the flats - I have them on the CX bike. It's worth perservering with. You can get a lot more miles into your legs on a road bike, than you ever could on an MTB.
  • scale20scale20 Posts: 1,300
    I bought a merida road bike about 2 years back, I loved the bike and the speed however I found it difficult to get to grips with the ride position, mainly the hand position. In the end I got rid of it and recently bought a Trek 7.7fx hybrid, for me it's got the speed the road bike had but the flat bars and stubby bar ends make the hours in the saddle more pleasurable.

    Thought about swapping your bars for flats? probably means a bit of expense in the way of shifters and brake levers.
    Niner Air 9 Rigid
    Whyte 129S 29er.
  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 14,675
    I've got a flat-barred roadie, it's not as "good" but it's far nicer to ride, and more like my mtbs so easier to swap between the two. I don't mind riding on drops but riding on the hoods I find horrible, so compromised. And riding on the flats is just like having flat bars, only worse in absolutely every way.

    But then, I'll never make a roadie, I'm too lazy and my attention span's too short.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • stick on some cyclocross/interrupter levers and try using the hoods.
  • bomberesquebomberesque Posts: 1,701
    I too found the "standard" cockpit length too stretched out to be comfortable, even if it did theoretically fit my body. censored them, I thought, I can fix this so I messed around with stem lengths and seatpost offsets until I was comfortable. I ended up with a zero offset post, shallower bars and a 70mm stem.

    I much prefer drop bars for road riding (especially as it's very windy where I commute), but you have to get the hoods in the right place for you, its very sensitive. that said, my road bike is for commuting and touring, I would never think of racing on it
    Everything in moderation ... except beer
    Beer in moderation ... is a waste of beer

    If riding an XC race bike is like touching the trail,
    then riding a rigid singlespeed is like licking it
    ... or being punched by it, depending on the day
  • EranuEranu Posts: 712
    I went the flat bar road bike route too, couldn't face drops.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    You're doing it wrong, hardly any roadies use the drops all the time. Most are on the hoods and only drop to the hooks from time to time.
  • Steve_b77Steve_b77 Posts: 1,680
    I too have a selection of diffrent bikes & their associated geometry.

    The most important thign is ensuring the bike fits you correctly and you're in a comfortable pedalling position.

    Drops are for high sped sprinting and descending, use the hoods for most of the time and the flats when you're cruising.
  • jjojjasjjojjas Posts: 346
    I'm a MTB rider through and through. After 20 years or so I bought a road "race" bike..I struggled with it a lot, but you do get used to it. My backs knackered so I couldn't stick it in the end so I sold it. I still ride road bikes, just flat bar ones :)
    If your backs ok, and the bike fits, you should be ok when you get used to it. Give it time.
    Jas
    it looks a bit steep to me.....
  • Rich HcpRich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    I'm fine on both, rerely go in to a full race position, but find moving my hand positions around the drops helps stretch you back
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • TomredTomred Posts: 41
    yes they can! i race both road and xc and i have'nt had an argument with myself yet!! road racers can be a bit more elitist.. nothing worse than when ur out for a road spin and you pass someone and say hello and they say nothing back.. mtbers more friendlier at races!!
    Klien
    Kona
    Tomasini
    Basso
  • covelovecovelove Posts: 209
    you guys are brave , rI think oad riding is way more dangerous than mtb! quite like the idea of getting the head down and bombing it but crazy cars put me off :D
    does my tail look hard in this?

    cove stiffee

    orange 222
  • stumpyjonstumpyjon Posts: 4,069
    I've got a Cayo 105, ride to and from work occaisionally, 17 miles each way and some big hills. Just had to modify my riding style. First thing I had to do was lose the camelback, bottle on the frame and a bum bag and the back pain went. A couple of rides and I got used to riding on the hoods.

    It's different, you just need to get used to it. That said you may never like it, that's fine it's personal preference. I thought quite hard about what to buy, I considered flat bars, triple chain rings, discs etc but decided in the end if I was going to go road I might as well go the whole the whole hog and get drops and double chainring.
    It's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.

    I've bought a new bike....ouch - result
    Can I buy a new bike?...No - no result
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    I love roadie stuff as much as MTBing - I couldn't choose between them.

    Anyway for commuting I have a specilaized tricross (the 08 single speed version). If coming from an MTB I think you'd like the riding position - more comfy. The same with tourers. My Tricross has 32mm tyres and I ride it down steps and off kerbs with no bother. It takes mudguards. It's an ideal commuter.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • gaz047gaz047 Posts: 601
    yes they can. mtb mainly in the dark peak and enduros, road bike for commuting training rides, sportives and getting back into triathlons in 2010.
    you've either got the wrong size ,need to make adjustments (ie stem, saddle etc) or you just need to give your body a bit of time to get used to it.
    how many rides have you done on it?
    if it ain't rainin.....it ain't trainin
    Stick your 'rules' up your a%se
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I have both but tend to only road ride when it's dry and fairly quiet - I find road riding far scarier than MTBing - too many nutters in charge of cars about.

    Both are fun however if you nip over the to roadie section, you will find some of mankind's oddest people.
  • afcbianafcbian Posts: 424
    Surf-Matt wrote:
    I have both but tend to only road ride when it's dry and fairly quiet - I find road riding far scarier than MTBing - too many nutters in charge of cars about.

    Both are fun however if you nip over the to roadie section, you will find some of mankind's oddest people.

    Amen to that !!
    I ride both too.........different but just as good. Don't care what bike I ride just so long as I am able to ride !
    I ride therefore I am
  • El CapitanoEl Capitano Posts: 6,401
    Surf-Matt wrote:
    too many nutters in charge of cars about.

    I think it would be wholey inapproatie for me mention here, that of the 4 times I've been knocked off my bike commuting in the past few years, 3 of the cars were the same make...
    Surf-Matt wrote:
    Ihowever if you nip over the to roadie section, you will find some of mankind's oddest people.

    Oh Hai!

    Road riding can be a little daunting, especially commuting through traffic. I come from a roadie background - they didn't have MTBs when I was young (granted they didn't have inside plumbing or electricity either but meh...). I grew up riding a succession of road bikes, on the road, through traffic etc. I still do and TBH, I do get a buzz out of it. Granted it's not for everyone, but IMO worth perservering with.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    I like road riding - but only got the Allez a few months ago. I'm still tending to stick to dry weather though - I just don't trust road tyres and wet roads/ironwork. Not been above 38mph yet - even that felt ballistic.

    I got knocked off by an old Nissan Sunny...
  • bike-a-swanbike-a-swan Posts: 1,235
    if they could be persuaded them to get along in the same bike, now that'd be something..
    Rock Lobster 853, Trek 1200 and a very old, tired and loved Apollo Javelin.
  • El CapitanoEl Capitano Posts: 6,401
    Surf-Matt wrote:
    I'm still tending to stick to dry weather though - I just don't trust road tyres and wet roads/ironwork.

    That's actually some good advice there. Wet roads - normally white/yellow lines are very slippery and can catch the unwary (and experienced) rider out. Better to stick to the dry weather until you become more familiar with the bike's handling. Oh and roadie brakes don't really work in the wet either...
  • as well as tweeking the set up of the bike, it would also be a good excuse to work on flexibility as a road bike will always feel slightly stretched compared to MTB. other than that it's just a case of getting in a fair few miles to get used to it. varying your position due to riding a mix of MTB and road is only a good thing as it varies the ROM the muscles are working through and variety is the spice of a sporting life.

    in response to the original Q - i get on wi myself so i guess we can, yeh.
    "scalare come se al grembo degli dei" (apologies to any Italain speakers if the grammar/spelling is off)
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