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mtb easier than road?

poejollardpoejollard Posts: 41
edited August 2013 in Road beginners
Hi all

So today I took my new Felt F85 out for a proper spin expecting it to glide on the road with ease. However I found that it was harder to maintain a higher speed than my mountain bike and also the climbs were exhausting in comparison to my 29er mtb. Am I doing something wrong or is this what it's supposed to be like?
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  • freezing77freezing77 Posts: 731
    poejollard wrote:
    Hi all

    So today I took my new Felt F85 out for a proper spin expecting it to glide on the road with ease. However I found that it was harder to maintain a higher speed than my mountain bike and also the climbs were exhausting in comparison to my 29er mtb. Am I doing something wrong or is this what it's supposed to be like?

    Are the brakes stuck on? It should be far easier to maintain the same speed.
  • I have just started road riding, but find the ease and speed much better that my MTB.

    What I have found is that I have noticed the gearing ratios being different has taken a bit of getting used to moving to 2/10 from 3/9.
  • GizmodoGizmodo Posts: 1,928
    poejollard wrote:
    So today I took my new Felt F85 out for a proper spin expecting it to glide on the road with ease. However I found that it was harder to maintain a higher speed than my mountain bike and also the climbs were exhausting in comparison to my 29er mtb. Am I doing something wrong or is this what it's supposed to be like?
    The rolling resistance of slick road tires is lower than nobly MTB ones so it should be easier to maintain higher speeds on a road bike - you don't see MTBs in road races for a reason. Climbing takes a bit of getting used to because the gearing of a road bike is higher so you can't spin on a hard climb - but again that should mean speeds are higher.

    The problem may be that you're trying to push too high a gear, your cadence should be high - about 85 to 95.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/articl ... ike-19691/
  • The brakes are not stopping the wheels
    It feels like I have to push to maintain the speeds. I do have a cadence sensor but still need to get it working properly. The climbs just KILL me. It feels so much easier on a mountain bike as I'm used to it. Is there any technique i need to master with hills on road?
  • CSDGCCSDGC Posts: 8
    It's probably easier on the 29er because of the lower gearing. You'll get used to the higher gearing on a road bike.
    Then again, isn't the z85 geared at like 34-32 (the z95 is iirc)? Should be low enough to get you up any hill.
    If sitting and spinning up hills isn't working, try changing up a gear or two and standing up and pedalling.

    EDIT: Sorry misread, you're on the F85. I can see you might struggle there, the gearing is quite a bit higher (34-25 probably). If you're used to MTB gearing, this could be a struggle.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,384
    poejollard wrote:
    The brakes are not stopping the wheels
    It feels like I have to push to maintain the speeds. I do have a cadence sensor but still need to get it working properly. The climbs just KILL me. It feels so much easier on a mountain bike as I'm used to it. Is there any technique i need to master with hills on road?

    Time yourself on a local loop. Ride the MTB one day and the road bike the next.

    The technique for hills is called 'fitness'...
  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    It'll take a while for your muscles to adjust to the riding position.
  • Thanks for the posts. Beginning to understand why it is harder, just gonna have to train and train i guess. I am determined to be able to get the fitness and power so i can begin to master it
  • Tyre pressures?

    Road tyres only have less rolling resistance if they are hard enough not to deform under the riders weight. Otherwise your trying to roll a big squidgy energy sapping elephants foot around.

    I bought a track pump with a built in pressure guage that I use to top up the tyres pretty much everytime I go out on the bike. The front is 100psi. The rear 110 to 120 psi.

    I'm also a fan of having a bike computer that displays cadence and trying to maintain a very high cadence to spin my way around the route rather than using brute force to pound the pedals and set your quads on fire. I aim to use the gears to maintain a cadence of 90 to 100+ rpm, and after a while I'm now used to it.

    It's also worth checking the bike fit, sometimes I find sitting further back just 1 or 2 cm has an effect on how my legs feel. Make sure the seat hight isn't too low, that'll kill your quads.
    "The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    edited August 2013
    Tyre pressures?
    Road tyres only have less rolling resistance if they are hard enough not to deform under the riders weight.

    It is exactly what pneumatic tyre were invented for - to deform under rider's weight and road imperfections, not to emulate solid carriage wheels.
    As long as the bike handles fine and one doesn't get pinch flats the pressure is high enough.
  • There must be an optimum tyre pressure range and too high or too low will result in greater rolling resistance.

    Ever tried running a mtb tyre at too low a pressure/ the squirming is like rideing through sand. I presume that there is a lower limit for road tyre pressures as well, below which resistance is increased as the tyre deforms over the rim.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,384
    Tyre pressures?

    Road tyres only have less rolling resistance if they are hard enough not to deform under the riders weight. Otherwise your trying to roll a big squidgy energy sapping elephants foot around.

    Sorry that's complete nonsense. Deformation is critical to a fast rolling tyre.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,999
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    My carve mountain bike is a 29er and great off road. On road up steep hills is hard work compared to my road bike a trek 1.5 due to the extra weight, big grippy tyres and front suspension fork. The Trek on the other hand flies up hills in comparison once I got used to the gearing and handling of the bike.

    it may just be your used to the very low mountain bike gearing. Have you timed your self to compare the speeds, road bikes are deceptively fast on road compared to mountain bikes.
  • defridedefride Posts: 277
    Surprising to hear the op's complaint.

    I've just done the same, pretty light 26er hardtail in my case to Cube Agree and can't believe how much quicker it feels. The start of my first ride includes a short steep dip, flew down and breezed up it, on the mtb I'd have been searching the gears a bit and pushing hard.

    Is the Felt definately set up right? Brakes dragging on a rim thats not true would be noiticable for example.

    Best of luck getting sorted, my first ride out has been an eye opener and really enjoyable
  • It might be worth taking it into a shop to tell them my queries as it was quite surprised. I don't know an awful lot about bikes and how to sort it etc but it honestly feels harder to ride than my mtb! Haha today I fell off with cleats for the first time which was frickin embarrassing and I think its damaged the bars :( as a whole roading feels like a completely different sport so far
  • bails87 wrote:

    according to that graph I need to inflate my 25mm tyres to 140 psi. Methinks this is BS.
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    bails87 wrote:
    according to that graph I need to inflate my 25mm tyres to 140 psi. Methinks this is BS.

    It's a guide, not a set of rigid rules and certainly not B.S.
    If you don't like what it's saying maybe you simply need to loose some weight... :wink:
  • GizmodoGizmodo Posts: 1,928
    bails87 wrote:
    according to that graph I need to inflate my 25mm tyres to 140 psi. Methinks this is BS.
    Did you divide your weight by 2 - 40% of the load on the front wheel, 60% on the rear as per the instructions?

    So if you weigh 90kg and your bike weighs 10kg, that means for the graph, 40kg load on the front wheel, 60kg load on the rear.
  • Interesting, that comes out to be a 50-60 psi split for 25mm tyres. Seems somewhat low. I currently run around 90 psi... I could imagine going down to 80 psi but 50-60 sounds like pinch flat or tyre peeling off the rim territory.
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    edited August 2013
    That's one of the reasons why tubeless tyres (combined with wider rims) makes so much sense on the road not just on mountain bikes.
    At 165lb I used to run my front 28mm Conti Grand Prix tyre (32mm actual width) at 40PSI (and 60PSI rear). I could only get away with it thanks to wider rims and the tubeless setup...
    The ride was absolutely lovely and the bike was rolling faster than at 80/60PSI or more 8)
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    double (seat)post...
  • Couple of things - the gears will be higher on the road bike, so you'll have to pedal harder to get up hills.

    Plus I remember the first time I took my road bike up hill I thought it was much harder than my hybrid, because my position was different. Although it was harder it was also much faster! But I got used to it quickly.
  • bails87bails87 Posts: 12,999
    Interesting, that comes out to be a 50-60 psi split for 25mm tyres. Seems somewhat low. I currently run around 90 psi... I could imagine going down to 80 psi but 50-60 sounds like pinch flat or tyre peeling off the rim territory.
    How much do you weigh?
    50psi and 60psi on a 25mm= tyre loads of 25kg and 32kg, so you plus your bike have a combined weight of 57kg?!

    I go with what the chart suggests (around 75 psi) and I've never had a pinch flat on the road bike, even when hopping down off the (shared use) pavement onto the road and dealing with the occasional pothole.

    If you just smash into kerbs without even trying to unweight the wheels then yeah, you might get pinch flats, but the same would happen if you did it in a car!

    Why not lower the pressure a bit and see what happens. MTBers regularly use sub 25psi pressures and, for the most part, tyres aren't dropping off left right and centre despite usually having looser beads than road tyres. It's funny that the 'max pressure' labels on road tyres are often seen as a target, whereas the same warning on a MTB tyre is just seen as the manufacturer covering themselves in the event of some idiot blinding themselves while trying to put 200psi in a tyre!
    MTB/CX

    "As I said last time, it won't happen again."
  • poejollard wrote:
    Hi all

    So today I took my new Felt F85 out for a proper spin expecting it to glide on the road with ease. However I found that it was harder to maintain a higher speed than my mountain bike and also the climbs were exhausting in comparison to my 29er mtb. Am I doing something wrong or is this what it's supposed to be like?


    I found exactly the same! MTB with slicks on rolls easier, is more comfortable & climbs far quicker than my road bike. It's also much more stable in every aspect. I was massively underwhelmed by my Triban 5a riding experience!! Nothing wrong with the bike, just with all the hype you read on here I was expecting something much better with a "proper" road bike. I'm actually faster on the MTB with comfort to boot!!
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    poejollard wrote:
    Hi all

    So today I took my new Felt F85 out for a proper spin expecting it to glide on the road with ease. However I found that it was harder to maintain a higher speed than my mountain bike and also the climbs were exhausting in comparison to my 29er mtb. Am I doing something wrong or is this what it's supposed to be like?


    I found exactly the same! MTB with slicks on rolls easier, is more comfortable & climbs far quicker than my road bike. It's also much more stable in every aspect. I was massively underwhelmed by my Triban 5a riding experience!! Nothing wrong with the bike, just with all the hype you read on here I was expecting something much better with a "proper" road bike. I'm actually faster on the MTB with comfort to boot!!

    On average a road bike should be faster for most people unless riding on roads with rough uneven surfaces. For some people the speed v ride comfort balance tips them over into more upright / easy riding bikes like mountain bikes. The main thing is you enjoy riding the bike you have.
  • Kajjal wrote:
    poejollard wrote:
    Hi all

    So today I took my new Felt F85 out for a proper spin expecting it to glide on the road with ease. However I found that it was harder to maintain a higher speed than my mountain bike and also the climbs were exhausting in comparison to my 29er mtb. Am I doing something wrong or is this what it's supposed to be like?


    I found exactly the same! MTB with slicks on rolls easier, is more comfortable & climbs far quicker than my road bike. It's also much more stable in every aspect. I was massively underwhelmed by my Triban 5a riding experience!! Nothing wrong with the bike, just with all the hype you read on here I was expecting something much better with a "proper" road bike. I'm actually faster on the MTB with comfort to boot!!

    On average a road bike should be faster for most people unless riding on roads with rough uneven surfaces. For some people the speed v ride comfort balance tips them over into more upright / easy riding bikes like mountain bikes. The main thing is you enjoy riding the bike you have.

    True, & the fact is I just don't like riding the road bike, I find drop bars useless. After about 300 miles on it, I find it harder, less comfortable & less fun than the MTB. I only ride the MTB on road too. I'm going to look into a flat bar road bike I think. Decathlon do a flat bar version of my Triban 5- same spec but less money for some reason.
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Its probably down to a process called adaptation - your muscles simply haven't got used to the road position and maybe you lack a little strength to push higher gears. Road bike is more intensive as you generally keep the power-on all the time whereas on MTB there's always little pauses and rests due to the terrain - you generally ride in lower gears.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • iamcamiiamcami Posts: 93
    I just recently got my 1st road bike (4 months ago.) I'd noticed that I was using the MTB on the roads 80% of the time so got semi slicks... Then would change the tires at the wknd for off road etc. Got kinda annoying and had a shot of someone's flat barred road bike and felt the speed difference. So got a Triban 3 around 4 months ago. I really enjoy it. 1st ride was totally weird. My back was sore etc. So I got the next size down which I felt handled better. It still took some getting used to but I'm now comfortable on it. My speeds have improved by 5+ MPH and I like how it's easier to filter with the narrow bike.

    Another thing is how my fitness and speed improved on the MTB surprisingly. Not sure why exactly but it has drastically improved since I got the roadie. I only use it off road now but I'm definitely faster on it than before. I think it's due to the fact that I enjoy the change of riding it more. The comfort etc, it feels like a different sport, so I could have ridden the previous day on one bike and the other the next day and it feels like I've had a day off, if you know what I mean. Maybe cause it works diff muscles. So when I'm on the road bike, the MTB muscles are recovering and vice versa. LOL I dunno
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    edited August 2013
    Apart from being more aero (due to a different riding position) road bikes really don't posses any magical properties that would make them much faster than any other bike.

    It's wrong to assume that road tyres always roll faster.
    Some lightweight paper-thin XC tyres with minimal tread, run tubeless will match or beat many clinchers on rolling resistance and the worse the road surface and the heavier the rider the greater the advantage.

    My 26x2.00" Furious Freds at 20-35PSI are only slower by 0.25-0.5mph than 25mm GP4000s at speeds of around 19-20mph (timed on 1.00-2.30h routes, the same bike - drop bar 26" MTB) ... and that's almost certainly due to increased air drag. At lower speeds the differences could be insignificant.

    To compare another bike, my 30lb big fat rigid 29er with 2.40 Ardents (<20PSI) on 47mm wide! rims is only 1.5mph slower when riding in aero position (bar ends mounted close to the stem). Something worth noting is the fact that the bike feels much slower than it really is.

    So, depending on the bikes being compared, average speeds, position, riding style, differences between road and MTB may be in some cases as small as 1mph or less and if we add the rider who still needs to adapt to a new riding position and gearing, it's easy to understand that a road bike can be "slower".
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