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Mtb for fitness?

stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
So this year I'm thinking of getting an mtb to accompany the road miles, mainly as I've got some mates who ride through the winter offroad so it will be a bit of fun.

But I'm slightly concerned as to how mtb riding translates to roadie fitness.

Normally during winter I would be bumbling along during be miles with occassional force work through hill repeats. I can see that mtb-ing would help on the muscle work but can't see it doing much for base.

Any thoughts or experience?

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  • matt-hmatt-h Posts: 847
    I do a little mtbing and find it does wonders for my fitness and motivation.
    It's a little different and there is no hiding being aero or having awesome rolling resistance.
  • Stueys wrote:
    So this year I'm thinking of getting an mtb to accompany the road miles, mainly as I've got some mates who ride through the winter offroad so it will be a bit of fun.

    But I'm slightly concerned as to how mtb riding translates to roadie fitness.

    Normally during winter I would be bumbling along during be miles with occassional force work through hill repeats. I can see that mtb-ing would help on the muscle work but can't see it doing much for base.

    Any thoughts or experience?

    what do you mean by "base" and "bumbling along"?
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  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332

    what do you mean by "base" and "bumbling along"?

    Mainly heart rate zone 2 on weekend rides, sweet spot intervals during the week on the turbo (courtesy of trainerroad).
  • i'm not sure i follow: why can't you do zone 2 and sweetspot on a MTB?
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Mountain biking is different in the way you ride the bike. Road biking is generally quite smooth and consistent. In mountain biking you vary speed / power a lot more and really have to shift you weight around the bike a lot more. Also you need to concentrate more when mountain biking.

    To give you an example if I warm up and go as fast as I can off road on my mountain bike for half an hour when I stop I am breathing really heavily. Do the same on a road bike and when I stop my breathing is easier and I recover much faster.
  • you're not riding your road bike hard enough then! you should be able to go hard enough over short durations that you want or need to vomit at the end.
    Coach to Michael Freiberg - Track World Champion (Omnium) 2011
    Coach to James Hayden - Transcontinental Race winner 2017, and 2018
    Coach to Jeff Jones - 2011 BBAR winner and 12-hour record
    Check out our new website https://www.cyclecoach.com
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Probably some truth in that as I am a lot more experienced in mountain biking and so can push myself harder :)
  • Kajjal wrote:
    Mountain biking is different in the way you ride the bike. Road biking is generally quite smooth and consistent.

    I think this is pretty much correct. I find that on the road it is easy to maintain a set intensity. On my MTB the terrain tends to dictate how I am riding, so that a lot of the time I am going easier than I physically could be, concentrating on saying on the bike over all those rocks and tree roots in situations where finesse, not outright power, is what is needed. At other times I will have to go right to my limits just to avoid having to get off the bike and walk!

    I also find the the sort of cadence I use on my MTB varies quite a lot from what I would use on the road. For example, often having to stay seated no matter how stupidly low the cadence is to maintain traction, whereas on my road bike I would be out of the saddle.

    I tend to look at MTB riding as being something of an 'seasonal' alternative exercise, akin to running or cross country skiing / ski touring (albeit closer to road cycling in its specificity) that keeps me active and gives me a psychological break from all those miles on the road.
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • you're not riding your road bike hard enough then! you should be able to go hard enough over short durations that you want or need to vomit at the end.

    Odd then that I don't see much vomiting going on after summit finishes in the Tour, or those 'do or die', 'out of the body' efforts made the classics, and so forth. I guess that they just aren't going hard enough!

    Perhaps whether you vomit or not depends on whether or not your coach tells you that you should be. :lol:
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    Kajjal wrote:
    Mountain biking is different in the way you ride the bike. Road biking is generally quite smooth and consistent.

    I think this is pretty much correct. I find that on the road it is easy to maintain a set intensity. On my MTB the terrain tends to dictate how I am riding, so that a lot of the time I am going easier than I physically could be, concentrating on saying on the bike over all those rocks and tree roots in situations where finesse, not outright power, is what is needed. At other times I will have to go right to my limits just to avoid having to get off the bike and walk!

    I also find the the sort of cadence I use on my MTB varies quite a lot from what I would use on the road. For example, often having to stay seated no matter how stupidly low the cadence is to maintain traction, whereas on my road bike I would be out of the saddle.

    I tend to look at MTB riding as being something of an 'seasonal' alternative exercise, akin to running or cross country skiing / ski touring (albeit closer to road cycling in its specificity) that keeps me active and gives me a psychological break from all those miles on the road.

    This was what I was thinking, it's less consistent effort and more varying dependent on effort. Which actually sounds like fun and appeals but I'm not entirely sure whether I can get a pass for more bike hours :?
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    you're not riding your road bike hard enough then! you should be able to go hard enough over short durations that you want or need to vomit at the end.

    Odd then that I don't see much vomiting going on after summit finishes in the Tour, or those 'do or die', 'out of the body' efforts made the classics, and so forth. I guess that they just aren't going hard enough!

    Perhaps whether you vomit or not depends on whether or not your coach tells you that you should be. :lol:

    Evidently a short memory from this years tdf...
  • Stueys wrote:
    you're not riding your road bike hard enough then! you should be able to go hard enough over short durations that you want or need to vomit at the end.

    Odd then that I don't see much vomiting going on after summit finishes in the Tour, or those 'do or die', 'out of the body' efforts made the classics, and so forth. I guess that they just aren't going hard enough!

    Perhaps whether you vomit or not depends on whether or not your coach tells you that you should be. :lol:

    Evidently a short memory from this years tdf...

    I have watches thousands of races and vomiting seems to be far from the norm, unless the rider concerned has been given a 'bad drip' or something. :lol:
    "an original thinker… the intellectual heir of Galileo and Einstein… suspicious of orthodoxy - any orthodoxy… He relishes all forms of ontological argument": jane90.
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,983
    I find MTB is good for intervals training. Your either caning it down hill getting a good all over body work out or pedalling flat out. Well, I am anyway...
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