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Mountain biker looking to make the plunge...

dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
edited November 2013 in Road beginners
After about an 8 year hiatus I've taken up mountain biking again, but after an exhausting morning at my local trail, I'd undertaken an attempt to get my fitness back up to scratch. I've been almost exclusively pounding the road miles on my mountain bike, and this morning after about 50 road miles I've decided to take the road bike plunge.

It may sound silly, but I don't know what to expect... I've grown accustomed to hopping up curbs, flying over speed bumps and pot holes and not giving it a second thought. What do I have to be careful of on a road bike? I am well versed in soaking up impacts with my body, so for road hazards will this be enough? Can I drop off a curb without smashing the wheels? What does a big lumbering mountain bike oaf have to unlearn on a light bike?

Posts

  • Mikey41Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Yes, you can drop off a curb without smashing the wheels though it's best not to go hopping up and down them, speed bumps are no problem. Watch out for sharp-edged potholes as they can puncture the tyres, watch out for white lines and metal covers in the wet, they are like ice.

    The tyres may be thin, but there's a hell of a lot more grip than you would think. Since there's no tread, avoid loose gravel on the road, especially in turns or you'll be going down. Otherwise rough surfaces and cattle grids are dealt with MTB style by standing up a bit and soaking it up with arms and legs.

    Good luck and enjoy!
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Thanks for the reply, white lines and metal covers are like ice with tonnes of tread too. Coincidentally I've been looking at 2nd hand Defy's, would you say it's a good starter? Rest sounds like common sense I suppose. Trial and error maybe. I'm hoping it's the more sensible option, it'll be quieter than my mountain bike at least.
  • Mikey41Mikey41 Posts: 690
    The Defy is an excellent starter bike IMHO, I've put a couple of thousand miles on mine this year. It does my commute, where it has to deal with: Various bumps down the main road into town, the golf club car park, 50 yards of rough gravelly stuff to get to a wooden bridge and the cyclepath through the park, over a cattle grid, over a big traffic hump at about 25mph (haven't managed to get air on it... yet ;) ). It has dealt with it all without complaint.

    One other thing though. You will find that your positioning on the bike is far more important than on an MTB. With a road bike, you essentially become one with it so that where you move, it will follow. Make sure you get the right size frame. It will be much more responsive and will probably feel twitchy at first until you get used to it. Faster too.

    I'm doing the opposite to you just now, getting started in MTB and was out on the trails today.
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • dilatorydilatory Posts: 565
    Hah, it's weird right? I spent a huge part of my life on bicycles, but a different kind of bicycle leaves me apprehensive. Initially the road miles were no more than a fitness regimen, but it's actually quite therapeutic, a couple of hours on some back roads, a few times I've taken a podcast and put one earphone in too. Strava ruined that though. Always trying to compete with the super fit and fast roadies! My best is one top 10 haha.

    It all sounds like road bikes aren't as soft as I'd imagined. Wanted to just check this out before I flew off a curb and my wheel caved in on day 1.
  • Mikey41Mikey41 Posts: 690
    I'm having all the same experiences with MTB. I'm having to learn new cornering technique and that I can trust the tyres to grip on loose surfaces. I keep wanting to sit down when I shouldn't be :lol:

    It's all good fun though and I finally tackled a couple of drops that I'd been avoiding and didn't end up in hospital :D

    I do love getting out on the road though, quietly just spinning along, clearing your head, can lose hours that way. I even took the bike with me when the car needed a service, went for a couple of hours ride and it was all finished when I got back. It was worth the funny look from the receptionist :)
    Giant Defy 2 (2012)
    Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2013)
    Giant Revel 1 Ltd (2013)
    Strava
  • KajjalKajjal Posts: 3,404
    Having been mountain biking for 20 years I recently got a road bike. Road bikes are not as tough as mountain bikes so rolling off curbs, riding over rough surfaces is not a good idea. The wheels are nowhere near as strong and you don't have front suspension. Having said that they will more than handle most of what the roads will throw at you.

    Apart from that they are a lot faster on road and the fitness you gain comes in handy for mountain biking. One thing to watch out for is road bikes have to be a lot more accurately setup for you than mountain bikes to get the best out of them.

    They are numerous 2013 bikes in the sales at the moment you you could be lucky and get a real bargain.
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 962
    I often bunny hop the odd pothole/kerb etc. It's essentially the same, but slippier :D
    Insert bike here:
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