Road bike or MTB for the Peaks.

PerformingMonkey Posts: 218
edited April 2014 in Tour & expedition
I am staying about 10miles west of Buxton in the Peak District at the start of May. Planning to arrive early before meeting the others at the accommodation and getting out on the bike (2-4hr ride). Debate is which one to take to get most out of the trip?

Do I take the Stumpy and get off road or the Allez and stick to the roads?

I am a soft southerner and not used to real hills but have recently ridden on the coast in Cornwall on the Stumpy so know it can handle some steep climbs. The Stumpy is 2x10, whilst the Allez is a standard (non-compact) double 2x10 set up.

If I take the Allez, can anyone recommend any routes?


  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    2x10 what? Whats the cassette on it? If your bottom gear is 39/25 then you might struggle if you're not used to hills.
  • I've got a 53/39 on the front and 25/12 on the rear... This is fairly recent upgrade too.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    As I thought, a typical flat land setup. It's impossible to say as I have no idea on your fitness levels, leg strength etc, but I couldn't cycle the Peaks with 39/25, it would be the equivalent of me being half way through my cassette on the little ring, the steeper stuff I doubt I could turn the cranks.
  • 5ft 7, 61kg, competitive triathlete and runner. Adequate cyclist, usually ride with inters or fast group on club rides. Mostly ride road bike down South around South Downs and New Forest and decided to move to standard chainset as rarely used smaller front cog on compact set up.

    Just worried that the peaks are just a whole different level of hills to anything I've tried before and beyond me.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    You're fit and light which makes all the difference, if you can then look at fitting a bigger cassette, perhaps 28T on the back, but, with your fitness levels you can probably just grind up what you need to :)
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Depends how often you're going to hit the hills - but it may be worth investing in a compact to swap onto the Allez for those times.
    I've done just that for a ride that'll take place at the beginning of may - we're doing 4500' of ascent in 67 miles - including a 5 mile 1200' climb which is quite a lot for us. I did get a second hand crank though - made it a bit cheaper.

    If it's just the once then perhaps get a wider range cassette (tiagra 30-12 for £15) which will keep your options open ... ? Actually - the 39/30 gives you a lower bottom end than the 34/25 - so scrap the idea of a second crank! :)
  • nevman
    nevman Posts: 1,611
    take the road bike and you can explore much further what the Peak District has to offer.Look out for the Cat and Fiddle,the Roaches,the Strines to the north,Longnor,s cafes near Buxton and of course Mam Nick from the Edale valley.
    Whats the solution? Just pedal faster you baby.

    Summer B,man Team Carbon LE#222
    Winter Alan Top Cross
    All rounder Spec. Allez.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Slowbike wrote:
    If it's just the once then perhaps get a wider range cassette (tiagra 30-12 for £15) which will keep your options open ... ? Actually - the 39/30 gives you a lower bottom end than the 34/25 - so scrap the idea of a second crank! :)

    The 12-30 is an excellent range as that's what I run. But just a caution as sometimes derailleurs won't go up that far, plus there's a chance the chain won't be long enough.
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    The 5700 long cage mech will run 30, the short cage definitely runs 28 - so I would think it could cope with a 30 too.
    For a one off ride I'd not worry about chainlength - just remember not to go up hills in the big ring whilst working up the cassette ... depends how mechanically minded the OP is.... :)
  • It still have all the bits from the old Shimano 2300 groupset I whipped off the bike but keen not to change back. Would also mean putting back on the bike my heavier wheelset.

    If anyone can recommend a good 40-50mile route/loop starting around the Buxton/Wardlow area I would be very grateful and could check out on my mapping software to see what the climbs are like.

    Thanks for the comments so far.
  • random man
    random man Posts: 1,518
    As long as you don't try and climb Winnat's Pass you should cope with most climbs. If you're in Wardlow, you're east of Buxton and bang in the middle of some of the best cycling in the country ;)
    Head for Eyam, Grindleford and Hathersage or south to Bakewell and out through Chatsworth. You can't go wrong really, even the main roads are ok to ride on, just enjoy it, you'll be back!
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    But you can't go to the peaks and not do Winnats!
  • sheffsimon
    sheffsimon Posts: 1,282
    But you can't go to the peaks and not do Winnats!

    I go to the peaks most weekends and in the week, and I haven't ridden up Winnats since 1987-ish....horrible road, too many cars.

    OP, I have 53-39 and 12-25, perfectly fine for peaks...try to get yourself to Mam Nick, one of the best climbs in the peak imho.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,099
    Assuming you survive, can you come back to this thread afterwards to tell us if you thought 39-25 was a good idea?

    Possible - certainly for many; but enjoyable (at the time)? - I don't think many would find this. Good bragging rights though.
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