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Commuting by MTB?

On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
edited June 2017 in Commuting chat
Does anyone ever feel the need to change equipment just to keep things interesting? I've been on and off commuting into town for the last five years or so but am bored of my current CX/lycra combo and have had a weird urge to ride the MTB to work (some 23miles each way). I think I'm bored of my CX bike, and need some variety and like the relaxed and yet capable ride my MTB offers. I've gone as far as buying and fitting slick-ish tyres but the bike is some 2kg heavier than my current commuter ride, but I need to alter my attire to match the bike in order not to look horribly out of place :lol:

Is this an identity crisis? Or a mid-life cycling crisis?! Am I crazy for contemplating an MTB over this distance?

Posts

  • smokey_baconsmokey_bacon Posts: 1,637
    When I had the choice of bikes I used to take the MTB fairly frequently on the commute, granted only 6 miles each way. No need to worry about potholes or owt. So no I dont think its any sort of crisis. Variety is the spice of life.
  • vimfuegovimfuego Posts: 1,788
    erm....
    yes
    probably
    probably again
    no

    I commuted on a hardtail MTB for a couple of years - 16 miles each way (slick-ish tyres rather than XC knobblies) - used to love it. Gives you more routing options too. Especially good fun when racing & scalping road bikes - you'll find that when waiting at traffic lights, a good degree of your fellow commuters assume that they are faster than you purely because they are riding an Allez / drop bar BSO & shoal accordingly.
    Might want to consider your gearing, but other than that what's not to like, give it a go. Long travel fork, full face DH helmet & knee pads required obviously ;-)

    My old MTB was a few years old and had seen a LOT of XC miles prior to getting pressed in to the commute, so I retired it eventually. I'm back on more conventional commuter equipment now - the replacement MTB is reserved for pwopah off road riding. For now.
    CS7
    Surrey Hills
    What's a Zwift?
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    yeah I get bored really easily .... I have a choice of 5 bikes that all get used on the commute

    Single speed Tricross CX bike - its SS and I can go off road
    Fast Hybrid with panniers and mudguards - full on wet weather and if I need to do the shopping
    mountain bike - if I go MTBing after work
    All weather road bike - when I want to race everything
    Sundays finest carbon road bike - Tuesday morning club ride before work .. unless its raining then I take the other road bike

    Thinking of getting a geared CX bike .. or sticking drop bars on one of the MTBs ????? .. dilemma
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    On_What wrote:
    Does anyone ever feel the need to change equipment just to keep things interesting? I've been on and off commuting into town for the last five years or so but am bored of my current CX/lycra combo and have had a weird urge to ride the MTB to work (some 23miles each way). I think I'm bored of my CX bike, and need some variety and like the relaxed and yet capable ride my MTB offers. I've gone as far as buying and fitting slick-ish tyres but the bike is some 2kg heavier than my current commuter ride, but I need to alter my attire to match the bike in order not to look horribly out of place :lol:

    Is this an identity crisis? Or a mid-life cycling crisis?! Am I crazy for contemplating an MTB over this distance?

    what sort of ride though? I'm assuming your still hoping for a quick fast ride in?

    I do use a old MTB for commuting though normally only short distances though I do have meeting etc in town and it's fine for that, it does get a bit depressing with a headwind though!

    I've gone for the slow but bombproof, i've fitted big panniers, kept decent knobblies for pothole calming and the grip that only big soft (both pressures and compound) can really give.

    In terms of across town I tend not to filter that much vs most i.e. i'll hang back unless I can see a clear benefit, coupled with a lack of competitive instinct means A-B times for my self across all the bikes I own or have owned is broadly the same.

    fit a fast XC MTB with fast rubber and you'd have a fast bike that could eat speed bumps/potholes/taxis while remaining fast.
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    Sorry, I should of added - 650b hardtail enduro bike with lockout on forks. I used to manage the ride in about 1hr 10 according to Strava, so hoping for not far off that with the MTB. I'm reasonably fit and it takes a quick roadie to pass me usually.
  • byke68byke68 Posts: 1,070
    Mostly use my MTB as I can go what ever route I want. Waggonways, cycle paths and any rat-run I fancy.
    Cannondale Trail 6 - censored brakes!
    Cannondale CAAD8
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,965
    I really miss commuting on my XC Hardtail MTB without lockout :roll: , because of the fun I had getting proper muddy on the way home through gravel and woodland tracks, was ~ 9 miles each way.
    Still use it for winter use with spiked tyres and use as emergency N+1, but is so heavy it's a nightmare - planning N+1 to be a CX so that I can get the best of both possible routes
    Intent on Cycling Commuting on a budget, but keep on breaking/crashing/finding nice stuff to buy.
    Bike 1 (Broken) - Bike 2(Borked) - Bike 3(broken spokes) - Bike 4( Needs Work) - Bike 5 (in bits) - Bike 6* ...
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I used to do about 17.5miles each way in winter on an MTB with studded nobblies. TBH I used to long for the better weather (April -May) in the Highlands to get back to the roadie.

    If you're going to run slick tyres, it will be a lot easier
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    Tomorrow's the day by the looks of it, had to leave my other bike at the workshop so will have to use the MTB
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    TBH I think I'd just have ridden the MTB and then thought to post about it after.
    It's not like you're crossing the Gobi desert - it'll just be a bit slower.
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    So that was quite hard, hot work. Ultimately enjoyable though, even got a few PB's on Strava :?
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,764 Lives Here
    Rode my old pub hack MTB in to work today. It's not much slower but my ride is just over 5 miles. It's heavy in it's current state with semi knobbly tyres, guards and a rack. But I can still pass a fair few people on road bikes if I see them. Going to meet the Mrs in the pub on the way home so riding in civvies and normal shoes is a plus.
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    Surprisingly I was only five minutes slower over 24miles! Overtook a good few roadies to boot. Only negative is wide bars (730cm) are scary in traffic
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,764 Lives Here
    On_What wrote:
    Only negative is wide bars (730cm) are scary in traffic
    Late 90's model means narrow bars and bar ends for me, my actual MTB on the other hand ...
  • richkrichk Posts: 583
    I'm not sure about changing equipment, but I do try to vary my route to/from work
    There is no secret ingredient...
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,147
    On_What wrote:
    Surprisingly I was only five minutes slower over 24miles! Overtook a good few roadies to boot. Only negative is wide bars (730cm) are scary in traffic

    That is fairly wide, though norm for what it is, my old MTB 2006 hardtail is fair bit narrower with longer stem and such, and even with panniers feels a bit more comfortable on the road, than my more modern trail FS bike with its wide bars, short stem relaxed head angle etc.
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    I ride my road bike most days, but on a Friday I use the mountain bike. It just mixes my week up a little, but it is a fast mountain bike so it doesn't slow me down much, especially with the tyres at max psi. However, I also mix in a couple of short offroad sections (a few hundred metres) on Fridays and over the summer I normally do longer routes home that include far more paths/parks/offroad sections. In many ways I look forward to my mountain bike Fridays even though they are a little slower.
  • greenamex2greenamex2 Posts: 272
    My spare/riding with daughter bike is an MTB (GT Aggressor 2.0).
    Fitted with slime inner tubes and Schwalbe Marathon Pluses, it weighs over 5KG than the normal bike. The normal bike is a CX bike run over the same route (road/cycle path/mud covered disused railway etc).
    Usually only three or four minutes slower over 13 miles, but a lot more comfortable over the rough ground.

    The big problem is when it is wet. End up covered in mud due to useless MTB mudguards...doesn't go down well with the cleaners at work!

    It is getting replaced by a hardtail hybrid with proper mudguards if Halfords ever send my the C2W voucher!
  • PufftmwPufftmw Posts: 1,941
    Spare bike is a 20 y/old MTB with 80mm Rock Shox & road tyres. Was using that to drag the dog trailer in but if I was to use in comparison to the road bike, then probably only a couple of minutes slower over the distance bearing in mind traffic etc. Current MTB I'm using is an eBike and that is totally different & takes at least 5 mins off the journey :D
  • My direct commute is only ~4.5 miles, but my Wazoo fatbike with a set of 29er wheels wearing 38c Marathon Cross gets me to work in ~17mins and home in ~20mins, depending upon traffic lights. Recently, I usually try to extend my route home to ~13-15 miles, trying to improve my PBs on a few local hills.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    Back on the mtb today, really pleasant if a bit slow
  • fat daddyfat daddy Posts: 2,632
    I am torn ..... on one hand having a road with seemingly no potholes or bad surface is awesome ..... on the other hand pushing the nuts out of your legs just to maintain 18-20mph sat upright with stupid fat tyres on is sole destroying ... and as for hills, pah, the only thing you can race is other mtbs

    so tempting to build a 130mm fully suspended bike with 28mm slicks and drop bars

    the speed and aero with absolutely none of the road surface to worry about :D
  • imatfaalimatfaal Posts: 2,716
    fat daddy wrote:
    I am torn ..... on one hand having a road with seemingly no potholes or bad surface is awesome ..... on the other hand pushing the nuts out of your legs just to maintain 18-20mph sat upright with stupid fat tyres on is sole destroying ... and as for hills, pah, the only thing you can race is other mtbs

    so tempting to build a 130mm fully suspended bike with 28mm slicks and drop bars

    the speed and aero with absolutely none of the road surface to worry about :D

    Think of it as the ultimate expression of "train heavy; race light!" I commute just over 60km (total per day) at present on a steel rigid mtb - great fun. 43mm tyres - each weighing a kilo - full guards, enough lights to melt the tarmac, tool kit etc; all comes in a smidgeon over 16kg (it weighs over one fifth of my body weight) . Added about 5-10mins each way to my commute; slows me down for same amount of exercise, no need to worry about roadsurface (it's flattened once I pass), ready made excuse if I want to pootle, gearing that allows me to do any hill sitting down...
  • OMarkOMark Posts: 23
    Commuting on MTB is great for taking short cuts and small paths around the city. The best would be a full on MTB trail on the way to work, but unless you live in the boonies that's almost impossible.
  • cyberknightcyberknight Posts: 1,238
    I used to do about 17.5miles each way in winter on an MTB with studded nobblies. TBH I used to long for the better weather (April -May) in the Highlands to get back to the roadie.

    If you're going to run slick tyres, it will be a lot easier
    This winter i have been riding a slicked rigid MTB with a drop bar conversion, on the flat it winds up to speed nicely but any hills and the combined weight of the bike with lights , panniers etc is got to be 20 kg so its a crawl but when the road conditions are dodgy its a lot better to be hurtling down an unlit hill in the countryside with discs rather then rim brakes in the wet .
    Got my roadie out today and did a loop and set a PB for the distance so all that extra work is paying off.
    FCN 3/5/9
  • bobbyglossbobbygloss Posts: 314
    OMark wrote:
    Commuting on MTB is great for taking short cuts and small paths around the city. The best would be a full on MTB trail on the way to work, but unless you live in the boonies that's almost impossible.
    You just need to pick your place to live :D. A 5 mile detour on my commute takes me through a forest full of MTB trails, and I live 4 miles from a city centre. And if I extend the other end of my commute by 7 miles, I can take in another forest full of trails.
  • Mr _TibbsMr _Tibbs Posts: 46
    edited June 2017
    On_What wrote:
    Does anyone ever feel the need to change equipment just to keep things interesting? I've been on and off commuting into town for the last five years or so but am bored of my current CX/lycra combo and have had a weird urge to ride the MTB to work (some 23miles each way). I think I'm bored of my CX bike, and need some variety and like the relaxed and yet capable ride my MTB offers. I've gone as far as buying and fitting slick-ish tyres but the bike is some 2kg heavier than my current commuter ride, but I need to alter my attire to match the bike in order not to look horribly out of place :lol:

    Is this an identity crisis? Or a mid-life cycling crisis?! Am I crazy for contemplating an MTB over this distance?

    Yep, all the time. I switch to a SS on Fridays just to mix it up ( I wear totally differnet gear and switch to a messenger bag etc). I genuinely fancy a fat bike, I know it's daft, of no use and ridiculous but I just fancy it

    Problem with something too obscure is that you end up looking like you are just attention seeking.

    Nowt wrong with an MTB for the road , I see plenty of serious riders ruining roadies on MTBs, especially in Flanders ...just consider tyre choice
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