Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

How much easier is it to Climb hills with Road bike than MTB?

itaaitaa Posts: 61
edited November 2017 in Road beginners
I have an MTB which I bought about 9 or 10 years ago (was worth about £160 when new- so it's pretty censored compared to what the rest of you got)
Its 14.5kg ''light'', I have recently upgraded tyres to low rolling resistance schwalbe hurricanes and it made a really good difference as to how fast I can get it to roll+ I managed to shed 550grams just from upgrading the tyres :D

I still like the bike very much ,it's the perfect fit for me and all that,or I just haven't tried anything else in my life so I don't know what a better bike feels :lol: But when there are some incline, I just feel dead after a 1-2 minutes climbing one and have to do it standing up,sitting=no chance even on the lowest gear. + I sweat like crazy from climbing.

Now I'm just wondering if it's my censored form/experience/stamina ( I'm 1.86m/ 77kg and fairly active so I can't really complain about anything)
Or it's just easier to do it with a better bike?
Or it's the exactly same heavy work whatever bike you have?

Those who have tried/have more than 1 type of bike what's the actual difference between each of these types of bikes when it comes to climbing up an incline?

-censored cheapo 15kg mtb like mine
-Expensive 10kg Mtb
-Decent sub £1k 10kg Road/CX bike with good gears?

How would you describe the difference in feel/hard work between those 3 types of bikes?

Posts

  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    Depends on the incline - road surface (or not) and gradient have a lot to do with it. - sub 5% and it's a quick ride (relatively speaking) - so aero & road resistance makes more difference - over 10% and gravity has a major impact, so weight will matter.

    But if you're in the lowest gear on the MTB and struggling then I guess it's more like 20% ... ;)

    I have towed a trailer (complete with infant car seat & infant) up a 20% gradient - got 2/3rds of the way up before I stopped - for fear of falling off and the bike/trailer going back down hill ... that was with my 29er ... boy was I glad of the disk brakes when we came back down that hill later on! :)
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,232
    edited November 2017
    For me, I can typically climb 30+ seconds quicker on the Cube than my Voodoo in 29er mode, over an uphill stretch of ~6mins, depending upon the gradient.

    My best time up "Old Winchester Hill to the top" cat4 on the Cube is 9mins40secs so far, on the Voodoo with 29er front and fat26er rear is ~10mins40secs.

    Voodoo frankenbike ride https://www.strava.com/activities/10599 ... /4857/5494

    Cube ride https://www.strava.com/activities/10685 ... /1318/1536

    Linking to multiple Strava rides on an Android mobile, rather than on home PC, is a bit of a faff! Quite a difference in estimated power, think I gave the fatbike climb everything, while it was quite early on my planned Cube ride of five cat4s and I wanted some energy for Harvesting Lane etc.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,490
    https://www.strava.com/segments/935054?filter=overall
    there are some recording 450w up that 2 mile 4% hill ...
    I'm nowhere near that - although, in my defence - I've ridden a long way to get there and still have a long way to get home ...
  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    My experience: rode an alloy 26” hard tail for years, got OK at riding, got to know a few routes, got quite fit. Bought a carbon fibre 29” hard tail and took, say, 5% off of the routes I was familiar with, with one long (off-road) climb being much quicker. Bought an alloy road bike and over road sections was, say, 10% quicker than the 26er over the few road segments that I had ridden.

    With no analysis or scientific basis at all, I would say that over most road climbs I am notably quicker on the road bike. Unless it is a very extreme climb, in which case I run out of legs and gearing on the roadie and the MTB will keep on grinding away in little-big. Off-road, the MTB wins as I don’t take the road bike there!

    The cf MTB is quicker everywhere than the alloy one. Could be the 29” wheels. Could be the composite frame. Could be I’m fitter/stronger. I did feel a small but noticeable difference when going from tubed to tubeless tyres on the 29er (only ~360g saved but all rotating mass). I have also noticed an increase in times over my local bête noir climb recently, which seems to correlate well with an increased weight gain (on me).
    Cube Reaction GTC Pro 29 for the lumpy stuff
    Cannondale Synapse alloy with 'guards for the winter roads
    Fuji Altamira 2.7 for the summer roads
    Trek 830 Mountain Track frame turned into a gravel bike - for anywhere & everywhere
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,556
    It's not (really) about the bike.

    The lighter the easier...... so lose some weight then get fitter then buy a lighter bike.
  • GCN did a video article, riding a hill while trying to maintain ~225W and ~275W, with and without a 5Kg rucksack while on road bikes (total weight ~80-85Kg iirc).

    The rucksack added ~5mins up some well known ~20min climb.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Yeah, it is.

    There's a gravel road through a popular park here. Sometimes I throw the cheap alloys on the aero bike and use it to get to the other side of town.

    I'll watch mtb's pull distance on me downhill as I can't bomb it on 23's......but going up I usually pass them pretty handily unless it's a monster strong dude. Not everyone can afford a 29er with full front and rear remote lockout for climbs.

    I'll say though, there's a diminishing return here depending on the grade and your power level. Once you hit a certain grade on road bike gearing, even the 28 tooth cog is going to take a good amount of power. Not so on a mtb. Put it in the 42 and spin on up.

    If you've got 10 min of double digit grades but your ftp is like 180w.........the mtb will allow you to make it up. The roadie won't.

    But if you can already do Cat 3 climbs or harder on the roadie, repeated times, then that'll be faster.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,659
    I'll say though, there's a diminishing return here depending on the grade and your power level. Once you hit a certain grade on road bike gearing, even the 28 tooth cog is going to take a good amount of power. Not so on a mtb. Put it in the 42 and spin on up.
    Most people make the radical choice of fitting a double chain ring to their road bike.
    You are allowed to use the inner one! :lol:
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • It depends on the surface, how steep the hill is and the rider. For example MTB low range gears can make it easier if it is really steep and the seating position is better but you general hill on a road and a lightweight road bike will cruise up it
  • MrATXMrATX Posts: 8
    If you've got 10 min of double digit grades but your ftp is like 180w.........the mtb will allow you to make it up. The roadie won't.

    I think this is true for a lot of new road cyclist. It happen to me as well as a few others I know when we got into road biking. But I'm living in an area with a lot of mountains and a lot of steep climbs.
  • yiannismyiannism Posts: 344
    On very steep hills MTB is easier given the lower gears, but lets say 5-6% then there is no contest. (i am mostly a roadie, but i love to do some cross country too)
  • I had an unexpected opportunity to compare my modest efforts up Woodmill Lane on both bikes this afternoon...

    Vodoo (in work commuting gear, ~92Kg* total): https://www.strava.com/activities/12845 ... /1530/1667

    Cube (in MAMIL kit, ~87Kg* total): https://www.strava.com/activities/12846 ... is/448/624

    * Very rough mass, based on memory and our fluctuating bathroom scales

    3mins33secs vs 2min56secs

    Nowhere near perfect science boffin levels of consistency to compare that well, as I had been frog-marching for several hours at work and then ridden further on the Voodoo, while the Cube ride was after relaxing for over 2.5 hours etc.

    A little gutted I had to slow to a stop and wait for traffic at the Witts/Mousehole junction on the Cube, I didn't know it at the time, but it was going to be close to my PB for the "Woodmill/Bitterne 13.5% combo" if I had had a perfect merge carrying 20+mph.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • Surprised no-one has mentioned position on the bike yet. Makes a big difference.
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • MrATX wrote:
    If you've got 10 min of double digit grades but your ftp is like 180w.........the mtb will allow you to make it up. The roadie won't.

    I think this is true for a lot of new road cyclist. It happen to me as well as a few others I know when we got into road biking. But I'm living in an area with a lot of mountains and a lot of steep climbs.

    Exactly! That was my point. A newer rider without much power and a little extra weight on even a compact double won't make it up a Cat 3 or harder climb. Not without stopping multiple times or taking a very long time.

    A short story on how this is relevant:
    I started riding on a borrowed triple ring Trek 1100. I got up to being able to do 25-30 miles flat, and slowly. Mind you, I started riding from nothing.

    I saw there as a Cat 3 climb off to the side of the town where the bike path was I was using. So tried it. I was sadly mistaken in that attempt at the time! It took me about 28min to make it up the climb. Nearly dead last on the leader board. I had to stop twice on the way up and even had another rider passing ask if I was ok! And this was on a triple ring.

    At the time I weighed 181lb and wasn't very fit. I could MAYBE hold 180w back then for 20 min if someone held a knife to my balls. But 180w at 181lbs up a climb, I never would have made it on even a compact double ring. A heavier MTB with an 11-42, I probably could have spun it all the way up without stopping twice.

    Now, I've been back about a year later and had the time down to 17:30min. If I went back today, I've lost enough weight and gained enough power I'm pretty sure I could break 15min.

    Here's the comparison one year apart, no laughing! :P
    When I was a new rider, on a triple, fresh (180 fake Strava watts): https://www.strava.com/activities/68793 ... 6861087376

    This September before starting a training plan, after already doing the other side of the climb hard as I could go (220w meter indicated): https://www.strava.com/activities/11922 ... 9378763283

    In that September version, I was in the 34 ring and 28t or 25t most of the time. So, that's 220w+ for about 20min for someone at 175lb.

    I'd love another try. I've another 30w since then and lost 10lbs or more. Plus, the shorter the time going up this one under 20 min.......the more power you can put out.
Sign In or Register to comment.