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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My road buddy rides all these miles,but when our last session was on
the dirt and up some hills he was wiped out is there any rule of thumb
for the road VS dirt
 

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I use the general rule that a 50 mile mtn bike ride is equal to 100 mile road ride. I generally find the mtb speed is hals that of the road bike.
 

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Really not comparable. The riding is totally different. Road riding is more steady state and builds endurance and high aerobic capacity. MTB riding is more anerobic, builds more strength and is more on/off. Do both and they complement each other very well. Your buddy wasn't used to the anerobic and strength required for mountain biking. Nor the constant handling and attention required. You can't let your mind wander mountain biking but you can zone out road riding. Mentally different.
 

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When on the road, you get into the cockpit and go. You pretty much keep a cadence and unless the terrain changes, you will keep it for the majority of the ride.

On mountain bikes, there are a lot more variables. We have our obstacles to deal with, whether they be moguls, rocks or log rolls. We also do not follow relative straight lines and need a special set of alertness. Our bike are usually 5-10 lbs heavier (or more) then a road bikes and tires have a lot more rolling resistance.

A general rule of thumb is 1 MTB miles is = to 2 road mile. You know the trails you ride. If your body is getting its butt kicked through tight, technical singletrack filled with rocks and roots and various climbs, you may want to add.

However the variables are great. Having experience in both forms of riding is great. If a roadie hit the dirt, they will have more trouble adjusting then a mtb'r hitting the road. I do both, so I feel secure in saying that.
 

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Ride Instigator
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I've always figured it at about 2 to 1. A 30 mile road ride is just a little workout and I'm not feeling at all spent afterwords, after a 20-25 mile MTB ride, I'm feeling pretty spent. Road riding is great endurance training for MTB though, I've been putting a lot of pavement miles in lately and MTB isn't kicking my arse as much:thumbsup: .

The two types of riding are so completely different and I love them both for different reasons but riding dirt is where my true passion lies, the road bike is just an MTB training tool.
 

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From my expirience, 1 mile off road is equal to about 5 miles on road. Road riding is for wimps, unless your name is lance armstrong. Mountain bike action recently did a race beteween a professional road biker and a pro mtber. They had to do like a 10 mile climb on the road, and an 8 mile climb off road. The lowest combined time won. On the road leg, the road racer won by under a minute (just a few seconds if i remember right). However on the mtb leg, the mtb racer won by minutes, smoking the road biker.
 

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Disgruntled Peccary
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Riding both my comment is that there are far too many variables to state that XX mtb miles ='s YY road miles. It's just a different type of riding, both have things that are tremendously fun, and things that somewhat suck. I will echo though that road miles do build endurance, and mtb does build strength. That becomes readily apparent quickly when you do both.
 

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if your buddy was wiped out, he'd probably be wiped out on the road going up hills too. road climbs can be total sufferfests.

i think comparing time is more accurate. an hour on a mtb is fairly similar to an hour on a road bike. you'll just typically cover more distance on a road bike in that hour.
 

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Never trust a fart
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Destin said:
From my expirience, 1 mile off road is equal to about 5 miles on road. Road riding is for wimps, unless your name is lance armstrong. Mountain bike action recently did a race beteween a professional road biker and a pro mtber. They had to do like a 10 mile climb on the road, and an 8 mile climb off road. The lowest combined time won. On the road leg, the road racer won by under a minute (just a few seconds if i remember right). However on the mtb leg, the mtb racer won by minutes, smoking the road biker.
You forgot to add something to this. The MTB'r also puts in a lot of road miles in the off season as compared to the roadie who only did road riding. After the test was over, the roadie said he was going to incorporate MTBing into his training.

Road riding isn't for wimps. If its so wimpy, how about you giving it a try?

Its an excellent way of increasing your aerobic capacity and leg strength. Great compliment to the mountain bike.

I've been road riding and mountain biking for almost 20 years now. Started road riding when I was 14. My comparison is that 1 mile mountian biking is equal to 2 to 3 road miles. I feel beat after 15-16 mtb miles, but 15 miles on the road, I'm just getting warmed up. Now after 30-35 miles, I'm starting to tire. Hit the 50 mile mark, and I'm totally spent.
 

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Like comparing apples to oranges...

Destin said:
From my expirience, 1 mile off road is equal to about 5 miles on road. Road riding is for wimps, unless your name is lance armstrong. Mountain bike action recently did a race beteween a professional road biker and a pro mtber. They had to do like a 10 mile climb on the road, and an 8 mile climb off road. The lowest combined time won. On the road leg, the road racer won by under a minute (just a few seconds if i remember right). However on the mtb leg, the mtb racer won by minutes, smoking the road biker.
10 miles of road climb as well as 8 miles of MTB climb can come in many different flavors, you really can't make an accurate comparison between the two. There's nothing wimpy about road riding, you just have to open your mind to different forms of cycling and appreciate each for the benefits that they have to offer. I live in an area where there isn't much MTB near by and riding road keeps me in condition for the times when I do ride MTB. I can get in a good workout spinning 30-40 miles on the road bike and I can ride right out my door, an MTB ride means that I have to load the bike in the truck and drive somewhere and this is quite time consuming. Riding road is also a great way to to get in a ride when the trails are muddy.
 
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From my expirience, 1 mile off road is equal to about 5 miles on road. Road riding is for wimps
The "wimpy" part of that statement is lame.
This comparison depends on terrain. The area where I live is hills and mountains. You don't get the short, steep climbs on road bikes that you do on mountain bikes, but the long climbs here will give you your money's worth on or off road. Downhills are more challenging offroad, but you don't want to make a mistake going 40-50 mph on a winding descent on a road bike either.
With my mountain bike I can ride around in the woods all day, with my road bike I can ride somewhere 30-50 miles away and back. If you are feeling like you are not getting a good workout on a road bike, try going a little faster.
 

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Too many variables to compare.

All road miles are not equal either and off-road the route makes even more of a difference.
 

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As a mountain biker who rides a road bike, I can say that there is nothing "wimpy" about the road. it is just a different type of ride. For the most part, on a road bike you will do more total miles and possibly/probably more total time.

For me, I prefer the woods for many reasons (yes, safety is 1) - but buying my road bike allows me to roll out the front door and ride. I can find time to ride when there is minimal time available and that only make me healthier (1) and a better rider (2).
 

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Time in saddle may be a useful comparison, a six hour ride is a six hour ride around here.
 

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I agree on there bing too many variables to make a meaningful comparison. Here in central CT where it's all rocks and roots and hills, I figure at least 3 to 1.
 

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Independent biomedical research from a number of sources all hover around 0.6 or 0.7 to 1 in terms of total work effort expended.

Road -- use primarily leg muscles, less of the upper. But push the leg muscles harder. Effort is more continuous.

MTB -- uses the upper body and core more than road, legs get used somewhat less. Brief periods of rest or non-use of each muscle grouping during the ride.

Net result, for the average rider tested 0.6 to 0.7 miles of dirt = 1 mile paved. This is typical for the average rider under the most common riding conditions. Your results may vary.

I'll take their word for it, since I don't want to ride all day with sensors and gizmos strapped all over my body.
 
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