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Distance Riding on a Mt. Bike

1326 Views 25 Replies 22 Participants Last post by  Ultra Magnus
Hello, I am very passionate about riding, and i've always been interested in the effeciency of bikes. I am going to have a break in college and I want to take advantage of this time. I want to take my mountain bike on an adventure. I live in florida and wanted to ride up into georgia.
I know people do this kind of thing on road bikes, but how fesiable is it on a MTB. I would end put putting some road friendly tires on my bike. I like the MTB's ability to jump curbs and ride off the road when nececary. Are there any resources for someone like me planning on a trip like this? Thanks.
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yikes. I did a 24 mile road ride on my mountain bike on Saturday because I'm going to start commuting to work on my bike.

I bought a road bike on Sunday :eek:
Well, I rode 2,700 kilometers on my MTB in Europe in 1990, but I was young, strong, and dumb.
What part of Florida do you live in? Where in Georgia are you going?

There's no reason it can't be done. It'll be harder than a road bike, obviously, but thats fine if you can work through it :)

Good luck! Take pictures along the way and start a thread about your adventure!
rideit said:
Well, I rode 2,700 kilometers on my MTB in Europe in 1990, but I was young, strong, and dumb.
man i feel you on the need to cover as much distance as possible on a bike, but if you can cover that much on a MOUNTAIN bike i will have incredible amounts of respect for you.

i've done 25 miles on mtn bike and its hard but not that hard, but 25 miles on a road bike is 1000 times easier.
ya, we'll im actually more into bodybuilding than more aerobibic exercises...but i really love to be on a bike. Since I'm always trying to gain weight, long rides arn't typically on my agenda. However, last week I was bored and just jumped on my mountain bike and rode about 26+ miles. It felt pretty good considering that I've never done any long distance riding before. Im really only concerned about loosing weight on these long rides. Guess i could bring some whey protien and try and maintain with pushups and pullups while im on the road. :)
Bodybuilding and cycling generally don't mix.
old, skinny cyclists still ride without too much trouble...

old bodybuilders often go to seed, as it were. Be careful in your choices as a young un'.

lose the weight to get fast on a bike.
No big deal. I train for MTB by roadbiking on my hardtail with 2.3" knobbies. I mainly am road riding but from time to time I'll mix in some climbing in the national park via gravel/dirt roads. I find it has made me a much stronger rider and I am able to ride 40+ miles per outing with a good aerobic heart rate the entire time. I also have some 1.5" street slicks that I recently road the MS 150 with (150 miles over two days) and also recently completed my first century+ with (107 miles one ride). There are definite benefits in riding a true road bike, but it's not an absolute must. Have a good time on the trip. Distance riding really helps me clear my head and truly relax.
generally speaking BB'ing and cycling dont mix, but there are ways around it. I've been lifting/bodybuilding seriously for four years and i've done a half marathon, a few 10 milers, 50mile epic rides, collegiate soccer...all sorts of aerobic activities.

it all comes down to nutrition imho, just make sure you're eating enough of the RIGHT foods to maintain muscle and recover from doing cardio. You said to bring whey with you..i just make sure i bring a powerbar, powergel, trailmix, enduroxx with me whenever i am gone for more than an hour. Going catabolic is dreaded while doing cardio, and you need to prevent that by giving your body enough nutrition while working over an extended amount of time. There is nothing worse than losing muscle that you've worked hard to pack on. It's tough, and can get a bit technical, but its definately doable especially while youre young.
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It's feasible...I do 20+ mile rides all the time on my mountain bike. Actually, I've done some 40+ mile rides on the mtb before (mix of singletrack, gravel and a bit of paved road) but you hurt a bit the next day! What you need is a cyclocross'll give you some of the off-road capability of a mountain bike while retaining road bike characteristics...get a 'cross frame you can attach racks to and you are good to go!
I've been using my mtn bike for a bit of everything. From road rides up and over mtn passes to eating up the singletrack. My rides have been anywhere from 10 miles to 40+ miles. I did two longish rides this week,both were a hair over 40 miles a piece. Total mileage for me on the mtn bike was 140 miles this last week. My boyfriend is opening his own bike shop within two weeks, and I DO plan on purchasing a road bike when that happens, but I really have not minded doing so much riding on the mtn bike. I have no soreness at all from it. If I work harder to do the same sort of thing than a person would on a road bike, so be it. I need the exercise anyways. LOL

I am looking forward to a road bike though.. I need to see what the hoopla is about. :D
Pugdawg1 said:
I am looking forward to a road bike though.. I need to see what the hoopla is about. :D
Same, I'm excited to pick mine up tomorrow. I test rode a few and couldn't believe how easy they are to pedal and how they just maintain speed when you start to coast. It's nice.
Using the mtb for long distance (60+ miles) became feasible for me when I converted my hardtail to a road/off-road bicycle. To have speed on asphalt, I changed the old chainrings to a 46-34-22 combination together with a cassette that has an 11 cog. I would have used a 48 chainring but to do so, I would have needed a new crankset. For comfort and multiple hand positions, I switched the flat handlebar to the On-One drop bar that is designed for use with mtb bikes.
Lately I've been commuting on my hardtail. Love the plush suspension over curbs and potholes; knobbies for added traction and resistance. Hell, I even wear the fully-loaded CamelBak for eight extra pounds while doing laps around the park. With long-distance races coming up, I feel like I have to make it harder on myself by keeping it in the biggest gear the entire time.

I get severe back pain after a while, but that happens even on the rigid commuter bike AND the uberplush FS, backpack or not.
Last summer, before I bought a road bike, I rode a ton (actually probably very close to 2000) of road miles on the MTB, I had 1.95 slicks to help reduce rolling resistance and an 8 speed 11-28 cassette, but I've done 75+ miles on a Trek 4900 on many occasions. But like another poster wrote, one my road bike it is much easier (and faster) due to many factors but certainly doable if youve got the time and box of powerbars to make it happen
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Having done the GDR in 2000, I can assure you it can be done.
Ride a lot, figure out what works what doesn't. It's all pretty personal, and it's all up to you. Odds are, if you do that much riding on the road, you'll eventually want a machine that does it well. In the meantime, figure out what you like and don't like about the mtb on the road.
This summer I did a 50 mile ride on my full suspension bike, although both shocks were locked out. Sure a road bike would make your trip easier, but you can still do it on the mountain bike. Plus you'll be able to hit any nice singletrack that you happen to pass.
Go for it! Throw some slicks on and have fun. It sounds to me like you're looking for some adventure and a mountain bike is fine. Road bikes will get you there faster -- but you can't take off and explore off the main road so easily. I've done rides over 70 miles on my mountain bike and I trained on the road with my mountain bike (before I bought a road bike). If your not trying to meet some crazy schedule your bike will be fine. I still do 50 milers with scouts on my mountain bike since the idea of riding at 9 mph all day on a road bike is sheer torture. ;)

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