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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I ride offroad 2-3 a week. I ride the same trails. Been doing this set fo trails for about 5 months. I rode last Sunday, but was not able to get back to the trails this week, so I decided to ride the roads near me. I have done this before with the wife, at a easy pace for her. This time I rode further and a faster pace around 11-12mph. On the trails I'm usually 7-8MPH.

So both Wednesday and Thursday rode 10-11 miles on the road at the 11-12MPH. Offroad I usually ride 8-11miles at 7-8MPH.

This morning I went back tot he same trails and as soon as I got on them it felt hard to pedal. I actually thought something was wrong with my bike.

So what affects does riding the road have on your offroad riding? I noticed a couple things, but wanted more info.

Thanks
 

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There's a saying that goes something like this.....
Mtbers who don't ride roads have no legs, road riders who don't ride trails have no soul.

Sounds like you were just stiff. Longer road rides, where you stay closer to the same output will build stamina. Mtbing, were your going up and down hills, and slowing for obsticles is more interval type training. When your newer to cycling these will carry over to one another lots. When your more advanced your training will have to be more targeted cause less will carry over.
When I spent my last few rides on a mtb, I'm amazed at how fast I can accelerate on my road bike and top speed is just better on a road bike also. I'm also amazed at how when I take 1 of my road riding buds, who can kick my butt on the road, they just can't hang on the trails and have to stop for a break.
It's all about conditioning, and it only takes a few weeks to gain or lose either way.
Stretching after your rides and eating well will do wonders for your next ride also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What I noticed was I was riding faster (but didn't really know it at first). When I started watching the computer I was in the high 8mph, but in the same gear I normally ride slightly slower. I think that is why it felt hard. When I would go up a gear it did not feel as hard.

We will see, because I plan to ride a little more road. Partly because of time, and the distance I have to travel for the trails.

I had not really thought about them affecting each other, so I wanted some other info.

Thanks
 

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I don't road ride however 3 years ago my bro took up road riding on his mtb. This year he bought a hybrid road bike. I could alway beat him on the trails but no more. He is in middle ring most of the time and can go for soooo much longer. He also notices that hills don't freak him out anymore. I now have a road bike and an indoor trainer for the winter. We will see:)
Cheers,
Straw
 

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Here is how I see it:

Road riding - good for overall endurance conditioning, fun to ride at 20+ MPH and pretend you're a car at a traffic circle, can be fun to cover lots more mileage than I ever would on a MTB

Mountain riding - good for conditioning you to short bursts of power (intervals), good for learning/improving/maintaining bike handling skills and just plain ol' fun to play in the dirt like you're still 8 years old

I am primarily a roadie at heart, but I enjoy getting the 29-er out when I find a break. I've found that with my road riding fitness, some of the hills on my favorite trails don't seem as intimidating as they used to. Places I recall going up in lowest gear in years past don't leave me maxed out. And on the other side, I find with the road bike if I need to do things like bunny-hop a pothole, I can do that thanks to my MTB riding.
 

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I just bought a bike a month ago or so and I love taking my MTB out on the bike paths and around the city. I think it is very good for getting your legs into shape and building your endurance so long as you are actually pushing yourself and not putting around casually.

I did 47 miles this past weekend with the last trip totaling 17 miles on the MTB and it feels great lol.

I'd like to push that number up even higher on the weekend but i'm running out of desireable weather :-/

Overall it's helped me on trails....though actually climbing hills helps better you at climbing.
 

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I have always ridden MTB. I have just recently started commuting a couple days a week to work. I am hoping that it improves my MTB ability by giving me more strength and endurance. I do try to ride hard when I commute and I attack the hills like I would on the trail. I have not been doing it quite long enough yet to tell a difference on the trails, but I am excited to see how this changes my riding.
 

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As others have pointed out, road riding can really help your mtb legs. For me I just notice I have a better engine overall.

As far as feeling slower on the mtb when you returned to it, sometimes we just have slow days.

Also, depending on how you pumped you tires up, or how rough/soft the off-road trails are, it could very well be that that you really are slower on the trail than on the road.
 

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Road's different, and it can do very different things depending on how you approach it.

Off-road, the trails somewhat dictate the effort level of a ride. Technical climbs, for example, pretty much require your max. Whatever that is. If it's not enough, sooner or later you hang up a wheel or make a mistake and get a break, whether you wanted it or not. Downhill singletrack forces most of us to take a break, at least aerobically, because it's hard to keep pedaling and control the bike at the same time.

On a road bike, as long as you don't run out of gears on a climb or get stuck behind someone slow, you can pretty much ride at whatever effort level you want to. So it's great for structured workouts. If you just ride around casually, it won't do much. If you ride efficiently at a moderate effort level, it expands your aerobic capacity quite a lot. If you tend to surge and fade, or you do intervals on purpose, you'll develop more top end.

And yeah - sometimes going from riding on efficient, low-resistance surfaces to trails feels like a brake is dragging. When I've been riding my other bikes and hop on my road bike, it feels weightless.

EDIT: Since it's come up - I'm MUCH faster on the road. I cruise in the high teens, and typically average in the middle teens once stoplights and whatnot get involved. I don't have a speedometer on the MTB, but from GPS tracks I know I typically average below 10 mph, except maybe on a race day, during a race. None of my trails are flat, so the idea of a cruising speed isn't something I want to get into with off-road.
 
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