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Just curious how many of you do a significant amount of training on a road bike. I'm in the process of buying a mountain bike and training for a 100 mile race and perhaps a 12 hour solo. It seems like a lot of people do a big chunk of training on the road. However I can not afford to buy two bikes. Will I be able to have a quality training program without including a road bike? I read somewhere Tinker Juarez trains 4 out of 6 days a week on a road bike.
 

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Yes , sometimes its just easier to grab the road bike and head out the door vs. loading up the mtb and driving to a trailhead . Your training quality is not dependent upon the type of bike that you train on .
 

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Riding on the road is great to get in long miles, etc.,, but not a love of mine by any means. More of a "necessary evil." I have a great road bike, but truth be told, I have not been on it (except on the trainer) since July or August.

But I HAVE put a TON of mile on my Mamasita this year, on the road, and it was great. I used to HATE riding a mountain bike on the road, but with a 29er, I feel much more at ease. Now if you want to do group rides you might wish you had a road bike for sure (although there are some studs that can surely keep up). But I ride 98% of the time on my own, so who cares?

Put slicks on the mountain bike if you want, or ride full knobbies and UP the work out. I like to ride some big ass local loops that have everything from rail trails, to ghetto single track to smooth roads. The mtb works just fine. Granted I place mid to back of the pack, but it still keeps me fit, and for what it's worth a friend of mine (who won the NUE single speed overall this year) did almost ALL of his bike training on a single speed 29er. On road and off.

In the end I say this- "road bike, shmoad bike, ride what you got." As long as your're riding, you're training. Good luck and have fun.
 

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Now that so many folks are riding 29ers and they aren't such a handicap on the road as a 26" bike might be, perhaps the real question should be 'how much time do you spend training on the road vs on the trails', and not how much time do you spend on a road bike.

For me, I do virtually all my "training" on the road. I can't bring myself to ruin a good offroad ride by thinking of it as training. If I'm riding alone, I may ride my 'cross bike if the roads are crappy or I may ride my fixed gear bike if they're okay. In a group, it's 'cross bike if crappy and geared bike if not. Only once in a blue moon will I ride my mtb on really hilly routes as training. Otherwise, if I'm on my mtb, I'm playing, not training. Yeah, I know, if I'm riding pretty quickly I'm surely getting some training benefit, but I just can not stand to think of it as such.
 

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You can certainly use your mountain bike on the road for that part of your training. Riding on the road just allows you to better control the effort you are putting out. It helps me control my heart rate and train in certain zones, or have a really easy spin "recovery" day. I do use a road bike, but wouldn't think twice of using my mountain bike if I didn't have the road bike. Just like others here I used to see it as a "neccessary evil", but have grown to enjoy it more now. This time of year I'm on the road bike 4 out of 5 rides minimum every week and sometimes exclusively. Once spring time rolls around I'll be splitting my time almost evenly between the road and mountain bikes.
 

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If you're going to only have one bike, 29er hardtail is the way to go. Due to time availablility etc., probably 80% of my miles are on the road; on my Fisher Paragon 29er. It's great for riding in the city with pot holes, etc. and it's less flat prone. I pump up the tires to 45-50 psi and can cruise at 16-17 mph just fine.

Last fall while recovering from a broken hand I did a road century just for the training miles and passed all kinds of roadies, so it's not really all that slow. It's really all about the hours in the saddle anyway, and I like keeping everything the same; seating position, bars, etc...
 

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Depending on how much road training you intend to do the economics of buying a cheap second hand road bike is not as bad as you think. You tend to go through drivetrain's quicker on the MTB (in my experience twice as fast) so if you buy a cheap second hand road bike it sort of pays for itself over time. Plus you get you get another option for training and who knows, you might even dabble on the dark side and start doing road races and events!.
 

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Jim FtCO
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 47

"Gearing considerations aside... you could always just take your MTB on the road.

It won't fall apart due to even prolonged contact with pavement on those long rides."

This advice is erroneous. Mountain bikes are not designed to withstand the severe and prolonged monotony of road riding, too much pavement exposure will corrode your frame, your fork, and much of your drivetrain components. While this is especially true of titanium, I have also seen aluminum and carbon fail from prolonged road use.
 

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Road riding and training are a great way to make yourself a complete cyclist.I always find it amusing how many people reply to threads like this who reply along the lines of "I do ride on the road occasionally but I only do it for the training and I don't like it and I don't wear lycra and I wave at everybody but I'm really upset that everyone didn't wave back". Or even better, "I ride on the road on my mtn bike wearing my baggies and pass roadies in lycra with shaved legs left and right and it really pisses them off" This is said even though I can only think of once when a guy on a mtn bike passed me on my road bike (I'm an upper middle pack Cat 2 type rider) and that was Jay Henery climbing up Vail pass on his way to doing the off road triple bypass. (He was wearing lycra and had shaved legs)

Bottom line:
Road riding is great training.
A road bike is a much better tool for pavement than a mtn bike. (yes even than a "niner")
YMMV, but IMO road riding is fun and enjoyable.
 

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Build an old-school fixie road bike. It is cheaper than a whiz-bang current fashion road bike, fun to ride, and great training. Going out to horse mine up a few climbs tomorrow am. It is so easy to schedule suffering that way, all you have to do is show up and there is nowhere to hide. :)
 

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2silent said:
one word- GRAVEL!

seriously though, it seems almost all the fast people train on the road some or most of the time. If you read training books- they even go one step further and recommend doing certain workouts on a trainer inside... I guess boredom is relative.
You're right, it is relative, relative to how much you want to win.

Some years ago I had a problem in early February w/ sinus infections. I decided to do all my training indoors until it finally cleared up, which had me indoors exclusively for almost a month. I spent an extra 2 weeks on the trainer for most of the week, with excursions outdoors only on weekends. The improvements I made in terms of power output for any given timeframe and the corresponding incredible improvement in lowered heart rate for those same outputs was so impressive I've vowed to spend a substantial amount of time indoors every late winter/early spring, no matter how nice the weather. Every decent season I've had in the past 7 years has come after lots of long easy base miles in Dec/Jan, followed by lots of indoor work in Feb/March. Another plus, my longest indoor workout is just shy of an hour and a half. Huge return on investment, time-wise, and I don't have to worry about flats, traffic, dogs, etc... Yeah, it's boring, but racing well is worth it.
 

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canyonrat said:
Build an old-school fixie road bike. It is cheaper than a whiz-bang current fashion road bike, fun to ride, and great training. Going out to horse mine up a few climbs tomorrow am. It is so easy to schedule suffering that way, all you have to do is show up and there is nowhere to hide. :)
Yup. i did alot of training on my 53-17t Fixed Gear. fun on the hills.....

Helps you spin smoother and makes you forget that you can coast.
 
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