mountain bike v racing bike pace

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Mar 2015
5:10pm, 7 Mar 2015
1,515 posts
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icelandic trigirl
I'm used to a racer but given my winters, it stays tucked away for months at a time. I've tried a mountain bike (albeit v cheap) and this year got winter tyres with nails (that cost more than the bike!). I took it out today but I am really, really slow. There is a race in 2 weeks that looks fun but I think it's going to take me a ridiculously long time and think it might be better if I offer to hold the coats or something.

I'm not exactly speedy gonzales on the racer, but I can average 2 min/km in good conditions without much in the way of hills. Today I was close to 4 min/km. I run nearly that fast! The main obstacle (which will be the same in the race) is the road condition. Snow comes, freezes, melts a bit, snows some more, melts a bit, rains... so it's horrible. very uneven, lots of icy patches and lots of slushy patches where the wheels just kind of spin and it is really hard to move forward at all. (I guess it is similar biking in forests and the like but I've never gone in for such things). There were a few dry stretches, but mostly the road was like this. Part of it is confidence - I have to work so hard not to fall off, and don't give it any welly going down hill - but part of it is also being rubbish. But should I be THIS rubbish on a mountain bike compared to the racer? Any tips? (apart from practice). I'm in pretty good overall shape because I've been running all winter and usually I can jump back on the racer when Spring comes without much trouble or loss of form.
Mar 2015
5:23pm, 7 Mar 2015
55,385 posts
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Perspective for you

I have ridden a 23.xx 10 mile TT on a road bike but nearly killed myself to ride 29.xx on my mountain bike.

The difference is huge
Mar 2015
5:37pm, 7 Mar 2015
1,516 posts
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icelandic trigirl
Yeah, it's huge, but in my case it is nearly double! It's not just the bike; it's also the surface. It seems much more about technique (aka - not falling off) on the mountain bike; on the road bike, I just get by head down and pedal.
Mar 2015
5:44pm, 7 Mar 2015
9,845 posts
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Im pretty slow whatever bike I'm on but if I take chunky tyres onto the forest roads I'd reckon on my pace being 60-65% of a road bike on the road. Stick shitty weather and tyres with nails into the mix - sounds an ok pace.
Mar 2015
8:35pm, 7 Mar 2015
19,418 posts
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We have a forest track here that has a grim section - uphill, muddy, stony - I am incredibly slow on that section. It's tougher /slower riding on the road in a MTB vs road bike, throw in terrain and it makes a big difference. Bloody great for fitness though :)
Mar 2015
1:35pm, 8 Mar 2015
1,517 posts
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icelandic trigirl
Got the racer out today!!! The local club decided we would drive out to a mountain tunnel and cycle through that. It's 7km long so I just did it twice as I've got "21k run, fastish" on my calendar this afternoon... not sure it will be "fastish" or "21k" but I do need to put in something. It was so good to get back on Roger (the racer) and feel like I was going somewhere. But I think I'll give the mountain bike race a go, just for fun. (It's over a frozen lake so we have to hope that it is actually freezing! Shoe covers, I bow before you.)

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I'm used to a racer but given my winters, it stays tucked away for months at a time. I've tried a ...

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