Doing a mixed terrain race on a Road Bike

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by AllanST, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. AllanST

    AllanST New Member

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    Ok I couldn't think where to put this, so I thought I couldn't go wrong in here.

    Anyway here's one of my madcap schemes. Bear with my while I describe it, then I have some questions....

    Basically there's a race 26 mile race which covers mixed terrain. It starts with a 8 mile uphill off road running section. Now I can run hard and fast, so I can get an edge over people who just cycle and don't train to run on this section.

    Next comes the hard part.

    After this the route follows a downhill footpath which has been churned up and is well rutted by off road vehicles. This makes it very hard to ride anyway (even on a mtn bike - I've tried)with the level of technical ability I have at the moment. So, what I figured was, rather than use a heavy mtn bike, and attempt to run it, and have to deal with the technical sections, I was going to use a road bike (there's nothing in the rules that say you can't).

    So I was going to use the road bike for the rideable sections, then get off and run hard with it over the technical sections which are impossible to ride anyway. basically the unridable section carries for 2 miles, until you hit an unsurfaced track, this carries down for about 1/2 mile until you reach a stony road which is again about 1/2 mile long. So chances are on this bit you will have to dismount from a road bike. You have to be cautious (or stupid) descending it on a mtn bike (I know, I've done it) After that you hit a surfaced road which is maybe a mile to 2 miles long, this carries up through a farm, you then go up an unsurfaced road, and across grassy fields which are bisected by hedges.

    After this you hit a steep downhill which has a rocky descent, again unridable on a road bike probably (so get off an nail it, you have to take it slowly on a mtn bike. At the end of this track, you hit a surfaced road.

    Ok now you're thinking, why on earth use a road bike, that you haven't been able to ride in most places?

    Well the logic comes in her. From this point, the whole next 8 mile section, is on the roads. So what I figured was, nail it hard on the road bike.

    From here you come to an unsurfaced road, then another grassy and muddy section of footpath with loads of styles. This is pretty unridable, even on a mtn bike. So again, I figured, get off and run the whole 2 mile section carrying the bike.

    After this you hit the roads, back on the road bike and nail it hard along the roads for another 5 miles, down through a glen, about maybe 1 mile, lots of tree roots on the first part of the track, then follow a smoothish footpath, then back into another glen, footpath for another mile, then out onto road for 1/4 mile, then along unsurfaced tracks, for 3 miles, then 1/2 mile of road to the finish

    Now bearing in mind my mtn bike is a full susser and weighs a ton, and considering the route is unridable in many places anyway, plus there are large amounts of road on the route, to my mind it would seem more logical to use my much lighter road bike, even though this is a mixed terrain race.

    Now what I want to ask is?

    Exactly how much difference in speed on roads would a person of a good level of fitness on a road bike with road tyres do compared to a person with the same level of fitness on a mtn bike with knobbly tyres?

    Is it worth swapping the road tyres for cyclox tyres if I can get them to fit on my frame? How much difference would this make to:-
    a) my handling ability offroad
    b) my speed onroad (compared to if I was using road tyres)?

    Is it likely that I can make up sufficient time on the road sections, to eliminate the losses in time and places I know I will make on the offroad sections?

    I'm going to try this out anyway, as I'm curious, and the race is just a bit of fun. But if anyone has any comments or suggestions on how I can make this scheme a bit more slick, then lets have them. BTW you're limited to one bike, I asked if you were allowed 2, but you're not.


    I've figured I can do more than double the speed on a road bike that I can on a mtn bike, while I can probably run as fast as I can ride in sections where I feel I'm likely to come off the bike (badly rutted tracks).


    In all the times I've seen this race, I have to admit, I've never actually seen anyone using a road bike, they're always on mtn bikes.

    And no, I can't afford a cyclo cross bike at the moment. :-(
     
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  2. huhenio

    huhenio New Member

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    Get a 10 speed frame, some decent wheelset, and a fixed gear.

    You will open a can of woopass against mtb'rs on the road, and on the foot race you will have less to carry
     
  3. wheelist

    wheelist New Member

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    This sounds like fun Allan, and I'd definitely be tempted by the road bike option, given that your other option is a full susser.

    I reckon you can gain (at least) 3mph on a road bike over MTB, even with some knobblier road tyres fitted.

    As Hu says, I'd get a fairly strong (2nd hand or crap) wheelset, so that you don't mash up your road wheels, and then put some tough tyres on.

    I guess the one thing you want to avoid here is destroying your road bike - a possibility given that one always tries to ride as much as possible and only dismount when it gets "too" rough. So an old road bike would be nice to have. The problem is that you still need it to be light, to give you the advantage you want. Hmm.

    Anyway, good luck. Watch your ankles on those roots!

    Steve
     
  4. Chance3290

    Chance3290 New Member

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    YEEHAW!! Where do I sign up? This does sound like fun.:D

    I'd wouldn't even think of doing this without cyclo tires. Even with the cyclos, you'll still put on a lot more speed on the road than anyone wilth knobbies on a MTN.
    Good luck.
     
  5. IronDonut

    IronDonut New Member

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    A hard tail mountain bike with lockout forks and a smooth center section tire will roll on pavement almost as fast as a road bike and much faster on unpaved sections.

    It's all going to be a matter of tradeoffs. Just like everything else in life.



     
  6. AllanST

    AllanST New Member

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    As I did say, I can do double the speed on my road bike as on my mtn bike. And some of the tracks are so badly destroyed that you will have no choice but to get off and leg it, whether on a road or a mtn bike.
     
  7. IronDonut

    IronDonut New Member

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    Double? I only see a 4 mph difference between my MTB and road bike on pavement. If I had smooth high pressure slicks on the MTB it'd be even less.



     
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