My MTB Is Too Slow

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Mark_pringle, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. Mark_pringle

    Mark_pringle Guest

    My MTB is too slow, on flat ground with no wind, in high gear, I can pedal like a madman, and all I
    can get is around 42 kmh.

    I know a road bike is the way to go if you want speed, however I love a MTB for its many uses, and
    seating position. Is there anyway I can go faster without taking roids.

    Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at around 35 kph ?
     
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  2. rek

    rek New Member

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    No need for a whole new crank, a new big ring should be all you need. However as you go bigger, you'll likely need to get a bigger middle ring as well .. otherwise the extreme jump in ring size shifting to/from the middle to the big will make the operation clumsy or worse. Shimano publish 'official' specs as to the capability of their front derailleur in this regard on their site.

    Another option might be to get wheelset which is 700c rims laced up to mountain bike hubs. This will mean you travel further for every revolution of the wheel. The other benefit of doing this is that you get to be able to use thinner, high-pressure road tyres. This will probably only work in select circumstances as there will be issues with brake blocks (I suspect it might only be viable if you have discs), and also clearance with your bike's chain/seat stays and front fork crown (assuming a hardtail)
     
  3. Alan Erskine

    Alan Erskine Guest

    "Mark_Pringle" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > My MTB is too slow, on flat ground with no wind, in high gear, I can pedal like a madman, and all
    > I can get is around 42 kmh.
    >
    > I know a road bike is the way to go if you want speed, however I love a
    MTB
    > for its many uses, and seating position. Is there anyway I can go faster without taking roids.
    >
    > Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at
    around
    > 35 kph ?
    >
    >
    I've got a hybrid and although I'm _very_ unfit, I can get to 40km/h on the level. I can easily
    maintain 25 for extended periods (what I'm aiming for) and will get faster as I get fitter.

    --
    Alan Erskine
    We can get people to the Moon in five years,
    not the fifteen GWB proposes.
    Give NASA a real challenge
    [email protected]
     
  4. Mark_Pringle wrote:

    > Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at around 35 kph ?

    Along with the other suggestions, the following will help improve speed:

    You can use lower rolling resistance tyres, but you loose out on some terrain if you want to go
    off-road on the same tyres. If you want to do this, I would suggest two sets of tyres, one for off-
    road, and another set of slicks for on-road. However, if you don't have quick-release hubs, or
    can't be bothered changing tyres, it's not a good option.

    Your wind resistance will start making a huge difference one your speed increases, a lower more
    streamlined position will help, but short of buying another bike, just leaning over more isn't
    really a viable option, since you've specifically stated you like the position.

    If you have any suspension (especially rear) lock it out. You'll lose a fair bit of power if the
    bike is bouncing. Depending on the suspension system, this may or may not be an easy option.

    Increase the gear ratios, either a larger front ring(s), or smaller rear cluster (or both) will give
    your legs a chance to work, however, I think you'll probably be dissapointed in the difference (or
    lack thereof) compared to the cost that this would make. You'll soon learn how much extra work is
    required to overcome wind resistance.

    --
    Linux Registered User # 302622 <http://counter.li.org
     
  5. Stu

    Stu Guest

    >>My MTB is too slow, on flat ground with no wind, in high gear, I can pedal like a madman, and all
    >>I can get is around 42 kmh.
    >>
    >>I know a road bike is the way to go if you want speed, however I love a
    MTB
    >>for its many uses, and seating position. Is there anyway I can go faster without taking roids.
    >>
    >>Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at
    around
    >>35 kph ?
    you cruise at 35 kph on a MTB?? for how long? what gears and tyres do you have on your bike now?

    > No need for a whole new crank, a new big ring should be all you need. However as you go bigger,
    > you'll likely need to get a bigger middle ring as well .. otherwise the extreme jump in ring size
    > shifting to/from the middle to the big will make the operation clumsy or worse. Shimano publish
    > 'official' specs as to the capability of their front derailleur in this regard on their site.
    also make sure your chain is long enough

    > Another option might be to get wheelset which is 700c rims laced up to mountain bike hubs. This
    > will mean you travel further for every revolution of the wheel.
    if you are talking about a gearing change my maths says(if he has 48/14) that changing wheels
    would be about the same as going to a 13(12.728) on the back. If you are talking about bearing RR
    then this would make "almost" no difference. The difference in circumference is about 10%. Lets
    say bearing drag is 4%, so 10% of that is .4%. Not much gain for a custom set of wheels either
    way. BUT maybe he wouldnt need custom wheels, his dropouts maybe the right spacing to take a set
    of road wheels.

    > The other benefit of doing this is that you get to be able to use thinner, high-pressure road
    > tyres. This will probably only work in select circumstances as there will be issues with brake
    > blocks (I suspect it might only be viable if you have discs), and also clearance with your bike's
    > chain/seat stays and front fork crown (assuming a hardtail)
    Looking at my bike, it looks like the wheels would fit but as you say l am not sure the brakes
    will move far enough. Having said all that it doesnt sound like he wants to change to road/slick
    type tyres.
     
  6. Nickzx6r

    Nickzx6r Guest

    rek <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Mark_pringle wrote:
    > > My MTB is too slow, on flat ground with no wind, in high gear, I can pedal like a madman, and
    > > all I can get is around 42 kmh. I know a road bike is the way to go if you want speed, however
    > > I love a MTB for its many uses, and seating position. Is there anyway I can go faster without
    > > taking roids. Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at around 35
    > > kph ?

    > No need for a whole new crank, a new big ring should be all you need. However as you go bigger,
    > you'll likely need to get a bigger middle ring as well .. otherwise the extreme jump in ring size
    > shifting to/from the middle to the big will make the operation clumsy or worse. Shimano publish
    > 'official' specs as to the capability of their front derailleur in this regard on their site.

    > Another option might be to get wheelset which is 700c rims laced up to mountain bike hubs. This
    > will mean you travel further for every revolution of the wheel. The other benefit of doing this is
    > that you get to be able to use thinner, high-pressure road tyres. This will probably only work in
    > select circumstances as there will be issues with brake blocks (I suspect it might only be viable
    > if you have discs), and also clearance with your bike's chain/seat stays and front fork crown
    > (assuming a hardtail)

    Doesn't anyone try the simple things first anymore?

    Try some high pressure slicks. You don't need new wheels and even if you did, shoehorning 700c
    wheels on to an MTB frame wouldn't be worth the effort.

    You can get 26" tyres in widths from 1". I recently got some Conti SportContact tyres in 26" x 1.3
    (32-559 metric). The max. pressure on those is 85psi but you can get other similar tyres that will
    do 100psi.

    You might need new tubes too and you'll probably need something better than the average MTB mini-
    pump to get to 85psi. High pressure tyres will definitely increase your speed, compared to knobbies.

    Cheers.
    --
    Nick
     
  7. "NickZX6R" wrote:

    > You can get 26" tyres in widths from 1". I recently got some Conti SportContact tyres in 26" x 1.3
    > (32-559 metric). The max. pressure on those is 85psi but you can get other similar tyres that will
    > do 100psi.

    If you want a wider tyre, the Conti Travel Contact is an 85 psi 26 x 1.75 slick (but with side knobs
    for off-pavement use).

    Contrary to popular belief, for the same inflation pressure, a wider tyre has less rolling
    resistance than a narrow one. See http://www.schwalbe.com/index.pl?punkt=265 under "Rolling
    resistance" then "Why do wide tires roll better than narrow ones?".

    John
     
  8. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

    John Henderson wrote:
    > Contrary to popular belief, for the same inflation pressure, a wider tyre has less rolling
    > resistance than a narrow one.

    In the real world however, the wide tyres are inflated to lower pressure than narrow ones, so
    although the fact that you quoted is interesting, it might not help our speed-challenged
    friend too much.

    &roo
     
  9. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "rek" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:i4NZb.17459
    >>Mark_Pringle wrote: My MTB is too slow, on flat ground with no wind, in high gear, I can pedal
    >>like a madman, and all I can get is around 42 kmh.

    When you say you are "pedaling like a madman" - do you mean you are pedalling extremely fast and
    frantic or do you mean you are pushing a super-large gear so that the veins in your forehead pop,
    making you look like a madman?

    > Another option might be to get wheelset which is 700c rims laced up to mountain bike hubs.

    I've seen this done with discs. It allowed the owner to quickly swap from mtb wheels to road wheels,
    i.e. commuter to "real" mountain bike. Good idea, but expensive and possibly fiddly. If you are
    wanting to run road wheels though, you may as well use a road bike for better/faster positioning.

    If it really is your gearing slowing you down then change to bigger chainrings or fit a road
    cassette. You should be able to find a road cassette that matches and slides right on.

    If you are mostly on the road, you could fit slicks for an extra 3-5kph on your average speed.
    http://www.thehippy.net/Cycling/mtb_slicks.asp

    On another note Mark.. where is it flat with no wind? :p Take me to this paradise, I beg of you!

    hippy
     
  10. NickZX6R

    NickZX6R Guest

    hippy <[email protected]> wrote: <SNIP>

    > On another note Mark.. where is it flat with no wind? :p Take me to this paradise, I beg of you!

    > hippy

    Flat with no wind = paradise???

    What would be the point? ;)

    --
    Nick
     
  11. Andrew Swan

    Andrew Swan Guest

    NickZX6R wrote:
    > hippy <[email protected]> wrote: <SNIP>
    >
    >>On another note Mark.. where is it flat with no wind? :p Take me to this paradise, I beg of you!
    >
    >
    >>hippy
    >
    >
    >
    > Flat with no wind = paradise???
    >
    > What would be the point? ;)

    Downhill + tailwind = paradise!

    &roo
     
  12. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "NickZX6R" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:c19tk8
    > Flat with no wind = paradise???
    >
    > What would be the point? ;)

    Bike drag racing... reminds me of my childhood, where most of my riding involved getting the fastest
    speed or quickest time to display on my Vetta cycle computer :)

    I think perhaps an option to "turn off hills" would be better?

    hippy
     
  13. Drs

    Drs Guest

    stu <[email protected]> wrote in message [email protected]

    [...]

    >>> Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at around 35 kph ?
    > you cruise at 35 kph on a MTB?? for how long? what gears and tyres do you have on your bike now?

    I was wondering the same thing. He must be hellishly strong in the legs.

    --

    "The central problem with the concept of the 'Axis of Evil' is that it involves an assumption that
    the US is the 'fulcrum of virtue'." Bob Hawke
     
  14. *

    * Guest

    "Mark_Pringle" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > My MTB is too slow, on flat ground with no wind, in high gear, I can pedal like a madman, and all
    > I can get is around 42 kmh.
    >
    > I know a road bike is the way to go if you want speed, however I love a
    MTB
    > for its many uses, and seating position. Is there anyway I can go faster without taking roids.
    >
    > Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at
    around
    > 35 kph ?
    >
    >

    If there was a prize for the most ridiculous thread this would have to win.
     
  15. jamesc

    jamesc New Member

    Joined:
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  16. Mike

    Mike Guest

    hippy wrote:

    > When you say you are "pedaling like a madman" - do you mean you are pedalling extremely fast and
    > frantic or do you
    ..
    > If it really is your gearing slowing you down then change to bigger chainrings or fit a road
    > cassette.

    If he is running out of gears, its probably a cheap bike with a 7-speed threaded freewheel, not
    a cassette.

    I wish I could "cruise at 35k/hr" on such a bike!
     
  17. Just Me

    Just Me Guest

    > From: "DRS" <[email protected]>
    > Subject: Re: My MTB Is Too Slow
    >
    > stu <[email protected]> wrote in message [email protected]
    >
    > [...]
    >
    >>>> Can I get a bigger crank, or should I just be happy with cruising at around 35 kph ?
    >> you cruise at 35 kph on a MTB?? for how long? what gears and tyres do you have on your bike now?
    >
    > I was wondering the same thing. He must be hellishly strong in the legs.

    It's not that hard to cruise fast on a MTB, as long as you've got the right tyres. My MTB used to
    have Conti Town+Country 2.1" semi-slicks, and I could easily cruise at 30-32km/h. The T+C's wore out
    recently, so I replaced them with Schwalbe Marathon 1.75" semi-slicks. The narrower tyres saw my
    cruising speed jump by 4-5km/h or so. Now on a flat road with no wind I can easily cruise at 35km'h.
    On one recent ride from City to Hawthorn along the Yarra Trail (admittedly with a slight tail wind),
    I was cruising at 40km/h+ from the Botanical Gardens to the beginning of the Gardiner's Creek Trail.
    If I went even more radical with tyre width (e.g. 1.5", 1.3") I'm sure that cruising speed would be
    a little higher. BTW my gearing is 44:12.
     
  18. John Retchford

    John Retchford New Member

    Joined:
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    This sort of thread usually produces the "there I was cruising past Lance Armstrong, Stuart O'Grady et al" response. The winner of the Tour de France usually averages about 41 km/h and these people are physiological freaks. Just what is this "cruising"?

    John Retchford
     
  19. Just Me

    Just Me Guest

    > From: John Retchford <[email protected]>
    > Subject: Re: My MTB Is Too Slow
    >
    > Just Me wrote:
    >>> It's not that hard to cruise fast on a MTB, as long as you've got the right tyres. My MTB
    >>> used to
    >> have Conti Town+Country 2.1" semi-slicks, and I could easily cruise at 30-32km/h. The T+C's wore
    >> out recently, so I replaced them with Schwalbe Marathon 1.75" semi-slicks. The narrower tyres saw
    >> my cruising speed jump by 4-5km/h or so. Now on a flat road with no wind I can easily cruise at
    >> 35km'h. On one recent ride from City to Hawthorn along the Yarra Trail (admittedly with a slight
    >> tail wind), I was cruising at 40km/h+ from the Botanical Gardens to the beginning of the
    >> Gardiner's Creek Trail. If I went even more radical with tyre width (e.g. 1.5",
    >> 1.3") I'm sure that cruising speed would be a little higher. BTW my gearing is 44:12.
    >

    This sort of thread usually produces the "there I was cruising past Lance
    > Armstrong, Stuart O'Grady et al" response. The winner of the Tour
    de France
    > usually averages about 41 km/h and these people are
    physiological freaks. Just
    > what is this "cruising"?

    John Retchford

    >
    --

    "Crusing speed" to me means a speed at which you can comfortably travel for
    a reasonable distance, say 10km (to pluck a figure from the sky). My riding
    is done around the city, so I have no idea what my cruising speed would be
    if I was on a long-distance ride (e.g. 100km). No doubt it would be lower
    than what I average on short hops around town.

    You do realise that the "average" speed for the TdF includes a whole load of
    hill climbing? If you want a better comparison of a pro rider's cruising
    speed, then consider that David Millar's average speed in winning the Stage
    19 TT in last year's TdF was approx 54.4km/h over a route that was
    essentially flat.
     
  20. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "John Retchford" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p%[email protected]...
    > This sort of thread usually produces the "there I was cruising past Lance Armstrong, Stuart
    > O'Grady et al" response. The winner of the
    Tour
    > de France usually averages about 41 km/h and these people are physiological freaks. Just what is
    > this "cruising"?

    hehe dudes cracking 70kph on hybrids (must be big hills) and "cruising" at 40kph... I wish it felt
    so easy when I ride at 40kph!

    I think we should have an aus.bicycle speedo calibration day and then a workshop looking at
    standardising our "measure of perceived effort" scales. :) http://www.cptips.com/percxtn.htm
    http://www.google.com/search?q=perceived+effort

    hippy
     
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