Repost from Bike Buying advice

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by XmisterIS, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. XmisterIS

    XmisterIS New Member

    Oct 16, 2007
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    Hi all, this is reposted from the bike buying advice forum, because no-one answered it there! Perhaps there's too many questions in this post, but if some kind person could have a look and pass comment I would be gratefull :)

    I am a dyed-in-the-wool mountain biker, however I have frequently dribbled over the carbon-fibre-everything road bikes on the internet wondering just how fast and far I could get on one of those compared to my MTB (which is great for pounding through acres of mud, but not so great for long-distance road riding).

    I now have the chance to buy a decent road bike (whoo hoo!). I am looking to spend about £1000. I have ridden a road bike once in my life (no joke!) and I think it was probably too big given that I was very stretched out on it, plus it hurt my back! (I didn't like the road handlebars), so I need to make the right choice.

    So anyway, below is what I think I want (or don't know), I wonder if some dyed-in-the-wool road cyclists could comment on my ponderings!

    1) Frame Size ... I ride an 18 inch (approx) mountain bike, which is 48cm in road bike language ... however I have been told that a 48cm road bike would be waaaay too small for me (I am 5'11") and that I should go for at least a 54cm - which is about 22 inches ... which would be waaay to big if it were a mountain bike! So I am confused ....

    2) Frame Geometry and Riding Position ... I am used to sitting right over the back wheel (I ride with an Easton setback seatpost) and having a short top tube, the combined effect of which is to make the front end really light and responsive. What difference will I notice in a correctly sized roadbike? (I am still thinking small frame here ...).

    3) Handlebars ... Are there any good alternatives to the standard road handlebars? (I have seen bullhorn bars and aerobars which seem a little more like the risers I am used to). I ask because I am used to riding with risers and my one experience of a road bike was that I really didn't like the handlebars at all - I was pitched far too far forward and far too low, with my arms far too outstretched. In particular, I felt like all my weight was on the handlebars .. which was most disconcerting! I am used to having all my weight off the front end, so I can just flick the front wheel into tight corners and pop it up over tree-roots or into drop-offs, etc. I am thinking of replacing the handlebars on my future purchase with a pair of MTB risers + tribars.

    4) Brake Levers and Gear Shifters ... Can I take off the weird brake/gearshift integrated units that seem to be fitted to most road bikes and replace them with a pair of Shimano LX brake levers and a pair of Shimano LX or XT rapidfire shifters? (clearly I'd have to fiddle with the derailieurs to get the travel correct).

    5) Pedals ... I do not want to have to go out and buy a new set of shoes and cleats when I have a perfectly good pair for my MTB! So -- will an MTB clipless pedal fit a road crank? If so I will just go for a repeat of what I've already got on my MTB.

    Ok, finally, here's two bikes that I have been dribbling over ... a penny for your thoughts! .. (The second one is 6.9Kgs ... holy moley!)

    I'm asking all this because £1000 is a lot of money (to me, anyway!) and I want to make the right choice!

    If you've made it this far in my post, you have lots of patience!

    Best Regards,


  2. bigpedaler

    bigpedaler New Member

    Feb 10, 2007
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    hey, mike -- some good & some not-so-good for you....
    first, mtb pedals will work on a road crank; they're pretty much all cross-compatible.

    sorry -- mtb controls aren't made to fit road-style bars; mtb stuff fits 25.4, road fits 26.0.

    the biggest trick is to measure your mtb from the seat clamp (where rails clamp in) to your grips (center-to-center). this is the measurement you want to match on your roadie; it will make for a shorter top tube on the roadie, which is made up with the road bars. forget aero bars, but the "wing"-style bars they attach to will work w/ your road stem. also, don't forget: when you measure seat-clamp-to-grip, measure the drop between your saddle height and bar height (from level round); match that also, may take flipping the road stem over. the road controls will work on the wing bar, don't worry.

    bottom line is, to get a frame that gives you the top tube/cockpit length you need -- no need to "match" frame sizes, just get what fits and feels comfortable.
  3. ride4him

    ride4him New Member

    Jan 30, 2005
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    Frame size is completely different between mtb and road bikes. I'm 5'10" with a 33" inseam. My mtb frame is 19" and my road bike is a 56cm. You will feel stretched out on a road bike compared to a mtb but thats the whole idea...aerodynamic, efficiency, pure raw speed. You should be able to have proper leg extension without having the saddle way high. although on new "compact" frames a lot of seatpost is exposed just like on a mtb. When you are on the road bike with your hands on top of the handle bars if you look down without moving your head to much the stem/handlebar should block your view of the front hub. speaking of handlebars the drop handlebars on road bikes give you different positions. You can ride the top flat part like a mtb bar, you can ride the hoods ( the top rubber section of the brake/shift levers ), or when your in a steep decent at 50 miles per hour you get down into the drops. most of the time I'm up on the hoods or on the top flat section. keep the integrated shift brake levers they are great, yeah there different that the LX shifters but this is ROAD bike not a mtb. as for pedals I use Shimano 540 spd's on both bikes with mountain shoes. The shaved roadie snobs might scoff at that but I'm really not to concerned about their approval. ride what feels good and seek the advise from a real bicycle store that cares about you the rider not just the sale of a bike.