Road bike more tiring than hybrid?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by mjw_byrne, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    Have recently treated myself to a new road bike, and have a wee bit of a problem - I am much slower on my road bike than on my (bigger and heavier) hybrid. Hills that I can climb easily in 52x22 on my hybrid are giving me trouble even in 39x24 on my road bike. I also seem to have a lot less stamina and power on my road bike, and the muscles in my legs start aching much more quickly. Is this just because I have to get used to the different riding position, or is it an indication that my saddle/seatpost/bar are not set up right?
     
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  2. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I also changed to a Road Bike around 5 months and 600 miles ago, the new riding position does take some getting used to...

    I thought I was "comfortable" on my bike after about 30 miles and a few adjustments untill I took my Bike in for a "Tune-up" at my local Bike store...they did some major adjustments for me, including moving the Brake Pods further up the Bars for easier reach and also set the Saddle over 1" higher than I had it...after a few miles I felt it was MUCH more comfy...I could also get more power to the Pedals and ride so much faster than on my old Bike...

    You need to sort the Pedal stroke out first, get the saddle height so you have around 15 degrees bend in your leg on the down stroke...then work on the Bar reach etc...

    It can get very involved for a newbie, and it's worth taking your Bike into a pro to get it set up right...

    You should be carefull with Knee problems, you could be doing yourself some damage there...

    It's well worth spending a few quid to save your knees etc...or there are a lot of resources on the web to help out too....
     
  3. gescom

    gescom New Member

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    It might be that the crank arm length of the road bike is longer than the hybrid. Alot of hybrids (Gary Fisher etc) seem to use 170mm cranks regardless of frame size.
     
  4. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Colorado cyclist website has some pretty good info on bike fitting. Also some make the mistake of thinking they should be in the drops alot. I ride 100 miles aweek or more and never get into the drops.
     
  5. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Also the new bicycling buying guide has a nice page on setting up your bike.
     
  6. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    Road bikes are generally faster, but hybrids often have mt bike drivetrains and a more upright riding position that makes climbing hills easier. Good roadies stand up and leave the saddle to climb more effectively. Road bikes take a higher skill level to use.... but don't worry, you'll figure it out

    Riding upright also generates quickness for short brusts. Road bikes are better for long uninterrupted crusing.
     
  7. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the extremely helpful replies.

    I am sure part of the problem is to do with the fact that a new bike just takes some getting used to...perhaps it is also partly psychological - I think deep down I expect to be able to cruise at 40mph on a road bike, which is of course hopelessly unrealistic! Maybe I should fit a speedo and actually measure my speed, it could be that I have just been going too fast for my fitness level.
     
  8. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    original poster, you arent exactly comparing absolutes, it feels slower? come on.
     
  9. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    um most people should stay in the saddle more often, including myself
     
  10. brightgarden

    brightgarden New Member

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    What do you mean my that?
     
  11. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    i know there are racers here, but too many people try to dance like lance. sheldon browns is definately on point about standing
     
  12. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    Sorry, I'm not quite sure what you mean - the road bike is undoubtedly nippier than my hybrid - the hybrid is a 2003 Ridgeback Meteor with 28mm tyres, a 52/42/30 chainset and 11-32 cassette, and the road bike is a 2003 Bianchi SL3 Lite Alloy with Campag Centaur group, 23mm tyres, 53/39 chainset and 13-26 cassette. No contest! But I still reckon that overall I could get from A to B in less time on the hybrid (as long as A and B are more than a few miles apart of course) - especially if it involved going uphill. My original post was asking: could this be because I'm just not used to the road bike or is it more likely to be because it's set up wrongly?
     
  13. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    im just asking if you really are going slower? i mean unless you compare gear inches times rpms then maybe its just a matter of your new bike not meeting expectations. or like you said you could just throw speedos on both and compare, lot less math. that would be an absolute comparison in my convoluted language.
     
  14. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    fushman,

    Personally, I never stand up and petal. If the hill is that @$%&^#$%* steep, I jump off the bike and walk it up. (and this happens sometimes when I'm riding an older bike with a double up frount and the hill is way steep) It isn't worth crashing to me.

    Of course I'm also of the Gary Fisher/Joe Breeze school of a more upright ring style. Watching the Tour de France is the absolute worst way to learn to ride a bike in the real world. Racing means crashing and enduring pain... not the style of riding 95% of riders want. It takes a high level of skill and moxie to ride a higher end road bike the way it should be ridden. That's why I don't own one.

    mjw_brine

    Welcome to the real world of cycling! In an urban setting with a trip of 10 miles or less, and $300 hybrid is a better choice than a $3000 road bike. 28-30mm tires are better on cobblestone and rough roads. Flat bar upright bikes are better at stop and go traffic, climbing hills, and offer improved vision in traffic.

    But there's nothing like a nice road bike for a long country ride! Or fighting a headwind... it's not a question of better.... but different.

    When riding in town with a drop bar bike, I set the seat about an inch lower and keep my hands on the hoods with a pretty upright position. If I'm cruising without traffic or stops, I raise the seat an inch and use the drops. For more an different riding styles check with the late Ken Kifer

    <http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/index.htm>
     
  15. shokhead1

    shokhead1 New Member

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    Seat should be left alone,you dont change that at all. I think you need to do some reading up on bike fit.
     
  16. mjw_byrne

    mjw_byrne New Member

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    tacomee,

    I'm not very experienced with road bikes but I definitely agree with you about which sort of bike is best for town/urban riding and short trips - it'd be a real pain in the a$$ trying to commute on a road bike, no question. The flat bars, fatter tyres and upright riding position are so much better for stop-go riding and slow-speed maneouvres; also the lack of toe-clip overlap is invaluable (I've almost been killed a couple of times trying to take sharp turns on my road bike and having the front wheel hit my foot).

    I guess I'll just have to eat the miles up till I get used to the road bike!
     
  17. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    The problem I have with my own roadbike is that I find it uncomfortable to be leant forward for long periods. In fact, I've taken to occasionally slipping out of the leaning position on the flat by resting my hands on top of the bars (which makes breaking tricky). When I come to gradients, I then slip back into the drop position.
    I also have a very pointed seat which is like sitting on a nail.
    The major problem I have withj my racer, though, is the very thing that allowed me to get it so cheap. Racers are very out of fashion in my area due to the poor condition of roads. It's taken me a certain degree of patience and skill to avoid buckling my wheels (which I nearly did once when I went straight down a grid). There are numerous holes in the roads over here and the only way to avoid them is to ride in broad daylight and keep your eyes firmly on the road in front and hands ready on the brakes. A novice rider would simply wreck his racer in this area and this explains why most people choose mountain bikes to get around locally.
    I wonder how many of you folks have hit ruts before or even come off by hitting stones e.t.c. So far, I've been lucky and it's a good thing my wheels are as tough as they are.



     
  18. fushman

    fushman New Member

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    i read somewhere to only climb in the drops if youre italian and or great, made sense to me. may as well go up inclines on top of the bar no?
     
  19. tacomee

    tacomee New Member

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    It's pretty easy to install cyclocross style brakes on the top bar-- well worth it if you ride straight up around town.

    Crappy roads are hard on any bike....so are wet roads. Many roadie/racer types in the US solve this by not riding in bad weather, bad roads or low light conditions, and that's OK for sport cycling.

    But if your using your bike as transportation.... all the rules change.
     
  20. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    The other week I very nearly came off in the dark and it would have been nasty. Roadworkers had left clumps of tarmac on the road and I rode over a clump. All I knew was my wheels seemed to disappear from below me and the bike way out of control. Then somehow I landed on solid ground again and the bike straightened up. I was lucky. I've had so many near misses that I'm thinking about wearing pads on major contact points of my body as a nasty fall can put you out of action for several weeks. It's frightening really. I nearly got knocked off by some guy who was driving on the wrong side of the road and he swerved and hit the brakes. Each incident helps me to react more quickly and keep my concentration level high so fortunately I have no broken bones so far.


     
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