Adventure bike: quicker than an MTB?

cantique

New Member
Hello. I'll start with my very basic question: is it a safe bet to assume that a new adventure bike will get me places more quickly/efficiently than a cronky old MTB (albeit with road tyres)?

I want to buy under a C2W scheme. Ours is largely focussed on Halfords and Cycle Republic. I was originally aiming for the £500 mark but have been edging that upwards a bit. My route to work is 80% road but the remaining 20% is pretty low quality cycle-path (mud, gravel...). I also do the occasional 50-mile leisure ride on a weekend and I don't want to me limited to pristine tarmac.

Having got back to cycling over the last 18 months, I've got past just seeing it as a fitness aid and want to get to places quicker and go further. I was looking towards hybrids but can't help be tempted by nippier road bikes. On the understanding that a standard road bike can be fragile, I caught my eye on the Boardman 8.8 ADV. Having read about the pros and cons of that particular model, I'm tempted to go for it but I just wonder whether the compromises towards off-road cycling end up making it no quicker than a similarly-priced hybrid?

Cheers.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Yes what is essentially a roadbike on slightly fatter tyres should get up to speed quicker on roads than a heavy MTB with a likely poor suspension fork (?)

Go try the bikes out that you're looking at (try drop and flatbars). Cycle Republic offer test rides

Bearing in mind for commuting, you'll likely add some weight to the bike (proper mudguards, potentially a pannier rack and panniers), while you'll test ride a 'naked' bike

There are a fair number of independents that also take Halfords C2W vouchers, and Halfords can also source other bikes (albeit at RRP), Tredz are also part of Halfords
 

Cycleops

Guru
Location
Accra, Ghana
Of course the Boardman ADV will make you quicker than your old MTB, it'll also make you more attractive to members of the opposite sex, I'm not going to tell you any different :smile:.
Note: Bikes don't generally tend to be fragile.
 

Shadow121

Active Member
Yes, an adventure or hybrid is a good option AS LONG
as you can fit wide tyres, mudguards are a must if you want to
stay dry and cleaner, disk brakes are a good option especially in the wet,
and going down steep gradients or fast descents on otherwise not so steep roads.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
Hello. I'll start with my very basic question: is it a safe bet to assume that a new adventure bike will get me places more quickly/efficiently than a cronky old MTB (albeit with road tyres)?.
Not necessarily, so long as you are comparing the "adventure bike" (latest marketing-speak BS term) with a rigid frame MTB on road tyres. In my experience the big difference in "efficiency" is not between modern bikes or old bikes, or lighter bikes and heavier bikes, but between bikes on knobbly tyres and those on road/touring tread patterns. I've got 26" MTB and 700c Hybrid both shod with Schwalbe Marathon touring tyres and there is very little difference in the average speed achieved or perceived effort. It's primarily the quality of the engine and degree of knobbliness of the tyres that determines how quick a bike will get anywhere. Old MTB's don't have to be cronky if they are maintained mechanically, no matter how cosmetically shabby they may look. Shiny bikes don't go any faster than scruffy ones if driven by the same engine!
 
The answer is probably, primarily because you end up in a better position on a drop bar bike, aerodynamically and in terms of putting the power down. The latter is difficult to describe but any mtn bike has the BB in a slightly different place to a more road oriented bike, the geometry means it's normally higher and slightly forward of where a road bike would be because the seat angle is slacker, this is the case on my 90's rigid mtn bike converted for touring use and I can feel it as soon as I start pedalling. It just feels more difficult to keep my power input on and even and on longer rides I end up chopping my stroke a bit when I get tired.

All adventure bikes are not equal though, geometry will be different to suit the sector they're aimed at, even if they have a lot in common, same as hybrids. It's not enough to describe them by these terms, you need to look at their specification or ride them and feel the difference.
 

T.M.H.N.E.T

Disc brakes - Stopping things since 1902
Location
Northern Ireland
A Cyclocross bike would handle that commute no problem. Narrower tyres around the 30/32mm area so still a quick enough pedal on flat+smooth stuff with ability to handle offroady bits.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
The latter is difficult to describe but any mtn bike has the BB in a slightly different place to a more road oriented bike, the geometry means it's normally higher and slightly forward of where a road bike would be because the seat angle is slacker, this is the case on my 90's rigid mtn bike converted for touring use and I can feel it as soon as I start pedalling. .
All MTB's weren't created equal, any more than road frames. I have old 23" Raleigh MTB's from the same era, and my welded 18/23 Hi-tensile frame has 70 head/70 seat geometry and 580 mm TT centres. My lugged 501 frame bike has 71 head/73 seat geometry and 591 mm TT centres. The 70 parallel frame has a relaxed feel to it, very much like a 3-speed roadster does.. The 71/73 frame results in a less upright riding position with the weight distribution more to the front. Not so relaxing to ride. Possibly the 501 frame is marginally quicker, and I mean very marginal.
 
All MTB's weren't created equal, any more than road frames. I have old 23" Raleigh MTB's from the same era, and my welded 18/23 Hi-tensile frame has 70 head/70 seat geometry and 580 mm TT centres. My lugged 501 frame bike has 71 head/73 seat geometry and 591 mm TT centres. The 70 parallel frame has a relaxed feel to it, very much like a 3-speed roadster does.. The 71/73 frame results in a less upright riding position with the weight distribution more to the front. Not so relaxing to ride. Possibly the 501 frame is marginally quicker, and I mean very marginal.
Yeah but they were created as mtn bikes and the differences do eventually add up in some way and without changing a number of fundamental things, which can start to get difficult on older bikes, you're not going to match something like the Boardman. I've considered it for my own bike but decided that ultimately, it would cost too much and wouldn't give me all the advantages I could get from a newer design and I'm best off enjoying it as it was designed.

Interesting you know all your frame angles, I assume you've measured them yourself.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
Interesting you know all your frame angles, I assume you've measured them yourself.
Raleigh geometry for many models was freely published in the catalogues. The information is out there. I wouldn't like to rely on accurate DIY angle measurements, especially where there are lugs in the way. I can easily see if two bike frames are different from each other, or a frame has different head and seat angles. Even a single degree can be visually apparent on a large frame with long tube lengths, as the effect is magnified.
 
Good morning

I have a lot of support for SkipDivers view but the cronky old MTB may have gear ratios that don't fit well with your current and expected levels of fitness, especially for going fast on the road.

If you find that only the largest chain ring and smallest sprocket work for you on the road then rethinking the gearing would be a lot cheaper than a whole new bike.

Looking at the ADV 8.8 I would personally not buy it for road use, with a 48/32 chain ring and a cassette with 11-12-14-16-18-21- 24-28-32 sprockets, I would find it almost a four speed bike. There is nowhere I ride that the 32 ring would ever be used (Worcestershire), I would almost always be in 48-18/16 or 48/28 with occasional dabbles into 48/21.

The ADV at 10.5kg is not stunningly light and my own personal experience as a fun rider is that you can train away about 8lbs of bike weight in about 2-3 months and this costs nothing apart from some food to power the ride. Clearly as you get closer to the maximum possible fitness for you more training is needed to replace smaller weight savings.

A few years ago I would have said if its a Boardman then it will be a great bike for the price, nowadays I would look closely at the spec and the price. If it is reduced, is it really reduced as Halfords seem to be doing "special offers" on Boardmans in the same way as they do with Apollo and Carrera.

However if you want a new bike then buy it because you want it not because it is the best possible use of your money. :-)

Bye

Ian
 
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