Adventure bike: quicker than an MTB?

OP
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cantique

New Member
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Go try the bikes out that you're looking at (try drop and flatbars). Cycle Republic offer test rides
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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
Thanks vickster. The few places I've tried (inc one independent) don't have anything to try in the frame size that I'd need (I'm 6'4"). So I've been trying to whittle the options down as much as possible before taking the plunge. Halfords have been the most positive about ordering one in for me to try.

My place of work gave me a "latest" list of local independents and most of them turned out to have closed down.
 
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cantique

New Member
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.
I'll just settle for going a bit quicker; couldn't cope with being even more attractive.
Regarding fragility, I'm just going off the stuff I've been reading lately.
 
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cantique

New Member
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!
Hmmm... the engine's not bad for someone deep into middle-age but I guess I was hoping for getting a bit of a boost from getting something newer and closer to a road-bike's geometry. The current bike is a Muddy Fox from the mid-90s and I also swapped the tyres for (green) Schwalbe Marathons. To be fair, the tyre-change certainly made a noticeable difference.
 
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cantique

New Member
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.
Interesting. I was hoping to avoid getting too much into the detail of specs, etc (do enough of that during the day) but I can feel myself drifting that way. As mentioned elsewhere, bikes available to try are rarely ones that fit a 6'4" person. Thanks.
 
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cantique

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Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
Probably, yes.

As to your understanding that a standard road bike can be fragile - I'd question that. It's not really a question of robustness vs fragility but of suitability, especially of tyres.
 
Interesting. I was hoping to avoid getting too much into the detail of specs, etc (do enough of that during the day) but I can feel myself drifting that way. As mentioned elsewhere, bikes available to try are rarely ones that fit a 6'4" person. Thanks.
Yeah, appreciate that's a problem. I have ridden a few wrong size bikes as a test, it's not ideal but it can still tell you something. There are occasions though when you just have to trust to the research and the brand and plump for something, plenty of people do order online on the strength of reviews.
 
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cantique

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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
Thanks Ian. Having shed a few stones (largely due to the MTB) I'm not expecting to train much more away. The ratios of the easiest and hardest gears (if that makes sense) on the ADV are very similar to the old MTB:

Chain-ring: 28/38/48
Sprockets: 12 --> 28 (7-speed)

There is one hill round our way (Co Durham) where I have to go for the 28/28. Being able to push a bit harder at the other end of the scale will be welcome.

Your last comment is about right; keen for something shiny and new but want to feel the benefit.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
48/12 on 26" wheels gives you a gear of 104 inches, which is plenty high enough for any non-racing cyclist. There is no compulsion on anyone riding a non-fixed gear bike to pedal at some insane cadence when descending, so I always find the argument for silly high gears of 120 inches or more as bizarre. If you find yourself reaching the road speeds where a hundred inch gear is making you spin out, then you can always freewheel!
My flat bar hybrids have 48/14 as the highest gear, and with 38 mm Marathon Greenguards fitted, that gives me a top gear of 94 inches, which I hardly ever get the chance to use unless I've got both a clear road and a tailwind. Most of the time, on a flat clear stretch of urban road, I may get up to using 48/16 which is 82 inches. There's no benefit to having very high gears unless you have both the leg strength and the geography to be able to deploy it.
The vast majority of riders are NOT superhuman pro cyclists and they don't need bikes geared for pro racing speeds and rider power outputs.
 

Grant Fondo

Riding backwards into the future
Location
Cheshire
Agreed. Last time I was looking for a bike (25yr ago) I had a few Marins in my sights but they were a bit above my budget at the time. Good to see some big frame sizes available.
Don't necessarily go for biggest frame. I am 6ft 3 and 58 cm is fine. I tried a 61cm and just too much of a stretch. See what you think, as it's totally subjective.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Don't necessarily go for biggest frame. I am 6ft 3 and 58 cm is fine. I tried a 61cm and just too much of a stretch. See what you think, as it's totally subjective.
A lot depends on whether your height is in your legs or body. I've got long legs so I like big frames, and I can use the taller head tubes that tend to come with big frames to get the bars high enough to minimise the forward stretch. I'm not interested in aerodynamics, only comfort and good all-round vision for safe riding in traffic.
 
God morning,

48/12 on 26" wheels gives you a gear of 104 inches, which is plenty high enough for any non-racing cyclist. ........ The vast majority of riders are NOT superhuman pro cyclists and they don't need bikes geared for pro racing speeds and rider power outputs.
I agree with a lot of this, but my point was that the 9 speed cassette on the ADV would for me, a casual rider getting close to 60 years old, be completely wrong and the same logic would probably apply to the likely 7/8/9 speed cassette on the unknown MTB.

Out of the available 11-12-14-16-18-21- 24-28-32 sprockets on the ADV, for me the 11 and 12 would hardly ever get used, as would the 24 and 32, nearly all of the wear would be on just two sprockets with just a little bit on another two.

Shimano offer the 14-25 cassette (14-15-16-17-18-19-21-23-25) which with a 48 chain ring would see nearly all the sprockets getting some use.

The OP did say that he wanted to want to get to places quicker which is often achieved with whatever is an individual's optimum cadence.

When I was lad I rode a single speed, a three speed and a 5 speed, so we don't need all the gears that a modern bike offers but if we are going to buy a bike with them picking the right ones only seems sensible. :-)

Bye

Ian
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
:smile:
Sacrilege skipdiver, sacrilege.
I see you being burned on a stack of old tyres at the next bikeshow. Or at a sportive afterparty.
They'd have to catch me attending either type of event first, which is about as likely as a lottery win in my case. The whole industry is based on a consumerist model of persuading punters that new shiny stuff with different paint jobs and stickers on them than the ones they were selling last year, are going to automatically be better, go faster, and have any number of other imaginary positive attributes. It's all a load of cobblers.
If a pro cyclist and me were to have a race, but swap bikes before the start, the pro would still beat me soundly. The fact that he would be riding a ratty steel pub bike and me a super light carbon racer would not make anything other than a very marginal difference to the outcome. I know the industry marketing types are already sticking pins in their voodoo dolls, I can feel the odd twinge already. They are selling the notion of shiny & new = faster & better, because it keeps them in a job. In truth, I doubt half of them even believe the marketing BS themselves1
 
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