Road bikes: Comfortable?

PaulSecteur

Specialized fanboy
Hi,

When I decided to get a bike I chose a mountain bike because...

1-I like the ruft-tuffty image
2-Front suspension helps smooth things out
3-Big soft tyre, to absorb road imperfections

Recenty, I have been reading road bike reviews that say they are "Comfortable and flexible"

Does this relate to the actual on road experience (bearing in mind the state of our roads), or the seating position?
 

paddy01

Senior Member
Location
Exmouth (Devon)
Well correctly set up for the rider they are indeed comfortable, many people ride hundreds on miles (in 1 sitting) on them.

For gentle pootling about for a more upright ride an MTB may well be thought of as more comfortable, but for any sort of distance it's my road bike for me every time.

Of course personal preference will come into play. Best suggestion is see if you can borrow / test ride one and see how you get on.
 
Mountain bikes are alright for some but I've converted to a road bike and not looked back.

I first rode a slicked up mountain bike, then when this was totaled by a driver I went for a hybrid, again assuming that the position would be more comfortable. Now I have a compact road bike and I love it, the drop bars give me more variation in hand positions and the 'standard' hand on hoods position is more ergonomic than flat bars. Once I'd had a few goes at tweaking the set up of the bike (seat back a little and a shorter stem) then the riding position is great I can, and do, go miles without without even thinking about my positioning, it's just become natural.

Mine is certainly not flexible, steel forks and cheap heavy wheels transmit every bump and lump in the tarmac!
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Never had a proper fitting session, but my out of the box roadbike, with a few tweeks here and there is relatively comfortable.
Carbon forks do take out a lot of the buzz from the road, dont know about carbon rear triangles, i'd imagine they do the same.
80 miles is the most i've done and although i was a bit achy (i do get a bad back anyway), its generally comfortable.
It grows on you...when i first got serious with a roadbike, i did find it hard work, but your muscles strengthen i assume and its only a phase you go through.
 
OP
PaulSecteur

PaulSecteur

Specialized fanboy
Thanks for the replies.

Another question, with those thin tyres pumped to over 100psi and the lumps and bumps in our roads... Doesnt it give you botty a bit of abuse?
 

Zoiders

New Member
I ride both, the MTB gets used well...for mountain biking of course.

The road bike is a an old 531 fixed.

The road bike is the most comfortable of the two for racking miles up with even on slightly rougher stuff like tow paths, the ally frame on the MTB has no give in the rear triangle at all and causes an old back injury to flare up, even though it's got 100mm forks and off road tyres, I did have it set up with 1.25 slicks and rigid forks at one stage and it was murder, it wasn't the ride position as the road bike is far more stretched out it's simply the frame material.

Even with 23mm tyres running at 125 psi the long skinny tubes of the 531 are the better choice, if I had the money I would have a steel lugged MTB frame built up from the same material, some say you might want something a bit more rugged but I can't see the service life of such a frame being any worse than a coke can thin MTB frame like I have now.
 

getfit

New Member
I'm new to road bikes, less than 100 miles so far and coming of a hybrid with a sprung seat post I was very pleasently surprised at just how good the road bike is at smoothing out even poor roads. It's far to say that on a couple of longer rides (1.5 hrs) my arse has been sore on the seat bones, but I belive this to be down to the seat and am looking at upgarding soon.

GF
 

Zoiders

New Member
Jaguar said:
I've ridden my old Dawes Galaxy for 1000s of miles now: it's an old friend. MTBs just feel big and bulky and slow in comparison
Depends on the MTB.

A slicked up XC race stick MTB with a lock out fork will leave a galaxy for dust to be honest.

There are many different kinds of MTB, some are very racey some are for all day riding off road some are for chucking down downhill courses, they are an under rated and misunderstood type of bike.
 

buggi

Bird Saviour
Location
Solihull
the thing about the bum being comfy...2 things:

- making sure your pelvic bones are on the saddle. make sure you get fitted for a saddle.

- for long rides, padding in the shorts is better than padding on the saddle (which makes the saddle bigger and more likely to rub) hence why the saddles on road bikes look small and thin... and why you need to be measured for one
 
Of course, if you wanted to experience real comfort you could try a recumbent. People talk about drops offering many different choices of hand positions, but if they were truly comfortable you wouldn't need to keep shifting your hands around in the first place. When I stop for a rest during a long ride on my 'bent trike, I am happy to remain seated on the bike - riders of normal bikes tend to want to give their backsides a bit of respite by getting off the bike.
 
OP
PaulSecteur

PaulSecteur

Specialized fanboy
Whilst I salute anyone road riding on whatever bike they choose, Im not brave enough to have a go on a recumabant.

What worries me is that cyclist can be difficult to spot at the best of times, but being below the height of a cars bonnet, espicially considering how many 4x4s are around now, would be pushing my luck.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
Like automatic_jon I went over to road riding last year after 21 years of mountain biking. My first impression was how unfit I was compared with the average roadie! Now I'm doing 30-40 mile rides without any trouble and have done 60s and a 100. It helps that I have a nice carbon bike but it definitely gets more comfortable the more you ride as your muscles become strengthened in the right areas. Don't underestimate your body's ability to adapt very fast to whatever stresses you are putting it to.

Nowadays when I ride my MTB, which is a titanium hardtail built up for fast XC riding, I am shocked at how slow and agricultural it feels. I'm a little hacked off that I didn't go over to road riding until so late (I'm 54 now) because I would have done much better in the races and trailquests I've done on the MTB in those 21 years, by virtue of my now much greater fitness. The thing about MTBs is that they don't really get you that fit, there's a lot of standing around and faffing about whereas on a road bike you ride for much longer periods of time at a more consistent high rate of work.
 

Rohloff_Brompton_Rider

Formerly just_fixed
Globalti said:
Like automatic_jon I went over to road riding last year after 21 years of mountain biking. My first impression was how unfit I was compared with the average roadie! Now I'm doing 30-40 mile rides without any trouble and have done 60s and a 100. It helps that I have a nice carbon bike but it definitely gets more comfortable the more you ride as your muscles become strengthened in the right areas. Don't underestimate your body's ability to adapt very fast to whatever stresses you are putting it to.

Nowadays when I ride my MTB, which is a titanium hardtail built up for fast XC riding, I am shocked at how slow and agricultural it feels. I'm a little hacked off that I didn't go over to road riding until so late (I'm 54 now) because I would have done much better in the races and trailquests I've done on the MTB in those 21 years, by virtue of my now much greater fitness. The thing about MTBs is that they don't really get you that fit, there's a lot of standing around and faffing about whereas on a road bike you ride for much longer periods of time at a more consistent high rate of work.

+1.

even riding my brommie for 200+ of miles per week has made me much fitter. the brommie had to have warranty work done so i had to use my very expensive scott genius ltd for a day or 2. it was awful. my back ached, the un road friendly position killed me. the roads felt much much smoother but that really didn't matter.

it was that bad, that i fixed up the lbs loaner brommie, which was 6 year old dog of a bike. even that was so much better than the mtb.

now i know that my scott is no good for a back up bike, it will be getting traded in for a tourer or moulton.

but the road fitness is not really much use to me when mtbing. different muscles. eg my shoulders are nowhere as strong for downhilling as they were and my triceps get on fire over rough technical terrain.

its the old 'horses for courses' thing.
 

jimboalee

New Member
Location
Solihull
I've now done 2 x 100km Audaxes and a handful of 50+km rides on my 'slicked up' MTB.

It has the plastic logo'ed saddle and becomes a bit hot after a couple of hours, causing me to raise my backside now and again.


The bike I ride longer Audaxes on is a Dawes Giro 500 with a Brooks B17N.
A 50km stretch between controls is no problem. It's like a leather armchair.

When I take my SWorks out for a spin, the miles fly past unnoticed ( Fizik Arione ) and I'm not in the mood to stop when 50km has been covered.


One thing must be said though. All three of these bikes are dimensioned to formulas passed to me by a well respected framebuilder.
 
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