And the reasons I dislike Road Bikes
Published on October 23, 2003 By Kona0197 In Sports & Leisure
Well I will start by saying I have no interest in road bikes whatsoever.

Lets take a look at the current technology of both kinds of bikes first.

Road bikes have skinny tires, intergrated shifters/brake levers, ridgid frames and forks, 30 speeds, and made from some of the most exotic metals and alloys we have ever produced. So what do I dislike about a road bike? Well for starters there is price. I refuse to pay upwards of $3000 to $5000 for all the technology I would want or need when I can get better technology in a mountain bike at the $2500 price point. Another thing I dislike is the pressure required to run the wheels. 120 PSI? give me a break. What happens when I get a flat? I have to purchase special tires, tubes, and a high pressure pump. No thanks. Another thing that annoys me is the intregrated shifters/brake levers. On my bikes I like having the brake levers seperate from the shifting levers. Any else I do not like? yes, two things. One, I hate the way you sit on a road bike. You have to bend over alot and with the way my back is that will not work at all. And Two, why ride a bike that can't go off road? Roads were made for cars, not bikes.

Mountain bikes are better in every way I think. The suspension technology is getting so high tech soon every mountain bike will have it. Front forks are now all but in the 4 inch and above for travel, and with things like SPV (stable platform valve) and Brain technology, it can only get sweeter from here on out. Rear shocks are now to the point where they can handle everything. Single pivot bikes are now able to withstand BOB (the bobbing induced by pedaling) thanks to advances in shock design. Disc brakes - they are JUST now coming to LOW end road bikes (road bikes ARE STILL using dual pivot center pull brakes) but they (disc brakes) are far better than any other brake out there weather they are hydraulic or cable disc brakes.

All in all each to his own but I hope I live to see the end of the road bike. although it might never happen, we mountain bikers can still convert the roadies one by one.

Long live the mountain bike!
on Jan 30, 2004
You have a lot of uneducated arguments in refrence to the road bike. First, road bikes do not start at $3000, I got my first for $800. Second I have never had intergrated shifters on my bike, that is a prefrence just like grip shifters are. Third the reason that road bikes don't use disk brakes is that there is no reason to add the extra weight of disk brakes weather they be oil or wired for the little advantage that they accually give as far as stoping power is concerned. Third, you dont need a special pump to pressurize the tires, jus a strong enough arm to do so, and unless you use somthing other than clinchers you dont need to purchase special tubes, just thinner ones. Oh, and a 99 cent adapter. As far as the comfort goes, you are right road bikes are not very comfortable, but you get used to that.
on May 18, 2004
Well I have spend very many years in the Bicycle game. I like Mountain Bikes better. After all, roads were made for cars. BTW I was right about price. A DECENT road bike costs that much. Anyways...
on Sep 05, 2004
Your way off base . . . .

I own many mountainbikes and also many roadbikes and your comparison is lacking and inaccurate. Both bikes are great for their intended purpose and use. You wouldn't compare a dump truck's performance to that of a porsche race care would you? That's what you've tried to do here . . .

Hi pressure tires are a good thing not a bad thing. By allowing for higher pressure, the rolling resistance drops significantly, thus making the bike "easier" to pedal. This translates into higher speeds when riding on road at a given output or physical effort. Coincidentally offroad, the trend has been towards lower tire pressures because "traction" becomes more important than pedaling efficiency when you ride off road. Thus Mountainbikes don't roll as easy but they are more sure footed like a mountain goat.

As for the comfort, road bikes can be set up to be "very comfortable". In fact a good bike shop will customize a road bike and tune the riding position for your needs. Many of todays roadbikes come with longer steerer tubes and spacers so you can set the bikes up with a more "upright" riding position. I personally have my roadbikes set up this way and like it a lot. It puts my body in a position that is nearly identical to my mountainbike position when I am riding on top of the brake hoods. Then I can go to the drops and get a second position that's more stretched out.

That brings me to the second point . . . typically, roadbikes have "multiple" hand positions and riding positions thus making them even "more comforatable" for longer rides vs your standard mountain bike. The reasoning is you can switch your hand and body position which in turn uses slightly different muscles and gives your other muscles a brake. The lower stretched out positions also are very nice when your riding against a strong wind and looking a more aero position.

As for the technology, both road and mountain bike technology is amazing. It would be difficult to justify that one is way ahead of the other. Certainly suspension systems are impressive on mountain bikes, but these aren't beneficial vs the added weigh for road bikes. Roadbikes on the other hand have lead in technology advancement in other areas. Take the integrated carbon bar stem technology which Cinelli pioneered or the amazing wheelsets that folks like Topolino is making If you haven't grabbed hold of a ergonomically shapped road bar run down to your local bike shop and try one. You'll be amazed how much more comfortable a egro shape is in your hands versus a traditional "round bar" shape. It's only a matter of time before this road bike technology makes a jump over to Mountain bike handle bars. Road bikes are also leading the market in lighter and better designed composite technologies. Carbon fiber is at the top of the food chain for advanced product design. Take a look at a high end roadbike and almost every part can now be bought in a carbon version. Mountainbikes haven't het made this full transition but will within the next few years. It is true that some of this technology hasn't yet made it down to the lower price points but it's only a matter of time. For example the 2004 campagnola Chorus brake levers and rear derailleur utilize carbon fiber for some very light weight and high performance parts. This is a mid range component group but the technology you are getting at this value line is amazing.

I encourage you to embrace the diversity of our sport rather than trying to devide it. There is so much to enjoy from both types of bikes. And remember some of the best mountainbikers in the world are now riding the road as well . . . . Floyd Landis, Cadel Evans, Michael R, Miguel Martinez, etc.


on Oct 25, 2004
Yo, I was all with ya until this comment "Roads were made for cars, not bikes." Roads were made for all sorts of transportation and the first bikes people were riding around would not survive off-road. I bike to work 80% of the time and though I commute on a mountain bike frame I find the skinny tires I put on (1.5s) to move me swiftly along while still provided me nice stability. I have not fully converted to road fact I purchased a Specialized Big Hit this spring to tear around Minneapolis on and I love it. But man that thing weighs a ton.

Keep the bike blogs coming,
on Oct 25, 2004
I agree about mountain bikes being my first choice for fun and training. In Australia I use wide tyred mountain bikes for beach training, on the hard sand at low tide. [Check out to see more] This would not be practical with a road bike. A training routine may traverse a bush track and a few suburban streets before hitting the beach, all ok on a mountain bike. Many of the people I train would find a road bike a painful experience, with a good wide seat a mountain bike is training bliss in comparison to a road bike. It's easier to stay motivated when you are training in comfort.
on Nov 07, 2004
Well I haven't updated my blogs or written any in a long time but as time allows I will here shortly. Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
on Sep 25, 2006
I just did the cycling segment on a triathlon on my MTB. Can you point me how big is difference it would make if I used a road bike? Please tell me where can I find more info. I change the crank of the MTB for a Road bike crank but still feel that there is a big difference in performance between MTB and Road Bike.
on Dec 03, 2006
Try switching out your tires for super skinny tires. Also change your rear cogs to road bike cogs. That should help.
on Dec 03, 2006
I prefer recumbents. Far more comfort than a diamond frame road or mountain bike.

Road bikes are far superior to mountain bikes for long distance road riding. Mountain bikes are superior for off road riding. The right vehicle for the type of riding you do.

A good compromise of you mix it up a bit is a hybrid.

As for the "roads are for cars" comment, that's pure bull. Bikes have as much right to use the roads as cars do. I ride my recumbent exclusively on the roads.
on Dec 08, 2006
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