Do roadies train on MTBs?

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Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby sogood » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:34 pm

I have read that many MTBers include road bike rides as part of their training. But was curious if there are any roadies who include MTB rides as part of their road training? If so, what's the training objective?
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by BNA » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:40 pm

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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby alchemist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:40 pm

I suspect very few. Those that do probably come from a mtb background and use it to breakup the monotany and keep their hand in.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby sogood » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:46 pm

alchemist wrote:I suspect very few. Those that do probably come from a mtb background and use it to breakup the monotany and keep their hand in.

Yes, I was thinking the same but wondered if there's any other angle that I missed where MTB riding could benefit a roadie's training? Bike handling? Climbing? Others?
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby alchemist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:05 pm

I think it probably can improve your bike handling a little. It's easier and (usually) not quite as hurty to explore the limits of traction on dirt. You'll also be working your upper body and core strength a little more - and it's more fun than doing this in a gym.

The best bike handlers I've seen (whether MTB, track or road) seemed all to have come from BMX. Except Sam Hill who is just a freak.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby sogood » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:36 pm

So the suggestion is to just forget about MTB and go straight to BMX, right? :shock:
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby alchemist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:48 pm

Not a suggestion, just an observation. BMX (and MTNX) scares the crap out of me. :D
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby svenny » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:28 pm

hmm its a good idea....break up boredom for start..heavier bike will build muscle mass over speed (useful if your'e a sprinter)

a German runner in the 40's trained in heavy arny boots with pack on..when it came to race time he felt light as a feather...there is some justification in his theory of mass loading
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby alchemist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:40 pm

svenny wrote:heavier bike will build muscle mass over speed (useful if your'e a sprinter)


My race mtb is lighter than my roadie. :P
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby brendancg » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:49 pm

Simple answer for me is yes.

It has been reported that 1km on the trail equals 3km on the road. I use the mtb to build strength and explosive speed. You get no value for a pedal stroke on a mtb compared to a roadie so you need to keep pushing. From what I have read mtb'ers ride the roadie for endurance, that is on the bike cadence for long periods. Just getting a rhythm and going for it.

I train at least once a week on the mtb. I am by no means a pro on either but I have found that by riding the mtb once a week I get a better result for my training and racing on the roadie.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:51 pm

In the off season for sure...much more fun and makes for a nice change...also alot of the French teams train on cyclocross / mtb bikes thru the winter.MTBing is a good way to do intensity while having fun.But in season they wouldn't have time to touch a mtb.
For me I can't wait to get a new frame and go and do "recovery" rides in the dirt!!!!.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby Deanj » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:57 pm

Couple of articles I remember reading, not exactly relevant but......

Power output Road vs MTB

Winter training - cyclocross

Its much easier to get a high HR workout on a mtb, where do get similar on a road I find I really have to push it and be feeling strong. I actually find it hard to keep my HR down when off road.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby sogood » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:03 pm

Let's keep the "fun" bit out.

Does anyone know of any pro level roadie who includes MTB in their training plan, in-season or off-season? Does it do any good for road riding?

If MTBers go to road bikes for endurance and cadence, then what can roadies get on MTBs?
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:12 pm

sogood wrote:If MTBers go to road bikes for endurance and cadence, then what can roadies get on MTBs?

Hillwork? The MTB ride I did on the weekend had a lot more hillwork than I would get on the road. I was a lot more sore in the legs after a 35km MTB ride than a 135km road ride (which I did 4 weeks ago).
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby sogood » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:37 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:Hillwork? The MTB ride I did on the weekend had a lot more hillwork than I would get on the road. I was a lot more sore in the legs after a 35km MTB ride than a 135km road ride (which I did 4 weeks ago).

I don't think the distance matters but the amount of time spent on the bike and intensity. As for having steeper hills, well, there are steep roads too.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:50 pm

svenny wrote:hmm its a good idea....break up boredom for start..heavier bike will build muscle mass over speed (useful if your'e a sprinter)
In what way can mass be an advantage over speed for any cyclist?

svenny wrote:a German runner in the 40's trained in heavy arny boots with pack on..when it came to race time he felt light as a feather...there is some justification in his theory of mass loading

Such as?

I mean it's not like the Germans have dominated running events (especially once you remove the drug fuelled East German sports machine).

If you want to train harder, no need to add mass, simply go harder/faster.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby snedden9485 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:59 pm

I wouldnt mind getting a hardtail in the future for some training. There is some really good x country tracks near my house that i could ride on and would be great fun. Just not sure if i have the time though. But i think it would be good for the intensity thats for sure. All depends how you ride the MTB too i guess. A 2 hour hard X country ride would be a little differnt to a 2 hour stroll through the bush.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:03 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
sogood wrote:If MTBers go to road bikes for endurance and cadence, then what can roadies get on MTBs?

Hillwork? The MTB ride I did on the weekend had a lot more hillwork than I would get on the road. I was a lot more sore in the legs after a 35km MTB ride than a 135km road ride (which I did 4 weeks ago).

Then find more hills on the road :)

MTB is simply a way to provide a cross training opportunity, can represent good training that's enjoyable and helps with the motivational elements. Serious roadies might do it off season but in season (if they're a pro) they would probably want to avoid the additional injury risk (enough of that when they race).

In terms of the physiological, there are differences in the neuromuscular demands between road and MTB riding. It was alluded to in that FastCat item linked earlier but it would have been far better explained through the use of an analytical tool known as Quadrant Analysis:
http://alex-cycle.blogspot.com/2009/01/ ... lysis.html
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:58 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:
sogood wrote:If MTBers go to road bikes for endurance and cadence, then what can roadies get on MTBs?

Hillwork? The MTB ride I did on the weekend had a lot more hillwork than I would get on the road. I was a lot more sore in the legs after a 35km MTB ride than a 135km road ride (which I did 4 weeks ago).

Then find more hills on the road :)

Road vs off road hills are not the same for me and there are no hills in Perth that compare to riding up the long rocky/gravelly hills that I rode up on the weekend.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby leximack » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:19 pm

i prefer both types of riding/training
road is convenient, ride from home, smash out a few hrs and back home before breakfast
Mtb for me is more enjoyable and would ride mtb exclusively if i lived in an area where i could ride to a trailhead, but i dont so mtbing is difficult for me to do with the time frames i have.
Mtb events for me are more enjoyable, ie 4/8/12/24hr and 100km enduros, riders are more relaxed and enjoying there time out. Road racing seems a bit too serious, but i enjoy it also and again its quick to get out, do a road race and be home before 10am. Mtb events are a bit more time consuming.
For me i soley train on the roadie (becuase of time restaints) and the mtb is only used in races. Not the best method to be good at mtb racing but its all i have to work with.
IMO do both, more variety, more fun, best of both worlds.

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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby Ant. » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:24 pm

casual_cyclist wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:Hillwork? The MTB ride I did on the weekend had a lot more hillwork than I would get on the road. I was a lot more sore in the legs after a 35km MTB ride than a 135km road ride (which I did 4 weeks ago).

Then find more hills on the road :)

Road vs off road hills are not the same for me and there are no hills in Perth that compare to riding up the long rocky/gravelly hills that I rode up on the weekend.

Umm, look east. I live at the base of a real kicker. Is about a 20min effort to go up it and down it and punishes the hell out of me. Right now I'm happy to MIET right on past it :D It climbs steeply, has a little descent, and another steep climb, before the final descent.
Cycle to Toodyay. I'm sure the rolling aspect of Toodyay Rd will leave your legs somewhat sore. Or up Brookton highway. Or up Kalamunda road. Or welshpool road. Basically, head east.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:50 pm

Ant. wrote:Umm, look east. I live at the base of a real kicker. Is about a 20min effort to go up it and down it and punishes the hell out of me. Right now I'm happy to MIET right on past it :D It climbs steeply, has a little descent, and another steep climb, before the final descent.
Cycle to Toodyay. I'm sure the rolling aspect of Toodyay Rd will leave your legs somewhat sore. Or up Brookton highway. Or up Kalamunda road. Or welshpool road. Basically, head east.

I have ridden up Welshpool Road on the same bike I used on the weekend. In comparison to the weekend rocky/gravelly hills, I would consider Welshpool Road a walk in the park. No comparison for me. Also riding down on a road does not compare to riding down a rocky/gravelly hill on a MTB. On to road you can coast, on the track it's work!
The Cycle to Toodyay and back would take me about 8 to 10 hours. I usually don't have that much time. Might consider it for one of my 12 week goals if it is safe to ride out there though.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby Rockford » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:06 am

Ride Magazine,

A Dutch coach at Confidis...Vincent Villerius...During the off season I advised him (Chavanel) to do a lot of mountain biking. It's the best way for road riders to develop their muscular strength and get their heart rate up high. After that, we've worked on his speed because his attacks looked more like wet fireworks than bombs
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby sogood » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:49 am

casual_cyclist wrote:I have ridden up Welshpool Road on the same bike I used on the weekend. In comparison to the weekend rocky/gravelly hills, I would consider Welshpool Road a walk in the park. No comparison for me. Also riding down on a road does not compare to riding down a rocky/gravelly hill on a MTB. On to road you can coast, on the track it's work!

But how does that benefit one's road bike ability? As for coasting, well, you don't have to unless you want to coast. Or use a road fixie. But back to the original question, what evidence is there that shows the MTB riding has helped your road performance, something that can't be or equally obtained through road riding?
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:59 am

sogood wrote:But back to the original question, what evidence is there that shows the MTB riding has helped your road performance, something that can't be or equally obtained through road riding?

Well, I posted my fastest commute time this morning. That is an improvement. One thing that was slowing me down was cornering, which has noticeably improved since the weekend, and the other is inclines (they are not hills) which I have found easier since the weekend. I am very happy with my improvement and feel the MTB experience has contributed positively to my road riding ability. Keep in mind I have only been riding (again) for 6 weeks, so it is quite possible that someone with more experience would already have those skills/fitness and would not benefit like I did. You would have to ask someone who has been riding for longer than me if that is the case. Personally I am happy with what I got out of my off road riding and am planning to go off road again soon.
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Re: Do roadies train on MTBs?

Postby Ant. » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:42 pm

sogood wrote:
casual_cyclist wrote:I have ridden up Welshpool Road on the same bike I used on the weekend. In comparison to the weekend rocky/gravelly hills, I would consider Welshpool Road a walk in the park. No comparison for me. Also riding down on a road does not compare to riding down a rocky/gravelly hill on a MTB. On to road you can coast, on the track it's work!

But how does that benefit one's road bike ability? As for coasting, well, you don't have to unless you want to coast. Or use a road fixie. But back to the original question, what evidence is there that shows the MTB riding has helped your road performance, something that can't be or equally obtained through road riding?

MTB'ers pedal in circles.

That oughta clear things up :lol:
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