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Is a roadbike better exercise than a mnt bike ON THE road?

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Is a roadbike better exercise than a mnt bike ON THE road?

Old 08-19-15, 08:33 PM
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DreamRider85
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Is a roadbike better exercise than a mnt bike ON THE road?

It has to be. I have had my ALR road bike for 2 days now. I do a lot of sprints now with it and have never had a better workout. I did the mountain bike on the road for 3 years, even with slicks. It was NEVER this good of a workout. The ALR is faster, but I feel like I'm recruiting much more muscle when I take this thing out for a spin. With the mountain bike, I was always just letting it drag, and occasionally I'd do a sprint with it. You'd think the extra weight on the mountain bike would make it a better workout. Not really, just more of a drag. I feel like with the road bike, I can get it to go where I want and as a result it's easier to train and get my blood pumping.

Please don't tell me I'm imagining this. The mountain bike is more like if you just wanna relax and bike slow. That's not for me. I still like my mountain bike, but I'm gonna use it on trails where it was meant to be used. Now of course it's only been 2 days with my roadie, but keep in mind, I never had even close to this kind of intense workout in 3 years with the mountain bike. I feel like the mountain bike wasn't true exercise. I mean I don't get me wrong, I'd get tired after a couple hours of riding it. But I could never get into that extra gear, whereas the road bike yes I am flying faster, but I know I'm using more muscles and putting out more energy.

With the road bike, it's easier, but it's harder in a good way. Hard to explain. Please tell me there must be truth to this. Because if there is, I'm happy with my decision. I don't like riding the mountain bike on the road, it was a drag even with the slicks. Now, it might be okay if I just want to ride for a few miles and relax, but if I'm going fast and long, I want my rode bike. I love my ALR. It's funny because I got 2 flats in my fist 2 days within 2 miles each, but the last 2 days I've been doing 25 miles and no flats.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:35 PM
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It's about power/heart rate, so its the same, all else being equal. If you're putting out the same power, you'll burn the same calories. You'll be going slower, though.

Now if you said "is 20mph on a mountain bike better exercise than 20mph on a road bike?", then the answer is yes. But at a given power output you'll just be going slower on the mountain bike.

Pro mountain bikers spend a lot of time on road bikes because you can more safely go "balls out" on a road bike. If you do that for long enough on a mountain bike, you're more likely to crash. On a road bike, you just go slower.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:38 PM
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The main reason I would think is geometry. Road bikes are shaped to have the rider easily produce power, probably easier than a mtn bike.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:40 PM
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You can get the same workout on either type of bike. One just goes faster/slower. Work is work. It doesn't matter what the medium is.

Sustaining 200 watts per hour on an MTB is the same as sustaining 200 watts per hour on a road bike, hybrid or beach cruiser.

Last edited by Doctor Morbius; 08-19-15 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 08-19-15, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
You can get the same workout on either type of bike. One just goes faster/slower. Work is work. It doesn't matter what the medium is.

Sustaining 200 watts per hour on an MTB is the same as sustaining 200 watts per hour on a road bike, hybrid or beach cruiser.
Yep. If it was a better workout, tour de france racers would train on downhill mountain bikes from the 80's that are 50lbs.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:23 PM
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It's all about efficiency and the right "tool for the job".
You can expend the same amount of energy on both types of bikes, but you will always go faster on the road bike because it is more efficient. Better stance for pedaling power input and less resistance on many other fronts.
I like to ride fast and prefer the "efficiency" of my road bike over the "practicality" of my hybrid.
But it's pretty hard to carry a watermelon on the road bike... LOL!

Last edited by KLiNCK; 08-19-15 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
You can get the same workout on either type of bike. One just goes faster/slower. Work is work. It doesn't matter what the medium is.

Sustaining 200 watts per hour on an MTB is the same as sustaining 200 watts per hour on a road bike, hybrid or beach cruiser.
In principle, sure - as long as you actually exert the same energy on each. But I find that there's a psychological motivation influence as well and that I'm much less likely to exert a maximum effort if I feel that the bike with heavy tires, an inefficient geometry, and poor aerodynamics is absorbing the extra energy I'm putting into the pedals and giving me very little return in the form of increased speed. OTOH, an efficient road bike gives an instant response to increased force on the pedals and encourages me to work even harder.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:37 PM
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You guys don't understand. My heart rate is much higher on a road bike than mountain bike. In theory I could get my heartrate up higher on a mountain bike, but that's like saying an eliptical machine is harder than a stairmaster. I'm saying it's so much easier to work hard on this bike. I don't have to push myself to push myself.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
You guys don't understand. My heart rate is much higher on a road bike than mountain bike. In theory I could get my heartrate up higher on a mountain bike, but that's like saying an eliptical machine is harder than a stairmaster. I'm saying it's so much easier to work hard on this bike. I don't have to push myself to push myself.
If both bikes are on the road, then for some reason you are going harder on the road bike. Since road bikes are "faster", maybe you subconciously push harder on the road bike. It's up to you how hard you ride, not the bike.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
You can get the same workout on either type of bike. One just goes faster/slower. Work is work. It doesn't matter what the medium is.

Sustaining 200 watts per hour on an MTB is the same as sustaining 200 watts per hour on a road bike, hybrid or beach cruiser.
could you extend this argument to any type of exercise? ie.. could you sustain eg. hopping on one leg for an hour, or pull ups for one hour, etc..
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Old 08-19-15, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
If both bikes are on the road, then for some reason you are going harder on the road bike. Since road bikes are "faster", maybe you subconciously push harder on the road bike. It's up to you how hard you ride, not the bike.

NO I AM NOT deciding to go faster. It's easier to go faster, it's smoother. Therefore, it's easier to get my heart rate up. It's not that easy to get it up on the road bike. It takes more work. Why do more work to work the same?
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Old 08-19-15, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
could you extend this argument to any type of exercise? ie.. could you sustain eg. hopping on one leg for an hour, or pull ups for one hour, etc..

Exactly. You could argue that any exercise is the same, but for all INTENSIVE purposes they really aren't. Not in real life when you have to actually go through with the motions and all factors come into play.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
You guys don't understand. My heart rate is much higher on a road bike than mountain bike. In theory I could get my heartrate up higher on a mountain bike, but that's like saying an eliptical machine is harder than a stairmaster. I'm saying it's so much easier to work hard on this bike. I don't have to push myself to push myself.
You asked a question ...
Is a roadbike better exercise than a mnt bike ON THE road?
... and the answer is no. You may experience a certain psychological component (a thrill, perhaps?) that makes you want to work harder on the road bike, but others may or may not.

Had you stated that your max HR is higher when running all out efforts vs. sprinting all out efforts on the bike, you would be correct as different forms of exercise have different maximum heart rates. But to claim you have a higher max HR on a road bike on the road vs. an MTB with knobby tires on the road is uncorrect.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
NO I AM NOT deciding to go faster. It's easier to go faster, it's smoother. Therefore, it's easier to get my heart rate up. It's not that easy to get it up on the road bike. It takes more work. Why do more work to work the same?
Um, ok .....
I ride both on the road. Effort in, power out ...... all the same.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
NO I AM NOT deciding to go faster. It's easier to go faster, it's smoother. Therefore, it's easier to get my heart rate up. It's not that easy to get it up on the road bike. It takes more work. Why do more work to work the same?
Do you not know what subconscious means? It's not a conscious decision.

Anyway, read a book about power training. Calories are based on the power (kJ) you output.

It is scientific fact that at the same power levels you will burn the same calories. You will just happen to travel more distance on a road bike.

There's a reason pro road bikers don't train on mountain bikes on the road.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
could you extend this argument to any type of exercise? ie.. could you sustain eg. hopping on one leg for an hour, or pull ups for one hour, etc..
No. Certain types of exercise naturally burn more calories for a given activity. Running and jumping rope for example are more calorie intense than cycling because when cycling one is seated.
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Old 08-19-15, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
NO I AM NOT deciding to go faster. It's easier to go faster, it's smoother. Therefore, it's easier to get my heart rate up. It's not that easy to get it up on the road bike. It takes more work. Why do more work to work the same?
Sounds like there are two factors at work here:
1. Your MTB probably isn't setup properly so it's not as comfortable as your road bike
2. Novelty factor of a two-day old bike

For experienced riders who ride/race both, it doesn't really make much difference although MTB in general tends to be a lot more variable power output than road riding. Very few opportunities for steady efforts on a typical MTB tracks.

Enjoy your new bike!
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Old 08-19-15, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
No. Certain types of exercise naturally burn more calories for a given activity. Running and jumping rope for example are more calorie intense than cycling because when cycling one is seated.
Cycling is one of the highest calories per hour activities one can do. It's seated but you have wind resistance.

My heart rate goes up 5-10 by standing compared to sitting, but cycling into the wind and maintaining the same speed as if there wasn't wind raises my heart rate 2-3x that much. In the absence of a headwind, the same principle applies. Even with zero wind if you go out at 20mph that's like you are overcoming 20mph of wind.
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Old 08-19-15, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
[h=2]Is a roadbike better exercise than a mnt bike ON THE road?[/h]
Depends on how bad your disc brakes are dragging.
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Old 08-19-15, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
If both bikes are on the road, then for some reason you are going harder on the road bike. Since road bikes are "faster", maybe you subconciously push harder on the road bike. It's up to you how hard you ride, not the bike.
Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
NO I AM NOT deciding to go faster. It's easier to go faster, it's smoother. Therefore, it's easier to get my heart rate up. It's not that easy to get it up on the road bike. It takes more work. Why do more work to work the same?
That's not what he stated. Read his post again. He stated you are pushing harder on the road bike. He didn't say you had decided to go faster. Two completely different things.

For the same level of effort, you will naturally go faster on the road bike due to their inherent efficiencies.
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Old 08-19-15, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
Do you not know what subconscious means? It's not a conscious decision.

Anyway, read a book about power training. Calories are based on the power (kJ) you output.

It is scientific fact that at the same power levels you will burn the same calories. You will just happen to travel more distance on a road bike.

There's a reason pro road bikers don't train on mountain bikes on the road.

I didn't say what subconscious means. The fact of the matter is I work harder on the road bike and am happy with my workout.
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Old 08-19-15, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
Cycling is one of the highest calories per hour activities one can do.
Yes it is. But there are still other forms of exercise that burn more calories per hour. Squat thrust is one example in addition to the others I mentioned. Mental mastur-bation in threads like this one, is yet another example.
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Old 08-19-15, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
That's not what he stated. Read his post again. He stated you are pushing harder on the road bike. He didn't say you had decided to go faster. Two completely different things.

For the same level of effort, you will naturally go faster on the road bike due to their inherent efficiencies.

THat's what I'm saying. I'm pushing harder, so the workout is better.
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Old 08-19-15, 10:09 PM
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Oy!
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Old 08-19-15, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by DreamRider85 View Post
NO I AM NOT deciding to go faster. It's easier to go faster, it's smoother. Therefore, it's easier to get my heart rate up. It's not that easy to get it up on the road bike. It takes more work. Why do more work to work the same?
Blink, blink...

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