Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

What is it like having a road bike?

Notices
Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

What is it like having a road bike?

Old 03-28-20, 05:34 AM
  #1  
morgothaod
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 124
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 59 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
What is it like having a road bike?

What do you like and dislike about owning a road bike? Does road biking cause discomfort in your back? Never been on a road bike and am considering trying one. My only bikes have been mountain bikes and a comfort bike.
morgothaod is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 05:43 AM
  #2  
Tony P.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 142 Post(s)
Liked 84 Times in 49 Posts
Road bikes are generally faster than MTB or hybrids. They're designed for those who prefer to pass others vs being passed.
Tony P. is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 06:46 AM
  #3  
krecik
Senior Member
 
krecik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Tredegar, Wales
Posts: 279

Bikes: coastie

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 108 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 27 Posts
It's sweet, very efficient due to the slick tires (mine are 700x25c), I can get everywhere swiftly even with a half-assed effort, I also like the drop bars and the various hand positions they allow.

Don't have any back pains but I don't ride a lot. Just to work and around town, plus I'm young.
krecik is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 07:08 AM
  #4  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 5,233

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3441 Post(s)
Liked 988 Times in 568 Posts
It's like having an F-35 Lightning II under your carport, instead of a Kia. Don't get one unless you're ready.
MoAlpha is online now  
Old 03-28-20, 07:14 AM
  #5  
chainwhip
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 476
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 174 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 50 Posts
Speed, Cornering, Acceleration

The drops let you get out of the wind.
On the flat, it's not unusual to gain 1-2mph in the drops vs sitting up.

The flexibility required to use the drops encourages me to stretch and stay flexible.

Hill climbing, after a bit of a learning curve, becomes a fun challenge, and the downhill speeds exceed the comfort bike, and most likely the MTB speeds.

Last edited by chainwhip; 03-28-20 at 07:25 AM.
chainwhip is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 07:16 AM
  #6  
chainwhip
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 476
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 174 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
It's like having an F-35 Lightning II under your carport, instead of a Kia. Don't get one unless you're ready.

I like to call them " A sports car for your body".
chainwhip is offline  
Likes For chainwhip:
Old 03-28-20, 07:43 AM
  #7  
tntyz
Senior Member
 
tntyz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Nabob, WI
Posts: 1,236

Bikes: 2018 Domane SL7

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 13 Posts
Made the switch to road bike (from a hybrid) about 15 years ago. At the time, had sporadic problems with a slipped disc that caused much back pain. The hybrid's upright position made riding uncomfortable due to the constant compression on my spine. Switching to the road bike's standard position allowed my back to flex to absorb road shock. Plus, gotta love the variety of hand positions available.
tntyz is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 07:49 AM
  #8  
Bah Humbug
runner
 
Bah Humbug's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Austin
Posts: 14,831

Bikes: S1, R2, P2

Mentioned: 114 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4812 Post(s)
Liked 737 Times in 445 Posts
Road bikes are awesome. Make sure you get one that fits, but if it does, it's great.
Bah Humbug is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 07:56 AM
  #9  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 26,087
Mentioned: 191 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10888 Post(s)
Liked 2,421 Times in 1,368 Posts
Its like having a child. At least thats what I hear.
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 03-28-20, 08:02 AM
  #10  
CAT7RDR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hacienda Hgts
Posts: 583

Bikes: 1999 Schwinn Peloton Ultegra 10, Kestrel RT-1000 Ultegra, Trek Marlin 6 Deore 29'er

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 202 Post(s)
Liked 254 Times in 167 Posts
You can go fast like an e-bike except you get the added benefit of exercise.
CAT7RDR is online now  
Old 03-28-20, 08:03 AM
  #11  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 5,233

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3441 Post(s)
Liked 988 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Its like having a child. At least thats what I hear.
Hurts less (I hear) unless you fall down.
MoAlpha is online now  
Likes For MoAlpha:
Old 03-28-20, 08:14 AM
  #12  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 26,087
Mentioned: 191 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10888 Post(s)
Liked 2,421 Times in 1,368 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Hurts less (I hear) unless you fall down.
Touch!
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 03-28-20, 08:21 AM
  #13  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 5,233

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3441 Post(s)
Liked 988 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Touch!
Soft pitch, but agree totally with your concept.
MoAlpha is online now  
Old 03-28-20, 08:59 AM
  #14  
joesch
Senior Member
 
joesch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Hotel CA / DFW
Posts: 604

Bikes: 83 Colnago Super, 87 50th Daccordi, 87 Guerciotti, 90s Colnago Master and Titanio, 96 Serotta Colorado TG, 95/05 Colnago C40/C50, 08 Lemond Filmore, 12 Cervelo R3

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 188 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 46 Posts
I have road, gravel, and mtn bikes and enjoy riding all depending on my mood and energy level and conditions. Most of the time Im on the road. If its crappy outside, I will probably get on trail or mtn bike. Cross training / biking will increase you confort levels for all types of workouts / rides.
joesch is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 09:04 AM
  #15  
Iride01
Senior Member
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 3,149

Bikes: '20 Tarmac Disc Comp '91 Schwinn Paramount '78 Raleigh Competition GS

Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1177 Post(s)
Liked 229 Times in 174 Posts
If you are not wanting to do long rides of over 40 or so miles, Or you are just interested in how much performance you can get for near max efforts, or perhaps all your other friends have them and scowl when you show up for a leisurely ride with them, then there isn't a reason for a road bike. Any other type bike will do.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-28-20 at 08:34 PM. Reason: correct for consistent thought...... I think
Iride01 is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 09:07 AM
  #16  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 7,821
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3974 Post(s)
Liked 996 Times in 569 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
It's like having an F-35 Lightning II under your carport, instead of a Kia. Don't get one unless you're ready.
,,, but a road bike is much quieter,

F-35s are ****ing loud
noodle soup is offline  
Likes For noodle soup:
Old 03-28-20, 09:12 AM
  #17  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 28,700

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 335 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12011 Post(s)
Liked 1,805 Times in 970 Posts
Fun. It's fun.
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 03-28-20, 09:13 AM
  #18  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,106

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 910 Post(s)
Liked 97 Times in 70 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
If you are not wanting to do long rides of over 40 or so miles, Or you are just interested in how much performance you can get for near max efforts, or perhaps all your other friends have them and scowl when you show up for a leisurely ride with them, then there isn't a reason for a road bike. Any other type bike will do.
I would say 25 miles. Because it does get tiring to ride in the same position for 2 hours or more. I know there are workarounds, like moustache bars, albatross bars or trekking bars. But Drop bars, which are pretty much standard on road bikes are more versatile than flat bars both for changing hand positions and riding positions.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 09:28 AM
  #19  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 12,069

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 141 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5775 Post(s)
Liked 415 Times in 277 Posts
Originally Posted by Bah Humbug View Post
Road bikes are awesome. Make sure you get one that fits, but if it does, it's great.
This is it.

A road bike Generally will weigh a bit less and offer a bit less cushion, but for anything over about ten miles the greater efficiency will actually make the bike more comfortable---your body is the spring, not just the tires and seat cushion---Assuming it fits.

Set-up tends to take some tweaking, and also changes the more (or less) you ride.

I find that when I get a bike properly adjusted, my comfort level is determined by my fitness level. If I ride too far for my legs, I start carrying weight on my hands, which hurts my neck, shoulders, and lower back. As i ride more as the season passes, I can ride farther in comfort. if I push really hard (say, trying to keep up with a faster rider for a couple dozen miles), my lower back will feel it eventually, and then the neck and shoulders .... but I gain from the extra exercise in the long run.

For short rides, the road bike is Generally lighter and more efficient, so you can go a little faster for the same effort, which can be fun in itself.

if you are not used to a road bike, you might try to set it up like a more upright hybrid with a more padded seat, and since it is a very different machine, that won't work. Then you might think road bikes hurt.

When riding a road bike, you don't really "sit" on the saddle----most of the weight should be borne by the legs (of course to do sit on the saddle---you don't hover)---but a lot of people used to upright bikes place themselves in the saddle as if it were a chair, with their legs dangling and lazily spinning the pedals. On a road bike you have to push a little more. Of course you can coast and all that, but generally you need to put more leg into it. Not a lot, but if you don't, that narrow saddle will start to feel like an ax more than a chair.

A lot of people see racers with their long, low set-ups and try to imitate them, and put way too much weight on their hands, which hurts neck, shoulders, and hands. It is better to sit a little more upright (you can always use the drops to get low) and keep your weight back over the hips.

Also, a road bike works your core. Your upper body is cantilevered from the base of your spine, with your stomach and lower back working together to keep it at a comfortable angle. if you are used to sitting upright, this will take some time to adapt to.

On an upright bike, your spine is sort of in the position you are in while standing. Comfortable on short rides if you have a good, padded seat, but really harsh on a longer ride, because your spine is getting compressed like you are walking, but you don't have your legs as shock absorbers---the force goes from the seat-tube to the seat to your spine.

Road bikes engage the stomach and lower back more .... which can lead to soreness until you get used to it. Also, some folks don't use their stomach muscles much in daily life---we sit so much----so when we get on a bike, those muscles can't hold up their end, which hurts the back, which makes one lean forward onto the hands, which hurts neck, shoulders, and hands .....

Once you do adapt, and figure out where saddle and bars need to be to fit your flexibility and fitness level, riding a road bike is as easy a riding a bike.
Maelochs is online now  
Likes For Maelochs:
Old 03-28-20, 09:56 AM
  #20  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 5,233

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3441 Post(s)
Liked 988 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
,,, but a road bike is much quieter,

F-35s are ****ing loud
Yep. Ask anyone whos sailed around Pax River NAS.
MoAlpha is online now  
Old 03-28-20, 10:02 AM
  #21  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 20,967
Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11527 Post(s)
Liked 2,719 Times in 1,575 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Its like having a child. At least thats what I hear.
Making, delivering, or raising?
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 10:06 AM
  #22  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 7,821
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3974 Post(s)
Liked 996 Times in 569 Posts
Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Yep. Ask anyone whos sailed around Pax River NAS.
I live about 12 miles from Luke AFB, and they fly over my house when they are coming in to land, It's the only fighter that your can hear approaching from a distance.
noodle soup is offline  
Old 03-28-20, 12:11 PM
  #23  
Amt0571
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Catalonia
Posts: 362

Bikes: Canyon Grand Canyon AL SL 8.0, Btwin Ultra 520 AF GF, Dahon Mu P27, Triban Road 7

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 55 Times in 35 Posts
Originally Posted by morgothaod View Post
What do you like and dislike about owning a road bike? Does road biking cause discomfort in your back? Never been on a road bike and am considering trying one. My only bikes have been mountain bikes and a comfort bike.
If you're coming from MTB it feels extremely fast. And when you get back to an MTB it seems like it has a lot of drag.

It also feels extremely rigid and harsh over the occasional bump. A MTB, on the other hand is like riding on a cushion, even with a hardtail.

No discomfort in the back. I get some discomfort on the neck after riding on the drops on long descents. Nothing worse that the discomfort of riding a hardtail over rough terrain TBH.

I have both, I like both. It depends on the day. I like the speed, but also love being alone in the forest.

Last edited by Amt0571; 03-28-20 at 12:14 PM.
Amt0571 is offline  
Likes For Amt0571:
Old 03-28-20, 12:26 PM
  #24  
MoAlpha
 
MoAlpha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 5,233

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3441 Post(s)
Liked 988 Times in 568 Posts
Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I live about 12 miles from Luke AFB, and they fly over my house when they are coming in to land, It's the only fighter that your can hear approaching from a distance.
Yikes! The sound of freedom, they say.
MoAlpha is online now  
Old 03-28-20, 12:43 PM
  #25  
noodle soup
Senior Member
 
noodle soup's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 7,821
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3974 Post(s)
Liked 996 Times in 569 Posts
Originally Posted by Amt0571 View Post
If you're coming from MTB it feels extremely fast.

I have both, I like both. It depends on the day. I like the speed, but also love being alone in the forest.
+1

this is why gravel bikes are becoming so popular.
noodle soup is offline  
Likes For noodle soup:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.