Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Urban vs Trail Cycling

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Urban vs Trail Cycling

Old 06-14-22, 09:17 AM
  #1  
gringomojado
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 419
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 178 Post(s)
Liked 119 Times in 73 Posts
Urban vs Trail Cycling

I live in Chicago, 90% of my riding is urban, the rest is on the lake front or MUP type trails. In the city I am stopping or slowing down at almost every corner and/or alley. If I do 10 to 15 miles, my legs feel the workout much more than they do If I do 30 miles on open road or MUP.

Of course, I am constantly gaining momentum in the city.
Have others noticed this, and has this ever been quantified? Like 10 miles city = 15 trail(approximately) .

Keep on riding!

gm
gringomojado is offline  
Likes For gringomojado:
Old 06-14-22, 09:27 AM
  #2  
prj71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: North Central Wisconsin
Posts: 3,773
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2266 Post(s)
Liked 738 Times in 492 Posts
Originally Posted by gringomojado View Post
I live in Chicago,
I'm sorry.
prj71 is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 09:54 AM
  #3  
pdlamb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 7,657

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1947 Post(s)
Liked 1,202 Times in 763 Posts
This is probably another "It depends" question.

If you're only mildly curious, try to figure out what the ratio is from your rides and Relative Perceived Exhaustion (RPE, and yes, I know that's not how the acronym was previously derived). If you're going to obsess a little more, you'll want to get a power meter and associated data collector (GPS, for example), and figure out what your TSS/mile is for both kinds of riding.
pdlamb is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 10:32 AM
  #4  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 12,194

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, Catrike Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1396 Post(s)
Liked 593 Times in 370 Posts
If I were to ride MUPs, I'd be stopping almost as often as urban riding. Actually, I consider MUPs to be equal to urban riding. No matter how hard I push, I'm going to average 14-15 mph because of all the stops. Most of my riding is rural.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 11:46 AM
  #5  
Daniel4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,052

Bikes: Sekine 1979 ten speed racer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1257 Post(s)
Liked 423 Times in 283 Posts
It depends on where my destination is. A certain spot 18km from my home will take 25% longer if I take the trails than through city streets.

One of the reasons is that urban riding is direct and trail riding meanders all over the place.
Daniel4 is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 02:08 PM
  #6  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 14,525

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 116 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8275 Post(s)
Liked 5,083 Times in 2,952 Posts
10mi of in town/city riding may take as long as 15mi of rural paved rail trail riding, but I have not noticed the physical exertion to be 50% greater when riding in town/city.
mstateglfr is offline  
Likes For mstateglfr:
Old 06-14-22, 02:23 PM
  #7  
Reflector Guy
Senior Member
 
Reflector Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,117

Bikes: Bianchi Via Nirone

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 521 Post(s)
Liked 1,008 Times in 481 Posts
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post

One of the reasons is that urban riding is direct and trail riding meanders all over the place.
Depends on the trail. Rail-trails are usually straight as an arrow (some people dislike them because they are too straight) but if they go in the right direction, they're great.

The ones I ride on are rarely crowded so I can go as fast as I want, I avoid 99% of the car traffic and the occasional busy street crossings provide a nice chance to rest for a moment and have some water.
Reflector Guy is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 02:49 PM
  #8  
Leinster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: location location
Posts: 2,954

Bikes: MBK Super Mirage 1991, CAAD10, Yuba Mundo Lux, and a Cannondale Criterium Single Speed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
Liked 255 Times in 180 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
10mi of in town/city riding may take as long as 15mi of rural paved rail trail riding, but I have not noticed the physical exertion to be 50% greater when riding in town/city.
I would usually be cruising around while in town, using it as a warm up to get properly moving once I'm out in the countryside, so for me, that wouldn't be like-for-like.

If I was to try and ride flat out in the city, I'd be constantly stopping at lights, crosswalks, junctions etc, so that stop-start nature probably would make a ride feel longer. Riding in most big cities usually means not going more than 0.5-1 mile without stopping, putting your foot down, and having to start again.
Leinster is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 03:21 PM
  #9  
PeteHski
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 3,541
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1691 Post(s)
Liked 1,815 Times in 1,152 Posts
Originally Posted by gringomojado View Post
I live in Chicago, 90% of my riding is urban, the rest is on the lake front or MUP type trails. In the city I am stopping or slowing down at almost every corner and/or alley. If I do 10 to 15 miles, my legs feel the workout much more than they do If I do 30 miles on open road or MUP.

Of course, I am constantly gaining momentum in the city.
Have others noticed this, and has this ever been quantified? Like 10 miles city = 15 trail(approximately) .

Keep on riding!

gm
Well you can only really quantify this for yourself on those specific routes. You have already stated that 10-15 urban miles feels much harder than 30 MUP miles. So now you just need to ride extra MUP miles until your legs feel the same way as they did after the 10-15 urban miles. Unfortunately there is no universal conversion for this!
PeteHski is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 03:27 PM
  #10  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 38,694

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 352 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20060 Post(s)
Liked 8,669 Times in 4,342 Posts
Get a power meter.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 06-14-22, 06:18 PM
  #11  
Steve B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South shore, L.I., NY
Posts: 5,703

Bikes: Flyxii FR322, Cannondale Topstone, Miyata City Liner, Specialized Chisel, Specialized Epic Evo

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2367 Post(s)
Liked 1,179 Times in 667 Posts
Hardest century I ever did is the TA NY Century. By the time you are out in Queens at like 50 miles pr so, its constant stop and start at countless traffic lights and stops signs. Really tiring compared to a century out in the countryside,
Steve B. is offline  
Old 06-15-22, 07:49 AM
  #12  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 5,633

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 2007 Dahon Boardwalk, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International, 2006 Felt F65

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1267 Post(s)
Liked 1,292 Times in 653 Posts
gringomojado Yes! I commuted through Colorado Springs for many years and it takes much more effort than out on uninterrupted trails and roads. I grew up in Chicago and go back regularly. Even driving, on the neighborhood streets you have to watch for cross traffic at intersections and alleys.
BobbyG is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.