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Latest News - Road Bikes vs Mountain Bikes

Well, I won't bore you but I'm ill.  It's really shit, cos I just can't seam to shake it.  As I seem to have plenty of free time on my hands, time that would normally be spent riding/maintaining/cleaning etc, I've been contemplating the meaning of life.... 

No seriously, as winter is here, it's time to break out the old road stead.   OK, it's not Mountain Biking, but there are certain things to be said for getting a sore arse and a bad attitude.  Here's my comparision of the two:

  Road Bikes   Mountain Bikes  
Comfort Sore back, no suspension, numb nuts, what do you think? 0 Wide bars, 4 inch travel suspension front and rear, two inch soft tyres Mmm. 4
Speed Instant acceleration off the line, tight wheelbase means you can fly through corners, watch those guys on the Tour, even the Motobikes can't keep up. 4 Have you seen them go down that flying Kilometre run in Les Arcs? 160km/h! 5
Environment Great when the roads are quiet, but there's loads of drivers who just see you as a moving target, good sport for a sunday afternoon. 2 Out in the country, miles from the nearest road, all you can smell is that frsh country air, grrrreat! 5
Ease of Effort Look, cycling's hard alright!  But if you've got to ride more than a couple miles to somewhere, those skinny tyres help you keep on rolling 3 You gotta be joking!!   Slogging through soft sand and mud, climbs you could walk up faster than ride, and all for that oh so short downhill blast.  No wonder lifts are so popular where they have them. 0
Ease of maintenance Road bikes are still based on the classic lines that haven't changed for 100 years.  With the advent of index gears, things are a little more complex, but you only need 4,5 & 6mm allen keys to do pretty much everything.  Also, cleaning is a doddle. 5 A nightmare.  All those moving parts are just waiting to seize.  You'll spend 20mins washing yourself after a ride and 1 hour cleaning the bike.  Plus grtty mud likes to eat chains, brake blocks, rims, paint, bearing grease etc etc etc 0
Sport There is nothing finer!   The spectacle, the atmosphere, the tactics and generally free to watch 5 Not bad, but just doesn't have the tradition of road cycling so will always be the poor relation 2
Pose factor Well if this was Italy, there would be no contest, but as it's the UK, there's nothing cool about skinny white legs, overshoes, running noses and red eyes 1 If you can style it up "trials stylee" round town then your close to a god with the kids, but otherwise loose yourself on a moor somewhere, you probably stink from riding through that dog/cow/horse shit! 2
Fun The term "headbanging" when referring to time trails was coined for a reason! 1 The meaning of life 5
Totals

Road Biking

21/40

Mountain Biking

23/40

Well there you have it, Mountain Biking is better than road biking, but only just!  Wait till spring though, the road bike will be consigned to the garage to get dusty and the MTB will be getting cained every weekend.   Even that eternal loop of bike maintenance is considered enjoyment!

Keep riding....

Nick

4/11/99

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