• Country

What Could MTB Riders Learn from the Roadies

By Jiri Kaloc

Even mountain bikers could learn a lot from their thin-tyre mates that might help them to become better cyclists. We summarized these 5 simple points.

Think twice about the gear you take

Since mountain bikers are used to riding with bags, they’re tempted to take more than they need. This habit seems similar to what you experience when travelling on holiday with an overly spacious suitcase – unless it’s somehow full, you’re adding more stuff that you might eventually bring home untouched. The more weight carried on a bike, however, the more power you’ll lose on the way. Road cyclists, on the contrary, are reluctant to transport even a single extra inner tube if there’s a chance they could share it with their friends. If road cyclists can do a 100-km trip without a bag, you might be able to do it too. The jersey with rear pockets might look funny but it’s extremely useful when it comes to carrying things you’ll need like a small pump, an extra tube, a chocolate bar or a multi-tool.

© thaarey / DPphoto / Profimedia

Reduce aerodynamic drag by drafting

Riding in the middle of the peloton reduces aerodynamic drag and used energy by 70 to 50 per cent compared to an isolated rider. This makes the cruising speed of the peloton up to three times faster thanks to the conditions. Even though mountain bikers don’t care about physical laws when riding off-road, it might help to ride tightly packed when they’re using the road for getting from one entertaining trail to another.

Inflate tyres harder for longer trips

Reducing air pressure in tyres might help to improve the grip on slippery roots or wet rocks but, at the same time, it increases the rolling resistance you need to overcome to keep moving. If you plan a ride through technically demanding trails, smaller air pressure in the tyres is recommended despite all the assistance given by the suspension, yet when you want to do an all-day-long trip on tarmac or common roads, stone-like hard tires would help you save a lot of power.

The more weight carried on a bike, however, the more power you’ll lose on the way.

Set your goals

Road cyclists tend to be more competitive than mountain bikers who seem to be riding just for fun. Nevertheless, setting goals isn’t bad even for a mountain biker. Even on the MTB, you can boost your fitness not only by spontaneous riding but according to a plan that might include a training schedule or participating in local races.

Consider nutrients and hydration during the whole ride

While mountain bikers are likely to suppress hunger or thirst until the next stop scheduled somewhere in the middle of the route, road cyclists are used to eating and drinking as soon as these occur. This helps their body to avoid needless fatigue caused by exhaustion, not the lack of fitness.