Nobody in this group has the balls to admit it, but most mountain bike buyers use their bikes 95% of the time on pavement! Mtn bikes are SUPERIOR to touring bikes for touring for the average rider — most people don’t like to tour on those skinny touring bike wheels. Give me a 25 pound hardtail mountain bike with slicks instead of knobby tires for touring anytime! That’s why the touring bike market is continuing to shrink. Admirable flame bait… but I agree with you this time in one sense.
My route to and from work is a mix (I vary it each time) of road, cycle path and stormwater drain. On most occasions I stay out of the stormwater drain, and so I get to “mix it” with the road bike riders. Although I’m old and fat I can hold my own because of With my rigid Yokota Yosemite, this was a true statement. With my Joshua, however, I am actually embarrassed to ride on pavement. It’s such a poser thing to do. This sorta sucks when I go ride some jogging path with my girlfriend, who isn’t one for off-road ventures.
On the other hand, I’ve found that I’m getting out a lot more and hitting the dirt — on the order of twice a week versus once a month. So, even though I don’t ride to work or school anymore, it’s been an even trade-off. hammering through rough cycle path sections where they have to back off (like bumpy intersections) taking a couple of short cuts across median strips etc. Touring is much the same, I’ll gladly pay the small penalty on flat good tar so I get the benefit on potholes, dirt etc. etc. On the Big NSW Bike Ride 95 I passed a LOT of riders on road bikes who were walking (in their socks) up the steepest grades. I was grinding along on my lowest gear, Manitou 3s bouncing over the ruf stuf, and lovin it! Mind you, I don’t ride 95% of the time on pavement, not even 50%. My Velociraptors get a lot more work than my Hutchison kevlar slicks. I love to get off road, and of course here in Canberra it is always less than five minutes to some worthwhile dirt. I even like some excitement on my way to work, hence the stormwater drain route mentioned above. Anyway, what does it matter? If you’re spinning pedals and enjoying it, then all power to you, and I’ll reserve my pity/scorn for those who never get out there.
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