Let’s Talk About Switching Up Your Bike Type


We’re back with another instalment in our “Let’s Talk” series, and this one is about switching up the type of riding you do.  As always, this post will be totally built by you and I’ll simply provide a few words and a video to get you started.

We want to hear your thoughts and comments about changing up the kind of riding you do.  If you’re a roadie, do you ever get out on a fixie or urban bike?  How about you mountain bikers….do you ever do any other type of riding?  Whatever your main type of cycling is, let’s talk about the times you get out for other types or riding…what it’s like…how it helps your training….and anything else you’d like to add.

I’m switching things up this week and doing some mountain biking on the beautiful island of Bonaire.  Check out this short video and then lay your comments down below.


Enjoy Your Ride
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32 Responses to “ Let’s Talk About Switching Up Your Bike Type ”

  1. Mtnbikinggirl on February 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I’m mainly a mountain biker but I do own a road bike as well. Like streetexile said, it really depends on what I’m in the mood for. On a nice, sunny day I might take the roadie out for a ride along the ocean just to enjoy the sun on my face and put my mind in neutral. Or if I’m short on time I’ll do a quick 20km loop on the roadie since mountain biking requires driving 15km or more to get to the trailhead. Other times I use the roadie as an excuse to just get on a bike. Weekends it’s pretty much guaranteed I’m on the mountain bike though!

  2. Tom Winfield on February 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Variety is the spice of life.  Mixing up the riding types keeps me from getting bored.  For crushed limestone (Rails-to-Trails) I prefer my hardtail.  Technical mountain biking – it the dual suspension trail bike.  General riding and comuter type riding – its the hybrid (with rack & fencers).  And When I hammer it – its the road bike.

    Best, I love “exploring” on the bike.  When on a trip – head out to see where the trail takes me.  

  3. B.J. Ondo on February 17, 2012 at 10:07 am

    My utility bike is also my “all purpose” machine, it’s my trailer tugger and dirt path, (not MTB trails) bike so I can have my other bike as a pure road-trekking bike, LOL, it NEVER touches dirt unless there’s no other way to get to the destination. I like having the bikes set up for a “purpose” so that’s the type of , “Switching up” I do! 😉

  4. Shawn McAfee on February 16, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Great topic Darryl. As you know my heart is on the singletrack and I love my MTB, but I do switch it up frequently. For base mileage and long distance I ride my road bike at least twice a month, often more. It’s definitely a different feeling and I don’t get the same enjoyment as I do from my MTB, I like to say that being a roadie is all work and no play…  but its still great to get out on two wheels. 

  5. Mark Beaconsfield on February 16, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I only own the one bike, a hybrid. Most of the time I stay to the roads, but sometimes do venture onto some dirt trails for a change of scenery. I love that my bike can take a bit of the rough stuff as opposed to a full on roadie.

  6. Luke W on February 15, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    My daily commuter bike is my long tail cargo bike (Ute). Then on the weekends I like to throw in some mtn biking, some road riding and occasionally a tweed ride on my 3 speed vintage bike. This past Sunday I got out on the carbon road bike for the first time in a few months. Wow! Felt like a rocket after riding the Ute every day. I think that mtn biking has really improved my bike handling skills. I love riding bicycles!

  7. streetexile on February 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    I was a mountain biker since I was about 16 (suspensions yet to be invented), nearly 20 years later got my first road
    bike, I couldn’t believe I waited so long. The power transfer and speed difference was like switching from a Harley to a Ducati. Whereas mountain biking clears your mind because you’re so focused on every rock and root you can’t think about anything else, I find the long road bike sessions a great way to meditate.  When on a long climb you can really tune a lot out. A mountain bike ride is quick and dirty like a burger at a drive-through and a road ride is more like a gourmet meal that can last 7 courses. Both can be equally satisfying, just depends what you’re in the mood for.  If I could I would love to do an equal amount of both but being limited to evening and weekend riding only I kind of need to make it either or. Right now the road-bike wins out every weekend.

  8. Dean on February 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I am a roadie and have been wanting to get on to a mountain bike and intend to this Spring.  One of my roadie friends says that it is a totally different experiences and believes it has made him better on his road bike  Several others in the group has also done mountain biking as well.  Pretty much anything with two wheels.  If I like it I am going to have to find away to explain yet another bike to my wife….  One thing at a time…

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      Yeah, that is the tricky part isn’t it?  I did some great mountain biking here in Bonaire today and although it was fun, I still much prefer being on my road bike.  But it sure is good to mix things up like this.

  9. Brian on February 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Started riding back in the early days on a steel racing bike, switched up to MTB to carry kids in child seat, and off road riding. No racing all commuting and pleasure. Started to get lots of problems in wrists and elbow. Switched to RANS Rocket swb recumbent. Moved on to high racer swb recumbent. One winter a few years back damaged knees on mtb riding on ice http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BgMB8tsIBA). Switched to crank forward (RANS Fusion) as I could not put knee down without pain/risk of delaying healing. Swtiched up to tadpole trike.  Last year picked up folder have used for quick shopping trips, only upgrade was to friction shifting on thumbies. So winter rides are on three wheels ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7FrNs1hmlI&feature=youtube_gdata) . Retired so riding in winter is mostly shopping, second video shows Travoy connected. Is this what you are looking for Daryl?


    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Totally.  Great input and you’ve definitely taken part in some extreme riding.  Thanks for your comments and for including the pictures.

  10. PedalmanTO on February 15, 2012 at 11:34 am

    When I first started to Keep the Rubber Side Down everyday it was road all the time. When I started to race I began to incorporate riding fixed. Now I find my riding really mixed the past few years. I ride quite a bit on my commuter and do many more longer distances on it. I’ve also fallen in love with the simplicity and fluidity of my fixed gear. My roadbike is used maybe 35% of the time, 35% on commuter, 30% on fixed.  I just need to find some time for mountain biking… 

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      You’ll need to come to Bonaire for some mountain biking.  I just did the most intense off road cycling I’ve even done today.  You would have loved it.

  11. KoIfla on February 15, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Seems like my other bike is the trainer. The only other ride I do is group. If I have time to ride it is to train so for me switching is getting off the bike for a run, swim or other like weighs or yoga.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      Thanks for your input.  I hope you get the chance to mix it up with some other types of riding in the future as well.

  12. DjD808 on February 15, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I think my switch up is probably the most common and thus the most boring.  I commute to work everyday on an 80’s steel beater with a backpack that adds 12lbs to my 5’10” 195lbs frame.  On the weekends its just my carbon fiber and me.  Pushing that bike and bag up these hills here in San Francisco is all the training I have before the weekend and as silly as it sounds, I feel like a super hero on Saturday mornings!

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Awesome….thanks for your comments.  Have a great superhero ride this Saturday.

    • Shawn McAfee on February 18, 2012 at 9:18 am

      Thinking about those hills in San Fran and pushing up them just sounds like a beating. You must have legs full of dynamite by the time you get to the carbon!

  13. Kevin on February 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I started off commuting on a folding bike. I’ve since done a fair bit of travel and touring with it as well. Recently, I’ve been getting into mountain biking a little bit, but I have yet to take on anything too crazy steep…in time, I suppose.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Thanks, Kevin.

      I’ve never yet ridden on a folding bike and really should try one out sometime.

      • Ron Ng on February 17, 2012 at 10:24 am

        Folding bikes are definitely different … and heavier 🙂

  14. rikaguilera on February 15, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Switching up the riding you do (IMO) is very important. I tend to turn a road ride into a training ride, and usually am not out “smelling the roses”, so to speak. I notice this when i do get out on the MTB, as i will take in my surrounding more. I will stop to snap a picture, admire a cliff that i will mark for rock climbing later, appreciate my surroundings more. It is usually a less intense ride. Not always, but usually.. The change from discipline is also not just mentally productive, but is a great cross trainer. The bike handling skills gained, balance and up and down heart rate style of riding will make everybody a better road rider. Every cyclist should switch up when the opportunity rises. It not only helps break the monotony of riding, but might just expose you to a new bike, new style, a new niche of cycling that may strengthen your love for the bike. This is how I explain my need for more bicycles… mental therapy…

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 11:14 am

      Well, if you’re going to join us in Bonaire….being a road cyclist, mountain biker, and urban rider are a must.  I’m definitely on my way to being more of a diverse cyclist.

  15. Mark Alan Anderson on February 15, 2012 at 8:02 am

    I’ve ridden aggressive geometry for many years, and have gone so far as to set up my touring rig with similar low/tuck positioning. At 52 I am clearly not going to make a run for the Tour de France, and just as clearly my road bikes and my touring bike are purposed very differently. When it’s kitted out with panniers and racks and fully loaded, there’s really no way for me to ride quick and fast on the touring bike either. But the race-oriented construction of my road bikes don’t have the (real) ability to carry much – and that is important to me for the style of riding that I mostly engage in: long-ish distances (200k) and moderately fast pace OR simply commuting over fifteen miles of rolling rural terrain to work. What a dichotomy! About a year ago I built up a touring bike in the style of a classic French randonneur – low trail geometry, large front bag, but generally light weight overall other than large diameter, cushy, and fast rolling rubber. Aside from the fact that it was slightly too small – I like to stretch out over long distances and would like and additional couple more centimeters of reach than I can get, even with a long stem – it has met my diverse needs very, very well indeed. So when I decided to make the plunge into a custom built frame, all of these factors went into the design. “Switching up your bike type” – at least for me – meant re-evaluating everything I was doing and wanted to do on a bike. I’m very happy being able to use one bike for commuting, fast group rides, and light/fast cyclotouring.

  16. Ron Ng on February 15, 2012 at 7:46 am

    I usually switch off between my road bike and my fixed gear bike trbreak the monotony. I started off using my fixed gear as my commuter bike, but found sometimes I lime to do long miles after work, in which case I take my normal road bike. So I guess I take my fixie when I don’t have a lot of time and want to force my legs with a harder workout, and since I live in flatland, it’s perfect. When I get back on my road bike, I feel more energy when I first start out, and it feels great to get back on the road bike.

    I also have a folder, which I use only when I need a shirt errand to the grocery store, so I don’t have to change clothes and wear normal shoes and normal street clothes.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 15, 2012 at 11:12 am

      Thanks Ron.  Great comments and we appreciate you sharing your thoughts on this.

  17. Malachi Doane on February 15, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Nice Topic! I took my MTN bike and made it into a commuter/cargo type machine. I rode it some in the ADK’s as a mountain bike but I just couldn’t get into it. It’s my everyday, go to, high powered mutant bike. I’ve ridden it everywhere from the grocery store and post office, to work a little off piste trail and touring. So I take this machine that must weight in near 40 pounds and push from 2-50 miles, this being said when I got my first road bike over the fall it was incredible! I track my rides via GPS and I’ve found major MPH gains. So I’m finding my commuter is something of a trainer for my road bike with all the extra weight and rolling resistance. Maybe it’s just life in the north country but it’s not uncommon for people to have winter and summer cars, or at least an old truck or jeep for when the snow is bad. Here it’s hilly and this time of year it’s salt and sand and cinder and scary on skinny wheels! So I can ride more confidently all winter on my MTN with the bigger tires and feel like a monster coming into the spring season on the road bike! 

    • Malachi Doane on February 15, 2012 at 7:48 am

       I think this sums it’s up nicely….


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