Who doesn’t love spring time after a long winter? There is something about spring time with the bright sun, longer days, warmer weather and snow melting that gives me all kinds of energy! I just can’t wait to get the bikes out. I have a road bike now, but before I had a road bike, I couldn’t wait to hit the trails. Sometimes you can’t get on the trails right away, so I learned a few tricks to make the road riding with my mountain bike more comfortable.
1) Replace those knobbies with some road tires.
First, get yourself a set of road slicks for your mountain bike so you can roll faster. You’d be surprised at how fast you can roll with a set of road tires on your mountain bike. Plus, this will save you from wearing out your knobbies on the pavement.
2) Add some bar-end grips to those handle bars.
Road bikes have drop bars, giving you multiple riding positions, where mountain bikes just have one position. Get yourself a set of bar end grips. These were quite popular about 10 years ago and I remember a majority of riders used them. I quit using them myself at some point as I started riding more technical trails and hooked a couple of trees through some tight trail sections, sending me over the handle bars. These are a must have, if you do a lot of road riding with your mountain bike. There are still plenty of options on the market today for these bar end grips.
3) Tighten up or lock-out your suspension, if equipped.
This one is a no brainer. Lock down your suspension. Many forks and rear shocks today are equipped with lock-out features or have adjustability. Either way, tighten it up or lock it down. You won’t need the suspension on the road and it will just suck away energy.
4) Stay off the trails until they dry out.
Lastly, it was a long winter here in Minnesota and if you are like me and have not entered the world of Fat Biking, you must be getting anxious to get back on the trails. As anxious as we are to hit the trails, we need to stay off the trails until they dry out. This is when we can really do some damage to the trails. Use this opportunity to stretch your legs and put some road miles in, whether you have a road bike or not.
Just a quick note on road riding safety. Find roads with wide shoulders and stay alert. Drivers have not seen cyclists on the roadside all winter and will not be looking out for you. Make sure you wear bright colors and find roads with wide shoulders.