Friday 4 April 2014

The Great Debate – Mountain Biking Vs. Road Cycling

We decided to open up a can of worms.  Because we're organising the Kona Dirty Weekend at the moment, one of our favourite debates  is Road Cycling vs. Mountain Biking. Here's what the staff from Bike SA had to say.

The Mountain Biker - Christian Haag

Our CEO Christian Haag is a keen mountain biker, and prefers Cudlee Creek over Norton Summit any day. Here’s why he thinks Mountain Biking wins:

1.       Ah the serenity - Off road riding is much more conducive to giving me my Serenity Moment…dealing with impatient hills drivers doesn’t get me to where I want to go – also I’m a jeans and t-shirt guy – if it was good enough in the 70’s, its good enough for the 10’s.

2.       Dirt tastes better than bitumen: Coming off a mountain bike (which I have a habit of doing) means that I prefer the taste of dirt over bitumen.  There’s a reason roadies shave their legs….

3.        Sabai-Sabai: The Thais have a saying which pretty much sums up my draw on riding our sweet single track networks. Its all goooooood.

 The Roadie - Sam Drummond

Bike SA’s Sam Drummond is a mad roadie. He’s often up Norton Summit or racing down it. Here’s why he thinks Road Cycling is the way to go.

1.       You can go faster – Try cycling up one of Adelaide’s big summits, and then go down. The speed is nothing short of exhilarating. You’re not going to get that on a mountain bike. Ever heard the expression, A mountain bike is like your buddy. A road bike is your lover’. Enough said.

2.       Road cycling is way more social - Try riding two abreast on a single track trail… it ain't going to happen. When you’re on the road, there’s small talk, there’s banter and did we forget to mention you can actually stop for a coffee along the way? Try doing that out in the bush.

3.        There’s way more choice – Road cycling means you have so much choice. In the Adelaide hills alone you’ve got 100 kilometres of roads to choose from. And don’t believe what the Mountain Bikers say: you can cycle on loads of roads without seeing a car for miles.

What do you think? Leave some comments below. 

Even better, come and join us for the Kona Dirty Weekend on the first weekend of May. You can ride solo, in pairs or teams of four for 6,12 or 24 hours. It's an adventure, and above all a hello of a good time.  We promise you that we've got cyclists that transcend both tribes. 


  1. But you don't find aggressive cycle hating motorists on a mountain bike trail. And I would wager you get a bigger andrenalin rush on a fast downhill through a heavily wooded forest than you ever would on the road, even if your are only travelling at half the speed.

  2. As one who started mountain biking, then moved into road a couple of year ago - they are both great. Entirely different experiences - climbing Pound Rd is way different than climbing Chambers Gulley, descending Montecute is way different than a fast descent down PWT.
    I'm fitter since starting to seriously road ride, but have better bike skills thru MTB. They complement each other

  3. A bike is a form of active transport, so naturally whether you are on bitumen or dirt depends on where you are going. My vote goes to the most comfortable bike that gets me there in a reasonable time. My hybrid is the best compromise.

  4. There are passionate riders in both domains and those who do both as a cross training regime for community events and completely mad life changing events. Try this event on, my fourth year, 80 teams, 700kms over 5 days on The Gibb River Road ... then get back to sweating on the little things ....

    1. Have a rider place available if interested, 18-22 May 2014

  5. Mountain biking; it's peaceful away from the traffic and a mountainbike offers more flexibility e.g away at Normanville last w/e with road bikes only to find many gravel roads in the area. We rode them anyway but rather slowly

  6. Have the best of both worlds CX instead !!!

  7. I do both, and love both, it's all about enjoyment !

  8. I really like the analogy that a mountain bike is your mate, a road bike is your lover. I have done both with passion over many years but found on a recent return to trails after quite a few years absence, that the bouncing and rough stuff was a bit much for my approaching 70yo neck. I always liked to think my mountain bike was like a good beer, but my road bike a fine wine