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Recently I rode 26 miles on my mountain bicycle on a dirt/rock mountain trail. How far could I ride on a road bicycle? I was thinking of riding in a 100k and wondering if my fitness from a mountain bike could be translated to a road bike.

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The first approximation would be to compare times. You should be able to go a similar amount of time on the road, and perhaps a bit more. And your speed would likely be 1.5-2.5x what it is offroad. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 9 at 1:56
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Another point is that if one is used to going X miles a day regularly, they can generally do about 2X miles a day when they push it -- longer if they take several breaks. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 9 at 1:58
    
It's more about time and effort. There's a difference between (say) full on singletrack climbing with a quick bomb at the end and cruising along a level gravel path, but both are "mountain biking". If you have a road bike look at your average speed and how far that gets you for a comparable time in the saddle. The difference in speed between the MTB and road bike will be particular to you on the two bikes you have, unfortunately –  Mσᶎ Jul 9 at 2:25
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Of course it can be translated. Get on your bike and translate. :-) –  Carey Gregory Jul 9 at 5:32
    
My rule of thumb is about 8km road vs. 5-6km dirt. –  Carel Jul 9 at 8:06

1 Answer 1

As @Daniel said in his comment, use time as he bases for any comparison. I have had MTB rides where I have averaged under 8km/hour, and others where I average over 20km/h over a similar time frame. What does not change is how much effort I put in over that time, but the consistency of that effort does.

What I find difficult transitioning from MTB to Road is on a Road bike you spend a lot more time in the riding position producing the same output - consistency is far more important than on the MTB. The 'mental space' on the road is hard for me as I get bored too easily. 160km days on roads does my head in more than my muscles, where as 6hours/60km technical MTB and I have nothing left in the tank at the end but will still be enjoying it.

If you can comfortably do 26 mile MTB, stop thinking about it and do it -whats the worst that happens?

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