Anonymous asked in SportsCycling · 1 decade ago

Can a recreational cyclist on a road bike beat Lance Armstrong on a full suspension fat tire mountain bike?

Please assume the race will be on a road and either flat or moderately hilly over any distance. I assume any advantages with the frame geometry or power transfer with the road bike would be lost in steep climb.


Thanks for the responses. By recreational I mean someone who rides 200 miles a week and could average 20 to 25 mph for an hour TT on a moderately hilly course.

Update 2:

Fair enough, can a serious amateur cyclist take Lance? I guess another way to ask my question is can an elite cyclist maintain 25 to 30 mph on a clunky mountain bike, even on a fast course. Even assuming you had the right gearing, I would think that you could not because of the technology disadvantage. I was pondering the question when my friend wondered how much of a disadvantage he would have competing in a sprint tri with a mountain bike, and I was trying to give him an example of how big of a detriment it would be.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Just because a bike is designed mainly for trails doesn't mean it is slow on the road. If the gearing on the MTB has something in the upper 90's and the tires are pumped up lance will still rule. Don't forget he has raced off-road too. That's a good question to ask. A light weight 22 pound MTB with smooth tires must be respected.

  • 1 decade ago

    Seriously. 25 MPH on an hour TT and 200 miles a week is far above recreational. If I could hold 25 MPH for an hour, i'd be freaking ecstatic. The person you describe as recreational would beat lance but a truly recreational cyclist (14-16MPH by most peoples standards) wouldn't have a chance.

  • 1 decade ago

    No. While the technological advantage would favor the recreational cyclist, I'd assume by recreational cyclist you mean someone who doesn't professionally train day in and day out and hasn't ever completed a 2000+ mile tour repeatedly.

    Equipment advantage like that wouldn't trump physical advantage. I see physically fit riders on full-suspension MTBs blazing past those idiot hipster kids on their souped-up vanity bikes no problem on bike paths all the time.

    Armstrong against Miguel Indurain while riding a MTB with full suspension... that's a different story.

  • 1 decade ago

    A good recreational cyclist who specialises in sprinting could probably give him a run for his money over a short distance. When Graeme Obree became world champion in the 4k pursuit he was a recreational cyclist albeit one with a very high level of commitment- he didn't come through the professional ranks and previously had competed for his local cycling club so being just a recreational cyclist doesn't necessarily mean that you can't perform at a high level.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The rider you describe is far above what I would call "recreational," but it still is not among the elite riders in the world. Power and endurance always win. This guy would not stand a chance against Lance or anyone else that races at the elite level.


  • snip
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    in a word. No. Experience, base fitness, vast mileage and knowledge and just flat out competitve drive. Five time TdF winner Eddie who won 1 out of every 3 races he entered (Lance has never won the Giro, Vuelta ... or even entered the spring classics. Lance WHO??? Eddie is King) still rides and quite well.

    He's your Dad or Grandads age, you can't beat him. Maybe, maybe briefly but the longer and harder the ride the further behind you will be.

  • 1 decade ago

    Only if Lance has flat tires and his right hand tied behind his back

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