Why #1: Dan Gronross Video

May 12, 2012 at 12:30
May 12, 2012
by Dan Barham  
 
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The first of a series of short films exploring the one word that seems to be missing from much of the bike industry - "why?".

Dan Gronross has lived in British Columbia for eight years, and for the longest time rode mountain bikes exclusively, much of it in Whistler's Bike Park, until a bad accident changed his outlook on the sport. Here's WHY he rides road bikes now:


www.danbarham.com
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92 Comments

  • + 52
 Dan's assessment of the differences is spot on- nice little video. Hopefully this can open people up to road riding and not open up a barrage of immature comments.

The speed roadies get on a regular basis blows away what you can do on a MTB. If you've ever seen a decent roadie descend live then you'll know what an eye opening experience it is! Both forms of cycling are great and most people are fortunate to be able to enjoy both- so appreciate how fortunate you are and don't knock it. Best of luck Dan in getting back to full health to enjoy whatever your true passion with bikes is Smile
  • + 8
 As much as I don't like to admit it I was super close minded. I put myself into a small category and stuck to that. Now I can say I enjoy any type of riding that puts me on a bike! Any riding style is so much fun and exhilarating that I hope that a video like this will open the minds of those who stick to one style
  • + 6
 I used to ride and race road. There is no denying that the actual speeds achieved on the road are much higher. However, let's talk about the sensation of speed. The sensation of speed I get when riding a good trail is way higher than any ever experienced on the road, that's what makes trail riding so dope and leaves road in the dust (for me) so to speak.
  • + 0
 I don't choose either. I just take the best of both worlds. Ha, who said we have to choose?!
[Reply]
  • + 27
 I'm obsessed with trail riding, but here are some more reasons to love road riding: 1) My ride starts at my front door, no need to drive to the trailhead, and I can squeeze in a good ride in 1 or 2 hours. 2) Its a great way to explore a region, I can easily cover 50 miles and see tons of scenery. 3) the efficiency and the feeling of all my power being directed into forward momentum is exhilarating, and the endorphin rush from the exertion is palpable. 4) it's a more structured workout, your exertion is not typically limited by the terrain so it's good for intervals, etc. The power and fitness gained from this can really help on the trail. 5) A rush is a rush: hitting 40-50mph on a curvy mountain pass is different but in no way less intense than speed on the trail. 6) I can ride in the winter as long as the roads are clear of snow and keep my fitness up until the trails dry out.

I hate to see riders classifying themselves and refusing to try other facets of the sport. They're really missing out.
  • + 4
 well said man !!!...''Why ???''
  • + 5
 Look at me??? An old Welshman who hated road bikes for 43 yrs, I have ridden every discipline and hundreds of bikes since the 80's, was an early old-school BMX'er right through to the MTB's of today. As you get older, (and wider) road bikes is a good way to help your fitness (with an indoor trainer as an option?).

When you are 44+ and you have hit all the table-tops, quarter pipes, and triple whoops for years, you look and respect other forms of cycling also. Yes, the rush of downhill mtb is great, but think of a lighter bike that can get you to the top also (hardtail, road bike). I have no car so my bikes are my main form of transport....one day I enjoy the rush and buzz of a mtb, another day the road bike if I need to get around the city of Cardiff quickly.

The road bike tyre width/gear to weight ratio will always be faster than a mtb..... When I set eyes on my first road bike (Wilier XP Izoard), 10months later, I part-exchanged one of my beautiful mtb's (Rocky Mountain Slayer Ltd Edt) for the road bike....what a difference !!!
So fast and responsive....now I got the best of both worlds, with three mountains surrounding my village.

My late gran always said, just keep those legs healthy and strong with cycling as one day, you will be sat in a chair and won't be able to move due to nature and old age....

Don't argue the debate over which criteria is better....just get out and enjoy yourself, spin those legs and have fun !!!!!
  • + 1
 I started riding road in the late 80s till the early 90s when I got my first MTB. I was hooked and promptly sold the road bike. Now, with work and a child, I don't have as much freedom as I used to in order to hit the trails as much as I'd like. So I bought a road bike again this year and it's been the best move I've done in a while. Fitness levels have gone up, and I'm able to ride a lot more than I used to, even if it's just for an hour. Anything to get me on two wheels is a good thing. My passion is still on the trails, but if i don't have the time and my choice is either get on a road bike or don't ride at all, it's an easy decision.
  • + 1
 Yes, I see your point....we get older, and other commitments take priority, so any spare time we get is a godsend.
[Reply]
  • + 13
 Why doesn't he just get a cross-country bike and ride smooth single-tracks that doesn't have a single jump? I know this is like the first negative comment...but I like the rush I get from mountain biking and road biking just doesn't do it for me. Sorry guys, but the only thing my road bike will be used for is training and transportation.
  • + 5
 amen brother. i miss the tech of mtn biking like roots and rocks. i got an 18 pound road bike that i strictly use for commuting thats it. I really think this guy here is doing an awesome thing and really enjoying himself, i guess we just dont meet eye to eye
  • + 8
 Cross country still puts a lot of stress on your legs. It's not like mtb where its bursts of stress, but a continuous stress. I do both, and they both have their uniqueness to them. On MTB you can rip a lot of lines but on road you hit amazing speeds and crazy wattage's. And 18lb road bike? Jesus that's a heavy road bike.
  • + 11
 Personally, I would rather wreck myself in a bike park or on a trail on my own terms than get hit by a car. I know of way too many people getting hit by cars while road biking and dying...
  • + 2
 It's all where and how you bike on the road. Ride in rural areas and when you do, ride 2 metres away from the edge so cars have to pass you. Don't ride at night or in the rain and where bright clothing. If you do all that, the only way you're going to get hit is by someone who is purposely trying to run you down.
  • + 3
 id like to think not. 18 pounds is including a full saddle bag as well as a 1200 nite rider on it as well. hahaha (not starting an argument just wanted to be clear)
  • + 3
 my road bikes 28 pounds... the 80's is where it's at.
  • + 4
 my road bike from the 80's was sub 21 lbs...you're right, the nicest road bikes came from the 80's !!!
  • + 2
 18 isn't heavy for a road bike, I have an entry level specialized allez that I bought for $1k 2 years ago, and it weighs right around 21 with my bottlecages and saddlebag. That's the heavy end of the spectrum, but 18 still isn't that bad by any means.
  • + 3
 Easier just to shave 10 pounds off myself then spend another 2 grand. I got both my roadbikes for free and they both ride perfect, just not as fast as a 15 pound racebike. Better workout for me anyway haha
  • - 1
 When I said heavy, I meant in comparison to guys on the tour. The new Specialized McClaren only weighs 0.958kg which converted is around 1.3lb. Stick carbon fiber rims and sattle and you're around 4 pounds.
  • + 7
 In addition to the reasons mentioned, he obviously enjoys it, and that's as good a reason as any.
  • + 9
 Bikes on the tour weigh 15 pounds, they have a minimum legal weight. and 0.958 kilograms = 2.11202847 pounds, not sure what you're on. plus bikes aren't just the frame saddle and rims... if that was true then DH bikes would be under 20 pounds too.


MTBers trying to talk like they understand road...
  • + 1
 i do both i have a planet x nanolight and this is a 920g frame with some sram s27al wheels and all sram red that thing is really really light and stiff. my mtb is a laperrie spicy 516 and that is just awesome for going off road. they are both very different being ble to get up to 55mph (my top speed). Being on the road and doing those sort of speeds is awesome. but being on the single track trails is just a different type of buzz.
  • - 2
 first, my conversion was to from miles to km, dont know why I used that one. And of course they're not just that, and actually they are less with the new Di2 system and if you're running anything new from shimano which most are, you're below 15. 15 is a good estimate, for 4 years ago. I highly doubt that a new Cervelo C5 is 15 pounds loaded.
  • + 3
 0.958 miles = 1.54175155 kilometers... nice try man.

Dude... they legally cannot be less than 15 under UCI rules. yes, bikes can be much lower than that, for instance my friend's dad has an Orbea Orca he purchased 3 years ago thats a hair under 14. But at the end of every protour stage bikes are weighed, and if they don't meet or exceed 15 lbs they are penalized significantly or even disqualified. Shimano has by no means the majority of the market, in the high end of the spectrum its equally shimano and campagnolo, if anything there's more people on campy. And Di2 adds weight to your bike, generally 50ish grams compared to the equivalent non-electronic groupo (dura ace Di2 vs standard dura ace for example) And its an S5, not a C5. www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx
  • + 1
 well shit. I apologize hahaha. And idk what was up with my conversion, my caculator gave me 0.958x1.45=2.1 so oh well.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 real riders do all disciplines, no need for us to explain why we love biking, props Dan Gronross for a killer vid; each day, commuting/ skatepark/ trail riding/ road riding/ freeriding all culminate into "a day in the life"... am I supposed to drive to work and not jump off the curbs on my way home? every day on every terrain is the passion
  • + 1
 I fully agree, I ride park, street mtb with a dj, do the best dh I can on my dj bike, and commute on a touring bike as well as extended self supported tours. All biking is amazing and every type has its own discipline and thrills. All of them put together make me a better rider and every style is fresh when I come back to it kinda like when a song comes on that you haven't heard in a while
  • + 4
 hahaa pretty sure everyone's been through the do-it-all dj bike phase Razz
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Love his analogies, they are so true. Shows the importance of how time spent on different wheels can help balance a rider and make him stronger in the end. I bet he'll return to Whistler and shred harder than he ever has before. Great motivational video.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Agreed, Im glad he's still able to do what he loves. Downhill is great, but a lot of riders aren't willing to try the other disciplines cycling has to offer, and in my opinion, they're missing out on having a much wider experience. It also means in the case of a bad accident, you're not left without doing biking in one way or another
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I tried road riding for a while here in Saint John NB, mostly commuting to work. I lasted about a month sold my bike and I stick to mountain biking now, much safer in my opinion....people have little respect for cyclist on the road
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I never connected with the roadie thing but road riding the gushie rain in BC looks really nice. I think i could get lost on the roads and in my head there. However, I will always return to the dirt. An open mind holds more.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 i am scared to ride on the road because of the idiot drivers out there.i had a bad experience out riding a guy in his pickup truck come
zoomin up behind me blastin his horn am all over the place he has the window down shoutin YOU TRYIN TO KILL YOUSELF i got of the bike put to it to one side he was still ranting on and on. i never said one word and thought he was goin to get out of the truck and am knockin him out but he was to fat to get out this is the truth. it was funny because HE told me to f##k off or HE would call the cops.so there you have it i will not ride on the roads.
  • + 3
 This is more or less of a problem depending on where you live. If you live in a bike friendly town this kind of thing almost never happens. If not then I suggest carrying some mace. I don't blame you for not wanting to get back out there but the shitty thing is that he won.
  • + 1
 Drivers sprinkle thumb tacks all over the side of roads where I live in an attempt to stop road bikers. And road biking is huge where I am. It's a problem everywhere
  • + 1
 man some people do stoop to some low levels. i have been hit by a car, unconscious for about 15 mins while the driver decided just to fuck off and leave me. i got back on my bike and carried on riding on the road. wont stop me and to be fair it is just becuase we are a smaller target and aren't spotted as easily. the same applies to motorbikes. i have done first aid and in that professions motorcyclists are called organ donors.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 I was a cross country runner for 5 years in school but after two injuries from over use I thought i should try something lower impact. I love downhill but there is a part of me that really enjoys the suffering part that road riding and running can provide. That being said I did some road rides and man... I got a little freaked out. The cars, the very minimal protection you have, not to mention I snapped a pair of handle bars (fortunately I was going only 25-30mph). For now i'm going to get my xc rig back together and stay on the dirt, at least the trees aren't trying to kill you.
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/video/253561

I wouldn't be so sure man. Those trees are planning something...
[Reply]
  • + 3
 It's amazing how people transition from different disciplines of cycling, i know a guy who's on the National Track (Velodrome) Sprinting team who used to race downhill, he still knows more than me or any of my friends about downhilling and can probably kick my butt still. I've ridden with him at the Velodrome and at first i was wondering why he would switch, turns out he loves the speed he feels when sprinting.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I raced Downhill for a number of years. Broke my hip in '06, started riding road. Hit by an old lady in '09 ended up with brain trauma. I've been back in the dirt since...Anyone want to buy a road bike?
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I have to say that I am in the midst of doing the opposite of Dan. I am still in high school but have been really into road biking for years and absolutely love it for the speed and the ability to crank out a solid pace for a long time. Road biking has always had a nice feeling but just this season some of my mountain biking friends convinced me to buy a mountain bike and it is AMAZING to ride!!! I have only been out twice as i took a nasty fall yesterday so I'm recovering but wow! what have I been missing?!?! it is sooo much different than road biking as it keeps your adrenalin going all the time but even with a bad crash on the second ride, I am already looking forward to getting back on the bike! Any riding is absolutely amazing wether road or mountain biking Smile
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I too own a downhill and xc bike, I got a road last year cause i liked the idea of opening the door and just riding. Its true you do have to watch out alot more for cars, but if you ride on service roads or in other places I did not find it bad. Its a fantastic work out and will always road.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 i do both: road and MTB. i enjoy road riding coz you burn more calories, its good for training for MTB, the climbs are challenging, the distance you cover is tremendous but i have to say that nothing beats the exhilaration of riding mountain bikes. but knowing and having tried both disciplines gives me a better perspective and better understanding.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Great clip Smile Coming off a serious DH injury myself 2 years ago (my femur went out the back of my calf and left my leg lame from the knee down) I can relate to Dans story. A long rehab does wonders for your perspective on life and sports. I too discovered that there's so much more to bike riding than just dirt...
[Reply]
  • + 6
 Fantastic video, road riding is an excellent form of rehabilitation.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I feel his pain. Having suffered 2 ACL reconstructions, 2 broken ankles, many shoulder separations, broken shoulder socket, broken fingers, broken wrist, dislocated hip, and many concussions. Mostly due to my short simi pro boarder cross career. My injuries brought me back to riding bikes. At first just for recovery, but soon I found even in the winter Id rather ride my bike than my board. I'm a Trail Rider through and through. I just don't get the same feeling of freedom and peace on the road.
I do find road riding to be waaaay more dangerous than mountain biking. I've been hit twice on the road. The first time was minor just a good hit from a mirror in Highway 6 in Edwards Colorado. The second was pretty bad. I hear this scream as I look back as a door slams into me. Sending me flying off the road. Luckily there was a row of willows between the road and the barbed wire fence which coushined the fall. Once again this was on a rural back road in Colorado. Then not only to you have to deal with drivers. Most roadies are too stuck up to acknowledge other riders. What's up with that?
I still ride road, but only to train and when it's too wet or snowy to ride mountain. Then again once I get my fat bike built. I may sell the roadie.
I love to ride no matter what kind of bike I'm on but Mountain biking is where my soul is.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 How a bad accident can change (part) of your life. I find it very impressive that he managed to find a way to enjoy a whole different kind of riding and still experience the same thrills. Very well told by the man himself, nice solid short film. But still, looking at the riding shots, I find myself trying to peek around the corner into the woods hoping that maybe I spot some trails.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 after all, it is cool that pinkbike.com is not actually pinkmtnbike.com
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I ride road too on occasion when i feel like going for a mellow ride but riding downhill or even cross country is much much more fun to me. When you push yourself to ride downhill, the joy i get out of it comes from being able to ride and tame the beast. Being able to ride technical trails pushing yourself to ride as fast as you can. Riding on the edge of your ability, on the brink of eating s**t. Just barely being able to maintain control over your bike, thats what will always keep me riding a mountain bike. Not hating on road, I'm all for it, but you can't get the same thrills on a road bike as the adrenaline that you can get from riding a mountain bike. Just my opinion.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I've herd that "Mountain bikers who dont ride road have no legs, and road bikers who dont ride mountain have no soul." Is this true? Im not sure anymore. I love my road bike, always have and always will. Dans quote "Thought I'd give road a try...why not?", Shows a great deal of maturity which I greatly admire. Well done Mr. Gronross, well done.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Its the opposite for me. I was a die-hard roadie for years living in Edmonton, then we moved to the Lower Mainland 5 years ago, and I gradually got into trail riding with my son. Then he got into DH and riding the bike park, and now we race DH (well, he races, I pretend to). I now have a DJ bike, 6" AM bike, and a DH bike as well as my road bike, but the road bike sees less and less use. I do ride it more in the winter, for training, and when the trails are really sloppy, and for errands. I can't see that I find the same similarities that Dan does, except when descending on a road bike. But perhaps that is because I've come the opposite way, and feel like I've "discovered" how much of a rush mountain biking is.
The main thing is that we are all riding bikes, regardless of what kind it may be.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nice to see the other side of cycling i wish the road were that smooth every where, you would need a xc bike to ride most roads around hear when i get injured i always turn to my road bike i love it but i will always crave dirt, that thought or finding some unused path or a old jump hidden just off the track that needs a little digging is too addictive. nice video though
[Reply]
  • + 5
 This Video shows real passion for Bike and I like it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Old mate loves his road riding... I love my trail riding. I commute on a road bike... And I'd be safer at the trails tryin flip trick daily than on a 3km commute here in Sydney... These drivers have the worst outlook towards cyclist and will try to run you down. Doesn't matter what clothes you wear or how you ride. My wife almost got run down by a guy while she was crossing a marked cross walk. He actually sped up and tried to hit her. Then he has the nerve to yell out, "your not a pedestrian"
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Take that drip coffee,bind your hands and feet,tied to a chair and have it drip on your forehead and down your face.Drip.........drip........drip.........thats road riding. That being said,my road rides last no longer than an hour.Thats all the torture I can take.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 do them all! love how open minded we all are here! this top video comes in perfect timing for my 4th bike... a road bike! BOOM...come here lycra!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Awesome vid. Who cares what other people ride? Glad to see him on the bike regardless. One small correction and I know Dan knows this, but you can't ride Dirt Merchant to Crab Apple. Dirt Merchant brings you out below it. You have to ride it from Upper Angry Pirate or Upper A Line to the connector (After Atlantis, I think??). Just sayin'. ;-) BTW, the rebuilt crab apple hits still scare the bajeezus out of me, but damn are they fun!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Try hoping on a TT bike with some nice 80mm deep rims for a 40k. It feels like your flying and sounds like a hovercraft is parked next to your ear.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 i used to ride downhill and injured my shoulder and switched to road and trails. I think more people should try it, road bikes are designed for distances, its not like slugging a heavy mountain bike up a hill!
  • + 1
 2.28 - Described so well
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I ride road to keep my fitness up. I dont see why people hate so much. A mountain bike is hella more fun, but road is cool most of the time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I like road riding (See my CAAD10 in my profile) but this guy needs to man up and get back on the horse, there is way more to mountain biking that just bike parks, get a trail bike and get out and explore!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I commute to school daily and have far too many close calls riding there, far more people die from riding on the road than riding on the trails..
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I clearly remember the first time I got on a road bike. It''s such a different feeling than cruising around town on the trail bike, I had no idea how much fun it could be!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sooo, did he get back on the horse? Ride dirt again or just give it up after an injury?
  • + 8
 He does both, but the injury still makes dirt a tougher ride. This shows that he did not give up on bikes, but found another avenue to enjoy on two wheels
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Why not....do both? That's the real why not he should be asking himself.
  • + 1
 Because not everyone can afford more than 1, 2 or 3 different bikes.
  • + 1
 Sorry wrong post
  • + 2
 he clearly has at least 2 road bikes in his apartment
  • + 1
 ...and neither is a cheap one.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 what bike is that, i swear that got me wanting to start road as well
  • + 1
 Specialized Roubaix. I think it is the SL3 from last year
  • + 1
 Looks like the Specialized Tarmac to me, couldn't see any of the Zertz in it!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 much safer off road for me, way too much traffic where i live and they dont care about bike riders....
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Respect. Being a roadie (and ex-mtb'er) I think both disciplines are good in their own way.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sick video. Used to hate roadies when I was a youngun. Now got an Orange 5 and a 'Dale Super Six. Love the old road machine.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Even the roads in BC look stunning. Keep riding.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 this does it for me, im getting a giant TCR next week
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  • + 1
 When I get older I will buy a road bike for sure.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 song please?
  • + 2
 Reid - Miami
  • + 1
 Free download was from the artist btw
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Woot! Ya Dan rockin the Steed gear!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 what a nice advertisement for Specialized
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  • + 1
 i love dirt! if it had nutritional value, i would eat it
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  • + 2
 I eat it way to often.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 It just doesn't look fun...
[Reply]
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