Training mile equivalency

Hi all –

As I continue to mimic the Alps tour training I am often forced to combine bike and uni miles. In order to be reasonable I’ve come up with an equivalency system. Your comments are welcome.

Assumption: moderately hilly terrain.

Goal: Determine how many equivalent uni road miles I’ve ridden when riding other things.

Road uni miles: 1 to 1
Road miles on MB: 2 to 1
Road miles on road bike: 3 to 1
Off-road miles on MB: 3 to 2
Off-road miles on uni: 1 to 2

That is, if I have ridden 15 miles off-road on the MB, that counts as 10 uni road miles. 15 miles off-road on uni counts as 30 uni road miles. 30 miles on-road on the road bike counts as 10 uni road miles.

What do you think?

I believe you make be on track. I’ve often used the mtb-road bike comparison and recently thrown Muni into the mix. I also noticed my Coker to roadbike miles also feel like 3 to 1 :smiley:
In my opinion, your numbers look pretty good


Does this also assume the road miles are on a Coker or at least a 26-29er wheel? Given your assumption of moderately hilly terrain those sound like a good rule of thumb for engery expended over time.

On the other hand, depending on the intensity of the ride you can get just as knackered in a one hour bike ride as you can on a one hour uni ride of 1/3 to 1/2 the distance.

One thing you can get on a bike that you can’t on a uni (BS and PP aside) is running in a large inch-gear on the hills for a huge workout.

One more factor: How do you rate a 50 lb chromolly tandem with a 60-100 lb kid on the back that isn’t adding 100% of the extra horse power needed to compensate for their extra mass? For training in moderate hilly riding, I think this may be a 1-2 or 1-3 over uni.

Good topic.

Good points, Steve. I’m assuming a 29er or Coker for the road uni, 24 or 26" off-road uni, and light to no load on bike and uni. For example, on the bike, I’ll have a messenger bag with documents, repair kit, lock, snack, a liter of water, and often a water-bottle-headlight battery. On the uni, just a camelbak with repair kit, snack, a liter of water; occasionally a headlight with backpack battery.

On the bike, I will usually pedal through the flats and downhills. However, I am not monitoring heart rate at the moment. So a typical day would be a moderate aerobic load. Not dawdling, but not stressed-out except for a few of the uphills. On the MB I shift down to keep cadence up.

Perhaps add a point or half point for a heavy load such as a child? So that would make an on-road uni and a kid-heavy on-road MB basically the same.

Putting the kid on your shoulders for off-road uni: priceless but not recommended. :roll_eyes: