Mountain Bike vs. Road Bike | Which Bike Should I Buy

I am a professional biker and I have been riding for decades. I love mountain biking, as well as road biking. 

Mountain bike vs. Road bike, which bike should you choose? or which bike should you buy?

If you want to compare between a mountain bike and road bike first you need to know about the unique features of both types of bikes.

Mountain bikes

Mountain bikes are specially intended to ride on rough and bumpy trails. Mountain bike comes with either flat or upright handlebars and most of the mountain bikes feature with suspension or different kind of shock absorbers. Mountain bikes have actual low gear range for pedaling up sheer trails.

Mountain bikes those come with both front and rear suspension are known as a full-suspension bike and those bikes come with only front suspensions are known as hardtails bikes. The bikes do not come with any suspension are known as rigid.

Mountain Bike

Though mountain bikes are not as light or professional as traditional regular commuting bikes. But still, you can use mountain bike as a road bike for commuting or touring.

Mountain bikes are best for bumpy terrains and built to take the riders on the rocky and rough terrains with the adventure of nature. The mountain bikes are durable and designed with knobby tires so that you can control the bike easily on any kind of surface.

The gears are designed to move you on to the up and downhills. It comes with a wide range of variations so that you can change according to the inclines. Mountain bikes featured with great powerful discs brakes to stop the bikes any time on any condition and more exclusive components are included along with suspensions to enjoy smooth riding on bumpy terrains.

May be coming summer you are planning for regular leisure riding at your countryside areas, not mountain ranges then you can enjoy a comfortable and relaxed riding with your mountain bike but sometimes you may need to change the knobby tires otherwise it can be hard to ride on pavement.

Road Bikes

Road bikes are specially made to ride faster on a smooth pathway. These bikes are lightweight and smooth. It comes with thin tires and drops handlebars. You can use it for on-road competing on a smooth pathway. But most of the riders find them unstable and uncomfortable for unsmooth long trails. The road bikes are not suitable enough for touring or commuting because they are not able to carry heavy loads.

Road Bike

Roads bikes are best to run faster on the tarmac.If we look at the name we can see the name says these bikes are intended to riding on smooth roads. Road bikes run very faster. It featured with thin tires and lightweight frames so that you can get maximum speed on less effort. The road bikes are designed with dropped handlebars so that you can put the hoop in down and backward. It permits you to develop into a well-organized and smooth-riding position. The gearing option can provide you the maximum speed.

The appearance looks less durable but you can enjoy long trail rides with your friends because these bikes are very good to commuting at the plain ground.

In some cases, the speed-focused bikes are uncomfortable for some riders and the riding position can be awkward for some riders. The skinny tires and the lightweight wheels can be liable for destruction from caves.

Most of the road bikes don’t come with all the bike gears such as Phone Mount , Bicycle Water Bottle  and Bike Cable Lock. The bikes are specially intended to race don’t have any luggage carrier. If you need to carry some heavy load regularly then these road bikes maybe not suitable for you.

Basic Comparisons Between Mountain Bikes and Road Bikes

If you compare among both of two bikes mountain bikes and road bikes, you will comprehend that both of the bikes have many unique features that make the bike perfect for its special work.

Still, I must say that a mountain bike can be a better option if you like to enjoy natural beauties and very often want to ride the countryside terrains. Mountain bikes you can ride anywhere you like with amazing controlling power. Mountain biking can be the best option for your health benefits.

On the other hand, if you see lots off traffic on the road or very much crowded area and you are running out of time then you can change the route easily by following a shortcut but if you have a road bike maybe you won't be able to take a shortcut very comfortably. Mountain bikes come with fat tires, which are good for bumpy terrains, and it helps to ride comfortably on the street. It will be very useful if you need to carry any bag draped over the shoulder. This also helps you to make easier the ride.

Comparison Table: Mountain Bike vs. Road Bike

Differences

Mountain Bike

Road Bike

Use

Recreational riding, sports, and fitness

Commuting, fun riding with family, recreational and fitness

Used terrains

Riding on rough and bumpy terrains, off-road, rocky, dirt tacks and unsmooth surface

Road bikes are mainly used on smooth pathways, paved road.

Basic features

Sturdy and durable, the wider knobby tires are perfect for shock absorption and comfortable, lots of gearing options for different terrains and full suspensions for both front and rear

Very lightweight, light tires with high air pressure and less resistance between the tire and road

Types of biking

Downhill track, cross-country trail, day-long endurance, and free ride biking

Touring, roadster biking, hybrid biking

Riding Position

Riders sit is in an upright position for mountain bikes

Road bikes allow the riders to sit bent forward

  • A mountain bike comes with an easier gearing system compared to a regular road bike.
  • Mountain bikes allow you to turn quite comfortably on difficult climbs. By climbing comfortably it will help you to save your energy and also makes sure that you are not damp and not stinking when you reach your destination.
  • Mountain bikes are specially designed for rough terrain. Though it sounds like maybe these bikes are not good at commuting. However, it comes very usefully when most of the easiest direct roads of your premises are not in good condition.
  • While you are riding and you have to go through potholes or poor, rocky surface, a mountain bike can minimize your stress and make your ride relaxed comfortable.
  • On the other hand, a road bike may not very friendly when the road condition is poor so you may face some problems.
  • Among all benefits, another important benefit is the riding position of the mountain bike that makes the rider more comfortable.
  • Mountain bikes are usually more upright and relaxing for your backbone. It also helps you to reach your destination easily with improved luminosity. So it prevents your backache and also helps to see in what way cars are approaching you.
  • If you are riding on a smooth surface or a pavement then a road bike will lead the trail.
  • But a road bike may need to stop while passing over rocky grounds. A mountain bike can climb over all these rough terrains.
  • These differences come from the bike structures, bike weights and the position of the riders.
  • Normally, extra energy needed to drive a heavy mountain bike rather than a road bike.

Features Difference Between Mountain Bike & Road Bike

Bike Weight

Usually, the mountain bikes are constructed with heavy components compared to road bikes that make the bike tougher to move faster. The smooth road bikes do not face any trouble fast-tracking, while mountain bike riders are trapped at the same distance trying to push more. A mountain bike weighs more components including the frame; suspensions, tires, wheels.

Sitting Position

The mountain bike riders sit is in an upright position and the road bikes allow its rider to sit bent forward. So road bike riders can move smoothly while the acceleration is enabled but at high speed, the mountain bikes can be slow down for wind resistance.

Bike Tires

The tires of mountain bikes are perfect for climbing the rough terrains though the mountain bikes move slowly compared to road bikes, the heavy, thick, knobby and wide tires make your rides comfortable on bumpy terrains. The soft and knobby tires increase the air resistance of mountain bikes. Road bikes come with light tires those are higher in air pressure and less resistance between the tire and road so it helps the riders to accelerate rapidly.

Suspension

The mountain bikes are mainly equipped with good suspension systems which are good for the riders and it gives you the smooth riding experience. 

Though, these suspension systems absorb energy that means the pedaling power can be lost in the spring of suspensions, which normally used to push the bike forward. If you can lock the suspension of your mountain bike then it will become speedier, but it is not safe while you are riding on unexpected bumpy terrains.

Gear Ratio

Mountain bikes have different levels of gearing options. It comes with the little low gear than road bikes, but the lower high gear is also available with them. So you can say that a mountain bike has more power and a lower top speed as well.

Final Thoughts

I must say that mountain bikes and road bikes both come with positives and negatives while choosing for climbing or running. People always find their way to enjoy. I hardly hear that everything is perfect in life and the important thing is whichever bike you like it will provide you fitness and you will enjoy a relaxed, active lifestyle.

At the end of everything, it is not a big deal that which bike you have picked. The main matter is that you should pick one. Body fitness is a necessary part of our daily life not only an advantage. So just set up your mind and pick up your desired bike and enjoy your active life.