The mountain bike was primarily built to be used on trails and off-road biking activities. But, can you ride a mountain bike on the road? It may seem out of place when you see a biker using his mountain bike on the regular route, but this situation is quite common. Nowadays, mountain bike owners use their bikes to do errands, work, or simply their means of transportation.
This article will be detailing all the reasons and other related information why it is possible to ride a mountain bike on a regular road. Our team will also show the downside of using this type of bike on a regular road and what adjustments need to be done to make it fitter for road biking activities.
Can I use a Mountain Bike on the Road?
Can I ride a mountain bike on the road? This is the usual question that new bikers will ask out of curiosity. But the answer to the question is a big “Yes.” You can ride a mountain bike on the road apart from using it off-road or on the trails. Although, there will be a huge difference when riding a regular road bike compared to using a mountain bike on a normal road.
Mountain bikes are made to deal with the flaws and faults of a trail or any off-road path. Therefore, these bicycles are equipped with a full-suspension to deal with all the irregularities in their way. Having said that, if you use the mountain bike in its regular bike setting on a normal road, there will be some disadvantages that will be felt by the biker during the middle of the ride. Please check below:
Mountain bikes are made to deal with bumps and other road irregularities to make the biker more comfortable. Because of this reason, mountain bikes are made with a heavier frame which makes it challenging to pedal when climbing a hilly or mountainous road.
The tires of a mountain bike are a lot wider and have excellent resistance to rolling. But that makes it a little bit more difficult to pedal. The biker will use more energy when it comes to pedaling due to the wide tire and rolling resistance size.
Mountain bikes are built with hefty brakes and suspension to adapt to the trails and off-road paths. However, these robust features will make it difficult for the biker to deal with hilly roads.
The main reason behind all of these disadvantages is the heavy and robust features and parts of a mountain bike. These parts add to the bike’s weight, making it challenging to pedal compared to regular road bikes.
Making the Mountain Bike Fit on the Road
Can you ride a mountain bike on the street?
Yes, you can definitely ride on the street, but there will be many imperfections on your ride, as I’ve said earlier. But the good news is, there are adjustments and modifications that you can do to make the mountain bike fitter if use on the road. Please check the list below:
Dealing with Tires and Wheels
One way to make the mountain bike more fit on the road is to make the tire roll quicker, which will make the biker more comfortable when standing up. This technique can be done by pumping the tires to 40-50 PSI. Another way is to use a slick tire as an alternative for the regular mountain bike tire. You can use this tire setup if you desire to do a longer ride.
Changing the Suspension
The majority of the mountain bikes are built with suspensions that withstand the impact of the uneven surfaces of the trails and off-road paths. However, if you are using it on a regular road, this feature will be irrelevant. So, to make the bike more suitable on the road, you can use a lockout when biking on the road. If you do not have a lockout, increasing the air pressure in the suspension can make it stiffer and more suitable on the road.
Changing the Gear
If you happen to change the bike’s wheel to make it fit on the road, changing your bike’s cassette or rear gear, bike lights can also be an excellent option. Using a cassette for a road bike will make the bike more suitable on the road. Also, you can change or swap for a larger chainring to make the bike accommodate at higher speed on the road. My suggestion is for you to ask a local mechanic to do it since this process will require knowledge and skills to make it work perfectly.
Dropping the Handlebar
If you notice, the handlebar of a road bike is slightly lower than the mountain bike. So, if you want the mountain bike to make it fitter on the road, dropping the handlebar slightly lower is the best way to go in this particular part of the road bike. What you do is lower the stem of the steer tube to adjust the handlebar. This process is an easy thing to do and can be done in minutes.
Mountain bikes can be used on the road, but to make it more comfortable, you need to make some modifications to make it more comfortable for the biker. If you plan to make biking on the street a permanent thing, you should make some modifications to your bike, as stated above. Some simple modifications can make the ride more comfortable using a mountain bike on the road. If it is only an occasional thing, changing your bike features will be a waste of time.
Can you ride a mountain bike on the road? Yes, you can ride this type of bike on a regular road. After all, a bike is a bike, and there is no stopping you from riding it on a normal road. But to make it fitter, modifications are needed to some of its parts for a more comfortable ride. There will be some upsides and downsides to riding your mountain bike on the road, but this is normal. The most important thing is enjoying the ride and using the bike to do any purpose it may serve to you.