Road Bike Vs. Mountain Bike
Breakthroughs in technology have made them much more efficient and comfortable while simultaneously making them much more affordable when it comes to cost to benefit ratios. This makes it a great time to buy a cycle!
The dilemma most people face when purchasing a bike is the type of bike to buy. Avid cyclists generally have a different bike for each different style of cycling that they will be doing, but hobbyists and recreationists can’t really afford to do that.
If you can only get one bike, what should it be?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a right answer to that question.
Everyone is different, and so are their needs. Most casual cyclists will want to purchase bike, but once you have the options narrowed down this far, it’s a matter of purpose and preference.
In this article, we can help you determine whether a road bike or a mountain bike is the better choice for your needs. We will take a look at some of the factors and circumstances that can help you to determine which choice would be more prudent.
By the end, you will be familiar with the questions to ask yourself before purchasing a bike and the type of things you can do with each bike.
Before you can compare the 2 different types of bikes, you need to be aware of your own cycling style. After all, knowing what you intend to use your bike for is one of the most important pieces of information to help you make your choice.
First, you should ask yourself how you will be using the bike.
Are you hoping to get some exercise without the shock to your joints that running provides?
Do you want to cruise and explore some of the trails nearby, or take it through some mountains?
Are you trying to cut down on time in traffic, so you want to use a bike to get around the city and replace your car for short-distance commuting? Do you hope to do more than one of these things with your bike?
Knowing your primary use will point you in the right direction. If you plan to stick to roads, then you may not need a mountain bike. Road bikes are great commuter bikes that can go pretty quickly and cover a lot of ground.
If you plan to use your bike for exploration as well as exercise and commuting, though, you will need the more versatile mountain bike.
Road bikes are optimized for pavement, so you can’t use them in the mountains. Their tires are very narrow and thin, so a single pebble or stick will send you flying head over heels.
It’s dangerous to use them on unknown or uneven terrain.
On the other hand, mountain bikes are not optimized for riding on the road, but they are capable of doing so as long as you put the extra effort into making them go.
They’re not as fast on the road, and they’re not as efficient, but unlike road bikes, which can’t take mountain paths at all, these bikes won’t put you in danger if you do ride them on the road… They just get a lot harder to handle and a lot less comfortable.
Now that you’ve (hopefully) determined how you’ll be using your bike, let’s take a look at these 2 bikes in more detail.
This will give you a better idea of all the things you can do with them.
Road bike (occasionally known as racing bikes) are designed for speed.
These are great options for commuters because the narrow tires can roll very quickly along paved surfaces as long as there aren’t any obstacles in the way. They are becoming very popular and being made with disc brake.
These bikes have a few different types. Aero bikes are designed to minimize the drag you experience during a ride.
These are professional racing bikes that are more concerned with speed than comfort or other features. Ultralight bikes are designed for climbing uphill. They’re extremely lightweight but they’re not very versatile.
Endurance bikes are built more for touring racing. These are designed for riders who plan to travel longer distances per ride, with a focus on comfort over speed and climbing.
These bikes are much more versatile and durable than road bikes. They’re made for handling dirt trails and different terrains.
These bikes have wider handlebars and usually come with forks that will absorb the shocks you take. They can handle pebbles and twigs and little bumps in the path without sending you flying.
These usually have wide tires and a lot of treads, so you will have traction when riding. They also include hydraulic disc braking and drivetrains that can handle steeper climbs and descents.
Hardtail bikes come with a rigid frame and suspension forks. These are the most common and most affordable ones.
They also make XC full suspension mountain bikes. These are for people who are not riding as far. The rear suspension on these bikes keeps the frame light so you can get extra efficiency when powering up climbs.
The trail full suspension bikes are for riding longer distances because they balance efficiency climbing with going downhill. These have wide tires and plenty of stopping power on the brakes. Finally, full suspensions put a lot of power in the rear wheel.
These can go for very long rides without causing exhaustion. They’re designed to be very balanced and handle any terrain for long rides.
Mountain bikes are very versatile. They can be used to ride just about anywhere – including roads. Some people like using them for unpaved roads. Others like using them to power up steeper hills without the same level of effort road bikes require.
The first thing you should know about e-bikes is that they’re here to stay. Electric bike sales jumped by an incredible 145 percent from 2019 to 2020 alone, according to the market research firm NPD Group. It’s a nearly $244 billion industry as of last year, and there’s no sign of a slowdown.
Some view the rise of e-bikes as a threat, as though standard bikes will go the way of the penny-farthing once everyone goes electric. But fear not: E-bikes aren’t here to rob us of our human-powered way of life. In fact, they may very well enhance it—especially as travel and commuting habits change following the global pandemic and shift of work commuting. So as we roll our way into peak riding season, here’s everything you need to know about the electric revolution.
Generally speaking, E bicycle are bicycles with a battery-powered “assist” that comes via pedaling and, in some cases, a throttle. When you push the pedals on a pedal-assist e-bike, a small motor engages and gives you a boost, so you can zip up hills and cruise over tough terrain without gassing yourself. Called “pedelecs,” they feel just like conventional bikes—but better, says Ed Benjamin, senior managing director at the consulting firm eCycleElectric. “You control your speed with your feet, like with a regular bike,” he says. “You just feel really powerful and accelerate easily.”
In addition to the pedal-assist feature, some e-bikes come with a throttle that engages the motor with the press of a button. These belong to a separate class of e-bike that, obviously, doesn’t offer a pure cycling experience; they’re also illegal in some municipalities. Interestingly, Benjamin says, people who aren’t already “cyclists” tend to gravitate toward throttle bikes at first, but then turn around and choose a pedal-assist for their next purchase.
“People are buying electric bicycle as a way to reduce car trips,” Benjamin says. The data backs him up: 28 percent of survey respondents said they bought an e-bike specifically to replace driving a car. And many other reasons buyers listed for wanting an e-bike—including carrying cargo and kids, avoiding parking and traffic, and environmental concerns—also indicate a desire to get out from behind the wheel. Plus, you don’t need to change clothes or clean up when you arrive at your destination, because you don’t have to work up as much of a sweat.
Consider, too, that more than half of all driving trips are shorter than 10 miles, with some surveys reporting that the average single trip amounts to just 5.95 miles. That’s a no-brainer distance to cover by e-bike. In fact, the survey found that owners replaced 46 percent of their car commutes and 30 percent of their driving errands with e-bike rides. All you need is a great commuter bag to carry your stuff, and you’re set.
Getting an e-bike can dramatically increase how often you ride, according to a survey of nearly 1,800 e-bike owners in North America. Beforehand, 55 percent of respondents said they rode daily or weekly. After buying an e-bike, that number soared to 91 percent. It makes sense: Even if you’re super fit, you still get tired (likely from training or racing) and remounting your bike can feel like a chore. If you have an e-bike, you can continue riding while giving your knackered legs a bit of a break. You can also go faster, which makes biking for longer trips more attractive, even when you’re pressed for time.
For those who aren’t frequent riders, e-bikes open up a whole new world. While you may not be conditioned to ride 5-10 miles at a time, you can cover those distances easily with an electric assist, which is a great way to build endurance and confidence. That same survey found that 94 percent of non-cyclists rode daily or weekly after getting an e-bike.
Name a type of riding, and there’s an e-bike for that. If you have zero interest in an electric road bike, you may find yourself head over heels for a high-capacity e-cargo bike that can haul 400 pounds of stuff while still cruising at a cool 15 mph. E-bikes are available in fat, cargo, commuter, recreational, hardtail, full-suspension mountain, and even performance road bike styles. For proof, here are a dozen e-bikes we love for every type of cyclist.