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Newbie here, can a mountain bike be used to ride on the road?

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Newbie here, can a mountain bike be used to ride on the road?

Old 04-09-15, 07:06 PM
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madurotiger
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Newbie here, can a mountain bike be used to ride on the road?

I've been looking at hybrids, but I'll be riding 50/50 or so road to trails/mountains. It may be a little more road riding, but I've had people tell me to look at mountain bikes because you can take them on the road too, but you can't take a road bike on much terrain.

I know they tend to be heavier, but in general do any of you have mountain bikes but take it on the road maybe for a good workout or is this a dumb idea?
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Old 04-09-15, 07:54 PM
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Troggie
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I only have a mountain bike, and just purchased a new one. My current one is really only run on the road now as I am just getting into mountain biking/trail riding. Yes they are a little heavier but if you find you are only riding the roads you can find smoother tires like on a hybrid and add a rack to the back if you want to as well. This is assuming you are going with a hard tail bike and not a full suspension one.
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Old 04-09-15, 09:10 PM
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A 29er mountain bike with small knobby tires makes a pretty ideal trail/commuter bike. Its a hair slower than a true road bike but you can handle anything but the most technical trails. I went on a 21 mi paved ride two days ago with no trouble. The main drawback is the upright position for riding into headwinds.
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Old 04-10-15, 07:46 AM
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A mountainbike does fine on the road, although knobby tires are slow and wear out fairly fast on pavement.

A hybrid shouldn't be used for anything more than a gravel road. If there are rocks, roots, drops and jumps, you need a mountainbike.
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Old 04-10-15, 11:13 AM
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Shuffleman
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
A mountainbike does fine on the road, although knobby tires are slow and wear out fairly fast on pavement.

A hybrid shouldn't be used for anything more than a gravel road. If there are rocks, roots, drops and jumps, you need a mountainbike.
+1 on that.

I enjoy my hybrid when tooling around the neighborhood with my family but I do not use it for anything else. They really are not meant for the trails. I do ride my mtb on the street with no problem if I have it out. It is more versatile than either my road bike or hybrid. Yes, it is heavier but it is fine for tooling around and for trails. If you can only have 1 bike than go for the mtb.
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Old 04-10-15, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Shuffleman View Post
+1 on that.

I enjoy my hybrid when tooling around the neighborhood with my family but I do not use it for anything else. They really are not meant for the trails. I do ride my mtb on the street with no problem if I have it out. It is more versatile than either my road bike or hybrid. Yes, it is heavier but it is fine for tooling around and for trails. If you can only have 1 bike than go for the mtb.
Depends on what you want to do, and what your focus is. If you ride a lot of single track, you are correct. If you ride mostly pavement or roads, than a hybrid or road bike would be a better choice. I like my mountain bike, but on pavement it is 2 to 3 mph slower with the same effort as my drop bar bike. If your paved rides are short, than a mountain bike with slick or semi slick tires might work. If you aspire to longer rides, and especially if you think you might be doing group rides, best to look at a road bike, a gravel grinder, or a "road ish" hybrid.
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Old 04-10-15, 04:18 PM
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Here's a group of semi-slick tires.

I tried some twelve buck slicks from Nashbar and did well with them. I found out that I do like the MTB on the road without the knobbies. I just replaced them last week with Marathon Supreme Racers. So far.....so great!!!
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Old 04-12-15, 12:20 PM
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Hello. I ride more than 20 years and I changed a lot of bikes . I had road bike, hybrid bike, cross bike and mountain bike. I have come to the conclusion that mountain bike is finest choice. You can ride on asphalt, path in forest and every type of terrain.

Worst choice was a hybrid bike, because is too slowly on asphalt (in compare with road bike) and useless in hard terrains (in compare with mountain bike).

Now in this time I have fitness bike on the asphalt ( I use it rarely ) and two mountain bikes - first as city bike and second is pure mountain bike.
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Old 04-13-15, 08:01 AM
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Shuffleman
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Depends on what you want to do, and what your focus is. If you ride a lot of single track, you are correct. If you ride mostly pavement or roads, than a hybrid or road bike would be a better choice. I like my mountain bike, but on pavement it is 2 to 3 mph slower with the same effort as my drop bar bike. If your paved rides are short, than a mountain bike with slick or semi slick tires might work. If you aspire to longer rides, and especially if you think you might be doing group rides, best to look at a road bike, a gravel grinder, or a "road ish" hybrid.
I agree with you, which is why I have all 3. The road bike and the Hybrid are more specialized though. Clearly the road bike is for road only. The Hybrid is intended for gravel or road and it performs well. I would not take it on rough trails though. The mtb can go anywhere. It is not as effecient as the road bike or hybrid on the road or gravel though. My point was only that if you can have only one, than the mtb would be my choice as you can ride anywhere with it. If fact, I sold my old hybrid and then turned my old mtb into a hybrid. I removed the front shock and put on road tires. I raised the bars and made the bike more upright. It is now far lighter and faster than my old "hybrid" that came with a very heavy shock.
I just really like riding use all 3 on a regular basis. My road bike gets the most use but I enjoy all of them.
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Old 04-13-15, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by madurotiger View Post
I've been looking at hybrids, but I'll be riding 50/50 or so road to trails/mountains. It may be a little more road riding, but I've had people tell me to look at mountain bikes because you can take them on the road too, but you can't take a road bike on much terrain.

I know they tend to be heavier, but in general do any of you have mountain bikes but take it on the road maybe for a good workout or is this a dumb idea?
Knobby tires are no fun, but otherwise it's a great idea. It is definitely a good workout if you push it. You will find the sitting position & bars limiting for very long rides, but otherwise it's great to have a road 26er or 29er in the stable. With a road bike, I need to keep above 20mph to feel like I'm getting a workout, with an MTB it's the 15-20mph range-- which is often more practical if your roads aren't great.

Last edited by FrenchFit; 04-13-15 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 04-13-15, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
Knobby tires are no fun, but otherwise it's a great idea. It is definitely a good workout if you push it. You will find the sitting position & bars limiting for very long rides, but otherwise it's great to have a road 26er or 29er in the stable. With a road bike, I need to keep above 20mph to feel like I'm getting a workout, with an MTB it's the 15-20mph range-- which is often more practical if your roads aren't great.
Isn't it amazing how much more energy you exert to push the mtb at a good pace on the road. I will ride mine about 5 miles from our club to the house. I try to race my wife who is on the Golf Cart that goes 19mph. Pushing the 29er at that pace to beat the golf cart really is work. It is fun but I am winded for a few seconds after the race.
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Old 04-15-15, 07:02 AM
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Lots of folks use mtb for purposes other than trails. If you hopped over to the touring threads, many touring bikes are based on hardtail mtb frames for their relaxed geometry, and the lower gearing that loaded touring requires that is standard issue on a mtb. I purchased a used mtb recently initially to make it a commuter, but after taking it out on a few trial rides, found it so comfortable that I swapped its flat bar handlebar into a trekking one, and will turn it into a touring bike that can still tackle gravel roads, and non-technical trails, since I don't have much interest in the latter. I can only compare speed/effort into a flat bar hybrid that happened to sport even lower gearing than my mtb, but the mtb, even with knobbies on it, is faster with no more effort than my lighter-weight hybrid. I'm guessing this is entirely due to the higher gearing that is found on this particular mtb, rather than any other reason....I like the plush ride on the 2+ inch tires my mtb is currently running on, knobbies and all.
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Old 04-15-15, 05:17 PM
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I've gone for a one bike solution, using my dual suspension MTB for weekend trail riding and commuting every day on it. the riding position is more relaxed than my road bike, so it's pretty comfortable. its slower, and the hill climbs are harder but at least you feel like you're getting a decent workout. lock out the fork and rear shock for the commute, free it up for the weekends. I'm planning on a second wheelset so I can run more suitable tyres for commuting and keep the knobbly ones for the weekend, as right now I pump them up over 50psi for the weekdays, and drop them down for the weekend. 2 wheelsets will just make things easier.

The other thing I've got is a triple up front (oh the shame...) so I've got decent gearing, otherwise you end up outrunning your gearing all the time.
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Old 04-18-15, 10:06 AM
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I think, we have the same constraints. I love my mountain bike but activity was more frequent in the streets. And that is why now I chose XC bike as an option.
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Old 04-18-15, 08:13 PM
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If you want a bike that does some of everything look on this subforum Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking <-- Riding drop-bar bikes off road is my fav. You have to ride more slowly and cautiously on rugged trails with these bikes, but then you're less likely to break your neck that way.

Last edited by Clem von Jones; 04-18-15 at 08:25 PM.
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