Can I Ride A Mountain Bike On The Road _ (1)

Can I Ride A Mountain Bike On The Road ?

Have you been questioning can I ride a mountain bike on the road or not? If yes, then this article has got you covered. Are on-road pavement best suited for mountain bikes?

Well, if talked rationally then you will find very less valid reasons for not making use of mountain bikes on roads. There are not persuasive reasons which will restrict the usage of mountain bikes on roads.

Let’s rephrase the statement in a different way and answer would it be a hard nut to crack to ride a mountain bike on the pavement?

There is not a universal answer to this question as this is situation-oriented. You need to question yourself about the purpose of riding a mountain bike. Ask yourself whether you will be riding a bike for fitness or exercise?

If you have either of this purpose then the mountain bike will be a great bet. Why? Mountain bike will offer the same impact as the road bike for fitness. You will just need to keep a check on the gear ratios. If you will be sticking yourself to 90 or 95rpm then the fitness will just come quickly.

Many people mostly make use of bikes for commuting, if you are among those then know for sure that mountain bike will offer no hindrance in that regard. Can I ride a mountain bike on the road the answer here is just be sure that the bike possess sturdy chainstays.

Mountain bike proves to be an easier way out for traffic congestions. You might also want to prefer mountain bikes because of the rough road covered with gravel.

Can I ride a mountain bike on the road? Don’t in some cases:

You might not appreciate the use of a mountain bike on the road in some instances. Namely, when you are trying to improve the riding speed or the endurance level. So for such cases the answer for Can I ride a mountain bike on the road becomes negative. 

For learning better riding, don’t prefer mountain bike over other choices. You can try it out but this, not the most efficient option out there.

Now, there are a few things which you need to keep in mind. Firstly, you know by now that there is no fixed rule as to whether you should ride a mountain bike on the road or not. Yes, nothing is stopping you.

But certainly, there will be limitations. Questioning what might be the difficulties? And the solutions to overcome such difficulties? You can surely manage well with mountain bikes on the flat surface with these tips mentioned below.

Problem #1: The weight of Mountain bikes slows it down on the tarmac

Are you already aware of the fact that mountain bikes are heavier and thus they make the overall riding experience slower on the tarmac? Well, one may argue that a carbon-framed mountain bike usually weighs less than the budget alloy ride bike. If compared facts then this is not reality. One needs to bear in mind that even in such case mountain bikes will be heavier.

What you can do to mitigate the weight?

Now what you can do to mitigate the weight of the mountain bike as the bike’s weight is one of the determining factors of road speed. You can’t control the weight of the bike but you can surely pay attention to other factors which will help you mitigate the weight and boost the overall bike’s speed.

Be cautious about your position on the bike, fitness level, and other aerodynamic features. If you own some extra weight then you probably should aim to shed a few pounds. As you would not appreciate adding a whole lot of your weight over your bike. Be extra cautious of your backpack on the mountain bike.

Try to limit the stuff you carry as every grams matter. Let’s move away from some generic and common tips to focus on the specific and technical ones. You need to inspect the elements present in your mountain bike. Start with the tires first. Question the type of tires. If you aim to solely use your mountain bike on tarmac then the best approach will be to seek replacements options.

Consider replacing the off-road tires with the on-road ones. You will be surprised and amazed by the number of grams you will get rid of. For instance, swapping a tire which weighs 1500 g with 200 g will save you a considerable amount of weight. Do the math and you will be amazed by the new on-road speed.

Next, you need to question how comfortable is the saddle of your mountain bike. The old model of mountain bikes usually possessed that heavily padded saddle that adds a considerable amount to the bike’s overall weight. You need to consider its replacement if you possess such saddles.

Are you practically questioning yourself about getting every heavier part replaced by the lighter one? Well, that is certainly possible for saving up the weight as you can swap from frame/forks. If you will be going swapping the suspension forks with the carbon one then there you are saving other substantial weight. Better and lighter bike at your service.

No one generally goes for rigorous swapping of every bike’s component as your mountain bike will then no longer will remain a mountain bike.

Problem #2: Mountain bike tires own unsuitable tread patterns for on-road

There is no hole of doubt about mountain bike being specifically designed in a way of maximizing the grip on muddy surfaces. But this never means that your knobbly-tired mountain bike gets limited or restricted for the use on the pavement.

This fact about knobbly tires only suggests that mountain bike will offer less grip on the road for carcass will be having less contact with the ground at a single point in time. You will be met by higher rolling resistance as the energy you input will get dissipated through those lower pressure yet high volume knobbly tires.

You just need to go for a tire that is lighter than the stock tire preferably a pure, slick road tire. You should for this compromise for it lowers the rolling resistance, saving up your energy to a great level. You want your pedaling energy to get translated in a forward motion rather getting wasted.

Concerned about the width of the road bike you should preferably go for? Well, choose the width between 1.5 and 2.0. If you will go for other thinner options then this will just be another road bike and wider than this is bound to boost the overall weight of the bike.

There is a huge of tire manufacturers available to list and then choose from. The selection process can thus be very overwhelming. Thus for speed, you need to find a tire with tight tread patterns.

Have you not come across with the idea of inflating your bike tires, so they become much more road-friendly. This is often suggested when people want to use hybrid at off-trail. Tire inflation of mountain bike for on-road riding is a preferable option for I reduces the rolling resistance. This slight inflation will allow the tires to roll on tarmac smoothly.

Problem #3:  Position of Mountain Bike

Every type of bike is designed differently with different riding positions styled for it serves a specific separate function. Now, have you ever questioned yourself why mountain bikes own an upright position whereas the road bike owns a lower position?

This upright position tends to cause discomfort and slow down the speed. If talked about the upright position then this tends to transfer the pressure to the shoulders and arms.

This position is better at off-road for it gets the rider out of the saddle. Studied science in childhood? You must be aware of the advantage which aerodynamic style offers. But this advantage tends to get lost owing to the standard flat bars which gift just a slow speed?

Tips for boosting comfort:

Despite the lost aerodynamic advantage, you can make certain changes which can accelerate the level of comfort in a mountain bike. You can play around with the position and alter the stem length.

You must be aware that mountain bikes offer short stem length for increasing the responsiveness in steering.

These short trails facilitate best on technical trails. This short saddle does not offer any advantage on the tarmac and it just pushes a rider backward. Yes, you guessed the solution right. All you need to do is to adjust it for a longer stem. This adjusting of the stem will help you with the speed issues but will compromise on the steering positions.

You can adjust the position by fixing the saddle height. The off-road requires the saddle down and out of the way but this is not the case with a mountain bike. But as far as the on-road biking is concerned we rather prefer the saddle height to be relatively high for one rides for long on roads in one position.

The height is needed so one could rotate and adjust the cranks with the use of heel. There is not a particular rule which you need to follow as the adjustment needs to get done according to the comfort level. You certainly do not want your hip to rock with quite a high saddle height.

Handlebar width:

The handlebars of the mountain bikes are intentionally styled wide. Thus, you need to cut down on both ends with a saw. You might question the reason for such an act. Well, this has something to do with aerodynamics.

You will potentially be improving it. By cutting the handlebars, you will essentially be matching it with your shoulder width and this will gift you a natural riding position. You will feel the difference your self and feel like a parachute when riding with mountain bike large width handlebars.

Potential Difficulty #4: Mountain Bike suspension 

Lastly, let’s talk about the suspension. You might be already aware of the fact that all the mountain bikes do not possess suspension frames or forks. But if your one does then you need to utilize the lockout facility present to you.

As the suspension on the road results in an inefficient ride. Even if your bike does not possess a lockout option then you can fix your shocks to the level of maximum firmness.

You should try locking the front and rear shock for much efficiency. Have we talked about the paddles yet? If your mountain bike possesses stock pedal then you would want them swapped with a clipless pedal. This again depends on your preference, and there is no hard-fast rule. If you pedal with appreciable traction then you need not worry.

Final words On Can I ride a mountain bike on the road:

You must have noticed by now that all the recommendations mentioned above are suggested for riding a mountain bike only on the tarmac. If you want to use a mountain bike for multi-purpose then you need to think a little as all these replacements are not easy ones.

The swapping options work well if your major time goes into on-riding and on occasional off-road but if the situation is vice-versa then the recommended approach is to get an affordable road or commuter bike. As these are too many adjustments for making use of mountain bike on tarmacs.

Note: If you are looking for an in-depth review of other best mountain bikes then scan this.