Mountain Bike Vs Road Bike: Which one is best for you?

When you are searching for that low impact form of exercise, cycling can be the most appropriate. It is embraced by both children, young and old adults since it’s not that expensive.

You also don’t need a training coach for the exercise, and it is also fun. 

It’s simple to combine cycling with your daily activities such as riding to school, work and shop or when visiting friends.

Regular physical activities such as riding keeps you physically and mentally fit. This improves your health condition preventing you from serious diseases such as stroke, obesity, hypertension, diabetes.

Bike can also be preferred while you want to go hiking, whether on flat areas or rough terrains. This article will give insights on what bike to go for.


What to Look For???

​​​​​​​​There are several things that you ought to look for when you start cycling. Some of the key expectations to have include;​​​​​

Fitness Goals


Everyone aspires to be physically fit, but some can’t afford the gym fees. Others don’t like gyms and prefer alone time training session. Herein, cycling can be a substitute for all that.

Bike gives your muscles strength, proper body balance, stamina and full body potency. 

If you are regaining form an injury or illness, low intense cycling will be ideal, in order to regain the strength and power.

Health Benefits

​If you are looking for a way to improve your health condition especially if you are having heart problems, breathing, obesity, stroke, diabetes or headaches, consider to take riding a bike as one of your daily routines.

You can also combine it with your everyday activities. It helps you burn the excess calories, improving respiration, and shading off excess fat in the body.

Mentally, riding lets you be in sound condition and reducing the incidence of a headache.

Riding Terrains

If you are planning to ride along tough terrains, then a mountain bike will be ideal for you. For those that prefer riding within the city center or along a flat road then consider a road bike.

Both are designed in a way that you get the perfect experience. Each and every bike is designed to suit every cyclist.

Riding Buddy


Some may prefer riding with their spouses, kids, friends or even the whole family, especially on weekends.

Before inviting them for the ride, know the kind of riding they prefer. Some might  prefer cross-counties, mountain riding or racing, or even a downhill riding.

This will allow you to know the ideal bike to go for.

Ride Quality

This will depend on the distance you choose to cover, your experience while riding, your speed, power, stability and balance.

Were you able to balance your bike, reach your preferred speed and maintain your strength to cover your preferred distance?

These are core in determining the ride quality.

Why Give Mountain Bikes Your Thought?

Mountain bikes are the most common for many cyclists. There are several things that they offer.

[On a side note: If you are a beginner, read this post]

Here are some benefits that may make you want to own a mountain bike;

Health Benefits

Cycling along rough terrains and mountains has a number of health benefits. 

It guarantees your weight control, reduces the risk of obesity, strengthens your stamina and balance that you need even when walking.

There is also an improved joint movement when cycling downhill, increased muscle strength and flexibility, better posture and coordination of your body. 

You will also enjoy a better posture for proper coordination of body parts. Taking time to ride improves your bowels and beat the illness.

Training Benefits


If you are looking for stamina, power, better control and focus while riding, then train with a mountain bike. In case you are aspiring to participate in mountain or rough terrain races then this is the bike for you.

It also equips you with experience in downhill riding. With wider wheels, it gives you balance while training. It can also be used to improve muscle fitness and strength.

Speed of a Mountain Bike

There are a lot of things that may slow your cycling. 

However, with a mountain bike, the speed is guaranteed. These bikes are fitted with shock absorbers that in turn suppresses some of the rider’s power when applying it to the pedal. This makes it move slow along the terrains.

Mountain bike tires are wide with treads that ensure a larger surface area is covered. 

This, in turn, allows them to hold the ground reducing their speed as much effort is needed for forward position.

Bike Size

If you want comfort, stability, control, better balance, and safety, it’s advisable that you choose a mountain bike that suits your size. This will depend on your height.

Mountain bikes are always measured in frame size which is given in inches. Sizes range from small (13”-15”), small-medium (15”-17”), medium (17”-19”), large (19”-21”), and extra-large varying from 21” to 23”.

[ On a side note, if you aren’t sure which size to choose, read this mountain bike size guide]

These bikes make it easier for you to handle them in rough terrains due to their small frame. 

Keep in mind that whenever you are buying, and when on top of it, your legs are able to touch the ground. This is to ensure better balance when riding.

Wheel Size

Mountain bike wheel designs are ideal to enable swift movements and ensure a proper balance for the rider. 

Three major wheel measurements are ranging from; 26″, 25″ and 29″ with the following ISO measurements; 559, 584 and 622 respectively.

Rim specifications for the above standard measurement are almost similar with downhill bikes having 40mm and lightweight cross county style rim having 19mm.

There is another design for larger mountain bikes, with measurements ranging from 44’ to 100’ to provide a wider surface area for their outsized tires measuring 3”-5”.

Maintenance of a Mountain Bike

Maintaining this kind of a bike is not that difficult. It simply entails cleaning using biodegradable cleaners like a clean piece of cloth. Make sure you clean every part of your bicycle to look speckling clean.

Inspect your brakes to ensure they are in good working condition. Watch your wheels, inspect its gear train. Lubricate your bike and check the condition of the cable to ensure they are in good condition.


There is always a bike for every rider. It only depends on what kind of bike you want. Therefore, the price of a mountain bike will depend on the quality. It ranges from $500 to $3500 and above.



Why Give Road Bikes Your Thought?

Road bikes are not popular to many as they are used mostly by professionals. However, they have great benefits and you may want to own one.  Here are some of the benefits;

Health Benefits

With its top speed and aerodynamics, road bikes allow you to burn much calories, decreasing body fat levels, improves your pulse rate and heartbeat. This reducing incidences of stroke and hypertension.

It also improves your cardiovascular fitness, decreased stress level, improved stamina and strength. Faster riding reduces depression and anxiety by concentrating and focusing on the road while riding.

Cycling of road bikes will improve your mental health and also reduces issues of boredom, headache and improves your sleep.

Training Benefits

If you are an enthusiastic rider, who is aspiring for top speed to conquer the game, go for this bike. It provides you with the right speed you need. Better speed calls for a better balance and control.

Training with road bikes allows you to have a fast forward position that brings forth high power outputs while riding. They are also advantageous in aerodynamics. It’s easy to learn riding on a flat area using a road bike.

Speed of a Road Bike


Compared to mountain bike, road bikes are known for their robust speed. This is because they are made of a light material with a long frame. Again, their frame geometry distributes light weight across for better balance, control, and speed.

The smaller road tires ensure rolling resistance and rotational mass to give you a top rider experience. They make sure that you enjoy your comfort and flexibility.

Bike Size

Choosing the right size of road bike lets you enjoy the quality of your ride. This will rely on your height, to give you the perfect balance and control when riding.

Same criteria for measuring the size of a mountain bike is used in road bike; the size of the frame.

Smallest road bike (47-48 cm), smaller road bike (49-50cm), small road bike (51-53cm), medium size road bike (54-55cm), large road bike (56-58cm), larger road bike (58-60cm), and largest measuring (61-63cm).

To be certainly sure that you have your perfect size, try sitting on your road bike and let your feet freely touch the ground.

Wheel Size

Road bikes have a unique wheel size that make the bike very comfy and stable. The wheel sizes are different and always attached with rim specification.

The sizes starting from 700c/622 mmx19 mm (rim specification) for adults, kid’s standard wheel measurements range from 650c/571mm and will always have their rim specifications attached.

Maintenance of a Road Bike

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Maintenance​​​​ is simple and gives your bike longer life and keeping in good shape. Make sure your gear train is in good condition and brakes are working properly.

Lubricate your bike for a smooth ride, wash after using, check your headset and gear cables, change worn out pedals, free hubs, derailleur to ensure all are in perfect condition.

Constantly check your tires in case there is a slow puncture. Replace your bar tape if they are old and worn out.


Quality is what every rider want to enjoy cycling. Road bikes prices depend on unique features which will help you experience good cycling. Prices range from $ 500 to $ 10,000.



Can a Mountain Bike be Used as a Road Bike?

You might be having a mountain bike, but want to go off terrains and use it as a road. This is very possible since mountain bikes are versatile. 

The geometry of a mountain bike allows being used in long distance, giving you an upright cycling position with better balance and control.

With its wider wheels, it makes sure you maintain your ride on the road and gives a good grip and comes in different sizes. The tires are durable making you conquer asperity of off-road riding.

It is easier to move along an inclined plane, due to its unique feature of mountain riding. It is also relatively fast.

Does Mountain Bike Burn More Calories Than Road Bike?


Which of the two help you burn more calories is still debatable. As much as both burn calories, a road bike gives you a chance to burn the extra fats. 

This is made possible since it can cover a long distance in a short period and it is quite speedy.

It builds your cardiovascular if you spend more time cycling. A mountain bike on the other has too much technical work involved making it not burn much calories.

Also, it takes less time to move the pedals with its low speed compared to a road bike. This means that it takes time to cover a longer distance, hence fewer calories burning. 

However, it is up to you to choose the one that helps you burn calories the way you want

All in All

Having dug deeper into the difference between the two bikes, the gap between them is not that wide. Mountain bikes can be used on the road as they are versatile.

Road bikes are much faster and you can also try them on rough terrains. They differ slightly in training benefits due to their difference in riding areas. In health, their benefits are almost similar.

Price varies due to the quality of both bikes and added unique features. However, road bikes are a bit costly. Get a bike that suits your need and serves you right. Go for the more versatile one also to save money.

Finally, enjoy cycling with the right bike…

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