Bicycle riding is one of the most preferred physical activities all around the world. Not only is it adventurous but also riding a bicycle has lots of health benefits. Even though all the bikes look the same from the outside, if we delve deep into the features and their working mechanism, you will realize that bikes do have categories.
The two most common bikes that you will find in the market are road bikes and mountain bikes. It’s pretty clear from the name itself that the road bikes are ideal for normal commutes on even terrain with no sloping and surface unevenness. On the other hand, mountain bikes or MTBs are ideal for off-road journeys or trailing. One will encounter uneven topography and sloping lands.
Since very few riders have a proper understanding of both the cycle types, we will explain the prime factors of differentiation between road bikes and mountain bikes.
Mountain Bike Vs Road Bike
|Features||Mountain Bike||Road Bike|
|Rear cassette||12 to 25||11 to 32|
|Wheels & Tires||Wider, and larger||Slender and smaller|
|Handlebars||Straight and same height||T-shaped with curved handles|
Types of Road Bikes And Mountain Bikes
Road bikes can be classified into different types based on their features and structural frameworks. Here are the major classifications of the road bikes you can find in the market.
- Race Bikes
From the name itself, you can understand that these bikes are preferred for racing, and hence they have a lightweight frame with slender styling. The handlebars are of low stature with multiple gearing options for speed changes. These bikes are made from higher speed output rather than comfort. The design is aerodynamic to reduce the air friction and help the riders cut through faster.
- Gravel Bikes
Gravel bikes are the new modifications since they are made for difficult terrain conditions like graveled roads, trail paths, etc. Despite having certain features of the MTBs like a sturdy metal frame, wider tires, and disc brakes, the entire frame design speaks more of comfort.
- Endurance Bikes
Endurance bikes have a lightweight frame with the sole focus on comfort rather than speed. Staring from the handlebars’ alignment to the seat, the bikes are designed in a way where riders can travel long distances without sacrificing their comfort and safety.
- Aero Bikes
Aero bikes have gained popularity from the concept of aerodynamics, and hence, their frames are lighter and meant to cut through the air with agility and speed. The rider wouldn’t have to put extra effort into pedaling while cycling, no matter how much the air friction force is.
Mountain bikes are mainly of four types, each suitable for a certain type of commute.
- Cross Country Bikes
The cross country bikes have a similar design to that of the road bikes. The only difference is that these bikes have structures that will increase the speed and efficiency during uphill journeys. Compromises have been made for the descent, but climbing slopes with cross-country bikes is very easy.
- Trail Bikes
Trail bikes are ideal for both ascend and descend and hence, these are the most common ones in the market. They have wider wheelers, stable frames, better suspension, and several other features which will help the rider to complete both the uphill and downhill journeys will ease.
- Enduro Bikes
An enduro bike is just the opposite of the trail bikes since they might assist in ascends, but the design focuses on a clean and effortless descent down the slope.
- DH Bikes
DH bikes are more downhill bikes that can travel on a path covered with several obstacles, starting from boulders to pits and holes.
Benefits of Road Bikes And Mountain Bikes
- Road bikes are quite tough, and hence, they can be easily used for everyday commutes, even for long distances.
- These bikes are usually lightweight and mostly focus on having aerodynamic designs. This is because while traveling on normal roads, the air friction can reduce the cycles’ overall speed.
- Road bikes focus mainly on speeds, and hence, they have slimmer wheels, low handlebar height compared to the saddle, lightweight breaks, fewer forks, and others. In most road bikes, comfort isn’t the main priority.
- Even though comfort is the prime focus of these bikes, the frame and the related parts speak high about ergonomics. Hence, maintaining your posture or adjusting the bike according to your needs wouldn’t be a difficult task.
- As they do not come with multiple gearing configurations, it’s easier to maintain a uniform speed throughout the commute.
- The mountain bikes always come with proper suspension so that they can absorb the vibration during the journeys. This reduces the pressure both on the bike frame and the rider.
- Usually, mountain bikes are made from steel, so they are more stable than normal road bikes. The inclusion of aerodynamic designs further increases the deficiency of the MTBs, making them perfect for trail and off roads.
- The speed and acceleration of the mountain bikes are enhanced to overcome the obstacles and reduce the traction against the surface.
- Multiple gearing options are available in most bikes so that the rider can easily shift the speed without pedaling faster.
- The wheel size of the mountain bikes is available in three options. Hence the riders can choose the most optimal size to help them in both uphill and downhill commutes.
Pros and Cons Of Road Bikes And Mountain Bikes
Pros of road bikes
- It can use it for long-distance commutes
- Cheaper than having cars and much easier to ride
- Aerodynamic design to help the riders cut through air friction easily
- Maintain posture is easy with road bikes, thanks to the ergonomics
Pros of mountain bikes
- Helps in improving the mind and strengthening the focus
- Reduces the stress on joints like the knees, hips, and others
- It can use it for adventurous commutes on hills and trails
- Highly stable frames design to increase the safety
Cons of road bikes
- Comfort is not the main priority of the road bikes
- Lacks multiple gearing options
- Usually have slender tires with less endurance
Cons of mountain bikes
- Heavier frames and needs expertise for easy maneuvering
- Gearing options are complicated for mountain bikes
Here, we have explained the road bikes and the mountain bikes, starting from their types to their benefits. Based on your requirements and the type of terrain you usually want to cover, you need to choose the perfect bike.