Are mountain bikes good for commuting? if you also have the same doubt then you are at the right place. The quick answer to this question is yes, mountain bikes are great for commuting as these are the most comfortable bikes. Mountain bikes are capable of handling the toughest terrain situation that you will ever face on Indian terrains.
No other bike can offer the comfort level and durability that is offered by a mountain bike. These bicycles offer a comfortable upright position and straight handlebar. MTB bikes are equipped with a stronger frame, responsive brakes, and powerful shock absorbers.
Mountain bikes are best for commuting on Rough Terrain
Potholes, broken roads, and dirt can be great trouble for those who commute on a road bike or hybrid bike but these obstacles are no problems for those who use a mountain bike for commuting. Mountain bikes can give you a comfortable ride even on the toughest terrain as these bikes are equipped with low pressures tires and powerful shock absorbers. Both these absorb most of the shock so that rider doesn’t feel any discomfort and can ride the bicycle with their full focus that is why mountain bikes are the most loved bikes for off-road cycling.
Perfect for commuting in Poor weather conditions
Commuter faces a lot of challenges in monsoon seasons. In monsoon, potholes get filled with water and due to poor visibility riders fail to detect the potholes, broken roads, stones, or breakers. If you ride a hybrid bike or a road bike in such condition then you are going to put yourself and your bike at great risk.
Road bikes and hybrid bikes are equipped with thin rims and narrow tires. Narrow tires failed to provide a better grip on a wet road. Because of this, your bike might slip on the road.
Components like rims, frame, or gears of a road bike or a hybrid bike are not designed to handle such heavy impact. These components may break down or bend if your speedy bike gets into a pothole. If any of these components fail then you will get stuck in the middle of your way.
If the commuter failed to maintain the right speed to tackle the obstacle and if the bicycle doesn’t have proper suspension then the rider can lose control of the cycle. Your fun ride can turn into your last ride.
All these problems can be solved if you commute on a mountain bike. Using a mountain bike can be a great option if you commute in monsoon season. Mountain bikes have a strong frames, strong rims, and highly responsible brakes. The components of mountain bikes are specially designed to survive heavy impacts.
If you compare a mountain bike with a road bike or hybrid bike then you will find out that MTB has stronger suspension, and disc brakes and its frames are designed to cope with larger loads.
Mountain bike makes a rider feel secure while commuting in poor weather condition. Hence mountain bikes are good for commuting.
Powerful braking system
Most mountain bikes are equipped with disc brakes, Disc brakes are known for their stopping power. If you check the performance of different brakes in different weather condition then you will find out that the performance of the disc brakes remain consistent in all weather condition while the performance of the other type of braking system got affected by the weather.
Because of this reasons most professional cyclists prefer disc brakes. These powerful brakes help you in stopping in time and save you from accidents.
Provides better grip and traction
No other bicycle can beat a mountain bike in terms of performance when it comes to off-road cycling. Mountain bike tires can better handle the obstacles like potholes, bumps, and debris. When you commute to work, you will spend the majority of the time on unpaved trails. Mountain bikes are equipped with wide knobby tires, their aggressive tread digs deep into the dirt and provides you great traction on rough terrains.
MTB tires allow you to get a secure ride on both wet and dry terrains. But mtb are slower than road or hybrid bikes on paved streets, if you ride your mountain bike on a paved road then your tires will wear out. To avoid tire wear out you have to replace wide knobby tires with slick tires. Slick tires are responsible for low rolling resistance and because of this low rolling resistance road bikes or hybrid bikes are easier to pedal in comparison to mountain bikes.
If you want to go faster on roads then you have to pedal at a high pace. Another disadvantage of mtb tires is that they add weight to your bike. Heavyweight slows down your bike, and due to heavy weight handling the bicycle becomes a bit difficult.
Mountain bikes are good for commuting in terms of comfortable riding position. The geometry of the mountain bike ensures that the rider remains in an upright position. This upright position is more comfortable in comparison to the lean forward cycling position. During cycling, this upright position gives the rider ability to see more of your surroundings.
while in the case of road bikes, road bike geometry forces the cyclist to lean forward which limits visibility. You can’t ride in such a position for long as this will put your back under unnecessary stress.
In addition, Leaning forward position is aerodynamic friendly which means pedaling becomes a bit easier. While the upright position is less aerodynamic so you might find pedaling a bit harder in comparison to road bikes.
So you if want to commute with comfort then a mountain bike is for you.
Suspension can be really helpful when commuting on an unknown path but there are several disadvantages to having suspension. Let’s have a quick on the advantages and disadvantages of suspension.
Mountain bikes are equipped with high-quality suspension. This suspension absorbs most of the shock and helps you in getting a comfortable ride on rough terrain. Suspension adds more weight to your bicycle which means you need more energy to get your bike moving.
Most cycle comes with dual suspension, and due to these dual suspensions, you can’t attach a mudguard, rack, or pannier on a mountain bike. You are forced to carry a backpack so that you can carry your important stuff with you.
Lock-in & Lock-out suspension features are also available in many mtb bikes, this lock suspension feature helps you in converting your mountain bike suspension into rigid suspension. This feature allows you to turn your bicycle into a suspension cycle or a rigid cycle as per requirement. This lock-in and lock-out suspension can be seen in MTB under 20000.
Suspension increase the weight of the cycle and weight slows down your bicycle, so you have to pedal an mtb a bit harder than a road bike. If comfort is your first preference then mountain bikes are good for commute and if you want to ride faster then road bikes or a hybrid will be good for the commute. If you are planning to buy a mountain bike then check out these MTB under 15000.
Durability and functionality
Road bikes or hybrid bikes are fast but they offer less functionality than mountain bike, these bikes can’t match the durability of mountain bikes. While on the other hand mountain bikes are more durable and offers better functionality than road bike or hybrid bike.
Mountain bikes are built to provide a comfortable ride even on the poorest terrain condition Rider can also mount a front or rear rack, or pannier so that they can carry a lot of stuff during the commute. Mountains are good for those commuters who usually want to take a lot of personal stuff with them when going out for a commute.
Are mountain bike good for long distance?
Mountain bikes are good for long distances in off-road areas. The functionality and durability offered by mountain bikes allow riders to focus on enjoying their surroundings without worrying about any wear and tear. The functionality and durability of a mountain bike help you reach your destination comfortably even if the path to your destination is full of obstacles like potholes, boulders, tree roots, and sand.
If you will use a mountain bike on a paved road, you may find yourself pedaling a bit harder than traditional bikes, yet you are not going much faster. This is due to the wide knobby tires, wide tires result in more rolling resistance. So to keep your bike moving you have to pedal with more intensity than usual.
Wide-knobby tire is the main reason why most cyclist road bike or hybrid bike for the commute but this issue can be easily solved by replacing wide-knobby tires with more pavement-suitable tires. This is how you can use your mountain bike for long rides.
Advantages of using a mountain bike for long distance
Mountain bikes are Strong and comfortable
Mountain bikes are widely famous because of their sturdiness and comfortable rides. Crossing rocky roads or mountain trails on a road bike or a hybrid bike is nearly impossible as these bikes are built for road rides, if you use them on such challenging terrain then your bike might break down. New mountain bikes that are coming into the market as much lighter than old mountain bikes. These newly launched mountain bikes are better for climbing hills. If your budget is low and you want to buy a mountain bike then you can choose the right mtb from this list of Best MTB under 5000
Modern mountain bikes are fast and lightweight
Modern mountain bikes are very light in weight. These modern mountain bikes allow riders to travel at very higher speeds on unpaved roads and trails. Modern mountain bikes are great for long distances as bikes are comfortable and reduce fatigue so that you can enjoy trips better.
Mountain bikes provide better grip and traction on unpaved paths
Mountain bikes are equipped with wide tires, these wide tires have aggressive trends that dig into the unpaved road and give you better grip and traction. MTB bikes are great for exploring off-road. if you use any other traditional bike on unpaved roads, you will be pushing it across the road instead of riding it.
Disadvantages of using a mountain bike for long distance
Mountain bikes are slow on road
Wide tires increase the rolling resistance which is why mountain bikes are slower than road or hybrid bikes. A mountain is 10-30% slower than a road bike. But this doesn’t matter when you are exploring new terrain and you don’t know about the obstacles that are going to come your way. Because mountain bikes effortlessly cross any obstacle without any uncomfortable.
Suppose you are riding toward your destination and after crossing half of your path then you came to know that rest of the path is full of obstacles like potholes, big rocks, or tree roots. Walking and pushing your bike throughout the path is the only option. So mountain bikes are best for exploring unknown paths.
Upright body position
As we have discussed above mountain bike offers an upright cycling position, while road bike offers a lean-forward position. when you ride a bicycle in a forward lean position then you find yourself in a more aerodynamic position. This lean-forward position is one of many reasons why road bikes are faster than mountain bikes. while on the other hand, the upright position is less aerodynamic although it is comfortable and is great for short rides. An upright position creates more air resistance which reduces your speed and affects your cycling efficiency.
How do I make my mountain bike better for commuting?
Mountain bikes are well known for their comfort and sturdiness. MTB is fast and can be used for long rides on unpaved paths, But mountain bikes fail to deliver the same performance on pavement. You will not face any issues when you can use a mountain bike for a short commute on road but using mtb for a long ride can be a bit uncomfortable. We will tell you about some changes that you can make to your mountain bike for making it ideal for commuting on the pavement.
Carry a repair tool kit
Mountain bikes are highly strong and durable, and they hardly need repair while on the road but when you are going out for a long commute it is better to prepare for a possible issue that you might face during long rides on the pavement. That is why we advise you to take a repair tool kit with you.
Replacing knobby tires with pavement suitable tires
If you are planning to take your mountain bike for a long pavement ride, then your ride can be a bit challenging due to wide knobby tires. These wide tires are responsible for high rolling resistance and because of that pedaling an MTB is a bit harder than a road bike or a hybrid bike.
Rolling resistance is the biggest problem faced by an MTB rider but this problem can be solved by replacing knobby tires with pavement suitable tires. These narrow tires will help you in cycling on the pavement at a much better speed.
Replace the handlebar with a comfortable one
Mountain bikes are equipped with flat handlebars, flat handlebars limit the position of your wrist and shoulder. So when you use mtb for long commutes then you could experience pain in your wrist. You can replace your handlebar with a comfortable one so that you can get a better holding experience.
Mount a bag, rack, or pannier for carrying essentials
Mountain bikes are equipped with a highly strong and durable frame, these frames are built to handle heavy impact without any wear and tear. When going out for a long you need to carry a lot of things with you like water, snacks, an emergency repair bag, or health kits, etc for that, you have to mount a bag, rack, or pannier. Mountain bikes can easily carry these bags and racks.
Check your bike before the commute
Before taking your mountain bike for a long ride, check the brakes and tire pressure. Also, check for other essentials that you might need during a long ride.
Yes, Mountain bikes are hard to ride. There are mainly three reasons why mountain bikes are hard to ride that is high rolling resistance, heavy bike components, and upright riding position.
Mountain bikes are equipped with wide knobby tires, these wide knobby tires have a larger surface area that remains in contact with the ground. Large contact area means high rolling resistance and to overcome that rolling resistance you have to pedal harder.
Mountain bikes offer upright seating positions. This upright position is comfortable but this upright position is less aerodynamic and because of this upright position air resistance increases. To overcome this air resistance you have to pedal with high intensity.
MTB bikes are equipped with a lot of expensive components which increase the overall weight of the cycle and to keep your bicycle moving in the forward direction you have to pedal with more intensity
Yes, mountain bikes are fast on rough terrains but mountain bikes are slow on pavements. These bikes are equipped with wide tires which has aggressive treads. These aggressive treads dig deep into the sand and offer better grip on the wet and dry paths which helps the rider in commuting faster on challenging terrain.
If you replace wide knobby tires with pavement suitable tires then you can travel faster with a mountain on roads