Mountain bike vs Hybrid bike what is the difference & which is best?

Mountain bike vs Hybrid bike what is the difference & which is best?

Mountain bike vs Hybrid bike
Mountain bike vs Hybrid bike

Many of you are still confused about choosing one of two that is a mountain bike or a hybrid bike, as both are strong durable, and can be used for long rides, both bicycles are comfortable and come with a straight handlebar.

What is a mountain bike or hybrid bike good for?

MTB bikes are built for providing better performance during off-road cycling. MTB cycles are best for dealing with terrains like gravel, muddy forest paths, or challenging trails. While on the other hand hybrid bikes are the most versatile bike. These bikes come with a robust frame which allows them to cope well with larger loads.

Hybrid bikes can be used on city rides, and you can also use them on gravel paths or forest trails. But you can’t use a hybrid bike on challenging terrain and trails as the hybrid bike comes with narrow tires and has different frame geometry in comparison to a mountain bike.

Most hybrid bike comes with a simple short-travel suspension fork and has no suspension elements at the rear while dual suspension can be seen on mtb cycle. There is plenty of differences between both bicycles which we will discuss in depth later in this article.

Mountain bike vs Hybrid bike: what is the difference?

The main difference between a hybrid bike and a mountain bike is that a hybrid bike comes with a more lightweight and aerodynamic frame, and narrower tire. The hybrid bike is equipped with rims brakes instead of disc brakes, and generally, they don’t have dual suspension. The above specification makes a hybrid bike best for road, gravel, and normal trails but hybrid cycles can not be ridden in extreme conditions.

Mountain vs Hybrid bike difference #1- Suspension

When it comes to suspension, you will find that most MTB bikes have dual suspension as these bicycles are designed to provide a comfortable ride on the most challenging terrain and trails where traditional bike struggles.

Hybrid bikes come with a simple short travel suspension to keep weight and cost less. Hybrid bikes spend most of their time on paved roads. Most hybrid bikes don’t have suspension, their Low-pressure tires act as a suspension which allows riders to comfortably handle road bumps. Although you can buy a hybrid bike with a front suspension for comfortable cycling on gravel and normal trails.

MTB vs. Hybrid bikes difference #2- Frame

By seeing the frame geometry you can easily identify an MTB or a Hybrid bike. The frame of the hybrid bike is much closer to a road bike than a Mountain bike. The frame used in hybrid bikes is lighter and slimmer. The hybrid bike frame is less strong and less durable and because of that hybrid bikes are not ideal to be ridden on challenging terrain and trails. Lower frame weight and aerodynamic frame design make the hybrid cycle more efficient for city riding.

MTB vs. Hybrid bikes difference #3- Brakes

Hybrid bikes are mostly used for casual riding or short commutes so added disc brakes power is usually unnecessary that is why most hybrid bikes are equipped with rim brakes. Although you can also buy a hybrid bike with disc brakes, it totally depends on you.

When cycling in forest or mountain trails you are totally unaware of the obstacles that you have to face. These obstacles can be potholes, deadly turns, or big rocks. So it is very important to have a quick and responsive braking system. This quick and responsive braking system helps you to stop or slow down your bike on dangerous turns and that is why most mountain bikes are equipped with disc brakes.

The performance of the disc brakes remains unaffected by the weather condition and added stopping power makes your cycling journey safer. Disc brake stops your bicycle at right time and reduces the chances of an accident.

Mountain bike vs. Hybrid bikes #4- Gearing

Mountain bikes are designed to be ridden on a wide variety of terrains from flat to extreme climbs, which is why mountain bikes are equipped with a wide range of gears to assist riders in different scenarios.

While on the other hand hybrid bikes are more likely to spend time on paved roads, they are occasionally used on hills or any challenging terrain which you why hybrid bikes have fewer gears in comparison to MTB. Few gears mean less weight, and lighter cycles provide better performance on roads.

Mountain bike vs. hybrid bike #5-Tires

MTB cycles are equipped with wide knobby tires, these big and wide tires provide better traction on both wet and dry surfaces. MTB bikes have more aggressive treads, these aggressive treads provide better mechanical grip on soft trails, while their knobs dig into the dirt to provide better traction.

During off-road cycling, these Wide knobby tires help in getting amazing performance but these big tires fail to deliver the same performance on paved roads. These wide tires create more friction and slow you down on paved roads.

Hybrid bikes have comparably thinner tires than MTB, thin tires reduce the rolling friction and help the rider to ride a bicycle with greater efficiency.

Tires used in hybrid bikes are thinner than road bikes, these extra wide tires can comfortably handle road bumps and absorb the shock so that you can get a smooth and comfortable ride.

Most of the hybrid bikes you will see around are equipped with 700c tires (28 inches), which is the standard for road bikes.

Mountain bike vs. Hybrid bike difference #6- handlebars

Most mountain bikes and hybrid comes with a flat or riser handlebar. Due to the heavy usage of the hybrid bike on city roads, A drop or mustache-type handlebar is also used in hybrid bikes. This drop or mustache-type handlebar makes the hybrid bike more efficient for road riding.

If you have decided to buy an mtb cycle then here are some best mtb bikes that you can buy as per your budget MTB under 5000, MTB under 10000, MTB under 20000

MTB vs hybrid bike: which is best for commuting?

when it comes to short to medium commutes hybrid bikes are best as these bikes offer the best features of both road bikes and mountain bikes. These combined features of both bikes allow riders to comfortably deal with a wide variety of situations.

hybrid bikes get the upper hand over road bikes until and unless the commute is not really long. They will provide a much more comfortable and effortless ride than a normal road bike. A hybrid bike’s wide tires can handle unexpected road obstacles more comfortably than a traditional road bike.

Mountain bikes are only suitable for commuting if your way has challenging road situations like stone, rough roads, tree roots, and too many road bumps, etc.

Mountain bikes are highly durable and comfortable, their robust frame, powerful disc brakes, and wide knobby tires allow you to efficiently tackle any obstacle that is coming your way and give you a smooth and comfortable ride.

Here are the best MTB under 10000 which are best for commuting.

can I take my hybrid bike on trail?

The answer to this question depends on the trail. You can ride your hybrid bike on dirt bike trails, gravel trails, or paved trails but if the trail is full of potholes and obstacles like rocks, and tree roots then you can’t ride your hybrid bike on such terrain. If you ride your hybrid on the such trail then your journey is going to be very uncomfortable and your bike components may also break down due to heavy impact. Hybrid bikes don’t have dual suspension, you only get a front suspension.

The hybrid bike comes with a simple short-travel front suspension, this suspension can’t match the impact-wearing capacity of an MTB suspension. MTB comes with big and wide knobby tires, these low-pressure tires also act as suspension. These tires minimize the generated impact from the ground and the remaining impact is absorbed by the dual suspension. This is how an MTB bike helps you in getting a smooth and comfortable ride on a wide range of terrains.

on the other hand, hybrid bikes are equipped with many narrow tires, these tires provide great performance on paved roads but fail to deliver the same performance on challenging terrains. So if you ride your hybrid bike in such terrain, you will put your hybrid bike at risk of serious damage.

Hybrid bike vs. Mountain bike which is faster?

Both bicycles are fast but in their own territory. when you travel with a hybrid bike on gravel trails, dirt trails, or paved trails then you will find hybrid bikes perform better on such terrain. on the other hand, when you ride on terrains that are filled with potholes, tree roots, rock, or loose sand and mud. In such terrain, you will find mountain bikes are faster than hybrid bikes.

Let’s take a look at why these bikes are fast in their respective territory from a design perspective.

Tire rolling resistance-

When you see the tire of both bikes then you will find that there is a huge difference in their width. The tires used in the hybrid bike are much thinner than MTB tires. MTB is equipped with big and wide knobby tires, these tires have aggressive treads that dig into the loose mud or sand and provide better grip and traction.

These low-pressure tires deform over the terrain and distribute the overall load to a much larger area, instead of getting stuck into them they roll over the obstacles. Because of wider tires, MTB bikes are slower than hybrid bikes on paved roads as wide tires offer high rolling resistance.

on the other hand, a hybrid bike is equipped with thinner tires, thinner tires are responsible for less rolling resistance. The tires used are of larger diameter, which means a single pedal stroke helps you go further. Big rims and low rolling resistance makes hybrid bikes faster than MTB bikes


The frame of hybrid bikes is lighter in weight and has an aerodynamic design that reduces friction. This reduced friction help rider to travel at a much higher speed than an MTB cycle.

While on the other hand frame of the MTB is built to handle heavy impact. The frame is made of hi-tensile steel and is heavy in weight, the frame design is less aerodynamic friendly. Because of their heavy frame weight and less aerodynamic design MTBs are slower than hybrid bikes


The seating position greatly affects your bicycle’s speed. In the case of hybrid bikes, the rider tends to sit upright position which is comfortable and best for everyday use. This upright seating position allows users to comfortably ride a hybrid bike for a long.

while a mountain bike has a sporty and forward-leaning seating position which is good for off-road cycling. This forward-leaning position allows the rider to pedal with a much higher force so that they can climb on the hill.

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