Mountain Bikes Vs. Road Bikes


The naked eye might catch only the superficial differences between a road bicycle and a mountain bicycle. And while there are some crossovers, the two are essentially designed to serve entirely different purposes. Here’s how they both stack up.


Try: Raleigh Talus 29 Carbon Elite ($3,000;

Bike Types: Cross country, all-day endurance, free-ride biking, downhill biking.

Uses: Made to handle terrain obstacles; typically for unpaved environments.

Terrain: Built for tough trails and roads that contain rocks, logs, branches, and even small boulders.

Tire Size: They vary in size and are thicker and more durable than those used on road bikes.

Frame Size: Frames often correlate with body proportions. A salesperson should be able to determine a rider’s proper size.

Handlebars: Come with flat or riser bars but what you choose has a lot to do with your bike and how you ride it.

Related: Best Mountain Bikes To Suit Your Budget in 2021


Try: Jamis Xenith Endura Elite ($3,200;

Bike Types: Touring, hybrid, utility, roadster, recumbent.

Uses: Designed to go fast on open roads, ideal for fitness enthusiasts and competitive riders.

Terrain: Best on paved roads to reach optimal speed and acceleration. Unlike MTB’s, they have no rear suspension.

Tire Size: Narrow tires meant for riding on smooth surfaces; however mountain bikes might be better for city streets, where the pavement is often uneven.

Frame Size: Lightweight and made of aluminum, carbon fiber, or titanium.

Handlebars: Typically dropped (or curled) to accommodate many speed settings, but there are flat-bar styles as well.

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