Can You Commute On A Hardtail Mountain Bike?(Yes! See How)

Commute On A Hardtail Mountain Bike

Can You Commute On A Hardtail Mountain Bike?

Yes, a mountain bike, whether full suspension or hardtail, will handle the severities of the daily commute fine enough.

But if your entire commute happens to be on the road, they might not be your best option.

For those who have only one bike and love hitting the trails over the weekend, a mountain bike is multi-purpose enough to get them to work.

Essentially, hardtails bearing lockout forks come as the best commuter mountain bikes since you can easily make the fork rigid and save energy if you don’t need the suspension.

And if you ride to work on the trails without having to dodge the traffic, a mountain bike will be your best bet.

If you have just bought a hardtail, you might be wondering if you can ride it downhill.

Of course, you can ride your hardtail downhill, but it gives a different experience from a suspension mountain bike.

Indeed, every bump your back tire hits will be felt, but this is not necessarily a bad thing.

If you ride your hardtail downhill, you will want to avoid hitting such obstacles, and in the process, learn your bike better.

Picking the best path will become a survival tactic, forcing you to control your bike better.

Whether by choice or necessity, you will at one time find yourself at a point where you will ride your hardtail on a downhill course.

And it pays to be prepared before the day comes calling. But how do you prepare?-by riding downhill as it acts as your training!

You only need to remember that you will be absorbing all the rough rocks and bumps (there is no suspension to do that on your behalf).

So you will need to be smarter and avoid running over everything.

And again, hardtail bikes are XC bikes, meaning that the frames and tires are not too strong and can break easier than trail bikes.

So you will want to be more careful not to break your bike. Be keen to go easy on your bike.

Can I Use Mountain Bikes On A Regular Road?

The short and simple answer is “Yes,” you can ride a mountain bike on a regular road.

The design for mountain bikes is primarily meant for bike trails and might not perform nearly as well on a regular road.

However, you can ride it on a regular road. The above few sentences should serve as an adequate answer for those who wanted a yes or no answer.

However, if you want a few more things to consider regarding riding your mountain bike on a regular road, you will want to continue reading this article.

While many people buy their mountain bikes intending to ride them on bike trails, most riders will want to break the norm and ride them on a regular road.

They might want to take their mountain bike for a spin around the block or enjoy riding it on the road to where it joins that trail.

One thing we need to consider is that a bike is just that.

It will not matter much whether its a road bike, a mountain bike, a hybrid bike, or any other type of bike- it’s meant to be ridden.

Commute On A Hardtail Mountain Bike

Therefore, riding a mountain bike on a regular road is possible.

But different kinds of bikes are designed to be better at particular terrains , and mountain bikes are best ridden on bike trails.

You can compare this with shoes….different shoes are better at doing different stuff.

For instance, basketball shoes are best when playing soccer; walking shoes are best for walking while running shoes are best for running.

However, you can wear any shoes and still get your job done.

Is A Mountain Bike Good For Street Riding?

Yes, a mountain bike is good for street riding hype. But it will not be as swift as a road bike since it’s weightier and has knobby tires.

However, as you ride a mountain bike on the street, you can maul rough street paths that road bikes will struggle to do.

Additionally, suppose your love for mountain bikes is too strong that it pushes you to mountain bike ventures occasionally.

In that case, a single bike (mountain bike) will suffice, voiding the need for multiple bikes.

If you are serious about street riding, you need a hardtail mountain bike. There are plenty of such with a single front wheel suspension.

Alternatively, you can still opt for a full-suspension mountain bike, having both front and rear suspensions.

With such suspension, you will maneuver through the hard mountain terraces efficiently and absorb the shock.

However, you might not need this (suspension) when riding on the streets. And if you must have shock absorption, the least is best.

Consequently, hardtails are the best bikes for street riding in the mountain bike category.

However, if you still want to use your full suspension mountain bike on the street, there are ways to go about it.

For instance, if you tighten the suspension, minimizing it, you make your full-suspension bike a superb fit for the street.

On the other hand, you can change the tires. Since mountain bike tires are wide and knobby (to better handle rough terrains).

You will need to change them to slick and minimal since the former is a great hindrance to street riding.

Still, if you wish to use your mountain bike for street riding, you might need to consider changing to clip-less pedals.

It’s indisputable that flat pedals are a great option for mountain biking. However, the same thing cannot be said about street riding.

This is especially so when you have a mountain bike on the scene. As you know, a mountain bike is quite difficult in addition to being heavy to ride during drops.

But with clip-less pedals, there is better power transfer from your feet to the pedals, leading to faster rides and minimizing any chances of feeling tired.

Can Mountain Bikes Be Used On Sidewalks?

Yes, riding your mountain bike on the sidewalk is perfectly fine. But it’s not necessarily safe for the pedestrian.

If the street is full of traffic, you can ride your mountain bike on the sidewalk or carefully ride between the cars if you are careful enough.

You need to note when riding on the sidewalk are pedestrians; you don’t want to knock down pedestrians with your bike.

Fortunately, mountain bikes easily handle potholes, sand, trash, leaves, and more with much ease since they have knobby tires.

Still, mountain bikes will handle getting on and off the sidewalk to avoid runners.

Additionally, if the road is somehow slippery from snow, a mountain bike will be better in handling than a road bike with poor traction.

For cyclists, it feels safer to ride on the sidewalks. However, pedestrians feel endangered whenever they see a mountain bike on the sidewalks.

Sometimes, it feels like seeing a car on the sidewalk. While it might feel safer for the bicyclist, many accidents have been occasioned by cyclists riding on the sidewalks.

This means that the threat of crashing is not necessarily eliminated by riding your mountain bike on the sidewalk.

You know how invisible riding your mountain bike on the sidewalk can make you. This is because motorists don’t expect to see them at driveways and crosswalks.

Mountain bikes with suspension are only partly good in the city. 

While suspension will easily take up imperfections on the road, too much of it will result in wasting your energy on bouncing more than you will be using your energy to pedal forwards. 

You only require medium front suspension for taking up the brunt of going up onto sidewalks, so that an XC bike might be your best bet.

You will realize that a trail bike has too much suspension play, translating into too much work.

What Is A Good Pace On A Mountain Bike?

A good pace on a mountain bike will dictate what is sustainable for you. There is scarcely any magic number that can define when or when you aren’t setting a good pace.

There are different physiological demands required for every course. Consequently, you will find that your numbers and numbers per hour are altered.

Indeed, it’s not uncommon for courses with similar elevation gain and loss to produce completely different numerical values.

And this depends on whether the climbs are gradual or steep, sustained or rolling, technical or flowy.

When biking, you want to know how to set a pace. When it comes to setting a pace on a mountain bike.

It will require you to listen to your body’s physiological signals (heart rate, respiration, muscle fatigue).

This will be handy in helping you utilize the terrain to your advantage. But you will need to ensure you focus on carrying momentum and using free speed where you can.

The most important thing in mountain biking is always to look ahead. It’s useful to anticipate what is ahead of you and what might be coming your way.

If you can shift before reaching the next hill, it will be easy to carry more speed and enjoy a faster time overall.

Why Are Mountain Bikes So Slow?

Mountain bikes cannot be slower unless there is something to compare them with. So I am comparing them with road bikes.

Yes, mountain bikes are slower than road bikes for several reasons.

A road bike has less mass, a smaller contact patch (less rolling resistance), larger gear ratios, and a more aero position.

All these are behind a road bike, faster than a mountain bike. Essentially, road bikes will require less effort to go faster than mountain bikes.

Additionally, mountain bikes are slower than road bikes since they have thicker and knobby tires.

Still, more shock absorption is not desirable when it comes to top speed as it impacts negatively on your ride speed. 

You might also want to know that mountain bikes tires have lower pressure; this notwithstanding, the rider wears more gear which adds to the weight.

Lastly, there are handlebars to factor in. these are wider, causing wind resistance which ultimately reduces your speed on a mountain bike.

Mountain bikes are designed for off-road terrain but not for riding on the road.

Therefore, considering the above factors, you will quickly understand that mountain bikes tires combat more rolling resistance than a road bike.

This is because the tires happen to be too thick compared to a road bike. A ride on the trails requires tires with grip capability.

Mountain bikes have knobs for assisting with grip, but these reduce the speed of your bike.

Do Mountain Bike Tires Slow You Down?

Yes, mountain bike tires slow a rider down. This is the thickness of the tire that mountain bikes have.

A thicker tire means more of the tire coming into contact with the surface. Consequently, there is more resistance from the surface.

As a result, you will require more force to overcome the resistance, which slows down your bike. But it’s not all doom for thicker tires.

Indeed, thicker tires are needed for more protection against divots and bumps, keeping the rider comfortable.

Since mountain bikes are designed for off-road riding, they don’t have to be fast. It’s more crucial for the tires to be functional other than speedy.

And as you might assume, thicker tires 9for mountain bikes) will be heavier than road tires (for road bikes).

This alone can weigh your bike down and cause you to ride slower.

As implied above, mountain bike tires have more rolling resistance.

This seems easy to understand due to t the wide surface area contacting the ground, causing friction.

Maybe you think a thicker tire will mean less pressure, so less friction! You are wrong! This doesn’t apply here.

Remember, your tires will not be pressing against the ground but rolling over it. So, the theory touching on pressure doesn’t apply here. Sorry!


You can use a mountain bike on a regular road.


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