Road Bike and Mountain Bike – What’s the Difference

Road Bike and Mountain bike

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Road Bike and Mountain Bike – What’s the Difference

Are you having a hard time deciding on what to buy between a road bike and mountain bike? Unlike the old days, technology has given you a chance to ride a bike at your comfort.

The market has witnessed significant bike innovations that give you an excellent riding experience.

However, with many bikes in the market, you may find difficulty in choosing the best machine.

Road Bike and Mountain Bike

When buying a bike, it’s crucial to compare with other types to choose that meets your needs. Ask yourself the following questions;

  • What is your purpose for buying the bike?
  • Which areas are you planning to go for rides?
  • Are you planning to ride with anyone, and what type of riding does the person do?
  • If you previously owned a road bike or a mountain bike, what did you like or dislike about the machine?

Once you get your answers, it’s time to look for the difference in features.

There are a variety of things to consider before choosing between road bikes and mountain bikes. When comparing, look through the following;


The purpose of each bike is significantly different when comparing road bikes and mountain bikes.

Many riders don’t use bikes for their purpose. They ride their bikes anywhere as long as they are having fun.

However, using your bike for its purpose makes you knowledgeable and responsible. It’s essential to stick to areas where your bike performs best.

For instance, the mountain bike works well on off-roads such as trails, dirt, mud, etc. The mountain bike does not perform well on pavements and streets.

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On the other hand, road bikes perform well on asphalt pavements. This machine cannot handle rough trails. If you try them in such areas, they wear and tear at a faster rate.

You may experience an unstable and hostile riding experience because they lack suspension.

Speed and Weight

Road bikes and mountain bikes differ significantly in these two features. Road bikes weigh less and go for long distances at high speeds.

Because a rider sits leaning forward, aerodynamics improves, which allows more power to transfer to peddles.

Mountain bikes are massive compared to road bikes. It could be because of thick tires and strong wheels.

These machines are not fast when it comes to speed and cannot go for long-distance rides like road bikes.


Like any other bike part, gear plays a vital role during cycling. Compared to road bikes, mountain bikes come with suspension, which allows them to absorb shocks on rough terrain.


Even though both bikes come with peddle mechanisms that lock your shoes, there is still a massive difference in comparison.

You will realize that the mountain bike peddles cleat is smaller than the road bike’s when you look keenly.

Small peddle cleats are more comfortable to unlock compared to larger cleats. Using road bikes increase the contrast surface between the peddles and the shoe sole because of large cleats.

Tires and Wheels

The power of a bike is also in its wheels and tires. For mountain bikes, the machines have strong wheels with larger diameters compared to road bikes.

Additionally, mountain bikes have wider tires and wheels with different profiles.

Mountain bikes are built with strong wheels and thick tires to help you ride through the terrain without inconveniences.

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Their frames are made with robust materials to withstand the ground’s impact. The bikes have suspension systems to allow the wheels to absorb impact and vibration on the rough path.

Road bikes may be fast because of narrow wheels. If a bike’s wheels aren’t wide, it means that there would be less surface friction. Also, you may use less energy when cycling.

Because road bikes have tall, thin and light tires, you can ride for extended distances at a faster speed without experiencing friction.

If you are planning to go for a long recreational adventure, this should be your right option.

Rear Cassette

Which bike would you prefer, the one with small or large rear cassettes? Road bikes have small rear cassettes.

Moreover, these machines have rear cassettes that have more individualized gears.

On the contrary, mountain bikes have larger rear cassettes. The machines also come with cassettes with multiple gear groups, which issues the forces effectively when cycling.

Front Derailleurs

These two bikes come with different front derailleurs. For road bikes, you’ll find 3 of them. Furthermore, the machine has more chainrings, which allows it to shift to heavier gear.

It explains why you can ride a road bike with more speed.

Conversely, modern mountain bikes have two chainrings. It makes it difficult for you to shift and slows cycling speed.


The handlebar feature is entirely different in both machines. Road bikes have drop handlebars, which make them less wide and stiff to squeeze through small gaps.

But mountain bikes come with flat and wide handlebars. Machines with such features offer more riding control and allow you to use one finger when applying brakes.

Further, flat handlebars are best for climbing.


Bike forks is another significant difference to consider looking at in a machine.

For mountain bikes, the forks are beefier and more vigorous because they deal with more force to stay in one piece.

Having a suspension to absorb shocks is an added advantage when using mountain bikes.

For road bikes, forks are not that strong. It could be because they don’t have too much force to deal with during cycling.

Also, most road bikes lack a suspension feature, making it difficult to ride on rough trails.

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When it comes to breaks, road bikes have shorter pulls compared to mountain bikes.

A road bike also comes with mechanical disc brakes, while a mountain bike often has a mechanical disc or a V- brake.


Whether you plan to rent or buy a bike, choose the right machine that will offer you an exceptional cycling experience.

If you still doubt your choice, getting guidance from an expert can significantly help.


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