Road Bike vs Mountain Bike: Which is Better?

road buke vs maountain bike

Here is our guide on Road bike vs Mountain bike features to help you ease the process of selecting the bike.

Many people want to remain physically fit and healthy but can’t stand gym fees. Some prefer to train by themselves and avoid the crowds at the gym.  If that describes you, cycling might be your thing.

Proper strength, body balance, and body power can be obtained by riding a bike.

Riding efficiently burns calories and builds muscle.  So if this is the chosen path to stay in shape, how to choose the right type of bike brand and the right bike.

Most people either choose a road bike or a mountain bike for exercise, so this article with focus on how to choose between those two.

Which One Should You Choose? Here’s Your Guide

It starts with your objectives and preferences.  So take a few minutes to truly think through what brings you joy on a bike before reading the balance of the article.  

When you are ready, we will discuss Mountain bikes vs. Road bikes features and it should be obvious which will bring you the most joy.

Read Also – Good mountain bikes under 500

Road Bike vMountain Bikes Gearing

While looking at the mountain bike or road bike, the main difference comes in the parts and gears. Mountain bikes are capable of absorbing shocks on rough terrain, and the tires have a knobby profile that makes it easier to grip on dirt and rocks.

Whereas road bikes have a different purpose, their tire has a smooth profile that makes them quicker. Thus, if you are looking for a best road bike that can also handle rough terrains, it is recommended to have a cross-country bike suitable for off-road use.

Rear Cassette:

Road bikes have smaller cassettes than mountain bikes that provide smaller jumps between gears for speed, except for best Touring Road bikes. Whereas the multiple gear groups in a mountain bike distribute the forces more evenly.

Front Derailleurs:

Road bikes have 3 chainrings, where as mountain bikes have only 2. Thus, it is not possible to switch between the cranks sets. Because of the chainrings on the road bike, you can easily shift into heavier gear, but it is not possible with mountain bikes.

Wheels & Tires: 

In comparison with Road Bikes, mountain bikes have large diameter tires and are more powerful. Because of their purpose, they have different types of profiles than road bikes and are a lot wider. Thus MTB’s require more power to move and have more friction to the surface.


The construction and shape of handlebars are different from one another. MTB’s have wide and flat handlebars, making it easy to brake using a single finger, whereas road bikes have drop bars, making it easier to squeeze through small gaps.


As the MTB’s need to deal with many forces and stay in one piece, their forks are beefier than the road bikes. Most mountain bikes have suspensions to absorb shocks. Generally, this feature is not included in Road bikes; however, some modifications are available in the market.


The pedals in a mountain bike are a little different than the road bikes. They use small cleats, which reduce the distance between the shoe sole and pedals and make it easier to open the lock. The road bikes use larger cleats and have flat pedals, the same as mountain bikes, but it depends on your preference.

See also: Best BMX Brands Bike

Road Bike vs Mountain Bike Pros and Cons

maountain bikeImage credit: Flickr

Mountain Bikes Advantages

  1. Sturdier Frame: The frame can hold a heavier weight, and thus, the bike is less likely to be repaired. 
  2. Upright Posture: This strengthens your core muscles.
  3. More efforts required: It helps you burn more calories and fat and strengthen your core muscles.

If you are looking for mountain bikes then Read our guide on Best Mountain bike Brand

Mountain Bikes Disadvantages:

  1. Heavy Frame: As it is designed for durability than speed.
  2. Thick Tires: Due to this, they accelerate at a lower rate and require more effort.
  3. Increased risk of Injury: As used on bumpy, wooded trails, the risk of fall increases drastically.

Road BikeImage credit: Pxhere

Road Bikes Advantages

  1. Boosts your Fitness: It is best for Cardio because of its speed and light frame weight.
  2. Long-Distance Travel: Lightweight nature of road bikes allows you to travel long-distance.
  3. In-Town Riding: It is a good option for you to do chores in town.

Road Bikes Disadvantages

  1. The body can take a beating: As it has a thinner frame and is more aerodynamic than a mountain bike, your body is more vulnerable to bumps on the road.
  2. Incorrect Posture: Road bikers are often hunched over on their bikes, rising slightly off their seats, leading to back problems.
  3. Not as versatile: Because of their tire structure, these bikes are not versatile. It can be costly to make a purchase like this.


There are advantages and disadvantages of both styles of bikes. They are designed for various purposes, and neither can be optimized for other’s domains.

The best way to determine is to decide what you will be using the bike for and where you will be riding it.

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