If you are looking to buy a specialized bike for commuting or just have developed an interest in the sport of biking, you must be looking to buy one that is easier for you to grasp. Cycling is becoming more common, as it is both economical and environmentally beneficial for commuting. So, is it easier to ride a road bike than a mountain bike?
A road bike is not any easier to ride than a mountain bike; in fact, it might be the opposite. While road bikes are designed to ride on, as the name suggests, paved roads, mountain bikes are for a more rugged trail. What is easier to ride depends on your definition of ‘easy,’ whether it means more comfortable, easy to pedal, easy to ride everywhere (road or off-road), or easy to control. It all depends on where you are cycling and your comfort.
This article will surely help you if you are only looking to buy one bicycle, especially as a beginner, and can’t decide which one yet. So to assist you in deciding which one might be easier for you according to your preference, we will compare road bikes and mountain bikes and analyze their differences, and where it is possible to ride them.
How Are They Different?
The main difference between a mountain bike and a road bike is the tires and the wheels. Mountain bikes are built with their longevity and comfort in mind, while road bikes are made to perform with optimal speed and efficiency instead of that comfort and longevity.
Since mountain bikes are, as the name indicates, produced for exploring off-road rough terrain areas and mountains, they have features that make it easier to steer across rugged areas. With flat handlebars and wide knobby tires, they can ride narrow dirt trails.
On the other hand, road bikes are lightweight and small and built for maximum efficiency and speed. The narrow tires and drop handlebars are only designed for riding on paved surfaces.
Are Mountain Bikes Really More Comfortable?
If you are a beginner in cycling, how comfortable the bike is determines how quickly and easily you can adjust to it. The factors which determine what makes the bike more comfortable are its riding position, the bike’s handlebars, and saddle, its suspension, and the tire pressure. Let’s see whether these factors are in favor of mountain bikes or road bikes.
In a mountain bike, the position is more upright for mobility in changing positions, while for road bikes, the rider has to be bent, which can be quite uncomfortable.
Handlebars And Saddle
The handlebars of mountain bikes are wider, just like their tires, for a strong grip, which might make your hand sore in the long term. Road bikes have easier grip drop bars, making it more comfortable to grip
This definitely goes for mountain bikes – as they have better suspension and can withhold on any kind of road. Some would even say it is so smooth you feel like you are floating.
With road bikes, you can feel every little bump quite harshly.
Mountain bikes have less tire pressure, while road bikes have more tire pressure. Although low tire pressure can decrease your speed, it can also increase comfort as it will reduce the shock from the road’s unevenness.
With this, we can confirm that mountain bikes are more comfortable than road bikes.
You can also refer to this video to understand the differences between the two bikes:
Ease Of Control
Although wide bars in mountain bikes can make your hands sore in the long term, they make it easier for you to control your bike, especially if you are just starting out with the sport.
Not only do they make it easier for you to navigate your bike more precisely, but you can also make quick turns, especially with any obstacles in your path.
You can also use the brakes more easily and quickly as compared to the drop bars of road bikes as they are right under your hand already, and you don’t have to change positions for them.
Can They Be Used For Other Purposes?
As we discussed earlier, mountain bikes are specifically designed to ride comfortably on rugged surfaces and make quick turns, while road bikes are only for paved surfaces and can not function on terrain areas.
So, mountain bikes can be used for both purposes – paved surfaces, rigged areas, and bumpy roads. Since it is quite easy to control and more comfortable, many bikers also use it for commuting on straight roads.
The same can not be said for road bikes, as they are only used to race on paved surfaces. Hence, mountain bikes are easier to ride on any kind of surface.
Effort In Pedaling
Since road bikes are significantly lighter than mountain bikes, you will need to exert only a little energy to move that less weight around.
However, the same can not be said for mountain bikes, as they have a heavy suspension system, wider tires and handlebars, and more weight. This means you will have to put in more effort in pedaling a mountain bike.
Road bikes make sure that minimal of your pedal power is wasted. Hence this is also why they are called racing bikes.
Ideal for Beginners
Beginner cyclists and children prefer mountain bikes because they are more forgiving than road bikes. You can easily control the bike and ride slippery surfaces such as sand. As we discussed before, they also absorb shocks and bumps. Although, their opinions may change as they get to ride road bikes.
We know that both types of bikes are difficult to ride. You might want to go for mountain bikes first if you are a beginner. They are easier to learn because they have larger wheels, handles, and pedals, making them comfortable and easy to control.
On the other hand, road bikes might also be easier to learn because they are lighter and easy to pedal, so it depends on what you find easier.
I always had a thing for cycling sports and love almost anything that involves bikes and boards. I work part-time as a designer in the tech industry and work on my blogs whenever I can.