Yes, a mountain bike is good for street riding. However, it may not be as swift as a road bike, given that it has knobby tires and heavier weight.
The best part about riding a mountain bike on the street, though, is that you are capable of mauling rough street paths that a road bike will be slower at. More importantly, if you love a mountain bike and want mountain bike ventures occasionally, you don’t need multiple bikes.
What to Consider in a Mountain Bike for Street Riding
Below are features that you need to take into account when looking for a mountain bike
1. Always Consider Hardtail Mountain Bikes for Street Rides
You can either get a hardtail with mountain bikes, which only has a single front wheel suspension. Or, you can get a full-suspension mountain bike, which has both front and rear suspensions. The suspension allows you to maneuver through the hard mountain terraces efficiently, absorbing the shock.
However, when riding on the streets, you don’t need shock absorption. Hence the least shock absorption is best. Hardtails, therefore, make the best street bikes in the mountain bike category.
Nevertheless, you can still use your full suspension mountain bike on the street. But how? You can tighten the suspension to minimize it, making the bike a superb fit for the street.
2. Change the Tires
The mountain bike tires are wide and knobby, which is great for rough mountain terrains. However, this is also a great hindrance to street riding, where slick and minimal tires are great for a faster ride.
Fortunately for you, you can get tires that are as thin as 1.25 inches yet suitable for the mountain bike rim. Therefore, if you intend to transform your mountain bike into a street bike, consider changing the tires for a faster and more comfortable ride.
3. Change to Clipless Pedals
While flat pedals are a great option for mountain biking, street riding may not be the same. And especially not when you have a mountain bike, which is quite heavy and difficult to ride during drops.
If you change your MTB flat pedals for the clipless pedals, you sign up for better power transfer from your feet to the pedals. This leads to faster rides and your chances of feeling tired less than when you have to use the flat pedals.
What are the Disadvantages of Mountain Bikes for Street Riding?
Surprisingly, if you can manipulate your bike with the above changes, you will have minimal challenges. Let’s see what you may have to deal with;
- The Mountain Bike Remains Heavier
Compared to most other bikes for street riding, mountain bikes are heavier. They are built in sturdy material to withstand falls, crashes, and the rough bumps and blocks off-road, hence the heavy material.
Even the carbon fiber mountain bikes, which are preferably the lightest, are still heavier than the road bike. For this reason, you may find that you strain a little more to ride on a mountain bike, which translates to less speed.
- Mountain Bikes are More Expensive
Mountain bikes are more expensive than road bikes, given their higher resilience. Therefore, if you intend to buy a bike just for street riding, you can consider a road bike instead of a mountain bike.
Besides, you don’t need all the sturdiness that mountain bikes provide, which basically suit off-road rides.
Why You Should Consider a Mountain Bike for Street Riding
Most bike coaches will advise their clients to consider mountain bikes for their training, but why?
Mountain bikes help you build more resilience and toughness since it is harder to ride than a road bike on the streets. If you are accustomed to riding mountain bikes on the streets, you can take on any bike and easily adapt to the features.
Over and above that, if you are cycling to exercise, you will shed more calories with a mountain bike. Since you have to pedal harder to achieve your target cadence, this leads to shedding more fat and gaining better fitness goals.
A mountain bike is stronger and sturdier, which facilitates impressive durability.
Finally, if you already had a mountain bike, you will not have to purchase a road bike for street cycling to use the mountain bike. You can use the bike both for street biking and off-road cycling. On the contrary, if you were to purchase a road bike, you would only use it on the road and have a rough time off-road.
Are Mountain Bikes Safe for the City?
No bike is safe for city streets, and especially not your hard-earned superior mountain bike. Therefore, you will have to invest in locks and other safety mechanisms to cushion yourself from the less.
One way that you can keep your bike safe is to make it most difficult for the thieves. For instance, you can have multiple locks for different parts of the bike, which will lead the thief to bypass your bike for easier targets.
What if you will just be gone for seconds? If this is your reasoning, then I will reiterate with a question; how long does it take to hop on a bike and flee from the owner for a thief? If you think about this, you will consider investing in the more than a minute time it will take to lock your bike safely.
You can also get insurance for your bike against theft so that the loss is not heavy on you in case it happens. You can also put a tracker on your bike so that you can track down the bike in the instance of a loss.
In a Nutshell;
Is a mountain bike good for street riding? Yes, it is. While it is not ideally meant for street riding, a mountain bike can easily be modified to ride in the streets. It helps you get stronger muscles, given the strength you need to pull up a cadence. Besides, once you get adapted to the bike you get a higher advantage.