Can I Ride a Mountain Bike on the Road/Street?

Can I Ride a Mountain Bike on the Road/Street?

As the name indicate, Mountain Bike is specially designed for traveling off-road and hill climbing. If you own a mountain bike, can you ride it on the road and street?

Yes, you can ride your mountain bike on the road/street, it may depend on the bike you own. The majority of mountain bikes are designed to be ridden on trails. You can ride a mountain bike on the road, but they won’t perform nearly as well. Each product has its pros and cons, it’s like take example of running shoes, you may use it for running but you can’t perform well using it in football match.

How a Mountain Bike Differs from a Road Bike?

Road bikes are designed for smooth and unvarying surface, while on the other hand mountain bike are specially designed for un-even and diverse kind of surface.

On a paved surface, road bikes pedal quickly and easily. Off-road, they are not as effective.

It is harder to pedal a mountain bike on pavement, and it is slower, too. Road bikes have narrow and smooth tires, while mountain bikes have wide, knobby tires. A mountain bike can vary from having no suspension in road bike.

Does Riding a Mountain Bike on the Road Damage your Bike?

Riding a mountain bike on the road is fine, and won’t be damaged. Nevertheless, there are a few other things to consider. In other words, riding on the road will somewhat damage the bike, since wear and tear can be considered intentional damage.

A mountain bike is designed with thicker materials, heavier welds, stronger and voluminous tires, all to absorb the bumps and withstand the abuse. Think of it like a Ferrari on a dirt road, take it slow and you have control, no damage, go too fast and you have zero control on it.

How to Prepare if You Want to Ride your Mountain Bike on the Road?

While riding a Mountain Bike on the road, you must do some changes to make it better riding on the road. Following are few steps to follow for while riding a mountain bike on the road.

  • First obvious thing, you should replace the standard choppy mountain bike tires with smooth road tires, this will make a big difference. Because road tires need low resistance and Mountain Bike tires are meant for gripping the area that is most commonly found on bike trails. You may also keep in mind the tire pressure also important factor while riding on the road, standard road tire pressure ranged from 100-130 psi or even higher. But it appears you may go as low as 60 psi and not lose speed.
  • Second important thing you should change your seat and handlebar height. Because previously you all set to ride a hill trail, however, if you’re riding on the road, you should adjust the height so that it’s more relaxed. In this way, you can stay comfortable and see what lies ahead more clearly.
  • When measuring saddle height, it is important that the crank arm is pointing downward and parallel to the seat tube. Seat height is the distance from the top of your saddle to the center of the paddle axel.
  • Ideal seat height must be 1-2 mm at a time.
  • The next thing you should set is suspension, before riding on the road you should swap suspension fork for a hard one, or lock out the suspension you’ll enjoy riding the bike on the road much more!
  • Riding a busy road, you must also add a rear view mirror, this will allow you ride safer and more comfortable.

Tip – If you want further information regarding ridding a mountain bike on the roads or streets, you can watch this video.

Video Credit: Two Wheel Cruise


Our focus in this article was “Can I Ride a Mountain Bike on the Road/Street?”, as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, you can ride mountain bike on the road much safer and easily without any damage to your mountain bike. Taking necessary safety measures should be an essential part of your riding experience.

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