Road bikes and mountain bikes are very different because each one of them has distinct features and are meant for different activities as well.
Mountain bikes are meant to handle obstacles on rough terrains especially in unpaved environments. The wheels are a bit thicker and have deeper treads thus they offer maximum grip on the ground. Some of them come with flat handlebars or raised ones hence you can choose according to your preference.
On the other hand, road bikes are crafted to go at a very high speed on open roads and majorly paved trails. They have narrow tires basically meant for smooth terrains. Most of them are crafted from carbon fiber, aluminum or titanium. This materials ensure that the bikes are light in weight thus maneuvering becomes very easy. Lastly, the handlebars are usually dropped or curled to accommodate most of the speeding tricks.
Both bikes have advantages and disadvantages that you should be aware of before making up your mind on which one to settle for. You should also keep in mind the terrain that you will be cycling on mostly to pic one that best suits the environment.
Advantages of road bikes
1. Require less maintenance- Road bikes require less maintenance than the mountain bikes especially during the rainy seasons. This is mainly because their treads are shallower hence so much mud does not get on the wheels. Mountain bikes have deeper treads thus mud tends to get stuck and getting it off is too much work for any cyclist to handle.
2. They are cost effective- Basically, it’s easier to find a cheaper but still effective road bike than finding a cheap yet good quality mountain bike. Road bikes are meant for regular cyclist while mountain bikes are meant for serious biking and have more additional accessories hence are a bit expensive.
3. It can boost your fitness- As we mentioned earlier, road bikes are light in weight and are meant for high speed. Therefore, you can practice different tricks thus boosting your fitness.
4. You can cycle for longer distances- The fact that road bikes have high speed also means that you can cover longer distances without getting exhausted or bored.
Disadvantages of road bikes
1. Not versatile- Road bikes are not meant for rough terrains. They are only designed to be used on smooth trails thus you have to invest in another bike crafted for rough trails if you ever wish to go for such an adventure. This can be costly hence some people prefer investing in a mountain bike because you can either use them on rough or smooth trails to cut the cost.
2. Incorrect posture- The handlebars of road bikes are slightly high than the saddle. Most people tend to feel uncomfortable especially before getting used to cycling. Apart from that, this aspect can cause severe back complication with time due to the incorrect posture.
3. Your body can take a beating- The wheels of road bikes are narrow hence they are not able to absorb the shock if you are cycling on uneven trail. This means that your body feels every single bump that is on the road hence you will definitely feel uncomfortable during the ride and very exhausted at the end of the day.
Advantages of mountain bikes
1. Upright posture- Sitting upright when cycling is very important. It strengthens your leg muscles and gives you motivation to cover long distances because bending forward makes you feel exhausted. It also prevents future back complications that happen over time due to straining your bike.
2. Sturdier frame- Mountain bikes come with very sturdy frames that can accommodate much weight. They are also very strong hence you can work hard without damaging the bike or having to worry about the wheel punctures. This will eventually help you lose weight and live a healthier life.
3. More effort is needed- A lot of energy is needed when cycling a mountain bike than a normal road bike. Therefore, you burn more calories when cycling. If you are interested in building muscles this is also a perfect way to so. Your body gains more impact when cycling on bumpy terrains than on smooth trails.
4. More versatile- Mountain bikes can be cycled on both smooth and rough trails hence you won’t be forced to buy another bike if you ever need to switch things up. This will cut on the cost compared to if you decide to purchase a road bike.
Disadvantages of mountain bikes
1. Requires more maintenance- Mountain bikes require more maintenance than the road bikes especially during the rainy seasons because mud tend to get stuck in the deep treads. This will force you to use so much energy and consume much of your time when you are cleaning the bike after a ride.
2. The frame is heavier- These bikes have a heavier frame that is meant to improve the bike’s durability due to the rough terrains. Some people may find very hard to navigate through mostly if they are not as fit. Riding uphill becomes a challenge and can be very exhausting before getting used to the experience.
3. Low speed- Mountain bikes have wider tyres that make it very hard to accelerate. If you are looking forward to gain some muscles then this is not a challenge but if you are interested in speed then this will be a major turn off.
4. Increased risk of injuries- Such bikes are majorly meant for rough trails hence you will be at a risk of obtaining more injuries as compared to cycling on a smooth trail using a road bike. However, you should always wear protective garments like a helmet and gloves to avoid acquiring fatal injuries.
5. Costly- Most mountain bikes are a bit heavy thus you are required to save for some time for you to invest in a high quality bike that won’t force you to keep on repairing it or replacing the parts every now and then.