Mountain Bikes: Pros & Cons

The most important things to know before deciding on the type of bike you what to buy are the advantages and disadvantages of every type of bike that you are taking into consideration. In our days there are many types of bikes on the market, one of the most popular is the mountain bike.

In this article, we will break down all the pros and cons of mountain bikes so that you will have all the information you need to decide if mountain bikes are your thing. So keep reading!

Mountain Bike – Pros

Mountain bikes are reliable bikes with lots of advantages, which is the main reason they gain in popularity every ear. So let us find out what these advantages are:

1. Durability

Mountain bikes are designed to be reliable on rough mountain trails and for this reason, they are made using durable components and frames that will not easily break when put to the test. Most riders don’t have the skill level necessary to push a good mountain bike to its limits.

I know because in the last few years I have beaten up my mountain bike and she still holds up fine.

2. Versatility

Because mountain bikes are tough bikes made for riding in off-road conditions, you can practically use them on any type of terrain. Do you need a bike for the day-to-day chores or commuting to work and you live in an area with bad roads? No problem, a mountain bike will be a reliable option here.

I used my mountain bike for commuting to work, grocery shopping, on the mountain trails, on forest unpaved roads, on unpaved country roads, and on the pavement and I was never disappointed. The bike performed well in all conditions.

3. Comfort

Because mountain bikes need to handle rough terrain they are equipped with a front suspension fork and some of them have rear suspension (they are called full-suspension mountain bikes). The level of comfort that this suspension brings is unrivaled in the biking world.

If you have a full-suspension mountain bike you can ride all country and city roads without ever needing to get off the saddle and you will still have a smooth and enjoyable ride.

The increased comfort is the main reason I upgraded my hardtail to a full-suspension mountain bike, and it was worth it.

4. Maneuverability

Mountain bikes are designed to perform well on technical mountain trails that oftentimes are tight and have tight turns that will put to the test the rider’s skill level. This is the main reason why mountain bikes are equipped with straight and wide handlebars that will increase the bike’s maneuverability.

A mountain bike is more reliable on sudden tight turns than a road or city bike.

5. Stability

All mountain bike manufacturers are investing more and more time in bike geometry than ever, modern mountain bikes are longer and because of this they have increased stability at higher speeds. Now you can comfortably take advantage of the stiff descents and if the road is not filled with turns you can easily maintain that speed without dealing like the bike is holding you back.

I have ridden older mountain bikes, but I have a newer model now and I can say that the newer model is longer and the difference in stability is really noticeable.

6. Great Traction

The wide and knobby mountain bike tires will fave better traction to the narrower and smoother tires that come as standard on the other types of bikes. The unpaved portions of your ride will be accessible even in wet conditions if you are riding a mountain bike.

7. Can Handle Any Type of Terrain

A good mountain bike can handle descending with good speed on trails that are flooded by tree roots and rocks and this is the main reason why we can conclude that you can ride your mountain bike on any terrain within reasonable limits.

Most of the time I ride my mountain bike on the forest trails near me and the conditions are far from perfect but rarely do I encounter terrain that is hard to handle for my bike.

8. Good for Commuting

Mountain bikes are a good choice for commuters because they offer a comfortable ride due to their suspensions and with a 29″ wheel mountain bike you can sustain a decent speed without overexerting yourself.

When I commuted to the office of my day job I had no problem maintaining a 12 to 15 mile/hour (20 to 25km/hour) speed, my mountain bike has 29″ wheels and it is full suspension.

If you what to know more about commuting on a mountain bike, read this article!

9. Easy on Your Joints

Mountain bikes will put less stress on your joints than road bikes because they are equipped with suspensions that will absorb all the hists when hitting all the bumps in the road. If you what to have a decent riding experience off-road then the suspension is mandatory.

If you ride bumpy roads with a bike without suspensions your joints will suffer the consequences.

10. Accessibility for Bikes

Because in our day’s mountain bikes are so popular it is easy to find a store that sells them most of you will not be forced to travel long distances to buy a mountain bike. If you are willing to buy it online then it is easier than ever, there are big online stores that always have a large offer of mountain bikes in stock.

11. Accessibility for Components

Because so many people are riding mountain bikes, it is easy to find components online or in bike stores. All the major bike stores will have lots of components in stock so that you can repair or improve your bike.

Bike accessories like lights, weather bottles, etc. are also easy to find in stock, so no worry about scarcity here.

12. Good Performance in All Weather Conditions

Due to the increased durability and traction with the trail/road surface, mountain bikes are a great choice in every weather condition and they can be ridden any time of the year, taking into consideration that you have the proper equipment to do this.

My preferable time to ride my mountain bike is in spring and fall because it is the perfect temperature outside, but I still ride even in the winter when it is not too much snow. When riding in winter you need to be careful on the ice portions of your ride, the wide knobby tires will lose traction and you have an increased risk of injury.

If you plan to ride in the winter times a mountain bike is a perfect choice but you need to have the proper equipment to handle the rough weather conditions.

13. Good for Workout

If you have some extra pounds and are looking for a good way to lose them, riding a mountain bike is a great full-body workout that will help you achieve your goal. Even if you ride it on the road the extra friction of the wider tires will make you burn more calories than riding a road bike.

Mountain biking has the highest calories demand among all outdoor activities except running.

If you what to know what muscles are involved in mountain biking, read this article!

14. Affordability

If you are on a tight budget, there are great low-budget options on the market that will fit your budget. You can get a decent hardtail mountain bike that fits in the $ 500 to $ 600 range.

Not to mention that if you buy a cheaper bike and you break it, the repairs will be cheaper.

If you are interested to know if cheap mountain bikes are worth it, I recommend you read this article!

15. Popularity

Mountain biking is becoming more and more popular these days, riding your mountain bike will give you lots of conversation topics with your friends.

If you want to know why mountain bikes are so popular, you can read this article!

Mountain Bike – Cons

Now that you know all the pros of mountain bikes it is time to reveal the cons:

1. The Price

Man looking at MTBs

A good mountain bike will have a big price tag because to be able to safely shred the trails you need a bike with durable components. A good suspension fork alone is a couple of hundred dollars, so don’t be fooled to think you can get a capable mountain bike for 200 or 300$.

Mountain bikes that are in the 200 to 300$ category are not safe on the trails but if you need a comfortable and semi-durable bike for the bumpy roads in your city then they are a good choice.

2. Price of Bike Maintenance

Mountain bikes are made to take a bitting but they are used in harsher conditions than the bikes made for the road. Just because they are built for off-road riding don’t think that they don’t break.

Good mountain bikes are equipped with expensive components that you will need to service regularly, like front air suspension forks and hydraulic disk breaks that need bleeding annually.

Because mountain bikes are ridden off-road the transmission needs to be cleaned regularly, you need to degrease and lube your chain and cassette more often than on bikes made for road use.

3. Lower Pedaling Efficiency

Mountain bikes have lower pedaling efficiency than road bikes due to the suspensions that will absorb some of your pedaling force. If you ride a hardtail this is not so noticeable because you don’t have a rear suspension and all the power you put in the pedal is transmitted to the back wheel. But if you pedal standing up on big climbs it will become noticeable.

4. Heavier Compared to Other Types of Bikes

Mountain bikes are designed with durability in mind and to achieve this mountain bike parts manufacturers will use more durable but heavier materials. Let’s not forget that mountain bikes are equipped with suspensions because they need to be ridden safely off-road and this is one of the main reasons why mountain bikes will be on the heavier side for a bike.

5. Tires Wear More Quickly on Pavement

If you need a bike to ride mainly on pavement and you are considering a mountain bike keep in mind that mountain bike tires are designed for traction on trails and will wear off more easily on the pavement. To achieve the best traction on dirt mountain bike tires are made softer than road bike tires.

6. Slower on The Road

Because mountain bikes are equipped with wide knobby tires they have more contact with the surface of the road than road bikes that have narrower tires.

Let us not forget that mountain bikes are heavier than road bikes and are equipped at least with front suspension, all these factors contribute to the bike’s maximum speed. It is harder on a mountain bike to maintain a high speed than on a road bike (considering that you ride them on roads that are in good condition).

On old roads that are bumpy and full of puddles, mountain bikes will be faster.

Now that you are more informed and know the pros and cons of mountain bikes, if you what to buy one and you need help determining the budget and what to know what features a mountain bike is suited for beginners needs to have, then this article is perfect for you.

Final Thoughts

Mountain bikes are the toughest bikes on the market and they have great versatility, if you need a great all-around bike that you can use on trails, unpaved roads, and on the pavement, you need to look no furder mountain bikes are for you.

If you only want to ride on the road and speed is the main thing you are interested in then mountain bikes aren’t the right choice for you.

Hope that by now you have all the knowledge you need to understand if mountain bikes are suited for your needs.

Maybe you will like to read the following articles:

I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.