Can Mountain Bikes Be Used On The Road? Quick Explanation

Mountain bikes are inherently designed to tackle rugged off-road paths. Their performance on loose and rocky terrain is impeccable but that does not mean that you cannot take your mountain bike to the road. The rising cost of fuel and the unavoidable traffic jam that comes with driving to work has made many corporate individuals resort to taking their mountain bikes to work.

If you are also seeking to take this route, it is no doubt that you are wondering whether you can ride your mountain bike to work. Assuming you will be taking the clean smooth road to work, then yes you can use your mountain bike on the road, but its performance cannot be compared to bikes specially designed for the road.

As mentioned earlier mountain bikes are not for the roads but there are a few things that you can do to your mountain bike to make them roadworthy.

How to Make Your Mountain Bike Ready For the Road

Change The Gearing

We all know that the cassettes equipped on road bikes have more gears and ones that are in close range and which allow riders to adjust their cadence in smaller increments. Mountain bikes on the other hand are usually geared to accommodate the steep climbs and are also known for slower average speeds.

But you can always improve the performance of your mountain bike when speed is a necessity.

Mountain bikes have a single chainring but you can invest in a larger chainring or better yet, you could get a different crankset that will seamlessly accommodate the higher speeds, experienced when taking the road rides.

Customize the Suspension

The suspension equipped on mountain bikes offer the best performance when used off-road, the same cannot be said about the suspension when used on the road bikes. Individuals whose mountain bikes don’t have a lockout are advised to increase the air pressure in their suspension to help stiffen it up.

The above helps minimize bobbing when pedaling but if you are looking to achieve, permanent and seasonal changes then you might want to invest in a rigid fork. As this will not only make your bike stiffer but lighter for enhanced road riding.

The Tires and Wheels

Another reliable conversion that is bound to make riding your mountain bike on the road seamless is pumping the bike tire to 40-50 PSI, however, before taking this route you must always check the maximum PSI on the sidewall before inflating.

The above will enable your mountain bike tire to roll faster but if you opt for a faster and easier tire setup, you can always invest in the slick tires, and install them when taking longer trips for road training.

How to Maintain a Mountain Bike

Cyclists should invest in the 1.5inch slick tires that will integrate with their wheels, but if you plan on doing a lot of road riding then getting a second set of wheels is a much better option.

If you take this route then you should also update your emergency kit so that your tools and tubes can integrate with the new tire size.

The above-discussed customizable options require for one to invest a lot of money and time, and to be honest not everyone is willing to take this route. There are however some basic things that don’t require a mechanic but which will make your mountain bike road-friendly.

For example, you could adjust your seat and handlebar height to a more relaxed pose that will enable you to relax and perceive the sight in front of you better.

Also, ensure that the incorporated saddle is comfortable for you to ride on for extended hours. You can test out the different saddles during purchase. Failure to which, you might experience difficulties commuting for long hours or at a longer distance.

Tips for Riding Your Mountain Bike Comfortably On the Road

Just because mountain bikes aren’t meant for smooth roads does not mean that only professional bike riders can use them. On the contrary by implementing some of the tips that we will outline in this article, you should be able to enjoy your road ride.

So the First Thing That You Want to Look at is the Riding Path?

Instead of searching for the complex riding spots on the road that you should evade, you could first analyze the path that you are about to take so that you can know what to expect.

You will then select a path that you think is convenient for you and maintain it, this particular riding style should make it easier for you to maneuver through the various obstacles without looking like an amateur cyclist.

Don’t Run From the Slight Bumps and Potholes

Paved roads are characteristic of slight bumps and potholes that shouldn’t be a bother to you. If you were to use the road bikes then you might try to avoid these unfortunate road features known to cause injuries.

Mountain bikes have been designed to take the beating of rugged trails. They can tackle the small bumps and potholes on paved roads without transferring the impact to the rider.

So, for a more comfortable experience don’t run from the small barriers when on a mountain bike.

Ensure That You Have Enough Tire Pressure

As mentioned earlier, Mountain bikes have been designed to absorb vibrations from the ground, so that your ride can be quite and comfortable because it is less shaky.

But for you to experience this level of comfort and stability you must ensure that your tire pressure is hard, 35 to 50 PSI should suffice for both tires, more so if you are planning on riding it on the pavement.

The recommended pressure for your mountain bike tires will ensure that you get a good grip on the road, and it also minimizes the chances of the tires being punctured.

Invest in a nice mountain bike – well this goes without saying that you have to Put your hand deep into your pocket and fork out some good cash for a reliable mountain bike.

We have so many high-end brands that will ensure you get the best experience cycling your mountain bike both on and off the road.


While Mountain bikes are not designed for the roads, they offer a good riding experience especially with their ability to neatly go over potholes and bumps. Mountain bikes can be customized to offer a fulfilling road experience as detailed in this article.

Riders can also employ some tricks to make mountain bike riding on the road a wonderful experience. Notable that for as much as you will be able to tweak your mountain bike to match your road riding style, investing in a premium unit beats all.

Besides Mountain bikes cost a pretty penny that you should prepare to fork out for the best experience.


Does riding the mountain bike on the road compromise its structural integrity?

Yes, riding your mountain bike on the road when it is meant for the off-road trails could lead to faster wear and tear.

What makes the mountain bike perfect for riding on the road?

Mountain bikes offer an impeccable performance when used on the roads instead of off the roads as they can easily go over potholes, rough edges, and tall curbs.

Do I need to adjust my mountain bike seat and handlebar for road riding?

Yes, your mountain bike’s handlebar and seat post must be adjusted to assume a relaxed position from the mountain bike’s aggressive stand.

Patrick Flinch

Patrick Flinch is a professional cyclist, according to him, cycling is a sport that also helps people stay in good shape. Cycling takes many forms, and styles and so does the cycling equipment, however, this information is not available to everyone and that is why Patrick thought it wise to consolidate the most important information about cycling on “For the Bike Magazine.” Beginner, intermediate and professional cyclists will be furnished with useful insights. They will be able to understand the differences and benefits of both online and physical cycling. Apart from Cycling, Patrick is a family man, he is passionate about cycling and when not on duty, he loves to enjoy biking with his crew.