Anonymous asked in SportsCycling · 1 decade ago

Would it look strange to ride my mountain bike on the road?

I only have a mountain bike, I've had it for a while, it's pretty good, and I want to start riding it again. I would go through a few paths here and there, but mostly road. Would it look silly, though, to be riding a mountain bike on the road?

opinions greatly appreciated.


14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Some suspension systems have the option to lock them out for road use, which saves on your pedaling effort, but I guess that depends how many potholes you encounter - my local area is pretty bad [1].

    As already mentioned, knobbly tyres are a drag to pedal along roads. There are a number of good road-only and dual tread patterns out there. You generally want to run a higher pressure on-road.

    The lack of mudguards will put you off cycling on wet roads, let alone in the rain - muddy splatter over your feet, legs and up your back is horrid, and I can't imagine why the people I've seen tolerate it! After-market systems that I mostly see are inefficient large plastic affairs that lack stability and durability. SKS are a good brand [2], but you might struggle to find a local shop, but do try, please.

    To arrive without a sweaty back, you'll probably want to fit a rear rack with either panniers or a small top pack. If your bike is hard-tail then it's easy, provided the threaded eyes are there just above your rear axle. If they aren't, then I bet you can get a clamp-on fitting. If you've got rear suspension, then you'll likely need a cantilever fitting off the seat post [3].

    If your wrists sag, then you might try Ergon grips [4] - I've recently fitted a pair of GP1's to my hybrid - sweet!

    In conclusion, no, you won't look strange - lots of other people use mountain bikes on roads (UK, for sure, and I assume elsewhere). There are, however, a number of tuning options like the ones I've outlined above that make for more comfort, speed, etc. Happy pedaling!

  • Carole
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Sounds like you want a road bike. They don't have to be expensive - the most important factor is a proper fit so that, as you noted with your friend's bike, you are comfortable and powerful on the bike. True, it can be a more "aggressive" position but should ultimately be comfortable and feel powerful. Ask at the local shops if they carry used bikes. A 2-6 year old used bike wll be just as fast / light / modern and dramatically lower cost. If the local shops can't help you then there are always sites like craigslist, ebay, and asking around the local cycling clubs.

  • g-man
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    While some people might think it looks strange they would be those who are either bike snobs or non riders to begin with. Riding your mt. bike on paved roads is not at all strange. For the first three years of my cycling experience I rode one on both roads as well as paths until I gave in and bought my first road bike. The main purposes for riding a bike are exercise and enjoyment and a mountain bike does both those things on either surface, a road bike on just one.

    Don't be concerned with what some others might think, get out there and ride where any other bikers ride.

    Source(s): Just my opinion.
  • 1 decade ago

    Look strange? to who? Not that many people out there can look and tell one from the other and even fewer care.

    Of those that might express an opinion what do they know about what you're doing, and why should you care?

    I never give it much thought. And were I challenged for not knowing what I was doing??!?!? riding the wrong bike ... I might explain I'm going to or from a trail or single track or just keep riding and ignore.

    Course if they were cute... I might seize the opportunity and continued the conversation...

    Strange looking?!?! there are so many kinds of bicycles around: bmx, cross, touring, casual, commuter, hybrid (whatever those are)...

    I used to think big tube cannondales were strange. Riding one now for ... years big tubes were the norm...

    Silly is being overly influenced by what others "might" think...

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, not at all. You can get some urban tires for it that can handle short paths, and perform pretty well on the road too. If you use mountain bike tires on the road a lot the studs will break off, and the tires wear out, while they give a lot of resistance, and don't perform well.

  • 1 decade ago

    Even it does look silly, you shouldn't care. The point is to ride your bike and enjoy yourself not worry about what other people think. I ride my mountain bike on the road, and I ride my road bike on the road. I wear cycling shorts and jerseys. I do what I think it appropriate and most comfortable for me. Others might choose different, but that doesn't matter.

    Do what works for you. You can go crazy worrying about what others think or expect.

  • 1 decade ago

    I commute 20 miles, one way, on my mountain bike. The entire route is in the road. Many poeple tell me it's foolish not to ride a road bike (although the guys on road bikes that I pass never say anything <g>).

    The only thing you may want to do is look at semi-slick tires. Knobbies make riding on pavement more difficult & pavement will actually tear the knobs off your tire over time. If you're not doing difficult dirt hills, semi-slicks will work fine on paths too.

    Don't worry about what people think about you on your bike. Think what they look like behind the wheel with their donut residue on their face & lap.


  • 1 decade ago

    Most folks that own entry level mountain bikes never ride them anywhere except paved roads and bike paths. I probably see more people on mountain and hybrid bikes riding around my neighborhood than I do on proper road bikes, so no, you won't look strange.

  • 1 decade ago

    I rode a mountain bike on the road for thousands of miles before I got a modern road bike. Lots of people do it. Don't worry about it -- just ride.


  • 1 decade ago

    My suggestion is ride your mtbike wherever U want, without having NE concern about your looking strange. An additional suggestion I have is that U roll with slick or quasi slick tires. Rolling knobby tires wastes your energy(more rolling resistance), + it is noisy!



    Source(s): Been riding mtbikes on streets/roads since the 90z
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