Freediver asked in SportsCycling · 7 years ago

Mountain bike or road bike for steep roads?

Which is less difficult to ride up a steep tarmac road: mountain bike or road (drop handle) bike? By 'steep' I mean 1:3 to 1:5.

Mountain bikes tend to have lower (granny) gears, but road bikes are much lighter. Or am I wrong?

Detailed explanations will be awarded points!


8 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A good road bike is easier by far. In addition to (usually) being lighter weight, they also have frame geometry that maximizes your power to the pedals, and the skinny high pressure tires just roll so much better...uphill or downhill. If you need lower gearing, you can do that with a little addition or substitution and a few bucks. Of course you can do it on any bike, but road bikes are, indeed, excellent on the road, and mountain bikes have their own situations in which they shine.

  • 7 years ago

    Ever seen a race where racers use a mountain bike for steep climbs on the road? You never will. Road bikes are lighter and with the same gear ratios will climb faster than a mountain bike on any paver surface

  • 7 years ago


    that is ridiculously steep!

    i doubt you could even walk up that


    mt bikes have lower gears - very much lower - but you can get the same gear ratios on a road bike by spending $$

    $100 would do it

    at low speeds the diff between road and mt bike is not that great

    weight or not

    but you will also be going on flat and downhill, right?

    advantage - road bike

    rule - roads are for road bikes

    if you HAVE to have a mt bike at least get slick 1.5" high pressure tires


  • 7 years ago

    Mountain bikes tend to have wider more aggressive tires more area hitting the road more drag road bike with smaller tires and more gears would be better. I had a bike called the wind forgot the maker but it had 18 speeds and I would take it on 50 mile treks quite often would not have tried that with other bikes I had. Smaller tires with higher pressure will help you travel father longer and easier 80 - 120 lbs but slightly rougher.

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  • 7 years ago


    You have got it. But for me, the road bike is the better bike for the job. BUT, it depends on the rider's ability. The more aggressive road gears are harder for many to manage. So for many a mtn bike is easier, but much slower to ride. You can change the gearing on a road bike... Rear 'cluster' the cheapest to do... Or I guess the best of both worlds's is the answer... Either a hybrid bike to a road bike with a triple crank.


  • 7 years ago

    Road bike is better for tarmac. The gears can be customized to the road and the rider.

  • 7 years ago

    GMC Topkick Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike is Fabulous bike!!! It appears that they have thought of everything for the rider. Don't know about jumping or other extreme sports, but for everyday use it's right on. Workmanship is defined by the details and this bike has it. No sloppy welds anywhere.

  • John M
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    A road bike is more efficient at climbing hills. Get a triple crank and you can climb about anything.

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