Yes! Mountain bikes are suitable for long-distance riding. Mountain bikes have a more robust build that can withstand difficult terrain conditions such as rocky and undulated tracks.
Mountain bikes are differ from the usual road and hybrid bikes in terms of terrain handling ability, rideability, and speed.
Going deeper into the topic, you will know what makes mountain bikes suitable for longer rides.
Like every other thing in the world, mountain bikes are also no exception to the pros and cons.
In this article, we will also provide useful tips for choosing your mountain bike for long riding.
Advantages Of Mountain Bike For Long Distance
Mountain bikes are durable and reliable on rocky terrains. The ability to maneuver a mountain bike at sharp turns provides ease and more excellent traction than what is provided by a road bike.
Further, it allows a decent riding speed and does not let the rider feel a sense of over-exertion.
Apart from these characteristics, certain factors are observed during an actual ride on a mountain bike. Planning for a trip on a mountain bike might seem easy and enjoyable.
Still, once the journey starts, some conditions might prove different than desirable conditions.
These points that will provide ease in your ride are as follows;
Stronger Braking System
It is advisable to use a single brake when breaking the bike rather than using both brakes simultaneously unless it is essential. The brakes of a mountain bike are stronger and grippier than those of road bikes.
In this case, if the bike stops on rocky terrain or an undulated trail, the lightweight body will provide ease to the rider to gain momentum again.
Hardtail Bike Frame
The bike’s frame recommended for long-distance travel is mostly a “hardtail.” It means the bike will contain a single suspension at the front wheel providing you with the required ease at the point of usage.
Using a double suspension frame on the undulated terrain will cause a lot of moments, providing a bounce to the rider and instability. The usual road bikes sometimes are equipped with both suspensions.
Flat handlebars are most suitable for a stable and comforting ride on the terrain and work best on hilly regions and slopes. The flat handlebars, paired with a mountain bike of 26-inch wheels, make the work simpler and faster.
The mountain bikes are designed and manufactured from the most lightweight material, which also proves most durable in the harsh condition that the bike is exposed to while riding in the terrain.
If the off-road trail proves difficult to ride further or because of a river and other obstacles, the rider can carry the bike on their back or hold it till the terrain is crossed.
Disadvantages Of Mountain Bike For Long Distance
Even after spending hundreds of dollars on mountain bikes, when the bike actually faces harsh terrain conditions, some major disadvantages you may face are,
The Terrain Handling Ability
While designing the mountain bikes, the wheels of the bikes are specifically designed keeping in mind the prime purpose of the bike to ride on the mountains and off-road terrain.
The bike’s gripping and braking ability is especially suited for unpaved roads, i.e., dusty and muddy trails.
While tripping through the mountains, a significant change is noticed if the rider is exposed to a situation of using paved roads for riding.
The rider may find it challenging to use the high-grip wheels over smooth roads while riding and maneuvering the bike.
The Riding Position
The riding position you choose affects your travel remarkably. While planning for longer trips, it is always recommended to select handlebars like butterfly handlebars or ones that come with easy adjustments by either raising or lowering them.
Handlebars provide the rider ease in the riding as the rider can shift their position from straight to leaning without much effort.
Failure or unavailability of the rider to change positioning can result in the rider getting fatigued and bored with the continuous riding.
Above this, if the weather conditions worsen, the rider might find it challenging to sit lean or straight on the bike, turning the bike ride into a nightmare.
Seating is one of the most significant aspects a rider needs to check before going for a long-distance ride. If the seating is discomforting to the rider, the further ride can become unbearable at a point.
Hence, mountain bikes with the availability to adjust the saddle height with a clip is more preferable. If the mountain bike does not have easy adjustment, you will have to carry a tool kit to increase or decrease the saddle height.
This will increase the weight of the total load you are carrying and also consume more time.
Adjusting handlebars and seating comfort provide a sense of ease to the rider while riding. When this aspect is examined on a broader scale, it might happen that the comfortability provision also proves insufficient to the need for comfort.
In this case, continuous mobility can cause the rider fatigue, boredom, or frustration, resulting in increased physical and mental tension.
Mountain bikes are usually available in the lightest form, free from mudguards and any fenders. Similarly, a luggage rack is also missing from the mountain bikes.
The unavailability of luggage racks on mountain bikes may cause a hassle to the rider as the carriage on his shoulder increases. If the rider wishes to attach a rack to the mountain bike, they must pay some extra dollars to get it done.
A mountain bike must pass through dusty and rocky terrains that sometimes contain snow. The conditions of wet trails or rainy conditions can make the riding even worse.
The rider might have to wait for the weather conditions to improve. Further, on the occurrence of heavy floods, landslides, or unavailability of rideable terrain, the rider would have to pick a different location to reach the desired destination.
Riding a mountain bike on off-roads differs from riding a road bike onto the smooth paved roads of a city. The time consumed by the road bike and mountain bike varies greatly depending upon the riding conditions.
Hence, the time consumed by mountain bikes is always greater.
Apart from the above-listed reasons, the continuous riding and exposure of wear and tear to the wheels and constantly absorbed shocks by mountain bikes can cause the bolts to loosen.
The loosening might cause the rider to check the bolts and tighten them regularly, resulting in time consumption.
How Far Can You Ride A Mountain Bike?
The longer riding distance of mountain bikes depends on the comfort the bike provides. The aspects, such as an adequate saddle height and adjustable handlebars, provide a more comfortable ride concerning ergonomics.
Ergonomics verify the positioning of the rider and the build of the bike. Secondly, selecting wheels, i.e., choosing between slick and knobby tires, will significantly affect your ride.
The slick wheels provide greater comfort with speed and provide a sense of riding a hybrid bike which is suitable for both terrains.
The knobby wheels provide less comfort on paved roads, resulting in limited speed and turning ability.
If the ideal conditions are followed, the distance you can ride on a mountain bike is typically 10 to 20 km. In conditions, where you feel comforted and less exhausted, you can go all the way up to 40 km.
Tips For Choosing Your Mountain Bike For Long Riding
You will need to address some particular factors to make your ride easier along the way. A comfortable ride will allow you to focus more on the spree of your trail riding experience rather than remaining stuck with the arising bike problems.
Mountain bikes going through such rough conditions get severely affected and may break down in the middle of nowhere.
While choosing a mountain bike for a longer ride, it is always advisable to choose a bike that is the easiest to repair and get a complementary toolbox along with purchasing the bike.
In case the toolbox is not available with the bike, spending some extra dollars will ensure you won’t need any mechanic.
Customize The Bike
Before going on a more extended trip, it is always advised to thoroughly check your bike concerning the tire pressure, choosing suitable handlebars, and the appropriate wheel grip according to the terrain you are planning to go.
During the trip, there might arise a condition when the carriage can suddenly get increased along the way and prove vital, which means it is NOT OK to leave it mid-way.
In this condition, a luggage rack will benefit the distribution of the carriages, which will not cause the rider to bear much load on their shoulders.
Mountain bikes usually don’t come with the availability of luggage racks, and the rider might have to spend some dollars to get them installed.
If you love slow and steady riding on paved roads and enjoy going to adventurous terrains, mountain bikes are the best choice for you.
You won’t need to pay even a single dime once you have a mountain bike, proving best for rough and smooth terrains.
The only thing you will need to remember is if you prefer traveling by bike on roads with more incredible speeds and fun, then mountain bikes aren’t your thing.
Hope this blog will prove fruitful in answering all your questions and will give you ease in deciding whether to go for a mountain bike.