Road bikes vs. mountain bikes

by | May 23, 2013 | Automobile

There are a number of different types of bikes but Bike shops in Birmingham find that the most popular are road bikes and mountain bikes. Generally speaking, road bikes are built for speed and mountain bikes are built for stability. When you consider the purposes of these two different styles of bikes, these tendencies make perfect sense. There are four areas that can help distinguish between the two;


The road bike is designed so that the rider sits closer to the pedals and the upper tube of the frame. By putting the rider in a hunched over position, more power can be exerted from the riders legs, but it is far more tiring and taxing than the more upright position the rider takes on a mountain bike. The types of handle bars are very apparent, a mountain bike has wide handle bars which allow for more control when the bike is jolted, the road bike has curved handle bars, similar to rams horns, thus allowing the rider to get low and the package of bike and rider become more aerodynamic.


A heavy frame is not what a rider wants on a road bike as it is detrimental to speed; however, it is a necessity when the bike is going down a steep, rough mountain path. Bike shops Birmingham says that the heavy frame is a necessity, as are wider tyres and a quite complex and extensive suspension system. If it were not for the weight, tyre size and suspension it would be difficult to manage a mountain bike as designed. Bikes that are manufactured for road use have a much lighter frame, often the frame is made from ultra-light materials such as titanium or carbon fibre.


One of the key demands on a mountain bike is traction. The tyres are wide and are covered with knobby projections which increase the surface area. These tyres help the rider control the bike as it careens down the mountain path. Road bike tyres are very thin and smooth with a minimum of tread.


Road bikes do not have any suspension to speak of but the frame material absorbs some road shock. Mountain bikes have front shock absorbers as well as rear suspension. A commuter bike looks somewhat like a mountain bike inasmuch as it has flat handle bars but it rarely has suspension.

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