Road Bike faster, more comfortable that MTB?

tbaker Posts: 13
edited July 2011 in Road beginners

Are road bikes general quicker than MTBs? When I say this I appreciate it depends on the rider, route etc.

But if I was doing a route in 35 mins on a MTB, would it be fair to say doing the same route on a carbon fibre road bike for example I would be able to knock a good number of minutes off this time?

Also what about comfort? I ask as I hear people say they've done 50 odd miles on there bike and I know there is no way I could do this on my MTB, admittedly I'm not that fit, but neither are some of the people I hear say this.

In short if all someone does is road riding, is a road bike highly beneficial?


  • my 15 mile route i can do in 50 mins on the roadbike , on the mtb it takes me 1hr 5 . the roadbike is more comfortable and i much prefer it !
  • tmg
    tmg Posts: 651
    I think you answer your own question, a road bike is specifically designed for the road and an MTB is designed for off-road

    However if you had a road bike and an mtb that weighed the same, then in theory the same rider, pushing the same weight could in theory do the same course in a very similar time. But other factors would still come into play such as tyres, what gear your wearing, position on the bikes etc. etc.
  • optimisticbiker
    optimisticbiker Posts: 1,657
    The things that will determine if one bike is faster than another for the same rider:

    aerodynamics - 80% of your effort goes into overcoming air resistance... so a more aerodynamicc riding position will be faster

    rolling resistance - a road bike with slick tyres has a lower rolling resistance than a knobbly mtb tyre, though a slick 28mm tyre on an MTB may be no worse than a 23mm on a road bike

    weight - a road bike (typically ~9kg) weighs less than an MTB, (typically ~15kg) due to its lighter construction therefore accelerates faster/easier and climbs hills faster, though if you're a 100kg rider the delta is only going to be 5% say

    suspension - on an MTB on the road absorbs energy that would otherwise be used for powering the bike forward (and adds weight)

    Overall a road bike will be quicker, though the delta may be small initially... probably on a 35min ride you arent going to see a huge difference, maybe a minute or so.

    My road bike is comfortable (using padded shorts and a narrow seat) and I've done 60mile+ rides that I certainly couldn't do as fast on my hybrid and definitely wouldnt attempt on my MTB
    Invacare Spectra Plus electric wheelchair, max speed 4mph :cry:
  • supertwisted
    supertwisted Posts: 565
    The main reason you want to take a road bike over an MTB is that its a damn site more fun on the road.

    My old MTB commuter was a dead and lifeless beast, each mile was a leaden chore. Once i replaced it with my road bike, the previously dreaded commute became an invigorating blur of scenery rushing by.

    The reality is i'm probably only mildly quicker, but it feels much better.
    Less internal organs, same supertwisted great taste.
  • Pseudonym
    Pseudonym Posts: 1,032
    tbaker wrote:
    Are road bikes general quicker than MTBs?

    there aren't many mountain bikes being ridden in the TdF at the moment......