Trail bike for road use?

oilymtbsharkoilymtbshark Posts: 2
edited October 2019 in MTB beginners
Hi peeps,

I'm new to MB and have trail MTB was just wondering it this is ok to use generally for riding around anywhere or is strictly for trails only.


  • MoonbikerMoonbiker Posts: 1,706
    No its illegal on a tarmac road, but allowed on pavements if you wear a hoody and can do wheelies.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,485
    Hi peeps,

    I'm new to MB and have trail MTB was just wondering it this is ok to use generally for riding around anywhere or is strictly for trails only.

    Very funny @Moonbiker. :)

    @OilyMTBshark You can ride your trail bike anywhere you have the ability. Whether you ride it legally or illegally is up to you. Trail Bikes are set up to do what they do and that is not travelling easily and efficiently at speed on tarmac. The soft knobbly tyres will slow you down, the suspension bobbing up and down will rob your energy. The gearing will be wrong for fast travel and your tyres will wear out more quickly. But you will cream the cobbles, steps and kerbs!

    But hey, most of us only have one bike so if you need to ride on tarmac then do it! If most of your riding is on the trails then optimise the bike for that. But if most of your rides are on tarmac (maybe you commute to work), then you really ought to be thinking about some alternatives. As a minimum, pump your tyres up high for the commute, then low again for the trails. Better still have a spare wheelset with completely different tyres, slicks instead of knobblies.
  • Very much what Sordy said - I do all my riding on a full-suspension MTB, yesterday I did 25 miles on cycle paths with full off-road tyres.
    Not even close to efficient, but it gets me to work and back. Been meaning to buy some Continental Double-fighters for precisely this purpose, but I keep spending my wages on fixing shite that my wife and daughter break. :x
    2007 Felt Q720 (the ratbike)
    2012 Cube Ltd SL (the hardtail XC 26er)
    2014 Lapierre Zesty TR 329 (the full-sus 29er)
  • Thanks for the replies everyone.

    @steve_sordy your 100% right bike does not feel right on tarmac. It's not always possible to get to the trails as much as I'd like to.

  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,485
    @oilymtbshark To answer your original question (again): you can ride your trail bike anywhere. But one bike for everything will mean that you have to make compromises.

    Either you optimise the bike for what you really like doing (trails for example), and thus have to put up with it being slow and tiring on the tarmac commute. Or you optimise to suit what you do the most (commuting for example). On the trails you will then have to put up with tyres that slide out on fast corners and spin out on slippy climbs. You may also struggle to get up hills or out of bomb holes because the gearing is optimised for speed and not climbing.

    As suggested before, intelligent tyre choice and changing the tyre pressure to suit can help the bike to do OK at both trails and commuting. But it will be compromised at both and will never be as good as a dedicated bike. It depends upon how picky you are, but accept it; one bike will never do it all! :'(
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,474
    edited November 2019
    One bike will always be a compromise.
    You can go quite a long way to mitigating the compromise if you have 2 sets of wheels - one set of road wheels with road tyres and a road-oriented cassette and the other for off road use.
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