Most commonly, road bikes are 20% faster than mountain bikes. Road bikes will become 1minutes and 20 seconds faster on average compared to mountain bikes over a mile. So while mountain bikes take 6 minutes to ride a mile, road bikes will cover a similar distance in 4 minutes and 40 seconds.
The most common reason why road bikes are faster is that they are lighter than mountain bikes. They also have thinner tires and wheels, along with their shape. Everything in the road bike is designed to provide improved speed than that of a mountain bike. Road bikes will undoubtedly be faster when you choose a flat road to ride your mountain bike. A lot of factors impact the speed of a road bike.
Speed variation between a Mountain bike and a road bike
The speed variation between a mountain bike and a road bike is higher. However, you have to consider the climbing, steep inclines, and descents. The speed will vary unimaginably in different terrains. You will achieve different speed levels on gravel and grass.
When you have knowledge about the factors that impact the acceleration and speed of the bike, you will be able to make an informed decision. It has been recorded that the average speed you can achieve on a mountain bike is 8.18km/hr and 24.80km/hr on a road bike. Therefore it is clear that mountain bikes are slower than road bikes.
It is also witnessed that the maximum speed of mountain bikes reaches 56 km/hr on off-road trails. However, road bikes manage to get 77km/hr speed. If you wish to achieve the same speed, you need to put in a lot of effort. You need to choose the bike type based on your requirements.
Mountain bike communities are a lot different from road bikes. You must know that road bikes are more focused on intense workouts and speed, while mountain bikes are an excellent choice for off-road activities. If you want to explore different remote areas, you need mountain bikes, and if you are more about speed and exercising, road bikes can be a better companion.
What is a Road bike?
The primary intention of designing road bikes is to tackle daily commuting in urban settings. However, they also have a history of being used for racing. Road bikes are meant to gain speed. These bikes generally have smooth and narrow tires with lightweight construction to help you easily ride on paved surfaces.
Road bikes are generally known for their speed. Recently, they have been available in different variants of disc brakes. Road bikes are most famous for recreational riders. These bikes are available in a range of variants like an ultralight, touring, aero, endurance, and all-road.
Road bikes can be an excellent choice for a person who is looking for a bike that can go miles and cover great distances without putting much effort. Here is an example of a road bike that you can buy. Click here.
What is a mountain bike?
If you are more of an explorer and often go off-roading with your friends, mountain bikes are certainly your best companion. It is not a good choice for urban settings but is created to help riders who want to enjoy off-roading. It is properly designed with durability in mind.
Most commonly, mountain bikes have rugged builds, and when paired with treaded tires and a proper suspension system, they can help you to explore different trials comfortably. You must know that due to their suspension system and heavy weight frame, they will need more effort compared to a road bike.
One of the best things about mountain bikes that a road bike does not provide is its ability to let you find some great aspects of nature. Mountain bikes let you easily move on rough terrains and help you to enjoy great off-roading.
Factors that have an impact on the speed:
To help you understand how to improve speed, you have to know the things that have an impact on the speed. Learning the factors will only help you to improve your speed and enjoy a better ride.
- Health and Posture:
A road bike is very different from a mountain bike in terms of how to ride. It means that the posture on these bikes varies widely. Mountain bikes generally have an upright posture, making them possibly slower. When riding a mountain bike, your body is a source of air resistance and drag force.
On the contrary, when it comes to road bikes, it has a tucked-down position due to the narrow aero bar. It is something that will improve your speed and acceleration. Mountain bike handlebars are mostly flat as they can provide improved control to the user with an easy braking system. However, it is also a design that is painful to the back and wrist.
Aero bars or drop handlebars are easy to tackle as these are not wide. Besides, the bikers’ stamina, fitness, and physique also play a massive role in the bike’s speed. The mileage and speed will significantly differ based on the riders’ physical health.
You will commonly observe that professionals are faster than novices regarding acceleration and speed. So, health and stamina have a significant impact on getting speed.
One of the significant factors that can change the bike’s speed is the tire. The impactful factor of a tire is its diameter, width, treading, and pressure.
Most commonly, you will find that tires available in road bikes have lesser weight and no treading. Their curvature is also less, allowing users to cruise on paved roads as long as there is no obstacle. However, it is an entirely different story with mountain bikes. They need an improved grip, and so they have put routing treads on wheels. This design has a severe impact on improving overall performance.
The mountain bike wheels are generally wider, which helps them to traverse rugged terrains compared to road bikes. The treading included on their wheels acts like claws that give them an improved grip on the soil; therefore, mountain bikes have improved control but lesser speed.
- Differences in weight:
You must know that mountain bikes are rigidly built and have a rugged feeling. It is why mountain bikes are generally heavier compared to road bikes. Now, this is again a reason for the weight difference. Mountain bikes are typically 3 to 5 kg higher compared to road bikes, which results in changing their speed to a few miles per hour.
The tires included in a mountain bike add to its weight and decrease the acceleration rate. It is generally slower. While many parts are included in a mountain bike, some of the most critical components that add to the bike’s weight are its braking system. It includes rear and front calipers, brake lever, cassette, shifters, chain, crankset, bottom bracket, and a lot more.
Road bikes are generally lightweight. These are more like racing bikes where you have to focus on reducing every gram possible. However, the construction and group sets are generally heavier on mountain bikes.
- Frame Geometry and gear Ratio:
The different speeds acquired by road and mountain bikes are decided by their built mechanism. The design and build of mountain bikes mainly emphasize gaining stability, especially in rough terrain. However, frame geometry in road bikes focuses more on aerodynamic paddling.
Mountain bikes have smaller gear as they are generally meant for off-roading. Even a subtle difference can have a higher impact at increased speeds. They mostly have lower upper gear, which clearly indicates that even when they have improved power output, these bikes will have laser top speed.
You must know that mountain bikes have softer suspension systems and frames to absorb shocks using springs. However, this again will require additional effort from bikers as they need more energy for acceleration and function. On the other hand, road bikes have stiffer frames to ensure that riders need to put in less power while attaining more speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can mountain bikes keep up with road bikes?
Mountain bikes and specially designed for rugged terrains. Mountain bikes can undoubtedly keep up with road bikes, but you might not be able to achieve the speed. Since mountain bikes were constructed keeping in mind the rough parts you need to cover, they become heavier compared to a road bike. It clearly impacts the speed. Hence, road bikes have improved speed compared to mountain bikes.
Why are mountain bikes so slow?
Mountain bikes are generally slower than gravel, and road bikes are typically constructed keeping in mind the need of explorers. It has a long frame geometry, larger tires, less aerodynamic position, heavy suspension, and heavy bike weight. All these factors result in slowing its overall speed.
How fast is a road bike?
Compared to any other bike, road bikes are the fastest. They are typically designed to get high speed and provide superb aerodynamics. The average speed while riding on urban roads is somewhere between 23 to 29 km/h.
How Much Faster Is A Road Bike Than A Mountain Bike Summary
If you still haven’t decided and want to know how faster a road bike is than a mountain bike, then you have to choose based on your use. Road bikes are generally 10-20% faster than mountain bikes but are mostly meant for urban riding. However, if you are an explorer who wants to ride on rugged terrains, you might need a mountain bike, irrespective of its lower speed.