What motivates you to ride your road bike instead of your MTB (and vice versa)?

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  • What motivates you to ride your road bike instead of your MTB (and vice versa)?
  • Premier Icon stilltortoise

    As a mountain biking roadie (or road-riding mountain biker depending on your point of view) I’ve a stack of reasons why I sometimes choose a road ride over a mountain bike ride and vice versa. Weather, route choice, friends (or lack of!), mechanicals etc…

    What are the biggest factors when you’re deciding which bike to take out? What’re you planning on riding this week(end)? This period of dry(ish) spring-like weather is giving me itchy feet for my MTB.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    what I feel like, simple as if it’s not a planned ride.


    I only bought a road bike as I wasn’t getting out on the MTB as much as I wanted and my fitness was really suffering.
    Location has a lot to do with it, living in East Anglia. Nearest place for an enjoyable ride is probably Thetford, but that’s not exactly mountain biking and is still an 80 min drive from home.

    The road bike lets me get home from work and get some decent miles in my legs and while I enjoy it, I don’t enjoy it half as much as going out on a mountain bike ride. I used to just use my Inbred with a second set of wheels for road duties, but decided to bite the bullet in the end and get a road bike in the end.

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    Trail conditions at my trail(s) of choice. Crap trails means a road ride. I’m an MTBer with a (umm, well 2) road bike (s 😳 )


    Mountain bike every time because road bikes are poo?

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    Road Bike = fitness tool and raw “man & machine in harmony defeating the enemy” psychological dis/satisfaction

    MTB = technical based adrenaline rush and much fun with the “smell of the forest” to bask in.

    Premier Icon skellnonch

    When its a sh1tfest on the trails, dont mind riding in ‘mud’ now & again, but we have a high clay content in our local area so an hour ride off road can turn into purgatory, destroy drive chains and take forever to clean off.


    I’m also an MTBer and only ride mostly with MTB like minded people but I’ve been close to contemplating a CX bike for winter.
    As tomhoward our usual trails are so cacky at the mo, we are running out of options of where we can ride without the need for constant slip sliding corrections and cursing all the way round.
    It’s a case of just getting on with it at the mo but boy I have been tempted.


    40m ride or drive to the trails vs. countryside in 10 minutes on the road bike.

    Better for training, easy to compare ride times to see progress (or lack)

    Cleaner this time of year.


    sometimes when I try on my leather cap and leather trousers (with the bottom cut out) and string vest I like to go out on my road bike to mince round the roads, waggling my bottom at any MTBers and staying well away from all that mud, eughhh eughh YUCK!


    Where does the CX bike fit in?

    And which mtb or road bike should I choose.

    Sometimes I don’t get out for a ride as I take all the time choosing which bike 🙂

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer

    Road bike is a CX bike, so like MTBing with a little less gnar but better for a bit more distance. Pick whichever I feel like doing on the day. Mix and match roads, bike paths and forest trails.

    Have a proper road bike too, but it’s a ye olde worlde one with downtube shifters. Tends to not get used.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    In Simple terms the road bike is about time, distance and efficiency for me, generally you’ll cover more ground, more quickly on a Road bike than you would on an MTB…

    Originally I got a Road bike on C2W from my previous job as I wanted to cycle to work and on the MTB it took an age. I still commute to work on the Road as its far quicker, although now on a drop bar fixie, and I use the geared Road bike at weekends or in the evenings to crank out some miles when the local trails are swampy and/or I’m too pushed for time to get in a decent loop on the MTB.

    If you’ve only got an hour or so you can in a reasonably ride on a Road bike, on an MTB an hour doesn’t get you very far IME…
    Both are good exercise, but the same effort carries you further on a Road bike…

    I think I’ve also come to appreciate Road bikes and riding far more in the last couple of years, it’s not better or worse than MTBing, just different, I’ll always be an MTBer, But I’d like to think the extra riding I do because I also own a Road bike means my fitness for MTBing is a bit better and I get more out of it…

    Premier Icon DaveRambo

    In winter for me it’s a mixture of trail conditions and what the current weather is.

    If the trails are crap – then I consider the road. If it’s sunny then I prefer road, if it’s chucking it down I prefer a sanitised off road.

    In summer I tend to get out more so enjoy the change of the road so mix it up a bit.


    Going to work? Drop bar 700c commuter
    Going to the shops, hauling kiddies, etc? Old rigid MTB
    Lovely dry and bright morning, mates are busy and fancy getting some miles in? Road bike
    Lovely dry and bright morning, mates are busy and fancy soaking up the sound and smells of the woods? MTB
    Day/night, hot/cold, wet/dry, mates are around and want to play? MTB

    Yes I have too many bikes.


    After 20 years of big mountain rides, Polaris trailquests and night riding and spending a fortune on servicing and replacing worn-out parts I completely lost interest in MTBing four years ago and went over to the road. At one time I was mountain biking obsessed to the point of annoying the rest of my family but now my poor old titanium hardtail hasn’t been touched for over a year and I’m even thinking about selling it. I just love being out on the roadie, climbing hills and using the bike to travel around, completely efficient and self-sufficient. I can ride hard from and to my front door and as others have written above, I can go out even for as little as 30 minutes, give myself a good beasting and come home sweating but clean. Last Autumn I got a 25 year’s service cheque from work and bought a Roubaix SL4, which has just reinforced my love of road riding; I’ve come out of winter fitter than ever and can’t wait for long summer evenings and dry roads.

    Premier Icon D0NK

    mtb by default if it’s been bloody awful weather and then suddenly the sun comes out an hour before set off and dried the roads I may take the road bike – this happens more in summer, in winter wet muddy trails is par for the course, in summer i (sometimes) begrudge riding muddy trails.

    cookeaa has a point about time limited rides, (road) riding from the door is a big plus, even those who have good local trails will normally have atleast a short ride to get to them.

    Sometimes tho (especially when the tour is on) I just fancy a road ride.

    But seeing as how the last couple years I’ve done less than a dozen “proper” road rides (commuting doesn’t really count) so I guess I’m not really much of a roady.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    One of the things I like about road riding is the social element; riding in a group around the quiet back lanes of the Peak District whilst having a chat is one of my special cycling pleasures. Sometimes the choice is down to either riding my road bike in a group or going out mountain biking on my own *sniff* 🙁


    It depends on my mood and weather/traffic.

    If it is near rush hour or looks like it will rain then I head offroad. The theory being I will be muddy anyway so adding some water wont matter. I also avoid road riding at busy times.

    Still prefer my MTB riding but it is good to mix it up a bit.

    Premier Icon Bregante

    Time: if I lived in riding distance of decent trails, I probably wouldn’t have bought a road bike, despite what I tell my mates.


    Sometimes the choice is down to either riding my road bike in a group or going out mountain biking on my own

    Opposite for me, all but one of my local mates are MTB only so I tend to road ride alone.

    Being able to ride from the door is a big plus with a road bike, although I’m now lucky enough to have decent trails within a 15 minute ride.


    stilltortoise is right – I’m lucky to have found a very good road riding buddy who is the same age and fitness as me and has the same kinds of commitments and timings in his life, plus we get on very well and enjoy chatting about the same things and riding the same kinds of rides. A buddy like that is worth their weight in gold.


    The local MTBing is OK but not great so I’ll usually opt for the road these days. Was a different story when I worked in Fort William though.


    MTB for fun
    Road bike for getting about

    Premier Icon ahwiles

    road riding requires an order of magnitude less faff and mud and cleaning and maintenance.

    the local trails are A) shagged and B) illegal – it’s got to the point where angry walkers telling me ‘you shouldn’t be here’ have got me thinking they might have a point.

    i love mountain biking, but it’s a total pain in the ar53 most of the time.

    Not having to suffer the misery of owning a road bike, my choices are made simple


    What mood I’m in, who else is riding.

    Being doing a lot of road work this winter as there is good race team at my local club and while it has been wet it hasn’t been icy.

    Mtbing has been a very muddy affair and I’m struggling to find people who want to ride fast or longer rides.

    Goes through stages though, couple of good rides on a mountain bike and I’ll be more inspired I’d have thought.


    Its a 30 minute drive for decent MTB trails from my house but I can ride the Cotswold hills straight from my door, so the main factors for me are time, faff, and effort

    Premier Icon shortcut

    Generally if the trails are in good enough condition I will ride the MTB.

    If it is a wet poofest out there then I will head out on the road bike unless I fancy the social aspect in which case the singlespeed comes out.

    Premier Icon alibongo001

    Like most my decision is based on

    Amount of mud around
    Time available

    Basically default choice is MTB as it is more fun

    Road bike comes out when there is a limited time to use up or the trail conditions mean it would be a slog.

    The road bike is also good when the MTB is broken!

    It’s easy,I only own one bike and it’s an MTB.


    I would challenge any dyed-in-the-wool mountain biker to go for a road run on my Roubaix SL4 and tell me they haven’t had an absolute ball. I bet they’d enjoy my buddy’s Tarmac SL4 even more.

    I’m talking empty rolling Lancashire roads and amazing scenery here, not fighting through traffic on worn-out city roads.

    You have his and his matching bikes?

    Premier Icon FOG

    For me a social thing. I have more roadie mates than mtbers so often go out with them for cafe crack and also some riding. If going out on my own in the week I always take the MTB, unless the weather is as it has been lately. I just get fed up of major bike cleaning and drive train replacement. However, managed a four hour ride today without getting too wet and clarty so hopefully spring is just around the corner!

    Premier Icon seosamh77

    If I can be bothered changing my tyres to slicks then i’m road biking! 😆

    I would challenge any dyed-in-the-wool mountain biker to go for a road run on my Roubaix SL4 and tell me they haven’t had an absolute ball. I bet they’d enjoy my buddy’s Tarmac SL4 even more.

    I’m talking empty rolling Lancashire roads and amazing scenery here, not fighting through traffic on worn-out city roads.

    I live in the Peak and you won’t convince me


    DH bike – adrenalin hit, fun
    trail bike – fun, cover good distance off road
    road bike – cover good distance on road, fun

    common theme: fun
    all bikes are good

    Premier Icon househusband

    What motivates you to ride your road bike instead of your MTB?

    Location, mainly! Moved and now nowhere close to mountains, or serious hills for that matter, without a drive. The roads are quiet and getting a road bike has been a great way to get to know the area. I think perhaps age is perhaps another factor for me…. I find that cuts and bruises hurt more and take longer to heal nowadays.

    Getting a CX bike has been fun as it means I can explore more and get off the road along the multitude of tracks and historical RoW’s that litter the area – and I hate riding a mountain bike on the road. Besides that, an MTB is overkill for anything off-road in the area anyway.

    I just ride bicycles for a hobby and don’t really categorise myself as any form of cyclist!

    Roter Stern

    for me it often depends on the weather. In the winter if it’s wet then I usually stick to the roads but on my CX bike with mudguards as I can’t be assed cleaning my MTB after every ride. If it’s icy or snowy then I generally use the SS MTB. In the warmer months I’ll dig out the road bike and the race MTB bike and ride them equally depending on what kind if training I am intending to do.


    I’m a mountain biker first but am getting more and more into road biking. Have been riding both for well over 10 years but lately with my 15 year old lad we have been road racing which is in a different league! The feel and sound of a pack of carbon wheels with high pressure tyres at 40kph plus is exhilarating. Still ride MTB to enjoy the forest though and chucking the bike around. Forests for windy days, roads for sunshine.

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