Going on long rides usually means that people want to invest in something that will hold up and be suitable for that type of ride.
With the popularity of mountain bikes, they are often under consideration. However, some are skeptical as to whether or not they are actually good for a long ride.
Like any type of riding, it ultimately comes down to the surface. However, mountain bike options can be great for those who might not know what they are facing.
When there are a variety of surfaces, elevations, and more on a ride, a mountain bike can be extremely versatile.
What Are The Advantages of a Mountain Bike?
Before diving into where a mountain bike makes the most sense when riding, it is important to look at the advantages overall.
Mountain bikes are designed to be pretty well-rounded, and that is great news for a lot of riders. They do their best on off-road single-track trails, as well as dirt paths and some of the more extreme layouts of streets.
A mountain bike provides solid suspension, which means more control with the tires remaining in contact with the ground.
It is a smooth ride overall for a lot of riders, and that leads to better comfort. The frame and the fork on the mountain bike take a lot of the pounding that a body would otherwise receive when using other bikes.
Comfort does not stop at suspension, as there is also relaxed geometry. Having that relaxed geometry to count on certainly helps in a lot of situations when riding on longer trips.
There is nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in the first mile or two of a planned long ride. It can end up ruining the entirety of the trip.
Anyone from beginners to seasoned pros always wants to be in control when they are riding a bike. With wider tires, enhanced grip, and more, the chances of losing control on a mountain bike are greatly reduced.
Even when the terrain is a bit challenging, riders can feel like they are upright and not out of control when ascending or descending.
Steering a mountain bike is fairly straightforward, and being able to throw on dependable brakes helps out considerably.
Brakes are built to be reliable and durable since trails are extremely unpredictable. A rider on a mountain bike will not feel safe unless they have a certain level of control with their brakes.
Mountain bikes know what they are built for, and that means they are very durable. A person does not have to baby their mountain bike by any means, as the components are meant to go through some pretty tough situations.
Even the cheapest options, which means a steel or aluminum frame and entry-level components, are meant to last a long enough time for a person to get their money’s worth.
Components are also fairly easy to upgrade if a person decides that they do need a different type of setup overall.
Mountain bikes do not fold under pressure if they are helping to carry some supplies for longer rides as well. The frame is capable of carrying bags, water bottles, and more without causing any issues.
Considering it is also in charge of carrying each rider, that is pretty impressive. Other bikes might not be built for longer rides like this.
Mountain bikes can be customized for about any type of riding a person can think of. If riders want to use this as a commuter bike, they can get slightly skinnier tires and go from there.
If a person wants to get something just a step below a fat bike, they can get more intense tires to handle any type of terrain.
Mountain bikes are easy to learn on, easy to go just about anywhere, and offer a nice mid-range option for people who might not know exactly what type of adventures they plan on going on.
Eventually, riders start to figure out what type of riding they like best. However, there is nothing quite like having a mountain bike to rely on as a general bike for anything that might come up.
Even if it is not the fanciest mountain bike, it can still serve a purpose as the catch all solution. Some even keep a mountain bike or two around as a spare, or for those who do not have their own bike.
What Type Of Rides Are Meant For Mountain Bikes?
Mountain bikes are great for longer rides that require going over a lot of different types of ground. When there is a bit of unpredictability along the way, a mountain bike can be one of the best ways to ride.
On the streets, there will be people going on longer rides with a mountain bike, and they can still pick up decent speed as long as the tires are not too thick and grippy.
On the trail is where these really excel for longer rides. Mountain bikes are built to hold up very well, and they keep riders going at a fast pace.
This is because the tires will be able to handle the different ground, and even float over otherwise tough terrains.
Mountain bikes are strong enough that they will be able to take rocks, potholes, dirt, and mud without facing any types of challenges whatsoever.
What Type Of Rides Are Not Meant For Mountain Bikes?
Mountain bikes can certainly be a great option for those on longer rides, but there are certain scenarios where they do not make a lot of sense.
The biggest problem a lot of people run into is that a mountain bike is not going to offer much benefit if the ride is entirely on the pavement.
While there is something to be said for the stability of thicker tires and a comfort level that comes with lower inflation, the majority will want to opt for something designed for roads.
That means a road bike with skinnier tires, less grip, and the ability to cover more ground in the same amount of time.
Riders can start to feel pretty sluggish if the tires have nothing to actually dig into with the grip. It is without question one of the most frustrating issues that people run into if they use a regular mountain bike to ride around with everyone else.
They are putting in more effort to just keep up, compared to those who are coasting along and not feeling like they are really dragging.
If there is a heavy amount of snow or sand, that can also be an issue for a lot of riders. It is one thing to handle a little bit, but mountain bikes are not designed to handle large amounts.
This is the reason why fat bikes really started to take off and become another solution for those who want to ride in extreme conditions.
Keep in mind that despite the limitations, a mountain bike is one type of bike that will do an adequate job just about anywhere.
It might not always be the best solution, but few bikes can go in places that mountain bikes are capable of. That is one of the main reasons why so many people buy a mountain bike as their first bike.
The Importance Of Finding The Right Size
The longer the bike ride, the more important sizing matters. When shopping for a brand new bike, make sure that the mountain bike is designed to support someone with specific dimensions.
If a person falls outside those dimensions, even several adjustments will make the bike feel a bit uncomfortable.
A casual ride for just a short amount of time is not going to need a perfectly fitting mountain bike.
However, longer rides need this extra bit of effort, as there are many ways to make some adjustments that will make a ride more enjoyable.
First, adjust the handlebar height and distance between the seat post so that the body is not stretched out too much.
At the same time, no one wants to be crammed up and working in a tight spot. The body should naturally extend so that there is no pressure put on any limbs.
This is going to ensure that people will have the ability to ride long distances.
Seat post positioning also makes a pretty big difference when riding on a mountain bike. No one wants to be in an uncomfortable seat for a long ride, so take the time to get the fit just right.
Most mountain bikes will allow for the seat post to move up and down, and there is even the ability to have it slanted a bit.
Other minor adjustments like getting the grip just right, upgrading the pedals, and more can lead to a longer ride overall.
Ultimately, it just comes down to getting a size that truly feels like a customized experience. This will not only make longer rides more enjoyable but encourage people to actually go on longer rides in the first place.
Final Thoughts On A Long Mountain Bike Ride
The versatility of mountain bikes is very tough to beat in the industry. So many people have at least one ready to go for whatever type of adventure they go on. There is no reason why this can’t be a long mountain bike ride.
As long as there are a few off-road riding opportunities, a mountain bike makes perfect sense.
Even those who are riding in the city with a lot of potholes and uneven terrain can benefit from a mountain bike over a road bike. With the right size ready to go, there will be no issues riding on a longer trip.