Can You Ride Mtbs On Pavement Longterm?



codeofthegrave

New Member
Jul 5, 2015
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Long story short, I should have bought a hybrid bike or other bike better-suited to mostly-street riding, but I bought a MTB. It's a Schwinn Frontier and I got it because it reminded me of the MTB I rode as a teen (when I rode last; I am now 33) and have since learned that I do not need to touch the ground with my feet at a standstill, and that doing so is bad for the knees. I had tested some comfort hybrids but I felt very offbalance and uncomfortable on them.. I have since learned that I probably have to relearn how to ride a bike fully after watching the video about proper starting/stopping; I had no idea about this at all.

If I raised the seat and just went at it, would this MTB be a truly horrible ride for the paved streets, as people are all telling me that it now is? I would really prefer not to return it to the store since any hybrid would be at least $100 more than this was, and I just don't have the money, and if I layaway it, I will be missing out on the whole summer at this financial rate. I am thinking that for now, I can tough it out, and save for some hybrid tires for it. I am not utterly and horribly upset at not getting maximum efficiency at this point; I just want a bike to get on and ride.
I am planning on raising the seat more and making a go of it in a safe carless area tomorrow, to see how that goes. If it is really tough not to wobble a lot, I will see about selling a few things on ebay and just going back to the store with it, but I would prefer not to.
 
May 9, 2015
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A mountain bike will be fine on the road for light riding. The biggest difference will be the tires and handlebars. The tires, designed for offroad use will have big knobs on them and on the road will give a good vibration and wont roll all that fast. I would put a street tire on which is less resistance. It sounds like money is an issue so I wouldnt worry about bars right now because if you switch to road bars it will require new brake levers and shifter levers..
 
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thepieeatingjay

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Feb 22, 2015
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A drop bar conversion on a MTB is not the easiest thing to do and it may or may nor work well depending on the geometry of your bike.

An MTB can make a fine bike for general purpose riding with a few, inexpensive modifications. The first is slick tires. You'll have to figure out how fat you want to go but personally I like 26 x 1.5 inch tires for general all purpose riding/commuting. It's what I use on my MTB/drop bar conversion/commuter. YMMV.

The second mod that can really help is a trekking bar. Drops require new shifters/brake levers whereas your existing components will work fine with a trekking bar. They are popular in Europe and frankly they make a lot of sense as they give you xtra hand positions. I use trekking bars on one of my MTBs. I'm a long time road rider and I love my drops. That said, the trekking bars immediately felt comfortable; they're great. Here's a pic of the my bike with 26 x 1.5 inch tires and trekking bars:
 

shadowsupernature

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Jun 10, 2015
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Change the tires, Keep the bike. Save the Knobbie tires in your storage area. You're only 33. You may want to take that puppy off road some day. All you have to do is put the knobbies back on and go. IMHO, hardtail mtbs make the best commuter bikes while offering more versatility than a hybrid. In my opinion, you bought the correct bike.
 

tarverten

New Member
May 26, 2015
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I tried going this route and found that it wasn't for me. I have a dual suspension mtb though. Not sure if you have a hard tail or not so you may not experience the same as me. I didn't put skinny slicks on mine. I put 2" street tires on there and although it was fun riding around on the streets, it wasn't fast enough for me. I wanted something a bit quicker and more nimble. So I bought a commuter and I love it.

With the slicks on my mtb, maintaining a 13-14 mph pace wore me out. But in my hybrid, I can keep that pace for longer periods. But, if you're on a budget, then try the slicks. It's a cheap way to see if it'll work for you.
 

blastguardgear

New Member
May 9, 2015
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I routinely ride my Trek MTB 20-25 miles on pavement. If i were to look to go further, I would be inclined to buy a road bike of some sort.
 

oam3292

New Member
Jul 15, 2015
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Yes yes yes. I solely commute by MTB. It's in my profile pic. I leave 90% of riders in my dust. Titanium frame, titanium fork, 2.0 slick tires, road cranks, come at me bro. I can ride long distance no problem, regardless of season, whether rain or heavy blizzard. More reliable and sturdy than some carbon weenie bike.
 
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skoda

New Member
Jul 18, 2015
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Ocala, FL....
+1, keep your slicks pumped up to 60psi, stay away from rear suspension, and imho you have the better bike for just about everything.
Cheers
 

joshposh

Banned
Apr 16, 2015
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It wasn't designed for road use, but for casual road riding. it's just fine. The tires would be a concern for me because it will be aggressively made for dirt as opposed to the road worthy tires. I know a lot of people that have ride the streets with mountain bikes.
 

MNyte

New Member
Aug 3, 2015
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Even though its original purpose differentiates, it may still be rode on the road. Nothing deteriorates, nor does it loose its touch. But, it does feel a bit uncomfortable when riding on the streets, as the seat bumps up.
 

gavinfree

Active Member
Feb 19, 2015
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If you swap out the tires on most mountain bikes, then they'll ride fine on the road. I've gone through periods where I was using a mountain bike specifically for cycling on the road, and it's not that bad with different tires. Keeping the regular mountain biking tires can prove a little annoying, though, because it's not the most comfortable ride.
 

Susimi

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2015
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MTB's should be fine for causally riding around on the pavements or the road but if you're worried about it then the biggest difference will come from changing to a road tyre that is a lot more slicker with less knobs on them compared to a MTB tyre.
 

Joshua78

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Aug 29, 2015
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I've done several 25 to 30 mile rides on my magna and have had no issues at all. It's not a road racer, but I wouldn't be worried no longer how many miles I ride. Unfortunately it's stripped all the way down for a full restoration now.