Should I Get a Mountain Bike or Hybrid? Choosing the Right Bike for You!
Most bicycles are fairly versatile transport, but they all come in different types and are designed for specific purposes and road conditions. Often, more often than not, people choose between a mountain bike vs a hybrid bike. Yes, at first glance, they may look the same, and they can be used in any environment. However, this isn’t the case, and it is important to know the hybrid vs mountain bike difference before buying a vehicle. Today we will look at how they differ, and also help you decide on the choice of a suitable bike.
MTB bike is designed specifically for movement in mountainous, forest, rough terrain, and off-road. Professional models are designed specifically for cross-country, trail, free ride, downhill, and other disciplines. Each of the disciplines has its own type of mountain bike, which is tailored to the characteristics of the track. Amateur models are designed for hiking and walking on rough terrain and various roads, they are equipped with frames, suspension forks, and body kits of various qualities.
Considering the high loads that the bike experiences when riding off-road, it has a special design. The characteristic features of a mountain bike are:
- sturdy frame;
- suspension fork with the travel of 100-200 mm;
- some models (double suspension) are equipped with a rear suspension in the frame;
- the carriage is raised;
- durable wheels with double rims, 26 or 27.5 or 29 inches in diameter;
- wide tires with a thickness of 1.9-2.5 inches;
- aggressive tire tread with spikes;
- a multi-speed mountain transmission that has a low gear for steep climbs;
- brakes are usually disc brakes with a mechanical or hydraulic drive, except for budget models in which rim brakes are installed.
High-quality shock absorbers and thick rubber provide a soft ride, they seem to swallow all the bumps encountered on the way, and the raised carriage increases the ground clearance. Therefore, the mountain bike is good not only on rough terrain but also on slightly broken asphalt roads. It is worth noting that hybrid vs mountain bike speed, the speed on a flat road would still be higher for a hybrid, but on mountainous terrain, it is the mountain bike that would win.
The advantages of a mountain bike are:
- comfort and softness on off-road or poor road surfaces;
- high cross-country ability;
Let’s list and cons:
- lower speed on smooth asphalt;
- heavyweight due to more massive frame tubes and shock absorbers.
Hybrids are an intermediate class of bikes that take the best of mountain, city, and road bikes. On flat roads, they are much faster than mountain roads and less whimsical on bad roads compared to highways. This is a fairly versatile bike type that is ideal for long journeys on various roads, city driving, and walking in parks. On a good hybrid, you can sometimes drive lightly off-road. For highway racing and extreme off-road driving, hybrids aren’t suitable.
Hybrids are divided into 2 types: MTB hybrids and road hybrids. The first is distinguished by the presence of a short-travel suspension fork with the travel of about 60-80 mm, the latter are assembled on light road frames and rigid forks. If you need a bike for riding on flat roads, then go for a road hybrid. For tourism and bad city roads, an MTB hybrid is more suitable.
If you have previously ridden only mountain bikes, then switching to a high-quality hybrid, you would immediately feel the difference between a hybrid vs a mountain bike. It’s cool, but it only feels like this on flat pavement. The characteristic features of a hybrid bike are:
- a fairly high seating position, which improves visibility (higher than that of a mountain bike, but lower than that of a city bike);
- rigid or short-travel suspension fork with 60-80 mm travel;
- the bottom bracket is lower compared to mountain models;
- large wheels with a diameter of 28-29 inches;
- medium or narrow tire thickness (42 mm for MTB type and 33-38 mm for road type);
- semi-slick protector;
- a multi-speed mountain transmission, the gear ratios of which are slightly more sharpened for speed compared to a mountain bike;
- straight steering wheel;
- a more comfortable saddle, often on a shock absorber post.
How much faster is a hybrid than a mountain bike? Everything would depend on the surface. We have already said that a hybrid bike would be better than a mountain bike on the highway, but not in the mountains. Also, the speed may depend on weather conditions, unevenness, and possible additional load, and other features.
Pros of this type of bike:
- high speed on smooth asphalt and ground;
- the ability to drive on slightly bumpy roads and light off-road;
- low weight;
- good overview.
The only disadvantages are that they aren’t suitable for serious off-road driving and cross-country competitions.
What Is Better: a Mountain Bike or a Hybrid?
And so, having analyzed all the features of these two models, we will determine what is a hybrid bike vs a mountain bike just for you. A mountain bike would be better suited for those who like to ride in the mountains. Roots, steep corners, and sharp climbs won’t be scary here, because such a bike would perfectly cope with such features of the route. If you like high speeds and don’t need a lot of luggage, this bike is the best bike for you. Alternatively, if you love the forest and there are well-trodden paths, you can hike up the mountain bike. You can even hike along the narrowest paths, observing the incredible creations of nature and enjoying the clean air.
If you know that you would often ride in the city, on the paths, or the nearby off-road, then the Answer to “should I get a hybrid or mountain bike?” there would of course be the first option. A hybrid bike is more for rough roads and slower rides. Thanks to the special structure and additional systems, it would be comfortable for you to ride even on a road with holes or on street tiles. You can also install mudguards on your bike, as well as bags. By the way, this would allow you to go on small trips or get out into nature.
If you are choosing a hybrid bike vs a mountain bike for exercise, then consider how much more load you need. If you want to do intense speed workouts then the hybrid bike would do the trick. But if you want to pump up your legs and develop endurance, go to the mountains on a mountain bike.
Answering that if a hybrid or mountain bike is better, we will say unequivocally yes. This would allow you to visit more difficult-to-reach scenic spots, as well as, if necessary, take the required amount of luggage with you. In addition, due to its structure, it can be considered safer for driving in general. We think we were able to explain a little to you the difference between these bikes. Now you can probably answer yourself “should I get a mountain bike or hybrid?”. You can use our hint or choose the bike that would be more convenient and practical for you and your ride. He may also recommend coming to a special store, where you can visually compare them, or even take a ride. This would get you as close as possible to the right solution on what’s better hybrid or mountain bike.
- We see you like it! We hope to have a feedback from you!
- We know you did not like it but at least tell why :(
Best Biking Trails in Houston: Where Are the Best Biking Trails in the City?
If you like to travel by bike to beautiful places in different cities, then you should explore Houston biking trails,...
Best Hybrid Bike for Beginners: How to Choose the Best Bike for You?
Hybrid bikes are becoming more and more popular these days since they are suitable for riding in a variety of...