Can I Use Mountain Bike Tires on the Road?

Mountain bikes are meant to be ridden for the mountains.

But that isn’t always followed.

Why? Well, because of practicality’s sake.

Many people use mountain bikes on paved roads, with all those knobby and chunky rubber going past asphalt and cement.

Some might say that this is normal and all good. It might be. But some unknown cons to this will surely surprise many cyclists out there.

This article will discuss this issue and show the facts behind using mountain bike tires on roads.

Why use mountain bike tires on the road?

Durability

One of the main reasons why many cyclists use mountain bike tires on the road is because they are more durable than road tires. Mountain bike tires are built for offroad trails which is why they have a harder rubber compound.

They are also thicker and chunkier than regular bicycle tires. This gives them an edge when it comes to lifespan and durability. They also don’t easily thin out because the rubber compound on them can withstand strong amounts of friction.

What’s more, is that they also don’t easily get punctured or get into flats. These tires have double-wall protection on their sidelines. This gives them more tolerance if ever you ride on sharp bumps or through rocks on the road.

Budget

Another reason why mountain bike tires are used on the road is that bikers don’t anymore need to buy another set of road bike tires. This is especially true if they have a mountain bike, which means that these come with stock trail tires.

Not only do they save money, but they are also guaranteed a longer tire lifespan because these don’t easily wear out compared to the thinner road tire counterparts.

Versatility

Mountain bikes are all-terrain vehicles, right? This means that the tires that come with them are also capable of going through any terrain. Now that doesn’t mean they are just made for rough trails.

But this also shows that they can also work well on smooth pavements made of asphalt or cement.

These kinds of tires are versatile which means that you can use them wherever or whenever you like. They also work well on dry or wet terrains, so you don’t have to worry if it’s raining or there’s some mud on the pathway you’ll ride onto.

Practicality

Using mountain bike tires on the road is practical. They work well on any terrain, whether it be trails, mud, sand, highways, or any paved roads. They’re durable and can tackle any road you put them on. It’s all about practicality’s sake that you get these tires.

Disadvantages of Using Mountain Bike Tires on the Road

Grip

Mountain bike tires aren’t very grippy if you were to use them on paved roads. They are designed for trails that have mud and soil.

They are undoubtedly great offroads because their chunky treads hold well on uneven ground. However, they are slippery on smooth roads because the treads are protruding from the tire walls. This makes them a bit dangerous if you are riding around town and it’s raining.

Speed

Using mountain bikes on the road also makes you slower. They have more rubber and have an uneven tread pattern.

This drags the bike down and causes higher levels of friction, which in turn, slows down your speed. If you want to go as fast as possible to your destination with a mountain bike. Then we suggest you get road bike tires on mountain bikes.

Maneuverability

Using trail tires on the road compromises maneuverability. Although you can still gain full control of your bike, the level of control isn’t the same as if you were to use road cycling tires. There is a high chance that your handlebar will turn on its own and deviate a bit.

Although this isn’t too much, it can still lower down your riding experience. This happens because of the uneven tread pattern and chunkier build of offroad tires compared to the slick tires of road bikes that have lower rolling resistance and make the bike lighter.

Most mountain bike tires such as these are also known to get misaligned if you use them heavily or if you are fond of doing jumps, drops, or ditching out berms on the urban landscape.

This is especially true if you have thin rims and wheelsets. You have to bring your bicycle to the bike shop to have your wheels trued and have them realigned.

Safety

Using a mountain bike tire on the road is alright. But it’s not the best idea if we are going to talk about safety.

Not only are they slippery on wet roads because of their aggressive tire patterns. But they can also boost your riding confidence too much and make you think that you can tackle any terrain in the urban jungle.

Although this can be dismissed as a personal preference depending on the rider’s discipline. It still plays a huge role in the psychological aspect.

Having aggressive tires can make your ride more aggressive. This then puts you in more danger and increases the chances of you slipping or crashing off your bike.

Energy

You are going to spend more effort and energy if you were to use mountain bike tires on the road. They are heavier, bulkier, and trickier to control and maneuver because of their uneven tread pattern.

If you want to reach longer distances and you’re planning to do this on the road, then you should get road tires instead. Not only can you save more energy, but you can also cover longer distances in a shorter amount of time. And you can also enjoy your ride even more.

Is it good to use mountain bike tires on the road?

Is it good to use mountain bike tires on the road?

Yes, but it is not advisable. You can use mountain bike tires anywhere including roads. But you also have to expect certain things you need to compromise such as speed, distance covered, maneuverability, and most importantly safety.

Although trail tires are more durable, it’s not much of a problem because the number of advantages of using road tires on the road far outweighs the advantages of using trail tires.

You can use mountain biking tires for road cycling, but it’s not just as good as using road-specific tires or a road bike with road tires. A road bike is an ultimate choice if you want to use a road bike tire with slick tires in going from one place to another.

Using Your Mountain Bike Where It Belongs

Mountain bikes are built to be used in the mountains. They work best on the trail and offroad pathways. It’s not just about their mountain bike frame and geometry, but it’s also about the components that come with them. And this includes the tires.

Instead of pushing and trying very hard to make your mountain bike your all-terrain service. Why not treat it as a pleasure vehicle that you can use to bring a smile to your face. Treat your mountain bike as a toy and use it where it is intended to be used, which is on the mountains.

Conclusion

Yes, you can use your mountain bike tires on roads. But there are a lot of disadvantages to this. It’s still better to use mountain bikes in the mountain so you can make the most out of them.

Related posts:

Photo of author
AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.