As you might have known before, hybrid bikes are a cross-function bicycle between a mountain bike and road bike with the design that helps to comfort and speed up the ride for long-distance trips.
So, are hybrid bikes faster than mountain bikes? Well though the speed is different for different people, some big features make a mountain bike slower than a hybrid bike. And trust me, they are all designed to serve the right purpose. So please take a look at some factors and dig in more detail of the comparison or a few tips for your mountain bike.
The hybrid bike is a new type of bicycles included and crossed characteristics of both mountain bikes and road bikes. It features the carefree, casual frame, and handlebars of road bike ratios which means you would need to sit straight on the bike.
Mountain bikes are used for cyclists who love to bike carpeted areas, trail and face a lot of obstacles such as specks, trees, bad weather conditions in the jungle, etc. The bike has to have a specific design with a frame geometry that helps the bikers go through different topography without any harm. The mountain bikes are more rugged and bulky to adapt to a different area. Since then, the design of a mountain bike is also specialized to fit with the exclusive requirement.
Why Are Hybrid Bikes Faster Than Mountain Bikes?
As you have a chance to take a look at the Top 10 hybrid bikes that are worth your money or the Best Mountain bike review in 2020, you would see the big difference in the weight of the two types of bikes. While a hybrid bike’s weight is from 24 – 28 lbs, you can find a good mountain bike from 30 lbs of weight or up to 40 lbs sometimes. Putting the weights in contrast, the mountain bikes will take more effort from the cyclists to reach the speed that the road bikes make.
Since the frame, fork, and tires of the hybrid bikes are modified to easily ride on the road, it is lighter with the fibre carbon or aluminum rather than steel material that you can find in mountain bikes. The gear ratios of the hybrid bike are also designed for pedal and shift function so that it would easily speed up.
One more feature that only downhills mountain bikers bring on in their ride is the protection gears for safety. Since riding downhills means you will have to deal with controlling speed, branches of tree or speck on the side of the trails, and riders have to prepare themselves with protection such as clothes and cover. They can wear knee pads or elbow pads, long baggy, or spandex clothing. All of these affect the speed and make the mountain ride slower than the ride of a hybrid bike.
The tires of mountain bikes are wider, heavier, and thicker to be compared with hybrid bikes. Because a mountain bike needs to have more contact with the surface and ground that helps the bikers control the navigation better also reduces the shock that may happen on the trails. Therefore, riding a mountain bike would mean you have to deal with the rolling resistance rather than any kind of bike, not especially with the commuting bikes. The speed of mountain bikes respectively will be slower than the hybrid bikes that way.
The grip of the tires also decides the bike’s speed. You don’t usually get tires with knobs on a hybrid bike because they make more grip from the tires to the ground which also ensures the contact of the bike to the surface. And that’s not the design purpose of a hybrid bike.
The psi can also affect the speed of the ride. The lower psi, the better the grip effect from the tires to the road. Since the mountain bikes have to deal with a lot of edges on the surface that can make the rim damaged or punctured, the psi must be reduced to maintain the bike’s quality.
And so, if you ride a mountain bike on a city road, you may find it’s difficult to speed up due to the psi in the tires.
The mountain bikes are not in a good shape for an aerodynamic rider to be compared with a hybrid bike. If a hybrid bike offers the frame and handlebars featuring the relaxation that a rider can go for an upfront riding, the mountain bike, on the other hand, is designed with flat handlebars so that the riders have to adjust the upright position instead. When riding in the windy condition, the riders on the mountain bikes would feel more air resistance due to the seating position.
Though both types of bikes could prevent dirt and gravel from the road, the mountain bikes have more advantage in the rears that can handle the unpaved area.
How To Upgrade A Mountain Bike for Faster Speed?
If you have purchased a mountain bike and you would love to make it faster on the road, you might want to take a look at some of the specific parts that make it slow!
- Tires – Change your tires! As I mentioned above, one of the biggest reasons that make a mountain bike slower than the hybrid bike is the thick, wide, and included knobs tires. So, change one of the factors and the momentum of your bike will be increased.
- Pedal – You might want to change the pedal of your mountain bike to the clipless one. If the flat pedals prevent you from pulling up the full rotation, the clipless one will help you to reduce the effort of the entire time of riding.
- Chainrings – Usually, to ensure the strong bulky feel of the mountain bikes, the manufacturers will set 3 chainrings for the bike. If you want to reduce the weight of the bike, you can try to remove 2 of them and it will help a lot for your ride on the road. Make sure you keep the removed one for your trail’s discovery next time.
One again I would like to emphasize that, there are many options of bicycles out there such as road bike, cruiser bike, BMX, hybrid bike, or mountain bike. All of those have similar but different designs and features that ensure their best performance on each road and purpose.
Make sure you have read carefully about your future bikes before any purchase. Hybrid bikes and mountain bikes can be similar, but the speed might be the main factor you would like to consider.