Road bike and a mountain bike which is faster? I am afraid it is different from your impression!

Recently, some beginners asked why road bikes will be faster than a mountain bike? In fact, on artificial paved roads, road bike will be lighter and faster than mountain bike, but on the off-road, mountain bike are better.

Why do road bikes run faster on the road?
Road bicycles are designed for road racing, which emphasized in terms of angles, parts configuration, etc.

Angle design

The head tube and the bottom bracket is lower, and the top tube is more horizontal. This design can obtain a more forward-looking riding posture when riding on the road, making it easier and more capable. The Road Bike frame geometry is not as “flat” as a mountain bike, so to get more rigid, thereby improving the efficiency of pedaling.

It is for off-road the main purpose of mountain bike. The head tube and bottom bracket are relatively high, and the top tube will be more inclined, which will make the riding posture relatively straighter for greater flexibility, handling and passability ( The high bottom bracket can be understood as the high chassis of the SUV), while for the riding posture, it is obviously not suitable for the road racing, compared with the characteristics of the road frame.

Bike Parts configuration

Front fork:

Road bikes use hard forks without suspension structure, the power transmission is more direct. And the mountain forks are mostly equipped with suspension structures (some mountain bikes also have rear suspension), it will thus drain off part of the force when pedaling.Even if it is locked, it also makes the whole bike angle backward due to the front fork is more longer.It is not suitable for road racing, but it can make the cyclists feel moresmooth when riding off-road.


The road bike handlebar uses a horn-shaped bender with multiple grip positions, such as the “lower position” of the “turning corner”, which enables the cyclists to get a more forward-looking riding posture, thereby increasing the speed when riding on the road.

The handlebars of mountain bikes are mostly flat handlerbar or riser handlebars, designed to improve stability and flexibility, without considering the extreme speed of cycling.


The slim tires of the road bike can greatly reduce the rolling resistance, while the mountain bike’s thick and toothed tires can show off on off-road roads, but it will be a little difficult when riding on the road.

Transmission system:

Road bikes have a larger front-to-rear ratio that achieve higher limit speeds. Mountain bikes are mainly used for off-road, the front-to-back ratio is smaller (the ratio is too large to move in the field). So in the limit speed, it is impossible to compare with the road bicycles.

In addition, the overall weight of the same level road bike will be lighter, and it will also benefit for speed. Moreover, road bikes parts use more aerodynamic design to reduce windage to get higher speed.

Therefore, when riding a road, the road bikes have more advantages in speed because of the above reasons, while the mountain bike can “snap” the road bike in the off-road section. So it cannot be said that the road bike must be faster than the mountain bike.