This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
If you are planning to buy a mountain bike, you may be wondering, can you use a mountain bike for long distance? This article has the answers.
Can a mountain bike do well over long distances? Can you ride for hours on end with a mountain bike?
Mountain bikes are great for long distance trips. They are highly durable and sturdy, meaning you can ride over rugged terrain without worrying about damage. Also, they are comfortable over long distances, thanks to their supple suspension. But, the ride may be tougher, compared to a road bike.
In this guide, we will take a closer look at whether you can use a mountain bike for long distance travel. Also, we will give you some tips for a long distance mountain ride. So, if you have been wondering whether you can use a mountain bike for long distance rides, then this guide has all the information you need.
We strive to furnish our readers with up-to-date, helpful, trustworthy and accurate information. Consequently, we’ve assembled a robust content creation team, comprising renowned editors, writers and various industry experts, to help us meet this goal. Hence, we can guarantee you that the information you are getting from our content pieces is credible.
As their name suggests, mountain bikes are great for tackling rugged mountain terrains. Whether you are climbing or ascending a hilly path, a mountain bike will enable you to tear through the trail, without losing control.
However, as much as mountain bikes are great performers when it comes to unforgiving mountain terrains, are they ideal for long distances? Can you use your mountain bike to ride for hours?
Can You Use Mountain Bikes for Long Rides?
If you are looking to buy a mountain bike, you may be wondering whether it aligns with your lifestyle – which is doing long distance rides. The reality is that mountain bikes are great for long distance rides.
Mountain bikes are highly reliable, sturdy, and can perform well over a wide range of terrains. Also, they will ride over rugged and sharp elements easily, meaning you won’t end up with a puncture after every mile. So, if you enjoy going on long distance trips with a bike, you can do so using a mountain bike.
What Makes Mountain Bikes Great for Long Distance
Contrary to popular belief, mountain bikes are not limited to riding on hilly terrain only. You can also use them for long distance trips. Here are some of the reasons why mountain bikes are great for long distance rides.
Sturdy and Durable
Mountain bikes are sturdy and durable. They can tear through rugged terrains and trails without getting damaged or breaking down. Hence, with this type of bike, you will have an opportunity to explore as many places as possible while riding, making them ideal for long distance trips. With a road bike, you are only limited to riding on paved roads, meaning you won’t be able to venture deeper into nature.
Smooth and Comfortable
Another feature that makes mountain bikes ideal for long distance trips is that they are comfortable to ride on. They are outfitted with decent suspension systems, which will allow you to enjoy a much more comfortable ride, compared to what a road bike would deliver.
And this makes them ideal for long distance rides, since you won’t end up feeling sore or excessively tired during your trip. So, regardless of how many miles you intend to cover, you can are guaranteed a comfortable a sore-free ride with a mountain bike,
When you are going on a long distance trip, it’s highly likely that you will conduct some background research. For instance, you will check the weather situation as well as the terrain.
But, regardless of how much background research you may conduct, long distance trips are always unpredictable. For instance, the weather may change at a moment’s notice, thus damaging the road or the riding surface.
The good news is that a mountain bike will always get you through, regardless of how challenging the conditions become. These bikes are built to withstand the harshest conditions and terrains such as snow, slush, and rain, without losing traction.
Also, these bikes come with a vast selection of gears, thus allowing you to shift depending on your needs and the terrain. And this makes mountain bikes the ideal partner for long distance rides.
Tips for Long Distance Mountain Bike Rides
Without a doubt, a mountain bike can be a great bike for long distance trips. But, going on a long distance trip with a mountain bike is not as easy as it may appear. Your success will depend on how well prepared you are for the trip. Here are some tips and tricks for long distance mountain bike ride.
Check the Bike
Before you head out, you need to conduct a thorough inspection of your mountain bike. Your mountain bike should be in proper working condition to comfortably handle the rigorous, long-distance ride. All the bolts and nuts should be properly tightened, the brake pads shouldn’t be excessively worn while the transmission system should be working smoothly.
Also, the suspension should be functioning properly and smoothly while the dropper seat post should be working properly. You should also check the condition of the tire. As much as you don’t need a new tire for a long-distance bike ride, the tire needs to be in decent condition.
In case this is your first trip or you aren’t well versed with bikes, you should take your bike to a reliable bike shop. The bike shop technician will assess your bike and undertake the necessary servicing.
Pack a Repair Kit
Even if you don’t intend to venture into rugged terrains during your long distance ride, you can still end up with a puncture. And this is where a puncture repair kit comes in. With this kit, you will manage to fix the puncture while you are out there, meaning you won’t end up being stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Make sure you practice how to repair punctures with your kit before you head out. At the end of the day, there’s no need for bringing along a puncture repair kit if you don’t know how to use it.
However, if repairing a puncture feels like too much work for you, you can simply opt for tubeless tires. While they may be more expensive than your ordinary bike tires, these tires are the ideal choice for anyone who feels nervous or anxious about repairing a puncture.
Bring Some Nourishment
A long distance bike ride is definitely going to require a considerable amount of energy. Consequently, you need to ensure you keep re-fuelling your body throughout the trip. To this end, it will be highly advisable to carry some high-energy snacks. Buying food along the way is not recommended.
Besides being more expensive, it will also consume a considerable amount of valuable time, queuing up to purchase food at a corner store or gas station. Also, remember to carry enough fresh water. Ideally, you will need at least one liter of water for every hour you spend cycling during hot weather and around 300ml during cold weather. You can then calculate how much water to carry, depending on how long you intend to be on the road.
Select the Right Saddle
One of the main drawbacks of using a mountain bike for long distance rides is that the saddle may not be as comfortable as you may want. Hence, it will be a good idea to switch the saddle and install one that you are comfortable with.
Also, remember to take time to break in the new saddle before you head out for the trip. A couple of short distance rides around the neighborhood or city will help you to break in the new saddle, in readiness for the trip.
Wear the Right Gear
The gear that you wear during your ride will play a significant role in how you feel throughout the journey. If you wear heavy riding gear, you will end up feeling excessively hot.
Also, you will be sweating excessively throughout your ride, making the journey an unpleasant one. Besides, heavy gear will also slow you down significantly, due to wind resistance.
To this end, you should opt for lightweight riding gear, which is highly breathable. This choice of gear will allow you to remain cool and comfortable throughout the ride. As a result, you experience will be pleasant.
Mountain bikes are a great choice for long distance trips. They are sturdy, strong, and highly reliable. Also, you can tackle almost any terrain with these bikes, without worrying about damage. And by using the tips we’ve shared here, you should have an enjoyable and successful long-distance ride with your mountain bike.