The five reasons of speed difference between a street bike and mountain bike

Posted by tan xiao yan on

When looked at over a period of months, our average speed can tell us a great deal about how we are improving as new cyclists. It’s a natural urge as soon as we start pedaling a bike to wonder how fast you are going. A simple bike computer will allow us to see our max, current and average speed for each ride. Once we have that information the questions start to roll —Is it different about the speed between different style bikes? How big is the speed difference between a street bike and mountain bike and what cause those differences?

So today we like to discuss those questions and draw a simple picture about the bike speed. Remember: speed is not everything, but knowing more about that will help us to learn and enjoy biking better.

1, Choose the right road for bikes.

Knives are for knife fights, guns are for gun fights. This is like saying, “How good are the Patriots at baseball?” So we should have the common that the bikes would not be very fast on the wrong road. On road, a street bike has narrower tires, no suspension to sap energy, and taller gears to let you go faster. Off road, a mountain bike has suspension so it can actually go at speed, wider tires for more grip, and closer gearing to make hard climbs doable. It all depends on where you’re at.

Well that obviously depends on the road you are riding, but I assume you want to compare the two types on the reasonably flat tarmac. A general rule of thumb is that if you are switching from a mountain bike with knobbies to a road bike you will be between 15-20% faster at the same watts/effort. Typically that's only a change of 2-3 mph. My advice is to stick to the bike type you like.

2, wheel diameter and gears.

“Street bike” can refer either to (A) a motorcycle designed primarily for riding on paved roads, or (B) a motorcycle, regardless of its primary intended use, which is legal to ride on public roads (paved or otherwise).I’ve noticed that I’m generally 2–3 miles per hour slower on my 26″ mountain bike & 1–2 miles per hour slower on my 29′er mountain bike when compared to my road bike on my 30+ mile commute. On the top gears, the street bike is much faster. One can fairly easily hit 70-80km/h on a road bike going downhill. One a mountain bike, we are looking at 50-60km/h going downhill.

3, Pump up tires.

Different bikes have different tires, and those tires play a vital role in speed. Correctly inflated tires will roll faster. We should check your tires pressure before every ride as changes in temperature and light seeping of air can mean that they go soft without necessarily being punctured. Check the side-wall of our tires for the recommended pressure. Invest in a track pump so that we can easily get the pressure we need, a mini-pump is best kept only for emergencies out on the road. Keep our tire pressure at the maximum PSI the tires allow. Check them every 1–2 days because the pressure will drop quickly.

After all, we can get slimmer tires and lock the suspension and we can get the speed you want.

4, the less the weight is, the faster the bike is.

Of course, it doesn’t tell us we should chase weight too much. I mean less weight is helpful to some extent. Try to imagine: how can we go fast if the rider is overweighed? How can we ride fast if the bike is too heavy? So, it comes to know that losing some weight will make a big difference if we want to go fast. Losing weight will allow us to go faster for the same amount of effort put in. Less weight will obviously help uphill as we have less to move against the force of gravity. Similarly, losing weight will help us punch a smaller hole in the air and reduce the drag you cause when cycling on the flat.

You don’t have to become obsessive with diet or training to lose enough weight to feel the difference. Not having a teaspoonful of sugar in your tea three or four times a day would be enough to lose 0.5lb of fat in a month. Riding an extra 30 minutes, three times per week would enable you to drop as much as 1lb a month.

5, Bend and tuck elbows.

The biggest thing slowing us down when cycling is wind resistance. Many of these tips concern ways to reduce our frontal area and our drag so we slice more easily through the wind. The simplest of all is to slightly lower our body position on the bike. Instead of sitting up straight in the saddle and catching a lot of wind, try lowering our body closer to the bars by bending and tucking in our elbows. We will immediately feel a difference. Since air resistance increases with the square of velocity, the faster we are able to ride, the greater will be the difference in speed between a road bike and a mountain bike.

Today we share five points about the speed difference between a street bike and mountain bike. Hope my experience will give you (if nothing else) a point of reference for your question.