You have probably heard about the flare of mountain bikes since you were little. Maybe you saw cyclists on TV traversing trails with them and relished the experience. But you love long-distance rides! Can mountain bikes suit long-distance riding? And, how far can you cycle on a Mountain bike?
Generally, a person can cycle on a Mountain bike between 56 to 60 miles daily (90 to 96 kilometers), depending on their fitness level, health conditions, and general weather. Mountain bikes are built with quality materials to sustain different impacts, making them durable and reliable.
In addition, Mountain bikes are excellent for long rides in mountainous places and off-road areas. You can ride long distances without sweating about potential breakdown and function.
Nevertheless, they are not suitable for pavement riding. You may find mountains slower on the pavement, requiring more energy to pedal on smooth roads.
Continue reading to find out more about mountain bikes.
What Makes Mountain Bikes Suitable For Long-Distance Riding?
Mountain bikes have what it takes to carry you through long rides successfully. Here are some factors that make them ideal:
1- Mountain Bikes Are Durable
Most mountain bikes are built to withstand great impact on challenging terrains. You have an advantage because of less friction if you have tubeless tires.
The materials used to make mountain bikes are high quality. Furthermore, these bikes’ performance and functionalities are well designed to accommodate long rides on different terrains.
2- Mountain Bikes Are Lightweight
Most mountain bikes are light, thus allowing you to climb unpaved roads. You can go for long-distance without feeling tired, especially with trail mountain bikes. You can accelerate on rocky and other roads.
Trail mountain bikes have several gears, allowing you to switch to lower ones for steep climbing without being forced to push them. Of course, you will make a good choice depending on the terrain you are riding because you may struggle with a downhill mountain bike up the hill.
3- Riding Mountain Bikes Is An Excellent Opportunity To Explore Nature
Unlike standard bikes that will force you to walk and push on paved roads, mountain bike offers you the opportunity to see nature while riding.
Riding while experiencing nature is refreshing and can take longer distances without feeling exhausted.
4- Mountain Bikes Come With Features For Unpaved Roads
Mountain bikes have wide knobby tires with improved traction and better ground grip. They can traverse uneven paths and absorb shocks from rocks and roots along the road.
The rear and front suspension ensure you have the right elevation for long rides.
Tips For Using Mountain Bikes For Long-Distance Rides
We have established that mountain bikes can be used for long-distance travel, especially on unpaved roads. How do you prepare for this enchanted ride if you are a beginner?
Here are a few tips to get you prepared:
1- Examine Your Bike
Make it a habit to check your mountain bike before heading out. Ensure you inspect and clean your mountain bike to avoid predictable problems.
- Check the bolts, ensure they are tightened, and confirm the brake pads for wear and tear.
- Check if the dropper and suspension work correctly; then look at the tire conditions to determine if they have enough pressure for the journey.
2- Have The Right Clothing
If you plan for a long-distance ride for hours, it is important to consider what you will wear. Riding clothes are largely determined by the weather forecast, seasons, type of route, and duration.
Therefore, your choices are subjective. It is up to you to examine the prevailing circumstances to decide on appropriate clothing.
3- Choose a Suitable Saddle.
A saddle can distinguish between a horrible riding experience and a comfortable one. However, since everybody has unique physical characteristics, choosing a saddle is up to you.
You can try different saddle versions and settle for what feels comfortable. If the journey involves a lot of climbing, go for saddles with excellent padding on the nose.
4- Know The Right Saddle Positioning
You can consult experts or watch many tutorials to learn the right saddle position. You don’t want it too high to affect your pedaling abilities or too low to tire your legs.
Most discomfort cases while riding result from improper bike fit; if you do not correct it, it could cause tendinitis.
5- Plan The Ride
Know the route you intend to tackle and the area’s weather conditions. Does the route have water stops? Are you and your riding buddies physically fit for the journey?
If you decide to ride alone, ensure you have a fully charged phone, ID, and some cash. You should also let people know where you are going and your route.
6- Carry a Backpack
A backpack is an essential part of most adventures. Choose models such as enduro or all-mountain riding for additional back protection. You can carry essential stuff you will likely use on your journey, including a first aid kit, snacks, and energizers.
However, if your ride will take three to five hours, you can carry an MTB waist bag instead of a backpack. The route you will take will determine the content of your backpack or waist bag.
Other things you can pack in the backpack include a mini-tool, repair kit, tire levers, mini-pump, and a packed jacket.
7- Carry a Hydration Pack
Most mountain bikes come with a place to keep a water bottle. It is not a decorative feature on the bike. You are likely to sweat with long rides, and it is normal to hydrate to keep riding; otherwise, you could collapse or fail to complete the race.
Therefore, carry a water bottle that you can fill at water stops along the way. If the route does not have water joints, you can carry 2-3 litter of water in your backpack to regularly sip and avoid feeling thirsty.
Generally, if you plan long rides with mountain bikes, you should organize and plan your trip. Failure to do so could be disastrous!
Pro Tip: If you are not fit for long-distance rides, practice with several short-distance rides until you regain fitness. Jumping on the bike for a long ride without practicing will shock your body and strain your muscles. Remember not to override, take breaks when you feel exhausted, and regain power before proceeding.
Benefits And Drawbacks Of Long-Distance Mountain Biking
You could be wondering: why invest time and energy in a long-distance ride with a mountain bike? Here are some befits and drawbacks to remember:
1- It Is a Great Way To Exercise Your Body
Though all types of biking provide you with exercise opportunities, mountain biking helps you exercise your whole body as you move through different trails.
The ride benefits your back muscles, arms, brain, legs, and core muscles. You can lose weight, keep fit, and improve your health by regularly riding mountain bikes.
2- Reduced Stress
If you feel stressed, you can jump onto your mountain bike and go for a bumpy ride. You will get your energy flowing, increase your dopamine hormone and clear your head.
Mountain biking also allows you to interact with nature and breathe the fresh air to gain calmness of mind.
3- Improved Posture, Balance, And Coordination
Riding requires that you keep the bike upright, thus stabilizing your body, which will improve your balance and coordination.
Since we tend to lose balance with inactivity and age, it is a good practice to do mountain biking. Improving your balance will prevent unnecessary falls and fractures.
4- Environmentally Friendly
Mountain biking reduces the carbon footprint more than touring with a car or car racing. One study showed that commuting by bike once a day instead of by car reduces one’s transportation carbon footprint by more than 60%.
Instead of touring by car to see places, why not explore your region by mountain bike and relate to mother nature.
The environment will thank you, reward you with fresh air, and calm your soul. You can even encourage your friends to take a bounding trip to the summit of the nearest hill.
5- It Strengthens Your Legs And Bones
Mountain biking involves pedaling uphill, which requires leg power. As you ride through different terrains, your leg muscles will build, giving you strength and stability.
With every pedal, you will exercise your glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. Riding will also strengthen your bones, thus reducing the chances of arthritis or bone osteoporosis.
Drawbacks Of Mountain Biking
Like anything in life, Mountain bikes have also disadvantages, and here are the top drawbacks of Mountain biking.
6- Mountain Biking Takes Lots Of Time
Regardless of the length of your ride, mountain biking takes you through uneven paths and mountain trails.
Traversing these meandering paths can be time-consuming, especially for cyclists who want fast-paced rides.
7- It Is An Expensive Hobby
An ideal mountain bike can cost you approximately $1,000 or even more. Many people do not have this money to splash on a bike.
Furthermore, you may spend some money repairing them in case of a breakdown.
8- It Can Be Dangerous
Riding through challenging trails filled with roots and rocks can lead to serious falls. You may fracture your bone, especially if you are a beginner.
It is essential to wear protective gear and learn to ride safely to reduce your risk of injury while riding your Mountain bike.
Mountain bikes are built to accommodate long rides through unpaved roads. However, preparing for long mountain bike rides is important to complete them successfully. Ensure your bike is in good condition and that you are fit for a long ride in the mountains.
You should also know your path and carry water and other necessary supplies. If you follow this guide, you will succeed in your long-distance ride with a mountain bike.