Best Mountain Bikes for Road Use


If you are considering buying a mountain bike, but also want to put it to use on the road, the choices can sometimes be overwhelming. So, we’ve put together a quick guide to help you out.

First, the overall winner:

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 is in my opinion the best mountain bike for road use. It has high-quality features, such as powerful gears and robust tires, but at an affordable price.

Here’s a list of some other great choices you may want to consider.

It is important to invest in a good mountain bike because you would want it to last longer and run smoothly on any trail or road you might go on. These bikes have everything from strong aluminum frames to sleek and modern designs.

Woman riding a mountain on the road

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1 – Overall Best Mountain Bike For Road Use

The Co-op Cycle series contains an amazing lineup of durable hardtail mountain bikes.

And the best part is all of them are pocket-friendly with the best features. The DRT 1.2 is right on the price but that is because it contains only high-quality equipment with a professional finish.

It is a great choice for beginner and intermediate riders as it contains stable 2.4 inch wide tires with a strong grip.

Its premium features include internal cable routing that gives it a clean look. It contains smooth and powerful gears that will keep you safe on different paths and paces.

A nice addition to DRT 1.2 is the TCS tubeless-ready rims with amazing WTB Trail Boss tires. These tires minimize rolling resistance and their side knobs ensure traction and keep the bike upright (Source).

Although it might not be as fast as professional mountain bikes it serves greatly as a light trail bike.

Pros

·         Hydraulic disc brakes

·         Internal cable routing to prevent wear and tear

·         Ample off-road abilities

·         REI warranty 

Cons

·         Slightly dated 2x drivetrain

Cannondale Trail 5 Bike – 2021

Cannondale has a growing and budget-friendly collection of Trail line bikes.

And if you are looking for a perfect straightforward trail bike then there is no need to look anywhere else as Cannondale Trail 5 bike is exactly what you need.

It has a perfect modern look with longer, sleek, and slacker geometry. It serves as a great companion for beginners and casual riders and contains a 27.5” aluminum frame hardtail.

As compared to other bikes having similar equipment Cannondale Trail 5 is much easier to ride up the hills.

But the most amazing aspect of this bike is that the Cannondale trail bike series incorporates the CAAD technology which not only makes it lightweight and durable but also provides robust performance.

It also contains a front fork suspension that keeps you steady and safe on bumpy roads and trails. 

Pros

·         Contains high-quality RockShox XC30 TK 29” fork

·         Employs CAAD technology

·         Contains WTB Ranger Comp tubeless tires

·         Shimano hydraulic disc brakes

Cons

·         Experienced riders might need a cockpit upgrade

·         Brakes can be unresponsive at times

Diamondback Line 27.5

A hardtail mountain bike with a do-it-all structure and modern geometry, Diamondback Line 27.5 is an expert in handling hard descents and climbs.

It has incredible stability and excellent speed which makes it perfect for biking enthusiasts.

Diamondback Line 27.5 contains all the best features of a mountain bike which ensures a smooth ride. It contains extraordinary brakes that make it safe to ride.

Its aluminum frame and 750 millimeter wide bars make it an ideal and comfortable bike for both descending and climbing.

There are a few downsides to this bike like the use of Vee rubber tires which don’t provide a strong and smooth grip as the previous bikes and WTB rubber tires.

Pros

·         Tough built

·         Comfortable

·         750-millimeter wide bars

·         Ensures smooth landings

Cons

·         Might need a chain replacement

Giant Talon 1

Keeping up with its competitions like Co-op cycles, Giant also manufactures good quality mountain bikes at very affordable prices. And Giant’s Talon 1 bike is the best example of that.

One of its many best features is the Shimano Deore 1 x 10 drivetrain. This feature makes it unique because it is the only bike that you can get for under $1000 with this feature.

It also contains high-performing, versatile, and durable Maxxis Rekon tires. These tires are light-duty trail tires that are meant for fast speed in technical terrains (Source).

If you want to take your off-road riding skills to the next level then Talon 1 would be a perfect fit for you. Moreover, with this bike, you can ride on both cross-country terrain as well as light trails. 

Pros

·         ALUXX Aluminum frameset

·         Optimum frame geometry to optimize the balance

·         Additional XC control

·         Different wheel sizes

Cons

·         Some components and geometry features can be outdated

·         Wheels are not tubeless

Woman riding a mountain bike on the road
Mountain bikes are a popular choice for many riders on the road, especially if for those looking for versatility, or commuting across a mixture of terrain

Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29

Keeping up with its name ‘Specialized’ has made its place in the biking industry, manufacturing high-end and race-oriented bikes.

Their Rockhopper Comp 29 has the high-end quality and an intricate design with comfortable and clean geometry. It contains everything that a perfect mountain bike should, including an A1 aluminum frame and SR Suntour XCM fork.

Its clean geometry ensures low ride posture and a safe and smooth ride on even the sharpest, roughest, and toughest terrains.

It has a long top tube reach which also makes it more efficient for climbing rolling hills. It also contains Tektro brakes and a comfy saddle.

It provides a fast ride on pavements while also giving a powerful grip on trails. You can conquer both steep descents and ascents with this bike.

Pros

·         Light-weighted

·         Well sorted frame

·         Contains all-rounder tires

·         Optimum for muddy tracks or grounds

Cons

·         Not recommended for rocky trails

·         Not designed for a high-speed descent

Marin Eldridge Grade 1 29”

If you are a recreational mountain biker then this bike would be perfect for you.

It has a beautiful glossy body that is hard to find on other mountain bikes in this range.

Mountain bikes are usually designed for adventurous people who like to explore new locations, dirt trails, fire roads, etc. And Marin Eldridge Grade 1 29” bike is designed for that exact purpose.

It comes with the Shimano Altus 2×9 speed drivetrain and contains gears that are ideal for steep and long climbs with quick descents.

The Marin Eldridge Grade 1 is equipped with Shimano BR-MT201 hydraulic disc brakes that ensure safe and quick stops.

Whether you are riding on a hill or in an urban area, this bike ensures a smooth and easy ride and is perfect for both beginners and intermediate bikers.

Pros

·         Lightweight

·         BR-MT201 hydraulic disc brakes.

·         6061 aluminum frame

·         Optimum for both on and off-road rides

Cons

·         No shock absorbers

Trek 2022 Marlin 6

This is a cross-country bike that is built to provide you with an efficient and adventurous off-road ride.

Although Trek 2022 Marlin 6 is made for mountain riding and biking, it also contains features like kickstand mounds which make it a perfect option for your daily commutes and adventures as well.

The bike comes with an aluminum frame that contains internal shift cables and a brake hose. This frame also protects your cables while adding a sleek look to the bike.

It contains a suspension fork lever that helps you lock with ease and as a result, you don’t need to waste much energy on a smooth track.

Its extra powerful double-walled rims and strong hydraulic disc brakes ensure safe and easy stops and durability.

Trek 2022 Marlin 6 is a versatile hardtail bike that is perfect for not only fun adventures but your daily commutes as well.

Pros

·         Shimano 10 Speed Gears

·         Multi-purpose bike

·         Available in seven different sizes

·         Good for customization

·         Great for daily commute

Cons

·         Sudden brakes and turns might put stress on suspension fork legs.

·         Can be a bit stiff at times

·         Might not work as great on trails as other mountain bikes

Giant Talon 29 2

If you are looking for a fast-moving cross-country bike then Giant Talon 29 2 is exactly what you are looking for.

It is one of the best and most affordable mountain bikes and that makes it a favorite among beginners.

It costs $750 only and has incredible handling capacity and can muddle through the toughest conditions. It is made with an aluminum frame which is extremely light in weight and Shimano derailleurs and shifters.

Talon 29 2 also contains 11×36 Shimano cassette and hydraulic disc brakes.

The 100 mm suspension fork ensures smooth rides despite bumpy trails and drops. It is a great choice for leveling up off-road cycling and gives you the confidence of riding fast while also keeping you safe.

It also contains one of the best coil spring forks i.e., RockShox XC30, and internal cable routing that gives it a sleek and clean look.

Pros

·         Hand-built ALUXX SL aluminum frameset

·         Good balance and stability

·         XC control that ensures 100mm of smooth travel

·         Great for beginners

Cons

·         Slightly heavier than Giant Talon 1

·         Might not be upgradeable

Norco Storm 4

A comfortable bike with plenty of cockpit room at a reasonable price is all we need.

Although Norco Storm 4 has some strict looks, it is a great bike. It has all the essential components that a mountain bike should have to carry you through various terrains, including 27.5” or 29” tires depending on your frame size, hydraulic disc brakes, the front suspension of 100mm travel SR Suntour XCE28, and Altus derailleurs.

It serves both as a simple commuting ride or an all-rounder bike and gets you through the roughest surfaces.

Norco Storm 4 is a great choice for multipurpose use as it is built for both off-road adventures and city streets.

It contains wider tires and an off-road-oriented design that allows you to explore the real excitement of mountain biking.

However, the overall components of this bike might not be as good as its frame for some riders.

Pros

·         Different size range

·         Bigger 29 inch wide tires

·         The bigger tires smooth out any bumps on the terrain

·         Progressive design

Cons

·         3×7 drivetrain (compare to the ideal 1×10 or 2×8 drivetrains)

·         Brakes might not be as strong as other mountain bikes

·         Brakes require two fingers to stop the bike

Trek 2022 Marlin 5

Trek 2022 Marlin 5 comes with three different wheel sizes i.e., 27.5”, 26”, and 29”, and an aluminum frame which makes it a perfect hardtail cross-country bike. It contains a 2×8 drivetrain, suspension fork, rack, and kickstand mounts.

These features make it an ideal bike for new riders providing them with a stable and comfortable commute on and off-road.

If you’re a beginner and want that trail experience of a real mountain bike then this would be a perfect fit for you.

It has a wide range of gears and powerful hydraulic brakes. Although it’s a good bike for beginners it is still pretty heavy as compared to other bikes of the series or similar specs.

And the weight factor makes it a bit slower while climbing.

Pros

·         Perfect mountain bike for daily commutes and adventures

·         Comes in different sizes

·         Contains Rack and kickstand mounts

Cons

·         Heavier than other bikes

·         Some components might be outdated

Conclusion

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, choosing the right bike is always important.

The process of comparing different mountain bikes with different specs might look a bit daunting in the beginning but once you make the right choice it can help you in saving a couple of bucks and getting a long-lasting and durable bike.

So, start with assessing your skills and level, evaluate your budget, explore the market, and then make the right choice for yourself. 

Martin Williams

Martin has been tearing up all sorts of trails on a range of bikes ever since he was young. He once cycled across France, and once fell into a canal on a hybrid. He writes about everything to do with cycling on our site. You can find out more about him at bicycle2work.com/about-martin-williams/

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