Mtn vs City?

RLB2444

Member
How would you describe the differences in comfort, performance and handling of a mountain bike vs a city bike on the streets and greenways please? I have never ridden a mountain bike and my city e-bike is not comfortable with fit or ride. In theory the mountain bike should be better handling and more comfortable with the adjustable suspension system but I don't know if it also introduces some side effects that may affect ride and comfort. I know most are limited to 20mph which bothers me a bit but may be offset by the other benefits. I am focusing my interest on the new Trek Rail or Allant series bikes and the local dealer hasn't received them yet.

I have touched on similar questions before and got some great responses. I have tried to be more specific in addressing this again. Thanks for your input.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Mountain bikes have an “aggressive” geometry. I soon wear out in a MTB rider profile. On the other hand cruiser frames set me up riding upright, no pressure on my hands and an upright stance with an eye to eye interaction with cages, EBike to cage interaction. I just feel safer with a better overview of traffic. Wiith a decent seatpost a very comfortable riding position.

If I wanted to single track I’d have two bikes, a commuter and a climber.

I’m an Electra fan for a commuter and pleasure rider.
 

RLB2444

Member
Makes a lot of sense. I can see that too much flex and movement in the suspension would eventually be too much for longer distance rides on an MTN bike. Thank you for pointing this out Thomas. The Allant series of Trek bikes do not have a suspension system upfront. Do you think that by adding a suspension seat post would be effective in softening the ride a bit? Thank you.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Makes a lot of sense. I can see that too much flex and movement in the suspension would eventually be too much for longer distance rides on an MTN bike. Thank you for pointing this out Thomas. The Allant series of Trek bikes do not have a suspension system upfront. Do you think that by adding a suspension seat post would be effective in softening the ride a bit? Thank you.
A quality mtb will have lock out air suspension forks for sure, and possibly rear suspension lock out. If it doesn’t have lockout, a few pumps of a high pressure fork pump really stiffens the suspension. But as Thomas mentions, I have a full suspension mtb and a trekking bike. Besides the specialty handling differences, it gives me two common battery packs. Great option for trekking.
 

Manu

Active Member
There are 3 types of ebike, pure road, mixed or trekking that is used for trails and road and mountain (mtb) with different equipment, the mtb is suitable for all types of soil but is less efficient per watt, the road ebike is limited to asphalt, the trekking is not the best either on the road or off-road but it fulfills its mission, only mtb because you live in the mountains.The mountain ebikes are the most expensive and most maintenance, front and rear suspension are to blame.the ebike mtb is the more weight.

Strong points of mtb on the road, the wheel is of greater profile and heavier, teeth cassette of 40 or more, more grip, weak point: heavier, more difficult to roll the wheel, worse total aerodynamic coefficient , greater weight, lower top-down speed, the suspension makes the pedaling inefficient,need more watss per meter or you move,plate 34 0r 36 tooh limit you top speed down hill asphalt
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I don’t get the inefficiency always talked about with full suspension. Sure, if I was in a race sprint, out of the saddle and throwing every ounce of energy into it, the suspension would move and scrub off energy. But if I’m in the saddle and riding at a normal cadence I don’t feel any bobbing at all. I have my shocks and tires at a different pressure on the single trail compared to urban or gravel trails.
 

RLB2444

Member
-Manu and Rich.....interesting input. I never thought about the MTN bike in an efficient/inefficient viewpoint but it makes sense. At least compared to a non-mtn bike. I have had the impression from those that own MTN bikes that the suspension system can be tightened up enough to make it work well on the roads. Rich makes a point about how the bike is being ridden affecting the bobbing effect. I can't get fixed in my head how dramatic the impact of weight and aerodynamics will have on the bike with a top speed of 20mph. It may be there but the battery power level will offset these somewhat I would think. I am not an engineer and have to figure it out in a much simpler way than you have addressed it.
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
Makes a lot of sense. I can see that too much flex and movement in the suspension would eventually be too much for longer distance rides on an MTN bike.
A rear suspension makes for a very comfortable ride. For rides within the confines of my town (50,000 pop) I just automatically ride on one of my two EMTN bikes. As pointed out above the aggressive riding position isn't desirable for longer rides/commuting. Anyone who rides a mountain bike will tell you they are a lot of fun in any environment.

Just stating another point of view.
 

Feliz

Well-Known Member
As far as maintenance, of course if a mountain bike is ridden in competition, or even ridden the way they are supposed to be ridden😏 they require a lot of work, so do race cars. When was the last time anyone rebuilt a front fork, the rear suspension is just another fork only with one strut. When I competed in mountain biking most of the bike would have to be rebuilt after ever event, now I don't do any work, if you shift properly on a well set up bike and ride for pleasure maintenance on any modern bike is virtually nil. As an aside, my FS mountain bikes have a coil rear suspension, I prefer them anyway but I'm starting to see more and more of them. They have no maintenance.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Re the rear suspension / efficiency / bobbing effect. Quality mtb's have had rear suspension designed to minimise this for over 20 years now. Systems vary between geometry designed to reduce bobbing, switchable dampening settings and even switchable air spring settings.

my daughters conventional mtb is a scott genius - it has " twinlock" - a lever on the bars that she can switch between 3 different modes:

down hill - 150 mm rear travel , soft dampening - it sucks up bumps but is like riding a marshmallow

trail -100 mm travel, firm compression dampening on both rear suspension and forks - barely any bobbing, she pulls an extra 1/2 bike length from me with every pedal stroke until I realise she has flicked that switch....and then I increase assistance

rigid - both ends locked out.

scott make an ebike version, but I'm not convinced the technology is justified for an average rider. With my giant I rarely bother switching my rear shock between down hill and trail mode, and almost never use it locked out. Trail mode is efficient enough and comfortable enough 90% of the time.