Mountain bikes are one of the most versatile types of bicycles. Historically mountain bikes were built for mountain biking, but these days they can be used to ride on any type of terrain.

So what are mountain bikes good for? Mountain bikes are great for things including trail riding, hill climbing, gravel roads, and even pavement. Mountain bike enthusiasts enjoy this versatility because it allows them to take their mountain bikes on many adventures that would otherwise not be possible with other types of bicycles.

1. Singletrack, and off-road riding

This is the obvious first thing that mountain bikes are built for! You can easily take your mountain bike off the beaten path and use them on many different types of trails in the backcountry.

These mountain bike trails tend to be more rugged and less maintained than typical bicycle paths, although this may vary depending on where you live.

Riding your mountain bike like this is a ton of fun, a great workout, and is exactly what this type of bike was meant for.

However, it also isn’t the only thing that it can do well!

2. Riding on the pavement

Now, this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when talking about mountain biking, however, a mountain bike can easily be used on the roads ! As one of the most popular types of bike for families, riding on the pavement may be the primary usage of most mountain bikes sold today.

Due to its brawny build and soft ride, mountain bikes mean that families can take a quick ride around the block, but also be able to take it on the trails whenever they would like, without having to buy multiple types of bikes for everyone involved.

This is why you see most big box stores selling primarily mountain bikes on their shelves!

Yes, the purists will scoff at this, but it is just a fact of life and means more people can get out on these man-powered two-wheeled vehicles.

3. Great for bicycling on gravel roads

What is the mixture of the two things above? That would be flatter gravel roads. Mountain bikes are a perfect setup for gravel roads , where you can leisurely ride up and down these roads to get out and enjoy nature.

While there are other bikes out there (like gravel bikes) that can handle this task well, there isn’t a bike that is better for all different tasks for a novice rider than a mountain bike.

4. So much more

Mountain bikes realistically can do any type of riding! They may not be crazy fast on the pavement like a road or gravel bike. They may not be as comfortable as a cruiser or hybrid bike. However, they are completely capable and can handle all types of terrain in a way that no other bicycle can do.

What makes a mountain bike so versatile?

Large range of gears

The main reason that mountain bikes can do all of these things is that they are built with a large range of gears! This means if you are on the trails, you can lower down to a low gear to get up that quick incline, and on the same note be able to go into a higher gear to enjoy the drop back down.

If you are on the pavement and are going up along sloping hill, you need that lower gear to get up the hill without getting off the bike, but then you need those higher gears on flat ground to be able to keep your speed up.

Not every bike out there has this wide range of gears, but mountain bikes do.

An extensive suspension setup

What is one of the major complaints that new riders have? Comfort. Mountain bikes have suspension on the front, and even sometimes on the rear of the bicycle so that they can handle jumps and more.

However, this also makes it ideal for riding on pavement that has potholes and cracks. It also means you won’t feel every little piece of gravel on that gravel road you are taking the bike on.

Aerodynamic positioning

Mountain bikes, to maintain stability, generally have you tilting forward a bit over the handlebars. However, this also gives you a bit more of an aerodynamic position on the bicycle as well! This aids you in the department of speed when riding on pavement or gravel.

Of course, this is offset by being a heavier overall bike than a dedicated bike for this type of ride, but I digress.

Knobby tires

Finally, one of the most important things about mountain bikes is their knobby tires! These thicker, knobby tires allow for maximum grip on the dirt trails, but they also give a lot of stability and traction on gravel, roads, and more.

This means that newer riders are much more comfortable with the fact that they won’t fall over.

These tires also take a considerable amount of impact into them, further helping out the suspension with giving a much more comfortable ride.


Mountain bikes are good for a variety of rides. You can take them on the trails, up hills, down gravel roads, and even ride them on roads and hard surfaces if you need to. This makes mountain bikes one of the most versatile types of bicycles that exist!

I hope this article might have helped you in some way!