Can You Put Road Tires on a Mountain Bike?

Mountain bikes (MTBs) are a lot of fun to ride and in fact, if you’re looking for an off-road vehicle that can handle even tough terrain, this is the kind you want. If you’ve had your bike for a while, you might be wondering, can I put regular road tires on my mountain bike? It’s something many MTB owners ask themselves at some point, and with good reason.

There are numerous reasons you might want to swap out your mountain bike’s tires for standard road tires, and if you’re curious about whether you can do this, the answer is a resounding “yes.” You can indeed replace the tires on your mountain bike with regular road tires; however, there are a few things you need to keep in mind first because you can’t just rush right out to the bicycle store, buy a set of tires, and put them on your mountain bike.

First off, it’s good to realize that the tires on a mountain bike are not only made differently than the tires on a standard bicycle, but they are a different size as well. You also have to take into consideration not just the tires, but the rims and all of the other components that you’ll need when finding replacement tires; but before we get to that, let’s start at the very beginning.

Why Do People Choose Mountain Bikes?

People choose mountain bikes over regular bikes for a variety of reasons. If you love the great outdoors and wish to bike away from the traffic, these bikes are just perfect. They allow you to enjoy some very challenging bike rides without having to worry about getting hit by a car or staying away from the vehicles on the road.

Mountain bikes offer many other advantages as well. For instance, MTBs:

  • Are a lot of fun
  • Allow you to get very intense with each ride
  • Let you explore a variety of terrains and landscapes
  • Allow you to ride at night
  • Come with a lot of fun accessories that you can add to make riding even more fun

When people want a challenging ride that is off-road because they love hiking trails or mountainous terrain, a mountain bike is just right. This type of terrain can be bumpy and rough, but if you’re an adrenaline junkie, this is likely exactly what you’re likely looking for anyway!

What Are Mountain Bike Tires Like?

As you can imagine, the tires on a mountain bike are different from the tires on a standard road bike. Bicycle tires are usually thin and inflated to around 100 PSI (pounds per square inch) – sometimes 120 PSI. On the other hand, mountain bike tires are usually … Read More

Clipless Pedals: Why Are They Called Clipless?

Clipless Pedals: Why Are They Called Clipless?

Have you recently been wondering why you could ever want to “clip-in” to a “clipless pedal?” It sounds absurd, right?

But before diving into where the clipless pedal got its silly name, or what a clipless pedal even is, it would be valuable to at least explore all the options, which can seem complicated and confusing.

Starting with the basics of the pedal’s anatomy may help some.

The pedal is the single most crucial aspect of the cycling experience. It connects the rider to the machine. Without the pedals, there is no energy transfer from the cyclist to the bicycle. And neither can go anywhere without them.

There are three main components to the pedal:

1. The spindle
2. The body
3. The bearings

The body mounts to the spindle, allowing for rotation along the spindle axis. The bearings simply allow this to happen with minimal friction and heat build-up.


There are several different types of pedals, depending on what variety of cycling you intend to do.

Platform pedals

You may be tempted to conjure up visions of a three-year-old’s tricycle pedal when thinking about platform pedals. But they have evolved considerably, even in the last few years.

For example, the Bontrager Line Pro MTB Pedal Set offers some high-tech features for the serious cyclist:

  • Tuneable traction pins to help avoid foot slippage
  • Sealed cartridge bearings
  • 6061-T6 aluminum body

Platform pedals are commonly used by commuters, recreational cyclists, and mountain bike riders. The large, flat surface allows for more freedom and maneuverability. Also, platforms are ideal for those who wear street shoes while riding.

Pedals with toe clips

These are platform pedals that have toe clips and straps to secure the cyclist’s shoes on the pedal without slipping off. The toe clip is a thin metal or plastic attachment to the front cage of the pedal.

The toe clip is shaped like the toe of a shoe and its function is to prevent a cyclist’s shoe from slipping off the pedal during the forward pedaling motion. It usually comes with a strap made of nylon or leather that holds the foot securely in place. The main drawback of this system is that the rider has to first loosen the strap when coming to a complete stop.

Some manufacturers still make pedals with toe clips. Wellgo currently offers a platform pedal set with a combination toe clip & strap, which is designed to increase pedal stroke efficiency. However, when it comes to the mainstream, most riders prefer clipless.

What exactly are clipless pedals?

This is the confusing part. A clipless pedal is one that excludes the toe clip and strap. But this does not mean that there is no clip … Read More

Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike Without a Helmet In California?

Is It Illegal To Ride A Bike Without a Helmet In California?

Bike riding is a popular activity for thousands of Californians. It provides enjoyment, stress management, and physical health benefits. Cycling also is an environmentally friendly way to get around. Unfortunately, bike accidents do happen, but wearing a helmet can help prevent serious head injury. It might even mean the difference between life and death.

Is it illegal to ride a bike without a helmet in California?

Yes, if you are a child who is 17 years old or younger. The law also applies to children who ride on public property, streets, or designated bike paths and trails. Although adults aged 18 years and older don’t have a legal obligation to wear helmets, it’s still a good idea for them to put one on.

In California, wearing a helmet is not just about safety; it’s the law for children under 18. Whether you’re a child or an adult, riding a bike without a helmet could make you more vulnerable to severe head injury and possibly death. It also can cost you money and non-financial headaches.

The California Bike Helmet Law

What does the law say? Article 4 of the California Vehicle Code requires that anyone under the age of 18 who rides a bicycle on a street, bikeway, or other public bike path or trail wear a bike helmet that meets safety standards. Article 4 also applies to minor passengers of a bike trailer or a passenger seat attached to the bike.

The law doesn’t just apply to bicycles. Article 4 of the California Vehicle Code also states that children have to wear a helmet when they ride any non-motorized scooter or skateboard. This requirement also applies to roller blades or skates that the child uses on any public grounds, designated paths and trails, or the street.

What about people over 17?

There are no laws in California—or any other U.S. state—that mandates bike helmets for adults over 18 years of age. Adults have the freedom to decide for themselves. Nevertheless, proponents of the law typically argue that helmets are an important safeguard for cyclists of any age.

Not just any helmet will do. A bike helmet that complies with the California law must pass safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). These standards ensure that the helmet fits properly and adequately to protect the head against impact.

Don’t confuse the bike helmet law with motorcycle helmet laws. Just like a car or motorcycle, a bicycle is a vehicle; it’s another mode of transportation that gets you from one point to another. However, helmet laws differ across vehicles. For example, in California, people of all ages who ride or … Read More

mountain bike

Can You Ride a Mountain Bike on the Road?

Getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to cycling is a natural concern that every rider has on their mind at one time or another. An increase in bike choice each year also comes with increased costs for the average cyclist.

The new generation of mountain bikes is no exception. With some costing over $10,000, it is no wonder cyclists of all levels want to get the most out of their purchases. “Multi-purpose” takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to plunking down your hard-earned cash for a new bike.

With that in mind, is it okay to ride your mountain bike on the road? To answer that question, it is necessary to thoroughly understand mountain bikes and how they operate compared to road bikes.

What is a mountain bike, anyway?

What distinguishes a mountain bike from its road-racing cousin is the overall design. They share similarities, but the mountain bike has different features to enhance durability over rugged terrain. These typically include:

  • Front or full suspension systems
  • Large, knobby tires
  • Stronger wheels
  • More powerful braking systems
  • Lower gear ratios for hill climbing
  • Straight handlebars for better comfort

Mountain bike manufacturers build their bikes with the outdoor adventurer in mind. Most true off-road riders have an independent streak and are often daring enough to challenge even the most brutal landscapes including:

  • Rocks
  • Loose dirt
  • Gravel
  • Tree roots

Some human-made courses offer additional obstacles known as Technical Trail Features (TTF’s) such as:

  • Rock gardens
  • Log piles
  • Specialized jumps
  • Narrow riding surfaces (“skinnies”)
  • Log rides
  • Near-vertical riding surfaces (“wall rides”)

Mountain cyclists not only ride on mountain trails but also on other specialized areas such as fire roads and narrower, singletrack trails.

Because mountain bikes can handle all of these extreme riding conditions, they have been popular for several years with urban riders. Due to their increased durability, navigating over potholes and curbs is no problem for these sturdy workhorses, which leads to another question:

What type of mountain bike should you get?

To answer that question, it is helpful to review the different types of mountain bikes offered:

1. Hardtail

The hardtail mountain bike is just how it sounds. There is no suspension provided on the back and performs well on smoother, less rugged terrain.

The common misconception about hardtails is that they are usually only offered as cheap alternatives, which is not the case. Some can cost into the thousands for a well-built bike.

2. Full suspension

The full suspension mountain bike offers both front and rear suspension. This category breaks down into several other subsets:

  • Cross country
  • Trail
  • Enduro
  • Downhill

Suspension travel is an important specification (spec) for full suspension bikes and … Read More

cyclist wearing bike helmet

How Long Does a Road Bike Helmet Last?

When did you last replace your road bike helmet? A bike helmet is perhaps the most critical protective equipment you wear on your ride. A helmet that’s in good shape can mean the difference between a good day and a bad one. An old or damaged road bike helmet won’t likely give you the protection you need, and you’ll need to replace it.

How long does a road bike helmet last? You can probably use your helmet for 5-10 years. Standard-setting organizations like the Snell Memorial Foundation say that five years is the maximum. Some helmet manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet after just three years, especially if you ride a lot of hot, sunny days.

If you don’t ride very much, you might be able to hold onto your helmet for more than ten years. However, you might be better off replacing the helmet every 5-10 years in case it accumulates wear or damage that you might not be able to see. If you care about bike safety, there are signs that your current helmet is no longer safe or reliable.

How to Tell If You Need to Replace Your Road Bike Helmet

You’ve had a crash.

Keep in mind an important rule of thumb: If you crash while wearing your helmet, replace it, no matter how minor the accident. A bike helmet is a single-use piece of safety equipment. If you’ve worn your helmet during a crash, you might not be able to see any damage, such as compression on the foam liner hidden by the external shell.

The shell is sun-faded or brittle

When the shell gets exposed to too much ultraviolet or UV light, it can become brittle, and it’ll eventually crack and not hold up during impact. Is the color of the shell faded? Faded color could be a sign of diminished protection. Even though many manufacturers put UV inhibitors in the plastic, these inhibitors can fail.

Your helmet acts as a beer can

You probably know that when you press in a dent on an aluminum can the dent pops back out. Try the same thing on your helmet’s shell. Less expensive helmets sometimes do this, but if this denting occurs all over the helmet, the expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam underneath is likely crushed.

You can see damage on the foam liner

The EPS, which is fitted against the outer shell, is a very important element that shields your head from impact. The EPS won’t deteriorate from age alone. You still should check it for any cracks or deep dents. Even in a relatively new helmet, a damaged foam liner will not protect you properly.

The chin strap is worn out

A little sweat … Read More


Can Cycling Give You Ripped Abs? Read this First!

Have you ever wondered how some people could maintain a chiseled midsection while others carry around a “beer-gut?” You may think that some folks are just born with good genetics, and others are simply cursed with a life deprived of being able to show off their “six-pack.”

You may also be wondering, can cycling give you ripped abs? After all, you spend a good deal of time riding your bike, and there should be some kind of reward in the form of a beautiful physique.

The answer is yes! You can develop an incredible “washboard” while enjoying the sport of cycling. However, in order to utilize a plan to achieve that goal, a basic understanding of how the body functions is essential.

Many different muscles work together to help propel your bike forward. Collectively, they make a huge impact on the force output generated by your body while pedaling.

The hip adductors (inner thigh muscles)

These long, muscular bands run down along the inside of your leg and allow you to keep from flaring your knees outward while riding. The adductors start from the hip and connect to the tibia (lower leg bone).

Their main job is to pull the leg into the centerline of the body and assist other muscles with leg flexion.

The hip abductors (outer thigh muscles)

These muscles often get confused with the adductors, since the name is similar, but they work to help increase power during the pedals’ downstroke. Unlike the adductors, they run along the outside of the leg.

Their primary mission is to draw the leg to the outside of the body, similar to a karate kick. This action allows you to keep your foot straight on the pedals.

The hip extensors (glutes and tensor muscles)

From about the 12 o’clock to the 3 o’clock pedal positions, these powerful muscles work together to provide the most force for the entire pedal stroke. They have the ability to fire quickly and give you a strong burst of energy during the start of a race.

The knee extensors (quadriceps)

Once the pedal reaches the 3 o’clock position, it is time for the quads to take over. Power through the pedal stroke is enhanced as the knee becomes fully extended.

The knee flexors (hamstrings)

During the recovery phase of the stroke, the hamstrings engage to help pull the pedal back to the 12 o’clock position. The rider needs to clip into the pedals to accomplish this. Otherwise, the pedals will be pushed downward instead of pulling upward, thereby defeating the pedal stroke.

The hamstrings are the most overlooked, yet some of the most important muscles for the cyclist. They not only add speed and power through … Read More

Road Bike Drivetrain

How Long Does a Road Bike Drivetrain Last?

Just like a car, the road bike is a vehicle with an engine. The road bike’s engine is the drivetrain, which consists of the chain, chainrings, cranks or crankarms, cassette, and the front and rear derailleurs. The drivetrain is what gets the road bike moving. If you give it regular care and maintenance, your drivetrain will provide you with many miles on the road.

How long does a road bike drivetrain last? That depends on where and how you ride, and how well you clean and maintain it. A high-quality drivetrain can last a long time, even up to 20 years for some cyclists. However, if it’s starting to make noise, it is hard to pedal, or you have difficulty shifting gears, the drivetrain is likely nearing the end of its life.

A road bike drivetrain is something you should never ignore or assume always to be reliable. You can’t help normal wear and tear, but you can slow it down. Several factors can affect the life of your drivetrain, and there are many things you can do–on and off the bike–to prolong the life of your drivetrain and save money on repairs and part replacements.

What affects the life of a drivetrain?

Lube your chain. Ignoring the chain can mean decreasing the life of the entire drivetrain. If your chain squeaks, it’s starting to build up rust, which puts undue wear on the other drivetrain components. Clean and lubricate the chain at least once a week. You probably need to do it more often if you pack on the miles or ride in wet conditions.

Don’t overdo the chain lube. There can be too much of a good thing. The last thing you want is to squeak as you go down the road. However, don’t let this fear compel you to lube the chain too much. Overdoing the chain lube, especially on the outside of the chain, will attract more dirt and grime, which will wear down your drivetrain more quickly.

One chain won’t last you forever. Chains wear down because of the dirt and grime that fly up. They also stretch with each passing mile. Replacing your chain is easy to forget, so make it a habit to inspect your chain regularly for signs of wear and stretching. Your bike will thank you for it, and a $20 chain is a lot easier to replace than a $200 cassette.

Do you take your road bike off paved roads? Maybe you crave more adventure. There’s nothing wrong with taking your road bike on less-traveled gravel or dirt paths. Just keep in mind that doing so could put additional wear and stress on the drivetrain. The road grit your tires … Read More


Mountain Bike Cleats Vs. Road Bike Cleats

Comparing mountain bike cleats and road bike cleats may present confusion. Knowing which to select for your bike can be troubling, too. Today’s expert blog post will help you.

As your cycling experience evolves, you become aware of the value of clipless pedals. You notice that there are two popular types of pedal systems, which are mountain and road.

But which is right for you? Should you choose mountain cleats or road cleats? What are the differences?

Discover those answers by reading further.

Mountain Bike CleatsRoad Bike Cleats
Two boltsThree bolts
Multi-way pedalsOne-way pedals
Versatile shoesAwkward shoes
Tolerates gunkTolerates less
Road-bike friendlyRoad bikes only
More durableMore about speed

Cycling Cleats Are Not All the Same

LOOK Keo Grip Road Cleats

You might have someone in your life who thinks differentiating between gear types is silly. They probably think all bikes are alike. Meanwhile, you know better.

You clearly understand that your gear choice directly affects the quality of your rides. Subsequently, you know that cycling cleats are not all alike. If they were, mountain bikers and road cyclists would use the same cleats, and this article would stop right here.

Mountain Bike Bicycle Cleat Set

Bicycle cleats vary, and one essential way is by purpose. For example, a mountain bike’s cleat should be versatile and rugged, and a road bike’s cleat should be light and rigid. Each type of cleat is constructed with those aspects in mind.

As a result, we generally advise mountain bikers to use mountain cleats and road cyclists to use road cleats. Still, this subject contains nuances, which we will detail along with other important information.

Helpful Bicycling Cleat Tips

Some of these tips will help you shop for the right bike cleats. Others will assist with using them. All are beneficial.

1. Different Cleat Types Are Simply Different Takes on the Same Technology

Today’s road bike cleats are still based on the game-changing clipless pedal system Look introduced in 1984. They employ a purpose-built shoe and a three-bolt cleat that can only attach to one side of their compatible pedal.

Road bike pedals maximize the transference of the rider’s energy. If you’ve already tried out a clipless system, you likely noticed that it enables you to push and pull your cycle’s pedals. That effect is obviously unattainable using a conventional, platform pedal.

As the mountain bike subculture grew in the 1980s, riders began adapting road bike advancements to their mountain rigs. Clipless pedal systems were a natural item of interest.

Importantly, a road bike’s shoes are too rigid and awkward for single-trail rides. Additionally, road bike pedal systems are not forgiving enough for long, intense mountain bike rides. … Read More

Can Road Bikes Be Ridden Off Road?

Can Road Bikes Be Ridden Off-Road?

A real road bike is built for speed. For this reason, manufacturers take great care in decreasing weight for the serious cyclist. From lightweight carbon fiber frames down to tire design and featherweight wheels, road bikes have a certain “finesse” that other bikes do not possess.

So this begs the question, is it safe to ride your road bike, the one you scrimped and saved months or even years for, off-road? It may be best to answer this question with another one:

Would you drive a $15 million race car off-road? The answer is, absolutely not! Neither would you want to ride your high-performance road bike down a mountain trail, sending jarring shock waves through every component.

There are, however, solutions for those who, on occasion, need to ride on something other than smooth pavement. We’ll get to those later.

For now, let’s explore the reasons why you should never take your beautiful racing machine off-road.

1. The tires are built for speed on paved surfaces

Tire manufacturers design their road bike tires not only with decreased weight in mind but also with a reduction in road friction. Designers refer to the portion of a bikes tire contacting the road surface as the contact patch.

The higher the contact patch, the greater the resistance caused by the tire hitting the pavement, and a higher resistance means more work for the cyclist. The best way to combat this effect is to choose a narrower tire.

The obvious problem for using narrow tires on a dirt road is the lack of stability. Wider tires with a higher contact patch are much better suited for this task, which completely defeats the purpose of having a fast bike!

2. The lightweight rims may not hold up

Even though the latest alloy technology increases the likelihood your bike wheels will hold up to almost anything, would you want to risk having to spend over $1, 000 to replace the rims on your bike? It is not the durability of the material that is in question. It all comes down to how much you want to risk having to replace expensive parts.

Another problem with riding outside the confines of pavement is dealing with bent rims. Even if you have a chance to avoid replacement and true up your wheels, the time investment, aggravation, and costs still could be significant in the long run.

A slightly heavier, wider rim is much more suitable for taking on the challenges of rough terrain. But again, speed is severely reduced, and that defeats the purpose of owning a road bike.

3. The frame may not be suitable for off-roading

Carbon frames have indeed become stronger over the years. … Read More


What Is Average Cycling Speed For Beginners

The moment you set your feet on the pedals and grab the handlebars, you may feel the adrenal rush to push your limits and ride like the wind. However, let’s not forget that when you are a beginner, it’s essential to go on a comfortable pace and then gradually increase your speed.

So, what is the average cycling speed for beginners? Here’s the answer for you. Most beginner cyclists ride at an average speed of 10-14 mph on the road. However, those who have been athletes or runners before, have a higher level of endurance. They may be capable of sustaining a speed of 15-18 mph or more.

The professional road racers typically maintain a higher speed limit of 25-28 mph on an average (flat pavement). For a beginner cyclist, we feel that an average of 13.5 mph is good enough when riding for longer distances.

Regardless of what your average speed is at the beginning, this is bound to improve and change as you continue riding and strengthen your fitness. Losing a few pounds due to continuous cycling can also make you lighter and help you pedal more efficiently.

Having said that, let’s not forget that the average speed for both beginners and professional cyclists may vary depending on various factors such as fitness level, age, weight, cardio-vascular capacity, the quality of the bike, the type of road, and so on.

When riding on a city pavement, the average speed may also be impacted by the traffic lights and stop signals (depending on the route taken). On hilly terrain, this may vary depending on the type of terrain, distance, weather condition, and so on. Let’s take a closer look at the various factors and their impact on the average speed in detail.

Factors That Affect Average Speed For Beginners

# Route And Climate

The kind of road a cyclist rides on is perhaps one of the biggest factors that determine the speed. For example, if you are riding on a smooth city route with less traffic and hurdles then chances are that you will be able to ride much faster than a route with lots of signals.

Similarly, if you are mountain biking on a less bumpy terrain then you will be able to go much faster than when you ride on a rough and hilly area. Besides that, some areas may be exposed to high winds that offer resistance and reduce your average speed.

Sometimes even gentle winds may hold you back and make it difficult to pedal efficiently. Talking about the weather, the climate condition, whether hot or cold may also have an adverse effect on your average speed.  

#.Type Of Bike

The average cycling speed … Read More