Q. I need a new bicycle but I don’t know if I should get a mountain bike or a road bike. What are the pros and cons of each type?
— Confused Carl
A. Dear Confused Carl, good question. I’d say the best way to think of it is this: The mountain bike is a SUV and the road bike is a sports car. Which type of bike is best for you depends mostly on where you plan on riding.
Without knowing your answer, my first instinct is to tell you to get a mountain bike. The reason: durability and versatility. Mountain bikes are very durable because they’re designed to handle rough off-road conditions. They have heavy duty gears and parts, a stronger frame (like the bike’s skeleton), and some even have cushy shock absorbing suspensions for smoothing out the bumps. But don’t let the name “mountain” fool you—whether you’re riding on trails or bouncing off curbs around your neighborhood, this versatile type of bike will stand up to all sorts of riding.
On the other hand, road bikes are usually lighter weight with thin frames and skinny tires. They are really fast and agile but definitely not well suited for rough roads. If you have a need for speed, get a road bike. If you wanna ride a little bit of everywhere, buy a mountain bike.