Updated on 8 May 2023
The MTB, ideal for very rough routes
The mountain bike is designed to tackle more difficult terrain such as forest or mountain trails, or wet ground with large puddles of water or mud. Therefore, it logically needs adapted tyres with studs and more powerful brakes (like disc brakes for example).
It also needs a stronger, more compact frame that increases handling and better withstands shocks and vibrations. A semi-rigid bike offers only a front fork, but an all-suspension model that also includes rear suspension is ideal. Although the latter is more expensive, it allows for better optimisation of physical efforts.
Compared to the VTC, the riding position is generally more sporty and therefore less comfortable. The weight is higher and there is less pedalling power.
The VTC, perfect for country roads
This model is more suited to less rugged roads, such as asphalt country roads, dirt roads, rough roads and small trails with bumps. It therefore often has a semi-rigid frame, thinner and smoother tyres and larger wheels (usually 28″).
The VTC usually has less travel (the distance the fork can absorb) for greater versatility on your leisure rides. The fork is also lighter, so the total weight of the bike is usually less than an MTB (not including accessories).
Moreover, unlike MTBs, suspension forks are not compulsory and offer greater comfort, especially thanks to the more upright riding position. They also sometimes come with extra equipment (such as a luggage rack).
The mountain bike has better suspension and thicker, grippier tyres to cope with all types of terrain, unlike the VTC, which is a mixture of a city bike and a mountain bike. The VTC also offers a more comfortable ride with generally larger wheels and more equipment.
Therefore, the mountain bike is ideal for sporty rides, while the VTC is good for riding on rough roads and trails. However, the latter is not suitable for riding in forests or on muddy terrain. If you are going to be doing several types of outings, the mountain bike is the best choice as it is easier to cope with the different routes.
Translated by Ramsés El Hajje