Mountain biker riding through the forest

Mountain bike or trekking bike - which is right for me?

Both mountain bikes and trekking bikes are extremely versatile bicycles that cut a fine figure on almost any surface. However, they have different strengths and characteristics that set them apart. Find out whether an off-road MTB or a versatile trekking bike is right for you in our buying guide.

Mountain bike: off-road fun with comfort guarantee

Mountain bikes are made for off-road adventures and thanks to suspension and wide tires they offer a lot of comfort and safety in technically demanding descents. On trails, they are a lot of fun thanks to precise steering and good stability and convince with outstanding handling.

Mountain biker on a single trail in the mountains

Mountain bike hardtails only have front suspension and a suspension fork. They are ideal bikes for beginners and convince with a low price and solid, low-maintenance technology. With most hardtails, you also have the option of retrofitting a permanently installed luggage rack and can thus easily transport a lot of luggage. Mountain bike fullys are fully suspended and have a suspension fork at the front and a suspension element at the rear. This gives them more comfort, but their weight is also a bit higher than hardtails and the technology is a bit more complicated.

If you like to ride with motor assistance, then an e-mountain bike is the perfect bike for you. Thanks to powerful motors and batteries, you can even manage long tours with many meters of altitude without much effort and enjoy your rides to the fullest.

In general, mountain bikes usually have a relatively sporty seating position and are clearly designed for propulsion. So if you prefer a comfortable, upright riding position or have back problems, you should opt for a trekking bike.

Most mountain bikes also come without lights, mudguards and luggage racks, which somewhat limits their suitability for everyday use. However, this equipment can be retrofitted to many of the bikes, and mountain bike hardtails in particular can be converted into practical everyday bikes.

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Trekking bike: Versatile all-rounder

A trekking bike scores points in terms ofversatility and knows how to convince in a variety of uses: You can commute to the office, do your shopping in the city or take long bike rides with luggage on a trekking bike.

Thanks to the usual luggage racks on trekking bikes, the bikes are ideal for transporting shopping, your work documents or even several bike bags when you go on a long tour. Another aspect that underlines the suitability of this type of bike for everyday use are the mudguards that protect you from splashing water and mud in bad weather. In addition, trekking bikes are usually equipped with StVZO-compliant lighting that is permanently installed on the bike. All this makes the bikes perfect everyday companions on the road, which provide with robust and low-maintenance technology even without much care long extremely reliable service.

In terms of range of use, trekking bikes are designed for asphalt roads or light terrain, such as forest trails and gravel roads. To improve comfort, they are often equipped with a front suspension fork, which effectively cushions the biggest bumps.

Cyclist with trekking bike and luggage on a bike tour

Due to the narrower tires compared to a mountain bike, they have good rolling characteristics on the road. Due to this and the limited suspension travel, they are not designed for use in rough terrain or on rocky trails.

Thanks to a relatively upright and relaxed riding position, trekking bikes are made for people with back problems or simply for long tours over several days. If you don't just want to make progress with your own muscle power, the e-trekking bikes with their powerful and reliable e-motors will certainly convince you.

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The comparison:

Characteristics mountain bike:

  • Ideal for trails and forest paths
  • Suspension and wide tires provide a lot of comfort
  • Much safety and good control in the terrain and on descents
  • Mostly relatively sporty seating position
  • Limited suitability for everyday use (equipment may need to be retrofitted)

Characteristics trekking bike:

  • Ideal for long tours, the way to the office or shopping
  • Designed for the city or easy terrain
  • Upright and comfortable riding position
  • Good transport capacity thanks to luggage rack
  • Excellent suitability for everyday use due to mudguards, light and luggage rack

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Conclusion: The application area is decisive

Which is the perfect bike for you is mainly decided by the area of use: Mountain bikes are designed as sports equipment for off-road use and, thanks to their suspension and wide tires, offer comfort and fun off-road. Trekking bikes, on the other hand, are designed more for the road and light off-road use, but offer excellent suitability for everyday use thanks to luggage racks, lights and mudguards. Due to their relatively upright riding position , they are ideal for long and relaxed tours and can also be recommended without restriction for people with back problems.