Is it realistic to cycle 13 miles on a mtb?

14 replies
Found 19th Jul 2014
I'm thinking of cycling 13 miles to volunteering place every Sunday, public transport is not an option on the way there (only on the way back) so I was wondering if anyone has done long distances on mountain bike?

ps buying a road bike is not an option. thanks

Thanks for all the replies, I haven't committed for the volunteering yet that's why I asked. I'm not obese or anything, just haven't ridden a bike for 3 years (pedalling in the gym doesn't count ) and never have cycled that far. So was looking to see if its doable on regular basis.


If you have to ask, I would say definitely not.

My other half goes on recreational mtb rides nearly every weekend. Sometimes I go along too with him dragging our 5yr old on a tagalong. Usually longer than 13 miles. So if you're feeling fit enough, shouldn't be too bad!
Edited by: "chuckiedoll" 19th Jul 2014

13 miles isn't that far once you've done it a few time. You'll probably want to change the tyres depending on the bike you get as knobbly tyres on road are not too comfortable and slow you down compared to a slicker road biased tyre. Also if you use knobbly tyres in the wet on road, your bound to have an off at some point!
Edited by: "thehitman" 19th Jul 2014


I used to do 34 miles a day to work and back on my mountain bike. get the right bike... right size... right weight and not a cheap one and you'll be fine

I have a Carrera Vulcan which is quite a heavy bike and cycled Glasgow to Ayr (50-60 miles) it was very tough but it is definitely possible to cycle long distances. Just try to get a comfortable seat if you don't already have one. That was my only complaint.

It's not just about the bike or the distance - it's about getting your body accustomed to both

As RabLewandowski stated the seat is going to be the pain in your ***

Most fit/energetic people can ride 13miles at a steady pace and I've seen all types of bikes (from what the pro cycling brigade call BSO's to expensive bikes) on various journeys/terrain and generally the only issues you'll have is a flat tyre or sore coccyx or bum cheeks.

I would suggest a Hybrid- I'm not fit but regularly do 8-10 miles in about 40 mins -Advantage of a Hybrid is you can go through woods ,across grass etc (which you cant on a road bike ) and still have a good ride on roads . Unfit like me (and 60 !) 14-15 mph, on level roads is easy on a Hybrid ..

I did the Manchester 100 mile Charity ride on a MTB.

I used to regularly do rides of up to 70 miles on it. I did eventually give in and got a road bike which is better but there is nothing to stop a MTB doing those sort of distances.


I bike more than that on my mtb

Me & my daughter have pretty basic,cheap bikes, I'm not that interested really in bikes so couldn't really tell you much about what we have but we easily can do 6 miles on an outing. The 1st time we went out together we did 6miles, we were both stopping and starting a fair bit, however it was bit rough terrain we were on. 2nd time round we did 6miles on smoother ground and was not stopping and starting, only stopped for a break halfway. Since going out more and more we can stay out longer, go further.
You will soon get used to doing 13 miles.

13 miles is not a long distance on a bike at all. I started biking late last summer, got a second hand Carrera Vulcan MTB. I had not really been on a bike since I was a kid so it was all new to me.

Within no time at all I was doing 40k a day without even realizing it.

So I would say go for it, it is great fun and for me I find it very therapeutic. Just make sure you fit a mud guard on for those wet days or you will end up with dirt all up your back. Also maybe some waterproofs if you tend on ding it in the winter.

Get the bike and do a few test runs and time yourself. I use the iPhone app called 'Map My Ride' and it tells me where I have been, how fast, how long I have been riding, elevation and all sorts.

not enough info

are you fit?

is it a light bike or one of those £100 steel heavyweights?

up steep hills?



just cycle it today and then you'll know if its doable.

Why don't you try it before you commit to do the volunteering?

13 Miles isnt that far really, just keep a steady pace and dont push yourself too hard at the beginning and you should be fine.

i used to do around 13 miles to go to work/college on a cheap MTB that i got for £5
i would recommend if you don't already have them, get some hybrid tires. it is definitely doable, i was at the start deeply unfit and it was very hilly and partially off road. the first day did take an hour but that was in around 10 inches of snow
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