A female rider poses with her mountain bike on a gravel road.

Why Riding a Mountain Bike on Gravel Roads is A-Okay!


While Bentonville, Arkansas is the Mountain Biking Capital of the World™, the gravel craze has certainly reached us here. When it comes to cycling, the world is your playground, and the choices are limitless. One delightful option that’s often overlooked is riding a mountain bike on gravel roads. While some purists may argue that gravel-specific bikes are the only way to go, we’re here to tell you that it’s perfectly okay to hop on your trusty mountain bike – whether full-suspension, hardtail, or e-mountain bike – and hit those gravel routes.



If you ride a mountain bike but are interested in dabbling your toe into the fastest form of cycling throughout the U.S., our hope is you feel encouraged and empowered to get out there and start with what you’ve got. Here’s why:

  • Comfort is key: Mountain bikes are designed with comfort in mind. Their wider tires and suspension make for a smoother ride on rough terrain. You’ll appreciate the extra cushioning during those long, bumpy rides.
  • A bike is better than no bike: Gravel-specific bikes can be quite an investment. Riding your mountain bike on gravel is a cost-effective alternative. Sure, you might not have all the bells and whistles, but it’s more about the journey than the equipment. Not to mention, by riding on a mountain bike wit heftier tires, you’re less likely to get a flat!
  • Do it your way: Cycling is about adventure and exploration. Don’t worry about what others think if you’re not on a gravel bike. Embrace the freedom to choose your own path and enjoy the sense of discovery that gravel roads offer.
  • Versatility: Mountain bikes are incredibly versatile. You can seamlessly transition from gravel roads to more rugged trails, giving you the flexibility to explore a variety of terrains without switching bikes. This is especially convenient if you want to enjoy two rides of differing terrain in one day or across your weekend visiting OZ.
  • Kick it up a few watts: Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on the trails in Northwest Arkansas, and gravel cycling is yet another exciting and practical application for e-bikes. Zip around town for coffee and breakfast, ride to the start of your route, and enjoy more gravel miles with the assistance of e-bikes when you rent or bring your own.

A biker rides his mountain bike on a gravel road

So, the next time you’re contemplating a gravel road adventure, remember that your mountain bike is more than up to the task. It’s all about the joy of the ride, the thrill of discovery, and the freedom to explore wherever your wheels may take you. Don’t be afraid to break the mold and embark on your gravel journey with the bike you love the most!