I am a cyclist and enjoy riding my bikes. I have a Mountain Terrain Hardtail bike named Firefox Target and a firefox road pro bike.
Through the medium of this blog I would like to share my experiences about both of my bikes which might help you decide on which bike is better for you.
MTB's vs Road Bikes:
Shape: Road bikes, having been designed for speed, generally position the rider much closer to the top tube and the pedals. This hunched-over position is more efficient for getting power from the rider's legs, but is also far more taxing on the back than a more upright mountain bike. This design difference is very apparent in the different types of handle bars used for each kind of bike. Those for use on rougher terrain have wide handle bars that allow the rider greater control, as opposed to the bent handle bars of most road models, which are lower and more aerodynamic.
Weight: Where a heavy frame is a huge burden on speed, it is often a necessity for going down the mountain. Bikes designed for this purpose are heavy out of necessity, with wider tires and extensive suspension systems helping to make the ride down the mountain easier to manage. Good bikes for road use will be designed to eliminate as much excess weight as possible. I can lift my road bike with my tiny little finger but takes me both hands to pick up my MTB.
Tires: The key with MTB's is traction. They're wider and covered with lots of nubby rubber to increase surface area and friction. These qualities will help the rider retain control of the bicycle as he or she careens down the hill. Road bike tires, on the other hand, are generally very thin and very smooth. They rely on the surface of the rubber and the skill of the rider to maintain friction between the bike and the road. Also from my past experiences, Road bikes are more prone to tyre punctures that MTB's (I apply my punctures on my own[as i do have to get home as well], thanks to the puncture kit). I often take my Firefox Target for off-roads and because of the wide tyres I don't face flat tyres.
Suspension: Bikes that are truly built for speed will not have any suspension, though they are often built with materials that will absorb vibrations from unevenly paved roads. On the other hand, front shock absorbers, rear suspension, and even unique hybrids will all be available for bikes that are made to tackle the rough mountain surfaces. Mountain bikes are definitely more comfortable. Road bikes are good until you hit a rough patch on the rood. Since these bikes don't have a suspension each bump is directly transferred to your body.
In the end, Anyone looking for a bike should choose a design based on his or her anticipated needs, and test ride as many different brands and designs as possible.
You should answer a few questions before buying it:
Where do you intend to ride ?
Why do you want to ride ?
How often do you expect to ride ?