What is a HardTail Mountain Bike

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The first thing that crosses your mind as a biker or someone who has a thing for mountain bikes is what options are available when it comes to matters bikes. There are two major types; the hardtail mountain bike and the full-suspension bike. We’ll delve into key features distinguishing the two a bit later. For now, let us focus on what is a hardtail mountain bike and what does it mean for any rider; be it an accomplished one or an entry-level rider?

A hardtail bike is an all-terrain bike that has no rear shock. Instead, it is equipped with a front suspension or rigid forks as an alternative. The best thing about it is that it is an ideal choice for any biker, whether novice or experienced, not to mention the fact that it tends to be cheaper and lighter than a full-suspension bike.

Entry Level

Are you looking for your first bike? Do you feel confused given all the seemingly overwhelming information out there in regards to bikes? Then worry no more. Consider a hardtail bike. This incredibly versatile automobile can be used on several types of terrains depending on the key features that you choose. When it comes to maintenance, it is much easier to deal with a hardtail mountain bike compared to a full-suspension bike. As an inexperienced rider, you require time to decide whether the bike you have is for you, or if you should get yourself a different kind of bike. With a decent hardtail bike, movement of the rear shock enables you to tackle most of the difficult terrains without feeling as though your effort is being put to waste.

As a matter of fact, I would advise you to go for a high-end hardtail bike as opposed to a cheaper full-suspension bike. The compromise in the bicycle frame and component quality may leave you regretting your choice of bike, and that is not a very funny feeling. Sometimes, cheap is expensive and I’m certain that you do agree with me.

Accomplished Riders

Almost any experienced rider will tell you that a hardtail is a point of nostalgia for the early and pure days of mountain biking. A hardtail lacks the rear suspension to come to your aid in case you make a miscalculated move. Trail riding is more of positioning your body in a tactical manner, choosing your lines with extra caution, and adjusting your body every now and then. Your legs should be in such a manner that you are able to handle the vibrations from the rear end; in short, sturdy. It gets more interesting when you use the hardtail for winter training. It requires a lot of precision given the thin tires, thus your ride gives you just the right challenge.

Did I mention that you need not stress how long it will take you to clean out the dirt from your rear shock unlike the case with a full-suspension bike? By the time you are done with the spell on a hardtail bike and it is time for you to go back to your other bike, you will be a faster and more efficient rider as a result of the improved techniques that come with the hardtail monster.

What should I choose between a HardTail Mountain Bike Vs a Full-Suspension Bike?

This is a very common question with any biker. We’ll look into a few pros and cons of each and what differentiates the two to make it easier for you to make an informed choice. What distinguishes both majorly are the hardtail mountain bike frames, which are significantly different from those of a full-suspension bike.  Basically, a hardtail bike is an automotive with a solid frame, usually with a suspension fork on the front.

A full-suspension mountain bike has the same structure at the front. The only difference is that its frame consists of two triangular pieces joined together by a sort of pivot that enables these two parts to move independently. A shock absorbs controls the rate of the movement.  The choice as to which of the two is better comes down to personal preference, the kind of average terrain to be encountered. What is a hardtail mountain bike and what does it excel at as opposed to a full-suspension bike?


We cannot dispute the fact that hardtail mountain bikes require maintenance which is long-term. Looking at the full-suspension bike for instance, the pivots and all those added advancements to it will require regular servicing. The hind shock will require you to change its seals almost every other season. If you are looking into simplicity and you want to keep your maintenance budget on the low, then the hardtail bike is your most ideal option.


Hardtail Bikes transfer the pedaling power to the back wheel much more efficiently. This translates to better and easier acceleration, which means that it is easier for a biker to sustain high speeds and for a longer period of time.


If we consider a bumpy downhill trail, a full-suspension bike has its advantage. However, this does not mean that it is an obviously better choice than its counterpart. The hardtail bike does just as fine; the only thing is acquiring the right technique, given the fact that the suspension comes from your legs. The disadvantage of this is that you tend to get tired a little bit faster, although not so much.

•Cost or rather the financial implication

Honestly speaking, the hardtail model of the mountain bike has existed for over a century and it is what is known by most of us. The FS model is in existence as a result of innovation. As such, many patents have been accorded to it, which comes with various licenses. The ugly truth is that these expenses have to be met, and you as the buyer are the one to incur them. The hardtail mountain bike tends to be a cheaper and more economical option.

Anytime there is the mention of price, one cannot help but wonder what hardtail mountain bike to buy. If you are a novice, on a really tight budget or you prefer keeping it simple, I would advise that you go for a nice hardtail model in the market even though it might be on the higher side cost-wise. You will never go wrong with a quality hardtail bike.

Features to Look out for a HardTail Mountain Bike

When going for your big boy hardtail bike, there are certain features that you really need to take into account. Let me take you through some major ones just to make it easier for you to make the right choice:


A hardtail bike is more prone to punctures given its design. The rear tires tend to take up all the shocks from behind, thus straining them more in a bid to keep the bumps on the track dump as compared to a full-suspension bike. Lucky for us, there has been an innovation; the tubeless tires! They use sealants to prevent punctures.

As long as your big toy is fitted with tubeless-ready reams, it shouldn’t be very challenging to move to tubeless tires. It is also important that you consider the terrain you intend to use the bike on. Slick tires have less resistance and are more ideal for dry weather and smooth terrains. For rugged terrain or wet seasons, choose tires with more endurance.


Simply put, this is the engine space of the bike; the chain ring, crank, chain, cassette, sifters and derailleurs. There exist several component manufacturers. A cheaper group set will contain up to three cranks containing several gears. These gears come with many crossovers, making shifting a little bit less efficient. In most cases, these are made from alloy and other cheaper components. Such are ideal for recreational bike riding. When it comes to professional riding, you need to consider group-sets with lower ratios to get you uphill or to make it easier to make a quick shift from a corner.


For the longest time, rim brakes were the most common in mountain bikes almost worldwide. Over time, mountain bikes have involved into these amazing speedy auto motives that can move downhill at crazy neck-breaking speeds. The need for reliable and overly strong breaks goes without saying. Low end rim breaks for hardtail mountain bikes are still available; however, if you are really a serious biker in search of a proper off-road adventure, invest in disc brakes. It is worth it I promise. Some two types exist:


Of the two types of disc brakes, these are the cheaper option. They are water-resistant and easier to maintain than rim brakes. They are the most common in most entry-level hardtail mountain bikes.


These use automotive technology and are lighter, stronger, and more reliable than the above mentioned. Using these, a rider is in more control over their breaking given the fact that they provide better modulation.  The very first mountain bikes were very rigid and they had no suspension. It was a bumpy ride and such a strenuous task; so much so it prompted the invention of the suspension fork. The hardtail mountain bike and fully-suspended bikes are the two major mountain bikes with this concept that exist.  

Whichever option you go for, both types are equally good for your biking needs. Despite the fact that FS bikes have become the most common in recent years, we cannot rule out the fact that hardtails are with us to stay. They have as many advantages as the FS model and are a good predecessor to this new model of mountain bikes.

See here: Best Cheap Mountain Bike Under 200

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Sofia Cayley is a rehearsed columnist, editorial manager, and item analyzer. With 7 years of experience surveying bikes and bike accessories, She appreciates dragging the most recent items through some serious hardship, assisting riders with tracking down the correct bikes and bike accessories for them, and sharing the best counsel, clues, and tips to assist them with benefiting from riding.

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