Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike – how to choose

Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike - how to choose.

When it comes to mountain bikes, there are many options to choose from.

If you are looking for adventure and a good workout, then it is important to consider whether a hardtail bike or a full suspension bike is best for you.

With the start of the cycling season, there will be plenty of professional and recreational races and this is the perfect opportunity to buy a new and best mountain bike.

There are many factors that must be taken into account when buying a new bike. Some consider the price, while others consider customization.

Either way, with mountain bikes, the right bike will make all the difference for you.

While buying a new mountain bike will be an expensive investment, over time you will love the choices you make.

Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike, both are great, but in the end, what matters is what bike you really want, what kind of mountain bike rider are you?

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    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike: how to choose?

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike, if you have access to a good hardtail mountain bike, you will find that they are even lighter than some of the best and most expensive full suspension mountain bikes, which can be very advantageous if you can use this to your advantage.

    These bikes are very simple because they have no shock absorbers or rear suspension on the front and rear wheels, sometimes just suspension forks.

    Since you don’t have to spend your hard-earned money on shocks and rear suspension, you can easily use that money to buy more parts, a stronger drivetrain and better wheels for your bike.

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike

    What many people prefer about hardtail mountain bikes is that they have a lot of room for customization compared to full suspension mountain bikes. However, this depends on the type of trail riding you want to do.

    If you want to ride technical trails comfortably, then a full suspension mountain bike may be a better choice than a hardtail mountain bike.

    You can customize the wheels as you see fit and that’s it. But this doesn’t make up for the fixed rear triangle that hardtail mountain bikes are best known for.

    Anyway, let’s delve into these amazing bikes and see what really sets them apart!

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike: what is a hardtail mountain bike?

    Do you enjoy riding in the mud, exploring rocky terrain, or just want very low bike maintenance? Then the best choice is hardtail mountain bikes. They offer amazing performances.

    They are economical to own and maintain.

    If we compare hardtail mountain bike to full suspension mountain bikes, then they lack shock absorbers and linkage bearings because they lack suspension forks and front and rear suspension systems.

    Although this loss minimizes maintenance costs, it is sometimes difficult to ride these bikes. Your riding style is very important here.

    What is a hardtail mountain bike

    Do you really want this bike for adventure or do you want to use it as a general purpose bike?

    The interesting thing about these bikes is that they can be used as amazing commuter bike. With some modifications, they can also be used for general cruising. Just make sure they have the right parts.

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike, hardtail mountain bikes can be unforgiving at times and if you suffer from injuries such as leg injuries, then it is advisable to look for other types of bikes.

    However, these bikes can handle mild downhill without any problems.

    Different types of hardtail mountain bikes

    Different types of hardtail mountain bikes are as follow:

    • XC (Off-road)
    • Off-road hardtail bikes
    • Electric hardtail bikes
    • Enduro hardtail bikes
    • Jump bikes

    What makes these hardtail mountain bikes different?

    There are a number of features that set hardtail mountain bikes apart, and these features also make them useful in specific scenarios.

    Key features:

    • Sturdy front suspension fork
    • Fewer moving parts (less maintenance)
    • Lighter design
    • Rigid rear fork

    Different types of hardtail mountain bikes

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike: pros of hardtail mountain bikes

    Apart from the great features they have, there are a number of benefits that can be enjoyed when purchasing a hardtail mountain bike.

    There are many amazing benefits to these bikes, so let’s talk about them.

    • Budget friendly: All you need to do to own a quality hardtail mountain bike is do some basic maintenance. One can buy them without spending much money and even customize them further without spending much money.
    • Versatile: They are extremely versatile. They can be used as commuter bikes as well as touring bikes.Hardtail bikes have a lot of customization options to choose from.
    • Less rolling resistance: Enjoy less rolling resistance. Hardtail mountain bikes have less rolling resistance, which means they will be able to build and maintain speed very easily.

    Pros of hardtail mountain bikes

    • Lightweight construction: Hardtail bikes have a very lightweight construction that makes it easy to control them on the road. There is always better maneuverability for people to enjoy, whether on the track or on the road.Hardtail bikes are usually very light in weight and therefore will be a lot of fun to enjoy.
    • Great mountaineers: They are great climbers. If you like climbing mountains on a mountain bike, then a hardtail mountain bike is a great choice.

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike: cons of hardtail mountain bikes

    It has great features and lots of interesting benefits, but it also has a lot of disadvantages that you have to be careful about when buying a hardtail mountain bike.

    • Slow: They are very slow on the technical path. Even though these bikes can handle technical trails as well as full suspension mountain bikes, you still have to drive them very slowly through obstacles.
    • Less comfortable: Hardtail mountain bikes don’t offer much protection from shock and vibration compared to dual suspension mountain bikes. There’s no better way to explain this, but you’ll feel like every time you jump and turn, your legs and hands will be used to absorb the shock.

    Cons of hardtail mountain bikes

    • Less traction: With a hardtail mountain bike, you won’t enjoy optimal traction. The handling is not very good and sometimes there is no contact with the ground at all. Additional precautions should be taken when purchasing a hardtail mountain bike.
    • Simple bikes: They are simple. Needless to say, Hardtail mountain bikes are not as technologically advanced as other types of bikes and their design is still stuck in the past, although they have improved in some key areas.

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike: what is a full suspension mountain bike?

    With a full suspension mountain bike, you will always be protected from all kinds of impacts and absorption.

    If you are worried about getting injured while riding, then these bikes will be the best option for you.

    If you are planning to expand your skills and just ride better while being safe, then I would say you should definitely buy full suspension bikes.

    One thing that many people love about full suspension mountain bikes is that they allow you to ride professionally on the most demanding courses without too many problems, and training opportunities are improved in rough terrain.

    Over the OTB can be a nightmare for all types of riders.

    What is a full suspension mountain bike

    There’s plenty of support here that you never have to worry about while riding a full suspension bike.

    Compare this to hardtail bikes, which are very difficult to properly handle rocky and technical terrain. This is where the full suspension bikes come from.

    Your progress will certainly be smooth, and even a full suspension bike with a shorter distance will be much better than a hardtail bike that can’t take the bumps.

    While these bikes aren’t cheap and a good full suspension mountain bike may cost more, sometimes money doesn’t matter when it comes to comfort.

    What makes full suspension mountain bikes different?

    Full suspension bikes have a number of important features that really set them apart from hardtail bikes.

    Key features:

    • Two strong suspension points: front and rear suspension
    • Powerful construction
    • A more technologically advanced system
    • More suitable for all types of riders, especially those who are not physically fit.

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike: pros of full suspension mountain bikes

    Full suspension mountain bikes offer a number of advantages, and they certainly provide a better experience than hardtail bikes.

    • Better traction and handling: The first thing you can enjoy with these bikes is enhanced traction and handling. Bikes can handle even obstacles. The shock absorption system of these bikes is really impressive and will eventually be able to ride on flat roads.
    • Ride comfort: Equipped with a rear shock absorber, all rides will be smooth. You will always be well protected even when landing on rough surfaces. There will also be less fatigue while riding, making these bikes the best choice if you have joint pain problems.

    Pros of full suspension mountain bikes

    • Faster technical tracking: Unlike hardtail bikes, it is possible to ride fast on technical tracks without having to worry about impacts or any other type of problems.
    • Increased confidence: They inspire more confidence. With these bikes, there’s a much better chance of skill progression. There is also a greater margin of error, so even if you stumble upon a problem, you can always recover quickly.

    Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike: cons of full suspension mountain bikes

    Now let’s take a look at the not-so-pretty parts of full suspension mountain bikes. Yes, they are amazing machines, but they have their own drawbacks.

    • Price of the machine: To say the least, full suspension mountain bikes are expensive because they have a lot of technical components and therefore the price goes up. A quality full suspension mountain bike will cost upwards of $2,000.
    • Less efficient: These bikes are less efficient than hardtail mountain bikes and all these components make them prone to error at times. Most of the time, the bottom bracket of these bikes falls off, which is not a pretty sight.
    • Needs more maintenance: Hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike, full suspension bikes require more maintenance than usual, so if you don’t maintain them often enough, performance will drop, to say the least.Moreover, maintenance is not cheap and requires access to certain tools and possibly even taking the bike to a professional mechanic.

    Cons of full suspension mountain bikes

    • Not for beginners: These bikes are not suitable for beginners, although they do make for a lazy ride. With full suspension mountain bikes, learning basic skills without this kind of pressure is impossible. For example, you will never be able to bunny hop with these bikes.
    • Less durable: As these bikes absorb more shock and vibration, their durability is greatly affected. That’s why you need to repair them often. Buy these bikes only if you can repair them regularly.

    Final words

    No matter what you choose between hardtail vs. full suspension mountain bike, it’s important to choose the one fits you the most. Got the answer?

    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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