If you’re in the market for a new mountain bike you might want to ask yourself a few questions before parting with your cash. So, how do you know which mountain bike is best for you? The answer is determined mainly by how much money you’re prepared to spend and the terrain you choose to ride, but there are other considerations. We go through ten things to think about for both Hardtail and Full Suspension mountain bikes…
These days it is not just about the overall diameter of the wheel itself, it is the type of wheel you might want to consider more. Do you want racing, chunky, thick rim, or strong rims. Getting that wheel size just right can make a real difference to the ride quality of most full susp mtb or f hardtail bikes.
It’s not just the wheel you should be thinking about, but also the tyres. These days you can get high-quality racing or endurance tyres to fit most mountain bikes and getting the right tyre (and the right quality of tyre) will make a massive difference to your ride and how the bike itself handles.
Hardtails are lighter than full suspension bikes since they don’t have rear shock or suspension links in the frame. In addition, hardtail bikes frames are less costly to manufacture than full sus mountain bike frames.
This enables manufacturers to put higher-quality parts to hardtails than full-suspension bikes of comparable price. Higher-end parts are typically lighter than lower-end ones. Because components account for a large portion of a bike’s total weight, a hardtail is lighter than a similarly priced full-suspension bikes.
Speed & pleasure
Mountain bikes, whether full suspension or hardtail, are both enjoyable to ride. On uneven tracks, full sus bikes are better to handle, whereas hardtails demand more work. On specific trails, full-suspension bikes are speedier and comfier, but the effort required for a hardtail can be more gratifying.
Hardtails are significantly quicker on smoother trails because they are lightweight and have a stronger correlation to the ground, allowing for no power loss as you stand on the pedals. Because hardtails are more sensitive than full sus, riding them over smoother trails may be fun.
When the going gets tough, complete-suspension bikes take control in the fun rankings. This is due to the fact that bouncing about on a hardtail makes it challenging to find your groove over rugged terrain. On those bumpy and rooty terrains, full sus bikes soften the ride, making it simpler to pick your paths and find flow.
Hardtails also have the advantage of being considerably simpler to maintain. There’s not much else you can do with a hardtail’s frame besides wiping the muck off. A full sus frame, with its suspension joints and bearings, cannot be stated to be the same.
Bearings and bushings on a bike are worn parts that must be replaced occasionally. Of course, whichever bike you pedal, you’ll have to service the motor, wheels, and fork, but with a hardtail, you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
To be honest there really isn’t a lot of difference in terms of strength that most modern mountain bikes are made from. Most of them are carbon or aluminium and the differences will be mostly down to weight, not necessarily the overall strength of the bike. However, having said that you also want to make sure your bike is as sturdy as it can be before taking it through its paces on a downhill track.
Commuting & road-going
If you want to use this bike for more than weekend trail trips, you need to think about how it handles on the road. The hardtail’s more proactive stance, flexible rear end, and smaller weight allow it to outrun the full suspension on this stretch of road.
For these circumstances, the full suspension has closures in the front and rear, although these only stiffen the suspension to a large extent, so there is still some slack.
In short, while you’re on the road, you don’t need suspension; the hardtail wins hands out. The hardtail’s compactness and effectiveness likely appeal to you if you intend to pedal it mainly on roads or smooth rail tracks.
It might sound like something scary or something only professionals should worry about, but the amount of flex your bicycle gives to will determine so many other factors like ride strength and handling. This is especially true on downhill tracks are you dig the bike deep into those side angles corners. It’s no good getting yourself a full-suspension bike is what you really need is a sturdier hardtail one.
Compared to a full suspension cycle, a hardtail offers you a far more clear sight of the route. Cycling a hardtail pushes you to be more dynamic on the ride and choose your paths more wisely, allowing you to use your legs to cushion the trail’s shocks. Practising to jump over obstacles instead of ploughing through them is a critical skill that will enhance your cycling on any bike. That’s why most seasoned mountain bikers recommend starting on a hardtail.
You might want to hold back a little bit of your budget from the main price of the bike to get a few extras in. Things like GPS, speed sensors, route trackers, security trackers and other things can soon add up past the total amount you want to spend, especially if you need a more specialist bicycle made to order.
Understanding the differences between a hardtail and a full suspension mtb will help you decide which is best for your next adventure. This way, you may ride in comfort the entire time and never have to worry about identifying an appropriate bike for your experiences.