HARDTAIL OR FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE ?

Should I get a hardtail or full suspension mountain bike? This is a question that usually goes to the top of the list. But before we start, let’s explain to those new to mountain biking the difference between hardtail mountain bike and full suspension mountain bike. The hardtail is the bike with just front suspension, no suspension in the back, no shock, no pivots, all is rigid. On the other hand, full suspension bike will have rear shock and pivots to allow rear wheel absorb bumps. Bikes with no suspension at all are commonly referred as rigid bikes.



SHOULD YOU BUY HARDTAIL OR FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE ?

The two main factors that will and should affect the decision whether to buy hardtail or full suspension mountain bike are:

  • Function: Hardtails are typically used in the cross country riding where the terrain is smoother and does not have a lot of big jumps and drops. Full suspension mountain bikes will cover much wider variety of trails: From cross country to more aggressive tracks with big jumps and drops. But, there’s no reason a well-built hardtail can’t take on the most of the extreme terrain, at the end of the day it all started with hardtails.

  • Budget: Buying a hardtail mountain bike of the similar price tag to full suss, will get you much more for your money. Expect a higher spec groupset, brakes and forks. Production of full suspension mountain bike involves more cost, so if you need the features of a full suss bike you’ll have to sacrifice these higher end parts. If you have less than £1000 to spent (we would even say £1500), than you are better off with a good hardtail MTB.




HARDTAIL VS FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE

THERE ARE A FEW DISTINCT PROS AND CONS TO BOTH TYPES OF BIKES, SO IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCES.

HARDTAIL OR FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE

FULL SUPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE

PROS

  • More comfort
  • Faster on rough terrain – Better tracking
  • Bump absorption
  • Better control and handling

CONS

  • More expensive
  • More servicing requirements
  • More Weight.




HARDTAIL MOUNTAIN BIKE

PROS

  • Direct feeling
  • Low maintenance
  • Lower cost
  • More efficient pedaling – Faster on even terrain

CONS

  • Less control
  • Less forgiving on mistakes
  • Can’t track very well rough terrain when climbing


HARDTAIL OR FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKE – BACK TO TOP

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