Want a mountain bike that’s cheap? Easy to maintain? Lighter than a full suspension bike? Hardtail mountain bikes could provide you with everything you’re looking for.
These types of mountain bikes are perfect for beginners because they’re a lot less hassle than full suspension bikes, using a suspension fork at the front to provide the rider with cushioning from bumps. But that’s not all.
When it comes to grip and handling, you’ll find these bikes a lot easier to play with, especially because they don’t have any rear suspension. If you want to ride off-road, hardtail mountain bikes are a great place to start.
Top 5 Hardtail Mountain Bikes – 2019
Here’s the 411 on the best hardtail mountain bikes, including some must-have models that are available on the market today.
What are the Benefits of a Hardtail Mountain Bike?
When it comes to pedalling, hardtail mountain bikes can be a lot easier to manoeuvre than full suspension bikes, especially as the latter can move up and down when you’re riding, which can waste your energy.
On the best hardtail bikes, the rear end is rigid enough to focus your effort into a forward motion – making them great for beginners or those who don’t want to exert too much energy during cycling.
That’s not to say that hardtail bikes are perfect. Because they lack a shock absorber at the back, the rider can experience more shocks from the ground when cycling, which can increase the chances of the tires puncturing. In addition, the wheel will often skip over the ground on rougher terrain – providing you with less control compared to other types of mountain bike.
What to Look for When Buying a Hardtail Mountain Bike
Just like other types of mountain bike, hardtails are made up of various components which will vary depending on the make, model, and manufacturer.
However, one thing that’s pretty consistent is wheel size. Most hardtail bikes will come with wheels that measure 26 inches, although newer models might have 27.5-inch wheels – a trend that is becoming more popular.
These wheels are smaller than other types of mountain bike as it allows hardtails to roll over objects without their handling being impacted.
If you are looking for an entry-level hardtail bike, you might want to stick with the 26-inch wheels. However, the larger 27.5-inch wheels offer a similar level of handling and control but will allow you to clear obstacles with less fuss. You might want to try bikes with different wheels before you make a purchase, and decide which one is best.
SHOULD YOU BUY A HARDTAIL BIKE OR FULL SUSPENSION BIKE?
If you still haven’t decided whether a hardtail is right for you, ask yourself the following questions: how frequently are you planning to use your bike? What type of riding are you planning? Do you want to be able to handle big hits? Stay off-road? Have a great deal of control when cycling?
Answering these questions will help you to decide whether a hardtail bike is worth it, or whether you should opt for a full suspension model instead. If you are still unsure, checking out product reviews and watching video tutorials will help you to make up your mind.
WHAT ARE THE THREE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HARDTAIL BIKE?
There are three main types of hardtail bike: trail hardtails, cross-country hardtails, and dirt jump bikes. Here we’re going to explain each one in further detail…
+ Trail hardtail bikes:
These type of hardtail bikes are sometimes referred to as hardcore hardtails and are capable of traveling large areas at any one time.
A lot of riders prefer these bikes when they are on a downhill trail, and they will often have longer travel suspension forks that allow the cyclist to exert more control when riding over rough terrain. This type of hardtail bike is heavier but uses sturdy equipment and frames, making them a perfect choice for a beginner who wants to cycle on a number of different terrains.
+ Cross-country hardtail bikes:
Like trail hardtails, cross-country hardtail bikes can cover a great amount of distance in one go so are often used for racing. With forks that range from 80 to 120 mm, these bikes will sometimes be fitted with a fork lockout for easier riding and come with light aluminium frames.
Other materials are sometimes used instead of aluminum (such as steel or carbon fiber), but they will usually be found on more expensive models. Some cross-country hardtails will use larger diameter wheels that measure 29 inches.
+ Dirt jump bikes:
Perfect for adrenalin junkies everywhere, dirt jump bikes have lower frames than other types of hardtail bikes and aren’t as good when it comes to covering big distances. Steel is often used on the frame and the components are designed to be strong and durable.
Unlike some cross-country hardtails, these bikes will rely on smaller wheels (usually 24 or 26 inches), and will probably only have one gear. These bikes are strong and have been designed to withstand a lot of pressure and use, although they might be best suited for the more advanced rider.
When it comes to finding the right hardtail mountain bike for you, you will need to consider your budget – especially as these bikes can range in price depending on size and features.
The Marlin 5 2015 Model from Trek is an entry-level hardtail for everyday riding. Manufactured using a light aluminium frame, the bike comes with cable disc brakes, a travel suspension fork that measures 75 mm, and speed shifting from Shimano.
At the more expensive end of the market, the 905 201 Model from Whyte is a trail hardtail with a travel revelation fork of 130 mm. The 905 has a lightweight frame and 650 lb wheels – making it a great feature-rich bike that provides riders with the safety, security, and speed that they need. The product comes with a RockShox Revelation fork and a 2×10 drivetrain from Shimano.
Somewhere in the middle price-wise is the Pitch 2015 Model, which has 650b wheels (a combination of 26 and 29-inch wheels), a lightweight aluminium frame, great bikes, lockout suspension form, and hydraulic disc brakes. All three bikes look great and ride well, although offer different features and components based on their price range.