With everyone loving riding full sussers, it can be easy to forget the humble hardtail. Here at Dialled we believe there is still life left in the old horse, so we’ve have compiled our top 5 reasons why hardtails are always going to have a special place in the MTB world:
£1500 will get you a fantastic hardtail from a big-name manufacturer like Scott, or a more handmade Orange.
The Orange crush for example comes in at £1400 direct from their site, and boasts top spec components, Race Face cranks/bottom bracket, RockShox Yari 150mm forks and WTB tyres. The bike is set up and billed as an aggressive hardtail that can tackle the downhills as well as the climbs.
If XC is more your thing then the Scott Scale is one example of a brilliant hardtail mountain bike. Coming in 27.5 or 29 inch wheels, with full Shimano running gear, Shimano brakes, fox float 32 forks, and Rocket Rons this bike is a cross country bike through and through and is available for under £1000 in some cases.
Whatever style of riding you are into, a good hardtail will have you covered and can cost less than a full suspension bike while having better components and quality.
2: SKILL DEVELOPMENT.
Full suspension bikes make you lazy. I know this from personal experience.
My Specialized Enduro 29er is an unbelievable piece of kit. It handles anything thrown at it with ease. Drop offs, jumps, roots, step downs, loam…and so on and so on. But, because the bike is so good, it can make me lazy. Letting the bike soak up everything in its path rather than using my ability to ride the bike.
Getting out on a hardtail forces you to develop your skill as a rider, you can’t rely on the bike to make you a better rider, because a hardtail has its limitations, and often meets them quicker than a full suspension bike will.
Getting out on a hardtail if you are a beginner will allow you to develop as a rider on the bike. If you are more advanced as a rider you will not switch off. And riding a hardtail to its limits will test your ability as a rider.
For learning, and maintaining your skillset a hardtail is a brilliant tool for the job.
3: COST OF MAINTENANCE.
Hardtails have less parts to go wrong. Meaning that maintenance costs drop straight away. No bearings in the frame, no rear shock to maintain, etc.
Hardtails are great bikes to own as they are easy to service if you are a home mechanic. And if you aren’t, they are cheaper to service. Less parts to go wrong means less time fixing and more time riding.
This is especially brilliant in our climate and the winter, when salt could creep into full suspension bearings a hardtail doesn’t have that issue. The bikes are rideable without too much worry through any season and are very easy to service after the winter.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective bike to buy and run then you cannot go wrong with a hardtail.
4: FUN FACTOR.
Hardtails provide something that you can’t get from a full suspension bike. The thrill of rattling down a trial, constantly focusing on what the back end is doing, focusing on line choice as you don’t have the bike to bail you out.
Don’t get me wrong I love descending faster on my full suspension Enduro, but I also love the feeling of throwing the hardtail down natural terrain, or an XC style downhill run. That pure feeling of mountain biking.
The white-knuckle ride of bounce from the rear end, and bone shaking thrill of fast descending on a trial that you really shouldn’t be on.
You can’t beat that dangerous thrill of descending on a hardtail.
5: DISTANCE & CLIMBING.
There have been so many times where I have been riding my Enduro 1x and thought…F$£k me I would love to be on my 2x XC bike here. Usually up hill.
The fact is: Hardtail mountain bikes are pedal machines that can allow someone to cover the same distance as a full suspension bike a lot faster. They generally climb better due to their weight and riding position. Not to mention never losing power through the bounce of the rear shock and all the peddling going to the back wheel.
A hardtail mountain bike, even with a 1x should be faster than a full suspension up hill. Granted it won’t be as quick downhill but read section 4 again, and look at what riding you do.
If you are into big distance, high quantities or riding and want a bike that fits into your budget with good components. Then a hardtail might be the way to go.
So there you go, our top five reasons why hardtails are brilliant and not to be forgotten. If you feel like we have missed anything out, let us know in the comments section below. And remember, whatever you ride…Enjoy it!!!