If you have been looking for an answer to this question I can safely assume that you are in the market to buy a new mountain bike. There are a lot of models and brands out there.
However, the first option you need to think about is whether or not you are going for a full suspension or a hardtail mountain bike. What are the benefits of a hardtail mountain bike?
The benefits of a hardtail mountain bike include greater responsiveness, lightweight frames, versatility, cheap and easy maintenance, and great power transfer. Apart from that, you also have the economical benefit, hardtails are more budget-friendly than full-suspension mountain bikes.
Look, let me be honest, mountain bikes aren’t cheap. So, I fully understand that you want to get the best value for your money while at the same time getting something that you are going to be happy with. After reading this article, I believe that you will have enough information to make a well-informed decision. So, keep reading.
Main Benefits Of A Hardtail Mountain Bike
We are going to cover the most important benefits that come with riding a hardtail mountain bike. The better the bike, the more significant these benefits become. Here is a list of the 13 benefits that hardtail mountain bikes have. We will then discuss these benefits in full detail.
The first thing I want to talk about is the fact that hardtail mountain bikes are often a lot more budget-friendly than full-suspension ones.
You can get a good hardtail mountain bike for around $1000. Now, for an entry-level one, you can pick one up for just a few hundred dollars. This makes it great for anyone who wants to get into mountain biking but doesn’t want to overspend on their budget.
Hardtail mountain bikes can be used on mountain bike trails and even on the road. This is a significant benefit of hardtail mountain bikes. There are two obvious reasons why being versatile makes hardtail mountain bikes so great.
The first reason is the fact that you can go mountain biking with a hardtail bike on the weekends or you can use it to commute back and forth from work. All of this just means that you definitely get value for your money in this sense.
Another thing to consider especially if you live in a densely populated area is the type of trails available to you. A lot of mountain bike rides will have sections where you need to ride on the road to get to the next trail. At least you know you will be good on both sets of terrain in this case.
3. Little Rolling Resistance
When speaking about rolling resistance in a hardtail mountain bike, it does have its benefits on trails, especially on smooth flat terrain. However, I want to focus a little bit more on on-road use.
Because a hardtail mountain bike has less rolling resistance, it is easier to get going and maintain your speed on the road.
The major difference between a hardtail mountain bike and a full-suspension one is that a hardtail does not have a suspension system at the back. It only has a suspension fork in the front. A full-suspension mountain bike has both the suspension fork in the front and a suspension system at the back.
This means that there is less weight on a hardtail mountain bike and this can be great for people who want a lightweight bike. What a lightweight bike offers is better maneuverability either on trails or on the road.
Apart from that, yes, it does make it easier to lift, push, carry and transport the bike around.
This kind of builds off from the previous section when we spoke about the weight of hardtail mountain bikes. Because the bike is lightweight and also because it does not have a suspension system at the back, the bike is more responsive to your movements.
This includes everything from the way you maneuver the handlebars to the way you shift your weight on the bike. Because you feel the trail more on a hardtail mountain bike due to the lack of rear suspension, responsiveness will always be increased.
6. Good For Climbing
Hardtail mountain bikes are lighter than full-suspension ones, this is a very important factor to determine the climbing capability of a mountain bike. The lighter the bike is, the easier is to conquer the stubborn hill that is determined to test your physical condition.
Because the hardtail mountain bike has no back suspension, you will have a better power transmission to the wheels when pedaling. The back suspension (shock) of a full-suspension mountain bike will absorb a big chunk of the power that you put into the pedals when pedaling, this is a problem that will be of no concern to you when you are riding a hardtail mountain bike.
If you will get a hardtail mountain bike with light carbon wheels or you upgrade your stock wheels with light carbon ones then you will have a big mean climbing machine.
7. Good For Skill Development
When you first think about it, I know, it might be hard to understand why having no rear suspension makes for better skill development on a hardtail mountain bike. Well, it all has to do with two things. These include:
- You are more in tune with the terrain: Remember, on a hardtail mountain bike you feel every imperfection of the terrain. This means that you will always get a better feel for a track, trail, or even the road.
- Obstacles become harder to overcome: While a hardtail mountain bike is great for smooth trails, there is a point where obstacles become increasingly difficult to overcome on a hardtail mountain bike. This is great for skill development as you are constantly pushing yourself to overcome increasingly difficult obstacles with little help.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what type of bike you are using. You will always improve as time goes on. However, to accelerate your skill development you might think about starting on a hardtail mountain bike.
8. Great For Jumps
When you are riding a hardtail mountain bike and you are approaching a jump, it is easier to boost into the air on a hardtail than it is on a full suspension.
Again, this is thanks to the lack of rear suspension. It becomes easier to put weight onto your back tire when launching off of a jump. This means that you will get more air, however, there is a slight catch to this.
While it may be easier to launch off of a ramp on a hardtail mountain bike, landing that jump is more tricky than it is on a full-suspension mountain bike. Also, landing jumps on a hardtail mountain bike may not be as comfortable as landing on a full suspension. For this reason, we always recommend bracing for Impact.
9. Easy To Maintain
A hardtail mountain bike has fewer components than a full-suspension one. This means that if you take your bike into a shop to have it serviced it is often slightly cheaper than a full-suspension mountain bike.
At the same time, if you prefer to service your own mountain bike it will be easier to service a hardtail than it would be to service a full-suspension mountain bike due to the fewer components.
When we say maintain, we also include washing your bike after your riding sessions.
If you are wondering what are the basic tools that you need for your bike, you need to read this article: Ten mountain bike tools you must have.
10. Hardtail Mountain Are Bikes Good For Beginners
From an economic point of view, there is no better mountain bike than a hardtail mountain bike for beginners. You can get into the sport for just a few hundred dollars excluding Gear and apparel.
To determine what bike you should get as a beginner, I would seriously look at the technicality of the trails within your immediate area. While hardtail mountain bikes are good for smooth and flat non-technical trails, there is a point where a full-suspension mountain bike will be better for you.
A hardtail mountain bike is a good all-around bike. If you need a bike to commute to work and go grocery shopping but still have the possibility to ride on trails near you on the weekends, then a hardtail mountain bike is a perfect choice for you.
At the end of the day, I would say that a hardtail mountain bike is great for beginners overall.
11. Fewer Problems On Rides
We discussed earlier the fact that the hardtail mountain bike has fewer components than a full-suspension bike, which means that fewer things can break on a technical ride. So the hardtail is more reliable than a full-suspension mountain bike.
The more complex geometry of the full-suspension bike will increase the chance that something will go wrong and break when you put your bike to a heavier test, the bearings on the back of a full-suspension bike will often squeak if they are not very well lubricated or need replacing. This problem is nonexistent on hardtail mountain bikes.
12. Good Performance On-Road
The lack of rear suspension will make the hardtail less comfortable on a bumpy road, you will feel every road imperfection but you will be more efficient and will have no problem maintaining the speed on the road.
As we have discussed before you will not lose pedaling power, absorbed by the rear suspension. So you will be more efficient and will need a smaller effort to reach your destination.
The speed of riding is heavily impacted by the size of the wheels, the bigger the wheels the more speed you get. So if speed is important for you we recommend getting 29′ wheels.
13. More Options For Accessories
Usually, hardtail mountain bikes come with mounting screws on the seat stay for bags and a bicycle trunk. If you plan to use your mountain bike for more than trail riding then the option to have a bicycle trunk is a big plus. You can carry your groceries or you can take more stuff with you on the longer rides.
If you need to carry a heavy load you can ride your bike to the pickup location and then carry the load on the bicycle trunk while you walk beside her, so this gives your mountain bike more utility and a better return for your money.
It is important to remember that all of these benefits add up and together they all improve your experience. I also want you to remember that hardtail mountain bikes are not only for beginners. In fact, a lot of experienced riders use them as well.
If you are considering getting yourself your first mountain bike or perhaps you are just looking at getting a new one, you can’t go wrong with a hardtail.
- Hardtail versus full-suspension mountain bikes
- Are Hardtail Mountain Bikes Good For Jumps?
- Can You Use Hardtails For Downhill?
I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.