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Are Hardtail Mountain Bikes Good For Jumps? (3-minute read)

Hardtail mountain bikes are pretty popular among different riders out there because these are tried and tested bikes. But the one thing that you may wonder is if hardtail bikes can withstand jumps the same way full-suspension bikes can. So, are hardtail mountain bikes good for jumps?

Hardtail mountain bikes are good for jumps, It is easier to jump on a hardtail mountain bike compared to a full-suspension mountain bike. However, because of the lack of a rear suspension, the drop on a hardtail won’t be as forgiving compared to a full suspension.

Some beginners tend to forget that hardtail bikes are actually quite sturdy and are very capable of taking punishment. This is why these bikes are just as good for jumps as any other mountain bike. Then again, there are still downsides in relation to hardtails and jumps that you may want to know about.

Can a Hardtail Handle Jumps and Drops?

Hardtail jump

It is no secret that hardtail bikes are more difficult to use on rougher trails compared to full-suspension bikes because of the lack of a rear suspension. Then again, what about jumps and drops?

Yes, hardtail mountain bikes can easily handle the jumps and drops that come naturally when you are out on the trails. In fact, even when you are not out on a trail, hardtails are good for jumping from heights especially when you simply want to goof around or enjoy urban obstacle courses while you are riding.

Another thing that is worthy to note is that, because they are lighter, hardtails are some of the best when it comes to intentional jumping and not merely jumps or drops due to uneven trails or terrain.

So, the reason why hardtail mountain bikes can handle jumps and drops is that these bikes were made for outdoor conditions.

It might be true that hardtails lack a rear suspension that would have made it easier for you to control your bike and have a more comfortable ride out on trails. However, that doesn’t hinder a hardtail from being a good bike for jumps and drops.

Specifically speaking, hardtail mountain bikes come with a very sturdy frame and is much sturdier than most full-suspension MTBs. As such, in terms of impact and damage, you sure can trust a hardtail to withstand jumps and drops.

But the one thing you need to understand is that hardtail mountain bikes don’t provide you with the same kind of control that full-suspension MTBs do. In that regard, it will take more effort for you to be able to make sure that you hit the landings the right way.

Is a Hardtail Safe for Jumps and Drops?

While hardtail mountain bikes are indeed capable of withstanding jumps and drops, the issue of whether or not hardtails are safe for jumps and drops is an entirely different topic. The bike may be able to handle the punishment but it might be an entirely different question for the rider. So, is a hardtail safe for jumps and drops?

Generally, a hardtail should be safe enough for jumps and drops as these bikes are stable and sturdy enough to handle the impact of a tough landing. However, that is only a general statement as there are instances where jumps and drops are not safe for the rider when riding a hardtail.

For starters, you won’t be able to easily allow your bike to disperse the impact of a landing from a jump or a drop unless you know how to do so. As such, it is important that you make sure that you land on both wheels and not only on one.

Landing on the front wheel with the suspension or the shock absorber should be able to cushion your landing. But the risk here is that there is a chance that you might fall off your bike head first if the landing is a bit too rough for the bike to handle. This can be very dangerous when you are riding downhill and there is a sudden drop in the trail.

Meanwhile, landing on the rear wheel can be painful and dangerous because, while the bike may be able to handle the impact, your body probably won’t be able to do so. As such, it is important that you land on both wheels at the same time or that you are able to cushion the landing by dispersing the impact on both wheels.

Of course, don’t expect a hardtail mountain bike to be safe enough to handle jumps or drops that are several feet high. For example, a landing from over three feet certainly won’t be safe in comparison to a landing from two feet.

That’s why it is important that you only try risking jumping from heights of at most two feet because anything more than that can be downright dangerous. If not dangerous, then it could certainly be punishing not only to your bike but to your body as well because you will have to endure the impact that your bike was not able to absorb.

Is a Full-Suspension MTB Better at Jumps Than a Hardtail?

Now that you know that hardtail mountain bikes can be good for jumps and are generally safe when landing from jumps and drops, how does it compare to a full-suspension mountain bike? Is a full-suspension mountain bike better at jumps compared to a hardtail?

When you are deliberately jumping, a hardtail is easier to jump than a full suspension because hardtails are generally lighter and easier to elevate due to the lack of a rear suspension. However, in all other cases, a full-suspension bike takes the cake.

Full-suspension bikes are capable of handling the impact of a landing from jumps better than hardtails can because of the fact that these bikes have front and rear suspensions that can cushion the landing.

As such, in terms of safety, you can be sure that full-suspension bikes are safer and easier for both you and your bike. On top of that, full-suspension bikes are better at handling rough and uneven terrain.

So, while it might be easier to jump on a hardtail, safety should be the area where full-suspension bikes excel as the shock absorbers should be able to greatly reduce the impact while allowing you to have more control over your bike.

But you still have to consider the fact that you should still land on both of the wheels and that you shouldn’t try to jump or drop from heights that are certainly over two feet.

Conclusion

All that said, hardtail mountain bikes are still good enough for jumps and drops especially when you are skilled enough as a rider. But there are still safety concerns that you should consider. That’s why a full-suspension bike might be better for you if you like biking on uneven trails.

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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.