Hardtail bikes are one of the most popular styles of bike because of their cost and versatility. They have suspension at the front, but none at the rear, so they absorb shocks over bumps while at the same time ensuring pedalling efficiency.
Hardtail bikes feature suspension forks at the front to take some of the shock of hitting bumps. They are one of the most popular types of mountain bike because of their versatility and price - they can handle a wider range of terrains and riding situations than either rigid or full suspension mountain bikes, and they usually cost less than full suspension options.
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The front suspension on hardtail mountain bikes makes them more comfortable to ride over rough terrain than rigid mountain bikes, which have no suspension at all. They also have more grip.
Another option you have when buying a mountain bike is full suspension. This has suspension at both the front and rear, which improves the cushioning and grip even further. Hardtails have benefits over full suspension bikes, though, despite the rider having to deal with more of the bumps. The main benefit is less "pedal bob". On a full suspension bike, whenever you pedal the bike moves up and down in the suspension mechanism. In other words, some of the energy you create by pedalling is lost in the suspension. Hardtail bikes are much more energy efficient.
Hardtail mountain bikes are used by experienced riders and mountain bike racers, but they are also recommended for beginner riders. This is because they offer a good combination of comfort over the bumps, pedalling efficiency and handling. In addition, you learn how to control a bike better on a hardtail as there is no rear suspension compensating for mistakes.
When going downhill or over rough terrain at a quick pace, the front suspension cushions the bumps and takes shock away from the rider. When going uphill or pedalling cross country, more of your pedalling effort is converted into forward motion because there is no rear suspension bobbing up and down.
As a result, the main advantage of hardtail mountain bikes is that they are all-rounders – they will get you up the hill without feeling like you’re on a trampoline, and they will go down the hill on the other side quickly, with more grip, and in greater comfort.
As already mentioned, hardtail mountain bikes are usually cheaper than full suspension options. They are also easier to maintain as there are fewer parts that can break or need servicing. This means you usually have more options for your budget when buying a hardtail mountain bike.
One thing you should think about is suspension travel. If you spend a lot of your time on rough trails, a longer suspension travel is the better option. If you are more of a cross country rider you can get a bike with a shorter suspension travel.