For mountain biking enthusiasts suspension and extra rigging comes in quite handy when handling the rough terrain. There is a reason why mountain biking or off road biking has grown in popularity and this is because it provides and exhilarating chance to tackle the outdoors using your favorite mountain bike.
Despite the popularity of the traditional mountain bike, a new variety has since emerged, called the Hardtail mountain bike. In this article, we shall examine what the Hardtail mountain bike offers and how it compares to the traditional mountain bike.
Hardtail Mountain Bikes: Why They Have Become so Popular
What Is The Hardtail Mountain Bike?
Hardtail bikes have one main identifier and this is that they lack any rear shocks, and they make up for this by incorporating a front suspension fork. The front suspension is especially crucial for off road bikers since it enables them the versatility to handle the rough, uneven impact.
This prevents most of the shock from going through the rest of the bike as this would lead to further instability on the bike and strain on the rider.
The Hardtail bike is not designed for speed, and instead most of its features are designed for balance and agility.
They are mostly lightweight and can be great for going downhill and since the rear wheels are attached directly to the frame, you can expect faster breaks and more lateral movements at short notices. In addition, a hardtail bike’s dependability is an advantage for those who want to ride long distances.
Is The Hardtail Bike Ideal For New Bikers?
If you are new to mountain biking, then the Hardtail bike is the most ideal bike for you. They are more versatile than the traditional mountain bike and this makes them great for nearly every terrain.
Unlike other bikes, the hardtail bike allows you to tackle ascending and descending hillsides with ease, and you can expect better flexibility and cruise control.
As an added bonus, it teaches novice riders advanced bike handling and line selection without forcing them to drop a ton of cash. Learning to ride without full suspension helps riders have a better understanding of the terrain and their bikes’ capabilities before upgrading to full suspension bikes.
If you’re planning on doing any serious cross-country riding, a hardtail bike may be your best bet.
Due to the absence of suspension, the bikes are significantly lighter than full-suspension models, making them ideal for riders who plan to spend more time ascending than descending and who will be avoiding rough terrain such as roots and rocks.
Type Of Hardtail Bikes
There are several types of hardtail mountain bikes and some bike enthusiasts are even known to custom makes their bikes to enhance certain features over others. The fact that the hardtail is lightweight and features gears on the frame means that you can make changes on other parts of the bike changing some functions to suite your needs.
The three common types are: Trail Hardtails, cross country hardtails, and Enduro Hardtails.
Trail bikes are versatile bicycles that may be ridden on many different types of terrain. Bikes in this category of the hardtail kind often feature a softer geometry and greater front suspension. When you’re still deciding which type of cycling you like most before dropping a ton of cash on a full suspension machine, a hardtail bike like the ones in this class are a solid compromise.
Cross Country Hardtails
The cross country hardtail is built for lengthy rides in rugged terrain. Bikes often have narrower tires, higher gear ratios, and less front suspension than other types of vehicles.
Since they are intended for long-distance rides, they must be as lightweight as possible. As a result, removing the rear suspension and riding a hardtail is a viable option for those concerned with minimizing the bike’s overall weight.
Also, the terrain is typically not as rough or difficult as it would be in other disciplines, thus a bike is a good option.
When compared to trail bikes, enduro bikes have significantly longer suspension travel. Normal travel for an enduro bike is between 140 and 180 millimetres. Why? Because of the extreme sport of enduro racing.
Trail climbing and descending are integral parts of enduro racing. However, you are only timed when going downhill. There would be ascents in between the timed descents during the transfer stages.
There is typically a time limit associated with these transfers, albeit doing so will not add to your total time. It makes more sense to utilize a large that is optimized for downhill speeds given that you are only timed on the downhill segment.
The bikes used in enduro racing are optimized for speed on descents, but they also need to be able to climb in order to reach the next destination. They have shorter stems and longer seat tubes to provide for more aggressive riding, and longer top tubes and wheelbases.
While some riders like the suspension of a full-suspension bike, others prefer the simplicity and portability of a hardtail for the climbs and flats.
Why Individual Preferences Matter
Choosing the right bike is all about what your personality is when biking. Some people like flicking their bikes more often than others and therefore they might prefer trail bikes over Enduro bikes, whereas others just want the rush of going downhill as the wind blows past them and would prefer the cross country bike.
Certain features such as a higher head tube angle makes the cross country ideal for downhill rides, whereas the enduro has a slacker head angle built for exactly this purpose.
Overall, the hardtail bike is a favourite amongst mountain bikers and you can expect to turn some heads next time you go biking. The more you build your confidence and understand what type of a biker you are the better you’ll get at choosing the right bike for yourself. Perhaps you’ll even add a few extra features to fully customize your pick.