Are you on a budget? Maybe smooth and flowing trails are more your style? Or maybe you’re just looking to hone your mountain biking skills? A Hardtail mountain bike may be the perfect ride for you. BikeExchange has a wide range of hardtail mountain bikes available to suit your riding style and budget, from beginner to expert. See below for more information on hardtail mountain bikes.
Mountain Biking is one of the world’s most popular cycling activities. The thrill of tearing down a rocky dirt path, combined with the challenge it poses to both body and mind, make for an adventure like no other. But, did you know there are actually two different types of mountain bikes? Before you buy a bike for the trail, learn about how hardtail mountain bikes work and whether one would be right for you!
When most people think of a mountain bike, they picture a solid, sturdy bike with wide, knobby tyres. They’d be right, but mountain bikes are more complex than they might seem on the outside. Mountain biking involves rough, bumpy trails, steep drops, and lots of high impacts- all of which can take a heavy toll on both the bike and the body.
To cope with mountain biking trails' demands, mountain bikes have suspension systems similar to those in cars and motorcycles. When you hit a bump or catch some air on the trail, the suspension absorbs the energy that would otherwise be transferred straight into the bike frame (or worse, into your knees). The suspension systems (sometimes called shocks) protect your joints and prevent nasty wipe-outs. Without suspension, mountain biking would be near-impossible.
There are two different types of suspension for mountain bikes, which creates two different subcategories: dual-suspension mountain bikes and hardtail mountain bikes. Full-suspension mountain bikes have shocks on both the front and rear bike wheels. They handle very well and are great for beginners who want lots of extra cushion from high-impact trails.
The other type of mountain bike is the hardtail mountain bike. Rather than having suspension on both wheels, hardtail mountain bikes only have suspension on the front wheel. Therefore, the back wheel lacks softness on bumps and drops, hence the name “hard-tail”. Hardtail mountain bikes might seem like they’re a bad idea- wouldn’t the lack of suspension mean an uncomfortable, bone-rattling ride?
That’s certainly the case for some mountain biking trails, but you don’t need the softness of a full-suspension bike most of the time. Unless you’re riding on seriously rocky, steep mountain bike trails, a hardtail mountain bike provides all the cushion that you’ll need.
Hardtail mountain bikes have more advantages than simply providing “just enough” cushion. The lack of suspension on the rear wheel means pedalling a hardtail bike is much more efficient than a full-suspension bike. When you pedal a full-suspension bike, a lot of the power is actually lost in the suspension on the rear wheel. So, having a hardtail mountain bike means you can ride faster and more efficiently while still having enough cushion to ride comfortably.
Also, hardtail bikes are usually more affordable than dual-suspension bikes. The reason for this is simple- they have fewer parts. Suspension systems aren’t easy or cheap to manufacture, which means you can save a decent amount of money by choosing a hardtail mountain bike!
Choosing between a hardtail and a dual-suspension mountain bike can be pretty difficult. There is significant debate over this, even among hardcore mountain biking enthusiasts. At the end of the day, getting one type of mountain bike rather than the other won’t ever turn out to be a “mistake”.
If you are a total beginner to mountain biking, getting a dual-suspension mountain bike might be a good idea. It will be a bit more comfortable to ride on rocky trails, and you won’t wipe out as often. This makes it easier to learn some of the techniques and skills that mountain bikers need to know without constantly crashing. However, you will also have to spend more on the bike than you would spend on a hardtail bike, and you’ll lose some pedalling power through the rear suspension.
Dual-suspension bikes are also better suited for extreme trails and trails that are mostly downhill in nature. In those cases, the added cushion far outweighs any loss of pedalling power. In fact, dual-suspension bikes are actually faster on downhill trails because a smoother ride means less braking.
Many avid mountain bikers prefer hardtail mountain bikes because they’re faster, lighter, cheaper, and ideal for most trails. If you’ve got some prior experience with mountain biking or don’t mind a bit of rough riding as you learn, hardtail mountain bikes are for you!
BikeExchange is the best place to get a hardtail mountain bike in Australia. You can buy a brand new bike from one of the thousands of bike shops in our network or a used bike from a private seller. No matter what type of bike you’re looking for – cargo bikes, hybrid bikes, e-bikes, or family bikes – BikeExchange is here to help. We have a catalogue of over 600,000 products, from bike wheels, cycling shoes, and road bikes to all sorts of cycling accessories. If you’re a cycling enthusiast or just exploring, we know you’ll find what you need right here at BikeExchange!