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.
The term “Hardtail” gives a fair indication as to the suspension layout of these bikes. Featuring a solid rear triangle and front suspension only. Hardtail mountain bikes are hugely popular due to their lightweight design, value for money and less maintenance they require in comparison to full suspension mountain bikes.
When considering a hardtail mountain bike, a few things to take into consideration are: what type of riding will you be doing, what wheel size you prefer, what kind of material would you like your bike to be made of and ultimately, your budget.
Hardtail mountain bikes have fantastic pedalling efficiency on smoother, hard packed trails thanks to their rigid rear end. This makes them popular with experienced Cross Country (XC)riders, who love the thrill of fast, flowing sections of trail. They’re also the bike of choice for niche categories such as dirt jump riders. Most importantly a hardtail provides an excellent entry point for beginners and those on a budget looking to start out on easier and intermediate trails.
There are 3 different wheel sizes to consider when looking for a hardtail. Along with the popularity of Fat bikes, 26in wheels remain a popular option when looking at the used bike market. Previously being the industry standard before 29” and 27.5” options were available. 27.5in(aka: 650B) wheels have largely replaced 26in as the norm. Becoming the replacement standard in recent years, they have the benefits of increased traction and roll-over when compared to the smaller predecessor wheels. They offer great agility, making it easier to throw the bike around when riding on more technical terrain. 29in also known as 29er’s, typically roll faster and more efficiently. The added circumference of a 29in wheel also allows greater roll-over ability when tackling obstacles and technical terrain, along with increased traction and comfort. However, 29er wheels aren’t perfectly suited to smaller frame sizes, and so many brands, even those loyal to 29er wheels, switch to 27.5in wheels on smaller bikes.
Hardtail mountain bikes will come in a choice of 3 different materials: steel, aluminium and carbon fibre. Learn more about this topic in our guide to bicycle frame materials.
As your budget increases, generally speaking, the components and materials used increase in quality, durability and performance, while becoming lighter too. Hardtails are generally more affordable than their full suspension counterparts due to their simpler, single suspension design.
Need more information on which type of mountain bike is best suited for you? See our detailed mountain bike buyers guide