What Is a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

what is a hardtail mountain bike

Back then, as long as it has pedals, brakes, and wheels, you can take it on a ride and go to different places.

Today, though, bikes are now categorized based on where and how you plan to use them.

If you’re wondering what is a hardtail mountain bike, you’re not the only one. Many have asked, and we’re here to provide a detailed answer.

What Is a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

A hardtail mountain bike is an all-terrain, versatile bike with no rear shock. Instead, it has a front suspension or rigid forks.

This type of bike is a more cost-effective option compared to full-suspension bikes.

Now, if that’s the case, would you still go for one if you had the money to buy a full-suspension bike?

Reasons to Choose a Hardtail Mountain Bike

Most people say that full-suspension bikes are still the better choice compared to hardtail mountain bikes.

While they are more expensive, the long list of features makes up for the price.

Hardtail mountain bikes are not as packed with advanced functionalities. Still, there are many reasons why many choose to buy one.

1. Beginner-Friendly

Hardtail mountain bikes are the best bikes for beginners, especially if you want to learn the right way.

Riding full-suspension bikes is easier, but you are only cheating yourself because you will fail to learn the fundamental skills.

Hardtail MTBs are harder, rougher, and less comfortable to use, forcing the cyclist to adapt and ride at the speed he is most comfortable with.

Without rear suspensions, you will learn to brake and slow down if there are bumps.

At the same time, you will learn to move around the trail to avoid bumps and other obstacles you won’t even feel when on a full-suspension bike.

If you want to ride a bike immediately without learning the fundamentals, get a full-suspension bike. If you want to learn everything, down to the basics, get a hardtail mountain bike.

2. Low Maintenance

Hardtail MTBs have fewer moving parts and bearings, which means that you have fewer things to worry about.

You don’t need to pay for pivot bearings and annual shock service, which could easily cost you hundreds of dollars.

Cleaning the bike is much easier, as well, because it doesn’t have a lot of parts where mud and dirt could accumulate.

Because of this same reason, hardtail MTBs are often used for different types of weather.

Also, if you don’t need to maintain a lot of parts, you will save more time and money.

3. Versatile Use

Hardtail MTBs are extremely versatile. You can make a few tweaks here and there and then use it on different terrains.

Although they are not really the best choice for technical terrains, they are perfect for concrete and asphalt roads.

You just need to put more air on your tires, and you won’t have any problems pedaling on concrete.

If you want to try bikepacking, trail biking, or gravel riding, hardtail MTBs are the way to go. You just have to change the tires and off you go.

4. Cheaper

Hardtail MTBs are cheaper than full-suspension bikes. This is mainly because of its limited functionalities.

If you are starting out and don’t have a lot of money to buy an expensive bike just yet, you can start with hardtail MTBs.

Once you get the hang of it, and you already learned the fundamentals, you can start saving for a more expensive bike.

what is a hardtail mountain bike

Types of Hardtail Mountain Bikes

There are a lot of sub-categories for hardtail mountain bikes, and each of them is designed for a specific use.

Here are some of the different types of hardtail bikes and what you can expect from them.

1. XC Hardtails

Cross-country mountain bikes or XC bikes are made specifically for long-distance routes and varying terrains. More than other bikes, you can rely on them for endurance and fast riding.

They come with a high gear range, 75 to 100mm front suspension, narrow tires and bars, and a steep head tube angle.

2. Trail Hardtails

Trail hardtails are the most versatile in the group, and they are made with more relaxed angles.

Compared to their counterparts, you will find that they have shorter stems and wider bars. The gear range should be between 100 to 150mm front travel.

This type of hardtail MTB is made to provide enough suspension to descend and ascend efficiently. It is perfect for smoother trails because you can dash faster with its gear range.

If you are still undecided about the type of hardtail bike you want, this is the best choice because it can be used for almost any type of discipline.

3. Enduro

Enduro is a type of race discipline where you will be timed on your descents.

Because of this, Enduro is more focused on the descending, and the setup is made to help you go downhill faster, safer, and more efficiently.

This type of bike provides higher front travel ranging from 140 to 170mm.

It has a long wheelbase, shorter stems, and long top tube to provide a more aggressive style and better control, even at high speeds.

4. Electric Hardtails

If you do not have the power to pedal through hilly areas or are too old to pedal faster, electric hardtails are the best option.

You can choose an electrically-assisted hardtail bike that is designed for off-road biking.

Although it is a bit heavy, the motor will assist you in pedaling and provide a boost in your speed.

Electric hardtails are more expensive compared to the regular MTBs because of the motor on the pedal.

If you still want to ride a bike, but your stamina and strength are lacking, this is your best option.


So, now that you know what is a hardtail mountain bike, are you ready to invest in one?

It may not be the best out there, but it is the perfect two-wheeled vehicle for those who are just starting on their journey.

They are a very affordable option that would allow you to enjoy nature while riding on different terrains.


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