Mountain Bikes

What is a Hardtail Mountain Bike | Ultimate Guide

Have you ever wanted to experience hilly areas of the world? Riding on a mountain bike and you are wondering what kind of bike is better for your safe trip, well, a hardtail mountain bike is the best option. Now you must be wondering what is a hardtail mountain bike.

Short Answer

For a ride in the mountains, people usually look for something more reliable and which is more within their budget. A hardtail mountain bike is more durable and gives good adventure for a long trip. Its design is to ride on areas like mountain trails and other regions. So let discuss what is a hardtail mountain bike.

Get a better idea of a hardtail mountain bike. Let’s roll!

What is a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

Hardtail mountain bikes are purposely hard-designed for off-road tracks, usually on vast areas of different off-road trails. A hardtail mountain bike has no rear shocks, as the name indicates. It has a front suspension.

More interestingly, it is the best and safe choice for beginner cyclists because it gives comparatively smooth rides in forests or bumpy areas with lots of bumps and jumps. A hardtail mountain bike is less expensive, more durable, and full of versatility than most mountain bikes.  Let’s dig deeper so that you can fully understand what is a hardtail mountain bike.

History of a hardtail mountain bike

History of a hardtail mountain bike

The late 1970s and early 1980s were the starting era of mountain bikes. At first, few bikers dared to race the hilly areas, riding a bicycle whose tires were balloon beach cruisers with gears and coaster brakes.

In 1977, Joe Breeze came up with many experiments for manufacturing bikes and testing them in hilly areas after multiple failed attempts, motivating them to invent a more challenging bike that could provide safety and comfort while riding in hilly areas, now called a mountain bike.

After that, multiple industries produced mountain bikes, and later on, hilly areas became famous among riders for racing tracks.

Uses of a Hardtail Mountain Bike

A hardtail mountain bike is versatile and gives you the following uses when you go for a mountain ride and a better understanding of what is a hardtail mountain bike:

  • Hardtail jumping

Jumping is always hard on off-road terrains; a hardtail mountain bike is a good option for jumping but on the right track because a rear shock isn’t present in its component. A hardtail mountain bike is more challenging to build and compensate for the absence of rear shock, so it is for the outdoor situation.

But certainly, before trying to jump on any jumpy areas, a bicyclist has to master the skills of jumping for a safer jump. To minimize the bad experiences of jumping, remember to never drop the saddle before jumping.

  • Adventurous Ride

As mentioned, the rear suspension isn’t present, which usually makes the ride comfortable while hitting the bumps; while riding a hardtail mountain bike, the rider has to develop good skills to know the techniques during the high speed of the bicycle. Usually, riders choose hardtail mountain bikes for an adventurous ride.

  • Maintenance of Hardtail Mountain Bike

Lesser parts make maintenance easy. A hardtail mountain bike has very few components of good quality, so damage to parts is likely to occur only sometimes; the absence of rear suspension and shock makes a hardtail mountain bike more durable.

  • Light Weight

The frame of a hardtail mountain bike consists of pivots and shocks and comes without any linkage. So it becomes lighter compared to full-suspension mountain bikes, providing riders with a comfortable ride, especially on long tracks.

  • Quality of Ride

Well, as it has a front suspension, it provides a more responsive ride while pedaling than full-suspension rides.

  • Makes a Rider Perfect

But one thing definitely required for beginners is their learning ability and good skills, which is only enhanced by hardtail mountain bikes because such responsive rides provide suitable learning opportunities and control of brakes, speed, and pedals. A rider should also know the trick to save himself from falling or having a bad experience while landing after jumps.

Best Top 8 Hardtail Mountain Bikes in 2023

Best Top 8 Hardtail Mountain Bikes in 2023

Now we know the basic information regarding what is a hardtail mountain bike, readers must be wondering and now curious to know what kind of hardtail mountain bike they should ride or buy. Here is the list of the top 5 hardtail mountain bikes out of so many others; check them out and then decide. Let’s see the top 5 of 2023:

Marin El Roy

One of the latest 2023 hardtail mountain bikes, named after burrito place. Look its list of Features given below:

  • cost of Marin El Roy is $2,799, €2,799, and £2,295
  • it is a very competent hardtail mountain bike in the down hilly areas.
  • It is good geometry-wise.
  • Its rating is up to 4.5 out of 5.

Canyon Exceed CFR Team

It is a cross-country machine. The following are its Features;

  • cost of Canyon Exceed CFR Team is £6,229, AU$9,099 and €5,799.
  • It is traditional in geometry.
  • It feels like an XC classic.
  • Its rating is  4 out of 5.

Canyon Stoic 4

Its potential is up to the mark when it comes to the rides in down hilly areas. It contains the following Features:

  • Its cost is £1,639, $1,799, AU$2,649 and €1,699.
  • Its geometry is modern and well spec
  • Its aluminum frame is harsh
  • Its rating is 4.5 out of 5.

Merida Big. Trail 600

This bike has two bottle cages, and the mounts are mudguards. It has the following Features;

  • its cost is £1,650, €2,040 and AU$2,499.
  • It has good equipment attached.
  • It gives an enjoyable ride.
  • Its rating is 4 out of 5.

Radon Cragger 8

It’s famous because of its spec quality. Its Features mentioned;

  • The cost of the Radon Cragger 8 is £1,847 and €1,950.
  • Its spec is excellent in quality.
  • Its rating is 4 out of 5
  • It is a high-speed hardtail mountain bike, but it could be smoother.

Suitability of a Hardtail Mountain Bike

A hardtail mountain bike is most suitable for beginners, they are also good for advanced and experienced riders, but it gives more benefits to beginners in a way that it helps them to master their skills of concentrating on their body position, track choices, and balance as compared to full-suspension mountain bikes

Because the lack of rear suspension doesn’t make the ride smooth and allows riders to train themselves to prepare for impact, excellent and healthy riders will enjoy riding on a hardtail mountain bike.

Drawbacks of a Hardtail Mountain Bike

A hardtail mountain bike is only suitable for some intensive racing tracks; it is the quality of full-suspension mountain bikes. You don’t feel a bump in full-suspension mountain bikes, so a hard way will definitely give you the most impact during spots.

It is also unsuitable for cyclists who stick to cycle paths and covered roads. A gravel bike is suitable for riding on roads and tracks.

Hardtail Vs. Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

Hardtail bikes have front suspension forks, so as the name indicated, full-suspension bikes have full suspension systems. They are more expensive but provide more benefits to the riders. There is a comparison between a hardtail and a full-suspension mountain bike. It gives a clear idea when choosing a mountain bike for different tracks.

 So let’s see what kind of variation you find below between two mountain bikes:

Hardtail Mountain BikesFull-Suspension Mountain Bikes  
It gives a bumpier ride, resulting in a loss of control.Faster during the ride in the hilly areas.
It improves rider skills by demanding more attention.It helps maintain the contact of wheels with the ground and helps control.
The rear fork helps the rider to maintain its speed and position within limits.It gives comparative margins while riding through jumps.
Maintenance is easy, and the cost is cheapIt is fast on a rough track and provides more control.
Components are very few, which makes it cost lesserDue to the rear fork and full suspension, the travel increased
It is significantly lighter in weight, 1.5kg and 3.3 lb.It is more expensive to buy and maintain.
variation between two mountain bikes


Who Invented the First Hardtail Mountain Bike?

In the 1978s, Joe Breeze designed the first front suspension fork, which was the origin of a hardtail mountain bike. Interestingly, before 100 years of this production, the Whippet was one of the earliest bicycles to possess rear suspension.

Is Hardtail Mountain Bike More Expensive Compared to Others?

Well, the answer is NO; a hardtail mountain bike costs much less than full-suspension bikes due to its simpler and fewer features with the most straightforward design.

What kind of competitions are best or hardtail mountain bikes?

Hardtail mountain bikes take part in cross-country and XC biking disciplines. Atlanta Summer Olympics, which involves bike racing, began in 1996. In these bike races, hardtails mountain bikes participated.


So now it is clear what is a hardtail mountain bike and what kind of features it possesses. Both hardtail and full-suspension bikes have their pros and cons. But as said earlier, you will need a hardtail mountain bike for an adventurous ride in hilly areas.

It isn’t only grooming the riders but also maintaining its attention to bumpy spots, and a rider has to learn specific skills to land safely from jumps. So biker, what are you waiting for? Read, choose, and then decide, as now you have all the complete information regarding a hardtail mountain bike.

Good luck, rider, and enjoy your ride!

Yousaf Khan

Yousaf Khan is an experienced biker with over 10 years of riding experience. He has a passion for motorcycles and has traveled extensively on his bike, covering thousands of miles across various terrains. Yousaf is well-versed in different types of biking, including adventure riding, touring, and off-roading. He is an active member of several local and national motorcycle clubs, promoting safety and responsible riding. Yousaf's dedication to the biker community extends beyond his own riding, as he regularly shares his insights and experiences with fellow bikers around the world. When he's not on the road, Yousaf enjoys spending time with his family and sharing his knowledge through this blog.

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