Hardtail vs Full Suspension MTB

Hardtail vs Full Suspension MTB

A hardtail MTB has front suspension, but the tail, or rear of the bike, is rigid (a.k.a. no suspension). 

This type of MTB is suited for jumping, riding berms and pump tracks, and more mellow trails primarily free of ultra-rugged terrain, massive roots, rocks, etc.

With no rear suspension, the back wheel loses contact contact with the ground more often, diminishing traction, braking and a sense of control. 

The ride is bumpier due to impact forces felt through the handlebars and pedals. However, without the added weight of the rear suspension, the bike is lighter and riders can generate more speed.

Theory states that hardtail MTBers will improve their piloting skills faster as the bike’s properties force the choice of the best line possible. Hardtails leave less margin for pilot error and require limited maintenance and set up. 

On a tight budget? 

A hardtail is a better value. More of your money goes into the bike itself, and not the fancy rear suspension. Hardtails were made for long flowing trails, banks, pump tracks and jumping. As for jumps, having no rear suspension means suck at take off.

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