Full Suspension Vs Hardtail Mountain Bike

As a beginner, purchasing the right bike can be quite overwhelming and confusing. After all there are so many bikes in the market. Then, these bikes are divided into categories as well making it all the more difficult. One common issue that most beginners face while choosing a bike is that they should opt for a hardtail bike or a full suspension bike. So, to make things easier we have gotten together and written down all the pros and cons of these two categories. 

What is the main difference between hardtail vs full suspension bikes?

Before diving into much detail, you should know the main difference between a hardtail and full suspension bike. A hardtail bike has a suspension fork in the front whereas a full suspension bike has a  suspension fork up front as well as a rear shock. This main difference determines many of the pros and cons of both the bikes. It also determines which bike is the most suitable one for you.

What is suspension?

Suspension is a system in the bike which offers the biker a better control of the bike. It also helps make the ride more comfortable as it is the shock absorber of a bike and its presence makes the ride more comfortable.

Pros of Hardtail Bikes

It’s time to get down to the real deal by discussing all the pros of a hardtail bike which will help you take a decision. If you are on a budget and cannot afford a very expensive bike, hardtail bikes are your go to option. The explanation behind this fact is that these bikes have a simpler design with lesser components which is easy to manufacture. You will get a good quality bike at a reasonable price. In fact, if a hardtail bike and a full suspension bike were of the same price then the hardtail bike would be of better quality. This is because the manufacturer will be able to spend more on fewer products and provide a high end bike.

These bikes are easy and cheaper to maintain since they don’t have a lot of parts such as bushings, bearings and pivots. They are also quite sturdy. Hardtails teaches riders how to choose the right line and the perfect posture for riding. It teaches riders how to use their legs as suspension and become an excellent rider and become much more connected to the trail.

These bikes are definitely versatile. They are an excellent choice for you if you plan on riding it on a smooth terrain. They are also fast on climbs because the back end of the bike offers excellent power transfer to the rear wheels. These bikes are great for cross country racing. In addition to this, the bike can be used for daily commuting as well.

Hardtail bikes are extremely lightweight because they only have front suspension which means you can take them along with you for long rides. So if you are looking for a low maintenance bike which is also lightweight and are planning to ride your bike on a track with lesser bumps, hardtails are the right answer for you.

Cons of hardtail bikes

Unfortunately, hardtail bikes are not entirely perfect. While riding a hardtail you have to be careful about your body position. You also have to learn how to ride a bike perfectly so that a sudden bump on the road doesn’t throw you off. Moreover, since the bike only has a front suspension fork it is good for smooth trails only. This is because if you ride such a bike on an extremely bumpy trail, the front suspension fork will be unable to soak up the bumps and you will get a very uncomfortable ride. 

On top of this, your speed will also greatly reduce when you will come across a bumpy trail. The bike is also not good for descents. If the bump is really big, you might even lose control of the bike and fall. Hence, get this bike only if you will be riding it mostly on smooth trails or trails that have a few bumps (the front suspension fork can absorb these).

Pros of full suspension bikes

Full suspension bikes come with their own set of perks which cannot be overlooked. These bikes offer you a comfort that no hardtail bike can ever offer. This is because the front and rear suspension of this bike soaks up most of the bumps and in turn provides you a smooth ride. 

Due to their ability, you won’t have to worry about remaining stiff while riding the bike and your upper body won’t get thrown around. As a result, the rider won’t get tired fast and will be able to pedal for a much longer time. This makes them extremely efficient. Additionally, you will also be able to ride faster and enjoy your ride to the fullest without worrying about any obstacle in your path or even falling.

These bikes are ideal for technical trails. Technical trails are those trails that have lots of bumps and include rock gardens, off of drops and up and over roots. These bikes are beautifully designed to provide you the ride of your life on these trails without experiencing any discomfort. 

Full suspension bikes are easy to ride and are sure to build the rider’s confidence as they give you a greater margin of error. This puts them in the forgiving category of bikes. They provide better traction and make the handling of the bike easier so you are bound to make lesser mistakes on rough terrain.

Cons of full suspension bikes

Full suspension bikes come at a price which is definitely not light on your pocket. They are very expensive and start at $1500. So if you want a good quality full suspension bike, get ready to spend.
They are high maintenance which means not only do you have to spend time to keep it in a working condition but also spend a lot of money. This is because these bikes have comparatively more parts.
These bikes are extremely heavy which means that you cannot take them around with you easily. 


We hope that after reading this article things are much easier for you and you know exactly which direction to go towards while purchasing your bike because in the end it all comes down your budget and the trails you are planning to ride your new bike on.

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