Hardtail Mountain Bikes VS Full-suspension Mountain Bikes

Hardtail Mountain Bikes VS Full-suspension Mountain Bikes

Are you planning to buy a mountain bike?

If yes, the first thing you have to figure out is whether to buy a hardtail mountain bike or a full-suspension mountain bike. You can easily make a choice among these bikes by considering the terrain you intend to ride and, obviously, the budget.

What do you think are the differences between hardtail mountain bikes and full-suspension mountain bikes? It is really essential to know about both types of mountain bikes before you make a choice.

Let us discuss hardtail mountain bikes vs. full-suspension mountain bikes and more about these two types of mountain bikes in this article’s upcoming sections. You will get to know a lot more about full-suspension mountain bikes and hardtail mountain bikes here, including their advantages and disadvantages.

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What is a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

Hardtail mountain bikes are mountain bikes that only possess front suspension. Their pedaling efficiency is excellent with the absence of rear suspension. Hardtail mountain bikes are perfect for riders who ride on city roads as well as trails.

The front suspension of these mountain bikes absorb bumps and rocks on your path and reduces vibration, keeping your hand away from getting sore. You can read on the next session to understand more about hardtail mountain bikes, including their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hardtail Mountain Bikes

Now, let us see the advantages and disadvantages of hardtail mountain bikes.

Advantages of hardtail mountain bikes

  • Affordable price

Hardtail mountain bikes are the best mountain bike type to consider buying if you are on a stringent budget. You will get a hardtail mountain bike for around $1500. Hardtail mountain bikes are known for their simple design and, hence, cost less for the manufacturing process than full-suspension mountain bikes that are expensive to manufacture.

  • Low maintenance

The simple design of hardtail mountain bikes also reduces the need for maintenance. They demand less maintenance than full-suspension mountain bikes. So, hardtails make the best choice if you are looking for a mountain bike with low maintenance.

  • Lightweight

The simpler design of hardtail mountains also accounts for their lightness in weight. Hardtail mountain bikes mostly weigh less than the full-suspension mountain bikes available in the market due to their simple design and lesser moving parts. The lightweight of the hardtail mountain bikes makes it easier for riders to achieve balance during climbing and covering long-distance trails.

  • More efficient

Hardtail mountain bikes are found to be more efficient than most of the full-suspension mountain bikes in the market.

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Disadvantages of hardtail mountain bikes

  • Not for technical or rough trails

Hardtail mountain bikes are not suitable for technical or rough trails,

  • Less comfort

What is a Full-Suspension Mountain Bike?

A full-suspension mountain bike is a mountain bike with suspension on both ends, in the front and rear. This type of mountain bike is also known as a dual-suspension mountain bike. The full-suspension mountain bikes are mostly recommended for professional riders and rough trails. You wouldn’t require a full-suspension mountain bike just for the sake of transportation. They are made for races and tracks.

See the session below for knowing the advantages and disadvantages of full-suspension mountain bikes.

Advantages And Disadvantages of Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

Like everything else, full-suspension mountain bikes also have their own advantages and disadvantages. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages will definitely help you make a better choice. Isn’t it?

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of full-suspension mountain bikes that would help you make a choice wisely.

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Advantages of full-suspension mountain bikes

  • Easier to ride

A full-suspension mountain bike is a lot easier to ride than a hardtail mountain bike. They are actually twice easy to handle as the suspensionless hardtail mountain bikes. The front and rear shocks of the full-suspension bikes make it easier to ride on any terrain, even for beginners.

  • More comfort and efficiency

Do you know why even cross-country riders choose full-suspension mountain bikes nowadays? It is because of the better comfort and efficiency full-suspension mountain bikes have to offer.

The rear shock of the full-suspension mountain bikes absorbs the bumps, rocks, and roots and allows you to sit comfortably without tiring out your body.

  • Better traction and control

Full-suspension mountain bikes help you not lose contact with the ground when riding over challenging and rough terrains. These bikes move over obstacles by sticking on to the ground.

Therefore, full-suspension mountain bikes offer better traction and control by helping riders stick to the ground, even in rough terrains. The better traction provided also helps in performing well on the turns and curves.

  • Speed

The front and rear suspension of the full-suspension mountain bikes absorb bumps and other obstacles and help you maintain a considerable speed when riding over rough terrains.

Disadvantages of full-suspension mountain bikes

  • Expensive

A full-suspension mountain bike will definitely cost you more than a hardtail mountain bike. Full-suspension mountains are expensive due to their complex features and high-end components.

It is ok to spend more, and the money you invest in a full-suspension mountain bike definitely pays off when you can ride on challenging terrain comfortably.

  • High maintenance

The complex design and the high-end components of full-suspension mountain bikes demand more maintenance than a hardtail mountain bike does.

So, that is all about the advantages and disadvantages of full-suspension mountain bikes.

Hardtail Mountain Bikes vs. Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes Comparison

Do you know what makes a difference between Hardtail mountain bikes and Full-suspension mountain bikes?




It is the suspension of these bikes that differentiate both of them. Full-suspension mountain bikes come with both suspension fork up in the front as well as a rear shock. Meanwhile, hardtail mountain bikes only possess a suspension fork.

Also, hardtail mountain bikes are much cheaper than full-suspension mountain bikes. They are perfect for smooth trails and unprofessional uses.

Simultaneously, full-suspension mountain bikes are a bit more expensive and suitable for professional trails and rides. Also, full-suspension mountain bikes demand maintenance more than hardtail mountain bikes do.

So, that is all about the differences between a hardtail mountain bike and a full-suspension mountain bike. Now, we will see into the details of different types of full-suspension mountain bikes.

Different Types of Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes

You can find four different types of full-suspension mountain bikes on the market. Each of these come with varying features and specifications.

Don’t you want to know what to know more about different types of full-suspension mountain bikes?

Yes, let us now look into the details of the four different types of full-suspension mountain bikes.

Cross-Country Or XC Mountain Bikes

Cross-country or XC mountain bikes are best for covering long distances and lapped races. They are very similar to hardtail mountain bikes but much lighter and quicker.

XC mountain bikesweigh just around 22-28 pounds. They are, in fact, the lightest form of full-suspension mountain bikes available in the market. However, they possess excellent climbing and descending features

A cross-country mountain bike offers ultimate rolling efficiency and better traction and thus is perfect for technical trails. This mountain bike allows you to lock out shocks to achieve higher pedaling efficiency on trails and better power on smooth terrains.

The long stems, steep head angles, and narrow handlebarsof XC mountain bikes help riders achieve a comfortable low and stretched position. They possess a tight geometry with a wheelbase of 29 inches that allows higher speeds and reactive handling for straight roads and technical routes, respectively.

Altogether, cross-country mountain bikes are perfect for professionals who are willing to invest a large amount in their bikes. They fit well for people who want to travel faster on a tight-geometric and lightweight bike in ultimate comfort.

Trail Mountain Bikes

Trail mountain bikes are the all-rounders among the full-suspension mountain bikes. They are perfect for versatile riders who love experimenting and exploring. These are some of the most popular types of mountain bikes.

Trail bikes come with increased travel than XC mountain bikes. They possess a traditional and relaxed geometry, consisting of short stems, relaxed head angles, and wide handlebars. These conventional features balance the comfort, performance, and durability of trail mountain bikes.

Travel of the trail mountain bikes is distributed uniformly except at the front fork to aid the bike’s descending capabilities without affecting its ability to climb.

Most trail mountain bikes come up with a broader ratio cassette and s single front chainring to keep up the momentum during gear shiftings.

Enduro Mountain Bikes

Enduro mountain bikes are a less versatile form of full-suspension mountain bikes. They are perfect for descending faster on steep and technical trails.

The geometry of the endure mountain bikes are sturdy and possess a slacker package with a higher travel. They are built especially for uphill or downhill-specific riding trails or races. You can consider enduro mountain bikes for not so technical or enduro races in which speed is an important criterion.

Enduro mountain bikes possess single front chainrings, high-end suspension coil forks, and shocks. These features make the enduro bikes well capable of climbing as well as descending. The frames of the endura mountain bikes are heavier than other full-suspension mountain bikes in the market.

Downhill Mountain Bikes

As the name suggests, downhill mountain bikes are, especially for downhill trails. They are perfect for the gravity-ignoring riders out there. The super-slack geometry of these bikes offers better balance and control.

Downhill mountain bikes possess travel of about 180 to 220mm, as in most of the full-suspension mountain bikes. They are built for heavy landings and big hits. Thus, the frames of downhill mountain bikes are strong and durable.

The hydraulic-disc brakes with 8-inch rotors offer maximum speed control, and slack geometry gives high-speed stability to the downhill mountain bikes.

Different Types Of Hardtail Mountain Bikes

Here are the three different types of Hardtail mountain bikes, as well.

XC Hardtails

XC or Crosscountry hardtails are meant for fast riding. These mountain bikes come with narrow tires, high gear range, and narrow bars. They also possess a steep head tube angle and 75-100mm front suspension.

The XC hardtails give riders a comfortable and stretched position required to cover long distances at higher speeds. These mountain bikes are best for long and quick rides. They give you speed to cover trails, downhills and climb up the hills quickly.

Trail Hardtails

Trail hardtails are mountain bikes with a slacker head tube and wider bars. Their front travel is around 100-150mm. The shorter stems and gear range of trail hardtails help you descend quickly as you climb. They are known as all-rounders among mountain bikes.

These mountain bikes help you descend hills efficiently without making a compromise on the capability for climbing uphills. The trail hardtail mountain bikes make the best option if you are looking for a mountain bike to go everywhere in style. It is quite a versatile one.


Enduro mountain bikes come with a higher front travel of about 140-170mm. Their long wheelbase and high levels of front travel make them perfect for descending on rough trails. The shorter stems and longer tubes provide an aggressive riding style to endure mountain bikes.

These mountain bikes are a crucial element for winning races. What makes them an essential component of winning races is their lightness in weights and easiness of fixing up. They also offer excellent control to the riders at higher speeds. This mountain bike is the one for you if you opt for an aggressive riding style.


We hope this article helped you understand more about full-suspension mountain bikes vs. hardtail mountain bikes. Haven’t you yet made a decision on which mountain bike to buy?

Do you still have queries about full-suspension mountain bikes and hardtail mountain bikes? If yes, you can read related articles on our website to know more about full-suspension mountain bikes, or please leave your queries in the comment section. We are happy to help you anytime.

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