There are three types of mountain bikes that you will have to choose from when you decide to purchase one: hardtail, rigid or full-suspension. Each one has pros and each one has cons. Most people will not consider a mountain bike without shocks so they discount the rigid bike. Downhill or all-mountain riders prefer a mountain bike with full suspension. It allows for more control on downhill speed runs. Cross-country riders or racers typically, but not always, prefer a hardtail mountain bike. This allows for suspension in the front which gives the rider control and comfort but eliminates the weight of a rear shock. This FAQ will further help you decide which bike is best for your riding needs.
Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Vs Hardtail Mountain Bikes - FAQ
I have started to loose count of the number of times I've heard questions such as, "What type of mountain bike should I buy?" and "What is the difference between a full suspension mountain bike and a hardtail mountain bike?" One type of bike is not better than the other. The choice between the two should be made based on the riders' personal riding preferences, budget and physical capabilities. The FAQ below was compiled in order to help you with this all-important choice.
Question: What are full suspension bikes?
Answer: Also known as dual-suspension mountain bikes, these bikes have shock absorbers installed in both the front and rear tires.
Question: What are hardtail bikes?
Answer: Also known as front or single suspension mountain bikes, these bikes have shock absorbers installed in the front tire only.
Question: Which type of mountain bike tends to be faster?
Answer: Hardtail bikes tend to be faster and pedal easier in smooth terrain than full suspension mountain bikes because of the former's light weight and stiff rear end.
Question: Which bike is better at handling obstacles and rough terrain?
Answer: Because of the shock absorbers in both the front and the rear, full suspension bikes outperform hardtails in rough terrain. The suspension absorbs the impact of obstacles and allows for more traction to be transferred to the ground.
Question: Which bike is better at climbing hills?
Answer: Because of their light weight and easier handling, hardtail mountain bikes are better at climbing hills. However, full suspension mountain bikes do outperform hardtails on hills that are made up of rough terrain.
Question: Which bike is easier on the body?
Answer: F.S. bikes are more comfortable than their counterparts. It minimizes the stress on riders' arms and backs caused by vibrations and jolts during long rides.
Question: Which is more affordable?
Answer: Hardtail bikes are usually more affordable than full suspension bikes of similar quality.
Now you are equipped with the information you need to make the right choice. Happy Trailing!
Nicole H. is one of the owners of http://www.mountain-bike-place.com Full Suspension Mountain Bikes - Your home for a wide selection of mountain bikes for men, women, children and mountain bike accessories.
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Hard tail and full-suspension mountain bike choices are varied and many. The basics are if you prefer light weight and ability to race and climb mountain quickly you will probably prefer a hardtail. If downhill speed is what you are after you will need a full-suspension mountain bike.