Pinkbike Poll: Do You Ride a Hardtail Anymore?

Mar 1, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  
Trek 2016


When was your last ride on a hardtail? I'm talking about a real ride, not laps around the pumptrack or through a dirt jump line, a proper off-road excursion done without the bump-erasing comfort of any rear suspension at all. For many riders, that last hardtail rip may be hard to remember. After all, there are more affordable full-suspension bikes than ever, including options for the smallest groms. That means we're entering an era where there are riders who have never pedaled a hardtail at all, moving straight from a scoot bike to a tiny fully-suspended machine.

My first six years of mountain biking were spent on a hardtail, first with cantilever brakes, and then with V-brakes, but I'm not one to wander around shaking my fist at the sky and mumbling about how “Kids these days have it easy.” If anything, I think it's great that the learning curve isn't as steep, and that advances in technology have made mountain biking that much easier for beginners to enjoy.

There have been several articles about hardcore hardtails published over the last few months, and the comments tend to be split between riders who are interested and riders who are dismissive. Being a diehard hardtail aficionado is the equivalent of being a telemark skier – actively choosing to make an activity harder isn't something that everyone will understand. After all, who in their right mind would purchase skis where your heel isn't locked down, or a steel hardtail that costs the same as a carbon fiber full suspension bike?

Hardtails aren't for everyone, and that's part of their appeal. It's easy to question their usefulness other than as a lower cost entry into the sport, but I'm glad that the hardtail scene continues to exist. I can appreciate the simplicity and the extra challenge of a hardtail, although more often than not I'll go with a full suspension bike if given the choice. I've also recently traded my tele skis for an alpine touring setup, so it's possible I'm getting soft...


When was your last trail ride on a hardtail?








338 Comments

  • 224 24
 "Anymore"? Pinkbike you're so cute with your BC blinders on.

Hint: The rest of the world rides all kinds of bikes, including fat bikes, hardtails, singlespeeds, etc.
  • 49 61
flag VwHarman (Mar 1, 2019 at 12:42) (Below Threshold)
 Come to BC, lots of different bikes in the province. Good try though.
  • 135 5
 if only there was a company from BC that made hardtails
  • 47 7
 @underhawk: It is about time someone started a company called Chromag and started to make hardtails.
  • 10 2
 Bc here, 2 hts (26 and 29) and i don't look weird to most local riders (maybe on 26 tho but that's for my soul)
  • 31 5
 I rode my carbon rigid fatbike on Fromme yesterday. Climb trail, Executioner, Dreamweaver, Lower Digger were a blast with the snow and ice.
  • 6 0
 My full carbon rigid fat bike is a blast on snow covered singletrack. Opens up a 12 month riding season too!
  • 9 6
 I love you PB guys but this is kind of cute, I even read it with Kim Kardashian voice over ????
  • 3 1
 @north-shore-bike-shop: nice. I have toyed with the idea of bringing my fat bike down with on my next Shore trip and going down CBC.
  • 5 0
 First few park days and last few park days, ALWAYS on the imperial. Its tradition! Throw that thing around threwout the season too.
  • 1 1
 @underhawk: They could put a bear on the logo, it could even look like it was scratching it;s balls.
  • 23 3
 I believe the marketing research questions you were looking for were 1. Do you own a hardtail? 2. Is it your 1st, 2nd, 3rd bike or more? 3. If yes to #1 do you ride it bc a. it's ironic b. It's iconic or c. I'm broke and it's all I can afford.
  • 4 39
flag StevieJB (Mar 1, 2019 at 15:53) (Below Threshold)
 Let’s face it chromags are pig ugly with that bent top tube trade mark. It’s like trying to copy the 1st crap hydroformed aluminium frames back in the 90’s.
  • 6 0
 @StevieJB: Emmm... Strongly disagree. Lots of nice looking hard tails these days, but Chromags are definitely in that category.
  • 1 0
 @Rideonjon That looks a lot better.
  • 3 1
 @StevieJB: Personally I prefer straight tubing too, but I also love my top tube low. I've got the BTR Ranger for 26" wheels in size large, but I wanted to have the top of the toptube meet the seattube at 320 measured from the center of the bottom bracket. I came up with that measurement because I wanted to be able to have the back of my knee higher than the top tube to have more freedom when moving around over the bike. A 400mm seat tube was sufficient for me, so that was basically the seattube for their size small bike. For the rest, I trusted them that the geometry was good. They could lower the top tube for me (or basically make it more sloping) but they needed a stronger seattube. More specifically they used the Reynolds 831 seattube instead of the Reynolds 631 they would otherwise use. So that's what they did and it worked out great. Chromag has a different solution to lower the top tube and bend it so that it still joins high on the seattube. And then you have something like a On One DeeDar that adds another tube. They all deal with the same challenge in different ways. You may like the look of one over the other, but at the end of the day what gets you grinning is how it rides.
  • 2 0
 @kanasasa: My only carbon is a 27.5 XTR hardtail intentionally fitted with DT/2.4 Maxxis 26" wheels. It's the fastest most maneuverable bike I've got for the hills, and my 29 steel ht is decked for bikepacking/long cruises.
  • 3 6
 Yeah they kindly left out that maintenance on a full susser is a nightmare for all but those with deep tool boxes and time.

Until they make a full suss that doesn’t require constant pivot maintenance I’m sticking with the hardtail.

We talk like full suspension has become so advanced but I fear reallllll long term durability is long ways off.
  • 3 0
 I'm a BC boy and I ride a hard tail still (at times) on the Shore, in the Koots, up north...
  • 3 0
 @mkotowski1: I ride year round in BC so lots of dust in the summer and rain in the winter. I service my pivots every ~3 years or so. Some bikes go longer. Zero durability issues. No maintenance headaches. I'm 200lbs ready to ride so not a featherweight.

I'm actually impressed as heck with how reliable modern FS bikes are.
  • 3 0
 @mkotowski1: I have a Giant with Maestro, so lots of pivots. Inspect once per year, and I only end up replacing 1 pair of bearings (lower shock mount). All others are always mint. That's not a lot of maintenance for 11 months of riding per year, 3 times per week on average.
  • 2 0
 Yeah..... I'm from BC and a diehard Hardtail'r for life. Fullys are fun but Hardtails are more fun.
  • 1 0
 @vikb: how many miles do you ride a year and how many streams do you ride through, my local routes destroy bearings
  • 1 0
 @mammal: 3 days a week but how many miles? And how much water?
  • 1 0
 @north-shore-bike-shop: how's fromme running? Squamish is a skating rink right now.
  • 1 0
 @underhawk: Dont forget it would have to be a 29er hardtail to get PB's attention
  • 1 0
 @Fallboy: There was a bit of dirt at the bottom and the ice didn’t seem as bad as last week. There was 2 cm of fresh snow that covered the ice with a really coarse surface that provided good traction up and down. Anything up to 6th switchback should go. Might be some pushing involved but it’s all fun.
  • 52 5
 honestly, riding a full rigid made me a better full sus rider, i learned how to really get around the bike, choose lines faster on the fly and just overall re learn skills i had probably established using less than proper form because i started out on a fully.
  • 20 1
 Totally agree with this. Spending consistent time on a hardtail definitely improves my speed and skills across the board.
  • 17 1
 Learning to flex your legs and arms, and get off the saddle goes a long way with riding. It’s hard to teach new riders this.
  • 9 17
flag tttyyler (Mar 1, 2019 at 12:26) (Below Threshold)
 I think the caveat is you have to be willing to ride mellower trails. I have only put myself in unsafe situations on the hardtail, and made myself need new ankles. Now I've been riding mellower stuff with coworkers etc. and am reconsidering hardtail/rigid
  • 11 1
 THIS^

I started on a full suspension 29er 7 years ago and learned so pretty lazy habits because of it. Building a honzo really helped improve my skillset and eventually taking my cross bike on MTB singletrack took it to a whole new level.
  • 5 1
 100% true. I have a rigid bike that I almost ride exclusively for the first couple weeks of the season. It used to be SS too which really teaches you how to maintain speed since you can't pedal on the downs. Most of my friends who started on FS bikes look a little like a brick while riding since they don't absorb any hits. When they try my rigid bike they end up only making it down half the trail before being so rattled they need their squish back.
  • 7 1
 absolutely, an HT made me a better rider, and I keep one around to switch things up from time to time. Getting loose on a HT is a whole nother dimension and it's great!
  • 4 0
 100% yes. I have never improved my skills faster than I did moving to a rigid hardtail full-time. You have two choices: get good or get hurt.
  • 5 0
 @NoGrip61: This. So many younger guys I ride with that didn't learn on a HT keep their body position very high and rigid. Gotta pump those arms and legs, stay low, work the bike underneath you.
  • 13 1
 Full rigid single speed is mtb nirvana.
  • 7 0
 @DirtbagMatt: Lies! The bike does all the work. Even the pedalling.

I just stay seated or standing straight up, stiff. Solid. All my weight on my hands, or my ass. Elbows locked...
  • 4 0
 Kick it up a notch: Take a BMX out on the trail.

I went from very old school, terrible (by the time I was riding it hardtail) to FS and don't really want to go back full time, but boy is it fun to play around on my BMX when riding with my young son. The super steep HT angle, short wheel base, and weak brakes really keep you on your toes even on easy stuff.
  • 2 0
 I’ve ridden so many flights of stairs on a rigid bike..!
  • 6 0
 I also started on full-rigid...in 1988...haha.
@tttyyler....naw man, anything can be ridden without suspension...just might have to do it slower
  • 1 0
 Same, started out on a full sus and then got a hardtail after a few years of riding. Definitely helps push the skills that you can be lazy on with a full suspension.
  • 4 5
 I think riding a dj bike on jump lines and pump tracks has more value for skill building than a hardtail on the trails.
  • 4 1
 @pdxallarounder: I'm not sure how a jump line and a rock garden compare.
  • 4 1
 You jump the rock garden
  • 5 0
 Send the knowledge..... forced line choice!!!! HT for the win in learning how to handle your eyes forward
  • 2 1
 This. Riding a hardtail makes you really think about line choice. You develop lots of skill which will help you later on... Everyone should start off on a hard tail to learn the fundamentals.
  • 2 0
 Absolutely. Now that my kids are starting to ride, part of me wants to go all Crazy Old Man and demand they start out fully rigor to actually learn how to ride. Flat pedals, too, dadgummit...
  • 2 0
 well they said to learn on a HT, but that was 12 years ago and I'm still learning, and loving every bit!
  • 4 0
 the reliability of a hardtail is unmatchable, living in a island with no bike shops, i have been through everything you'd expect when servicing at the distance (I send my stuff to Santiago, which is 1.300 km from here). Brakes lost in the courier, shocks sent with unfinished service, etc etc, all this means weeks or months of no bike, all this while my HT never stops working. No double suspension bike will ever be that reliable, it's just a matter of number of moving parts.

Everytime I ride my double suspension bike again (Giant Reign) I feel it a 100% and i dont get too used to it, the HT humbles you down, everytime!!!
  • 3 1
 @tttyyler: I ride everything on a HT plus more that anybody does on a FS, without any issues at all. Sure sometimes you can't just sandbag through sections like you can on FS. But sandbagging doesn't require bike skills. It's not the bike that limits your riding capability. It's the only you the rider.
  • 2 0
 @OlSkoolJake: so true! Still people prefer upgrading their bikes instead of their bodies and skills.
  • 1 0
 @Muckal: Agreed. I decided I can’t be concerned with the pound of weight I’d save by swapping my AL frame to carbon until I lose the extra 10-15 I’m towing around on myself.
  • 3 0
 @TyPierce: your body would jiggle less with the increased compliance the carbon frame provides though while you loose that weight...
  • 2 0
 I just started riding enduro trails on my fully rigid fatbike and holy shit - it’s like a whole new sport. Feels like I’m rediscovering mountain biking but it’s paying dividends on my DH and trail bike
  • 1 0
 @loopie: Hahaha slower would have been great! But I think I actually went faster because the trail was too steep and I had no traction for braking where I would have on the FS.
  • 2 0
 @SeanC1: I like to start people on a DH bike to learn confidence. I've known riders who walked sections for years because it looked too scary. Sent them through it one time on my DH bike, then they send it no problem back on their little bike. The hardtail might teach you skills but it might also just scare you into never taking chances because it punishes you for every mistake.
  • 1 0
 @OlSkoolJake: This is obvious nonsense to anyone that has more than one bike. The whole reason they make different kinds of bikes is that they have different capabilities for different terrain.
  • 1 0
 @MarcusBrody: so your getting Rad all the time. Smile
  • 33 3
 A hardtail is a lot like a manual transmission. Sure, a DCT can shift faster, but nailing a perfect downshift is immensely satisfying. Same with bikes, FS is faster, but their is a special satisfaction with land a jump buttery smooth on a hardtail.
  • 2 24
flag tref-h (Mar 1, 2019 at 14:59) (Below Threshold)
 I’ll agree that ultimately FS is faster, I didn’t believe it until I did timed laps and surprised myself that the FS was faster up and down.

Auto boxes aren’t faster than manuals though. They do perform acceptably these days, but manual boxes are faster.
  • 12 0
 @tref-h: they don't have manual gearboxes in Formula 1 you know
  • 14 2
 @tref-h: Do not kid yourself, dual clutch automatic murders H-pattern, even if you're a heel and toe ninja there will still be gaps in the power. If it was slower it wouldn't be standard fit in racing.
  • 1 5
flag Frzrbrnbass (Mar 1, 2019 at 20:22) (Below Threshold)
 @tref-h: literally any look at the pros (I.e. the guys getting paid to WIN by being FASTER than anyone else) in either support would tell you DCT/full suss is faster than their respective alternatives. Sorry you're deluded.
  • 6 0
 I can't help myself but the best part about riding a HT is when you get back on your FS rig...
  • 1 0
 @tref-h: even in NASCAR they never have to lift or touch the clutch to shift. Rip it into the next gear and it keeps on pulling. Get with the times bro!
  • 1 0
 @tref-h: lol your first paragraph was a win, your second a complete fail
  • 1 0
 @tref-h: the FS may be faster, but the HT makes you feel faster. That's a big plus when being dead slow, i know that.
  • 2 0
 @Frzrbrnbass: I guess that's why XC racers are still riding handrails...
  • 27 1
 After my last fully broke, I bought a Chromag Rootdown and was very apprehensive about riding it on our rocky, rooty wet coast BC trails we have on the island. After many months on the Rootdown I can happily say that I am amazed at how capable and fun this bike is to ride, it's a friggin blast. The interesting thing is that once I get riding, I don't even notice the lack of suspension...okay, if there are braking bumps or I end up on a high speed bumpy trail I sure do notice it, but for more of the slow tech riding we have on the south island it's the perfect bike.
  • 9 0
 Up Island in Cumberland, My hardtail is just as capable as a FS bike on many trails. My last hardtail ride was 3 hours ago.
  • 4 0
 @Legbacon: Thats where i used to ride my full rigid SS Haro. I sure miss Cumby. However I have a new love. Hornby Island.
  • 1 3
 @Legbacon: A good 120mm 29" would leave a HT for dead on most of Cumberland's trails.
  • 2 0
 @jclnv:

Just not true IME. Some, yes, but not most according to my testing. It's nearly impossible to try a good hardtail without buying one but, you might be surprised if you did.
  • 1 0
 @Naturel: Never send the gap when I ride Yer Mom.
  • 25 0
 More hardcore hardtails please!
  • 8 0
 Come to Britain! We love hardcore hardtails!
  • 1 0
 Not many big brands are offfering agresive hardtails but there really is no shortage of such bikes. I'd suggest you to look in agressive hardtails thread in forum!
  • 3 0
 @winko: big brands dont want to sell them. Margins are low on steel frames and they last forever. Btw- steel or ti only for hardtails (unless a dedicated xc race bike, then carbon makes sense). I cringe when a big brand releases an aluminum hardtail, clearly they dont get it.
  • 3 0
 After 20 yrs of mtb and various ht and sus bikes my only bike is now a hardcore HT. Perfect for the south of England. My last ride was 2 hours ago - it was muddy and huge fun.
  • 2 1
 @JDFF: Disagree, it’s all in the design. I owned a Ti hardtail for 3 years and it was no better than the aluminium NS Eccentric I now ride. I had a Nuke Proof Scout for a short time and got rid as it was painfully harsh. People seem to rate things just on what they cost, nothing wrong at all with a good aluminium hardtail.
  • 2 0
 @StevieJB: I think frame manufacturing has come a long way. I read on MBR (I think) when they did a hardtail review of lots of bikes that there was a lot of difference in frame compliance regardless of material. People always go on about steel frames being far more compliant but the article concluded that Bird Zero and Orange Crush aluminium frames are particularly comfortable, even more so than some similarly designed steel frames.
  • 2 0
 @tremeer023: I think MBR also said the Ragley MmmBop Aluminium was better than the Ragley Bluepig Steel, pound lighter and they said it felt less harsh than the steel. I’d say the MmmBop I had was stiffer than my NS but not as harsh as the Scout.
  • 12 0
 My Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead is undoubtedly some of the most fun I've had on a mountain bike. We all do this for the fun of it, right?? Tons of awesomely capable hardtails out there to choose from too - GG, Stanton, Curtis, Commencal...
  • 3 0
 My riding area is really becoming more populated with hardtails being ridden on mellow and tech trails. I started riding over 20 years ago and have always had a hardtail to go with the fs. Ht gets ridden way more then the fs.
  • 3 1
 Yup, I have just as much fun on my 10 year old XC hardtack, and I do on my new bike.
  • 1 0
 @brncr6: I'm the same way, I almost always grab the Pedalhead over the fs unless I'm planning on riding endless miles of chunk day after day.
  • 12 0
 I bought and sold 3 full-sussers but this beauty has earned a permanent place in my bike quiver. I ride it from time to time, my older daughter is tall enough to use it too. Last year I "updated" it with outdated parts: 10 speed XT groupset, deemax ultimate wheels and a Marzocchi 44 RC3 Ti. A killer bike by 2012 standards.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/16915586
  • 3 0
 nice colour
  • 4 0
 Love my 456! Some times i think about selling it but the thing is just too dang fun.
  • 13 4
 Last year I built up a Trek Stache, because I was convinced I wanted a sweet hardtail in my life. I still owned many bikes, but thought that I would want it for easier or smoother trail rides. I rode it probably 10 times. I wanted to like it -- and the Stashe was without a doubt the best hardtail I have ever ridden, but I just found myself reaching for the full suspension bike whenever I wanted to ride. After owning it for a while and it just gathering dust, I finally sold it. The 130mm trail bike just rides so well, and I don't miss the hardtail at all.
  • 6 1
 You purchased the wrong hardtail. A 150-160mm travel, slack, steel hardtail would be a different story.
  • 3 1
 @Cbc4447: I absolutely agree with you! This guy got an awkward geometry bone shaker! He would of been way better of on a slack steel bike. Unfortunately this sort of experience probably happens to most, it's a shame. But perhaps the big brands dont want folks to know how well a slack steel frame rides for a reason????
  • 12 0
 Hardtails launch off jumps better and get left in the shed with mud better, lots to love. Everyone should have one.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Rode my HT this morning which involved launching off numerous jumps. It's now sitting in the shed covered in mud but the chain was lubed and fork stanchions cleaned so good to go when it's time for the next blast :-)
  • 2 0
 @jeeseE: Agree, I was riding last year with a pro dirt jumper at his park and he said to me it’s nice to see someone on a hardtail and said no one needs a FS for riding there, he only rides a hardtail yet virtually everyone turns up on 160mm Enduro bikes.
  • 3 0
 @StevieJB: It's easy to see how big ass bikes are appealing, but after you ride a lot if find trails that don't warrant full-sus don't warrant all the bullshit that comes with rear suspension maintenance. Luckily I don't have to choose 1. Smile
  • 8 0
 I've been riding MTB since 1992, and have always ridden a hardtail. I've ridden some squish biked at demo days or rentals but they've never really piqued my interest. As a long time shop tech I've been maintaining other people's full suspension bikes and it can be really frustrating chasing down creaks and doing pivot maintenance. I went from an XC hardtail to a Rootdown BA so I'm having a lot more fun now...
  • 8 0
 Hardtails are great for the winter months.
  • 1 0
 Let me preface this by saying I love hardtails. But when people complain about pivot maintenance - just what kind of bikes have you been riding? I'm a big guy that rides hard and fast 100+ days a year in BC. My bikes take a beating. My bikes never need pivot work. Sure they wear out, I replace them all at once, maybe every 10 months. Very rarely have I had creaking or slop or decreased performance. At some point I realize they're worn out, like any other part and I replace them.
But that being said, a full bearing replacement on an FSR or VPP bike can get pricey, 10+ bearings and probably a DU bushing as well.
Ok maybe you have a point.
  • 2 0
 @alexsin: for me maintenance is a small part, cleaning is the bigger part.
  • 2 0
 @alexsin: Piviot live has gotten much better, they used to be seasonal for most people, and more often for people that put the hammer down.
I don't think that is a disqualifier for me on a susser, it's just one of the many reasons I have remained on a HT. For a long time, I didn't want to chase trends in suspension design too, but the suspensions have gotten so good that I don't worry about it anymore. At 42 I've been thinking about getting a susser for some of my longer weekends in the saddle, the fatigue a HT can lay on you is pretty substantial. But justifying another complete bike for the occasional weekend is pretty tough. If I get bored with my Rootdown (unlikely) I may look into a Guerrilla Gravity.
  • 7 0
 I've got two bikes: an XC/trail hardtail, and a full suspension DH bike. I love them both, and ride both of them exceedingly often.

I used my XC hardtail as my only ride in Moab once, doing things like Porcupine Rim and Captain Ahab on it. IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE BLAST. Those trails were so incredibly satisfying to ride on a hardtail, even though it was exhausting, because I knew it took more skill than it would if I broke out the DHer. I've used both at bike parks and my conclusion is that the DHer is more capable, and in general the XCer is more fun.

I think a fully is like a racecar - at the limit they're amazing, but below the limit they're more boring. A hardtail is like a go kart, where pretty much everything is suddenly fun. Take that how you will.
  • 6 0
 Hardtails are great, probably 90% of people commenting are fanboys (me included). I can ride the majority of trails on either FS or hardtail, but with different margins of safety/comfort.
Now, the last time my suspension was out for service, I went back to fully rigid for a massive ride that included baby head downhills, Fully rigid on 2.3 tires not only made the ride incredibly scarier than it needed to be, but I couldn't feel my palms for a week.
In summation, rear suspension is nice, but not mandatory. No front suspension, no thanks!
  • 1 0
 That’s where the slack 4.0’s come into their own!
  • 6 1
 "After all, who in their right mind would purchase... a steel hardtail that costs the same as a carbon fiber full suspension bike?"

Is this comparison trying to suggest the overwhelming tide of riders on Santa Cruz full-sussers spent less than £2-2,500 on them, or is it just ignoring that brands like Cotic, Whyte, Ragley, Stif, Stanton, etc can all sell you a complete hardtail for that, or even less?

Anyway, you can answer this question with some other questions:
why would anyone buy a rigid titanium gearbox touring bike, instead of a carbon full-sus?
why would anyone buy a road bike, instead of a carbon full-sus?
why would anyone buy an E-bike when they could buy a carbon full-sus for less?
why would anyone buy a carbon full-sus when a motorbike would be cheaper?
why would anyone buy...
  • 5 0
 I love my Mondraker Vantage for 90% of the riding on the Colorado front range as it makes even the most mundane trails interesting. I pull my big bikes out when it is time to ride park or
go racing.
  • 2 1
 I dont ride park and I`m a Commissaire.... I do ride a Mondraker Vantage though, a lot more than my full suss..
  • 3 0
 IT all started with hard tails for me back 10 year ago, and even though I have a short and long travel full sus as well as a 29er rocket ship full sus, I still have hard tails. Winter time it's hard tail time, no pivots to wreck in the muck and the ground is softer anyway. But that's not to say I don't use hard tails in the summer, I'm faster on smooth flow trails on a hard tail. My on one 456 evo II rocks.
  • 7 0
 Just got my Honzo ST! Can't wait to get ripping on a hardtail again!
  • 2 0
 Everyday I dream of going back to a HT. Honzo is on my list. Love to find a good deal on the Ti
  • 1 0
 Got to ride the Ti a couple years ago in Bellingham, was everything you want it to be and more, and you can't beat the look of that frame. The St is pretty cool though. I'm a bit of a steel fan boy.
  • 3 0
 I've been riding mountain bikes since the days of John Tomac and I've never owned a full suspension bike. I don't dislike full suspension bikes but when you've grown up riding fill rigid bikes with cantilever brakes then 120mm forks, disc brakes and decent geometry is amazing on an affordable budget.
  • 1 0
 Speaking of the bad old days... I raced XC on the Giant ATX 990 Team John Tomac, back in that day and age, It was my first full-susser. After that thing fell apart repeatedly, I didn't own a suspension bike for a while. Just dating my self here...
  • 4 2
 I rode a hardtail until 3 years ago, even raced DH on a hardtail (yes there was a HT class). One of the most difficult experiences in cycling was transitioning to a FS, I felt like I had to learn everything again despite being a very competent rider.
  • 3 0
 My hard tail to full suspention ratio is about 50/50. All-mounting hardtail, full suspension trail bike, SS hard tail DJ/Pump bike, and DH bike. Why choose off a menu when you can have the whole buffet?
  • 1 0
 Same. DH and full suspension enduro bikes balanced out with a xc hardtail, fat bike rigid and a BMX bike. Hopefully getting a SS xc/trail bike again soon...
  • 2 0
 I keep 4 bikes rideable. An old Merlin ti Road/Cross bike, an old Fat Chance for commuting and grocery getting around town, a vintage Mantis for fun social MTB rides, and one brand new insane Yeti. The others handle 90% of my actual riding, and and cost as much combined as the Yeti does. But the Yeti is a spaceship compared to the others, and makes all the pain and punishment of riding the others worthwhile as training.
  • 6 0
 Hard tail and dial-up internet. Get off my lawn.
  • 4 0
 The modern geometry hardtail is so much more capable than ever. I would pick my hardtail over a lot, maybe most FS bikes on the market today.
  • 2 0
 My "daily driver" is a Chromag Aperture hardtail and I just love that thing. Managed to rack up 1200km on it in 2018.

Over the last few months, I've been getting into weekly fat bike group night rides on a fully rigid Trek Farley that I've been renting. That snowy chaos is loads of fun too!
  • 2 0
 I split my time equally between a Kona Honzo Ti Single Speed and and Ibis Ripmo. Both are equally fun for different reasons. I'm riding in NW Arkansas where we grow rocks. I still absolutely love the hardtail. It keeps my skills sharper, while being an absolute blast to ride on all but the roughest downhill tracks.
  • 2 0
 I ride hardtails only. Build them up myself, one is fully rigid steel 29er and the other an aluminum frame and a suspension fork. I even have a 27.5 rear spare wheel to convert any of them into a nimble 79er.
Dropper seats are the BIG game changer, not (full) suspension, at least that's my 2c.
  • 2 0
 My first trail ride, on a full-rigid, amazed me. I had no idea that 21. tires could plow me through so much. I think I held out for years before riding a suspension bike, so I rode lots of local rocky ST descents right up to when I abruptly switched to my first FS bike, a Mongoose Amplifier, with the horst link Mc strut frame. After riding my local trails on that bike for six months, I tried riding those same trails again on the old trusty rigid. I couldn't believe I'd ever been able to ride those down hills before, it was so much different.
  • 2 0
 In-line with your comment about the "... lower cost entry into the sport ..." I'm currently rocking a revived '93 Rocky Mtn. Fusion that I rebuilt just to stay active in the sport. Huge $$$ for just about anything current has excluded me (for now) from riding the latest "Wünderbike". It's zero squish, no dropper, 26" tires (*gasp those STILL exist?!!), & v-brakes for this dude. In light of that though I've been enjoying the added challenge of scoping the smoothest lines & surprising some other fellow bikers on my 'ole bone shaker. Few people know the sheer terror/joy of ripping a down hill trail with some surprise steep rollers when your seat is sailing at full mast. I've been a mountain biker since 1994 & my jalopy reminds me of those early days shredding the local trails.
I don't think it should be a right of passage that people start on a hardtail before moving on to FS, that's backwards thinking. Biking should be straight up fun out of the gate & newer bikes provide that in spades. Lord knows the very instant I can, I'll be draining the bank account for a new fully suspended, disc brake equipped, post dropping' trail smasher. Until then it's just me & the old steel dancer. Have fun on whatever you're currently shredding on folks & be grateful for it. Keep the Rubber side down.
  • 2 0
 I've seen a bit of a resurgence of the hardtail in the Fraser Valley. I'm talking really nice builds--not just bargain-basement entry-level stuff. I went back to a hardtail last year--I picked up Canfield EPO. I'm sure there are places where a full suspension would undoubtedly be faster; there are times when things get really loose; there are times when my old body aches more than it needs to. But I absolutely love the bike. It fits me perfectly--and I mean perfectly, and it does everything I ask of it. I like the way a hardtail moves underneath you, and appreciate the challenge of trying to be smooth. I just love riding the thing.
  • 2 0
 In the lovely state of Oregon I find myself riding my hardtail most rides. The full squish is a bit of a drag on longer rides... the full squish at Post Canyon or Sandy where the up is pretty basic and the downhill return is good. Most other rides I'm on my Canfield EPO cause it is a blast.
  • 5 1
 Love the feel of a steel, alu, or Ti hardtail, no matter what! Best, most connected riding feel there is.
  • 5 2
 My Chromag Stylus goes the places my SC Nomad went, just with a little more effort and "excitement" sometimes...

And if it gets too hairy, that's why I own a DH bike also.
  • 2 1
 I've owned a bunch of short-travel bikes over the years for my local trails and then a +160mm bike for when I head out to do some big mountain riding. I started with a 2015 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt, which was lots of fun but I wanted something that climbed better (mostly geo, not suspension). I tried a 2017 Cannondale Scalpel with the new geometry but that was a little too far in the XC direction. Eventually I got a Specialized Fuse, and even though it is heavier and has much cheaper parts than my last 2 short travel bikes, it's still the most fun short-travel bike I've owned. Does everything right on the downs, and makes climbing a breeze.
  • 2 1
 I've spent the last 4 seasons riding a Chromag Surface. I have become a far better rider on that bike. I've ridden a few full suspension bikes in that time and enjoyed it, but I always have fun on the hardtail. That being said I did just buy a 160mm full sus 29er to go with it.
  • 2 1
 My only hardtail is a dirt jump,but sometimes I take it for an enduro/trail ride, does it count?
Honestly, charging with 26" wheels, really realy worned out Ardents, one brake and no real way to stop is the best way of riding ????
  • 3 0
 Just converted my Canfield Nimble 9 to a rigid SS... So much fun. Way more fun than expected. Not easy on the body though! haha
  • 3 2
 After almost quitting due to new standards, I found MTB again in the face of an old Fox 36, which I lowered with a PVC pipe to 115mm of travel and put it on my DJ bike. I ride everything, put a front brake on, take a piece of the pipe out and go shred, awesome! I can always count on a DJ frame for staying true and away from trouble, no press-fit, no boost, no 15mm front hubs, just pure fun.
  • 6 0
 You almost quit riding because of new standards?
  • 2 0
 Been riding mountainbikes for almost 30 years, but never had any suspension. I am considering buying a hardtail with around 140mm travel, for trips to the mountains. I feel like I am betraying the rigid.
  • 1 0
 I started on a rigid MTB it had a front brake that would push down on the TYRE. Not the side of rims, down on the tyre from the top through a hole in the fender. It was as effective as breaking with your feet. Feet were the rear brakes by the way.
  • 1 0
 My hardtail is my town bike. It's really fun doing errands, getting the kids, etc. on a hardtail with a dropper. But I live in a rocky area, and it absolutely beats my body up riding rocky trails, so I really don't ride it on trails much.
  • 5 0
 Real survey question should read:
Why wouldn't you own a hardtail?
  • 2 0
 Been riding hardtails regularly since 2001 (rigid prior to that). I've never been without one. In the last 5 years, I've been riding a Salsa El Mariachi and a Chromag almost exclusively. Hardtails are a blast to ride.
  • 1 0
 A hardtail bike will help you become a better rider. The rear of an HT is unforgiving though and will put a toll on your knees, hamstring and quadriceps and prone to fatigue because now those will become your rear suspension. I always incorporate a knee, hamstring and quads workout in my exercise routine to make them stronger and less prone to fatigue.
  • 2 1
 Where's the hardail without front suspension option?.

Some of us pre-date even v-brakes. That being said - I keep all my old hard tails - Ritchey timberwolf, Rocky Blizzard, Kona Explosif, Cove Hummer. But honestly they are just kept for the memories. I can't honestly believe I used to ride these down trails.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure they mention rigids... Remember the days before indexed shifting? Not to bad on a roadie, but could be a RPITA on the trail. That was the best thing to happen to MTBs IMO - Indexed shifting
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: I could give up indexed shifting (or shifting altogether), I could give up a suspension fork, I could give up disc brakes, and I've already given up clipless. The only thing I really don't like giving up is my dropper post, which is odd because I only own one bike with a dropper. My daily ride for a year was a rigid single speed with flats, and a 100mm dropper post.
  • 1 0
 I would have loved to keep some of my old 90s bikes, but I broke them all. All of them. I do have a half dozen old frames hanging on the walls of my garage.
  • 1 0
 @yzedf: Modern suspension forks are a godsend compared to what we had when they first hit the market. My friends and I used to laugh at people on the trails with their front dual pogo stick. We purposely avoided bikes with suspension F & R.

I don't high post or slam my saddle so a dropper is not important to me. Who wants to spend $400 on a seatpost anyways?

Disc brakes were a big improvement as well. Vbrakes could be set up to work well enough but soon as they got wet/muddy that kinda went out the window!

At no point in my life have I been fit enough to ride a SS on the trails, so yeah...
  • 3 0
 @m1dg3t: You know the thing that killed me in the old days were toe clips. I remember accelerating with the toe clips flipped upside down and clipping a root - that sucked. Bike stopped instantly.
  • 3 0
 @deepcovedave: Toe clips got me twice. Bad. Once it happened like you describe, and the other time I couldn't get out and did my best bike/pretzel impression LoL I went to flats after that and haven't looked back. Think my 1st flats were triple traps or some Welgo knock offs LoL

m.youtube.com/watch?v=DtMhyavClS8 They were indeed...
  • 2 0
 @m1dg3t: yeah I've got a bad hip, so it's pretty much xc high post pedal position unfortunately for me.
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: I hear you on the fork.. I rode rigid until I could get an affordable Fox 32.

However, if you look around, you can get an affordable dropper and it'll change your mind. I finally got a dropper two seasons ago and that's the one thing I wouldn't give up.
  • 2 0
 @yzedf: I hear that. Not as flexible as I used to be either (3 hurniated discs) plus I had a bad fall few years back requiring plates, screws, wire and synthetic bone to get me back on my feet. Stretch, stretch, stretch, and stretch some more! Yoga really helps too. Cortisone shots & painkillers handle the rest LoL. This time of year is the worst for me.

I've got long arms and short legs LoL. I keep my saddle level or slightly above the stem top cap and I get almost full extension while still having enough room to move about.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: As grumpy as I am I won't go back to rigid for XC. Definitely not as a regular event anyways. On the flat stuff or across a field sure LoL I do run my forks with as little sag as possible though.

None of my bikes are internal dropper and the idea of having another cable running on the frame + another lever on the bar doesn't motivate me very much. I've been eyeing the BST off/on for a bit, but seems like most droppers need a rebuild plus $150+ LoL Maybe one day...
  • 2 0
 @m1dg3t: I'm on a regimen of stretching, yoga and the occasional visit to the chiropractor.
  • 3 0
 I am literally buying my new hard-tail on Monday. I even have plans to purchase a second later this month to compare the two. tup Can't wait
  • 1 0
 My only mountain bike is a 2008 Norco Bigfoot cause I'm a broke student and bikes are pricey. It's a hardtail that's heavy as hell, but it can also take a hell of a beating. Even when I do get a more expensive bike I plan on keeping this old rig. It's just super fun to ride.
  • 1 0
 I’ve never owned a full suspension. Right now I’ve got a Rocky Mountain Growler 40 and a couple of BMXs and the Rocky does everything that I need a mountain bike to do so it would be real hard to justify spending ~$1000 more at my LBS that I bought the growler from to get a full suspension with comparable components.
  • 1 0
 My last hardtail was yaers ago, my beloved Merlin titanium. But due to being broken so many times and ways over the years, the body was just not enjoying the technical riding that my.local trails offer. So it was sady kicked to the curb.
  • 1 0
 I used to live in north Vancouver.been riding north shore hard tails as far back as I can remember.cracked a frame every year.norco torrents until I recently retired my norco rampage replaced it with a ns evo surge frame.freeride hard tails are the most fun.
  • 1 0
 Ahhh, the old school days. Fully rigid bikes that just rattled your bones to the core. Quill stems, square taper BB/crankset, cantilever brakes, above the bar shifters, bottle cages that you would lose your bottle every ride, strap toe clips, and no droppers. I don't year for the old school days.
  • 1 0
 If I could only ever have one bike for the rest of my riding life, it would be my 2011 26" Transition TransAM. Not that I don't love my FS bike, but the TransAM is an absolute blast no matter what I take it on. It ups the fun factor on easy trails and makes me a better rider on harder terrain. Wouldn't give it up for anything.
  • 1 0
 At one time I had 5 full suspension bikes of my own that I rotated between. Currently I have 2 and neither have been ridden since late 2015. I ride a plus tire hardtail from May till snow... and a fully rigid fat bike from snow till May.
  • 1 0
 If I'm going somewhere unfamiliar my "trail" hardtail gets the nod every time. XC ride, trail ride, pump/ BMX , local DJ's, urban hits even some tech and gnar I can always find a way to have fun on that bike. They are so versatile.
Plus they make you a better rider and keep the stale local stuff fresh.
  • 1 0
 Remembering my first real mt.bike was a Cannondale M700, with the rigid peperoni fork and Coda cantilevers Smile the worst brakes in mt.biking history! If it rained, all you could do was hold on for your dear life and white nuckle it down the trail. Steep learning curve though ????
The funny thing is that 30 years later there are now cruix that i rode back then, where I bail out on riding my full sus with 150 mm and xtr hydralic brakes tioday. I guess age and remembering my airborn flights over handelbars are holding me back. Happy days ????
  • 1 0
 My FS cost a lot of money, so it's reserved for the nice days when I go to bike parks and trail centres that are further afeild in the sunshine. The HT deals with all the other rides and fitness duties in less favourable conditions. The money I saved in FS maintenance pretty much paid for the HT.
  • 1 0
 When I bought my first full suspension bike I thought my hardtail would be relegated to commuting and family rides, but I still enjoy taking it out for local rides, as it livens up tamer trails. If I only had one bike it would be a hardtail.
  • 1 0
 I've got a full suss Patrol, and a Kona Rove gravel bike on 650b tires I ride like a rigid mountain bike with drop bars. I considered a hardtail when getting the Rove, but figured anything too gnarly for the Rove I'd just ride my full suss anyways. I also built some 700c wheels for the rove to do some road riding. I really feel like these two bikes make for the perfect quiver for a lot of riders, but certainly for me
  • 1 0
 I ride a hardtail by choice these days. It is a MODERN hardtail, slack and long. It's not carbon or aluminum. I take it on bike destination trips. My FS coiled out carbon bad ass enduro bike and super sweet FS trail bikes stay in the garage. I do this by choice because I appreciate the way it forces me to focus on line choice. I also find it rewarding and appreciate the simplicity. I ride all trails, double and triple black, my hardtail does not change the trails I ride (per trailforks). #htbychoice.
  • 1 0
 Picked up a new Trek Roscoe 8 last year for a great price. I've had so much fun on this thing. It's been kind of refreshing to own a simple mountain bike again. Super easy to maintain and a real challenge (in a good way) to ride. I still ride a Fuel EX for longer all day rides but my hardtail is awesome!
  • 1 0
 Can't say I've always had a full sus bike. But from my first - I've never been without. That said - of the herd - all except one, are hardtails. One sacred '99 Klein is relegated to path work only. The AlaCarte is blessed with two wheelsets - of which one is bestowed with good solid mud-capable offroad tires. It sees the occassional day-ride, cuz it's FUN cuz! Mostly - for wintertime use my breathed-on 1st-gen TimberJack gets the nod. It's just so capable - up and down. And last but not even remotely the least - my friend & companion - my pedaling steed - my heart's smile last-gen 5.Spot is my fair-weather soulmate. I'm Dave, and I shop. Looking really really hard at a new (or replacement) squish bike. Newer goemetries are all that and a bag of chips too. So I struggle. Do I keep the 5.Spot & betray my Hunny Bunny Hoochie Coochie Sweety Pie - says to get rid if one before adding a new one? Or do I betray my common-law marriage to my beer-mate Five Spot? Awwww hell. I think I'm gonna puke. Then - probably toss de doggies in the pickup along with the TJ & go get really really cold & muddy.
  • 1 0
 i have a decent stable of bikes (ti road bike, Cross bike, old 26" ht, short travel full sus, 150/160mm 27.5 all mountain, and a 27.5+ ht(Speicialized Fuse)) i absolutely love my Fuse and have ridden it on all of the same terrain i ride my FS bikes on, i find the Fuse to be grace in motion and simplicity at its best, one chainring, plenty of range, tons of traction, goes great, stops great. less to fix/ maintain.i try to ride all the bikes in my collection a bit, but i bet the Fuse gets as much ride time as any of them, from an evening doggie ride to a all day trail ride with friends. now if i could remember why i built that silly Litespeed....
  • 2 1
 I'm a proud, die hard Hardtail'r for life. I never have an issue riding anything that the FS crowd does and more.. In fact I often leave them in my dust. You could chalk that up to 38 years of biking most likely. As it's not what you ride it's how you ride.

I've lost count how many times I've heard while riding, from the pretentious FS crowd "Oh great another dude in jeans and tshirt riding a HT. There always one. Let's get out in front of him so he doesn't hold us up". As the ride progresses and we come to the first big gnarly section, or the big trail feature. I see the FS crowd either standing there looking dumbfounded on how to clear it or riding/walking around it. While I just blast through like it's just another day on the bike. When we get to the bottom of the trail or end of the ride. I cheekily chirp to the FS crowd who are trying to choke their words down and give props to me. "There's always one in the crowd Wink " #hardtailprideforlife
  • 2 1
 Same thing happens with me from time to time one step tech trail we ride had about 6 fs guys looking down it and I had to ask if they were going or please move so I could, they told me it not a ht trail but when I got to the bottom they were cheering me on! Had a guy tell me I brought the wrong bike to Rockville, place lives up to its name. Stay on his rear tire the whole way down the trail and he didn't have much of anything to say at the bottom. The only thing that will hold a ht back is the riders mind.
  • 1 0
 I love my 26" Ragley Bagger 288 and Ragley Blue Pig 27.5". Hardtails don't make you a better rider unless you decide to put the work in, if you do then you definitely get the payback with a better riding experience. Jumping on to my hardtail after all the boingy magic of my Canyon Spectral just means getting up and off the saddle and bike more and choosing lines for even more speed. Doesn't stop me riding any trail either.
  • 1 0
 My custom built steel 27.5 plus Breadwinner Goodwater with it's carbon rims and 140 hit Pike is super fun and extremely capable. It can handle anything a 240 hit full susser can. Not everyone is hucking off Rampage sized drop offs.
  • 1 0
 FS has shown me several things. Firstly how to actually ride a bike. (1)Read the trail, find the flow, use your body, not just smash the trail and let the suspension ride the trail. (2) Modern geometry and proper fit makes a world of difference. (3) FS can and will ride anything. (4) A six stage enduro to start the first season of only FS riding is a recipe for disaster and amazingly intense and agonizing leg cramps. Took 2 others to help straighten my legs! (5) FS riding has been great for my winter telemark legs. Yes, I’m that guy. Glutton for punishment.

Bikes are fun. Ride one!
  • 1 0
 I bought 2 bikes last spring. A 135 travel, slack 29er and a 27.5+ aggressive hardtail. The hardtail was supposed to he the "winter bike", but to be honest I think I'm out riding it more ofter than the full sus. It's just that fun.
  • 1 0
 I have 2 hardtails. A carbon Honzo which is my “xc” bike and a Nukeproof Scout 27.5 which is such a great do anything bike.

For really steep and tech trails where the speeds are low I think being on a hardtail is confidence inspiring as you are so close to the ground. For fast chunky stuff it’s a disadvantage for sure if your goal is to be the fastest. I personally love to switch back and forth from suspension to hardtail as they both compliment each other. You have to pay attention more on a hardtail, especially on techy climbs.
  • 6 2
 Gotta love a hardtail.....
  • 6 2
 No I don't ride a hardtail anymore,but I don't ride it any less.
  • 5 1
 Hardtail for life. I only ride hardtail motorcycles too.
  • 3 1
 Rode fully rigid until 2013. From then until now hardtails I build myself. Yeah, full sus is comfortable, but I have a soft spot for hardtails.
  • 4 1
 Great analogy! Tele and hardtail do go up better. The down does require some skill for both.
  • 6 0
 I like the tele analogy too but maybe for a different reason. If we are honest with ourselves, both tele and hardtails are *generally* less capable than the cutting edge counterparts. Or at least less capable with similar efforts... However, in the popular ambitions to be better, more efficient, more capable - we devalue the equipment-to-user feedback and related sensations. Put more succinctly: it feels uniquely good to make a tele-turn. It feels uniquely good to rail on a HT. Reasons enough for me, and more as I get older, I'm chasing the satisfaction I get from trail-equipment to rider-sensations vs. something that is measured with a stopwatch or how far you can send it.
  • 4 0
 I like that comparison too. I've been a tele skiier for 17 years and a month ago I put a deposit on a chromag rootdown! it's about the feeling and the challenge!
  • 2 0
 @gregorys: yup Chromag me 2 if I had any dough left from buying my first fullspension. Still rocking my T1’s from 2000 they don’t pack out like down hill torture devices!
  • 1 1
 Rode all last summer on my my 26 " wheeled Kona Dawg with the rear suspension collapsed. Cranked the compression and rebound to max so it wouldn't clang around and rode the wheels off it. Funny thing is i still haven't beat my strava times on my new bike yet (may have something to do with the snow on the trails).

Also miss my old SS fully rigid Haro jump bike that I used for XC.
  • 2 1
 Well here’s documentary proof of my last hardtail ride! Full mudguards as well for ze style points.

youtu.be/zKxSu5FBYi8

The fully rigid answer makes me feel like an old codger!
  • 2 1
 I owned two full suspension bicycles, and they were a lot of trouble. They were of the cheaper variety though. One the frame broke in half, the other the rear shock broke. I guess you get what you pay for.
  • 2 0
 In that sense I will probably never own anything but a hard tail, because you can get such a better bike for so much less money.
  • 4 0
 CHROMAG ROOTDOWN - STEEL IS REAL
  • 3 1
 In my home trails I think 60% of the riders are on XC Hardtails, 20% on XC Full Suspension, 10% on E-Bikes and 10% on Enduro Bikes.
  • 1 0
 I agree with you 90%
  • 1 0
 I have a DJ and fatbike that I ride often when conditions are right. (Thanks to The Yard in Ottawa, I can now ride my dirt jumper with great frequency, since it's one block from my house!)
  • 1 0
 I didn't finish reading the text or any of the comments, i just wanted to say WTF are you for real you have to have a hardtail, jeeezz should this even be a question ?
I've been drinking, but it's still true hardtails rule.
  • 1 0
 A fully rigid is a lot of fun if you are able to make your body become the suspension. Gives a very direct steering that only a few paralellogram suspension forks offer. Wished to see that option there too.
  • 2 2
 Every time I build up a hardtail and take it out on a ride, I wish I had a full suspension. If I lived in an area where the trails were perfectly groomed and smoothed, I could see myself on a hardtail. But where I live we have rocks, and a full suspension just handles better.
  • 3 1
 Question should be "Do you ride your FS anymore?". If I said it once I said it a million times, Hardtails are the craft beer of bikes when done right.
  • 1 1
 I'm one of "those XC type of riders". I love to challenge myself and ride up hills as fast as I can and technical climbs. I like riding down the hill but I love going upwards. Always riding my hardtail, iv never owned a fully because I think it may be inefficient. I come from a road cycling background and I always just kill everyone on any climbs on my local cycling club. I wish there were more cross country dedicated rides because most of the guys have huge, slack bicycles in which they love going down the hill but always view 'fittness in the bike's as just a "fad" or an attribute that comes with cycling (both true) but your fitness happens as you experience your life no in a segregated section of riding your bike. Cheers to all riders!!
  • 2 1
 Don’t think those guys care that you beat them uphills lol
  • 1 0
 Sold my FS because it’s too much of a truck here in SE England. Can do everything I would normally do. BPW is tough but in reality for me that’s a once a year thing and I’m not too fussed.
  • 2 1
 Man I love my hardtail. I'm not an XC racer so I'm not taking it to races on the weekends but I'm riding it just as frequently through the week as I am my full suspension.
  • 3 1
 My new and only bike is a hardtail; 2018 Bird Zero AM Boost with 150mm Pikes!
  • 2 1
 I have two bikes. Both hardtails. Tried a fs bike a couple of years ago and I wasn't sold. But I'm thinking that my next bike should be fs bike. Im getting older.
  • 1 2
 Hardtails feel so weird to me, that I can totally understand how FS feels weird for you. I have to run my DJ fork nearly locked out, even stiffer than most others at the park because I can't cope with the front diving even a little when I push into it and the rear staying level. It sets me into a panic.
  • 1 0
 I feel that. Getting older and many years of abuse really makes some FS feel good. That said, I prefer riding a hardtail when I can. I love being able to put power down without being sapped at any point in a ride. I prefer a hardtail with 150mm fork and big tires. Now I made myself sad because I got too old to ride that anymore.
  • 3 1
 Love a good HT, watching the agreesive hardtail and all mountain hardtaul forums has one lusting for them.
  • 3 1
 got a buncha 93/94 steel Konas, and now a Ritchey Timberwolf, yaaayy for me!
  • 5 2
 Canfield EPO with a Fox 36 160! Epic and fun as hell!
  • 4 0
 EPO and Pike 140 here. BB came unbonded though, epoxied the hell out of it, been fine since. Just ordered a Pole Taival (HT)!
  • 2 0
 Damnit PB, why do you ask this question just when I put my hardtail up for sale 'cause I didn't have space for N+1?
  • 2 1
 I have a ti Epic Synergy re named Everti (thanks specialised), set up as a single speed sometimes. My kids have been through it too on the way to fs bikes.
  • 4 1
 Yelli Screamy... Pike RCT3 150... Turbine....fun as hell
  • 2 1
 Still riding a fully rigid C'dale M800 weekly, was my first mtb. Horrible geometry by today standards but super fast steering as conmuter Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Google "voluntary response bias."
  • 3 0
 Building a Chromag Rootdown right now!
  • 2 0
 Not sure if lots of hardtail riders, or only hardtail riders clicked the article to find the voting...
  • 1 0
 ????
  • 3 0
 I just started to build a Trans AM 27.5 Hard tail!
  • 2 0
 I sold my FS and went back to a hardtail. It was more bike than I needed for the type of trails we have here in Ontario.
  • 2 0
 All ways thought pink bike needs a hard tail section in the buy and sell frames.
  • 2 1
 I have a Honzo, but I've gotta admit I only ride it on beginner trails or smooth flow trails. I much prefer fs for the vast majority of my riding.
  • 2 0
 My current bike is hardtail. I use it everyday on any trail around. Never feel inferior with full suspension bike..
  • 2 0
 It's easy to see how young much of the readership is here. When I got my first bike suspension wasn't even an option.
  • 1 0
 Still have my original mtb it has a new life as a rigid Pump
Track bike got it in 93 it’s still a great bike 26” wheels & a steel frame it’ll be with me til the end
  • 1 0
 Still love the look of a pure XC race Machine..... www.mtb-news.de/news/2015/09/02/bikecheck-florian-vogels-8-kg-focus-raven
  • 2 0
 My one-and-only bike is a plus HT 2019 SC Chameleon S+..... I will never own a FS bike again.
  • 2 0
 I only ride a hardtail and I'm a tele skier...so this pretty much nailed me.
  • 1 0
 I‘m really thinking about buying a hardtail but then there are the kids an my fully is also turning 8 this year... It‘s not easy to make the right decision.
  • 1 0
 You should be reminded that a lot of people would've bought hardtails because of all those who said "it's better to start on a hardtail", which is true!
  • 1 0
 Have a pret tricked out Nomad sitting in the garage, brought a Trek Roscoe (nz$1400) in November and have ridden the Nomad 3 times since. And it's summer lol.
  • 1 0
 Your legs get stronger you can enjoy a HT as much as a dual on the same terrain. Also more efficient on longer rides. Everyone should have at least one HT in their arsenal.
  • 1 0
 5 rides in 7 days on my production privee shan 27, while my Slash just sits in the corner begging to go play. Some times you just need to ride a hardtail...
  • 1 0
 Its -32 with 2' of snow on the ground here. The first question doesn't seem very fair to me. If it was summer I would be on it twice a week.
  • 1 0
 what about the hard tail/no front shocks option? back when men were men and sheep were nervous - and Digger still retained his original knees.
  • 1 0
 I was on the hunt for a hardtail recently. Then I went snowboarding for the first time in 14 years and realized my bike is just fine and I need a shed stick desperately!!
  • 1 0
 my full suspension fully rigid single speed hardtail fat beast (with E-drive) .... damn - can't be bothered with surveys might just go have a ride!
  • 1 1
 X-Was your last ride on a hardtail, taking your vintage mountain bike out of desperation because you had sold your old bike and your new one had not come in yet?
  • 2 1
 I had one, then it got stolen. Someday I'll get another one someday, they really do make every ride more exciting
  • 3 2
 (let us edit on mobile, PB)
  • 1 0
 @src248: Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select "Web version"
  • 2 1
 I own a dh bike and a orange p7 hardtail it’s All you need, I love my hardtail so much fun
  • 5 2
 STACHE mob
  • 4 1
 yeeeessss new Stache owner here, most fun I've had on a bike since I was a kid
  • 2 0
 Stache rider here too and I love this bike, my FS bike has long gathered dust since the Stache came into the picture and I did wonder if I was being unfair on the FS bike. I took it out for a few rides last year but was keen to get back on the Stache instead.
  • 2 1
 Trail hardtail for smooth rides and enduro fully for rougher ones. Or the other way around. Whatever...
  • 2 1
 Spanner Bike, Project S.Y.D! Custom Ti hardtail that’s 63ha 76sa running a 150 factory 36. Dropped the mic!!
  • 2 0
 I ride a pony! Quad suspension.
  • 2 0
 Will be riding my Chromag Nice Dreams in the snow this weekend.
  • 1 0
 Riding a hardtail made me enjoy our mellow trails again. I wish i made the move from FS to HT earlier.
  • 1 0
 I still had a GT Ruckus 3.0 (26" with 650 wheels) and my XC bike is a GT Karakoram 29er frame.
  • 1 0
 I have a full rigid bike I still ride. In addition to a modern full suspension trail bike.
  • 2 0
 Sold my FS, only ride a HT now.
  • 1 0
 Love my Shan GT but it plays second fiddle to my Intense Primer most times, still, fun when i do ride it.
  • 2 1
 Hardtail til death sorry guys i own a 24 pornking DH with minster ts up front go look
  • 1 0
 Does a gravel bike with 700c wheels taken down a DH trail count as a hardtail mtb?
  • 1 0
 Fatbike is a hardtail? Did wonderful things at Lynn today in the very early morning.
  • 1 0
 What if you can remember your last trail rip on a hardtail, but it's been more than 2 years...?
  • 2 0
 YT Tues for bike park. On One 456 for everything else.
  • 2 0
 Does a cx bike count if used on local singletrack trails?
  • 2 0
 I rode my mudtail today! Pipedreams come true!
  • 1 0
 I often ride a 24" bmx cruiser on trails... and not just dj and machine cut. Sometimes simple is just fun.
  • 2 0
 Hard tails rule my fellow riders!
  • 1 0
 Nice send on the first pic Mike! I cased that super hard on my 'fully' and it did me no favors
  • 1 0
 Still ride my trusty old Brodie Holeshot alll the time...cause it's real fun!
  • 1 0
 Went back to a hardtail and i love it use for local trails and trails centres in the uk.
  • 1 0
 I'm converting my XC HT to a Monster Cross bike for bigger days in the saddle.
  • 1 0
 You can visually see the difference in someones riding if they started on a hardtail or just full sus right away
  • 2 0
 Hardtail for life suckers!
  • 1 0
 Still ride my hard tail once a week, but not in the winter when there’s snow to surf
  • 2 0
 I ride my hardtail all the time. So much fun.
  • 1 0
 First proper mountain bike was a Ridgeback 401GS back in '92. 24" wheel version Smile
  • 1 0
 Banshee morphine with a dc shiver to give the haters something to talk about at trailheads. Big Grin
  • 2 1
 Define "first real mountain bike"
  • 2 1
 36er Payaso rigid steel and aluminum
  • 1 0
 BOOOM!!!
  • 4 7
 I now realize the last time I properly rode my full susser was before my first kid was born. She's eight years now (nine in June). How often my hardtail? Well, something like four times a week on average. 90 minute blasts maybe, but definitely frequent rides.

The article suggests riding a hardtail is harder but to be honest I definitely feel the full susser is more scary and difficult to ride in technical terrain than the hardtail. Sure, straightlining rough terrain (like the upper section of the Megavalanche Alpe d'Huez) is easier on the full suspension bike but on jumps and steep switchbacks (like the lower section of that course) I feel the fully is much much harder to control. The hardtail is much more predictable. You know when the impact is going to be and how big it is going to be so you can absorb it. No need to absorb the rebound, it is not going to buck you off.

So no I don't ride the hardtail because it is harder. I ride the hardtail because it is easier and more predictable in technical terrain.
  • 1 0
 you're right, vinay. +1
  • 2 0
 @meandros: Thanks. Yeah it is a bit awkward here on PB. One can say riding a full susser is easier than riding a hardtail, but the other way around gets you downvotes. Another way to end up below threshold is to say you ride mostly standing up. Instead we're getting complaints about saddles being uncomfortable, seattube angles being to slack and articles on curing lower back pain. I wouldn't even dare to mention I never got along with automatic transmission in cars as I feel they're unpredictable. Manual transmission doesn't need prediction as you're in control.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: fully agree, vinay: there is a weird bias going on here for fullsussies; just hope it doesn't get any weirder than that (ebikes are not bikes, but electric motor bikes and it freaks me out they are promoted as cycling products - maybe for feeble men&women or them fellas in cisco city).
My full steel rigid 29er is the best ride I have ever had by far, it just gives a realness and involvement in the ride that even adding a front suspension would more like take away rather than contribute to the immersiveness. And you're bang on; it is not the type of ride for always being in the saddle.
  • 2 1
 I moved back to HT after 20+ years of comfort....must say I really dig it!
  • 2 1
 Steel is Real....RAMFB….SS Hardtails..
  • 1 0
 I just ordered a new specialized epic hard tail. I can't wait to ride it.
  • 1 0
 HT, you either feel it,or you don't... and by that i mean love it
  • 1 0
 Do you have a dirt jumper that isn't a bmx?
  • 1 0
 lol my dirt jumper is full suspension too
  • 1 0
 Steel is the deal! Cotic BFe and 26” fo sho!
  • 1 0
 my username says it all.
(Own one STILL)
  • 1 0
 My singlespeed hardtail is my favorite bike
  • 1 0
 Still rockin' a '93 Norco TNT with Mag 21's on the front. ????????
  • 1 0
 Lets share some love for single speed hardtails, shall we?
  • 2 1
 People still buy carbon full-sussers?
  • 1 0
 including my fatbike, my hardtail count is 3
  • 2 1
 When did they stop selling hardtails?
  • 1 0
 For sure, dj / street shredder being in use more than fully )
  • 1 0
 Hardtail or die! The Esker Hayduke has been an awesome bike in Moab!
  • 1 0
 I ride a fully rigid bike on bumpy dirt roads, does that count?
  • 1 0
 I have a hard tail right no, giggitty
  • 1 0
 Just enjoy riding hardtail
  • 1 0
 Hardtails are awesome! Haven’t rode one in probably 6 years thoughFrown
  • 1 0
 Why is there no “less than a few hours” option?
  • 1 0
 My back can't take hardtail bikes.
  • 2 1
 El Mariachi 4 life.
  • 5 4
 Trans-Freak'n-Am 29
  • 3 1
 26 is for life with hard tails
  • 4 0
 @Ragsdog1: That's hardtail snobbery. All are welcome.
  • 1 1
 Van-quish car-bon 29er That will really piss the ht steely my skills are better than yours crowd into overdrive
  • 2 1
 Hardtails at Rigid High
  • 1 1
 Uh, Mr Hand?
  • 1 0
 What's fs mean?
  • 1 1
 HT = Flipflops
FS = Sneakers
N+1 = Fun
  • 1 0
 Does a klunker count?
  • 1 0
 only on the pump track.
  • 1 1
 I´m riding MTB since 1996 and I never owned a hardtail.
  • 1 0
 you owned a lot of shitty FS bikes then
  • 1 0
 Once
  • 1 0
 TPS
  • 1 2
 I haven't been on pinkbike in almost 3 months and then see this article. See you in another 3 months.
  • 3 5
 Unless you're talking fatbikes or dirt jumpers, I find hardtails fatiguing and uninspiring.
  • 8 3
 Get better at it.
  • 2 1
 @madriaanse: Then cry.
  • 2 0
 @madriaanse: Not everyone has the LegBacon for a hardtail. It's all good.
  • 1 4
 Do you own a full rigid mountain bike that's not a BMX bike?
  • 1 3
 only for city riding
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