25 Hardtails from Ard Rock 2022

Jul 30, 2022 at 15:19
by Nick Bentley  


Who doesn't love a hardtail? We grabbed 25 of the hardtails taking on the epic Ard Rock Enduro. It's a real mix of bikes and as always the hardtail field shows you can race on just about any bike!

Stu Bailey s Cotic BFE Max
Stu Bailey's Cotic BFE Max

Sam Barran s Vitus Sentier
Sam Barran's Vitus Sentier

Shane Ashby s Stif Squatch
Shane Ashby's Stif Squatch

Simon Varley s Orange Crush 29er
Simon Varley's Orange Crush 29er

Lindsay Cumen s Stanton Switchback
Lindsay Cumen's Stanton Switchback

Rob Needham s Nukeproof Scout
Rob Needham's Nukeproof Scout

Will Cleland s Sick Bicycle Company Gnarcissist
Will Cleland's Sick Bicycle Company Gnarcissist

Graham Stock s Sixth Element owner Pipedream Moxi
Graham Stock's (Sixth Element owner) Pipedream Moxi

Harry Firth s Stif Morf waiting for a new chain after practice
Harry Firth's Stif Morf (waiting for a new chain after practice)

Jack Scatchard s Pipedream Moxie
Jack Scatchard's Pipedream Moxie

Ewan Price s On One Hello Dave
Ewan Price's On One Hello Dave

Matt Greenwood s Cotic BFE
Matt Greenwood's Cotic BFE

Scott Barker s Orange Crush
Scott Barker's Orange Crush

Aston Gray s On One Hello Dave
Aston Gray's On One Hello Dave

Matt Ashworth s Orange Crush 29er
Matt Ashworth's Orange Crush 29er

Dan Andres Cotic BFE
Dan Andres' Cotic BFE

Tom Lyons BTR Fabrications Ranger
Tom Lyons BTR Fabrications Ranger

Thomas Owen s Ragley Marley
Thomas Owen's Ragley Marley

Matt Ryan s Cotic BFE Max
Matt Ryan's Cotic BFE Max

Sam Parker s Santa Cruz Chameleon
Sam Parker's Santa Cruz Chameleon

Tam Hamilton s BTR Fabrications Ranger
Tam Hamilton's BTR Fabrications Ranger

Jason Attwood Vitus Nucleus
Jason Attwood Vitus Nucleus

John Evans Boardman Pro 29er
John Evans' Boardman Pro 29er

Harry Hamblin s Nukeproof Scout
Harry Hamblin's Nukeproof Scout

Dan Dorrington s Stif Squatch
Dan Dorrington's Stif Squatch


Author Info:
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Member since Nov 28, 2019
268 articles

101 Comments
  • 68 2
 Brave guy running the Sick decals in public.
  • 10 0
 Custom pink fork crown and detail. Sick!
  • 31 5
 Why? Not his fault that he bought one. He's not responsible for the company's drama and implosion.
  • 12 3
 If I were him I would have given it Marino Decals
  • 10 1
 @vikb: chill out just a joke
  • 3 1
 @Phaethon85: it's handmade in the UK champ
  • 54 1
 It's painted, not decals. I've had it looking exactly like this for three years, raced it all over the UK and no one really cares. All I get is "oh shit you actually got one!" I am in no way affiliated with Sick Co. I just bought a frame.
  • 4 0
 @tremeer023: thanks mate. The guy who painted the frame reached out to me and asked if I'd like them painted to match, naturally I had to say yes!
  • 6 8
 @Wim101: brave guy running Sick painted frame lettering in public
  • 1 1
 that's right , he has nothing to do with sick he's a good guy wim, and loves trabant.. he's a perfectly normal rider..many sofa commenters think he's being smart on the forum
  • 1 0
 Sick Bicycle Company Gnarcissis was not made by Marino...this frame 853 reynolds..Marino build,4130,colombus ,Reynolds 525 ,reynolds 728
  • 4 0
 The OnOne Hello Dave's were made for Sick before they went bust
  • 2 1
 good shitty geometry chain length ridiculously long
  • 1 0
 @1aTom: I feel the same, long chainstays are ridiculous. Especially on hardtails, where non rear wheel landings feel twice as hard in the ankles. But trends are trends...Straight line riding and pedals assisted uphills is what's up this days. ‍♂️
  • 34 0
 John Evans....I salute you
  • 5 0
 No dropper, no problem! Haha
  • 52 0
 Thanks guys. She did both the Epic and Enduro this weekend. I timetrialled the Epic full course in 3h42m. I would have loved a dropper….

She was probably the lowest spec bike at the whole event…. No one cares pedal harder!

It’s the rider and their fitness, skill and bravery that controls the outcome.
  • 3 0
 @81JohnEvans: Respect is due
  • 24 0
 Love the hardtail content, more of this please!
  • 14 0
 Some real beauties in there. Couldn't pick a favourite. Great content!
  • 3 1
 same here. each one better than the next.
  • 10 0
 I love hardtails and these are some nice ones! I may be biased because my first great hardtail was a Cotic Soul and my current (very awesome) hardtail is a Pipedream Moxie but it’s nice to see so many Cotics and some Moxies there.

I’m running a bash and guide on my Moxie - the guide is pointless because it’s currently a singlespeed so there’s no chance of the chain coming off, but it’s there in case I revert to gears at some point. But I’m loving the weird combination of a big slack 160mm 29” hardtail and no gears. P.S. My other MTB is a Levo - that confuses many people…
  • 7 0
 Great to see more Moxie's - I run mine SS too and still loving it 2 years on. I've never seen another one in the wild yet.
  • 3 0
 You not alone mate! I run a Mx3 on 150 fork , single speed and totop the rare look and super fun depending.. Mullet! Is a magical set of wheels! I have run all configuration of wheels and fork sizes and chain stays length. Keep experimental!
  • 1 0
 @Papadb: 150 fork and Mullet is exactly what I'm running. I also have a second set of 29 wheels with heavier tyres for bigger days. One of the main reasons I went with this frame is its versatility and ability to experiment. Happy riding.
  • 2 0
 maybe i should convert mine to singlespeed at some point in the future, just as a purebred bikepark machine. fun fact, its maiden voyage was accompanied by two other moxies Big Grin
  • 13 1
 That pink Cotic is a gem.
  • 7 0
 I love my hardtails.

Great photos. A bit of tech info would be a nice accompaniment. Fork travel? Rear wheel/tyre setup? That would be cool to see.
  • 5 0
 2019 EWS bike checks….skip
2020 EWS bike checks….pass
2021 EWS bike checks…..scroll on
2022 EWS bike checks…..glances, hmm…scroll
2022 Ard Rock hardtail bike checks…..stop…clicks….starts drooling
  • 3 0
 And I’m somehow attracted to tne Boardman 29er, it really is the epitome of run-what-ya-brung good times mountain biking
  • 6 1
 Six bikes are running chain guides. This pleases me.
  • 4 0
 I had one on my Honzo but eventually removed it. Well I'm probably not sending it as hard as anyone racing, but it turns out the narrow/wide chainring and clutched derailleur do a good job at keeping the chain on all the time (and there's less dirt and mud).
Just a bash may be enough.
  • 26 0
 That's my Cotic BFe with the purple hope brakes. I took the win on that beast!
  • 4 0
 @AAAndres: Congrats, the bike is the star! Haha jokes
  • 3 0
 @AAAndres: Beautiful bike!
  • 3 0
 @AAAndres: congratulations! Nice bike. The purple looks sick with that orange frame decal.
  • 1 0
 @Will-narayan: I'm not shredding as hard as a racer (those days are behind me). However I do put the miles in and find my chainring, cassette and/or chain wears out quicker than I change them which leads to chain drop. I know, I know it's self inflicted.
  • 1 0
 @AAAndres: good work! The rider didn't do my bike much justice...
  • 1 0
 @HardtailHerold: I find my chainring has some nice C-shapes worn into the teeth, which at least looks like it might be better for chain retention!
  • 5 0
 As diehard HT enthusiast.... I approve of this post.
  • 5 0
 Really cool to see a couple BTR rangers!
  • 5 0
 I must say, that camo green Cotic with matching Lyrik looks dope
  • 2 0
 Harry Firth's Stif Morf (waiting for a new chain after practice)

Thats a reallly nice way to take our attention from THAT CROWN BACKWARDS!

Guy there is really pushing the limits.
  • 5 0
 BTR Plez
  • 2 0
 So I often hear the comment “ my knees can’t handle a hardtail” is there anything to it? Anyone went from full suspension to a hardtail?
  • 7 0
 Not just the knees. At 56, I am now dedicated to the HT Life with a Ragley Blue Pig for trail and Titus Loco Moto(Ti Hello Dave) for alpine and DH. HT’s are punishing but oh so satisfying when your catching your mates on their full sus with just pumping the features.
Props to all those flat pedals featured above!
  • 4 0
 I've ridden full suspension and hardtail for years and currently loving my Meta HT at 43 years young.

If you run single speed your knees will feel it!

On black diamond trails I ride hardtail a little more conservative than a big full suspension bike so I don't get beat up too much if anything my back gets beat up when I case jumps but my knees are fine. On 75 percent of the riding I do...enduro/trail/flow trails, it is plenty of bike and doesn't hold me back.

My Meta HT with tires at around 25 psi is much more plush and faster than most of the full suspension 26" bikes I had.
  • 2 0
 I’ve added a honzo ESD to the rotation, and I’ve actually firmed up the suspension on my full suspension because of it.
  • 3 0
 I did ride my Last Ffwd hardtail some years ago in Finale, Lil Champery, Madonna di Guardia etc. - it was only for three days, but my knees hurt for half a year afterwards. I was around 60 then, and I do have a slightly sloppy left knee - but with the Capra there was and is never a problem.

As long as for pedaling (and pedaling hard) there is nothing different to a fullsuspension. It is more exhausting, yes, but only for always lifting slightly out of the saddle. And having less traction.

But any drop or pothole will go directly into your knees (and ankles etc.)..The back - not so much.
  • 2 0
 @Confluence-Outdoors: me to at 56 and still on my stylus HT..
  • 5 0
 I don't notice any difference in my knees, but ankles and calves take a beating when riding more on my hardtail. They seem to make all the work that's handled by the rear shock on a full susser.
  • 2 0
 I went from FS to HT at 40. On my third HT now and still enjoying it more than the FS. I guess at some point my body will complain, but so far so good.
  • 3 0
 Dunno bout the knees….but my wallet definitely didn’t hurt come ht servicing time
  • 1 0
 @Ben-76: at 44 I gave up on hardtailing. I find over rocks I could never match the speeds I was getting on my ripmo and that rarely made the ride more fun. Over rough fast sections, it just felt terrible, especially after moving to flat pedals. On smoother trails it can feel great being so connected to the trail, but if you have rocks in your life, or like trying to go fast, or have drops without smooth transitions, hardtails just feel worse if you ask me. They also do really bad on technical climbs. Still missing having one though!
  • 2 0
 Finishing an On-one TikTik atm, the HelloDave frame was on rebate at 200GBP few weeks ago. Slack!
  • 3 0
 Great to see a flock of beefies in their normal habitat.
  • 1 0
 Glad to see so many Cotics, is not a very well known brand on this side of the planet... Las Vegas NV, when I bring it to the shop, always gets the "never heard of it..."
  • 3 0
 Props Deli tup
  • 1 0
 Going to do some work on the old HT. Found a company that will fit a straight steering tube to a modern fork, so going to go from 26" all around to mullet. Should be fun.
  • 1 0
 @deli-hustler: good man , rocking the brand new retro
  • 2 0
 @deli-hustler: you can buy some headset with straight 44 headtube that will handle conic forks. I found one at ZTTO to installa conic fork on a 2014 Commencal meta HT that came with a straight tube fork.
  • 2 0
 @zoobab2: I'll have a look, cheers for that.
  • 2 0
 Is it just me or do all these bikes look super long?
  • 2 0
 Mine is 440 reach if I remember rightly...pretty modest for me at 5' 9.5"
  • 2 0
 Huge props to everyone riding this event on a HT - not an easy event!!
  • 2 0
 The timing of some oval rings really puzzles me... :S
  • 1 0
 ...Lovin' the Herd of HT's - The Gnarcissist looks super $ick and was well ahead of its time \m/
  • 1 0
 Love the look of those Stif Sasquatches, with those pencil think seatstays. Anyone know how they ride?
  • 1 0
 I have one and I absolutely love it. To me it feels like the thin seatstays do a good job of making the frame feel nicely compliant. It feels noticeably more comfortable than my aluminum hardtail. The geometry, with a 78 seat angle and 64 head angle, is suited towards steep climbs and steep descents. On flatter terrain, it doesn't really come alive.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailpunter: I’d second all this. Absolutely love mine, it feels a magic combo of compliant, but lively. The trails don’t get deadened by the compliance, it just feels good. Both thumbs up.
  • 2 0
 That Boardman looks wrong.
  • 2 0
 Aye, she is old and doesn't really belong along side the more recent and expensive bikes in this line up.... but you ride what you have and she is more than capable of the Ard Rock course.

I am curious as to what specifically you think looks wrong? Interested incase their is something I could change that I haven't considered?
  • 1 0
 @81JohnEvans: Not knocking it's spec or expense compared to the rest at all, but it looks like it's leaning back. Like it's hit it's head on a low bridge at speed. Is it mulleted?
  • 2 0
 @JonnyTheWeasel:

I didn’t think you were knocking it… I agree with what your saying regards the geo, but it’s a ‘normal’ 29er from 2015 ish. Guess they have some different ideas back then!
  • 2 0
 Any Kona Honzo ESD or Marin El Roy there....?
  • 2 0
 Love those BTRs !!! so awesome!
  • 1 0
 One of the best parts of hardtails is easily carrying two bottles in the frame...
  • 1 0
 Scrolling through for a peek at a Kingdom Vendetta...walks away with chin on floor.
  • 1 0
 Probably the most British thing I've seen on this website. Muddy hardtails look awesome!
  • 3 3
 All of them are just gorgeous! Just don't understand the hype with the cassettes. Since when is 30x32 too hard to pedal?
  • 1 0
 That is funny. I took a ride two weeks ago and discovered the appeal of the 50T because I was running 34x46 and life was not good. I am also exploring a smaller chainring but I can't find narrow wide for a BMX crank. I just so happen to have an 8 speed BMX chainring in the parts bin when I built this bike.
  • 2 0
 Not one meta HT....
  • 2 0
 Yeah I was surprised too. Different popular brands in the uk I guess. Haven't heard of most of these.
  • 2 0
 importing a meta to the uk is probably more expensive than buying a steel frame from one of UK companies, and there are plenty of great options
  • 2 1
 Best looking Orange bike I have ever seen!
  • 1 0
 I’m liking the orange this round.
  • 1 0
 I'll never understand this
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