Video: 4 Value Hardtails Ridden & Rated - Field Test Roundtable

Apr 20, 2022 at 15:13
by Alicia Leggett  


PINKBIKE FIELD TEST


Hardtail Roundtable


Sync'r vs. Timberjack vs. Team Marin vs. Meta HT AM



The desert is brutally sparse, so it's only natural that we spent some time in Tucson riding hardtails. I mean, the things I like about the desert are the same things I like about hardtails: they're straightforward and nuanced at the same time, they're punishing, and they're f*ckin' rad if you pay attention.

With fork travel ranging from 120mm to 160mm, our four test bikes weren't exactly united by a single purpose, but they did all have features that we liked and didn't like, they're all priced between $1,500 and $2,100 USD, and they all went through the Tucson trail beatdown with us. It's time to pit them against each other and chat about what we learned from riding these things in the American Southwest.

The Salsa Timberjack XT 29 rose above the rest when it came to a do-it-all, versatile trail hardtail that climbs well, descends well, and has good parts on it. Of course, it's the most expensive of the bunch, so it's hard to hold any spec deficiencies against the others, but it was still impressive to see how the Salsa performed with its XT drivetrain, sensible Maxxis tires, and feature-filled frame. When deciding which bike we'd most like to have as our own, the Timberjack was the largest area of Venn diagram overlap among the three of us.

That said, the Marin Team Marin 1 was another standout bike for entirely different reasons. The entry-level cross country bike comes with a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain and a 120mm RockShox Judy Silver TK fork, but unfortunately no dropper post. Despite the high seatpost, the Team Marin was another bike that we all thoroughly enjoyed riding, and it helps that the bike comes with a nice enough frame that beginner cross country riders could potentially upgrade the parts to help the bike grow with them as they progress into the sport.

While we're still on our favorites, Freeride Kaz was especially fond of the Commencal Meta HT AM Origin. The Meta HT is the most aggressive of the bunch, with a 160mm fork up front and 27.5" plus tires. Like the Team Marin, it lacks a dropper post, but the $1,500 price tag hopefully leaves some room in the budget to add one on, and in the meantime, there's a quick-release seatpost clamp. The frame details on it are also quite refined, with clean cable routing and cable port protection, so it's ready for any of the nicest components you'd want to throw at it.

With three of the four test bikes rising to the top of the field, that leaves just one behind to, well, sink. The Diamondback Sync'r has good intentions, a nice color scheme, and an entry-level price, but it's outperformed by other bikes that accomplish what Diamondback tries to with less weight, updated geometry, and better parts compared to the perhaps aptly-named Sync'r.

Watch the roundtable video to hear more of our impressions from this group of hardtails.



4 Value Hardtails


Diamondback Sync'r
• Fork travel: 140mm
• 27.5" wheels
• 66° head-tube angle
• 74° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 440mm (medium)
• Weight: 32.75 lb / 14.85 kg
• $1,500 USD
FULL REVIEW
Salsa Timberjack XT 29
• Fork travel: 130mm
• 29" wheels
• 66.4° head-tube angle
• 75.1° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 453.6mm (medium)
• Weight: 30.6 lb / 13.9 kg
• $2,099 USD
FULL REVIEW

Marin Team Marin 1
• Fork travel: 120mm
• 29" wheels
• 67° head-tube angle
• 74° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 450mm (large)
• Weight: 28.1 lb / 12.7 kg
• $1,589 USD
FULL REVIEW
Commencal Meta HT AM Ride
• Fork travel: 160mm
• 27.5" wheels (also fits 29")
• 65° head-tube angle
• 74° seat-tube angle
• Reach: 445mm (large)
• Weight: 29.8 lb / 13.5 kg
• $1,700 USD
FULL REVIEW

Which value hardtail would you most like to ride?





The 2022 Value Bike Field Test was made possible thanks to Visit Tucson and Norrona clothing.




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These tests take a lot of time and money to make happen, and we genuinely try to give riders useful, honest feedback about the bikes we review. We appreciate everyone's support!



248 Comments

  • 228 32
 I still maintain, that if you think your bike needs a 160 mm fork for what you're riding, it would most likely also benefit from rear suspension.
  • 81 4
 You can say that about pretty much any bike though, some people just like straight out sending it on a hardtail
  • 98 6
 It's not that a 160mm fork doesn't a hardtail more capable but increasing fork travel on a hardtail definitely has diminishing returns. I'd take a 130/120mm FS bike with similar geo over a 160mm hardtail as far as capability is concerned.
  • 44 4
 @toad321: Just accept that proper burly hardtails are a British thing because our weather is so crap...
  • 29 4
 @Muscovir Steve from Hardtail Party would agree with you. Hardtails change geometry in a bad way when the fork is compressed (pivot around the rear tire and the effective head tube angle steepens), and long forks exacerbate that problem.

The way to rowdify a hardtail is via frame geometry, see: Kona Honzo ESD.
  • 42 8
 Someone missed out on just how fun long travel hardtails are... 160mm forks on a hardtail are fun, and quite fast. Some of us are old enough to remember triple crowns on P3s and how much of a laugh those were to huck and ride.
  • 81 7
 There is no rationalizing a hardtail beyond super smooth XC courses in terms of race-type performance or ease of which you can traverse the trail. But it's not about that. Hardtail riding is a vibe, like single speeding etc. Don't question it, just feel it, man!
  • 7 1
 @focofox37: you got it... Legs really help out for suspension as well Smile
  • 2 1
 @diamondback1x9: all I know is when I try to take a corner at hardtail speed, I am picking myself out of the scrub oaks, lol
  • 54 1
 If you need to rationalize benefits of riding a hardtail, then you are missing the point. It's not about better, or faster, It's about fun, challenge, and when it comes down to it, preferrence.
  • 30 7
 I experimented quite a bit with rowdy hard tails, and at some point you're just punishing yourself, or priding yourself on your ability to endure suffering. As said before, 120mm to 130mm is the sweet spot for an aggro HT, with a HTA no slacker than 66 degrees. Going beyond this does make the bike faster, but it becomes painful to ride, sketchy, and not all that fun. Climbing, rolling terrain, lippy jumps, etc all become a chore on these mega aggro HTs, taking the point out of a HT in the first place.

@jesse-effing-edwards A hard tail 29er with short chainstays and reasonable HTA is a ton of fun to ride. Its like a dirt jumper but on the trail. You can out climb your enduro buddies who normally beat you, and you can have fun popping off little rollers and roots that your 160mm+ bike flattens. You can slam berms faster. You can bunny hop stuff more easily. When ridden this way its actually less tiring than a fully. I love my ti hard tail.
  • 32 0
 I enjoy riding my HT with 180mm fork and approx 63 degree head angle around Squamish. There is no such thing as the 'correct' bike as people like to get different things out of a bike ride.
  • 13 0
 @hamncheez: I fully agree. Hardtails are super fun and fast and smooth trails, they're super fun on rough and slow trails. On fast and rough trails: less fun. Actually it's more about how tightly the bumps are spaced (in time), i.e. if the roots/rocks are spaced far enough apart one can use arm/legs to absorb the hit, or bunny hop. If tightly spaced then one can't react/recover fast enough and you just have to hold on and make the bike/body take the hits.
  • 10 1
 @Buggyr333: I agree but its also about having an extra $1k not invested in a bike
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: well said
  • 6 2
 You know how suspension gurus talk about setting up front/rear to work in harmony on a fs. Like if you optimized the front and rear in isolation then the overall setup of the bike might be poor. You want front/rear to react the same way so the bike doesn't pitch. Might have been Cathro that talked about this in one of his how to vids. Anyways it's analogous to hardtails, you don't want a long travel mushy fork cause it's such a mismatch to the rigid rear, and sorta ruins the good things about a hardtail. It makes more sense to have short travel and setup stiffer than you'd run a fork on a fs too. But hey, that's just me. I haven't ridden a long travel hardtail that recently and I haven't ridden everywhere. So if you love your long travel ht then great.
  • 3 0
 @Buggyr333: and price and maintenance.
  • 11 0
 @wake-n-rake: Please tell me it’s a Banshee Morphine…?
  • 9 1
 @Buggyr333: Truth, and also applies to dumb short-travel bikes. Often it’s not about the best tool for the job.
  • 5 11
flag Motivated (May 2, 2022 at 9:36) (Below Threshold)
 Agree.
"long" travel hardtails are for first and last-time buyers.
A capable fork is just writing a check the back wheel can't cash.
My hardtail has a 120mm SID and I've tried all manner of tires. Even that fork creates a significant imbalance in what the front can do and the rear can't. I'm tall with strong legs so with pretty good built-in suspension. Rooty, rocky trails that exceed tire compliance impose a speed limit and that's a challenge in itself, but also takes away the thrill of speed. More tame trails and climbing are pretty awesome though.
  • 5 1
 @kcy4130: this resonates with me. I've ridden a few hardtails steel, alloy and carbon with forks ranging from 100-140mm. My favorite combo has been 120mm with the fork set up fairly stiff. Takes the edge off, balances well with the rigid rear end, no mushy front end when you stand on the pedals.
  • 2 0
 @Motivated: I run 120mm on my hard tail, and I just stuffed it with volume spacers and run the Fox 34 in the middle compression setting. For most riding I only use 2/3 of the travel, giving it a better match to the rear and a good platform to push off of. If I'm riding longer, rougher , more natural trails I just drop the PSI a little and run the compression open to save my hands from torture.
  • 6 1
 @p1ne: Yeah, but a Honzo ESD still has a 150mm fork on it. It’s a very cool looking bike, though, and I’ve been tempted. But when it comes down to it, I just think I’d be happier riding a full suspension on the terrain it’s designed for. Like I’d go out on that bike and just wonder to myself the whole time, “Why am I not on a Process?”
  • 5 0
 Just out of curiosity how many of those that have/enjoy long travel hardtails have them as their only bike? I love my 120mm hardtail (66ha). But I also have a 140/160 fs (64ha) for trails/days that warrant it. If I could only have one mtb... idk, perhaps longer travel ht would make more sense in that situation.
  • 4 0
 Only the most tediously knowledgeable commenters would most likely say no to more suspension
  • 11 7
 @kcy4130: I only have the 160mm HT now after 10 years of fs. It's the same. Your legs get a bit more bendy and you need a strong rear tyre. But other than that it's the exact same experience.
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: depends on the terrain you ride. Hardtails with slacker head tube angles are great fun on slow, steep, loamy trails. Full suspension bikes will have more grip on these trails but that's their only advantage and doesn't necessarily make them more fun.
  • 1 0
 exactly.
  • 2 0
 @mr-moose: Ok British winters are a different conversation entirely
  • 1 11
flag Durtwrx (May 2, 2022 at 10:30) (Below Threshold)
 Because you’re not a capable rider you are New to bicycle handling & basically fall into the KooK category !@jeremy3220:
  • 2 0
 @Motivated: I like my long travel hardtail and wouldn't want less squish up front on my trails as I ride that front end more over stuff stuff. You can ride light on get those legs working, but your arms have a way harder time dealing with rough stuff on the front. My trails (that I ride with a hardtail) are non that twisty so I'll take the squish, but if it was tighter / poppier etc I'd be more on board with a 130ish fork.

My hardtail is basically like a classic muscle car. It's not gonna out perform a 2022 porche, but I wouldn't change it. I ride a Ripmo AF as my everything bike.
  • 12 1
 @focofox37: I think there's a club of hardtail riders, single-speeders, fat bikers, and unicyclist that meet at Applebees on Fridays for happy hour.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: Hum... that's a tough subject. Fork's length is something I have experimented on my HT (Stanton Switchback steel british machine) for years, and it is still hard to chose what suits me better.
I'm not a pro travel adjustable forks, but sometimes I need 140mm or less, sometimes I need 160, depending on the terrains.
That's why I've finally kept my fork (Suntour Auron) at its maximum: 160mm, BUT with particular adjustments, because it has 160mm in static but I run it smoother with fewer air pressure, 2 air tokens, the softer negative spring inside, some fluider oil, and a very soft grease for spi joints.
Also, aggro HT are a breed of MTB that you have to ride fully commited by overcharging the front, so at the end, despite of my 160mm fork in static, I think I probably ride a 120/130mm in movement... and I've got plenty of negative response when the terrain in getting rougher/deeper.
Tough subject, indeed ;-)
  • 3 0
 @foggnm: I'm not allowed back to Applebee's. Hang out with Deadpool one time, and then the incident with Ricky Bobby's Dad... they have me on a life time ban.

Where are my fellow long travel hardtail shredders?
  • 1 2
 @danstonQ: Whats the sag when climbing? a 160mm slack hard tail, unless sagged a lot, isn't going to climb as well as a hard tail should.
  • 1 3
 @jesse-effing-edwards: I say a fad more than a vibe, SS are a very rare sighting at least around my neck of the woods these days, Thank goodness got burned out seeing riders in spandex sporting their new leg tattoos!
  • 4 1
 @toad321: Can't say I understand the appeal of that... I grew up riding hardtails (like most of us here probably) but the moment I made enough money from my summer job to afford a full-suspension bike I moved on and never looked back since.
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy: no. This was my Grorphine Wink Was fun trying to ride down Entrails on it. I thought I was going to snap the steerer in half just by braking ha ha

www.pinkbike.com/photo/22503965
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: well, when climbing.... that bike is recommended for a fork between 140 and 160mm. 73° STA with a 140, 72 with a 160. It certainly has 150/160mm when climbing.
I'd say it's not a XC bike (I've lowered my cockpit though), but it climbs well... and I take my time Smile
  • 2 0
 @likeittacky: I don't know, I think the sub genre of hardtailers is pretty stable, just depends where you live. I live in BC now and aside from mine, I've seen three other highend hardtails in the last two years (all Chromag but mine) but back east they were everywhere.
  • 1 0
 @p1ne: I get that but as a rider of LT Ht I would rarely have my fork go that far and stuff it with tokens to lessen that wallowing
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: With a 66RC on it!
  • 5 1
 @browner: congratulations you're the worst shock setter-upper on the planet!
  • 4 0
 @focofox37: my .234 was deadly with a 170mm 66....shaming the demo's and stinkeys of that era
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: the single-speeders wait outside sneering at everyone, but yes
  • 7 11
flag thenotoriousmic (May 2, 2022 at 13:31) (Below Threshold)
 That’s not true. Full suspensions are great in certain situations where they really come alive like pinning it down rough trails but most of the time they suck. They’re a pig to ride around, require way more energy to pedal around and they’re not fun to ride unless pinning down gnarly trails. The reason I ride my 160mm hardtail more than my full suspension is because I can physically ride it faster for longer. Turn the crank and all that energy goes into the back wheel and your not tiring yourself out trying to fight the suspension moving the bike trying to bunny hop etc. my hardtail is as fun to ride on a double black as it is doing laps down the skatepark besides nothing beats the feeling of dropping lads on a hardtail that costs less the wheels on their full suspension bikes. If I’m going to a bike park or somewhere gnarly I’m taking the full suspension every time but my hardtail is definitely my daily driver and if you ride one through the winter you’ll be a way better rider by the time it comes to pull the full suspension out.
  • 17 3
 @thenotoriousmic: ...have you ridden a full suspension from the last 15 years?
  • 2 0
 @foggnm: I am pretty sure it would be at the local craft brewery but the smallest one that makes the weirdest beers.

Hardtail rider who is building a single speed
  • 3 1
 @browner: I’m the same after years of downhill bikes. 160mm orange crush, 203mm rotors, dh casings. Send it down trails not designed for hardtails. Best fun.
  • 1 0
 @wake-n-rake: Well, that makes all the sense in the world for Squamish where you're basically riding the fork down cliffs. The weight bias is so far forward on those super-steep trails that rear suspension isn't doing a lot.
  • 3 2
 @thenotoriousmic: Come ride in the southwest USA for a month and see how you feel about not having rear suspension
  • 4 0
 @kcy4130: I only run a 130-140 29er hardtail nowadays. It’s great fun, but my mental DH days are behind me. It’ll handle most stuff and I love the 63.5* head angle on it. Still fast around UK trail centres, off-piste and in the Alps but not as fast over rough stuff as my old 160 26er was.

Still great fun to ride fast and chase the boys and girls on bigger bikes.
  • 9 1
 @hamncheez: "at some point you're just punishing yourself, or priding yourself on your ability to endure suffering" . Very similar argument could be used by
* e-bikers vs leg-powered bikers
* those who stay home when it rains vs all-weather riders
* gravity riders vs xc marathoners
* couch potatoes vs anyone that does sports

Setting arbritary goals and subjecting them to equally arbitrary limitations is what people do for many types of activities. Anyone is free to choose.

That said, I prefer a short travel (120 ish) FS to a long-travel HT for almost everything.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: What HT do you ride?
  • 2 1
 @foggnm: My locals are super harsh on a HT as well, even my big slack one long travel HT. The climbs are harder on an HT too, cause you gotta be outta the saddle the whole time and then you can lose traction really easy. Also, once you get used to the speed you can ride stuff on a longer travel bike fullsquish it's hard to go back. I used to be only hardtails for years, but on trails that were decidedly less rocky. I get that there are riders who can shred harder than me on an HT, but imagine how hard they'd shred on an enduro bike. In the end, it's just a preference thing if you're just out to have fun.
  • 5 0
 @matt-johnson: Currently a titanium one I designed and had welded up in the far east (sorry I don't have a more recent pic of it): www.pinkbike.com/photo/16069110

26 pounds with SLX, dropper, and clipless pedals. 120mm fox fork, 67 degree HTA, 420mm chainstays in the short, and intentionally flexy chainstays.
  • 4 1
 @ak-77: There is a difference between staying home when it rains and saying "I only ride in the rain". Riding as fast as you can on rough, fast trails on an aggro HT is like riding a single speed. At some point you're doing it just to suffer. You aren't pedaling harder/longer like your XC comparison.
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: My point was more that some people have fun in situations in which others suffer. There's also people who suffer and find joy in that, which is not the same. But it's all good.
  • 8 0
 @hamncheez: Long travel hardtails are like driving manual transmissions. Some people find them more engaging and fun and some people find them pointless.

I like them.
  • 1 0
 @foggnm: thanks for the invite. DM me your address and I’ll be right over.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: are you going to pretend it doesn’t take more energy to pedal a full suspension bike? Doesn’t require more energy to bunny hop etc?
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: me. I have a 140mm hardtail, 66HA, that is my only bike. It splits the difference between a 120mm hardtail and a 150/140mm trail dualie, which I'd probably go for if I had two bikes. There's nothing I can't ride around here (that more bike would help with) and it's a blast.
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: I mean, what does “suffer” mean really? I get that some people hate being pinged around and feeling out of control and that’s fine. But if there are people who ride bulls for fun then surely people can ride hardtails down hard trails and enjoy it.
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220: like being catapulted over the bars when less expected...
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: to answer your question, I've got 110-130mm (depending on which fork I'm running) hardtail, a 160mm full suspension and a 160mm hardtail.
I ride the 160mm hardtail the most. In reality, do I need a 160mm full suspension for my local trails? No but having that cushion up front makes it that much more fun than the shorter travel hardtail.

In my opinion what is being missed by the naysayers is that we are hardtail purists, I don't want 160mm fork with soft plush travel. I want my fork to sit high in its travel and not pack up with repeated hits in a rock garden, in other words firm. What I'm actually going through in travel on your average trail is closer to 130-140mm and I save the rest for bottoming out of rollers. If I'm riding the shorter travel hardtail I'm constantly pushing its limits and because of that I'm hitting the extreme of geometry changes more often because I'm going through full travel mode frequently.
  • 4 0
 @kcy4130: I have a Chromag Primer as my only bike. Honestly, a majority of my local trails (within 2 hours) can be handled on a hardtail. Especially, a burly one. The other thing is that I probably would have stopped riding all together if it wasn't for this damn bike. There is something about it that just makes me want to ride all the time. It definitely isn't for everyone.
  • 1 0
 a 160mm hardtail would just be a fun bike. its not that necessary to have 160mm and id probably never bottom it out but I would not buy a hardtail like this to be fast, that the job of my enduro bike. only downside to that bike for me is the lack of a dropper
  • 1 0
 Yea but the Kona has a 150mm fork and I have a 160mm on mine as do many people - so I don’t see what your point is?! @p1ne:
  • 1 0
 @TheR: it’s about the simplicity for me I have a fully and a hardtail and sometimes I just take the HT out because it feels more pure. I have a Kona esd and it’s just as capable as a fully in maybe 85% of the trails I ride - many of them super steep and techy. Where it really is a no no is over rocky tech. It’s just not worth it.
  • 1 0
 @p1ne: if they only had a frame-only option, i'd be all for it....
  • 2 0
 @saladdodger: hibike has Eta early July for ESD frames, listed at 906 euros
  • 2 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: I really like the hardtail for those "ride from the garage" style rides where you're on stretches of pavement, bike path, fire roads, and singletrack.
  • 2 0
 @adamszymkowicz: me too. I take mine from the house to a long double track climb to a blue highspeed trail with a few small rock features. Does this really well. Climbs steep too so out of the saddle is common which definitely feels worse on the bigger squish bike
  • 3 0
 I used to have a Le Toy 3 with Monster T's. Weirdly, that felt 'better' to ride than my chameleon with 160mm 36's.
  • 2 2
 @Explodo: Yes, thats why I have an aggro hard tail myself, when from a purely performance- based metric, an XC full sus will climb better, a 120mm trail/down country fully with climb and descend better, and since mine is ti it isn't cheaper than a fully.

But there comes a point where a bike is so unbalanced that it loses the benefit of either. I feel like for 99% of people that tipping point is around 130mm of fork travel and a HTA slacker than 66 degrees.
  • 6 3
 @thenotoriousmic: a 130mm modern trail bike will climb better, bunny hop better, and be more energy efficient than a steel hard tail with a 180mm fork, yes, 100%.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I guess I'm in your 1% then.
  • 1 0
 @Blackhat: There is suffering, where I'm exerting maximum cardio effort to climb a hill or skin up a mountain. Then there are people who ride single speeds and CX (and aggro hard tails down DH trails). That is a whole different kind of unnecessary suffering that I just don't get.
  • 2 0
 With proper riding technique, you don't "suffer" descending anything on a hardtail with a plushie fork.

-That guy in dickies, a T-shirt, and a dome helmet, passing you in the bike park-
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: haha no it won’t and it’s not even close. Not even in the same league as hardtail. I’d be jibbing around at the top doing massive bunny hops and high speed manuals while your still battling with your rear shock up the hill.
  • 3 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Have you ridden a full suspension bike in the last 15 years?
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Ignorance is bliss.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Course I have, I suggest you do the same.
  • 5 0
 This bickering is pointless.
To you fully guys: It doesn't matter what is better, it matters what a person likes to ride. People riding hardtails isn't somehow going to hurt full suspension bikes in any way.
To you hardtail purists: hardtails are not better in almost any practical way other than cost, and that is OK. they don't have to be.
This is coming from someone who has been riding aggressive hardtails since 69* HTA's were considered "aggressive" and currently has 2 hardtails (1 singlespeed) and one more on the way, as well as a 180mm travel enduro super bike that is better at everything than my hardtails.(climbing included on anything but a fireroad) but I still tend to have more fun on the hardtails
  • 6 0
 @Buggyr333: it is ridiculous. Everyone should just have one of each.
  • 4 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: Yep, works for me!
  • 3 0
 @Buggyr333: But they are though. As a vehicle for getting to point A to point B over a variety of surfaces and gradients that you find on your typical ride the hardtail will get you there faster and fresher. Full suspensions are super fun to ride downhills which is why we put up with the negatives but they require more energy pedal and more energy just to lift, hop and generally move around. It’s just physics.

The reason I ride my hardtail more than my full suspension is just down to the fact it’s easier to get to the top of trails and I can ride it for longer without getting tired so I get to do more riding and riding is as much of a chore. If there was no advantages to riding hardtails it would never leave my garage. I’m trying to make riding as easy and as much fun as possible not the other way around.
  • 3 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I love hardtails as much as the next guy but you're fooling yourself.
and realistically if modern full suspension bikes were really that much of a burden, you could certainly lock it out for near the same effect.
It's fine if you prefer it, and I am glad that you do, there needs to be more of us hardtail guys. But seriously If I am going to grab a bike that I can ride trails all day and not be fatigued, it is going to be the fully. Any amount of extra fatigue that comes from extra weight or less pedalling performance is easily offset by the fatigue generated from absorbing hits from rocky terrain or drops without full suspension.
  • 5 1
 @Buggyr333: Is that a star wars reference?

Also all these people riding hard tails, as @thenotoriousmic, are going faster and further than the rest of us, up and down, leading to more erosion and encounters with hikers! This new hard tail trend will only serve to get mountain bikes banned on public lands! (and probably start forest fires from their low BBs cracking their chainrings on rocks)
  • 2 1
 @Buggyr333: it’s not just pedalling. Everything you do form a slight corrective turn to a bunny hop requires you to use energy overcoming resistance from your suspension before the bike even begins to respond how you would like it to. Add that up over a course of a ride and then add energy lost from pedalling and even with a lock out switch that’s a lot of energy lost.
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: From my previous comment: "A hard tail 29er with short chainstays and reasonable HTA is a ton of fun to ride. Its like a dirt jumper but on the trail. You can out climb your enduro buddies who normally beat you, and you can have fun popping off little rollers and roots that your 160mm+ bike flattens. You can slam berms faster. You can bunny hop stuff more easily. When ridden this way its actually less tiring than a fully"

When ridden a certain way, then yes, they are more efficient and much more fun. However, once you put a 180mm fork on your 63 degree HTA that bike will no longer pedal well, climb well, or be poppy and playful.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez:
I don't know what I said that would be a Star Wars reference but I tend to quote Star Wars a lot as is already so some may have accidentally bled through lol
@thenotoriousmic
Believe what you want, but like I said, any small amount of fatigue from 'energy lost' will be more than offset by the lack of rear suspension as soon as there are any impacts. Which any fun mountain bike ride will have plenty of.
Again, nothing but love for hardtails, but we've got to keep ourselves grounded in reality.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez:
just got it, "This bickering is pointless. @thenotoriousmic release him!"
Was not intentional but I'll own it.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: sounds more like a Chromag Doctahawk
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Same Smile
Aggro hardtails mean violence; I sometimes shout "VIOLEEEEENCE" when I send it on very harsh terrains, and that's what I like. I like also my FS 29er to do that (Transition Smuggler)... but I'm stupid enough to prefer the hardtail.
Enjoy the violence!
  • 2 0
 @Explodo: why would you want an automatic gearbox? They’re quite dull and change gear at weird times.

Note- here in the UK autos are the minority, probably due to the shorter distances, more over crowding and narrow, winding tight country roads. If I lived somewhere like France or the US which have much longer straighter roads and distances I’d have an auto for sure.

I like hardtails, I also like big FS bikes but can only have one at the moment at a hardtail is more fun on short, sharp rides. Also less to look after when time is short
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: thank you.
  • 1 4
 @Buggyr333: Haha no unfortunately that’s not true, a few bumps not feeling as quite as harsh does not compensate for having to battle the rear shock for an entire ride and it’s not a small amount of energy. Like I said it’s everything you do depletes faster than you would be on a hardtail.
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic:
and like I said you are fooling yourself.
Either that or you have never ridden a properly set up full suspension bike.
I ride both. Regularly. like all the damn time.
That's all I've got to say. Not worth the effort to continue beating a dead horse.
  • 2 3
 @Buggyr333: wrong again unfortunately and I’ve told you exactly why and explained in detail why your wrong and unfortunately for you again physics, every pro bmx racer, xc racer, road racer velodrome racer agrees with me. Which is why nobody but downhillers use suspension bikes and yes I know xc racers have started to use full suspension bikes but they run them firm with little travel for the exact same reasons I pick my hardtail over my full suspension most of the time. Energy efficiency.
  • 1 0
 @thenotoriousmic: We aren't comparing an XC hard tail to a fully trail bike. We are comparing a decent trail bike to a steel hard tail with 63 degree HTA and 160-180mm fork, not to mention aggro hard tails with such geometry need DD casing in their rear tire, and possibly an insert.
  • 3 0
 @p1ne: esd geo is outstanding, super fun to keep up or smoke your full suspension friends!
  • 1 1
 @hamncheez: I’m comparing my orange crush to my Kona process that I ride all the time back to back often with the exact same tyres and parts. I jump between an air and coil shock. Everything takes way less effort on the hardtail than it does on the full suspension and does everything better except those rare moments where you get up to speed on the right terrain and the full suspension starts coming alive and makes slogging it around worthwhile. Also full suspension tackles steep punchy technical climbs better if you care about that kind of thing.
  • 7 1
 @thenotoriousmic: You should let Nino Schurter know so he stops wasting energy battling his rear shock.
  • 5 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Race, today, after school. I'll prove to you that I'm right.
  • 2 0
 @focofox37: Yes yes , for me last crazy was 29+ 160mm , crazy good .
  • 1 1
 @jeremy3220: he’s only got 110mm of travel and he runs it super firm so he already knows.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: let’s do it. Haha.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: My mum says to be back for tea at 5:30 but can I come too?
  • 4 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Exactly. And this is why World Cup XC racers always use hardtails. There's no way that they could ever compete on a FS bike.




Oh, wait...
  • 1 2
 @NWBasser: XC racers have been using hardtails right up until recently and now they run super short travel super firm shocks with lock out remotes.
  • 2 0
 @browner: @hamncheez:

Ready, steady, GOOOO.
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Right. They obviously know about hardtails and are participating in the discipline most suited to them. Yet for some reason they choose to run full suspension. You can try to explain that away by saying they set them up to be hardtails, but at the end of the day if they prefer hardtails they would run hardtails.
  • 2 3
 @Blackhat: Yep they ride full suspension bikes that are designed firm with a solid pedalling platform that basically function like hardtails majority of the time. They’re not on the big long travel spongy squishy full bouncers we all ride for the reasons I’ve mentioned earlier. You can come up with as many what about this scenarios as you want. Still doesn’t change the fact you’ll get around your local loop faster on a £1500 hardtail than you would on your vastly more expensive full suspension bike. Not that I’m saying everyone should ride hardtails because full suspensions are super fun just that hardtails are not a disadvantage out on a regular bike ride.
  • 1 0
 So I saw this article title and got excited- maybe there is something to flight attendant after all. But the article is basically a regurgitation of RockShox's marketing drivel. No analysis at all, just a rehash of what flight attendant is "supposed to" do.

enduro-mtb.com/en/enduro-vs-downcountry-bike
  • 4 1
 @thenotoriousmic: By extrapolating your personal experience to everyone else, you really aren't making a very good case for yourself.
  • 1 5
flag thenotoriousmic (May 4, 2022 at 17:04) (Below Threshold)
 @NWBasser: by contributing absolutely nothing except snide useless comments, you’re really not making a very good case for yourself.
  • 5 0
 @thenotoriousmic: blatant straw man. Nobody is buying long travel enduro bikes to turn hot laps. And you know it. If your goal is lap times you’re looking at some sort of XC rig. Like, you know, the full suspension machines pro racers use.

The fact that you feel the need to twist the argument so badly is just proof that you’ve lost the point. Move on. I love my hardtail and think it’s a blast. And of course it climbs better than my enduro bike. But to say that it does “everything easier” is just delusional. It most certainly does not handle high speed chunky descents easier. And objectively it’s probably not as fast uphill as a full suspension built for that purpose.
  • 2 0
 @Blackhat: I can get up a technical climb a lot faster on my 'enduro' bike than I can with my hardtail. We've got a trail here that's about 300m of climbing with lots of rocky sections and the hardtail gets messed with on it so much more and has you out of the saddle a lot which leads to fatigue. My Ripmo I can sit and spin on it and it's SO much easier and less tiring. Not all climbs are the same. Fire roads, yes, the HT wins.
  • 1 3
 @Blackhat: Lol this is too funny and too easy especially when you’re agreeing with me and disagreeing with me at the same time. Easy victory.

‘ I love my hardtail and think it’s a blast. And of course it climbs better than my enduro bike. But to say that it does “everything easier” is just delusional. It most certainly does not handle high speed chunky descents easier. And objectively it’s probably not as fast uphill as a full suspension built for that purpose’.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: You’re mixing truth and bollocks. The fact that I acknowledge and agree with and acknowledge the truth does not erase the bollocks.
  • 6 0
 whichever bike @thenotoriousmic chooses, he's gonna be riding by himself. This is unanimous.
  • 1 0
 @simsong: it's so stupid and beautiful at the same time
  • 1 0
 @mtnfox37: lol thanks I guess, but I rode that beast a while ago, around 2005. It was equipped with 24 inch double tracks rims. The bike weighted around 48 pounds but could take anything I was willing to try ... The monster saved my face a couple times.
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: Yeah. I live about 20 miles from the nearest "good" singletrack, but if I want to ride kinda garbage fire roads, ATV tracks, blown out hiking trails, and gravel paths I can string together 50ish miles without really touching pavement for more than a couple hundred yards at a time (other than a couple miles to get to the first trailhead). Hardtail all day for these rides.
  • 67 0
 I voted for the Diamondback just to watch the world burn.
  • 45 0
 @mikekazimer: I'd go with the Salsa.
@mikelevy: I'm going to go ahead and disagree with you. I'm going to go with the Salsa.
  • 50 0
 Listening has never been Levy's strong suit...
  • 45 14
 Unrelated, but if you've got 20-30min of free time and want to read a truly bizarre, sad and somewhat infuriating, but none the less entertaining story:

cyclingtips.com/2022/04/exposed-by-a-strava-kom-the-many-lives-of-a-fake-pro-cyclist

Brilliant exposee by PB's sister publication. I guaratee that it's gonna be worth your time.
  • 15 0
 The URL is currently pulling up an error, but I'll second that pretty much all of Iain Treloar's rabbit hole dives are absolutely amazing. After reading that one, it's worth going back through the archives and giving up whatever you planned on doing for the rest of the day.
  • 3 0
 That was some story...mindblowing!
  • 15 0
 Not sure why the down votes. That article is fascinating.
  • 7 1
 @TwoNGlenn: I didn't vote either direction, but I'm guessing the downvotes are because this is (1) not remotely on-topic to the article it's posted on and (2) about those damn uncool roadies in their sexually confusing lycra costumes
  • 2 0
 @barp: And we often upvotes the shit out of off topic comments, so there’s really only one choice.
  • 2 2
 I took the day off work and read it. My takeaway:

Conman's gonna con. Roadies are all marks. Conman's gonna con.

I'm glad I stuck with it so I could see the author tie it to something bigger, as I was thinking, "uh, sure, this guy's a psychopath liar but how many millions has he conned into voting for him for President?"

I loved that one of the through-lines was his horrible grammar and spelling. Fantastic.

But yeah, it seems a story for a few years ago...back when we were just starting to avoid evidence...

Also found it noteworthy that the author muses about how credulous hackery and payola (from SmartCEO [lol] to Forbes) could be contributing to the problem...and he's writing for cyclingtipsdotcom?--no paid pieces here, right?

Whatever.

Good presentation and yup of course dude's involved in guns/prepper school now LOL

Road bike shops suck!
  • 2 1
 @owl-X: what, you've never lied on a résumé? Former double CEOs teaching Assault Rifle in the D.C. area are legion. Team Nick!
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: "you know, my biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist"

definitely gonna bail on a few rides citing "blood infeckshun" this year...Team Nick!
  • 1 0
 @ceecee: and for sure I'd buy a MTB jersey if he made one
  • 2 0
 @owl-X: Lipomo Down Under DH ftw
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: So any bets on where he came up with "Lipomo"? I'm thinking "LIterally POst-MOdern".
  • 3 0
 @barp: don't think--search: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipomo
  • 3 0
 @ceecee: nice. In the Tuscany region of Belgium! I have fond memorees of my days in the peloton there, giving it my all for my good friend Museeuw in the summer classics.
  • 24 0
 Which value hardtail would you most like to ride?
-Rocky Mountain Growler with fork swap
  • 6 0
 My current bike is a specialized fuse with a 140mm Lyrik select. It's an absolute beast. I think that just about any of these bikes would be great if you just upgrade one or two components.
  • 3 0
 So true. I was in my LBS last weekend and some guy was walking in, pushing a brand new Growler. His significant other, a very small woman, was following him in, holding a ~160mm Yari by the uncut steerer. It's basically a meme at this point.
  • 21 9
 That salsa is the best out of the group. Every hardtail should have adjustable dropouts, because the only way to ride a hardtail is single speed.
  • 4 1
 Hardtails with gears are pretty great, just sayin'. But yeah, you should definitely have the option!
  • 10 1
 Why not throw on a rigid fork while you're at it?
  • 6 0
 Incorrect. Front gears only.
  • 3 2
 Agreed. I can't get behind a hardtail without sliding dropouts (unless it's an XC machine - which I'm not getting behind). Singlespeeding is the best way to enjoy a hardtail.
  • 10 0
 Stache callout, it's a 29+ so a little different- but that bike still impresses and I miss that kind of craziness. Surly may still be doing something similar, but I can't grow the facial hair to support the Surly lifestyle.

The Salsa does look like the complete package in this group.
  • 4 0
 If bikes could grow beards, Surlys would be the first ones to do so Big Grin
  • 5 0
 Krampus all the way!
  • 1 0
 I'd love to have a 29+ bike, but only as a 4th or 5th bike.
  • 13 0
 The salsa looks like a great time once you swap out that fork.
  • 11 1
 Define value hardtail. I have a 2010 NS Surge that I still ride hard. Buy yourself a steel hardtail. Replace parts when they break. You will never own a cheaper bike to go full send on.
  • 11 2
 Hardtails frighten my intervertebral discs
  • 8 0
 Trick is to stand up in the rough stuff instead of sitting down.
  • 2 0
 Arms and legs have like 300mm of suspension—it's crazy.
  • 7 0
 Q: What VALUE bike would you take home?
A: I'd take XYZ because otherwise I'd ride my $12k full suspension bike.
  • 2 0
 Yeah, the question they SHOULD be answering (to make this review the most useful to the most people) is "Which bike would you recommend as a first bike for a newbie on a small budget?"
  • 8 0
 @barp: I am not sure. I don't see why value bikes should target beginners. there are plenty of people who cannot justify spending 4k on a bike, but that does not mean they don't shred. I thought pinkbike did a great job what bike would suit which rider, which is really what you need to know.
  • 4 0
 I'm not a fan of the Diamonback, but what is the reasoning for saying its not worth upgrading parts on? It doesn't really seem too different than the others, subjected visuals aside.
  • 2 1
 In its review, they made a big point of the frame geometry being dated. Also, the cables on the underside of the downtube being a vulnerability.
  • 4 0
 @barp: The geo is between all the others on test. What geo number do they mean?
  • 4 1
 I don't see any credible rationale for using the XT version of the Timberjack in this test. The SLX version, at $1799, would still be the highest price bike in the test, but certainly a more apples to apples comparison to the other bikes. Why choose a higher spec'd model that makes it an outlier compared to the others models on test??
  • 12 0
 Probably all Salsa had available.
  • 19 0
 @N-60, bingo. The other models weren't available. And since we had a $2,000 price cap, we lifted it slightly to allow the Salsa in. I wouldn't say it's that much of an outlier; if anything, it's a good illustration of what you can get for a few hundred more dollars.
  • 13 0
 @mikekazimer: Not sure if this is a podcast topic but... What's it like to reach out to companies for reviews and you don't really get the response you want? They try to give you a diff bike or whatever. Do you haggle it out to fit them in or do you typically turn things down when it gets too outside the realm of what your review/test purpose is?

And is there a bike out you desperately want to put hands on but haven't been able to?
  • 5 0
 Skill and style will provide you with a sweet ride on a hard tail. Full sus you can be loose and sloppy and still get down the trail. Glad we can have both.
  • 6 0
 Go ride a hardtail for a month and then go back to your FS. See how much your riding improves.
  • 3 0
 Ride bmx/ pumptrack/ dj in the evenings for the same reason Wink
  • 3 1
 The Diamondback visually doesn't look horrible. Am I wrong in thinking some proper tires on it would make a huge difference? The geo is dated - sure - and obviously compared to the others this thing is not a good value - but Vee tires are also the worst option out there...
  • 3 1
 140mm is the sweet spot on these trail/ aggressive hardtails in my opinion. any longer and the brake dive is really noticable and just too much on the geo. ill be another one asking, why isn't the nukeproof scout on this list? that thing is an absolute beast of a bike. ive certainly put mine through its paces and i think it deserves a look from others. geo is dialed.
  • 2 0
 I got a short ride on my hardtail this weekend for the first time in too long as a relatively steep, tight and loose trail in the woods . It's Banshee paradox setup with a 150mm fork, mulleted because I am currently lacking functioning 29er wheels. I forgot how fun it can be! It's more on the enduro spectrum of hardtails, but it feels like much less of a bike when compared to my 170mm sled. I am definitely slower, don't do as many features, and feel more sketchy on anything chunky, but dang it's fun. It's a cool tool to have in the shed, and I will benefit if I actually ride it more. But all of that being said - my bigger bike is the one I will pick most of the time as it covers my flaws as a rider much more, which to me - lets me ride harder trails with less anxiety.
  • 2 0
 I wouldn't want my only bike to be a hardtail. I wouldn't want my second bike not to be a hardtail. There will probably be a point in time when I feel I am too old to ride a hardtail, but it hasn't come yet. I just love how little maintenance a hardtail needs...perfect for a backup bike! I also like how the trails you are used to ride can become new again. Same trail, but new lines and new challenges. That's what it's all about!
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy I have an idea for a video. get two of the same bike. one's weight wennie, the other is bomb proof. test em and see what's what. Also talk about the days when wheels has carbon radial spokes with like 16 spokes and how people are now ok with J bends and brass nipple, also back when bikes used to need to have 25 instances of the logo on the frame minimum.
  • 4 3
 No one in this comment section is a "beginner" looking for an entry level ride. What everyone should do at this point is get a custom steel frame welded up by someone like Marino bikes for $300, and learn what it takes to design geometry and sizing. Explore different options. Try and get the best geo for your style and terrain. Be willing to learn and make mistakes. For $1400, you could build up something pretty decent, and learn a lot along the way.
  • 3 0
 I just received my custom Marino on Thursday! No idea what I was really doing with the geo, just borrowed from a few other well reviewed hardcore hardtails. Haven't had a chance to get it out (trails are still thawing here in MN) but it will certainly be interesting having a 180mm forked 29er hardtail.
  • 3 0
 @tpfenning: See, I would normally strongly disagree with a 180mm fork on a hard tail, because very few people would enjoy such a rig. But since you designed it for just you, it could be perfect for your unique requirements.

How long was your wait? I've heard they are pretty back logged.
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: Oh, it is definitely overkill for me. I designed it around a 160mm 29er/180mm 27.5 fork axle to crown, since I had the 180mm 27.5 from my old YT Capra. Then I landed a 29er wheelset so I swapped the lowers to the 29ers and haven't swapped the air spring, figured I'd try it as is first!

I'm realistic and can say I don't ride aggressive enough to warrant the bike at all, but I just thought a crazy hardtail would be fun to try and always wanted a custom frame and Marino prices are so reasonable, I just went for it and will learn from it, just like you said. I'll see how it goes and can drop the fork down to 160/150 for like $35 with an air spring swap if I want to try and reign it in.

It was 185 days (just over 6 months) from order to doorstep, but about one month of that was just waiting on the sliding dropout inserts. If I went standard thru axle, I would have had it in 4.5-5 months. Marino threw in an extra set of dropouts, a couple spare axles, and a jersey, so I am very happy for my $430.
  • 1 0
 @tpfenning: Wow, thats not bad at all. Good for you. Did you get a custom paint job as well?
  • 9 0
 As a person who strongly considered a custom Marino but chickened out, I would like to propose a new field test.

1) Customs - Pinker designed custom bikes. Ideally from people who claim they couldn't find a commercially available frame that met their needs.
2) Stamp of approval bikes - identify Pinkers who constantly want to be validated that their bike is the best bike and everyone else is crazy for having a different bike and ask why their bike was excluded from the field test or not reviewed often enough.

The Pinkbike Reality Check(TM).
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: I have a couple pictures up on my profile, check it out!

I went with the hammered silver powder coat he offers, I think it looks awesome and I think it will hide the inevitable scratches.
  • 3 0
 I don’t want to ride a 30lb hard tail. Would be fun at 25lbs or less. Not at the weight of my trail bike. I know, budget bikes…
  • 3 0
 @txcx166: My Marino is definitely heavy. I haven't weighed it, but it doesn't feel that different from my 160f - 145r travel Stumpy which is right around 35lbs...

I weigh 265lbs in my birthday suit (I was over 310), so 5 pounds here or there doesn't make any difference to me, but it would definitely mean more if I were a hundred pounds lighter like a lot of folks on this site!
  • 1 0
 @tpfenning: looks great. But I think it could do with some more bottle mounts on the ST Smile
  • 3 0
 @dsut4392: Ha! That's where I originally had the second bottle mount! After some back and forth with Elijah from Marino Bikes, this layout worked best to keep the short stand over, plus the tool/accessory mounts under the top tube.

I have a piece of aluminum mounted to the four bolts under the top tube, which will act as a perfect mounting spot for straps for spare tubes or whatever, without having to wrap the strap around the frame itself. Added a new picture with some of the accessories mounted up.
  • 3 0
 @tpfenning: that’s possibly the best Marino HY I’ve seen. A lot of them have much bigger ST braces or the angles look ugly. These proportions seem just right and I like the strap idea.
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: Thanks! I am pretty darn happy with how it turned out. I agree, it looks a bit more traditional than some of the extreme geo bikes I've seen some folks put together, while still having pretty modern geo.

I added another picture of the strap thing to show it a bit better, holding a tube. Totally stumbled into the idea, but I love it.
  • 1 0
 My dartmoor hornet 27,5 with 160 fork is my beloved bike, riding all the stuff my buddy's on a fs can ride. Fastest on the uphill, fun in the downhill, capable for bunny hops , all day shredding,... Haven't touched it since I got my stumpjumper evo...
  • 3 0
 folks think I'm crazy but I love my 150mm aggressive angle hardtail with big volume 2.6 tires. Cush core in the back at 20 PSI, clipless pedals and just let er fly!
  • 1 0
 I ride a Meta HT AM, my only bike, after many years of riding FS. I will take it down any trail that you put in front of me from steep tech, rock gardens and bike park. As an old school BMXer I like the feel of the HT much better than full squish. Tons o’ fun.
  • 4 0
 That salsa review link takes me to the starling murmur for some reason…
  • 1 0
 *Marin
  • 3 0
 Marin just bought starling, you heard it here first.
  • 1 0
 And rightfully so. The murmur is a peach.
  • 3 0
 remembering back to having a Marzocchi JR T on my Specialized P1...ah the good old days
  • 3 0
 Can you guys come to some agreement on Commencal
@mikelevy : Commen - sul
@mikekazimer : Common - Saul
  • 1 1
 I've met a lot of North Americans in my life, but very few of them managed to do a remotely decent pronunciation of French. Since I'm not French, I count the Quebecois among those that did manage. None of the French people I spoke on the subject agree with that.
  • 1 0
 At least nobody pronounced "Marin" as "may-rin".
  • 1 0
 The Sync’r interested me 6 years ago or whenever it first came out…

I finally settled on a Steel Honzo, mostly for 2 reasons: sliding dropouts and the fact it was in available.
  • 2 0
 I love my Cannondale Flash 29er. Picking the perfect lines makes the bike so much fun to ride.
  • 1 0
 For me, I'd like the Marin. I already have an aggressive hardtail so a more XC one would be nice (maybe also getting a rigid fork to go with it).
  • 2 0
 Wait so if I had subscribed to Beta I could’ve watched this video last week?
  • 3 0
 Chromag Rootdown vs Meta?
  • 2 0
 = 2022 Kona Honzo ESD
  • 2 0
 What about the Sonder Transmitter?
  • 7 8
 Hardtails are the manual transmissions of the mtb world; totally unnecessary, with few benefits, but somehow irresistible. Not sure if it's the pure, uninterrupted lines, nostalgia for your first bike, whatever.
  • 6 1
 I have to disagree with you. Sometimes you are over biked with a full suspension. For an unrelatable example, some world cup XC races require a FS but some are majority hardtail.

I built up a hardtail this winter specifically to make some of the more sanitized trails around here more fun and I am loving it. It is early in the season but my other two bikes (130mm FS and rigid SS) are in the sunroom with soft tires because the new bike is so fun.
  • 6 1
 @vapidoscar: i think you are entirely missing his point but ok
  • 6 1
 I 100% agree, and this is the best analogy I've heard

there is nothing like rowing through the gears in a vintage 5 speed sportscar, but it's not going to be faster than a modern dual-clutch 8 speed corvette.

I very often reach for my hardtail when I'm just looking to go out and have a good time. Plus it rarely requires any significant maintenance. Keep the drive train clean, and I don't have to mess with it.
  • 2 5
 Nah, poor analogy, automatics are unnecessary with few benefits. Manual transmission is much better. Can't drop the gear for more acceleration in an automatic. Right shit at a roundabout (think crossroads but better).
  • 3 0
 @HPdeskjet3630:From an engineering standpoint, automatics offer torque multiplication for increased tow weights vs manual, dual clutches for shifts that are faster than a human can match, at least equal fuel economy to a manual. Manuals have the advantage of being able to be bumpstarted, and are lighter and smaller. (This will all be moot as we move to electric vehicles.) From a human (fun) standpoint I'll keep buying manuals (and hardtails) until they pry them from my cold, dead hands.
  • 3 0
 @HPdeskjet3630:

Hah ok - this is why very few, if any, modern super cars can be had with a stick shift manual. Stick shifts are slower and more cumbersome, buuuuttt often times more fun.
  • 1 0
 @Spidersanta: Sorry I can't afford a supercar.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: It's not about the speed of the shift but the timing. An automatic can't see a hill coming up (can it?) and preempt the need for a downshift.
  • 1 0
 @HPdeskjet3630:

Me either, but we both can agree you’re wrong haha
  • 2 0
 A 2MXTB with a monster on 24x3.0 gazzaloddi's.
  • 1 0
 The Marin looks so good. They always do. The commercial has 27s though so that gets my vote.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy Shoutout to the ad reads, they are awesome. But I can't find the mentioned subscription for $25/yr.
  • 4 3
 Stoic, Growler, fuse etc. How does a Diamonback make it in to this test.
  • 8 0
 Stoic and Growler were both reviewed in their last field test.
  • 4 0
 They needed a crappy one for contrast. It gets boring if they are all fine.
  • 1 0
 Giving the Diamondback a consolation vote after that pun.
  • 6 4
 Nukeproof Scout. Where?
  • 1 0
 How about a test of the aggressive hartdails the dentists would buy?
  • 1 0
 Editors: The Marin review link goes to the wrong page
  • 1 0
 Where are the $10k shootouts? I miss those.
  • 1 0
 Love my RFZ 27.5...
  • 1 0
 I prefer the scout
  • 5 8
 I'd take a gravel bike (or cyclocross bike) over a hardtail. It would be much more useful.....and faster.
  • 4 6
 Depends on terrain but yeah a gravel bike is so much fun on XC trails. You end up hopping around slowly on the tricky bits but just flying in the flats and riding home afterwards. The thing I don’t get with overbuilt aggressive hardtails is if it weighs more than 26 lbs then you’re just hauling an anchor between your legs and you’re better off with a FS that weighs the same.
  • 8 1
 I guess if you don't mountain bike that makes sense
  • 4 0
 That's like comparing apples to pork chops. The saying "Riding a dirt bike on the road is 80% as much fun as riding riding a streetbike, whereas riding a streetbike in the trails is about 20% as much fun as a dirt bike" comes to mind.
  • 3 0
 I went the other way - hardtail over the gravel or ebike, keep it simple and more fun and rewarding
  • 1 3
 Hardtail pansies are testing hardtails shocking
  • 2 4
 Life's too short to hardtail.
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