Mountain Biking

23 Reasons Why a Hardtail Will Always Beat a Full-Suspension Mountain Bike

The original is the best. Here's why...

You wake up in the morning an hour before your alarm goes off. It’s a Saturday. You’ve been woken by the sun slamming through your curtains via a cloudless blue sky.

You get out of bed, get on the shorts and riding jersey, funnel some coffee, cereal, toast and stoke directly into your veins, avoid the shower – you’re going to be getting filthy anyway – and head for the glorious space, aka “the room of requirements”, where you keep your beloved mountain bikes.

You don’t need to put your helmet on. It was already on from the night before. You were prepared for the sun and the perfect conditions the night before. You were ready.

You stare at your selection of bikes, scanning through the masses of money you’ve spent on full-suspension bad boys, all of which are screaming “pick me, pick me”, then your eyes set on the beast at the end of the line – and you pick out the hardtail for the perfect session. Here’s why…

1) Your first child should always be your favourite, and if you’re anything like us, your first child was a hardtail mountain bike



2) You feel every rock and root on the trail on a hardtail, making you effectively James Bond, or a less sexist, more bike-based equivalent



3) So you spend more time scoping the best lines you can ride down

4) …and become a whole lot better at reading the trail in the process



5) Subsequently, you learn much more, much quicker about the local trails, and march instead of stutter down the road to becoming an all-mountain warrior

6) And the feeling going over those rooty sections is just… well, you know

7) You give your arms a much better work out, getting you in shape and meaning you’re immediately more attractive to the opposite sex

8) And because you have to ride truer and more decisively, your technique will be improving all the time

9) Meaning when you eventually go back out on your full-suspension rig and take on the stuff too scary for a non-squishy bike, you’ll look like that dude/chick in that video you watched that time


10) But you’re not thinking about going back to full-sus. You’re thinking about how you feel like Jean-Claude Van Damme as you pin another rock section


11) Appreciating that extra acceleration before you drop in and that pedalling efficiency when you’re climbing


12) …and how you know there’s a significantly higher chance that you’re about to fly into a tree if you fuck up

13) So when you don’t fuck up, and ride the trail unscathed, you see Steve Peat/Rachel Atherton instead of your own reflection when you look in a puddle at the end of the trail

14) Also, hardtail is a cooler word than softail, obviously. Softail sounds like an unusually tame species of squirrel.

15) And you feel like you’re getting back to the roots of the sport on a hardtail, riding like Plato or Socrates back in ancient times

16) You don’t have the price tag of the ride and the repair costs running through your head when you hit a jump either

17) Because less moving parts means less maintenance… And if it’s lasted 20-odd years already, why would it break now?


18) …and that extra bit of adrenaline before you do take a jump, and after you land – or crash for that matter – makes you seriously stoked


19) Especially when you feel it in your legs. Because oh, do you feel it in your legs


20) You probably feel like you’re going faster too, even if, y’know, you’re not



21) So when you look your mate on his full-suspension in the eyes at the end of the day, you know you’ve suffered that bit more on the trails

22) Which is obviously a good thing. It means you’re badass



23) And adds an extra bit of justification to that end of session brew


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