Hardtail vs Full Suspension – [ Bike | Beginner Guide 2022 ]

Are you shopping for a mountain bike and cannot decide between a hardtail and full suspension? The main difference between a hardtail and full suspension is rear shock, as hardtail bikes lack it. Moreover, the suspension a bike contains has an effective effect on the controlling, traction, and comfort of a ride.

Hardtail Vs. Full Suspension Bike

The type of bike you are willing to purchase highly depends upon the amount you are willing to pay and your requirements for riding a mountain bike. In this article,  we are going to tell you about both full suspension and hardtail bikes, and at the end of this article, you will be able to determine which one to choose.

Why a Full Suspension Bike?

full suspension bike

Basically, when you have to choose between options, you see why it is right for you. Let’s see in detail why to choose suspension bikes.

1. If You Are On A High Budget

If you are on a high budget and want to spend more, then a full-suspension bike is the best option. Because of its high quality, a full suspension mountain bike’s price range starts from $1500. In addition to the budget, if you already have been a full suspension bike rider, it is an excellent choice for you.

2. More Technical Ride

If you are a person that is more into technical rides and loves to ride bikes on mountains, rocks, and bumpy tracks to enjoy your ride more and have more fun than a full-suspension bike is no doubt designed for you. The main features make a full suspension bike top choice for a number of bikers as it contains both front and rear shocks and suspension that provides more comfortable rides. Transforming the rough track into more fun and enjoyment.

3. Absorbs Maximum Shocks

Similarly, a full-suspension mountain bike absorbs maximum shocks and prevents your body from jerking badly. This is a very advantageous factor because jumps and bumpy tracks can result in dangerous rides. If a bike does not absorb maximum shocks, then a biker either falls off or gets tired very easily. Thus a full suspension mountain bike ensures that you ride smoothly on a longer track without getting tired easily.

4. Speedy Ride

If you love to ride mountain bikes faster than usual, a full-suspension bike does a great job. A full-suspension mountain bike is designed on such technology that it provides more technical support when a bike’s speed increases. Along with it, a full-suspension bike can be safer than a hardtail during a speedy ride.

  • More comfortable and faster
  • Safer and easy to ride
  • Versatile than a hardtail
  • More stable
  • Designed on latest technologies
  • High maintenance
  • Excellent choice for a number of riding tasks
  • Lighter weight
  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for beginners

Why Hardtail Bikes?

Hardtail Bikes

A hardtail bike has only a suspension fork. A hardtail bike can be a good option for looking for the following factors while making a purchase.

1. Low Budget

If you are running low or tighter on a budget, then a hardtail bike is definitely a choice for you. In addition to this, if you have a maximum of $1500 or less than that, then you can go for a simpler and budget-friendly hardtail. These bikes contain the basic ride components that a bike must have, such as breakers, gear shifters, and much more.

2. Ideal For Smooth Tracks

Suppose you like to spend much of your biking time on smoother tracks and less bumpy tracks. Then a hardtail can provide you a safer and more fun ride that absorbs the minimum bumps and jumps on its way with the help of its front suspension fork.

3. Easy Maintenance

As the bike has very few parts and is simpler than a full-suspension bike, they are very easy to be maintained, and the maintenance cost is less. Moreover, sometimes a little more maintenance is required than normal but happens very rarely also.

4. Lighter Weight

The hardtail bikes are less in weight because of less functional parts and simpler mechanisms than the full suspension bikes. The best part of these bikes is that these bikes have efficient climbing and cover large tracks. Despite this, a full suspension bike can also be lightweight, but as they are expensive, no need to look for lightweight bikes in a budget-friendly manner as hairtail bikes are already a good choice for you.

  • Effective pedaling
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Faster ride on smoother trails
  • Simple maintenance
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Not a good choice for rocky trails
  • Limited functions

Need For Suspension

A suspension is required for such bikers that mostly ride rough patches and face more challenging rides than usual. The need for suspension is fundamental as it helps the rider stay intact on their bike seat while jumping or racing on a rocky trail. The suspension absorbs the maximum of the shocks and keeps the rider’s body balanced with the bike.

Another advantage of suspension is it decreases the chances of getting off the bike while turning around the corners. It helps them to ride faster and safer without getting tired. Also, while descending the trail, if you are on a hardtail, there might be chances of getting hurt, but on a full-suspension bike, one can easily come down the trail because of the front forks and rear shock.

A Beginners Choice

Among hardtail and full-suspension bikes, a beginner should always go for the hardtail. Because to learn to bike on a mountain, you will need to practice how to balance your body and bike weight. For that, it is advised to start biking on a less bumpy and smooth track. In addition to this, a hardtail has low maintenance and a simpler mechanism, making it best suited for a learner.

Which One Is Best For Jumps?

The most frequently asked question is that among full suspension bikes and a hardtail is best for jumps. A hardtail is the best choice for jumps as it requires less force and is lightweight. They have simple functions as compared to full suspension. The full suspension is not a priority choice for jumping as it gets stuck while landing back while jumping.

Related Bike Guides: Jumping on MTB | Doing Wheelie on MTB


Are Hardtails better than full suspension?

Hardtails are cheaper and lighter and best for off-road trails. But a full suspension provides more comfort and a fun ride.

Do you really need a full-suspension mountain bike?

If you want rear shocks in your bike, then a full suspension bike should be your top priority during a purchase.

Are our full-suspension bikes good on the road?

Yes, but they are more ideal for bumpy and rocky roads.

Are Hardtails more fun?

A hardtail can be only fun if you are riding it on a less bumpy and smoother road.

Are Hardtails good for jumps?

Yes, unsurprisingly, a hardtail can be an excellent choice for jumps.

Are Hardtails dead?

No, Hardtails are not dead. But they are running low on demand. The demand for full suspension is increasing day by day, which has decreased the demand for hardtails.

Is it bad to ride a mountain bike on the road?

No, it isn’t bad to ride a mountain bike on the road. But as they are designed specifically for mountains, then they will not work very well on roads.

Is it worth buying an expensive mountain bike?

Yes, it is worth it to buy an expensive mountain bike as it offers excellent performance.

How much should I spend on a full-suspension mountain bike?

A full mountain bike prices range starts from $1500, which is the minimalist of all.

Does riding a hardtail make you a better rider?

Yes, it will make you a better and smoother rider.

Can you jump a 29er hardtail?

Yes, you can jump 29er hardtail. In fact, you can jump on any bike as long as you know how to land smoothly and cautiously.

Why are Hardtails the best?

Hardtails have easy maintenance and have a simple, functional mechanism, rarely goes wrong, and its power is unbeatable.

Why are full suspension bikes so expensive?

Full suspension bikes have two frames and required more technical powers than a hardtail. That’s why they are more expensive.

Wrapping Up

From the above discussion, you are now able to choose between a hardtail and full-suspension bikes. Both of these types have their own specific features that make them top choices for the users. In a nutshell, if you have a low budget and are looking for a simpler bike, then there is no better option than a hardtail, but if you have a budget of more than $1500, then what are you waiting for? Go and shop for the advanced technological bike, i.e., full-suspension bikes.

Photo of author
Sonia Seale loves to take her bike to the mountains near her place, the bike track has provided her the opportunity to go mountain biking since she was a child. That's where she developed a great deal of interest in cycling, no matter if it's electric or mountain bike, she's all over the place and loves to fix her own bikes along with exploring the new features coming along in the industry. That's why she's here, sharing her experience and learnings with you guys.