A mountain hardtail is a type of mountain bike, with a tough frame and sturdy handlebars/stem, but without rear suspension. This means that it is lighter than a full-suspension mountain bike as well as more energy efficient for climbing hills. However, this does limit its ability to carry heavy loads at the expense of durability and weight/efficiency.
Mountain hardtails have become very popular in recent years as their prices have dropped due to advances in aluminium manufacturing processes and components such as dropper seat posts which make them more versatile. Here are some types of hardtail mountain bikes.
1) Cross-country hardtail mountain bike
Cross-country (XC) hardtails are designed for racing and general trail riding. They typically have around 100mm of suspension travel and are built with lightweight and efficiency in mind.
2) All-mountain hardtail mountain bike
All-mountain (AM) hardtails are designed for versatile all-around riding on a variety of trails. They usually have around 120-140mm of suspension travel and are heavier and more durable than XC hardtails, but still much lighter than full-suspension mountain bikes.
3) Enduro hardtail mountain bike
Enduro (EN) hardtails are designed for extreme trail riding and downhilling. They usually have around 150-170mm of suspension travel and are able to withstand heavy impacts.
4) Freeride hardtail mountain bike
Freeride (FR) hardtails usually have around 150-170mm of suspension travel and are built for downhill riding with features such as disc brakes, a wider bar and a stronger frame. They tend to be heavier than other types of hardtail mountain bikes as this is less of a concern when descending.
5) Dirt jump hardtail mountain bike
Dirt jump (DJ) hardtails have around 100mm-120mm of front suspension only and are designed for dirt jumping and slopestyle riding. They usually have a much higher seat post to allow the rider to stand up more easily. Also, they generally do not have any rear suspension or large volume tyres which would increase their weight further.
6) Freestyle hardtail mountain bike
Freestyle (FS) hardtails are designed for street and park riding. They have a shorter wheelbase and low standover height for tricks, and usually come with disc brakes and big volume tyres.
7) Kids hardtail mountain bike
Kids hardtails are lighter and more durable than kids full-suspension mountain bikes and usually have around 60mm of front suspension. They come with lower standover heights and feature smaller wheels to suit their size.
8) 29’er hardtail mountain bike
29’er hardtails are designed for mountain biking on 29″ wheels. They usually have around 120mm of suspension travel and are available in all the different types of hardtail mountain bikes, but with the larger wheel size.
There are many different types of hardtail mountain bikes to choose from, so it is important to decide what type of riding you will be doing the most before making a purchase. If you are not sure, then it might be a good idea to try out a few different types of bikes at your local mountain bike trail or demo day. Whichever type of hardtail mountain bike you choose, make sure that it fits you well and has all the features that you need to enjoy your rides.