Within the 15 years I have been publishing The Redvist, a web site about biking, I’ve written in-depth opinions of over 30 mountain bikes, together with some nice ones for the cash. So it might come as a shock that my favourite fashion is the modest hardtail. I fell in love with the stability of simplicity and functionality constructed into these bikes. Driving one offers me a way of satisfaction that I have never skilled on another bike.
That stated, there are challenges in driving a hardtail. You may’t simply level the bike at it and let it do its job with a full-suspension bike. You may must information it by way of even the smoothest strains whereas having fun with a playful jib right here and there. Pace is your buddy in tough stuff, however provided that you keep engaged – with the journey, the terrain, and your physique. There isn’t any lazy option to get down on the hardtail.
No different mountain machine climbs the steep and rocky trails of Santa Fe, the place I dwell, like a stiff tail. It will boogie down the hearth street and pedal easily to trailheads throughout city—you may get no pedal bob and little or no vitality loss, and there isn’t any rear shock to dial. With a muscle tire, you have bought all of the traction you could possibly ask for.
The expertise is particularly liberating once you discover the proper match between body geometry and terrain. My very own choice is the 140-millimeter-travel 29er with 2.6-inch tires, 820-millimeter handlebars, and a long-travel dropper put up. I cross ten miles of footpath with out hesitation to achieve our hottest route, the Winsor Path. As soon as I climb to the highest, I do not even take into consideration traipsing down some rockier descents, as a result of I do know my bike’s limits as nicely. And if I need to go even additional away from dwelling, a hardtail is nice for that too. Final summer time I coated 215 miles throughout the Uncompagre Plateau from Telluride, Colorado to Moab, Utah, hitting the spicy trails alongside the best way.
Hardtails aren’t only for skilled riders. Through the years, I’ve helped many individuals get into mountain biking, and I typically advocate one as an introduction to the game. Hardtails are usually extra inexpensive than different types. (You may get a very good one for $2,000, whereas a very good full-suspension bike will run you at the least $2,500.) And with 120- to-140-millimeter-travel forks, nearly any inexperienced or blue mark turns into accessible instantly. You may be taught the talents you have to journey a motorcycle correctly, repair your suspension, and have enjoyable exploring new strains.
The bike must be easy. Because of the lack of pivot factors and linkage bearings, hardtails require far much less upkeep than full-squishy rides. I can rely on one hand what number of instances I’ve needed to do a serious restore on mine.
Driving a hardtail is a really pure type of mountain biking that may be loved by anybody. It permits you to really feel extra linked to the terrain, makes you a greater rider, requires minimal upkeep, and is likely one of the most versatile bikes you may have – or dare I say, the one bike that you’ve got.