Forum home Mountain biking forum MTB buying advice

What cant I do on a hardtail?

ChronicbintChronicbint Posts: 172
edited May 2010 in MTB buying advice
Hi, after a little advice please

I have been looking to buy a bike for what seems like ages and thought I had decided on a Genesis Core 50 hardtail(around £1200) but always nagging at the back of my mind is the old should I get a full suss. :lol:

Now I am not trying to spark the old vs debate but I am just curious as to what I wouldn't be able to do on a hardtail bike. What do most trail centres offer on average, can a hardtail handle them all.....what CANT I do. :)



  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    You *can* do everything on a hardtail... i'd only avoid massive-rock gardens on my 456.
  • sleep
  • I do everything on my HT that I've done on any of my FS bikes, long or short travel. I just don't expect to always be able to keep up with some of the full sussers on the really rough stuff.

    Also, whilst you CAN do everything on a HT you can do on a FS, for many people it's a case of do you WANT to?

    A good FS can be a little comfier, and can be a bit more forgiving if you get your line wrong. It's down to wether or not you see that as a good thing or not.
  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    Can't keep up with my mates on full-sussers on the downhills, but that might be more to do with relative lack of experience and excessive cowardice than anything else.

    I have no trouble keeping up on the ups, I get down eventually, and I've still got a grin on my face at the bottom!
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I have the opposite problems, i ride with some fairly serious roadie types, can't keep up with the fs guys uphill, mainly because they're hugely fitter than me and on sensible xc FS bikes. On the DH bits i tend to leave them all behind.
  • bobpzerobobpzero Posts: 1,431
    sensible xc FS bikes.
    may i ask what they were? just for future reference :wink:
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    eeerm, not really, a giant thingy and a few others, i've been off injured so haven't been riding since the night rides.
  • ChronicbintChronicbint Posts: 172
    Ok thanks for those replies, not too worried about being fast or keeping up as yet. Will go for the hardtail, I can't really afford a nice full suss anyway. :D
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    it might not be as fast, but compared to an FS there is very little a HT cant do with the right rider, maybe massive 50ft drops onto rock gardens, but i cant think of many (if any ) riders who would do that on any bike... :lol:

    stay with the HT you dont NEED an FS, your just being draged along in the hype.. youl end up back on a HT one day.. they always do. Ht's are, while not as technicaly capable, are more fun.
    I like bikes and stuff
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    good god, talk about mad skillz!

    Not to mention a long forked steel hardtail with big tyres way back when!

    As for drops, i still remember the first issue of mbuk i bought which had a photo of a guy doing a 30' by 40' road gap on a hardtail wearing jeans and t-shirt with a piss-pot helmet on.
  • thel33terthel33ter Posts: 2,684
    Check out They have some good deals on fs bikes if you change your mind.
    And now you know, and knowing is half the battle
    05 Spesh Enduro Expert
    05 Trek 1000 Custom build
    Speedily Singular Thingy
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 4,329
    RealMan wrote:
    been in my favourites list for a long time. Awsome
    I like bikes and stuff
  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    Whether someone NEEDS a full sus or HT is not the point.
    I would say if you get a hardtail then in a while you may go for the full sus and will be able to fully appreciate its benefits.
    I certainly wouldn't listen to some of the nonsense on these forums about going back to a hardtail..after a full sus.
    I think you would have more fun on a full sus which will feel more planted downhill. You will be able to enjoy rock gardens rather than dread them. You will be faster going downhill than with a HT.
    If you eventually get a very good FS, it can be faster uphill as well, otherwise no pro XC racer would entertain them.
    People say don't listen to the hype about FS, I think more hype is brewed up by the HT riders trying to justify their lack of funds.
    I loved my hardtail bike but thankfully I moved on. As most people I know have.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    A lot of that is simply your opinion Al. I am not against any bike, it is up to the rider to choose what suits them best. Full sus has little benefits for much of my riding and the way I ride. That is not true for you, or many others of course.

    Fun is entirely subjective.
  • ChronicbintChronicbint Posts: 172
    I think what it has come down to for me is I dont really want to compromise on a FS bike and from what I can tell, I may be wrong, FS bikes at around £1200 while good are often compromised in some areas. A good hardtail at a similar price will do what I want at my relatively beginners level for a year or so then I can upgrade to a FS if required. Recent articles in the magazines seem to think learning on a hardtail then upgrading to a FS will reap more rewards. :)
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    It is true, that at full price the HT will often be better specced and lighter.

    That said FS are getting better all the time, and are some cracking deals at Halfords and some sales.
  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    Supersonic, your right of course, It has alot to do with what you ride and what opinion you have.
    I am not against a hardtail, that would be rather silly of me, but the question was initially "what can't I do on a hardtail".
    This of course opens up a tin of opinions and opinions are to be taken lightly but they tend to matter sometimes.
    If we want boring forums then we can answer the questions without our opinions!!
    Here's the answer:
    You can do everything on a hardtail.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Fair enough, just thought some points came across as facts lol.

    Opinion I am all for.
  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    There is that point,
    rather a nice spec on a HT or a cheap FS but thats another topic! :roll:
    At your stage opting for the nice HT could always give you the option of purchasing a FS frame in the future for a good deal if you wanted to upgrade.
    Better to do that than buy a cheap FS and upgrade around a poor frame IMO..
  • Steve_b77Steve_b77 Posts: 1,680 ... re=related

    If thats Down hill I hope they never get to Dleamere it'll scare the $hite out of them :D
  • clantonclanton Posts: 1,287
    The right rider can do ANYTHING on a hardtail. I've a mate who I raced down the final descent on the Climaxx trail in Wales. I was on a borrowed Orange 5, he was on a Ti hardtail with rigid forks and cyclocross tyres and I struggled to keep on his tail. I'm no downhiller mind but I'm quite a bit faster than the average xc-er on the rough stuff.

    To quote a certain man - it's not about the bike!
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    al2098 wrote:
    , it can be faster uphill as well, .

    Asking from a position of complete ignorance but I'm interested to understand how this can be. Intuitively a like-for-like FS bike is going to be heavier than the HT. I've also found, when riding my bro's Trek OCLV FS, that it tends to drain effort in the movement in the climb (which is why I'd understood FS bikes had lock-out on the rear). I'm really not sure where the advantage comes from. Downhill and on really rough ground there's some sense.

    Can someone explain?
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    The rear suspension tends to track better uphill, keeping the rear tyre planted on technical ascents rather than skipping and losing traction when sitting and spinning uphill.
    I'm sure it can be explained a bit better though.
    It is the case that for the money the FS is going to be heavier. Thus potentially slower uphill but when money is no object the FS bikes can be on the 20 pound mark (were talking silly money here..)
  • al2098al2098 Posts: 174
    Most people tend to use pro-pedal uphill wich will tighten up the rear but not completely lock it out. I can only see sense in locking out when your on a fireroad of tarmac climb.
  • ratty2kratty2k Posts: 3,872
    Fact: You cannot ride on a motorway with a hardtail. Saying that, tho' I have a 6" fully and wouldnt do it on that either....
    Slower usually on the Htail, but still fun.... just different is all....
    My Pics !

    Whadda ya mean I dont believe in god?
    I talk to him everyday....
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    It depends on the sus design on how it fairs under power on climbs. And on you.
  • I'd say speed isn't only down to HT or FS. I've ridden good hardtails where on the flat I've been mostly on the middle ring, and others where I've been surprised at how much I'm using the big ring. Personally I prefer FS because I don't really care how fast I climb (although the FS can be better on some uphills than a HT) but I like the extra speed on downhills. If your DH skills are good, a FS will give you a really noticeable amount of extra speed. If your skills aren't there then a FS won't be any quicker on a downhill. You might like the comfort though.
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    I can fully understand the downhill advantages of FS - the mechanical grip is vastly improved at the rear in particular by its ability to follow the ground. Weight isn't a disadvantage either
    ROAD < Scott Foil HMX Di2, Volagi Liscio Di2, Jamis Renegade Elite Di2, Cube Reaction Race > ROUGH
  • nickfrognickfrog Posts: 610
    al2098 wrote:
    You will be faster going downhill than with a HT.
    If you eventually get a very good FS, it can be faster uphill as well, otherwise no pro XC racer would entertain them.
    People say don't listen to the hype about FS, I think more hype is brewed up by the HT riders trying to justify their lack of funds.
    I loved my hardtail bike but thankfully I moved on. As most people I know have.

    Lack of funds ? I don't know why you say that. There is no correlation between cost and amount of suspension. A top ti HT is very expensive compared to most FS. I really don't understand your logic.
    FS being quicker? I don't know how much you ride but I guess I do around 2500 miles /year and ride all year round on the South Downs and on a typical ride, the quickest guys are almost always on HT. I really don't know why that is but it's almost always the case. Maybe the trails are not technical enough. Maybe it's technique, maybe it's the fact that new riders (however poor) seem to buy a FS as the default choice, which is fine by me although they are learning the hard way and many give up.

    Many serious riders seem to revert back to HT around my way too. I had 2 FS and missed the purity and simplicity of my HT, and did just that. I may try again one day.

    But then again, each to their own I guess. The FS/HT arguments are absurd and both camps seem to want to justify their choices by saying the most ridiculous things.
Sign In or Register to comment.