Hardtail limitations

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    • #84415

      Hello I just got back into mountain biking after a long break & purchased a hardtail bike. I love the way it climbs & handles compared to my old full suspension bike but I find myself walking the bike through alot of rough terrain & jumps. Is this normal with a hardtail or should I just go for it. Thanks

    • #84416

      If your question is, will the gnarly stuff hurt your bike? probably not. I rode my hardtail all over Colorado and Utah before I got my full suspension.

      The trick is to use your arms and legs to absorb as much of the trail bumps and chatter as you can.

      IMO, learning the technical stuff on a hardtail makes you a better rider in the long run, even after you upgrade to full suspension.

    • #84417

      I’d say go for it, you’re not going to hurt your bike unless your bombing off huge drops onto flat ground. Really the only thing you really need to worry about is your wheels and if they can stand up to the beating you’re putting them through. It’s not like riding trails you’re going to crack your frame in half cause you don’t have a rear suspension.

      My hardtail has gone off three foot drops and rough trail and rocks and I’ve never had any issues. Bear in mind it would be comfortable and easier to tolorate on FS but your not gonna wreck a HT riding it hard, unless you got it from Wal-Mart 😼

    • #84418

      As long as the frame is still under warranty, I’d say ride whatever you can. Chances of breaking your frame = slim, chances of breaking a bone = much greater 😉

    • #84419

      I ride a HT and can go over anything the FS riders can (that I rde with). As I tell FS riders, my suspension is adjustable its travel is how far off the saddle I am. 😃

    • #84420


      Try dropping your saddle. When I pedal my hardtail, I run the saddle a full two inches lower than my full squish. As stated previously, you need to use your legs as rear suspension. Start with your knees a bit more bent. Remember, much of the control provided in gnarly by rear suspension is the extension phase and not the compression phase.

      To little tire pressure can have a more noticeable effect on a hardtail. The compression and return of tire in rough terrain can be functionally unpredictable. Rear suspension will absorb much of the erratic behavior before it destabilizes your body.

      Along the lines of ChiliPepper’s comments, overall frame design will be more limiting than the lack of rear suspension. The way your body is positioned will affect control, as much or more, than then presence of rear suspension. I guarantee my Transition Vagrant will out perform a full squish XC race bike on a gnarly DH trail. I equally guarantee, an entry level XC hardtail will out perform my Blindside over the course of any XC track.

      If you are worried about durability, then it helps to know which hardtail you are riding.

    • #84421

      I converted from FS to Hard Tail three years ago, have ridden most everything with ease in WV and my 6" FS sees very little use any more. Oh yes, I would prefer my Squishy if I was running the downhills at Snowshoe, however all the XC stuff the state can throw at me the HT handles it all. In the nasty rocks (aka stuff like Tea Creek Mountain Trail
      or the Huckleberry Trail part of the Spruce Knob Loop) I prefer the HT over the FS. Just me I suppose.. 😃


    • #84422

      From my extensive research i found out that a HT bike will be better than a FS bike in the same price bracket… and lighter… although my beginners DB Response Sport is heavier than I would have liked, but it just makes me work harder (physically) 😀

      Plus the technical aspect of learning is better on a HT. As far as comfort, yes, not so much, but if I want comfort, I go to Comfort Inn ;)

      Thats my 3 cents ;)


    • #84423

      Thanx everybody for your response these replies have helped me alot. I currently ride a Specialized Hardrock sport its my first desent hardtail. Before I road a Giant Warp Ds2 full suspension but it was pretty heavy & felt sloppy when climbing. Anywayz I think I will stick with my hardtail until my skillz improve or my knees give out LOL. Thanks again everybody for your response. 😃

    • #84424

      I freerode a full rigid all last summer, loved it, teaches you how to read the trails better

    • #84425

      Wow! Fully rigid. Thats got to hurt the next day. Im sore the next day on my hardtail. Got to give you props for that. But I guess fully rigid is all they had back in the day. Glad I missed out on that. LOL. 😆

    • #84426
      "Hardrockz" wrote

      Wow! Fully rigid. Thats got to hurt the next day. Im sore the next day on my hardtail. Got to give you props for that. But I guess fully rigid is all they had back in the day. Glad I missed out on that. LOL. 😆

      The only day I was sore was the day I took out my nuts on the top tube. I hit a tree root that got uncovered after about a week of rain, bent my fork back about an inch on one side and an inch and a half on the otherside, unhooked the front brake so it wouldn’t rub and rode out of the woods back to my place. I wouldn’t go crazy just 3-4 foot drops but the olf Fisher rode like a champ.

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