Everyone who is looking for a mountain bike asks himself at some point the question "Do I buy a hardtail or a full-suspension". Making the right decision is of great importance here, so we would like to help you on your way by listing the pros and cons of both options.
Advantages of suspension
The suspension will of course make your ride more comfortable but it will also give you more control over your bike when riding over uneven terrain. Mountain biking is a very broad term and there are different types of surfaces that each require a different setup.
Hardtail mountain bikes
You can take the name "hardtail" quite literally because these bikes have a "hard" rear end. There is no rear suspension. This makes hardtails not only lighter but also often cheaper.
Advantages of hardtail mountain bikes
Hardtails come into their own on well-padded and less technical trails. Without rear suspension, the bike is a lot stiffer, which ensures a more efficient use of energy.
Another important aspect is the weight, especially if you participate in races. On average a full-suspension bike is 1kg heavier than a hardtail, which of course makes a big difference uphill.
The price of course also plays a role. A hardtail can easily cost a few hundred euros less. Maintenance costs will also be lower because you only have to maintain one suspension element at a time.
Full-suspension mountain bikes
Full-suspension mountain bikes not only have a suspension fork but also a rear shock. This rear shock provides extra traction, control and comfort.
Advantages of full-suspension mountain bikes
Full suspension mountain bikes perform better when the terrain becomes more difficult. Where a hardtail struggles, a full-suspension will do just that little more.
On bumpy trails, the rear suspension will keep the tires in contact with the ground and keep you in control of your bike. When riding at high speed over rocks or tree roots, the suspension will cushion these impacts allowing you to save energy for efforts later in the ride.
The better traction, control and steering capabilities reduce the chance of mistakes and small errors will have a smaller impact making it ideal for beginner mountain bikers.