Best Hardtail Mountain Bike – Options For EveryPrice Range

Mountain bikes are meant to provide you with a stable, fun ride. Unlike other bikes types, the best hardtail mountain bikes are more durable and meant for a variety of landscapes. When going to purchase your first mountain bike, you will find that there are two main options: Hardtail and Full Suspension. The latter is the optimal choice for professionals or racing, but most people will not have the budget to purchase a full suspension mountain bike.

Before we look at the top 4 best hardtail mountain bike options available, let’s take a quick look at what hardtail really means.

What is Hardtail?

Essentially, a hardtail is a mountain bike with just a front suspension. There are a few benefits to this suspension type over a full suspension. These benefits include:

  • Price: Hardtail bikes are always cheaper than the alternative.
  • Less Parts: Mechanically, hardtail suspensions are less complicated which equates to less parts needing to be maintained.
  • Weight: Full suspension bikes are often heavier than their hardtail counterparts.

Hardtail bikes are the best option for the casual and non-competitive rider. Since no rear shock or suspension is seen, you will feel more of an impact when riding on rough terrain. While they may not perform as well as a full suspension model, hardtails will be the suspension seen for most bikes under $1,500.

The Top 4 Hardtail Mountain Bikes

The following 4 bikes include the best hardtail mountain bike in a variety of price ranges.

Giant XTC Advanced SL 2012Hardtail Mountain Bike

This is a bike priced at nearly $6,000. This is definitely not the bike for a casual rider, but it is a great bike for a racer. This model comes with the following features and specifications:

  • 20-speed
  • Lightweight design
  • 26-inch wheels
  • SRAM chainset, derailleurs, shifters and chain
  • SRAM XX front brakes

The Giant XTC is made out of carbon and is an extremely fast and durable option.

Vitus Bikes Sentier 290 Hardtail Bike 2014

The Sentier 290 is made by Vitus Bikes and is priced under $1,000. Meant for the casual to intermediate rider, this bike is designed for fast-paced trail riding. The following features are seen:Vitus Sentier Hardtail Mountain Bike

  • 29-inch wheels
  • 20-speed
  • Alloy design
  • 4 kg weight
  • Shimano brakes, derailleurs, rims and hubs

The Vitus Sentier 290 is the best option for fast trail riding.

Vitus Bikes Nucleus 260 Hardtail Bike 2014Vitus Nucleus Hardtail Mountain Bike

Another option from Vitus. The Nucleus 260 is designed for off-road riding and packs a lot of great features into a bike priced under $500. The following features are seen:

  • 26-inch wheel size
  • Mechanical aluminum frame
  • 8 kg weight
  • 24-speed
  • Shimano shift levers, cassette and derailleurs
  • Mechanical disc brakes

This is the ideal entry-level mountain bike for trail riding and off-road fun.

DMR Wrath Jump Bike 2013

Dmr Wrath Jump Hardtail Mountain Bike

The lowest price bike on our list. The DMR Wrath is meant for the park, dirt jumps and even the track. An entry-level option, this bike will provide the rider with a comfortable ride, great features and the utmost in performance at a price well below $400.

The Wrath comes with the following features and specifications:

  • Rear Cable-disc brakes
  • Single speed design
  • Steel frame
  • 24 – 26-inch wheel size

This is the bike of choice for younger riders who need a sturdy, strong bike to bring to the bike park or practice jumping with.

If you’re just getting into mountain biking, one more hardtail suspension option to consider can be found on the mountain bikes for big guys bike page.

Used Hardtail Mountain Bike

Why pay full price for a mountain bike? You can find used mountain bikes for sale, but you need to know exactly what to look for to ensure that your bike will operate appropriately. Before you spend another dime on a used bike, let’s see exactly what you need to look for before making your payment.

You Must Examine the Bike

First things first, there are a few things that you need to examine before purchasing. You will want to do the following:

Inspect the Frame

Improper use, riding on too rough of terrain, and simple wear and tear can damage a frame. Oftentimes, people will “fix” these issues, but this still leaves you with a less-than-desirable bike. You will want to do the following:used mountain bike inspection 300x200 Used Mountain Bikes Buying Guide– Information, Tips and Secrets from the Pros

  • Run your hand up and down the entire frame looking for cracks.
  • Visually inspect the frame for dents.
  • Visually inspect the frame for any welding that may have been done by the bike’s current owner.

If you find that welding has been done and it is not from the manufacturer, you will want to avoid purchasing the bike. Even professionally-welded bikes will have degraded frame quality.

Bent Rims

If possible, you will want to ride the bike yourself. Bent rims are sometimes very obvious and other times, you will not notice a slightly bent rim until you begin riding. It is ideal to buy a bike that does not have bent rims, but there is an exception. If the cost of new rims is all that is needed and the price for the used bike is very low, make the purchase providing that the rims are not outweighing the discounted price.

Test the Derailleurs and Shifters

Test the bike and how it shifts. This is a major concern, and one that is very tricky to determine. While a bike may not feel like it shifts correctly, it may just need adjustments which are quite common.

Measure the Chain

This is a pro tip. The drivetrain will wear in time. If the chain breaks, you are looking at a rather expensive repair, and one that you will not want to make. Your bike may ride perfectly even with a stretched chain. In this case, you will want to:Measuring bike chain 300x156 Used Mountain Bikes Buying Guide– Information, Tips and Secrets from the Pros

  • Research the bike model and find the respective chain length.
  • Measure the chain length yourself to see if it is stretched.

While this may seem to be overkill, it is a great indicator of whether or not an expensive repair is in your future.

Rock the Bike

Rock the bike back and forth. You should not hear any rattling, and the brackets should be firmly in place. If there is slight rocking, this should be fine. Brackets are usually inexpensive and will not be too difficult to replace.

When buying used mountain bikes, remember that the cost should be 30 – 50 percent off of the retail price. If the cost is lower, you will want to be very cautious with making your purchase as this may be a sign of a damaged bike.