Hardtail vs. Full Suspension: Which is Right for You?

If you’re planning to shop for a new mountain bike, you’ll inevitably face a big confusion: full suspension or hardtail? 

Well, a full-suspension mountain bike has both a suspension fork up front and a rear shock,  whereas a hardtail bike has only a suspension fork. The type of suspension in a mountain bike will definitely affect the bike’s control, comfort, and traction, not to mention how enjoyable it is to ride. 

So, what do you think about which type of mountain bike is right for you? The answer depends largely on how much you’re willing to spend and the terrain you like to ride, but don’t forget there are other factors too. The short answer is to choose a suspension bike if you’re willing to spend a bit more and also you want to ride a technical trail. On the other hand, select a hardtail bike, if you have enough budget or if you’re planning to spend most of the time on smoother trails.   

This article will cover the main difference between a hardtail and full suspension MTBs. By the end of this article, you should be totally comfortable in deciding which bike is perfect for you.

MTB Suspension Basics   

Before we move into the main physical differences between a hardtail and full-suspension bikes, we need to cover some suspension basics for those who may not be so familiar with the different mountain bike components. If you’re already familiar with the basics, feel free to skip this part and move ahead.

After this section, you would understand better the difference between the damper and spring, among other things. These components are very important for good mountain bikes, that help to make your ride smooth. 

Let’s have a look at the main parts of a mountain bike’s suspension. 

  • Fork  

The fork which is also known as the front suspension or front shock, at the very front of the bike has a front-shaped framework. Because of its standard size and shape, it can be easily changed regardless of the make of your bike.

  • Rear Shocks 

It is specially designed to fit on your bikes and can not be exchanged out as easily. Rear shocks are integrated into the bike’s frame and exactly made to fit your bike’s model. They add an extra level of suspension support for the rougher rides. 

  • Spring  

The spring and damper are the main components of rear shocks. The spring job is to provide support and resistance which will help you to ride smoothly in the rougher areas as well. Most mountain bikes are equipped with air springs, as we know these are the most important part of the bike.

  • Damper

Another most important part of the rear shocks is the damper works to control the resistance that the spring provides. 

Some of the suspension terminologies you may come across when reading up on mountain bikes includes: 

These components will help you to choose the best bikes in the market. 

  • Compression Damping

The term for controlling the rate at which the suspension will compress.

  • Speed

The perfect is the speed at which the suspension shaft compresses. They are just a basic suspension, so make sure to do your research if deciding between more elaborate models 

Now we know the components of mountain bikes, let’s get into the differences they have as a Hardtail vs Full Suspension. Let’s get into the section on the differences they have, to know which is better. We’ll also focus on the best full suspension mountain bike under 2000 $. 

Full Suspension VS Hardtail 

Let’s first have a look at the full-suspension bikes, and what kind of features they provide. After that, we’ll move forward to Hardtail bikes to know the exact difference between them. 

In this section, we’ll compare both bikes to know which has the best features and quality. 


  • More efficient while pedaling
  • Faster on climbs and smooth trails
  • Ideal for the freshers and easy to use
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to maintain
  • Best choices for cross country racing
  • Less moving parts 
  • Better for short distances
  • More affordable 


  • Extra capability and versatility 
  • Easy on difficult trails with lots of difficulties 
  • Increased strength in the bumps during descending 
  • Instant confidence boost for the beginners 
  • The latest technologies make them more efficient than ever.
  • Better choices for all types of racing.
  • Front triangle
  • Rear triangle 
  • Better for the longer distance 
  • More expensive 
  • Requires high maintenance  

If you have any higher budget planning, then you can go for the best mountain bikes under 2000. It has the most advanced features as well as the latest technology. 

Wrapping Up

If you are looking for the best mountain bikes, then you’re in right place. In the above article, we have explained hardtail and full-suspension bikes, and which one is better. We have explained to you all the differences that which is more affordable and why. Read the article carefully to understand which bike is better for you and why. We hope all your queries have been answered. 

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