What You Should Look for in the Best Hardtail Mountain Bike – 2017

Investing in a hardtail mountain bike is one of the best mountain bikes for beginners no matter the riding they’re going to be doing. Hardtail’s a sound investment for XC mountain biking and downhill since most people keep to hardtails in those categories. If choosing to do all-mountain, you would eventually want to upgrade to a full suspension.

If you’re looking for a hardtail bike, then you need the best hardtail mountain bike you can find, but who wants to look through all those options? I do, and I did, and I’m going to tell you all about them, so let’s not waste any more time.

**You'll find detailed comparison below, but you can also check the prices or read Amazon Customer Reviews by click the links above.

BEIOU Carbon Fiber 650B Mountain Bike 27.5-Inch 10.7kg T800 Ultralight Frame 30 Speed SHIMANO M610 DEORE MTB Matte 3K CB20

About Hardtail Mountain Bikes

Hardtail mountain bikes come in various brands, models, designs, colors, and equipped with different parts. Let’s start with the basics and work our way into questions you may have and some videos to help you work through the information!

1. What is a Hardtail Bike?

A hardtail mountain bike features a rigid frame for durability and longevity and features a suspension fork that varies in travel and provides absorption from impacts. Hardtail mountain bikes usually have steel or aluminum frames; however, you can find a few carbon fiber frames.

A hardtail bike also is used mostly for cross-country (XC), and downhill mountain biking due to the control you have over the one-piece frame, rather than the frame welded together from two pieces.

2. How Hardtail Bikes Work

First, hardtail bikes tend to focus the pedaling power to the rear wheel for more efficient riding. This is ideal for climbing hills and focuses on simplicity.

Second, hardtails provide better acceleration rates making for faster ascensions to reach higher speeds over time. This also allows for better traction and lowers your risks of “spinning out” on your bike.

Lastly, the suspension allows more of the rear wheel power to reach the ground to better navigate over obstacles in your path.

3. Weight Between Hardtail and Full Suspension

The weight of a hardtail bike is usually significantly less than the weight of a full suspension bike due to the suspension system being heavy and often requiring the frame to be welded in two parts, rather than in one complete frame.


Full Suspension Mountain Bike


Hardtail Mountain Bike

4. Hardtail Versus Full Suspension

Hardtail mountain bikes vs. Full suspension mountain bikes have a few things you need to consider before deciding on one or the other.

Hardtail bikes are simpler in maintenance, costs, and repairs. The cost of a hardtail is significantly less than a full suspension bike. This is because the suspension system is more complicated in a full suspension bike.

The maintenance you need to provide to a hardtail bike is a lot easier and simpler than maintaining a full suspension bike.

Repairing a hardtail bike is something most bikers can do at home, while a full-suspension bike will often require you to take your bike to a shop.

5. Concerns about Hardtail Mountain Bikes

With any purchase you consider, you will have some concerns about the hardtail bike you’re considering buying. Let’s get answers!

How to Pick a Hardtail Bike?

How are Hardtails with Climbing?

Can Hardtails be Used for Downhill?

What is the Maintenance for Hardtails?

What is the Price of Hardtails?

How is the Comfort of a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

Are Hardtails Fun to Ride?

Vital Skills You Need to Ride a Hardtail Mountain Bike

The Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes

When looking for a hardtail you can count on, whether you are just starting out or have been riding for awhile, you need the best hardtail mountain bike you can get your hands on, and I’m here to help! Here are the top 5 hardtail mountain bikes for your buck!

Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike features a hand-built aluminum alloy frame that is tested for strength, durability, and impact resistance.

A lightweight bike that was taken into consideration by customers’ needs to make strong tubing that could withstand bumps and rough terrain without warping and still be light.

The suspension fork is a Suntour SR that provides comfort and control on rugged terrain.

A Shimano shift system gives this 8-speed reliable and smooth shifting, while the Tektro mechanical disc brakes provide a controlled stop with high power.

My Rating:


  • This bike is very easy to assemble and begin riding.
  • Mechanical disc brakes give this bike a powerful and controlled stop.
  • The wheels are knobby and provide excellent traction, stability, and balance while riding.
  • The frame is hand built and tested for rough use and is made to last.


  • This bike is expensive but would be one of the best mountain bikes under 1000.
  • The saddle on this bike is very uncomfortable, even if you get a seat cover.

Merax Finiss 26" Aluminum Mountain Bike has a lightweight aluminum frame that is heat treated for durability through rough riding.

This hardtail bike has a suspension fork that gives 80mm travel for a smooth ride you can control.

The Shimano shifting system provides a smooth and reliable shift through 21-speeds. This Merax bike features mechanical disc brakes for a powerful stop you can control.

The tires on this bike aren’t knobby or rugged for rough terrain usage, but they are durable with alloy rims.

My Rating:


  • This bike is an affordable mountain bike under 300.
  • This bike features a water bottle holder to help keep you hydrated.
  • This bike has reflectors added on for extra safety when riding at night.
  • The suspension fork gives you 80mm travel, which is ideal for cross-country (XC) mountain biking.


  • The tires are lightly knobbed, providing decent traction, but wear down easier.
  • This bike is more for paved places, rather than rugged terrains and paths.

24" Roadmaster Granite Peak Boys Mountain Bike has a steel frame equipped with a suspension fork to give a smooth ride.

With Shimano hardware and SRAM twist shifters, this bike can provide reliable shifting through 18-speeds that you can count on.

The Roadmaster features front and rear linear pull brakes that give a powerful stop at a moment’s notice, while knobby tires give you the traction and stability you need to ride fast and stop quickly.

The saddle has a quick-adjust feature to make sure you’re comfortable at all times.

My Rating:


  • This bike has a rugged steel frame with a suspension fork for a smooth ride.
  • Shimano hardware gives this bike 18-speeds equipped with SRAM drive twist shifters for a precise shift.
  • Front and rear linear brakes provide the rider with a controlled, solid stop.
  • The knobby tires provide excellent traction with alloy rims for durability.


  • The steel frame makes this bike heavier than other mountain bikes, but a lot cheaper.
  • The saddle is hard and very uncomfortable to use, even for short rides.

Schwinn Women's High Timber Mountain Bicycle this pink steel-framed bike features a Schwinn suspension fork that gives a controlled ride and offers impact support.

With a full Shimano shifting system, this bike easy glides through 21-speeds with reliable and smooth performance.

This affordable bike has front and rear linear pull brakes for a powerful, controlled stop. The wheels are knobby for excellent traction while the alloy rims provide secure and stable riding experience.

The crank is designed by Schwinn and offers optimal gearing power which grants you less maintenance work.

My Rating:


  • The Schwinn mountain frame has a Schwinn suspension fork for a smooth and controlled ride.
  • Shimano twist shifters and rear derailleur provide the rider with 21-speeds that shift smoothly.
  • This bike has with front and rear linear pull brakes for a solid stop.
  • The alloy rims provide a durable and stable ride.
  • The Schwinn alloy crankset offers optimal shifting power and less maintenance.


  • The steel frame does make this bike heavy.
  • This bike can be for men except for the pink color making it less desirable.

BEIOU 650B Mountain Bike features a carbon fiber frame for extreme lightweight and durable biking.

This bike is equipped with Shimano shifting hardware for smooth and effortless shifting through 30-speeds.

This bike features a suspension fork the provides smooth, stable riding with you in control.

The BEIOU 650B features hidden disc brakes that give your bike a powerful stop, while the aluminum wheels give your bike balance and support.

The tires are knobby and rugged; perfect for mountain biking. This is a high-performance bike with parts to give extra speed, control, and balance.

My Rating:


  • The carbon fiber frame provides the rider with a durable and long-lasting frame and is extremely lightweight.
  • The bike is easy to assemble and takes no time at all.
  • This bike has high-performance parts for smooth riding.
  • The knobby and rugged tires give the rider the support and traction needed for a rough ride.


  • This bike is very expensive putting it in the best mountain bike under 1500.
  • The saddle is flat, hard, and unpadded; it needs an upgrade.

Image Credits: Amazon.com

Figuring Out the Best Hardtail Mountain Bike for You

When it comes to budget and looking for a mountain bike under 1000, and looking for performance quality, quality parts, and a frame that is light but durable, the Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike is our winner.

The Diamondback Overdrive 29 Hardtail Mountain Bike comes with an aluminum, lightweight frame, a quality suspension fork, mechanical disc brakes, and knobby tires for excellent traction. These parts could easily boost the bike to a higher price range. The price of the bike makes it affordable for the quality of parts and providing a high-performance without the added costs.

I hope this helped you to narrow down your options and helped you see what’s important when choosing a mountain bike. You need to know that type of mountain biking you want to do, the parts that are equipped to handle it, and the budget you’re looking for. Once you know those things, the rest can be narrowed down much easier.

What was your favorite bike on our list? What did you like about it? Is there another option you would choose?

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Hi my name is Dale Obrien. I started Mountain biking 8 years ago. I also worked as a manager in a local mountain bike shop for 5 years. I love helping beginners getting their first mountain bike. Welcome to our blog. Enjoy!

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