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Hardtail mountain bikes are mountain bikes that typically have front suspension forks, but no suspension at the rear. The advantages of a hardtail are lower prices of purchase(starting at around £350), less weight and due to a lack of suspension and climbing is generally more efficient. Nowadays hardtail mountain bikes are available with a 26 inch wheel or a 29er - more information on 29ers can be found on our 29er guide. Just to throw another size into the mix we are just beginning to see 650b mountain bikes appear. These are actually a 27.5 inch wheel sitting right in the between 26 and 29 inch wheels.

Hardtail mountain bikes are found in all price brackets, from £350 all the way up to £4000 or so. Choosing a custom specification can see premiums rising far and above. For a beginner, it makes the most sense to purchase a hardtail as you get far more bike for the money when compared to something that has suspension front and rear. Additionally, it is important to learn mountain biking technique's and how to be a better rider on a hardtail as there is no rear suspension to cover up your mistakes.

If you are after a first time off road bike to handle the local fire roads and bridleways look at the Specialized Hardrock or Cube Aim. Alternatively, you may be riding with more advanced cyclists, or wish to pursue the sport further, in which case consider something like the Rockhopper Comp or Cube Reaction GTC Pro - a carbon fibre hardtail which offers top end performance for a very sensible price.

Mountain Bike Sizing Guide

Mountain Bikes - Finding the Right Size
Your Height Your Inseam Length Bike Frame Size
4'11" - 5'3" 25” - 27” 13 - 15 inches
5'3" - 5'7" 27" - 29" 15 to 17 inches
5'7" - 5'11" 29" - 31" 17 to 19 inches
5'11" - 6'2" 31" - 33" 19 to 21 inches
6'2" - 6'4" 33" - 35" 21 to 23 inches
6'4" and up 35" and up 23 inches and up

Learn more about the different types of Mountain Bikes available: