If money wasn’t an option, you’d probably go ahead and buy yourself a bicycle for every single occasion. However, sometimes it can be hard to find room for that 15th bicycle in your shed. Here’s a few tips to consider when debating whether or not you should buy a hard-tail or a dual suspension bike.

If you’re new to the world of mountain biking, a big question you’ll often ask yourself is do I need a hard-tail (a mountain bike with a solid frame and usually a suspension fork on the front ) or a dual suspension (where it has the same fork out front, but a frame that consists of two pieces, a front triangle and rear triangle, that are joined by pivots giving you rear suspension).

Here are some tips to consider when weighing up whether or not you should buy a hard-tail or a dual suspension bike.

Weight

Unless you can fork out for a carbon frame, one of the biggest drawbacks of going for a dual suspension can be weight. Alloy dual suspension bike money could potentially get you a carbon hard tail. When you’re on a budget, just be aware that with extra suspension comes a few extra kilos.

Ease

One of the great things about tackling jumps on a duallie is that it does all the work for you to smooth out the landing if you don’t quite nail the angle. Exercise lazy technique on a hard tail and you’ll know all about it!

Money

If you’re tight on money, a big question to consider is do I want to forego dual suspension for better components? Generally speaking, you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck when you forego rear suspension. (We highly suggest heading to your local bike store and seeing what they have on offer).

Going up (and down)

Climbing with a hard tail bike is likely to be quicker, being fully rigid, there’s no power lost through the rear of the bike (although dual suspension bikes are forever finding clever ways to combat this problem)  and as we mentioned above, bang for buck with a hard tail can get you a lighter bike.

Descending is a different matter and although a skilled rider can still hammer down on a hard tail, technical downhill terrain is where a dual suspension bike will come unto its own, making life a lot easier.

Maintenance

If you truly love your bicycle, you should be getting it regularly serviced, either by a professional or with your own two hands. So if you’re not hot on maintenance, remember that with more moving parts comes more upkeep.

At the end of the day, you can get by with either kind of bicycle. Some purists argue that if you can master the hardtail first, you’ll be a better rider. Others can’t see why you’d bother when a “dually” makes for a smoother ride.

Whatever you choose, just get out on the trails and go Mountain Biking!

Come and ride with Bicycle SA for the Dirty Weekend on 29-30 April and enjoy the best trails on offer in South Australia.