Over to you: Should you learn the hardtail way?

Should beginners really stick to hardtails? Let us know…

In the past, those who wanted to get started in mountain biking were steered towards buying a hardtail bike — and seemingly for good reason. After all, it wasn’t long ago that cheap full-suspension bikes were an absolute horror show. Heavy, slow and nasty, they were superior only when it came to bragging rights.

Then there was the skills side of the argument and the way, almost universally, it was accepted that hardtails were the better choice for the beginner to build their skills upon.

The thing is, bikes have moved forward and in recent years various manufacturers have been driving budgets hard to offer better budget full suspension bikes. It's working too, and should you be lucky enough to have £1,000 / $1,000 to spend on your first mountain bike then bargain bikes like the Calibre Bossnut or Boardman Team FS are a genuinely great alternative to a huge list of hardtails.

It begs the question though, with several budget full-suspension mountain bikes being incredibly capable should the hardtail still be the first choice for the beginner rider?

So, do you think the days of beginner riders not having a rear shock are over? Or do you believe that starting out on a hardtail is still the best way to go? Tell us what you think below…

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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