5 Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes

The hardtail mountain bike is probably the most common of all the mountain bikes. Due to the standard nature of the design, it is a comfortable mountain bike that anyone can ride, regardless of their skill level. The best hardtail mountain bike is designed to scale hills and make mountains that much easier to reach. It reduces the drag caused by a full-suspension.

Hardtail mountain bikes are the norm for most beginners, but many of them can be rather expensive. We have done some research to look at some of the top hardtail mountain bikes, while also adding a few inexpensive options for beginners. Whether you ride trails or love climbing, the top hardtail mountain bikes will be perfect for you.

 S-Works Epic Mountain BikeYeti ARC Mountain BikeTrek Marlin 7Kingdom Vendetta X2 Mountain BikeCannondale F-Si Carbon 2 Mountain Bike
Frame MaterialCarbon FiberCarbon FiberAluminumTitaniumCarbon Fiber
DrivetrainSRAMSRAMShimanoSRAMShimano
BrakesSRAM Hydraulic SRAM Hydraulic Hydraulic DiscHydraulic Hydraulic Disc
SizeAll Sizes27,29-inchAll SizesAll Sizes27/29-inch
Price$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Rating★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Top 5 Hardtail Mountain Bikes On The Market

While finding a hardtail mountain bike can be hard without the right specs, we have decided to focus on the mountain bikes before looking at the buyer’s guide. We have identified a couple of the top bikes that could make your life easier and give you great value for your money. These bikes are from reputable brands and offer great value.

Top Pick: S-Works Epic Mountain Bike

Specialized is one of the top designers of bikes in the modern era and the S-Works Epic Mountain Bike is a top carbon fiber option. The frame, seat post, and forks are all constructed from carbon fiber while adding a little extra touch to the rims. Additionally, the SRAM drivetrain will provide accurate gear shifting and near precise speed selection.

top pick hardtail mtb

SRAM is also responsible for the brakes, which feature dual mechanical disc brakes for extra stopping power. The bike is just over 4-pounds, making it one of the lightest options on the market today. All of the components are adjustable, and while it might be a bit expensive, it offers great value for your money when riding it.

Pros:

  • SRAM Partnership: The SRAM partnership between the two brands will give you a reliable drivetrain.
  • Disc brakes: In the modern era, the Hydraulic disc brake is the brake of choice, giving you ultimate stopping power.
  • Lightweight: Since the bike is just over 4-pounds, it is lightweight for all riders and generates tons of speed.

Cons:

  • Price: Unfortunately, S-Works is one of the more expensive brands, making it much harder to acquire.

Best Competition Mountain Bike: Yeti ARC Mountain Bike

The Yeti ARC Mountain Bike puts a new spin on one of the older bikes. It is a throwback to some of the traditional disc wheel mountain bikes but has all the modern features of the hardtail mountain bike. Much like the other top hardtail mountain bikes, it features a full carbon fiber frame, with solid forks and rims that will keep it lightweight.

best competition hardtail

Once again, SRAM is the provider of the drivetrain, which might make it a bit more expensive than the traditional Shimano options we have come to know. Additionally, it also features a hydraulic front disc brake for the aggressive riders. While the ARC is a limited edition bike, it is still worth finding one if you could get your hands on it.

Pros:

  • Limited Edition: As mentioned, the Yeti ARC is a limited edition mountain bike, which is only available per order.
  • Full Carbon Frame: The full carbon fiber frame is not only durable but also lightweight for all riders.
  • Stylish Bike: It features a new take on the older retro versions of the Yeti bikes, but it is worth the buy.

Cons:

  • Rare Find: Unfortunately, only a couple of these bikes were made at a massive price, making it extremely rare.

Best Budget Mountain Bike: Trek Marlin 7 Mountain Bike (2021)

In the world of racing bikes, Trek is one of the leading brands, especially with teams like Trek Segafredo in the Tour de France. The Trek Marlin 7 Mountain Bike is one of their newest additions featuring a solid aluminum frame and versatile carbon fiber shocks system. It includes the reputable hydraulic disc brakes, which offer advanced stopping power.

best hardtail mountain bike on a budget

The bike comes in a variety of different sizes. One can find almost any size, ranging from the smallest frames to the 29-inch extra-large frames. It might not have multiple shifting options, but the 10-speed Shimano Deore M4100 is one of the most reliable options on the market today, allowing riders to have solid high-range shifts.

Pros:

  • Reliability: It might not have a carbon fiber frame, but the bike is still regarded as very reliable and designed for racing.
  • Multiple frame sizes: You don’t need to settle for one specific frame, as Trek includes all the frame sizes you could need.
  • Price: When looking at the top bikes, it is very easy to look at price. However, this bike offers you top features at an affordable price.

Cons:

  • Heavier Than Carbon: While it is great for racing, the bike is still slightly heavier than most carbon fiber frames.

Best Titanium Mountain Bike: Kingdom Vendetta X2

If you are looking for one of the top mountain bikes on the market today, you might want to consider looking at the titanium mountain bike. The Kingdom Vendetta X2 Mountain Bike features a 29-inch size, which makes it ideal for some of the larger riders. The bike features an adjustable seat, for additional comfort at the right angles.

best hardtail mountain with Titanium frame

While Shimano might be the leading drivetrain provider of the Tour De France, SRAM seems to be on top of the game when it comes to mountain bikes. The Kingdom Vendetta X2 features a 1 x 11 SRAM drivetrain, but you can adjust it if you need more gears. It is one of the more affordable titanium options available.

Pros:

  • Durable Frame: Due to the frame being made from the strongest material on earth, it should hold up well.
  • Bike Seats: The seats are ideal for larger riders with the best angles. The bike also features 29-inch wheels.
  • Functional Drivetrain: It might not have a ton of gears to choose from, but the SRAM drivetrain will give you 11 options.

Cons:

  • Assembly: It is better to have an expert assist you in the assembly process of the bikes, due to it being tough for beginners.

Best All-Round Mountain Bike: Cannondale F-Si Carbon 2 Mountain Bike

The Cannondale F-Si Carbon 2 Mountain Bike is one of the lightest mountain bikes on the market today. The unit features a full carbon fiber frame, keeping it as light as possible while adding stability to the frame with large knobby tires. It features the Shimano XTR drivetrain system, which is one of the leading options for mountain bike racing.

Best hardtail mountain bike for all terrain
Best All-Terrain Mountain Bike

Aside from the HollowGram 23 wheelset, the bike is one of the top options when you want ultimate stopping power. Instead of the normal mechanical disc brakes, Cannondale has added the hydraulic disc brakes to the front and the rear. Due to the competitive features on the bike, it is ideal for downhill and trail riding.

Pros:

  • Full Carbon Frame: The unit features a full carbon frame, which makes it expensive but durable and lightweight.
  • Race Drivetrain: Compared to many other drivetrains, the racing drivetrain is much more effective for fast shifts.
  • Duel Hydraulic Disc Brakes: One cannot conclude this bike without mentioning the hydraulic disc brakes which adds stopping power.

Cons:

  • Price: With all of these features, it might not be the most expensive bike, but definite close to some of the higher-end bikes

Key Features To Consider Before Buying The Best Hardtail Mountain Bike

Selecting the right mountain bike is not that hard, but due to the variety of bikes we have listed, you might be confused. There are a few important things that you need to keep in mind to ensure that you get the best value for your money. The following features will help you in selecting the best hardtail mountain bike.

Selecting The Right Frame

If you are simply starting out, you don’t need to have one of the best frames. The steel or aluminum frames should do the trick to get you going. However, advanced mountain bike riders might need to consider the titanium or carbon fiber frames, which are lighter. These frames will reduce the strain on fatigue and make climbing easier.

Drivetrain

The right drivetrain can make your life that much easier, allowing you to scale up mountains in a lower gear and reduce fatigue. Having 11-speeds is more than enough for beginners, but top riders might need up to 21 or even 27-speeds. SRAM and Shimano are the two main providers of drivetrains for modern bikes.

Wheel Sizes

By the age of 18, it is expected that most people have reached their height. This makes it easier to find a mountain bike that is the right size and should accommodate you when riding. For the average rider, the 27-inch mountain bikes are the most comfortable. However, 29ers can be larger and hold bigger riders, especially when over 6-feet.

Wrap-Up

The question “What is a hardtail mountain bike?” often pops up, but you will notice that it is not as hard as it might seem for many people. The best hardtail mountain bike is designed to make your life easier, allowing you to climb with less drag. However, a full-suspension mountain bike is perfect downhill sections to absorb vibrations.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo… so you can pin it to your Mountain Bike Board!