All modern mountain bikes come with a suspension system. It is essential as it helps with improved control over your bike, with greater traction and comfort on the trail.
A hardtail bike has a a suspension fork attached to the front wheel only. The rear therefore has no suspension. The suspension reduces the stress on your hands and arms and improves control over steering on rough trail surfaces. It is less expensive and generally adds less weight to your bike than in the case of a full suspension bike. The suspension fork is either made of a steel coil spring or an adjustable air spring. A hardtail is a good choice if your budget is low, you are an occasional rider only, or you are new to the sport and want too first try it out.
A full suspension bike has suspension at the front and the rear. These bikes are more expensive and the rear suspension may add more weight to the bike. The advantage is more comfort and better control over difficult terrain and at higher speeds. It is also easier on your joints, muscles and back. So if you have a back or joint issue, want to rip awesome technical trail and money is no problem, then this is probably the way to go!
Next time we will look at the different hardtail suspension types.
Tell us what type of suspension you use and why?