Enjoy the Bumpy Trails with the Top 5 Best Hardtail Mountain Bike for Beginners

Best Hardtail Mountain Bike of 2018

Whether you are a learner in the cycling game, cycling avid or just an outdoor trails enthusiast, a hardtail mountain bike is an excellent choice for biking.

Also known as the front suspension bikes, hardtails have no rear suspension. This creates a bumpier ride when compared to bikes with full-suspension. However, what a hardtail lacks in top-end performance, make up for their relatively lower price tag, easy maintenance, and a variety of benefits that a full-suspension bike can’t beat, giving hardtails a position in cross-country racing scenes.

​And while there are many brands out there that offers high-quality hardtail mountain bikes, these are among the best to choose from to have the best value for your money.

Product Picture Product Name Wheel Size Frame Material Br​ake Type Rating Prices
Diamondback Bicycles Release 2

Diamondback Bicycles Release 2 

27.5 inches ​Aluminum ​Disc
Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike -Best Budget/ Cheap Hardtail Mountain Bicycle

​29 inches ​Steel ​Linear / Pull
BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike

BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike – Best Under $2000 Hardtail Mountain Bike

27.5 inches / 29 inches ​Carbon fiber ​Disc
Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail – Best Beginner Hardtail Mountain Bike

​27.5 inches ​Aluminum Alloy ​Disc
GHOST Kato Bike

GHOST Kato FS 7.7 27.5 Bike – Best Under $2500 Mountain Bicycle

27.5 inches ​Aluminum ​Disc

Reviews of the Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes 2019

Diamondback Bicycles Release 2 

Diamondback Bicycles Release 2 Mountain Bicycle

The Release series is the Diamondback’s shiniest and the newest addition to the family and the company’s first in the growing “short and slack” category of mountain bikes.

Diamondback intended their new Release series to showcase Level Link suspension design providing the best-pedaling trail bikes they ever made. Their Release 2 starts with geometry which reflects the current trends of mountain biking— excellent on climbs, quick in corners, speed, and stability. Diamondback’s patent-pending Level Link is a short bar, four-link suspension platform that isolates horizontal pedaling forces and controls chain growth, boosting your pedaling efficiency.

The Release 2 also features stiff 148 x 12 mm thru-axle rear end, a tapered headtube, and hydroformed tubes. It has a 150 mm RockShox Pike fork and wide handlebars which enables you to dive in tough sections without worry. Braking duties are managed by the SRAM DB5 hydraulic brakes with 180 mm rear and front. The new Blanchard tubeless wheels have a 28 mm internal width, giving its 27.5 wheels a serious trail-gripping profile. The drivetrain is a mix of SRAM 1 x 11 and RaceFace components which enjoys a ride without noise and chain drops.

What we liked:

  • ​Level Link suspension design
  • ​Hydraulic brakes
  • ​Serious trail-gripping profile
  • ​Strong frame and suspension
  • ​Great versatile bike at a great price

What we did not like:

  • Need to Buy Pedals separately

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike — Best Budget Mountain Bike

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bikes

The high-timber mountain bike from Schwinn is a bike with a simple design, suitable for beginners. Made from the solid aluminum frame and quality materials, this hardtail mountain bike is guaranteed to last for a long time or harsh weather conditions.

​It features Schwinn mountain frame plus suspension fork for a controlled riding on a tough trail. Schwinn also features a twist shifters with a 21-speed rear derailleur for a quick gear change on the trails. Rear and front alloy linear and pull brakes give you secure and reliable stopping power. Its wide knobby tires are positioned on durable and lightweight alloy wheels for extra stability and control. Lastly, its alloy crank provides less maintenance and optimal gearing for the best cycling experience.

What we liked:

  • ​Stylish and simple design
  • ​Aluminum frame
  • ​21-speed derailleur
  • ​Alloy crank
  • ​Lightweight and durable construction
  • ​Shifts gears easily

What we did not like:

  • ​The bike frame is too large
  • ​Highest possible extension of the seat is still low
  • ​Cheaply made
  • ​Gear shift and brake lines are tangled and unable to assemble

BEIOU Carbon Fiber Mountain Bike — Best Under $2000 Hardtail Bike

BEIOU Carbon Fiber 27.5 Mountain Bike

A lightweight back that offers supreme stability for any kinds of trails, the Carbon Fiber bike from BEIOU is the best hardtail bike you can have under $2000.  Stylish and has an ergonomic frame, you can ride this hardtail bike on bumpy trails and still give you a smooth ride, making it a preferred choice for both entry-level professional riders and cycling enthusiasts.

This hardtail is extremely light thanks to its Toray T800 Carbin Fiber construction and gives you the option between 19 or 17-inch frame size. With a carbon construction, the frame is guaranteed not to corrode or rust and is very easy to maintain. You can also choose between 2 wheel sizes: 29 and 27.5 inches that offer less bump for a smooth ride.

​Its front suspension is a UDING air suspension fork and has a SHIMANO M335/M315 dual hydraulic disc brakes which are hidden. This hardtail bikes also features SHIMANO DEORE M610 3 x 10S speed control system with rear and front derailleurs in order to make changing gears smooth and easy.

What we liked:

  • ​Air Fork front suspension
  • ​Hidden disc frames
  • ​Toray T800 carbon fiber frame
  • ​Sleek and simple design
  • ​Good brake
  • ​Easy to assemble

What we did not like:

  • ​No accessories included
  • ​Average suspension fork
  • ​The bike’s surface is rough and grainy that accumulates dirt making it difficult to clean
  • ​Loud gear noise

Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike — Best Entry Level Mountain Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Overdrive 27.5 Hardtail Mountain Bike

Highly versatile, the Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike offers a lot of things. Featuring an aluminum alloy frame, the bike looks rigid to the structure. Its tires come in only 1 size, 27.5-inches, which gives you a comfortable ride for any kind of outdoor trails.

Featuring a lightweight butted tubing, it provides you with a superior degree of stiffness, and the XCT suspension fork gives you an 80 mm suspension travel. This hardtail has 3 gears in front and 8 gears at the back, providing you with 24 different options when selecting the speed of the vike.

Featuring Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with a 160 mm rotors, you get a reliable stopping power even at high speeds for worry-free handling in any kind of terrain.

What we liked:

  • ​27. 5 wheels with unmatched traction
  • ​Tekto Aires disc brakes
  • ​3 x 8-speed drivetrain
  • ​80 mm suspension travel
  • ​Aluminum alloy frame

What we did not like:

  • ​Heavy

GHOST Kato FS 7.7 27.5 Bike – Best Under $2500 Mountain Bicycle 

GHOST Kato FS 7.7 27.5 Bike

Constructed with the hydroformed aluminum frame, the GHOST Kato hardtail mountain bike is strong and stiff, yet lightweight for a smooth and comfortable ride. Its steep seat tube angle makes an efficient climbing position while the slack head tube angles provide great control on descents.

The renowned KATO FS geometry provides playful handling, and its compact cockpit gives a pleasant upright sitting position. It also has a remote lever on the handlebar which allows you to change your seat height on the fly for you to dial in your position as the terrain changes.

Featuring Fox 32 Float Performance fork, it provides 130 mm suspension travel plus a 3-position damper that gives improved control. It also includes a lockout in order to increase efficiency and a tapered steer.

Ditching the weight of the front derailleur but maintaining the similar gear range with an 11 – 46t rear cassette, its drivetrain keeps it simple and light yet highly effective. It has Alex MD 21 rims that spin smoothly around the Shimano Deore hubs and are fully wrapped in the Continental X-King 27.5 tires for supreme traction.

What we liked:

  • ​Supreme traction with Continental X-King tires
  • ​130 mm suspension travel
  • ​3-position damper provides great control
  • ​Kind Shock LEV Integra dropper Seatpost
  • ​Hydrofoam aluminum frame

What we did not like:

  • ​Not too good on rough terrain
  • ​Bars are a bit narrow

 How to Choose the Best Hardtail Mountain Bike?

1. Frame Material

Essentially, the frame is the skeleton of a bike. Therefore it is important that you choose its material with the thorough consideration. Frames of hardtail bikes are most commonly made from steel, carbon fiber, and aluminum— each affecting the bike’s price, ride quality, speed, longevity, and durability.

  • STEEL: Steel is durable options that can stand any brutal, brunt-force landings and jumps gone wrong. Steel, however, is significantly heavy when compared to other materials making it quite tougher to transport and also susceptible to rusting. The good news is, steel tends to be the most budget-friendly choice for beginners and riders who wish to spend money on other high-end features.
  • CARBON FIBER: Incredibly low weight, a carbon fiber frame offers surprising durability. Only the non-metal on the list, carbon frames are less affected by the elements which makes it a long lasting frame that can withstand corrosion and rust. However, these frame has a higher price tag than others.
  • ALUMINUM: The most common type of bike frames, aluminum is highly resistant to rust, has a lighter weight and comes with a generous price tag. Aluminum quality can differ from bike to bike based on its tubing design and other factors. However, aluminum provides a solid ride, in general, making it a well-rounded choice for most average riders.

2. Brakes

​Good brakes mean better control and a safer ride which makes them a crucial feature consider when looking for the best hardtail mountain bike. The most standard type of brakes is disc brakes save for budget and entry–level bikes.

3. Wheel Size

In general, there are 3 wheel sizes for hardtail mountain bikes: 29-inch, 27.5-inch, and 26-inch. Originally, all bikes feature 26-inch wheels until the 29ers arrived in the last few years.

Wheels with larger size tend to roll on hurdles and obstacles more readily than those that are smaller. Such wheels, however, are usually slower, particularly in corners and flexy.

29-inch and 27.-inch are the most preferred choices for enduring racing and XC with the 29er popular in downhill. The gap between the 2 size choices is quite slim, and both can do a great job in the same conditions.

​The wheel size will depend on what you want to accomplish. Aggressive and tall riders prefer the 29ers while average riders think the 27.5-inch wheel is enough.

4. Suspension Forks

​A typical hardtail mountain bike will have a suspension fork between 100 mm and 140 mm of travel. An XC bike can have either a 100 mm or 120 mm suspension fork while more aggressive bikes can have traveled in order to absorb bigger hits.

5. Gears

You will find bikes with either 1 or 2 chainrings at the front and in between 8 and 12 cogs at the back. This is usually indicated by 2 numbers and “x.” The first number denotes the chainrings while the second one represents the cogs. The modern standard and worth having are 1 x 12 and 1 x 11.

​With only a single chainring and no front gear shifter or derailleur, weight is kept low. And with a large number of cogs, you can have a huge range of gears in order to get up and down any mountain. Most people choose the 1 x 11 setup since it already provides enough range. The 1 x 12 is the more expensive and newer setup today.

6. Controls

​Short stems and wider bars are becoming the standard for most modern mountain bikes. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see hardtail mountain bikes sporting 800 mm bars since it provides greater control over the bike. However, if you want a more endurance-based XC ride then shorter stems and narrower bars should be a priority for a more streamlined riding position.


1. What is a hardtail mountain bike?

​A hardtail is a type of mountain bike with a suspension fork on the front and a rigid frame. Hardtails do not have a rear suspension like standard mountain bikes do.

2. Without enough suspension, does that mean that hardtails are not as good as full-suspension bikes?

​Full-suspension bikes are more comfortable to ride, and they are a lot easier to ride through technical terrains. This comfortability, however, comes with a weight penalty. Therefore, hardtails are much easier to ride uphill. Moreover, a hardtail provides a rider with a more direct connection to the trail and allows him to “feel” more of what is happening under his bike.

3. Can I still ride fast and technical trails with a hardtail?

Of course, you can! However, it is not as fast as on a full suspension. Without the rear suspension “saving” you all the time, riding a hardtail will make you adopt certain techniques, making you an all-around better rider and faster when you ride a full-suspension bike.


In finality, the hardtail of your choice will depend on what you need the bike to do for you. For more casual riders, the Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike can accommodate day-to-day rides and still fare very well in rough terrains and trails.

These hardtail mountain bikes are without a doubt among the best hardtail performers even for the ugliest and challenging trails. They feature some of the most advanced technology and offer real-time satisfaction to the rider— beginners or pros alike.

All in all, any one of these hardtails I mentioned can make a great investment. You can find each of them to be an excellent match for meeting your cycling needs.

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