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5 Reasons Hardtail Bikes are Great for Women

5 Reasons Hardtail Bikes are Great for Women

womens hardtail mountain bike

In this article we’ll discuss why hardtail mountain bikes are a great choice for women. As with all featured women’s content on Hardtail Canada, this article was produced in collaboration with Canadian U23 MTB racer Jocelyn Stel!

Since she races hardtail, she knows as much as anyone about why women should ride one.

I’ll hand things off to her now… 

I love hardtails and so should you! For most cross country riding, a hardtail is the ideal bike.

I’d argue this especially applies to women. I’ve ridden and raced my hardtail all over North America, including Ontario, Alberta, B.C, Quebec, and North Carolina. I have experienced all kinds of conditions and trails from gnarly downhills to fast flowy singletrack.

A hardtail has been the ideal bike. I believe they are an excellent choice for most women as their primary bike. This is because women tend to be smaller, shorter, and have less muscle mass.

If you own a hardtail and would like to buy a full suspension as a second bike, go for it!

But if you don’t already have a hardtail you should consider adding one to your bike collection. It’ll make you a better bike rider, save you money, take less energy to ride, and is simpler to maintain. And it’ll also be more fun!

5 Reasons Hardtail Bikes are Great for Women

1. Hardtails are Lighter

The main reason why you should ride a hardtail is, quite simply, because they’re lighter.

Who doesn’t love a lighter bike? By removing the rear suspension from the bike you save a bunch of weight. This is especially beneficial to women who are, on average, lighter and have less muscle mass. For this body type a lighter bike is easier to climb up hills and maneuver around trails.

For most riders in most conditions, a lighter hardtail will simply require less effort to ride.

2. Hardtails are Better for Building skills

hardtail mountain bike skills

Hardtails are excellent bikes for learning and building skills. Whether you’re a professional mountain biker or a beginner, a hardtail will help you improve.

Hardtails are more responsive to movement and force you to be smoother. You can’t rely on rear suspension to soak up bumpy trails. This improves your body awareness and ability to move over the bike.

They are also easier to maneuver because of how responsive they are. If ridden well, they carve corners faster and climb more efficiently. If not ridden well they’ll reveal where you need to improve. If your goal is to get quicker in corners and on punchy climbs, a hardtail mountain bike will help you develop those skills.

3. Hardtails are More Efficient

Another reason why women should ride a hardtail is because they take less effort to pedal and are more efficient with every pedal stroke, compared to full suspensions.

The goal of suspension is always to absorb energy. This has its place in rock gardens, rough terrain or bumpy climbs. But, if you’ve ever felt suspension bobbing on a climb, what you’re actually feeling is your suspension absorbing some of the effort you are trying to use to make your bike go forward.

A hardtail can take more time and effort to become efficient in technical terrain, but when you get there, it provides much more power transfer. This is particularly the case on climbs.

Don’t believe me? Watch the world championships or Olympic events. You’ll often see many riders who ride a full suspension over most of the season switching back to a hardtail in key events.

This is becoming more common for these events, even with increasingly technical terrain.

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4. Hardtails are Easier to Maintain

womens hardtail mountain bike

One of my personal favourite reasons for why women should own a hardtail bike is that they are easier to maintain. I would much rather be spending time riding rather than working on my bike.

Hardtails are much simpler without the rear suspension. There is no rear shock to service, they are easier to clean, and there are far fewer moving parts to risk breaking or to have to replace.

You also won’t have to worry as much about damaging your bike when travelling or riding it in all kinds of conditions. Lastly, if you ride a hardtail you need fewer spare parts.

5. Hardtails are Cheaper

Since hardtails don’t have rear suspension they are also more cost-effective. The whole bike is less expensive up front and saves you maintenance and up-keep in the long run.

This is money you can spend on upgrading other parts of the bike, buying a second bike, travelling to events or bucket-list riding locations, or taking time off work to ride and get fitter.

Hardtails Equal Fun

There isn’t much that compares to the speed and exhilaration of whipping a fast hardtail down a flowy, technical trail.

Yes, it takes more input and skill, but once you get proficient there is little that compares to the feeling of pushing a hardtail to its limits when the going gets tough. Hardtails make riding fun and, as always, the ultimate goal with mountain biking is to have fun.

And that’s why women should ride a hardtail mountain bike!

Hardtail Canada plans to publish a women’s specific mountain biking article every month. If you want to keep caught up, be sure to subscribe to the monthly newsletter!

If you have any questions or concerns about women’s biking, let Jocelyn know!

Comment below if there are other women’s specific topics you’d like to see in the future.

If you want to promote your local women’s mountain biking club on Hardtail Canada, please get in touch with our contact form here!

Jocelyn's Bio

jocelyn stel

My name is Jocelyn and I am a cross country mountain biker in the U23 category. I am on my bike almost every day and absolutely love riding. I’ve grown up riding my bike and I can’t imagine a life without it.

If you’re interested in reading more about my racing check out my blog Ponytails and Racing Trails  and follow me on instagram @jocstellar02. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

I am currently sponsored by Cyclepath Oakville. If you live in the area and are looking for some help with your bike they are an excellent bike shop and will definitely be willing to help you out.

Hardtail Canada: Thanks for all the great info Jocelyn! Hopefully this helps other female riders navigate the mountain biking world.

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