What is a Hardcore Hardtail?
Hardcore or Aggressive Hardtail is the name given to any Mountain Bike that has no rear suspension, and has a geometry profile that is Long, Low and Slack!
A long, low and slack geometry means that 1: The wheelbase is long to increase stability at speed. 2: The stand-over height and bottom bracket is low to
improve handling and stability when things get rough and rowdy and 3: The head-angle is slackened out to improve downhill performance!
As with all things the relative combinations of these elements along with many others like effective seat tube angle, chain-stay length and reach, will mean that certain bikes are more effective in certain situations than others.
If you’re looking for ultra-light weight, Carbon Fibre, Cross Country (XC) Race Rockets, a Hardcore Hardtail is probably not for you. Sure, these XC weapons could be classed as hardcore machines, but they are not Hardcore Hardtails in the modern sense!
Hardcore Hardtails can be used for not only XC, but so much more! Unlike XC thoroughbreds they excel in the Steep and Deep. They push the envelope on what is possible on a bike without rear suspension, and are most at home on the kind of terrain more typically suited to long travel full suspensions bikes i.e., anything and everything between Trail riding and full on Enduro racing (even Downhill).
We see Hardtail XC bikes as thoroughbred race steeds, their fantastic, and we love them but most riders other than the advanced or elite will quickly find the limits of both the bike and their own skills once you take it out of that natural XC environment. This isn't the case with a Hardcore Hardtail.
Because the riding position is typically more relaxed and promotes confidence and stability at speed and when going downhill you can ride them all day long in any terrain and most importantly have a wail of a time while you’re doing it, making them the ultimate all-rounder!
Unlike most modern XC bikes, Hardcore Hardtails are typically made from either, Aluminium, Steel or Titanium (though there are some examples that are made from Carbon fibre), and these materials are partly one of the reasons why they are gaining more and more popularity among not only those new to Mountain Biking, but hardened Veterans too.
By their very nature and inert tensile strengths Steel and Titanium frames can be made with relatively thin tubing while still retaining more than enough strength to produce a safe and viable bike. These thin tubes are important as they produce compliance, i.e., they smooth out vibrations and the trail meaning you don't feel so beaten up after a ride (like you may have done on older Hardtail frames, many of which used inferior materials, geometry and manufacturing processes).
When combined with reduced purchase and maintenance costs (compared to full suspension bikes) and their ability to handle those wet and muddy UK winters, it's these attributes that we feel make the Hardcore Hardtail the quintessential Mountain Bike. Something that will remind you all over again why you fell in love with Mountain Biking in the first place, challenging you to hone your skills, line choice and technique to a level that's not always required on a full suspension bike. Bringing back the fun on trails that you may not have taken seriously for years when riding full suspension!
They say one bike can't do it all. That there is no quiver killer. Well that might be true, but we would argue the right Hardcore Hardtail would come pretty close!