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What’s the Best Hardtail Mountain Bike? Top 10 Revealed

Hardtail mountain bikes are an innovative new breed of mountain bikes designed to give you wider freedom of control on tough terrain. They offer great versatility and an overall easier handling capability, especially on single track trails. In the following guide, we reviewed 10 bikes to find the best hardtail mountain bike on the market today. Read on to find out more!

Best Hardtail Mountain Bike: Product FAQ

1. What Is a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

Unlike a traditional mountain bike, a hardtail mountain bike does not feature a rear shock system and only relies on a front shock system.

2. What Does a Hardtail Mountain Bike Do?

Because a hardtail mountain bike doesn’t have a full suspension system, it offers wider freedom to riders and is generally designed for seasoned mountain bikers.

3. How Does a Hardtail Mountain Bike Work?

Unlike traditional mountain bikes that use a full suspension system consisting of front and rear shocks, a hardtail mountain bike has rear shocks only. Note: suspension designed to keep you in control over rough terrain.

4. Where Can You Buy a Hardtail Mountain Bike?

You can buy a hardtail mountain bike at your local bike shop or online at Amazon.com.

How We Reviewed

The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. We were mainly concerned with the bikes’ handling, frame, durability, cornering ability, traction and grip, ease of set up, brake system, and overall performance power.

Overall Price Range of This Product (and Similar Products)

Hardtail mountain bikes range in price from around $780 to $3,800. The higher-priced bikes feature higher quality frames, are more lightweight, have better brake and suspension system, more durable tires, and higher quality downtubes.

What We Reviewed

  • Trek Marlin 7
  • Specialized Fuse Comp 6Fattie 2018
  • Fezzari Wasatch
  • Commencal Meta HT AM Essential 2019
  • Chromag Stylus
  • Santa Cruz Chameleon R1+ 2017
  • Salsa Timberjack
  • Trek Stache 9.7 2019
  • Cannondale F-S1 Carbon 5
  • Stinner Tunnel

Trek Marlin 7

Features

The Trek Marlin 7 is a fantastic women’s bike and definitely deserves a spot on our list of the best hardtail mountain bike. It features an Alpha Silver Aluminum frame and internal derailleur for top-of-the-line durability. In addition, it also comes equipped with internal cable routing for a sleek and simple look. Rack mounts also come built-in so for easy accessorizing. Meanwhile, this mountain bike also features an advanced frame geometry and a custom offset fork for precision handling on any type of terrain. Finally, this women-specific bike also features Tektro HD-275 hydraulic disc for a reliable brake system.

Pros

  • Designed specifically for women
  • Sturdy, durable construction
  • Great handling

Cons

  • Seat not very comfortable
  • May be too heavy
  • Pricey

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $780.

Where to Buy

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/mountain-bikes/cross-country-mountain-bikes/marlin/marlin-7-womens/p/23122/?avad=55097_d13c6967d

Warranty

The Trek Marlin 7 comes with a lifetime warranty.

Specialized Fuse Comp 6Fattie 2018

Features

Another top-quality product on our list of the best hardtail mountain bike is the Specialized Fuse Comp 6Fattie 2018. This bike features Stout XC crankset for a high power performance for climbs and tough descends. Built with a sturdy and lightweight M4 Premium Aluminum frame, this bike is also highly durable. In addition, it also features SR Suntour Raidon 650+ fork’s 100/120mm for optimal compression and rebound ability. Finally, the 6Fattie Ground Control tires on this bike are specifically designed for enhanced traction and grip on loose and technical terrain.

Pros

  • Great for beginner riders
  • Great traction and grip
  • Sturdy and lightweight frame
  • Durable tires

Cons

  • Chain slap may be noisy
  • Tires drag
  • Pricey

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $1,600.

Where to Buy

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/fuse-comp-6fattie/p/107166

Warranty

The Specialized Fuse Comp 6Fattie 2018 comes with a limited warranty.

Fezzari Wasatch

Features

The Fezzari Wasatch features a durable Fezzari Racing Design F275A frame and hydroformed alloy tubing. As another top-performing product on our list of the best hardtail mountain bike, this bike also features a single pass welding for a clean finish and enhanced strength. What’s more, the diamond shape downtube delivers greater power transfer and smoother handling. Meanwhile, this bike’s Fezzari defense technology with replaceable derailleur hanger guarantees that you’ll be riding this bike for some time to come.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Custom fitted
  • Great traction and grip
  • Sturdy, durable construction

Cons

  • Heavy-duty frame
  • Slim and stiff seat
  • Could be pricey

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $989.

Where to Buy

https://www.fezzari.com/mountain-bikes/wasatch-peak-27-5

Warranty

The Fezzari Wasatch comes with a limited warranty.

Commencal Meta HT AM Essential 2019

Features

The Commencal Meta HT AM Essential 2019 is a highly functional, durably constructed mountain bike that is on par with the others on our list of the best hardtail mountain bike. It features a sturdy 6061 triple-butted aluminum frame and a RockShox Yari fork for superb impact absorption. In addition, this bike comes equipped with tubeless ready wheels consisting of E13 TRS rims tires and sealed bearing formula hubs for added durability. Meanwhile, the SRAM Level disc brakes offer unmatched cornering control and top-of-the-line stopping power not found in other mountain bikes.

Pros

  • Durable, steel construction
  • Tubeless mountain bike tires
  • Great cornering control
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • May be too heavy for some users
  • Not great for loose terrain
  • Slim fit bike seat
  • Pricey

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $1,799.

Where to Buy

https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/commencal-meta-ht-am-essential-bike-2019/rp-prod175870?gs=1&sku=sku668078&pgrid=47992839970&ptaid=pla-423607337971&utm_source=google&utm_term=&utm_campaign=PLA+All+Products&utm_medium=base&utm_content=mkwid|sqcAM33Fx_dc|pcrid|253684019240|pkw||pmt||prd|668078US&gclid=CjwKCAiAuMTfBRAcEiwAV4SDkS1U6rFSwLN4ZWZs6Ll7PFdfaajvhGwdtEfwjwSIBpfa3o7e8TXUzhoC0AQQAvD_BwE

Warranty

The Commencal Meta HT AM Essential 2019 comes with a limited warranty.

Chromag Stylus

Features

The Chromag Stylus is a “do everything bike” designed for handling tough terrains. Similar to other bikes on our list of the best hardtail mountain bike, this particular model features a custom tube set and a new dropout system with 12mm by 148mm spacing, long travel fork for greater handling ability. What’s more, this bike is constructed with Chromag custom 4130 Chromoly steel alloy for durability you can count on. Meanwhile, this bike boasts a “Yokel” design featuring reduced weight and an asymmetrical design for a cleaner and sleeker look. Finally, the 12mm dropouts are made tough and feature a derailleur hanger that can be removed for greater reliability and strength. Choose from six colors to match your style, including sage, marine blue, matte black, and green curry.

Pros

  • Sleek and clean design
  • Great cornering control
  • Superb traction and grip
  • Optimized fork

Cons

  • Pricey
  • May be too large for some riders
  • Slim fitting bike seat

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $2,599.

Where to Buy

http://www.chromagbikes.com/bikes/stylus-275

Warranty

The Chromag Stylus comes with a limited warranty.

Santa Cruz Chameleon R1+ 2017

Features

The Santa Cruz Chamelion R1 + 2017 is another versatile bike on our list of the best hardtail mountain bikes. This bike features 67.5-degree head tube angle designed for handling high speeds. In addition, it features a longer front end and short chainstays for a more lightweight feel. What’s more, the 27.5+ wheels deliver optimal traction and grip even on the most technical terrains. The 130mm FOX Rhythm Fork protects the rider from rocks and roots along the trails, while the interchangeable dropouts lets you install 29-inch wheels with ease. Finally, the aluminum frame provides higher strength to weight ratio that is drastically lower than traditional a carbon frame.

Pros

  • Lightweight feel
  • Great handling on technical terrain
  • Sturdy, durable construction
  • Great versatility
  • Top-quality dropouts
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • May be too heavy for some users
  • Pricey

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $2,399.

Where to Buy

https://www.backcountry.com/santa-cruz-bicycles-chameleon-27.5-r-complete-mountain-bike?CMP_SKU=SNZ00JK&MER=0406&skid=SNZ00JK-SLBL-M&mr:trackingCode=7A755F93-808B-E811-8104-005056944E17&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=plaonline&CMP_ID=PLA_GOc001&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PLA&k_clickid=_k_CjwKCAiAuMTfBRAcEiwAV4SDkc3rayEHo5RNsMcs_clWDZDEH6Jh6ZWcpoTMEUXHb6bDQmf4wybrQBoCtTMQAvD_BwE_k_&rmatt=tsid:1042790|cid:1447725969|agid:56708778456|tid:pla-463254755988|crid:276833387490|nw:g|rnd:688747360644466685|dvc:c|adp:1o1|mt:|loc:9031886&gclid=CjwKCAiAuMTfBRAcEiwAV4SDkc3rayEHo5RNsMcs_clWDZDEH6Jh6ZWcpoTMEUXHb6bDQmf4wybrQBoCtTMQAvD_BwE

Warranty

The Santa Cruz Chamelion R1 + 2017 comes with a lifetime frame warranty.

Salsa Timberjack

Features

The Salsa Timerjack is one of the most lightweight bikes on our list of the best hardtail mountain bikes. It features 6066-T6 and 6061 aluminum tube set and a Timberject geometry design for greater responsiveness and handling on terrains of any kind. Featuring an Alternator Droupout system, this bike delivers precision drivetrain versatility and stability. What’s more, it also features a full-length housing system for improved shifting performance even in poor weather and trail conditions. Finally, the frame is designed to accommodate internal routing for a dropper post, and the rear rack can be fitted with a Salsa Alternator Standard Rack for greater convenience.

Pros

  • Plush and stiff fork
  • Can be converted to tubeless tires
  • Optimal suspension system
  • Great stopping power

Cons

  • Rear spokes not very durable
  • Could be pricey
  • Slim fit bike seat

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $1,399.

Where to Buy

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timberjack/2018_timberjack_gx1_27.5

Warranty

The Salsa Timerjack comes with a limited warranty.

Trek Stache 9.7 2019

Features

The Trek Stache 9.7 2019 is yet another impressive bike from Trek on our list of the best hardtail mountain bikes. It features an OCLV mountain carbon frame that is both lightweight and durable. In addition, this bike comes equipped with a premium RockShox Pike RL fork with 120mm SRAM Eagle drive train for superior handling and shock absorption. What’s more, the 3-inch mid-fat tires combined with the completely carbon-built frame delivers a top-of-the-line performance unmatched with traditional mountain bikes.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Superior power
  • Sturdy and durable carbon frame
  • Great stock setup

Cons

  • No downtube cage mounts
  • No lockout
  • Pricey

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $3,800.

Where to Buy

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/mountain-bikes/trail-mountain-bikes/stache/stache-9-7/p/23113/

Warranty

The Trek Stache 9.7 2019 comes with a limited warranty.

Cannondale F-S1 Carbon 5

Features

The Cannondale F-S1 Carbon 5 features a BallisTec carbon frame and RockShox Reba Rl, Solo Air fork for a durable, heavy-duty construction without any unnecessary weight. This lightweight bike also features Shimano XT/SLX Group drivetrain as well as Shimano Deore Hydro Disc brakes for precision stopping power every time.

What’s more, it also features a Cannondale Si Crankset with X-Sync OPI SpideRing Crank system for even greater performance power. Meanwhile, the Schwalbe Racing Ralph tires provide superior traction and grip on even the most technical and loose terrains. With so many features, this bike could easily be the best hardtail mountain bike on the market today.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable and sturdy construction/frame
  • Great handling and cornering capability
  • Excellent traction and grip

Cons

  • Pricey
  • May be too tall for some users
  • No rear mounting

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $2,200.

Where to Buy

https://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Bike/ProductDetail?Id=cb3611ed-61ab-473a-ba28-f523a75d944b

Warranty

The Cannondale F-S1 Carbon 5 comes with a limited warranty.

Stinner Tunnel

Features

The Stinner Tunnel is the final bike on our list of the best hardtail mountain bikes. It features industry leading construction consisting of a fully custom-ordered steel tubing. What’s more, this bike also features an internal routing system for dropper post line. In addition, it comes equipped with rear derailleur hanger for added versatility and greater handling capability. Meanwhile, the post-mount front and rear disc brakes offer superior stopping power on ascends as well as descends. Finally, this bike features an outstanding design and custom finishes to suit your style.

Pros

  • Customer ordered construction
  • Excellent durability and reliability
  • Lightweight
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Very pricey
  • May be too large for some riders
  • Not for beginner riders

Price

This product can be found on Amazon for around $3,000.

Where to Buy

http://www.stinnerframeworks.com/tunnel-2017/

Warranty

The Stinner Tunnel comes with a 5-year frame warranty.

The Verdict

After reviewing all 10 products based on the five parameters, we present our verdict of the best hardtail mountain bike: The Commencal Meta HT AM Essential 2019. Ranking high on durability, versatility, and handling, this bike takes the cake when it comes to its descending power. Constructed from a 6061 triple-butted aluminum, this bike is built to last through years of hard riding. What’s more, it features superior-grade RockShox Yari RC that delivers excellent shock absorption. In addition, this bike also provides top-of-the-line SRAM Level disc brakes for superb and reliable stopping power. The best part is, this bike also features excellent cornering control, thanks to its lightweight frame and tough E13 TRS rims tires.

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