Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 23, 2020
Hardtail mountain bikes let you be more aggressive and attack challenging terrains than rigid bikes would allow yet cost less than even the least expensive full-suspension models, offering that perfect middle ground between price and performance. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Recommended For
Frame
Wheels
Suspension
Brakes
Gear
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

The dual-suspension system will let the least experienced kids ride cross-country paths. Making sure that the bicycle bounces less, the system makes the bike comfortable and easy to manage. The "Paw Print" grips secure excellent grip. 

CONS

The crankset is not especially long-lasting.

OUR VERDICT

Muddyfox Nebraska is soft and comfortable yet reliable and responsive. Though technically not hardtail, this bicycle will let kids ride the toughest roads. The semi-slick tyres ensure brilliant grip and solid traction. The brakes are responsive even through wet conditions. 

detailed parameters
Recommended For

Children (9 - 12 years) 

Frame

Hi-tensile steel frame, 14" 

Wheels

24" deep aluminium aero rims, 1.95" sem-slick tyres

Suspension

Dual-suspension system (fork and frame)

Brakes

Front and rear disc brakes 

Gear

Shimano Tourney gearing, Shimano Revoshift shifters, 21 speeds

Extras

Adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip "Paw Print" grips 

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The tyres are especially resistant against punctures. The supplied kickstand will enable you to position the bicycle upright without leaning against objects. The suspension fork boasts 80-mm travel to insulate you from the off-roads. 

CONS

The bicycle takes some time to put together. 

OUR VERDICT

FLYing Shimano Lightweight Mountain Bike is rugged and durable but also surprisingly comfy. The components are corrosion-resistant. That and the mudguards make this bicycle excellent for riding when it rains. You'll be able to switch between 21 gears. 

detailed parameters
Recommended For

Teenagers, adults (height: 1.65 - 1.8 m) 

Frame

Aluminium alloy frame, 17" 

Wheels

26" double-wall alloy wide rims, 1.95″ tyres

Suspension

Front suspension 

Brakes

Front and rear disc brakes 

Gear

Shimano Tourney gearing, Shimano Altus shifters, 21 speeds

Extras

Adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips, kickstand, front and back mudguards

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The 26-inch double-wall aluminium alloy rims will let you perform various tricks and jumps without deforming and puncturing. The bicycle comes pretty much pre-assembled. The side-stand bracket mount and rack mounts enable easy storage and transportation. 

CONS

There are only seven speeds available. 

OUR VERDICT

Thanks to the multi-surface tyres, Schwinn Surge will let you ride off-roads and standard roads with comfort and ease. Though the 6061 aluminium alloy frame is pretty lightweight, it is no less sturdy and durable than most steel frames.

detailed parameters
Recommended For

Teenagers, adults (height: 1.65 - 1.8 m) 

Frame

6061 aluminium alloy frame, 17"

Wheels

26" alloy double-wall rims, 2.125" multi-surface tyres

Suspension

Front suspension 

Brakes

Front and rear disc brakes 

Gear

Schwinn gearing and shifter, 7 speeds

Extras

Adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips 

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The tyres bite into the surface, so you'll be able to go on the offensive when approaching short climbs as opposed to stalling away. The V-brakes are able to bounce off the stops making sure to reduce the noise and vibrations. 

CONS

The tyre guards wear off pretty quickly. 

OUR VERDICT

Muddyfox Anarchy 100 is smooth. The bike is clank-free and easy to manage, which is impressive since its performance is no joke. The gears are more than decent. You can choose between three frame sizes. 

detailed parameters
Recommended For

Adults (height: over 1.7 m) 

Frame

Aluminium alloy frame, 18" (20" and 22" also available) 

Wheels

26" alloy wheels, 1.95″ tyres

Suspension

Front suspension 

Brakes

Front and rear V-brakes

Gear

Shimano Tourney gearing, Shimano Revoshift shifters, 18 speeds

Extras

Adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips 

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The deep-profile rims are pretty tough and plenty rugged yet nimble and lightweight. The V-brakes give you brilliant braking performance. The black fork stanchions look like MTB forks. Adding black componentry, the bicycle looks aggressive and imposing. 

CONS

The brakes squeak in wet conditions. 

OUR VERDICT

Falcon Maverick matches looks with performance better than most hardtail mountain bikes. Its tyres are smooth and efficient on the road but also provide the necessary grip and traction on trails and off-road paths.

detailed parameters
Recommended For

Adults (height: over 1.75 m) 

Frame

Hi-tensile steel frame, 19"

Wheels

26" deep-profile alloy wheel rims, 1.95" tyres

Suspension

Front suspension 

Brakes

Front and rear V-brakes

Gear

Shimano Tourney gearing, Micro-Shift shifters, 18 speeds

Extras

Adjustable saddle height, adjustable handlebar, non-slip grips 

Warranty

1 year 

Muddyfox Nebraska

Soft and Responsive

Muddyfox Nebraska is lean and mean. Before anything else, what separates this bike and what makes the product attractive to most customers is the dual-suspension system (fork and frame).

The system is brilliant for girls and boys alike. With this system, you're able to easily handle different cross-country paths. To somewhat elaborate, this 14-inch dual-suspension mechanism makes the roughest roads easy and more than manageable. The system makes sure that the bike bounces much less, making the ride that much more comfortable.

Again, the bicycle will secure the softest ride. The back tyres will let you easily make sharp corners and turn bumpy surfaces into acceptable roads.

The high-tensile steel frame is up there with the bike's most defining characteristics too. Though as rugged as they come, the frame is pretty flexible, so you'll feel free and comfortable riding this bike without experiencing that much drag.

Pretty much everything contributes here to make this bicycle able to tackle off-roads. There are the semi-slick tyres that ensure excellent grip and traction. You have the front and rear disc brakes that are especially responsive even during wet conditions. Plus, these brakes require very little maintenance, so you won't have to spend too much time upkeeping this bike.

Review of Muddyfox Nebraska Sports Leisure Kids Bike

24-Inch Deep Aluminium Aero Rims

You definitely won't have to worry about the bicycle's 24-inch deep aluminium aero rims. These things are basically indestructible. You can ride anywhere you want, these rims will have no issues with bumps, pebbles rough terrains, you name the obstacle.

The crankset is not especially long-lasting though, that's where the product's downsides begin and pretty much end. On the upside, the adjustable saddle height will let you make this bicycle comfortable and suitable for any kid between 9 and 12 years old. The company's "Paw Print" non-slip grips will make sure the kids are able to hold and manipulate the handlebar without getting blisters.

The bicycle looks great, sleek and streamlined but that's always the case with the company's bikes.

Last but not least, the bike comes equipped with Shimano Tourney gearing and Shimano Revoshift shifters and will let you switch between 21 speeds, so you'll be able to choose the resistance and access whatever speed you want.

Bottom line, Muddyfox Nebraska is easily up there with the best hardtail mountain bikes for kids between 9 and 12 years old. These kids will be able to drive the bike anywhere they want.

Muddyfox Nebraska Sports Leisure Kids Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

IFLYING Mars

Shimano Gearing and Shifters

FLYing Shimano Lightweight Mountain Bike is up there with the strongest, most rugged mountain bikes we've looked at. Its 17-inch aluminium alloy frame will be able to withstand big-time abuse.

Before that though, we'd like to address the Shimano Tourney gears and Shimano Altus shifters. Of course, those who are familiar with these hub gears know how robust yet low-maintenance these things are. Plus, you're able to shift gears without pedalling, which is always brilliant. Sure, the gears' weight counts against them but that's the one trade-off we're willing to accept here.

The shifters are great too. The left one manipulates the front derailleur, meaning the chainrings too. To switch chainrings and add extra resistance, you're pressing the biggest lever. When you'd like to make the bike less difficult to pedal, the small lever will do the trick, changing into smaller chainrings.

At the same time, the right shifter is responsible for the rear derailleur, letting you make small changes to the cassette. When more resistance is what you require (riding flat road pieces, for example), the small lever is what you push. Again, when you want to make sure the bicycle is not as difficult to pedal, the larger lever is what you need to press.

Review of IFLYING Mars Lightweight Mountain Bike

Mudguards Too

Having said all that, we've seen Shimano gearing and shifters before, these can define the bike but not necessarily sell it. As far as we're concerned, the 26-inch double-wall alloy wide rims sell the bicycle more than anything else. That being said, the 1.95-inch tyres with extra puncture protection are up there too, letting you tackle the toughest roads without worrying about the tyres' condition.

Generally speaking, these tough roads are home to mud and dirt. That's fine though. Equipped with front and back mudguards, the bike will be able to shield you from that mud.

Apart from that, the bicycle comes fitted with a kickstand, so you'll be able to place the bike upright wherever and whenever you want.

The downside to these removable components is that you'll have to spend quite some time putting the bicycle together but that's understandable and something we're willing to overlook.

We're not willing to overlook the suspension fork with 80-mm travel though because this thing will work wonders insulating you from the terrains' roughness.

Long story short, FLYing Shimano Lightweight Mountain Bike will be able to make sure you remain comfortable throughout the entire ride despite the roads' conditions.

IFLYING Mars Lightweight Mountain Bike in the use

 

Schwinn Surge

Cable-Actuated Brakes

The people behind Schwinn Surge claim that this bicycle provides control and stability and, as far as we're concerned, these people can make that claim. It's the little details that add up here.

We'll address these details but, when you add them, you get the bicycle's excellent geometry that makes the fit comfortable and the bike responsive and stable. These details include the company's suspension fork that offers big-time support and comfort up-front.

Before that though, the cable-actuated disc brakes contribute tremendously, making the bike extra safe by providing massive stopping power. You'll be able to go as fast as you want, even downhill, even during wet conditions, these brakes will be able to immediately stop the bicycle with very little travel.

There are only seven speeds/gears available here, which is somewhat upsetting since that means the bike is less versatile than most hardtail mountain bikes. That being said, with fewer gears, the bicycle drops weight and requires less maintenance, so you win some, you lose some. Plus, fewer gears means smooth and precise shifting since the gears do not overlap as much as they do on bikes with 20+ available speeds.

Also, the easy "grip-shift" style gear changes will let you switch between the seven available speeds with comfort and ease, keeping the fingers protected from blisters.

Review of Schwinn Surge Control and Stability

Easy Height Adjustment

Schwinn Surge is all about freedom and confidence. The aforementioned brakes add to that confidence cause and so does the frame. To be more precise, the 6061 aluminium alloy frame that will have no issues withstanding the toughest assignments. Also, equipped with a side-stand bracket mount and rack mounts, the bike will be easy to store and transport.

The gear mudguard will be able to protect you from mud and dirt. The down-tube bottle cage mounts will let you easily mount different bottles onto the bike and keep them accessible.

Apart from that, there's not much left to cover here. The quick-release seat post clamp deserves some spotlight because this component enables easy height adjustment on the fly. The handlebar grips are pretty comfortable but nothing we haven't seen before. Of course, you'll be able to adjust the saddle height, that goes without saying when talking about mountain bikes.

All things considered, Schwinn Surge will make sure you're able to enjoy the ride but also keep you safe through that ride no matter what.

Schwinn Surge Control and Stability in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Muddyfox Anarchy 100

Very Little Effort Required

From what we're able to gather, Anarchy 100 is an appropriate name for this bike. Before going into details though, we'd like to mention the fact that this bike is available with 18-, 20-, and 22-inch frames, so you'll be able to choose between different sizes and purchase the one that feels the most comfortable.

Setting that aside, the bike's pretty lightweight, so you won't have to put too much effort into propelling this bicycle. The traction on the tyres is tangible enough to let you go on the offensive during short climbs rather than stalling straight away.

The rear springs are relatively stiff but nothing we haven't seen/experienced before regarding mountain bikes. Sure, there's undeniable loping gait when the pedalling rhythm syncs with the spring motion. That being said, there is not enough movement to upset things that much to make this issue a glaring one.

Even when engaged critically, the shock from the rear V-brakes bounces off the stops without producing those annoying sounds and making the bike feel like someone’s just hit it with a sledgehammer.

We're not saying that the rear brakes add that much control or comfort, but we can say that these brakes do not deter are milder than most hardtail mountain bikes' yet as reliable and responsive.

Review of Muddyfox Anarchy 100 Hardtail Mountain Bike

An Imposing Bike

We can extend the same sentiment towards the front brakes. Though both brakes boast 50-mm travel, the front fork feels more like you're squashing bread than that recognisable damping. At the same time, the grease smears will show that you're getting the 50 millimetres of movement that you've paid for.

Apart from that, the Shimano Tourney gearing is nothing to write home about but the Shimano Revoshift twist shifters are surprisingly brilliant, light and crisp. That being said, we've seen slicker front chainsets and you'll definitely have to somewhat reduce the pressure to switch the rings, so make sure to plan the climbs ahead.

On the upside, the bike's V-brakes are metal at the lever and the wheel end, ensuring positive bite and solid control when the rims remain dry.

The tread patterns on the tyres provide adequate traction, though we would still recommend treading with caution when riding over wet roots and rocks.

To sum everything up, Muddyfox Anarchy 100 is smooth. You'll be able to tackle various terrains with confidence and relative ease. Plus, the bike looks pretty imposing, fitting the daring name.

Muddyfox Anarchy 100 Hardtail Mountain Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Falcon F2614049-1

Aggressive and Assuming

According to the people behind Falcon Maverick, this bike has style at its heart and performance to match that heart. As far as we can tell, this is an accurate statement/assessment.

Incorporating black fork stanchions that work wonders paying homage to high-end MTB forks and adding black componentry throughout the bike, Maverick is as aggressive as they come.

This bicycle means business and there's not much you won't be able to do riding this bike. Its deep-profile alloy wheel rims are tough and rugged but also lightweight at the same time, easily coping with off-road riding.

Meanwhile, the 18-speed gearing is generated thanks to the Shimano rear derailleur and rotational micro-shift gear shifters. You'll be able to easily switch between them without slowing down.

The tyres make these bikes as much as the next part. Here, you have 1.95-inch wide MTB tyres that are grippy enough to handle all weather conditions, so you can always rely on them to perform.

The front and rear V-brakes provide reliable and all-around excellent braking performance, stopping you promptly and making sure you're able to maintain control no matter what.

That being said, the brakes squeak in wet conditions, which is unfortunate but understandable since most mid-range brakes do that and the fact that these perform in wet conditions to begin with is thoroughly impressive considering how affordable this bike is.

Review of Falcon F2614049-1 Maverick Hardtail Bike

Soft-Compound Handlebar Grips

As much as aesthetics and performance are important, these things do not make any difference when the bike is not comfortable. Making sure that you remain comfortable no matter what determines performance as much as high-end components.

That's not an issue here though. To improve the fit, the bicycle comes equipped with this long seat post and quill handlebar stem so that you're able to adjust the height however you want. At the same time, the company's trademark saddle is not only comfortable from the get-go but can also be further adjusted using the rail adjusters to achieve front-to-back refinement.

Finally, the 19-inch high-tensile steel frame is strong enough to absorb the shocks and keep you smooth riding through bumpy roads. Add to that the soft-compound handlebar grips and you'll be able to ride for hours getting nothing but pleasure and enjoyment from the ride.

In other words, Falcon Maverick is hard-wearing and stylish. The bike will perform and keep you comfortable throughout the entire ride.

Falcon F2614049-1 Maverick Hardtail Bike in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Hardtail Mountain BIke?

There are three main mountain bike types: rigid, hardtail, and full-suspension. Generally speaking, rigid bikes were much more prevalent throughout history but are now becoming less and less popular since these bikes come without any suspension, so you're unable to comfortably tackle challenging trails using these bicycles.

Full-suspension mountain bikes are great, and we've discussed the differences between these bikes and hardtail mountain bikes below but the reason we've listed and reviewed hardtail bikes before full-suspension models is quite simple - they're much, much more affordable.

These bikes are not as basic as rigid mountain bicycles, providing moderate absorption to let you ride tough terrains and challenging trails but not as expensive as full-suspension bikes so most people are able to afford them. Also, these bikes are more lightweight and less demanding from the maintenance perspective but, again, we've covered these difference in the Hardtail Mountain Bikes vs Full-Suspension Bikes section.

These bike pumps will let you easily inflate the tyres, while these bike locks will prevent thieves from stealing your bike.

What Features to Compare

Age

Hardtail mountain bikes, like all bikes, come equipped with different frames, size-wise too, meaning that there are bikes that will be able to accommodate children somewhere between 8 and 12 years old and then there are bikes that are more suitable for teenagers and adults. Take age and height into consideration before you choose the bike.

Frame

Setting aside the size, frames are important enough to determine the bike's quality and performance more than most components combined. Generally speaking, most decent hardtail bikes incorporate aluminium alloy or hard-tensile steel frames. These materials are rugged and sturdy but pretty lightweight too, keeping the bikes nimble yet durable.

Wheels

Traditionally, most adult bicycles used to come with 26-inch wheels. That's not the case anymore. Sure, these wheels are still pretty prevalent but there are a lot of different options too now.

Generally speaking, 29-inch wheels will take more time to accelerate but, once you gain enough speed and momentum, you'll be able to tackle difficult terrains with much more ease compared to 26-inch wheels.

There are also 27.5-inch wheels that are more capable than 26-inch wheels as far as handling tough terrains but also more manoeuvrable than 29-inch wheels, making the ride more comfortable and forgiving.

Kids' mountain bikes are usually fitted with 24-inch wheels to accommodate shorter legs.

Brakes

More often than not, hardtail mountain bikes come equipped with disc brakes. These brakes can be hydraulic and cable-activated. Compared to orthodox rim brakes, disc brakes are more consistent despite the conditions. They're easy to replace. Disc brakes' performance remains excellent even when tackling steep and wet terrains. These brakes are also easy on the fingers. They're much more difficult and expensive to replace though.

Gears

Hardtail bikes come housing anywhere between 1 and 30 gears. Generally speaking, more gears means that you'll be able to ride any terrain you want, including steep trails and climbs. That being said, these gears also make the bike less lightweight, so there are downsides to having 20+ gears too.

Extras

There are not too many hardtail bikes that won't let you adjust the saddle height. Most hardtail models will also let you adjust the handlebar. Sometimes, these bikes come equipped with mudguards so that you don't have to purchase them separately.

Hardtail Mountain Bikes vs Full-Suspension Bikes

Generally speaking, off-road biking enthusiasts have to decide between these two bicycle types when they go looking for a new bike. The chief difference here is that full-suspension bikes come equipped with a suspension fork at the front and a rear shock, whereas hardtail bikes feature only one suspension fork without that rear component. That difference is enough to affect the bicycle's manoeuvrability, performance, and comfort, so we've decided to quickly separate these two bike types to help you figure out the right fit for your needs and preferences.

Full-suspension bikes are the right fit for you if:

You don't mind spending extra. Even entry-level full-suspension bikes start somewhere around £1,400. Sure, if you can afford to spend that much and full-suspension bicycles will let you comfortably ride the terrains you have in mind, you can look into these bikes.

You ride technical trails more often than not. Pedalling through rock gardens, roots, and various drops is something that you enjoy doing? Then, by all means, invest in a full-suspension mountain bike. These are the conditions these bikes are made for. Using front and rear suspensions, full-suspension models ensure the smoothest ride with excellent traction and handling, translating to more fun on rough terrains.

You need comfort above anything else. These bikes have no issues soaking up the most jarring bumps, making sure that these bumps are not sent to the body and buck you off the bike. Reducing fatigue, full-suspension systems let you ride fast for extended periods of time feeling nice and comfortable.

You desire speed. Since full-suspension bikes are able to absorb bumps, you'll usually be able to carry more speed through the trails' more technical sections, something that you won't always be able to do riding hardtail mountain bikes.

Look into hardtail mountain bikes if:

You don't have an unlimited budget. Hardtail bikes are less complicated and convoluted than full-suspension bicycles, so the manufacturers can pack them with high-end components like derailleurs, shifters, brakes, and more without forcing you to fork over major dough. More often than not, you'll be able to purchase a half-decent hardtail bike for less than £260.

You ride smooth trails. When you spend more time riding relatively smooth trails than you do tackling the roughest terrains, hardtail bikes will have no issues securing the fastest, most fun ride, soaking up moderate bumps via the front suspension fork.

You prefer low-maintenance. Since these bicycles incorporate fewer moving parts than full-suspension models, hardtail mountain bikes are easy and less expensive to maintain than full-suspension bikes. Sure, you'll still have to do some work but that work will be nothing compared to full-suspension bikes' demands.

You're into lightweight bikes. More often than not, hardtail models weigh less compared to full-suspension bicycles, again, because there are fewer parts involved. As you would imagine, more lightweight bikes are usually faster and easier to control than heavy bicycles.

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Publish Date: 2020-01-23 13:42:05