How Hard Can You Ride On A Hardtail Mountain Bike?
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How Hard Can You Ride On A Hardtail Mountain Bike?

November 5, 2019


– Welcome back, you beautiful people. And today is a questioning day. We all know that the
enduro bike is capable of all kinds of
disciplines, from down hill, enduro, XE, dead jumps,
big jumps in a bike park, to free ride lines in the mountains. Ha, it’s like its the bike to go for. But before you start dreaming about that all lovely such nice Enduro bike, have you ever thought of this? This is the hard tail, some of you viewers probably have one in your garage. This is probably the only bike you have. But we get a number of
questions down below, and in our social media,
on questions like, can this bike hit a 20 foot jump? Can this bike race down hill? Can this bike race enduro? Can it do XC? Can it do free ride lines? Well, today is one of
those days where I’m going to tick off all the things
that this beast is capable of. So let’s kick it off! (upbeat music) Ha ha! Well this is my new proof scout comp, and this is an aggressive hard tail. What this means is that this
head angle is super slack, there’s a 140 ml of travel up front, the frame is super rigid, has a low BB, and you can throw anything on this bike, and it’ll take it on. Whether its embracing
your spirit for adventure, or tackling all those single
track trails in the woods, to your local pump track,
to your local dirt jumps, even racing some four cross, down hill, or enduro racing, this
thing is built for it. Okay, let’s get down to
business because we need to know what this thing can do. And I have a few things I want
to throw at it to test it. And I’ve come to the
perfect testing ground to do all of this, and this
is Chicksands Bike Park in Bedfordshire in the UK. And it caters for a number
of different disciplines from single track loop, to
four cross, to dirt jumping, to dual slalom, to mini down
hill, to free ride stuff. So, has all the disciplines
covered, I’m going to see if this thing can do the
whole bike park with ease. Let’s go! Haha! All right, four cross racing, ho ho ho ho. Speed, aggression,
everything, if you don’t know what four cross is all
about, basically its four riders racing against
each other down a track, which is on a slope, its
down hill, but has a number of jumps, there’s a number of turns, there’s big gaps, there’s
some different obstacles out there that you have to
navigate yourself through against the other three riders. So, I’m going to go flat
town, I’m going to pedal in turns, I’m going to see
if this bike can handle it, if it’s got the grip, lets do it. (light music) Oh, wow. The four cross is one discipline
I haven’t done for ages. Its all about power, and
getting that power down. Hang on. All right, I’ve got my breath back, talking about getting your
power down to that rear wheel to get the speed, because
you need a lot of speed. Especially for those big
jumps, like that triple there, and that double, and that
one double down there into that turn, you need
to get as much power down to that rear wheel as possible. But when you’re having a full suspension, like if I was to ride my
Scott Genius on this track, I’m going to have to be
locking at that rear suspension to get as much power as
possible to clear those jumps. I’ve actually got 35 ps on
this, I’ve lifted a little bit but I don’t want that tire
to deform in the turns because I want to get as
much speed as possible to clear these jumps. But this bike is worthy of racing, you could race this thing on the weekend, and then pedal home like I said, or go for an enduro ride
on a Sunday or a Monday. Wow, let’s move on to the next challenge. Right so you find yourself in a bike park, where there’s little table
tops, like dirt jumps, and they get progressively bigger. Which turn into doubles,
which get progressively bigger and steeper, but still get bigger. So the question is, can it dirt jump? Well, look at this, wow. Well I can’t obviously do a jump, but, can I actually do tricks? Well, here’s a few simple ones on it. (light music) Ha ha! Whoa! I’ve just shown you, it can,
but there’s a few things you gotta take into
consideration when jumping an all around aggressive
hard tail trail bike, such like my new Groove
Scout is that the dirt jump bike’s 26 inch wheels,
its hard tail, the front suspension is going to be really hard. Because I run quite stiff
suspension up the front, these ones, 140 ml of
travel, my dirt jump bike, 110 ml of travel. But with these, they’re
quite soft, so you’re going to find that the front end
dives into the take off and it feels like your whole body weight is shifting in to the left,
which is not a nice feeling. So you’ve gotta take that consideration when riding steep lips,
such like these ones. Also, the front head angle is quite slack, like I’ve said, it’s aggressive so, its going to be quite long. The back end’s going to be long, whereas in dirt jump bikes
its going to be quite short and compact steep head
angle, super light weight. And to be honest, you’re
running 27.5 wheels. And for me, I’m running a
plus size, this is a 2.6. So my tire pressures are quite low, it feels quite sluggish on the jumps. And you’ve got those
compression setting on these rock sharp revelations,
and I’ve just basically plused it to make it a little bit harder. Didn’t lock it out, because
I didn’t want suspension when I over jumped a few jumps. So I want that front suspension to work. The dirt jump bikes,
you’re going to be running quite high tire pressures,
80 psi, 65 psi, depending on what tire you have. Here, I’ve got 30 psi
in these, there barons. Wow, well there you go, it’s
worthy of pedaling from home, through the woods, do some single track, get you on to the
trails, drop your saddle, bust some tricks, bust a move out. Let’s move on to the next challenge. All right, next question, can I actually down hill free ride
enduro, of course it can! I’ll tell you four eye, watch this! All right, I’m going to
put down hill, enduro, and free ride all into one category. Because they kind of share
all the same aspects. But what you would find
with a normal hard tail, there’s more aim towards
XE is that your top tube’s going to be a lot higher, your BB is going to be a lot higher, your
wheel base is going to be a little bit shorter,
and your head angle is going to be a lot steeper, compared to this all around hard tail. And by having such elements
done into a normal XE bike, when it comes to descending,
its going to be quite hard to shift your body weight around. Especially when it
comes to steep sections, where you want to keep
your body weight quite far over the rear and lean
back so you don’t feel like you’re going to go over the bars. Whereas with the XE bike,
there’s more aim towards climbing instead of descending. But when it comes to running
rough stuff on a hard tail, well, to be honest,
it is going to be a rough ride, but it’s going to be an exciting ride, that’s for sure. Riding the same bit of
section on an enduro bike, I’ve found down just going flat top. Don’t worry about the line,
I’m just going flat out using my 150 ml of travel, to
soak up all of those bumps. When it comes to the hard tail, I find myself concentrating a lot more. I have to guide myself
through that section, and find the perfect, smoothest line, just to get through
without getting a puncture. Well that brings me on to suspension. Whereas the hard tail, you
haven’t got suspension. So you’re going to have to use
your body as the suspension, so you don’t want to
just sit back and relax and get through the trail
because your body needs to work extra hard just to
soak up all those bumps. And by doing that, you want
to keep your knees bent. You want to keep your
knees bent, let that bike bounce up and down
underneath you, constantly, just to keep that suspension going. Ahh, what about cross country? No brainer, ha, answers itself. (upbeat music) Ha, ha, ha! From the track to the great
expanse of the outdoors, yes my friend, this is cross country. You find yourself exploring
endless amount of country lanes, with minimum fuss and ease. Basically the high tails
designed to ride across the country with minimum fuss, and
back to pure mountain bike. And you find yourself
racing XE on the weekend, and commuting to work in the weekdays. Spending hours of time in that saddle. For me, the hard tail
stuck in my heart forever because my career was
actually built on a hard tail. So, I’ve got big love
for the simple hard tail. You can’t get enough of it, super simple. Nothing could go wrong, nice
suspension bits on the back. I’m going to go ride more. Ha, ha, wow, well there’s
not a lot that the trusty hard tail can’t handle. You can throw anything
at it, and it’ll do it. Really, but I’m not saying
go and put a massive down hill world cup track in front of it, and try to ride down
it because you’re going to struggle, that’s for sure. But if you are looking
into buying a hard tail, then look at what you’re
actually going to riding. If you’re going to be riding
a lot of cross country, dirt roads, single track
with a lot more climbing involved, then look at getting a pure bred cross country bike. Because that’s going to benefit
you a lot more on a climb but if you’re wanting an
all around kind of bike, from a little bit down
hill, free ride, enduro, XE racing, dirt jumps,
racing on the four cross, whatever, well the aggressive hard tail will do it all with no problems. With simplicity as well
because you’ve got none of that moving gubbins on the back for suspension. It’s super simple, less fuss, and its back to pure mountain biking. Hopefully you enjoyed this video, and it’s given you a little
bit more of an insight to what a hard tail can
do and its limitations. I’d love to push this thing a lot more. I want to challenge it actually. I want to see how hard I can
actually ride the hard tail. But, if you want to see another video, click just down here, on
our five essential skills to do in a pump track. Then over here, hard tail
versus fat bike on a pump track. Click the globe if you
haven’t subscribed already, because you are actually missing
out on some good content. And I’ll see you on the next one!

Only registered users can comment.

  1. This video has really lifted my spirits and confidence for my hard tail because I cant afford anything else but it’s really nice to see someone who can show me that it doesn’t matter the bike you ride but it does matter how much fun you have

  2. My bike is mainly an XC bike – alum frame, 130mm travel up front, 29er with WTB Nano 2.1 tires. Would it hold up to this kind of abuse? I did a few downhill races about a month ago and one of the flow trails had a 4 to 5 ft box drop that I hit. Didn't damage the bike, but the landing felt HARD. I'm guessing a dirt jumper HT is built for more abuse than a XC HT?

  3. I just bought a used 26” hard tail Xtrada 4 & can’t wait to hit the trails. First I Got to train my kids & condition myself after not riding for 30 yrs! But I am coming!

  4. @askgmbn
    hey everyone! i just started mtb-ing (was looking for some more "knee-friendly", but still exiting sport 😂 since I wrecked my acl 2 years back) anyways, I got myself a 2nd hand giant talon 1 2016 as a kind of "let's try things out and see where it goes" start… after riding it for a few weeks on all kinds of terrain (uphill, xc, flow, dh-ish) I'm a bit concerned for the 100mm suntour xcr fork… I don't want to get a heavy enduro bike (yet) since I'm still testing the fields and also enjoy long distance xc 🤷🏻‍♀️ has someone experience with this bike/fork model and can give me some recommendations if it ll survive a little bit of gnarly-trail abuse now and then or is completely unsuitable?
    btw. really like your channel! both the geeky engineer and adrenaline-seeker within me greatly enjoy your vids 💪🏼🤙🏼
    cheers, mara

  5. I’m not picky if it’s a hard tail or full sus. As long as it has good geometry and components that will feel at home with me when I start pushing.

  6. This is just a video stating the obvious, the bike is not as important as the rider, I've seen children climb mountains in steel frame bikes with no suspension at all, and going down hill as well.

  7. those nokeproof scouts are out of stock everywhere…..I am looking to get one….but nobody have in stock….dam it

  8. Like wtf is this about – you dont usually see a freeride bike in a dirt park, and thats what 3/4 of this video is about. Yeah, hardtails can do dirt park – that's what dirt parks are for – hardtails.

  9. Was going get the nukeproof 290 comp but got told the 2020 version be out in few months so think will wait I have seen something about the 2020 model it's got sx eagle on it would anyone recommend upgrading from the sx or just see how it is

  10. I bought a Hard Tail because it was what i could afford with the better components and its my first MTB. Honestly, I'm glad I do not have a FSB yet, the hardtail is teaching me discipline.

  11. What can you do on a 100mm xc hardtail. Well I escaped that hell and got a Santa Cruz 5010 so I’m ok now

  12. Question is can my cannondale trail 7 do those without breaking?😂 his Hardtail is the best Hardtail mine is just an entry level mtb hardtail 😂

  13. I just bought my first mountain bike. This video made me feel a lot better about buying a hard tail. Thanks for the great vids!

  14. I made my bike gears go weird because I did a tiny little jump off a kerb. Now when I’m in 7th gear, when I’m peddling the chain comes off and back on.

  15. Of course hardtail can do big jumps, that’s why most dirt jumpers are hardtails and they boost jumps better than full squish bikes

  16. Got a Commencal META HT AM Origin, just starting to get into this. Taking it to Panorama Mountain Resort BC in a few days – I just find you gotta be careful with weight on the back to prevent popping your tires & in my case I broke my post fall on my ass on the saddle after a jump I lost my footing on (dont imagine that would have happened on a full suspension). Overall good ride, gotta keep coming back to watch these videos to remind myself I don't need to regret buying a good hard tail first vs a cheap full suspension.

  17. I live in Germany Friedrichshafen if some one sees a black with red details bike and some details the holder for the front light was tied with black zip ties Please if you've seen that bike

  18. Blake, awesome videos. All of them. Do you have or can you make a video of mtb terminology? Slack, head angla and such and what they mean and why more or less slack is better or what shorter or longer chainring are for and so on. Thanks

  19. I bought an entry level XC Trek X Caliber 7 2019 but I feel very scared to do more experienced type trails with bigger jumps.. it does have a #3 tag on it which it says not to jump any jumps higher than 2 feet = 24” so what should I do . Just save up and get me something stronger or could it handle rougher trails?

  20. "You probably have one of these in your garage…" Wait, someone must have stole my £1,600 bike that I had just sitting in my garage! xD

  21. I felt like I’m freakin old, coz I won’t ask such things about hardtails, since i grew up with ‘em being used all around…

  22. This is awesome can anyone list some relatively current bikes (17,18,19,20) that have very similar specs that I can find on the US west coast please?

  23. Alright Blake, you won me over.
    I will still race this weekends endurorace, even thou my Canyon Strive is broken into pieces, but my Nukeproof Scout Sport is ready to rumble.
    You think 40psi will keep me from puncture?

  24. You can do everything you can do on a full sus take it form experience
    In fact I prefer my 29” gt hard tale to a rented full sus

  25. Am I The Only One To Think That It's Unpleasant To Read When Every Word In A Sentence Starts With A Capital Like The Title Of The Video ?

  26. Well you can do all those things if you have a €3000+ nukeproof scout,but not if you have a €500 hard tail from halfords

  27. Is that the guy from this great "Car Throttle" YouTube channel? 😀 He looks familiar and he's funny, too – really like that production style!

  28. This is great! I just bought myself a Trek Roscoe and I'm super pumped to give every trail a go. Entry level here but I want to build the confidence and flog my bike and body hard! Cheers for the motivation and expertise!

  29. Pretty much the only thing you shouldn’t do on a hardtail is straight up all day down hill, otherwise they shred anything as well as any other fancy bike you may find. The skill and ability of the rider is more important than the bike.

  30. Aggressive hardtails are some of the most well-rounded bikes out there. Also, some of the best looking bikes too. Less is more.

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