Five reasons why hardtails are perfect for winter
Why do so many people prefer hardtails for winter riding? It's because those in the know value the simplicity and back to basics fun doing without rear suspension offers. Here are five reasons to give a hardtail some love this winter.
1. Less moving parts mean fewer things for the mud and rain to damage
No matter how well-sealed a modern full suspension bike is, dirt and grit are always going to get in and cause damage over a long winter of wet riding. Shock seals, suspension bushings and linkage bearings all get put through the grinder - sometimes quite literally.
If you don’t have it, you can’t wear it out, which is why hardtails are a winner in winter - plus there’s loads of mud clearance around the tyres so you won’t grind to a soggy halt.
2. You get the same thrills at lower speeds
In the soggy, boggy and slippery conditions of a Northern hemisphere winter, the lack of grip, general direction uncertainty and momentum sapping sludge can often make the going feel a bit slow.
Enter the hardtail! With a direct connection to the ground at the back end, if you listen to your arms and legs, they’ll tell you that you’re still flying along at maximum attack - and maximum fun.
3. You can focus on getting your basic techniques dialled
Winter is a great time to work on your technique and a hardtail is an excellent tool to help you get those skills dialled. The best way to think of it is that you’re removing the auto-correct for your riding; while a full suspension machine will let you get away with mistakes, a hardtail will let you know about them, which is great if you want to focus in on the basics skills you need to improve your mountain biking.
4. They give a new lease of life to old trails
This is one of the great things about hardtails. If you ride the same trails all the time, it’s easy to become a bit bored with them, no matter how good they are. Riding your favourite trails on a hardtail will give you a totally new perspective on them.
Technical sections will offer up a fresh challenge, bits that are boring on a full suspension bike might become faster and more fun. You can spend time puzzling over what the best line is, even if you’d ridden it a hundred times before.
5. They’re just good fun!
What it really comes down to is that hardtails are fun. They offer direct, visceral thrills in a way a full suspension bike can’t, so the fact they’ve got a whole load of practical benefits for winter riding is just a side benefit. You can use them to sharpen your skills, learn new ones and add a fresh twist to trails you’ve ridden many, many times before, plus they’re guaranteed to put a smile on your face in the process.
The MERIDA hardtail range:
If you’re tempted by the promise of a hardtail for winter - or at any other time of year - the MERIDA range has you covered, no matter what your riding interests or budget.
Fans of trail riding fun should look at the BIG.TRAIL range, which marries tough aluminium frames and modern geometry to 140 mm travel forks, delivering confident and highly capable handling that’s set to take on the toughest trails. If you’re all about having maximum fun on the descents and then going back up for more, the BIG.TRAIL will be a steadfast partner no matter what turns the trail takes.
If high-speeds and long distances are your thing, then the BIG.NINE and BIG.SEVEN ranges are all about going as fast as you can, for as long as you can. With the choice of lightweight carbon fibre or ‘Lite’ aluminium frames, all the bikes come with disc brakes and short-travel 100 mm suspension forks. We leave it to the rider to choose the fast-rolling efficiency of 29” wheels on the BIG.NINE or the fun and agility of the smaller 27.5” wheels on the BIG.SEVEN. Whether you want to race or just enjoy the ride, they’re ready to tackle your next trail adventure.
The BIG.NINE and BIG.SEVEN are also available in models with the TFS aluminium frame that offers a more upright riding position with better visibility. The bikes still come with disc brakes and 100 mm travel forks to make them capable off-roaders.
If you’re new to the sport, the MATTS range is one of the longest-running bike categories in our history. This classic mountain bike offers quality aluminium frames, solid spec packages and reliable performance at a fantastic price. With 26” and 650b wheel sizes on offer, they’re the perfect entry into the world of mountain biking.
We’ve also got younger riders covered with the MATTS J line of bikes. With disc brakes fitted to almost every bike in the range plus the same quality, lightweight construction and features as on our adult bikes, youthful shredders of every age will be able to take their riding to the next level.
Check out the video below, where we take you through the five points of why hardtails are to great winter. Enjoy!