Hard V's Soft

Some like it soft, some like it hard, what way do you like it

What you ride and where you ride is a key factor in deciding the kind of frame for you, read on to see what bike best suits your needs.

 

Hardtails

A hardtail bike is a frame that has a rigid rear end and usually front suspension. There are many types of hardtails out there to chose from, some designed for cross country riding, others for jumping and 4cross. The geometry of frames differ greatly depending on what it is designed for. A cross country bike is designed to be light and flexible whereas a jump frame will be over built to be strong and absorb impact.

 

Then there are fully rigid bikes, a bike with no suspension at all. And singlespeeds, a bike with only one gear.

 

 

Suspension

As the name says this is a bike that has suspension at the front and rear. Over recent years the technology of full suspension bikes has developed experientially and are now the bike of choice for most riders. Again there are many types of full suspension to choose, from short travel to long travel. Generally speaking shorter travel bikes are used for cross country riding and the larger travel bikes for all terrain, freeride and downhilling.

 

Full Suspension or Hardtail in Hong Kong?

For general trail riding in Hong Kong a full suspension a mountain bike is probably best. Hardtails, without rear suspension, are lighter and pedal more efficiently, which is ideal for a less technical trails or cross country rides but full suspension offer more comfort and better control. Many of the trails in Hong Kong are quite technical so the suspension helps suck up the rough terrain making the ride smoother. It will also mean you can ride to your limit without loosing control or being jolted off your bike.

 

The only down side to suspension is its not as efficient to pedal and can suck up your energy when slogging up a hill, which is quite often in Hong Kong! This is because the rear suspension moves up and down soaking up your power as you pedal (commonly known as “bob”). However many bikes now come with suspension that eliminate much of the “bob” with innovative shock designs such as “pro pedal” and ingenious linkage systems.

 

 

You will want to decide based on your budget, riding style and terrain.

 

 

TOP TIP

Full suspension bikes are not only forgiving to the harsh hits of the trail, they may also save your manhood! Recent studies showed that the constant jarring effects of mountain biking could lead to micro tears in the scrotal sack, potentially causing infertility. By riding a full suspension over a hardtail these jars are reduced significantly.