Prime 5 hardtail mountain bikes for 2021
The common-or-garden hardtail appears to be going by way of a mini-revival, with a raft of cross-country, downcountry, path and probably even radder inflexible frames being launched for 2021.
The benefits are clear. The place uphill pace issues, the direct connection from crank to axle, with out some energy-inefficient suspension spoiling the enjoyable, is the quickest strategy to stand up to hurry.
Using rough-and-ready trails on a hardtail would possibly beat you up a bit of extra, however there’s one thing nearly zen-like about having the ability to decide the smoothest line between the chunder, whereas pumping by way of rollers to generate free pace.
Hardtails may also be lighter, simpler to keep up and cheaper too, as a result of there are merely fewer shifting elements that add weight, a requirement to service, and want constructing within the first place.
So, we determined to select 5 notable bikes with a inflexible rear-end that we’ve seen just lately, prepared for your whole 2021 mountain bike adventures. We’ve all the pieces from World Cup racers to alloy sleds to make descents as hair-raising as attainable.
1. Yeti ARC
Reminiscent of the great outdated days, when a disc wheel, drop bars and dodgy Lycra was all you wanted to turn out to be one of the well-known riders in historical past (we’re speaking about John Tomac, after all), the thirty fifth anniversary Yeti ARC is notable for a few causes.
First is the precise anniversary version itself, a complete throwback to Yeti’s classic years of racing, with the aforementioned Tomac, together with Juli Furtado and Missy Giove, shredding up race programs world wide to numerous victories.
Yeti’s signature turquoise and yellow paintjob is bound to standout from the gang, must you be one of many fortunate 100 individuals who’ve managed to purchase the £8,999 restricted version, anniversary mannequin.
Subsequent is the body. The ARC has progressed from its XC roots and is now firmly a path hardtail. The carbon triangles are constructed round 130mm forks and bump-deleting 29 x 2.6in rubber on broad 30mm rims.
The geometry is up to date, with a 67-degree head angle, 76-degree seat angle, a low-slung backside bracket, mid-length 433mm chainstays and reaches from 420 to 490mm throughout the 4 sizes.
The six bike vary begins at £3,799 for a motorcycle that includes a Efficiency stage Fox 34 and Shimano SLX gearing, and goes as much as that whopping £8,999 for the all-singing, all-dancing anniversary mannequin, with Manufacturing unit stage suspension and wi-fi shifting from SRAM.
Our solely problem? For some purpose the long-lasting curved profile of the seat and chainstay junction appears to have been misplaced, rather than a much more typical rear triangle. Oh properly!
2. Mondraker Podium Carbon
The Mondraker Podium Carbon is notable for one superb purpose, it’s actually, actually gentle.
This summer time we’ve seen a great deal of new XC bikes, together with a quantity that includes zero millimetres of rear suspension. The Orbea Alma and Canyon Exceed are contemporary this 12 months and be part of the Specialized S-Works Epic hardtail within the realms of World Cup-ready race bikes.
They’re all actually gentle, however none fairly as gentle as Mondraker’s Podium, with a claimed frame weight, in medium, of 775g – a full 15g lighter than the S-Works Epic.
Will 15g be the distinction between top-spot and second, maybe not, however we expect there’ll be loads of riders on the market keen to cease at nothing to ensure they’ve bought the lightest bike going, and why not?
Mondraker has managed this gentle weight regardless of the body sill that includes its signature Ahead Geometry. This design means the bike’s entrance finish is comparatively lengthy in comparison with the competitors – so there’s bought to be some further materials making that prime tube so lengthy!
Even when these 15g make barely a scratch when pointing the bike up a hill, we nonetheless suppose firms pushing the boundaries of supplies and body building is an excellent factor as a result of that data will ultimately make its strategy to the bikes you and I trip day in, time out.
3. BMC Twostroke
When Swiss model BMC introduced a brand new XC hardtail for 2021 we figured it’d be a brilliant high-end, super-sharp weapon of a race bike, so have been shocked after we realised that, whereas nonetheless packed stuffed with flat-out options, it seems to be prefer it’ll be an absolute hoot on the path.
Relating to seems to be, it’s bought to be among the best wanting bikes launched this 12 months too, with its design engineers quoting the Lockheed Martin X-35 fighter jet as an aesthetic inspiration.
BMC says that it wasn’t chasing grams, both. In truth, it’s nearly portly at a claimed 1,037g for a medium body, and that’s as a result of BMC says it needed to construct a body that’s bought loads of sturdiness, in addition to offering loads of stiffness to stop it feeling like a moist noodle.
The geometry is, if you happen to nonetheless think about this an XC bike, pretty on the market, with a attain of 465mm in a big, a head angle of 67 levels and super-slammed 425mm chainstays.
There are racy options, although: a D-shaped seatpost is there to enhance compliance, and appears distinctly much like some aero profiles we’ve see on curly-barred bikes in recent times (an adaptor is offered to suit a spherical 27.2mm dropper, must you want), and it’s nonetheless constructed round 100mm forks.
Costs are distinctly un-Swiss, with alloy bikes beginning at €1,199, and the top-carbon mannequin reaching €3,999.
So, might this be one of many first ‘downcountry’ hardtails? We’re actually wanting ahead to slinging a leg over one and getting correctly rowdy on the paths with it quickly.
4. GT Zaskar LT
Just like the ARC, the Zaskar has been round a very long time, and began life as a do-it-all mountain bike – by which, again then, meant it was completely positioned between the tapes.
Nonetheless, it too has advanced, and represents the trendy day, aluminium hardcore path hardtail.
The hydroformed aluminium body options GT’s iconic triple triangle design, with the seatstays extending previous the seat tube into the highest tube. This floating design not solely signifies it as a GT, however can be claimed to spice up consolation by way of the again finish, with a rise of fifty per cent within the body’s compliance, apparently.
The 2-bike Zaskar LT vary begins at £1,000, and comes with a 130mm journey fork, although they’ll fortunately take a 140mm fork must you need a bit of extra front-end give.
The vary tops out at simply £1,300 with the GT Zaskar LT Expert, which we scored 4 stars out of 5 after we reviewed it just lately. We discovered the bike oozed confidence on quick, tough and steep trails, because of its lengthy, low and slack geometry, and burly tyres that added each grip and a bit of extra consolation.
If you’d like a modern-day tackle a basic nineties mountain bike, however can’t fairly stretch to a nigh-on £9k Yeti, the Zaskar LT might be proper up your road.
5. Large Talon and Liv Tempt
Hardtails have lengthy been the entry level for mountain bikers, because of their lower cost and ease of possession. Whereas it’s straightforward to get swayed by carbon this and compliant that, the fact is that almost all of people that need to trip a mountain bike will likely be entry stage bikes from among the largest manufacturers round.
Large and, by extension, Liv, is without doubt one of the largest bike producers on this planet, providing their body building providers to a broad array of different manufacturers too, so that they know a factor or two about constructing bikes on a large scale. This results in aggressive pricing and high-spec frames for the money.
Each manufacturers’ bikes function 100mm of journey up entrance, with the Tempt’s women-specific geometry being designed round knowledge gathered on physique dimensions.
Whereas mountain biking is at their core, Large and Liv have realised that these entry stage mountain bikes typically carry out quite a few roles, so count on to see rack and fender mounts to spice up versatility.
Pricing for each the Talon and Tempt begins at £399 and tops out at £850, for which you get a 12-speed Shimano groupset and air-sprung fork – not unhealthy!
So, that’s our checklist of the highest hardtails for 2021. It’s a broad combine, which we hope may have one thing to tempt riders from throughout the self-discipline. There are a great deal of hardtails on the market, although, so drop a notice within the feedback if there are any bikes you suppose we’ve missed out.