Choosing the right electric MTB can be more challenging than you thought. It is a big investment decision, and there are too many options. But the most crucial category concerns the suspension.
Should you choose a hardtail or a full suspension electric mountain bike? While both bikes offer excellent performance, one will perform better than the other in certain conditions.
When it comes to speed, for instance, a hardtail mountain ebike is the most recommended option for uphill and softer roads. It can be used for normal daily commuter activities.
Full suspension electric mountain bikes, on the other hand, perform better downhill and single-way trail riding. They are much heavier but with better handling in such conditions, making them perfect for mountain riding.
They normally come with the most powerful batteries and motor systems, assuring a bigger assist in the rider’s leg power.
About Hardtail Electric Mountain Bikes
Let’s start by looking at what each bike offers and what makes them perfect for speed. A hardtail mountain ebike features only one suspension on the front fork. The rear does not have a shock absorber, which is why they are called hardtail.
Most cyclists today are familiar with hardtail electric mountain bikes because they are the most popular. Also, they are more affordable and versatile.
The front fork features metal coils or compressed air/fluid. Bumps and vibrations are absorbed only at the front.
These bikes are popular in cross-country and trail riding, and backpacking. Depending on the brand, they may offer more features that make them useful in a wide range of applications.
What Makes Hardtail EMTBs Fast?
Choosing the right ebike only makes sense if the features are right. And that’s why you need to take your time and go through different products to find one that has everything you need.
Generally, hardtail electric mountain bikes have the following features, which could make them fast or slower.
The rigid frame is the first thing you will notice on a hardtail mountain ebike. This means it is a single piece, which makes it much lighter than full suspension electric mountain bikes.
And because of their reduced weight, front suspension electric mountain bikes are much easier to handle on the streets. You can ride it for a long distance without feeling too tired.
Here is why such ebikes could be faster:
- The rigid frame transfers power directly from the pedals to the rear wheel. This direct transfer exerts less pressure on the motor, maximizing power output. With the right cadence, these bikes can be extremely fast.
- Fewer moving parts mean the bikes are much lighter. Riders have less energy to accelerate and maintain speed.
- Most of the power is spent on pushing the bike forward when pedaling, this increases the bike’s efficiency and speed uphill and on flatter terrain.
- Riders don’t waste energy compressing the rear suspension. This also gives the bike more boosts when riding uphill while assuring easier navigation.
- Hardtail ebikes are designed to allow riders to have a front derailleur in addition to the rear one. They get more gearing options to make the ride easier and faster.
In summary, hardtail electric mountain bikes promise maximum uphill and gravel road riding performance. They promise good suspension support for comfort while delivering substantial torque from the motor.
Full Suspension Electric Mountain Bikes
As the name suggests, full suspension electric mountain bikes feature both front and rear suspension. Both shocks are effective in absorbing most of the shocks from bumps, rocks, and uneven terrain. Hence, the bikes handle the vibrations that come with them a lot better than hardtail ebikes, giving the rider a more comfortable ride.
If you are riding in extremely rough conditions and experience back pains, we recommend choosing a full suspension electric mountain bike. It’s more efficient and comfortable since shock absorption is evenly balanced.
Full suspension electric bikes are not very common among cyclists because they are more expensive and demanding. Their complexity requires an experienced rider with enough bank balance. Even their spare parts are more challenging to access.
However, these are the best bikes for maximum traction, control, and handling. Riders can go for longer distances without fatigue, which causes back pains.
Softail ebikes are excellent for downhill riding. The suspension system handles the big jumps and hard landing much better than hardtails.
What Makes Full Suspension EMTBs Fast?
It’s important to emphasize that softail electric mountain bikes are for experienced riders. The bikes can help them improve their riding experience and learn better ways of handling certain riding conditions.
Here are some of the most important things to note about them:
- The full suspension system ensures the tires maintain good grip and contact with the ground at all times. This gives the rider better traction and handling control to ride faster.
- The suspension system absorbs shocks and dampens vibrations when the rider hits rocks, roots, bumps, and more on the rough trails.
- Since the bike will not move around too much when you hit a rock, you won’t lose your forward momentum. This is one of the reasons why they are ideal for riding downhill, even at top speeds.
- The frame features two pieces; the main frame and the swingarm. The rear suspension is integrated with the frame, connecting both pieces. This could make it a bit tougher on the rider uphill since it’s heavier.
- Riders can reach and maintain higher speeds on technical terrains using full-suspension e-MTBs better than they do with hardtail bikes. The suspension system handles the impact of hitting objects on the road.
Softail ebikes have more parts, which makes them heavier. But they have excellent grips and tractions to make them faster downhill because of their fat tires and the suspension system.
Both hardtail and full suspension electric mountain bikes are fast in their own rights. It’s hard to say which one offers better speed because they are designed for specific riding conditions.
Hardtail electric mountain bikes are the best for cross-country biking. They can fly at a maximum speed over smooth terrain. And they are more battery efficient.
For technical trails, full suspension EMTB bikes are much faster. They allow riders to decent with more confidence, fueled by a powerful motor and gravity.
So, choose a hardtail ebike if you want more speed on smoother trails. But for more challenging terrains, the best speed will only come from a softail ebike. Which one do you want?