Two-saddle or hardtail – what to choose, the differences

More and more cyclists are switching to mountain bikes. After all, it is mountain bikes that withstand extreme riding on bumps and bumps. The beginners have a question: two-saddle or hardtail – what is it, and which model is better to choose?

Fans of cycling do not spare their strength and test the level of endurance over long distances. Therefore, the search for an iron friend is not an empty sound. It is from the bike will depend on the speed and jumping over obstacles, it must withstand heavy loads.

But most importantly, the pleasure of riding depends on the bike model. If you don’t enjoy riding your bike, you’ll end up being disappointed in your rides. You will stop craving them and may lose the drive. Decide on a bike model so you can enjoy every ride and win at competitions.

In this article, let’s look at the differences between models – hardtail or two-pods – their pros and cons. We will find out what is better to choose for the city, and what for the competition – a two-saddle or a hardtail.

Riding style and suspension features

Riding style determines the model of the bike:

  • if you are a fan of speed and drive on a flat road – look highway;
  • If you ride daily to work or the supermarket, look for a city bike;
  • If you are drawn to the off-road, to test themselves in the mountain bike discipline, choose a bike among two-saddle and hardtail for cross country or downhill.

When choosing mountain bikes, it’s important to understand how the model behaves:

  1. During climbs and descents uphill;
  2. On paved roads;
  3. Trails in the woods.

The main difference between a two-pod and a hardtail bike is the presence of shock absorbers:

  • The two-pod has front and rear shock absorbers;
  • The hardtail has no rear shock, and the front one is only on some models.
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The rear suspension “reduces” the unevenness of the road. That is, riding a two-pod is easier and requires less effort from the rider.

On the hardtail when riding, bumps, potholes, rocks and tree roots are felt stronger. Therefore, riding on such a model is less comfortable, rather stiff.

Influence of suspension type

It’s easier to ride uphill on a 2-saddle and gentler to ride downhill. Road sections with tree roots and rocks are passable, and vibrations are less felt when riding. On paved roads, the two-pod has better dynamics.

The suspension does not hinder the movement, on the contrary, simplifies it, and makes riding a bike more comfortable and pleasant.

Features and nuances of hardtails

In translation from the English “Hard” means “hard” and “Tail” – “tail. Literally it turns out, “hard tail.”

The main feature is the absence of rear and the presence of only front fork. The rear wheel is connected to the bike frame. Because of this, the bike weighs less and can gain high speed on the road.

Hardtail is suitable for those mountain disciplines, where it is important speed, but not passability. The bike has better rollability.

Such a bike can be dangerous for people with spine or joint problems. Because all the vibrations are felt quite acutely.

Features and nuances of two-pods


The bike has both shock-absorbing forks – front and rear. Therefore, the vibrations when riding it will not be transmitted as much as when riding a hardtail. The rear suspension will “smooth out” the bumps in the road.

The bike is suitable for mountain disciplines where reliability, not speed, is important. Because the suspension increases the weight of the bike, but improves control over the road.

The difference between a 2-pod and a hardtail

The hardtail and two-pod have their differences, because they belong to two different classes of bicycles. By comparing the two, it will be easier to understand what is better to choose between a two-saddle or a hardtail.

Read also Differences between cyclocross, gravel and road bike

The main differences:

  1. Shock-absorbing fork.
  • Dual-suspension – front and rear.
  • Hardtail – only the front.
  1. Technical features
  • Two-saddle – increased weight, impressive appearance, higher price, the presence of attachments, the need to regularly repair the rear suspension.
  • Hardtail – less weight, easy maintenance in repair and operation.
  1. Riding style
  • Two-pod – better grip, comfortable ride, stability and handling on trips, low speed, poor dynamics on the flat road.
  • Hardtail – fast acceleration, high speed, poor grip, high rider load, uncomfortable ride.

Two-pods break down more often. The rear suspension constantly needs repair, and the frame and sprockets wear out faster. Cheap options break a lot more often, even though they look more impressive in the store. Choose from the middle and above price segment, otherwise the constant repair of the bike will disappoint you.

What to choose: a hardtail or a two-pedal

What to choose between a hardtail or a two-pedal

When choosing a bike, you should start with how it will be used:

  • In the city – on smooth paved roads is better to choose a hardtail, its weight and volume is less. Features two-pods simply will not be useful.
  • For freeride – on difficult off-road sections better suit the variant two-pods with a heavy solid frame. This makes for a more comfortable and safer ride.
  • Bicycle marathon – for long distances choose a hardtail. Less weight and ease of pedaling will save energy on the route.
  • In winter – for snow and mud, hardtails with wide wheels and a sturdy frame are suitable. Rear suspension is not needed in the cold, because at low temperatures it will start to sulk and reduce its cushioning qualities.
  • Kids – two-pods look brighter and more attractive, most likely children will like them more. But if a child needs to drag the bike home up the stairs, then definitely choose a lightweight hardtail.

Advantages and disadvantages of a two-pod and a hardtail

Let us summarize the pros and cons in the table. The hardtail wins in terms of ride quality, and the two-pod wins in terms of comfort and safety.

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Features Double suspension Hardtail
Speed +
Weight +
Comfort +
Price +
Appearance +
Drive +
Attachments +
Safety +

According to the table, the hardtail is the best option for beginners and speed lovers. The two-pods are chosen by professionals who think about their health and are willing to spend more money to buy a bike.

Recommendations from the author

Choose a hardtail if:

  • are ready to spend no more than 50 000 rubles on a bicycle;
  • Want to put a frame rack or child seat;
  • Will ride in the snow in the winter or participate in bicycle marathons.

Choose a two-pedal if:

  • Are willing to spend more than 50,000 rubles;
  • have problems with joints or spine;
  • Are engaged in an extreme sport.


Evaluate where and how you will use the bike. You don’t need to listen to your friends’ opinions, just your riding style. After all, you’ll be riding your bike, not them.

If your budget allows, and you do not need a trunk, then feel free to choose a two-pedal. But not a cheap variant, and the cost more than 60 thousand. If you will ride only on a flat road, and your budget is limited, then look for a hardtail.

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Comments: 1
  1. Tanya Ballard

    Great post! It’s really helpful to understand the differences between two-saddle and hardtail bikes. I think this information is invaluable for anyone trying to decide which bike is right for them. Thanks for sharing!

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