What Is The Difference Between Hard Tail And Full Suspension E Bikes

Posted by Michael Ladouceur on

In the world of bicycles, be it traditional, electric or electric mountain, there are basically two suspension models. Hard tail (fixed frame) and full suspension. There used to be three, complete fixed frame, (no suspension in the front or back) but these are basically no existent anymore as having no suspension on the front half of a bike is very hard on wrists and shoulders when riding. This kind of bicycle is reserved for competitive street cyclists who don’t have to deal with any major bumps and are more concerned about saving on weight rather than ride quality.

 

Hard tail is the most common frame on electric bikes and electric mountain bikes these days. Hard tail e bikes an e mountain bikes have full suspension on the front half of the frame but zero suspension on the back, or “tail”, hence the term “hard tail e mountain bike”. E Mountain Bike Company have a few good examples of this kind of e bike which you can find here and here. These bikes are good for basic trail riding or commuting but if you are planning to do any serious mountain biking you are going to want to consider full suspension.

 

Full Suspension Electric bikes have suspension on both ends of the frame. There are a few reasons for this which I will discuss in a minute but first I want to talk about the different types. I won’t get into every configuration manufactures have come up with when is comes to tail suspension on e mountain bikes but basically I want to make the point that when shopping, keep you eye on travel distance: the length and size of the spring or shock and the fixture points. You can see some examples of different rear suspension styles once again on emountainbikecompany.com (specifically here and here). You are looking for strong anchor points on either end of the spring or shock and depending on your intentional use of the bike, the longest or biggest shock. As this will, in most cases, give the smoothest ride.

 

The benefits of full suspension become immediately apparent the second you leave the beaten path or street. Anytime you start down rough terrain on a hard tail e mountain bike a funny thing happens; because there is no suspension on the rear to absorb the jars and bumps, all that energy gets reverberated through the rest of the bike and more often than not ends with your feet being bounced of the pedals. This is not good. You can easily hurt your shins or ankles not to mention possibly loosing control.

 

All to say that both styles have their positive and negative aspects (one being that full suspension are generally significantly more expensive) but if you can see yourself carving your own path down the mountain or wanting to catch a little air with your e mountain bike you are defiantly going to want to consider full suspension as your go to option.

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