An Introduction to Steel Hardtail Mountain Bike

MTB comes in different kinds and models. One of them is the hardtail bike which has a frame made of steel, carbon, or titanium. Knowing the kind of MTB you need can help you choose the right one. We give you an insight about the steel hardtail here.

Part 1: Introduction to the Framework

According to the name, a mountain bike is destined to explore the mountainous area or, more specifically, the off-road. This makes the frames very important. The bicycle frame design is based on the safety bicycle and consists of two triangles: the main triangle and a paired rear triangle. This is referred to as the diamond frame. Based on the framework, MTB can be divided into three types: fully rigid, hardtail and softail. The fully rigid type is a stiff frame without suspension. This kind of bike is still comfortable if used only in the housing complex or a land road with not too many bumps.

steel hardtail

The second type, the hardtail, is the most common MTB to be found since many people prefer to choose this kind of bike. The fork of this kind of MTB has already used the telescopic suspension, but not in the tail. The framework is made rigid by not adding suspension on the frame. This makes the maximum suspension is only in the front fork/suspension. As mentioned before, a hardtail is a bike with a strong frame and a front suspension fork. This allows the two sections of the frame to move independently, with a shock absorber controlling the rate of movement.

The third type, also called the full suspension MTB, is usually used at the medium off-road track up to extreme ones. Although a hardtail mountain bike is not as striking as the full-suspension one, still many riders prefer this kind. It is substantially less expensive, simple as well as low cost if compared to the full suspension MTB. Based on the material, the hardtail can either be made of steel or carbon. But there are also others made of titanium or aluminum. In this article, we will be focusing on steel hardtail MTB.

Part 2: Precautions for Frame Selection

A bicycle frame is the primary component of a bicycle, upon which wheels and other components are mounted. Since it is as the center of the bike, the frame is often referred to as a bike’s heart. Frames must be strong, stiff, and light, which they achieve by combining various materials and shapes. As has been noted, there are different materials used to make the bike’s frame including mountain bikes, among others: aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, titanium, and steel. Naturally, each of them has unique characteristics, benefits, and drawbacks. Each bicycle frame material has a unique set of characteristics that influence the price, comfort, weight, stiffness, strength, and durability.

The size of the frame is also important. The size of your frame affects your riding comfort as well as your agility, speed, and safety. The best frame size for you is determined by variables such as your height, inseam, and riding style, but it is also a matter of personal preference. So, sizing a bicycle is not really reliable. You must consider all of these factors before making a decision to buy a certain bike. You do this in order to ensure that you are making a wise investment in your future. It is really important to buy the one that is according to your purpose of biking. Now, let’s discuss more about the materials used for the bike’s frame.

  • Aluminum alloys

Aluminum alloys have a lower density and strength than steel alloys, but they have a better strength-to-weight ratio, giving them significant weight advantages over steel. Aluminum is significantly lighter than steel. As a result, an aluminum frame can be constructed using oversized tubing to achieve a high level of stiffness with thicker walls while remaining lightweight. Even though aluminum frames are generally thought to be lighter than steel frames, this is not always the case. A low-grade aluminum frame may be heavier than a high-grade steel frame. Aluminum bike frames, unlike steel bike frames, are not prone to rust and subsequent corrosion. Aluminum bikes are low-maintenance and ideal for mountain biking and other activities conducted even in wet conditions. This is due to their rust resistance.

  • Carbon fiber composite

It is a popular non-metallic material used to make bicycle frames. Carbon fiber and aluminum are both extremely strong materials; otherwise, it would be impossible to construct bicycles out of them. Carbon fiber has a reputation for being weak, but in reality, its strength-to-weight ratio is higher than steel. However, it is not as strong as titanium. Despite its high cost, it is lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and strong, and it can be formed into almost any shape desired. As a result, the frame can be fine-tuned for specific strength where it is required to withstand pedaling forces while remaining flexible in other frame sections for comfort.

  • Titanium

Titanium has many of the same properties as steel, but it is more corrosion and fatigue resistant (it has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all metals. It has high specific strength, a high fatigue limit, and excellent corrosion resistance. Titanium mountain bikes have a well-deserved reputation for ride quality due to the thin-walled, high-strength tubing, and it’s been a popular – if pricey – choice for off-road frames since the sport’s inception. Titanium’s properties and reasonable stiffness contribute to more pleasant ride quality, making the material popular among cyclists who prioritize comfort over performance. Even very light frames can be stiff and strong enough for larger riders.

  • Steel frames

Steel hardtail mountain bikes are frequently constructed with various steel alloys, including Chromoly. They are durable, simple to work with, and reasonably priced. Unlike aluminum, steel is resilient, allowing for stronger seamless steel tubes. Steel is also dependable in that it fails in a predictable manner, bending before breaking. They are, however, denser (and thus heavier) than many other structural materials. When compared to aluminum-based frames, hardtail MTB steel provides a more comfortable riding experience. A high-quality steel frame is typically lighter than a standard steel frame. If all else is equal, this weight loss can improve the bicycle’s acceleration and climbing performance.

Steel is a tough material that is forgiving once your bike is fully loaded. Along with enough mounts for racks, cargo cages, and water bottles. Many bikepackers and trail mountain bikers prefer steel hardtail bikes as their primary weapon. Because of the demands of carrying heavy loads and hauling all of your gear. For that, you will need a bike that can handle long days in the saddle. Steel mountain bikes are inexpensive to purchase and maintain. When it comes to maintenance, it is usually easier because there is less going on. When you break your frame unintentionally, if it’s made of steel, you can simply weld it back together.

Part 3: Price Selection Considerations

The price and other details may differ depending on the size and color of the product. Hardtails are inexpensive to purchase and operate. You can frequently get a much higher quality hardtail for the same price as a low-quality full suspension bike if you know what your priorities are. A good mountain bike will cost between $400 and $800, but there are many ways to save even more money on a good bike. Although some of the newer mountain bikes can easily cost thousands of dollars, there are many excellent options available at a reasonable price.

There are some factors that determine the price of a mountain bike, such as strength-to-weight ratios, research and development, profitability, and price-point settings. We recommend looking at hardtails for no less than $1,500 and full suspension for $2,000 to $2,500. You can certainly buy a bike for less money, especially if you avoid name brands or are willing to accept inferior parts. So, how did mountain bikes become so expensive? Mountain bikes are costly due to the use of high-quality components and technology; some MTBs can cost up to $13,000.

To keep your ride safe, you’ll need durable bike parts that can withstand a beating. The price of a steel hardtail mountain bike also varies depending on the size, model, and color. Here are some examples of price ranges of the best steel hardtail mountain bikes: Esker Japhy from $2,000. Niner Sir 9: from $2,399. Marine Pine Mountain 2: $2,369. Kona Big Honzo ST: $2,399. Norco Torrent: from $2,499. Ribble HT 725 XS: €1,746. How much money you will spend is in accordance with your choice of bike and the budget.

Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is suspension?
    It refers to the system or systems used to suspend the rider and bicycle in order to
    insulate them from the roughness of the terrain. It is most commonly found on mountain
  • How many types of MTB are there?
    Three types: fully rigid, hardtails and full-suspension. Hardtails lack a rear shock and use
    either a suspension fork or a rigid fork. Full-suspension bikes have both front and rear
  • What is a hardtail MTB?
    It is a type of bicycle that is designed to be ridden on a variety of off-road terrains. It has a
    front suspension fork but no rear shocks.
  • What makes hardtails better?
    The hardtail, with its lighter weight and more rigid rear end, is more efficient when riding
    on the road or on smoother trails that require a lot of pedaling.
  • What materials are used for hardtails?
    Carbon fiber, steel alloy, aluminum alloy, and titanium are the most commonly used
  • Is it possible for a steel bike frame to rust?
    Bikes with steel frames will rust if left outside in the rain or snow. One small area of
    exposed steel can serve as a catalyst for oxidation.
  • How to prevent rust on a steel bike frame?
    It is strongly advised to apply a rust inhibitor to the inside of your frame at least once a season.
  • What are the advantages of a steel frame bike?
    Steel is extremely durable, has a high fatigue resistance, and can be easily repaired.
  • How is hardtail better compared to full suspension?
    The hardtail is lighter, simpler, less expensive, more durable, and more reliable than a
    frame with rear suspension.
  • What is the lightest metal used in bicycles?
    Aluminum is the lightest frame material, even lighter than carbon and titanium. Unlike steel, aluminum does not rust.

Part 5: Summary

Finding the best steel hardtail mountain bike is definitely not an easy job since there are so many options. When you know what the purpose of your biking is, you can decide which one to buy. If you like biking but you just want to bike around the city, it is better if you choose the fully rigid type. This is due to the fact that the roads you explore are easy and smooth, such as the roads around your housing complex. Hardtail bikes can be an option when the roads in the mountainous area are not too challenging. It is because this kind of bike only has one suspension, which is located at the front while the rear one is rigid.

If you enjoy riding mountain trails, even the most difficult ones, a Softail or full-suspension MTB is the best option for you. The two suspensions, the front, and rear allow your MTB to move flexibly in the areas. A hardtail can be your best option if you like biking in the mountains as well as on the city roads. A hardtail requires less upkeep. When there is a problem with the suspension you can fix it by yourself or you just go to a bike shop to repair it. Another reason is the affordable price.

You can often get a much higher quality hardtail for the same price as a low-quality full suspension bike. These are the reasons why many people prefer to choose steel hardtail MTB. So, if you want to enjoy the city streets as much as the mountain trails, a steel hardtail mountain bike is the best option you can get. After you have decided what kind of MTB bike you want to buy, it is time to check the market for the price.