Ask MBA: Enduro Hardtails


Hardtail Enduro Quandary

2019 Whyte 905

Q: What is your take on all the enduro hardtails that are popping up here and there with slack geometry and plus-size tires, like the Whyte 905 or 909? I guess you save some money on cost and maintenance compared to a “fully,” but how do they perform on tough trails, like black- or red-grade trails, compared to a fully? And what are the general pros and cons?

—Via email

Marin Bikes San Quentin 3

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Niner Bikes SIR 9 5-STAR

A: Hardtail trail bikes rely heavily on geometry and the ambitions of the rider, along with tire volume and a well-tuned suspension. These bikes are generally lower maintenance considering they have fewer moving parts, but you will probably need to replace or repair your wheels more often. These bikes do ride a bit rougher since they don’t have rear suspension and will rely on the rider’s skills to compensate for that.

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