The Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes of 2022

Hardtail mountain bikes are perfect for anyone looking for a simpler riding experience. Whether you ride trail, race XC, or go big on enduro and downhill tracks, there's a hardtail here for you.

The Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes of 2022

Written by
Bruce Lin

Published on

Posted in
Guides

Photo: John Watson

Despite all of the advances in mountain bike technology over the last 40 years, the classic hardtail is still going strong. Here at TPC, we actually sell as many hardtails as we do long-travel enduro rigs. For some, the simplicity and feel of a rigid rear end has no equal.

Want to dial in your riding skills? Hardtails let you feel every bump and dip in the trail, so you have no choice but to up your riding game. On a tight budget? Without rear suspension, hardtails are cheaper to buy and less expensive to maintain. Looking for your first mountain bike, a fun trail weapon to add to your quiver, or the perfect one-bike quiver killer? A good ol’ hardtail is probably the right answer. To help you find the perfect hardtail mountain bike, I’ve picked out some of the best hardtails for sale right now at TPC. 

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Best Trail Hardtails

Rocky Mountain Fusion

Rocky Mountain Fusion

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The affordable Rocky Mountain Fusion is the perfect first bike for newer riders on a budget. 29” wheels paired with a 100mm fork and modern long/slack geometry give riders the confidence to develop some sick riding skills. The aluminum frame can take a beating, and as you improve, you can upgrade the components to keep up. 

Specialized Fuse Comp

Specialized Fuse Comp

[product-block handle="2022-specialized-fuse-comp-29-m"/]

The Specialized Fuse is like having multiple bikes in one. Want to play with different wheel sizes? The Fuse is compatible with 29”, 27.5”, and 27.5+ wheels. Want to do a singlespeed conversion? It comes with handy sliding dropouts. Just want to shred? The slack geo, burly aluminum frame, and a 130mm fork give the Fuse a playful attitude that loves to pop off jumps and slap berms. 

Santa Cruz Chameleon 

Santa Cruz Chameleon

[product-block handle="2022-santa-cruz-chameleon-d-al-m "/]

The Santa Cruz Chameleon blends in perfectly with your terrain and riding style. With a 65-degree head angle and 130mm fork, it will rip down fast and gnarly singletrack. But load up your bags, and you can turn it into a backcountry adventure rig. Adjustable dropouts and the ability to run multiple tire configurations let you tune it for your needs. Don’t take my word for it though, check out the in-depth review on The Radavist for more.

Bombtrack Cale AL

Bombtrack Cale AL

[product-block handle="2022-bombtrack-cale-al-l-matt-hazy-green"/]

Need something tough and reliable for everyday trail abuse? Bombtrack comes from the BMX world, so it knows how to build bombproof bikes. The Cale is similar to the Specialized Fuse and Santa Cruz Chameleon in terms of geometry and suspension travel, so it’s a great alternative if you’re looking for something from a smaller, more indie manufacturer. 

Yeti ARC Turq

Yeti ARC Turq

[product-block handle="2021-yeti-arc-turq-s"/]

If you enjoy the finer things in life, then this beautiful, top-of-the-line Yeti ARC is the hardtail for you. With a lightweight Turq carbon frame, modern geometry, and a 130mm fork, it combines XC weight with an enduro attitude. It’s the ultimate do-it-all hardtail for those who love to conquer challenging climbs, let loose on descents, and look good doing it. 

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Best XC hardtails

BMC Twostroke 01

BMC Twostroke

[product-block handle="2022-bmc-twostroke-01-three-m "/]

If you’re an aspiring XC racer, this BMC Twostroke is the fastest way to finish without breaking the bank. It gives you a premium carbon frame and a complete build that weighs only 22 pounds — all for less than three grand! Use the money you save on some racey upgrades and before you know it, you’ll be the next Tom Pidcock.  

Orbea Alma M

Orbea Alma M

[product-block handle="2022-orbea-alma-m-pro-l-car-gol"/]

If you’re aiming for the top of the podium, the Orbea Alma is the bike you want. It’s won World Cups, world championships, and Olympic gold. The geometry has been perfected through decades of racing at the highest level, making it the ideal blend of stability and agility. Right out of the box, this Alma M Pro build is ready to race at the highest level. 

Best enduro hardtails

Marin El Roy

Marin El Roy

[product-block handle="2021-marin-el-roy-m"/]

Marin calls the El Roy the "Party Hardy Hardtail". The mega slack 63° head tube angle demands to be pointed straight downhill, and the bombproof steel frame gives you the confidence to huck it off anything. It’s not a one-note rig though. 29er wheels and a super steep seat tube make it competent enough to pedal back uphill for more laps.

Chromag Stylus

Chromag Stylus

[product-block handle="2021-chromag-stylus-m-1"/]

The Chromag Stylus doesn’t play by the rules with its big 160mm fork and playful 27.5” wheels. You can even run old-school 26” wheels if you want! With its super-short seat tube and low standover, it’s essentially a long-travel dirt jumper. Drop the seat completely out of the way to boost the biggest jumps or jib and slash your way down super steep trails.

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