Bicycle frames are constructed from materials which place emphasis on being strong, lightweight and stiff to aid power transfer. Aluminium, titanium, steel and carbon are widely used in all levels of frame production.
Bicycle wheels come in a wide range of sizes from 12" wheels found on smaller Kids Bikes to larger 29" Mountain Bike and 700c Road Bike wheels. Larger wheels are normally faster and more stable at speed and their larger contact patch improves grip too. Smaller wheels are normally lighter, more manoeuvrable and have quicker acceleration.
Wheel sizes are defined by the country that first popularised the style of bike that used them - so you'll see some imperial and some metric measurements listed. Wiggle includes the ISO standard in brackets after each for ease of comparison.
A Hardtail is a mountain bike without rear suspension. A hardtail offers a rider a lightweight and easy to maintain mountain bike. Hardtails also provide a great entry level type of bike as they encourage riders to improve their technique and select the best riding lines on the trail.
Adult hardtail mountain bikes have 26in or 29in wheels, the nominal diameter of the wheel and tyre. Many riders look to bikes with rear suspension too, but others love the precise handling and low weight of hardtails on difficult terrain. 29in wheeled hardtails are growing fast in popularity because bigger wheels and tyres roll so smoothly over rough terrain.
Different manufacturers use different category labels for their hardtails. 'XC' or 'Cross Country' implies less weight for more speed on terrain where fast easy climbing is a priority. 'Trail' implies that a bike is suitable for heavier duty use. 'Trail' hardtails are burlier in design and usually have longer travel forks than 'XC' hardtails. Most mountain bikes in the lower price categories are designed mainly for general utilitarian use. Please consult Wiggle’s bike buying guide to learn more about identifying the right hardtail bike for you.