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.
Brake and gear cables are traditionally attached to bicycle frames with lugs on the outside of the tubing, this is known as external routing.
Recent advances in technology have allowed manufacturers to route the cables through the inside of the tubing, this is known as internal routing. Internal routing gives a very clean appearance, can increase the stiffness of the frame due to additional channels and in some cases may provide aerodynamic benefits too.
For certain applications, including full suspension bikes and cyclocross bikes, manufacturers use an outer cable along the full length of the cable to protect the inners from mud, water or accidental damage, this is known as full outer.
Major bike manufacturers produce a new range of bikes on an annual basis and this determines the model year of a particular bike. This annual turnover is fuelled by advancing technology, industry trends and customer demand for a particular feature or style of bicycle.
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.
If you are looking for a mountain bike that can comfortably negotiate bumpy, cross-country, singletracks yet still be quick and nimble on the road, then a hardtail bike is for you. Hard tail mountain bikes have front suspension, weigh less and are more pedal efficient when the terrain is smooth, than full suss bikes. A good number of single track racers still use hardtails for these reasons. At wiggle, we stock a wide variety of hardtail mountain bike brands including Felt, Focus, GT, Kona, Mongoose, Saracen and more. So if you are searching for superb, quality spec hardtail mountain bikes at great value with a legendary service to match, then you've come to the right place.