Pump track bike: Hardtail or suspension?


Do you recommend that pump track bikes should have front and back suspension?

– Robbie

Hey Robbie,


Hardtails are much more efficient than suspension bikes. You can ride them faster with less effort. Over the past week I’ve done a couple 100-lap pump enduros:

P.1 hardtail: 23 minutes

SX suspension: 25 minutes, with much higher effort; and that’s with a rock-hard shock

If your technique is clean, you’ll get more pop out of a hardtail. But a suspension bike is still super fun. You can carve turns harder, and the suspension erases some of your mistakes. As a matter of fact, if you know your business you can RAIL a suspension bike on a pump track.

As always, it comes down to style. I’ve seen great riders rip on both types of bikes:

Hardtails: Brian Lopes, Jon Watt, Ross Milan, Elliot Hoover

Suspension: Steve Wentz, Chris Herndon, Curtis Keene, Bobbi Watt

I’m all about guidelines, so here’s one:

For pure pump track action, rock a hardtail for sure.

For a mix of pump track, dirt jump, 4X, slalom and whatever, rock whichever you prefer.

Pump Track Nation!

— Lee

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