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MTB Hardtails: Stiff frames vs Flexible frames

Roux 1

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Which type of MTB hardtail will be the fastest over a certain terrain?


Example. Giant carbon and new Marida carbon. 


Why does certain manufacturers opt for more flexibility while others go total stiffness.



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I read a article some time ago on the german BIKE magazine were they tested high-end race carbon bikes against one another on a XC course.


They took two racers (Stephan Sahm (spelling?) and one of the Fumic brothers), gave them two rounds each on a carbon HT (8 different manufacturers if I remember correctly. The rounds were done seperately and bikes were chosen randomly.


They tested, Spes, Cannondale, Merida, Ghost, etc. All current team issue bikes.


Then they measured things like speed and time in different sections of the XC course, cadence, heart rates, etc. and compare all the data.


From the results Sahm is a better racer than Fumic, yet the correlation between them (on the same HT) was amazing.


If you PM me your e-mail address I can mail you the comparison tables. Descriptions are in German.
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Thanks you have pm


The question is: would Max Knox then be faster on his old Giant than the new raleigh.  Maybe asking would help.




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my opinion on this will be that geometery is more important than flex for a production mtb frame. - open for argument


different seatposts, shocks(type/thru axle?), crank arms are more prone to movement/flex and that is where the stiff/flexable should come in.


maybe someone has some data that can help.


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I checked the data again,

The riders used were Manni Fumic and Karl Platt


The bikes tested (2009 team issue Carbon HT) were;










 Rocky mountain








The data included:


 Heart rate: Max/Average


 Pedal frequency (Average)


 Power output: Max/Average


 Speed: Max/Average


 Length of XC course (depends on the lines chosen)


The speed is also broken into section of the XC course.




vanniri2009-05-13 08:27:25
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