I am in the market for a new bike and come from a background of mainly cross country (XC) / all mountain (AM) type riding but have ridden BMX also in the past. I'm not averse to standing up and only having one gear, being quite an aggressive rider I am quite open to the idea of 'less to go wrong the better'.

The area where I live offers varied terrain including; canal paths, nature reserves, dedicated blue route mtb trails and a bmx track. My last ride was a full suspension AM specific build but it was overkill for the area and I am looking at getting into more street/dirt jump/pump track related riding but still ride the occasional XC / AM ride (2 - 3 hours) to mix things up.

My question is;

Would a single speed dirt jump specific frame offer me the flexibility to cover XC / AM occasionally but still allow me to ride from A to B and do some park / dirt riding, or would I be better suited at looking at a 'hardcore hardtail'?

  • 1
    Can you explain what the difference between the two styles is? All I'm seeing is the single-speed vs derailleur gears change, and possibly seat height. Gear count is a preference, seat height has much more effect, but it also easier to change. What differences matter to you?
    – Móż
    May 23, 2016 at 21:41
  • There is also generally some specific geometry differences, which I think are most important in this case. May 24, 2016 at 17:52
  • Sam, the problem I see here is that everyone can have a different opinion on this. I'm thinking that there is no "correct" answer.
    – andy256
    May 24, 2016 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


My short answer is no. A true dirt jump frame is going to be horrible for short XC riding and even worse for extended 2 to 3 hour rides. You won't be able to get the extension to pedal efficiently and will just end up wearing yourself out standing. I have a dirt jump frame and after only a couple short commutes on it (4 miles) I decided it wasn't worth commuting on it. A "hardcore hardtail" looks to be closer to what you should probably look at. It should be far more comfortable for extended riding, but still handle the abuse of a dirt track.

  • Nice work. All we need now is for Sam to accept this as the "correct" answer, and my comment on the question will be completely invalidated :-)
    – andy256
    May 26, 2016 at 4:56

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