Why do I ride a hardtail?
Well, at the moment it's because I'm waiting for parts on my FS bike, but usually when I do it's because I want to.
It's for none of the reasons suggested above. My hardtail weighs more than my Nomad. I hate riding it on long rides, and I don't like riding smooth trails ever, unless they have big jumps on them, are called Aline and I'm on my way down from Garbo. And I don't really see it as being simplistic (certainly not when you're trying to pick a line).
The number one reason I ride a hardtail in places like Garbo zone is because it takes exactly 3 roots before I'm switched on and fired up. None of this 2 lap warm up wake up shit on a DH bike. Nothing like getting the sense knocked into you 3 seconds into your first run and then you're ready to rip.
Number 2. It makes familiar trails new again and it makes easier trails harder. I like to ride it sometimes when I ride with my wife. It's supposed to slow me down, but it usually just makes me act sillier.
Number 3. It does wonders for your 'beatdown fitness'. Want to get good at taking abuse from bulk DH laps? A couple of days on the hardtail here and there will make riding top to bottom non stop laps on a DH bike feel much easier.
Number 4. I don't give a shit what anyone else thinks, but I feel like a rockstar in my own head when I destroy a high speed rough section, especially when I'm tailing someone on a DH bike and they can't drop me. Sometimes you can hold them, and sometimes you can't. It's the challenge in trying that makes it fun.
Number 5. RDS (and others like it) is just awesome to do once in a while on a bike that makes everything harder.
Not all the time; not even most of the time, but once in a while it is just plain fun to make myself hurt and struggle, with both my body and my mind, as I try and ride my Stylus down some gnarly rough shit as fast as I possibly can. Good clean fun.
But after 3 months of waiting for parts to build my Nomad, I'm admittedly over it. I see a HT as a 2nd or 3rd bike and never an only bike for me.
I think this guy nails it. I'd add Number 6 - less maintenance cost/time [HTML_REMOVED] shock fiddle.
If being fast on rough descents or hucks are important to you [HTML_REMOVED] you're over 35 (ie not Jinya), I think you should look elsewhere before choosing HT. Of course, when you old guys come off the bike at those speeds, you'll need to budget for PT. The HT guys are the only ones with creaky bones…