I know that bikes built for downhill can't be ridden up because of the extra weight and suspension, but when we're talking about hardtails that are lighter and have smaller tubing, what part of the bike influences its uphill ability? I was looking at the Norco Sasquatch and heard that it's a tough uphill ride. On a bike like this, is it the frame geometry which is the deciding factor?
Yes. Much of it is due to the slacker headtube angle and the tall front end (I think about 6 inches) makes the front wheel wander during climbs.
And a slacker seat tube angle which puts you further back on the bike and makes it harder putting power to the pedals.
A lot of the differences can be compensated for by changing climbing technique but you likely will never climb as if you were on a XC race bike. But then again, people don't buy bikes like the Sasquatch for their climbing ability.
If you notice on the Norco website, the Sasquatch is classified as a "Shore (read: freeride) Hardtail".
What you're talking about in terms of a hardtail is a XC hardtail.
And therein lies my problem. I kind of want a bit of both worlds. The Specialized P. All Mountain was recommended to me as a good all-around bike. But if you ask me, the Sasquatch and P. All Mtn seem to have very similar frame size and angles. Not to mention that the Norco is less expensive and seems to have a good reputation.