Mountain Biking - What Specialized Hardrock Model
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01-26-12, 04:47 PM
Hey guys I am looking into picking up an entry level mountain bike. I was able to ride around on a Hardrock 29er last week and I really liked the frame and the way it fit me (19"). Now I am trying to decide what model I want. Since it is a mountain bike I assume the components will need replacing a lot faster than on a road bike so I was planning on getting the 2012 Hardrock disc version and upgrading the stock components over time as it fails. Then I realized it has a 7 speed drive train and so I am now hesitant and now I wonder if I should just pick up the 2012 Hardrock Sport Disc since it comes with 8 speed drive train and upgraded avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes. I dislike the fact that this series comes stock with suntour forks and 80mm travel but I weight about 140 (5'11"; long torso) so hopefully I do not bottom out too much. I really hope Specialized designed it around the 80mm fork for the reason of it being lighter up front and more responsive. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks any insight would be much appreciated.
01-27-12, 12:36 AM
Mountain bike components require replacing faster than a road bike? Where ever did you get that silly notion? As long as you maintain the bike and don't leave it out in the elements...
The low end components hung on a decent frame is an old product manager trick to keep the complete bike price attractive. I would personally stay away from anything 7spd or even 8spd. Nothing wrong with them, they'll work but the parts will be low end and on the heavy end. The standard these days is at least 9spd.
I can't speak to the Suntour fork. That's another cost savings measure decision by the product manager. 80mm is the minimum for a 29er, woould be a bit on the short side if it were a current model 26er.
Not sure what your budget is but check out the Rockhoppper. I have an 09 Rockhopper and am very happy w/ it
01-30-12, 09:11 PM
If you can reach for the 8 speed over the 7 speed, do it. Upgrading at a later date from 7 to 8 will have to include a new rear wheel because the 7 speed is probably a freewheel set up where the 8 speed is the large freehub that is used on the 8, 9 or 10 speed set ups. As for the fork, I'd go with the Suntour, then upgrade after you wear it out to a really good quality fork.
On my 26er bikes, I traded the stock Manitou forks for used FOX F-100s from ebay and am real happy with that move.
01-31-12, 08:11 AM
I looked at the Stumpjumper and hardrock but settled on the Rockhopper. I am very pleased with it. There ate a lot of bikes at $1000 with better components off the shelf but the specialized frame was the best hardtail frame I came across in that price range. So far the componets have worked fine other than the rear derailleur "half-shifting" due to some large grain sand in the mechanics. The Suntour fork rides well but I can tell its not built as well as some. I will probably eventually replace it with a nice remote lockout fork. The Suntour crank is not the best either but again I figure I will break it and then upgrade to a nice splined one. I agree with RobE30, for a few bucks more u can get the rockhopper and the M4 frame.
01-31-12, 09:08 PM
Thanks for the advice! I may go for the Hardrock sport disc model. On another note, I also found a shop 2 hours away that has a 2011 Cannondale SL2 26er for $799 plus tax and a 2011 Cannondale Flash F3 26er for $899 plus tax. I feel like pulling the trigger on the Flash and feel like it is a good deal but the price is more than I originally wanted to spend ($700). Should I just suck it up and grab the Flash instead?
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