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Old 12-14-06, 11:55 AM   #1
phoebeisis
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Specialized Hard rock-MTB-steel frame-older-Date??

Hi,
This isn't exactly a vintage iten, but folks here are pretty knowledgable about older stuff, and the MTB forum is younger folks that might not have much exposure to old "junk".
I got this frame yesterday-Craig's list. It certainly isn't any find of the day, but it will fit me, and it also takes a very large tire(Schwalbe 2.35 Super Moto fits) considering it must be 10-15 years old.It is small-15.5" and that caught my short legged eye. It will make a good beat around bike with huge tires to soften the potholes etc.
A couple of questions.
1)Roughly what year is it?The frame is crome moly(all the specialized HardRocks on Ebay are aluminum now), the steerer looks to be 1" threaded. It has odd rear dropouts-they are mainly horizontal, but in two parts.
2)Why the odd rear dropouts?
The first part is typical, but very shallow- behind it is a "hole".What is the hole for? You can mount a QR hub there, but why not use a typical dropout?

3)This other picture is a bunch of old-mainly steel wheels-Excel Mark 4 coaster type brake hub-that might have been Katrinaed.Some are frozen, most aren't.They are a number of different sizes- 26 1 3/8, 27 MTB type 26, a 16 inch and probably some others. The rims are almost all steel. If anyone near New Orleans wants then(Spiderman??) they are welcome to them. I don't think they are worth the price of shipping anywhere-just old rims, wheels from 20-30+ years ago. I had forgotten how pretty chromed steel rims-even rusted-can be, but they aren't worth scrap weight I'm afraid, and will go into my side yard until someone wants them free.The MTB wheel is the only one I want.
Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 12-14-06, 12:12 PM   #2
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I think 1989 or 90 maybe. I have no clue about the dropouts.
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Old 12-14-06, 12:38 PM   #3
phoebeisis
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Thanks

TimJ,
Thanks for the date-.
I wonder if the odd dropout was because someone thought that extreme(by 1990 standards) jumps/landings would be likely to bounce the QR out of a normal slide in dropout, so they had these holes for folks who planned to really hit hard?? I really have no idea either, since I don't see that on current bikes intended to take a beating.
Thanks,
Charlie
PS-The frame with everything but the wheel is 12 lbs-with just the fork and headset it would be about 8 lbs-not super heavy for 1990 is my guess.The frame has a very sturdy (thick tubing) feel to it-hand feel,I haven't ridden it yet.
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Old 12-14-06, 12:44 PM   #4
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My son's 1992 HardRock is similar, but different enough to support TimJ's theory.

The dropouts look as though someone made a running production change, possibly to address premature failure. Peugeot UO-8s had a removable stop in the left dropout, to match the wheel position constraint imposed by the derailleur hanging claw.
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Old 12-14-06, 12:48 PM   #5
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I have a similar HR (garage sale find) that has those same dropouts and BioPace chainrings. My guess is '89-'90. Whatever year, it makes an excellent all-around commuter/grocery-getter/kid-trailer-hauler.
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Old 12-14-06, 12:53 PM   #6
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I don't think it would be intended to put the skewer through, that was an entry-level bike and there's no way specialized would consider it something for hard-core riding, plus it doesn't make sense. The axle still needs to be in the dropout, you'd have to spread the stays apart to put your wheel in... it just doesn't make sense that it would have anything to do with the wheel mounting. My guess is they were transitioning from horizontal dropouts and for some reason that year what they had was those things- horizontal dropouts that are partially filled in.
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Old 12-14-06, 01:00 PM   #7
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John E

John E,
Thanks for the info. I was out of riding from 1981-2000, so I completely missed the start of mountain biking. It must have taken some brave/foolhardy souls to start riding a 60's 70's streets bike in hills. Many of the frames were pretty sturdy, but the brakes were a very bad joke.
1990 or so makes sense. Steel frames were probably still a little cheaper than aluminum. Guess it took computer controlled welding robots to make the quality control good enough with aluminum to make aluminum frames cheap and reliable.This frame feels very sturdy; I don't expect it to have an inherently better ride than an inexpensive aluminum frame, but I like the looks of the smaller diameter tubing-more graceful that the big tubing aluminum requires.
One thing about 1990 surprises me-it has exactly 3" between the fork tubes roughly where a tire will be. Why so wide? Is it just an accident of construction-steel tubes are thinner, so to get 100mm wide at the dropouts it has to be pretty wide up top?The fork tubes don't taper out at all-they rapidly widen from the crown then go straight down.
It is great, since it will allow a big tire to soften the ride, but I din't think the tires were that big in 1990.The rear is just a touch less than 2.5" wide at the tire. Wider than my 1997 Trek Y-bike.
Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 12-14-06, 01:03 PM   #8
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I have 2.5 inch semi-knobbies on mine. The 2.5's aren't just wider, they're taller too, so much so that the total outside diameter is almost the same as 700x23 road wheel/tire.
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Old 12-14-06, 01:51 PM   #9
phoebeisis
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Caloso, nice big tire.Time, yes, no sense.

Caloso- thanks I love that it can take a nice fat tire-it will really take the edge off our crummy streets.
TimJ, you're right. It wouldn't make any sense.How would you get the axle in there without spreading the stays, and it would take superman to do that-they are extremely sturdy. It is probably as you guys say-some production change enroute to another change.
Still, why would the holes be perfectly round if it was essentially just a filler? A round hole always makes me wonder what was supposed to fill it.They are ~.310" in diameter. Still,as you say, it is a cheapo lower end bike-they aren't going to put some complicated special axle feature on a lower end bike.The roundness was probably just pleasing to the eye.
Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 12-24-06, 03:48 PM   #10
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it's a 1990.

no idea about the hole. looks too small to fit an axle through.
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Old 12-24-06, 05:50 PM   #11
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Great riding bike!!

Thanks for the tips guys.
The bike is back on the road, and it is a sweet riding bike; I have no idea why. I expected it to have a pretty harsh ride because of the relatively thick Cr/Moly tubing, and the smallish frame-15.5". It gives a very forgiving ride-much better than the Jamis Dragon 853 framed MTB(with a suspension fork) I had recently.I don't like harsh riding bikes-too old-bad neck,knees etc. This baby is sweet for a non suspension bike. I'm not sure why. Of course, I have huge tirs on it, but so did the Dragon. I also havs a suspension seatpost, but so did the Jamis(and suspension seatposts usually don't work very well.
This is a bigger frame-15.5 vs 13(actually 11.5") C-C; I suspect that is the main reason for the better ride.
Here are some pictures-work in progress.
Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 12-24-06, 06:52 PM   #12
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I acually just worked on a Hardrock like that one, I have no clue why the dropouts are like that, but they did make it easier to install the wheel. This bike could of been built right before they started using vertical dropouts I would think.
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