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Old 08-13-06, 02:11 PM   #1
Nix_NWPA
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Hardrock Comp Disk vs DB Response Comp vs Ibex Alpine 650 SE (for a Clyde)

I'm looking for advise on which of these to buy. Here are the details:

I haven't been on a bike in 8 years and I'm looking to get back into it. I'm 6'4" 280lbs. Hoping to get down to around 220.

I have a hard budget of $600 plus tax or shipping. I can't go any higher so a Hoss is not an option. Plus, there are no Kona dealers in my area.

I have done a lot of research online and visited my local LBS's, most of which carry nothing in my size to even try out. I've narrowed my choices to these three:

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...keTab=techspec
Great Reputation but I was not impressed by the service at the LBS. Full retail $600.

http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp...=14&itemid=175
$550 at Dick's Sports but with the service that goes with buying at a big box retailer. Seems to have better components than the Hardrock.

http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/ALP-650-Details.html
Good components. I'm a little unsure on the Manitou Axel Super fork vs the Marzocchi MZ-3 on the other two. I looks like Ibex has a great reputation for quality and service.

I'd like some opinions from those more knowledgable than myself. I don't know much about components other than brakes and shifting. I'm concered about hubs, crank, etc.
I'm not too worried about LBS service. I repair my own cars, appliances, etc so I think I'll be okay once I pick up Zinn.

By the way, I'll be riding mostly paved bike paths to start but hope to move up to some light XC as well. I know that, at a minimum, I'm going to need to upgrade the coils in any of these forks. Is that even an option with the Manitou?

Thanks in advance for any/all input.
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Old 08-13-06, 05:13 PM   #2
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I have the Hardrock Sport Disc and i love it so the comp disk can only be better
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Old 08-14-06, 12:15 PM   #3
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Update

Well, I guess we're down to a 2 way comparison. I talked to the bike tech at Dick's and he said the last Diamondback they ordered (recently) took nearly a month to get in. I'm just not willing to wait that long this late in the season. So now it's down to the Hardrock and the Ibex.

More info on the Hardrock: The shop only has a sport in my size (21"). The comp they have is larger (24" I think). The guy at the shop was trying to tell me the larger comp is a better fit for me even though it gives me ZERO top tube clearance. He said it was better because the seat wouldn't been to be as high and I wouldn't be leaning forward as much/putting so much weight on my hands. It really doesn't inspire confidence when someone tries to sell you a mountain bike with no top tube clearance. Fyi, every other shop I've ever been in has told be I should ride a 21-22". I have a short inseam for my height (around 33" actual). There's a shop about 100 miles away that has a comp in my size, I may have to go there to buy if I choose the Hardrock. I used to live near them and they were great to deal with when I looked before. I'm going to stop by the local shop tonight and ride both sizes to before I draw any hard conclusions.
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Old 08-14-06, 12:40 PM   #4
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Here's my input, after FINALLY finding the right shop that sold me the right bike. Like you, I'm also "Big and Tall" (aka Tall and Fat in my book )

The '07 Hardrock is a GREAT bike for the price. If they don't have then, wait for them to get them. The component set seems to be a step up from '06 all around. I rode probably a dozen different bikes, and after finding the right shop I rode the three main Specialized MTBs (Stumpjumper, Rockhopper and Hardrock). An hour later, I walked out with a '07 Hardrock Sport. It was just a matter of money, the Stumpjumper rode better than both of them, but I couldn't tell much of a difference between the '07 Hardrock and '06 Rockhopper.

As far as size goes, you are correct, and the shop guy is an idiot. I had a shop that was insistent on me having a 21 (I'm 6f2) just because the Cannondale F-series fit me perfect in a 21. Nevermind that I had NO top tube clearance on a Trek or Gary Fisher of that size. I ended up with a 19 Hardrock, and it's about perfect. I'll likely add a little taller and longer stem, along with upgrading all the components, but it fits very very well.

Really, try to find an '07 and compare it to an '06. I liked the components MUCH better, espescially the saddle, and am very happy with my purchase.

Good luck! Enjoy whatever you get, and beat the piss out of it
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Old 08-14-06, 01:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input bdinger. I can't find any info on the '07's on specialized's website. When do most shops get them in? I know both the local shop and the one in Pittburgh that I might go to are still selling the '06 models.
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Old 08-15-06, 10:54 AM   #6
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I just spoke to my LBS about an 07 Hardrock Comp and he said he would be getting around 25 a week in within the next 3 weeks. Another LBS I called had 1 in my size, so I'm going to go this week and get it.
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Old 08-15-06, 11:13 AM   #7
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Nix_NWPA: Just depends on where you go, and how many '06s they have left . One LBS said they wouldn't get the '07s in until "at least october" but had plenty of '06s in various sizes and colors for me to choose from. ANd no they wouldn't discount them. Heh, dunno if I blame them but it was still somewhat annoying.

The other shop, where I bought mine, could get whatever I wanted in within a short period. They only had '07 Sports with no Comps or Pros because they still had '06 stock of both - and weren't afraid to admit that was why the '07s weren't there yet. They did discount the hell out of the '06s, to the point where I was seriously considering a Pro. They marked it down to $499, which is quite the discount.

Anyway, I'd suggest calling around and seeing who is willing to get them in for you. If you don't want to upgrade any of the components after getting it, definitely go with a Comp. That will last quite a long time. However, if you are like me and want a killer frame/wheelset (the Hardrock comes with a 36 spoke dual-wall wheelset and heavy guage spokes - good luck trying to break one), but are happy to spent the money to upgrade everything else the Sport is for you.

I *think* that you could also order one direct from Specialized. I had to pick up a tire tool at the shop yesterday, and I stood over a 21 again. It's just slightly too big for me, so I'd imagine it would be about perfect for you. Give Specialized a call and see if they can help you out, they were very helpful in my pre-purchase research.

GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 08-15-06, 11:52 AM   #8
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You won't be able to purchase directly from Specialized, they will simply ask you to visit a dealer. As far as sizing, your inseam (i.e. standover) is your starting point. I think it's a bad idea on a mountain bike to not have any clearance. I would ride the 21" again. I'd ALWAYS prefer a bike smaller than a one size too big. Specialized have a tendency to have a shorter top-tube than other manufacturer's. Sure you can put a bit longer stem to stretch you out a bit, but I think you're forcing the issue.

I'd look around and try out the Gary Fisher brand bikes. Their Genesis geometry incorporates a longer top tube. Personally I didn't like the Genesis geometry, but you might.

I really don't know too much about Ibex, sorry!

I am a big fan of Specialized, I've ridden most of their bikes and have owned 5 different ones.

But, if the bike don't fit, it's not a bargain!
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Old 08-16-06, 01:13 PM   #9
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With the input I've gotten here and the searching I've done, there seems to be a consensus that, especially for a beginner, proper fit is the most important thing rather than getting the best components for the money. With that in mind, I think I'll wait until the local Gary Fisher dealer gets in some '07's in my size to try out. I dont' really think buying online (Ibex) is a good idea unless you already know what geometry you like. If I end up not liking the Fisher's geometry, at least I'll be able to get an '07 Specialized or a discounted '06. I'll check back in with an update once I've ridden and I'm ready to make a decision.
Thanks for all the input/advise.
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Old 08-17-06, 10:40 PM   #10
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Gary fisher...4-clyde's, biggins

hey...go w/Gary Fisher, not Genesis but their Bigg'ns Hardtails.
try the Opie, about $359.
if you want better components and a disc, then try the Mullet! they both come in a 19 and a 21.
the Mullet should be about $549-579.
the Mullet rides nice and can take a beatting!
the Mullet isnt the best XC, but it doesnt seem to know that. it works pretty well for such>
component on it can be upgraded too!
hope that helps.


good luck!

let us all Know what u do.......
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Old 08-18-06, 09:38 AM   #11
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FYI, the component spec on the 07 Hardrocks (at least the Comp) are completely different from 06, so don't use the 06 specs in a comparison if you're looking to get an 07.
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