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Old 11-16-03, 05:46 PM   #1
sierra83
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questions about Specialized Hardrock

Maybe someone can give me some feedback..
I'm a 125lb female who hasn't done too much serious mtn biking in the past. Never owned a bike that didn't have department store origins.

I'm looking into buying a new Specialized Hardrock '03 w/ a size 17 CroMo frame. Price: $250 (possibly $230 w/ student discount.)

I would be using it for transportation around campus/town, taking it off-road on weekends.

Would this be a worthwhile buy?

Any feedback is appreciated, reviews of the Hardrock, opinions on ChroMoly frames, etc.
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Old 11-16-03, 06:10 PM   #2
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The Hardrock would work fine for your purposes I would think. You might want to look at the Rockhopper series too if you can stretch your budget a little. The Rockhoppers should be a bit lighter since they are more XC oriented and easier for your daily commutes if your route has a lot of uphill climbs. The Hardrock frame is slightly more overbuilt (and heavier) for freeride/urban stunt riding.

Test ride them both.

As for aluminum, or chromo. Chromo is steel and aluminum is...well, aluminum.

Chromoly (Chrome Molybdenum) steel has been enjoying a comeback lately. The 4130 variety was "the material of choice" in top end BMX and MTB frames in the 80's and early 90's. It was lighter and stronger than the regular hi-tensile steel used at that time in bike manufacturing. Then aluminum became widely used...

All else being equal, chromoly's advantages over aluminum are: it's springier (natural shock absorption), and tends to last longer since the welds tend to tolerate more fatigue than aluminum (which may get brittle over time).

The disadvantages of chromoly are it is heavier, and more prone to slow oxidation (rust) than aluminum.

Aluminum also has it's advantages. Primarily, it is light and resistant to rust.

See here for a brief description: http://www.mtbbritain.co.uk/frame_metal.html

P.S. Make sure you buy a good U-lock.

Last edited by bentrim; 11-16-03 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 11-16-03, 06:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierra83
Maybe someone can give me some feedback..
I'm a 125lb female who hasn't done too much serious mtn biking in the past. Never owned a bike that didn't have department store origins.

I'm looking into buying a new Specialized Hardrock '03 w/ a size 17 CroMo frame. Price: $250 (possibly $230 w/ student discount.)

I would be using it for transportation around campus/town, taking it off-road on weekends.

Would this be a worthwhile buy?

Any feedback is appreciated, reviews of the Hardrock, opinions on ChroMoly frames, etc.
I would also look into the 2004 female Hardrocks and Rockhoppers. My wife has fallen in love with them. They are designed specifically for the female geometry. Your looking at around $350.00 for the Hardrock and over $400.00 for the Rockhopper. Both would work well for you.

Good luck!
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Old 11-16-03, 07:57 PM   #4
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if you can afford the hardrock with the alu frame, i would definetly recommend it. In the long run you will love it more. It will surely weigh less so those rides uphill won't be so hard. The hardrock series is a good money to value ratio. I would recommend this to anyone.
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Old 11-16-03, 08:05 PM   #5
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I have used a Hardrock (no suspension) for 5.5 years now, with no complaints. It has over 8,000 miles on it, and gets me where I want to go.

They have a good rep.
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Old 11-17-03, 10:05 AM   #6
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I also own an 04 Hardrock, Solid aluminuim frames

If you can get an Aluminium Frame i would, but Cro- mo is fine....

The Hardrock is recomended as a great starter bike... and is perfect for some body on a budget... ive taken my hardrock to hell and back, and in 2 months, on weekday and weekend Aggro XC riding, nothing has broken on it yet... Excellent bike, would suggest this to anyone
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Old 11-17-03, 01:01 PM   #7
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Hardrock has a good reputation as a beginers bike that is no wanabee, but is capable of serious off-road riding.
Hardrocks come with threaded eyelets for a luggage rack, which is a must-have for dual use bikes. The geometry and components are well sized, better than on many more expensive models. Do make sure that 17" is your size.
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Old 11-17-03, 01:19 PM   #8
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I second the concern with the 17" frame. You must have long legs. If so, the women specific designs (WSD) may be more suited to your body geometry.

If you are planning on riding off-road on weekends, I would stick with a mountain bike and don't let anyone try to sell you a hybrid or a comfort bike. Make sure to let the salesman know that off-road riding is a desire of yours.

Good Luck and let us know how it turns out!

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Old 11-17-03, 06:59 PM   #9
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My mind is almost made up- I'll probably go by my lbs tomorrow and take a test ride.
I do ride a 17, I think. I'm aprox. 5'7", w/ a 32" inseam. But the test ride will tell me for sure if the bike fits.
Thanks for all the helpful feedback!
Sierra
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Old 11-20-03, 11:35 PM   #10
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Specialized for 2004 makes the Hardrock cross country in an alu. frame, with gripshifts and an RST fork,same as 2003, its around $289.00 I believe its almost the same bike as the Cro-mo version in 2003 but alu. with all the same components, I hope this helps. sorry for the late reply, and good luck and finding the right bike. Specialized is a great bike, i love mine.
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Old 11-21-03, 05:38 PM   #11
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I say get it if that's your budget. My wife has the same one, although I thought hers was aluminum. It's the 2003 that's painted white with blue graphics. She's got the 15". A friend of mine also has the same model, except the blue one that is probably a 19". There are only a few things I don't like about those bikes, otherwise they're great. First of all, the seat isn't too comfy. It's hard and round in the middle. You can get one of those WTB "she-V" seats or whatever their women's seat is called for like $30. Also, the components aren't the greatest, especially the shifters. If you ride offroad all the time and burn through the gears, you'll wear them out pretty quick. But for your use, it would be great. Also, as for the women's bike geometry, a friend of mine who has been a Specialized dealer until this year said that it's mainly just for marketing. He said the geometry could be different by every bit of 1/4", if that. Most of the time they're just painted a little more feminine. Like I said, my wife has that same bike, and it fits her great, and the white paint is plenty feminine, so whatever.
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