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  1. #1
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    2009 Specialized HardRock opinions needed!!

    hello all, I'm new to the MTB subforum.
    I'm thinking of buying my first mtb mainly for the local trails and maybe use it to commute sometimes. I went to the LBS and took a look at the 09' hardrocks, they were the only bikes within my price range ($400-$500). I'm still debating on which model to get.

    Which model would you guys reccomend for a first bike? I don't plan on upgrading any parts so I'm thinking of either getting the highest end one, sport with disc, or the lowest end one, regular with v-brakes.
    My logic is that I can either have a bike with everything I need in the first place, or have a great starter bike with the basics for a price that I can afford sooner, and possibly upgrade some parts down the road.

    What do you guys think? should I opt for the disc brakes even if I go with the non sport model? the shop owner reccomended the disc brakes.

    I'm pretty set on buying the specialized hardrock unless there are any other reccomendations that are competetive in the price range ($400-$500).

  2. #2
    Senior Member zeo_max's Avatar
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    Get the top of the line so you can hit some slightly technical trails and not get stuck on beginner trails. I'm gonna get me one too in a couple of months.



    What a beauty

  3. #3
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    thanks for the advice. yeah I definitely want something that can handle all kinds of trails.

  4. #4
    Senior Member joetronic's Avatar
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    Who says V-brakes can't handle more tech trails? A decent V can work great, and in some's opinion, better. Most of my bikes have a V out back, and only disk in the front. But then again, Most of my bikes are shoebox bikes (as in, most of the parts were in shoeboxes in the closet, and thrown together.)

    I'd say get the Sport if you can swing it. But not because of the brakes alone, but the rest of the components. The lower end one is a good solid bike, but to upgrade to disks later, you may or may not need a new fork, and I think, not positive though, that the fork on the the regular HR is V only. If you don't mind upgrading later (part of the fun IMO) then I'd say go with the regular one, you will not be disappointed either way.

  5. #5
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Why would he be stuck on beginner trails with a lower model Hardrock?

  6. #6
    Senior Member ProEdgeBiker's Avatar
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    Whatever hardrock you guys end up getting, PLEASE make sure it has a real cassette in the back and not the wallmart 7spd.

    2 reasons why:

    1) My buddy had one and before he knew it the derailleur started skipping so bad i coulnt fix it for him. This was on his 1st offroad ride on Beginner trails.
    2) if you ever decide to upgrade your parts, IE: 24spd or 27spd, you wont have to buy a new wheels set..

    Anyhow, my buddy ended up taking the 09 hardrock back to the LBS and trading it for a Rockhopper.

    About V-Brakes vs Disc:

    I've been riding V-Brakes for the past 8 yrs and just bought my 1st bike w/ disc. Granted i have XTR components, i gotta say that my XTR V-Brakes compared to my XTR Disc dont have much differance, they both stop on a dime.

    Also, if you're going to buy a bike with Mechanical Disc rather than Hydraulic, you might save the money and get a nice V-Brake System..IE: LX, XT or such...
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  7. #7
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I think the Hardrock is should only be ridden on easy/beginner trails. They just won't stand up to the abuse a real rider would dish out.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bighec's Avatar
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    My Hardrock stood up just fine. Am I still riding it, no. Not a bad bike for the money, but definitely a lot of room for improvement... I would save a little more and get something a little better. My '09 Hardrock is sitting in the closet collecting dust.

  9. #9
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    I starting riding last spring on the 08 hardrock comp disc, and I love the bike! I've been riding it hard for a year and it's behaved like a champ. I'm so glad I bought it. It is great on the hills, has nice wide tires (2.1) and has required almost no maintenance (I got my first flat last week). I don't do very aggressive riding like big jumps and drop-offs, but this is a beginner bike. I like to go fast and I feel that this bike has served me very well as I've been learning. I also ride it to work when it's not raining =). Now that I'm a year in I'm starting to look into upgrading to a full suspension bike and I think I need to move into the $2500 price range to get a noticeably better bike.

    My only complaint is the middle chainring on the sr suntour crankset has threaded bolts. I taco'd mine being a newbie and had to replace the whole crankset when I couldn't find a new chainring (shimano deore LX ftw!).

    You should buy the Hardrock Sport Disc.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zeo_max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
    I think the Hardrock is should only be ridden on easy/beginner trails. They just won't stand up to the abuse a real rider would dish out.
    So, what are the limits of the Hardrock ?

    Jumps ?
    steep downhills ?
    very rough rocky terrain ?

    You have one, and I'm very interested in knowing.

  11. #11
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    hmmm. Now I'm leaning towards the 09 sport model, with v-brakes. I don't want to spend a lot for a mtb, since I'm a road biker and I just want this bike to do beginner trails, no huge jumps or anything crazy. I'd rather get the sport model since at my LBS its only about $60 more than the regular model, and I really don't think I need disc brakes. I test rode a friend's bike with v-brakes and it stops very well, but I also rode another bike with v-brakes that didn't stop nearly as well.
    If the stock v-brakes don't stop well I'm sure there are other v-brakes out there that I can upgrade to, without spending too much money. Any reccomendations on v-brakes?

  12. #12
    Senior Member td.tony's Avatar
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    Also, what I meant by "I want something that can handle all kinds of trails" I meant all kinds of trails on the beginners trail area I definitely dont plan on doing anything really crazy, which is part of the reason I feel a hardtail is plenty enough for my needs.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zeo_max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by td.tony View Post
    Also, what I meant by "I want something that can handle all kinds of trails" I meant all kinds of trails on the beginners trail area I definitely dont plan on doing anything really crazy, which is part of the reason I feel a hardtail is plenty enough for my needs.
    The Sport would be a fine choice tony. I would consider that too, since I'm already familiar with adjusting V-brakes, where as with disc brakes I would have no idea what to do. However, if were to consider V-brakes, they do have a little something at my LBS called the Rockhopper with V-brakes at $625..........Oh decisions decisions.........

  14. #14
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    I like the look of the 2009 Hardrock, but the 17 felt too small and the 19 was a touch big. I ride a 17.5/18 in Trek.

    That said, I much preferred the new Rockhopper to the Hardrock. Great weight for a low end bike with huge upgrade possibilities.

    -R

  15. #15
    SPOON!!!!! lofnsjoke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
    I think the Hardrock is should only be ridden on easy/beginner trails. They just won't stand up to the abuse a real rider would dish out.
    thats sarcasm....see that orange thing hes riding in his sig...

  16. #16
    Senior Member zeo_max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofnsjoke View Post
    thats sarcasm....see that orange thing hes riding in his sig...
    I know, that's what he has.

  17. #17
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    I don't really know much about bikes but I bought a new Rock Hopper a year ago for around $500. Maybe you can get it for the same money although bike prices seem to have gone up quite a bit, great recession or not. I use it for commuting and on the trails (moderate, I guess). Since I don't know any better the V brakes seem just fine to me. After maybe 1,000 miles or so, I've had no trouble with it all, despite carrying ~ 230 lbs. of me + work gear.

    Good luck.

    T

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    I can't speak for the current model but my 05 Sport has been very good to me with only a few issues. That said the rear derailleur of my 05 was absolute trash (Acera). It flopped around and ghost-shifted, didn't keep enough tension on the chain so it would skip under heavy load. Recently upgraded it to an XT Shadow and it's worlds better. The front shock (Gila RST) is extremely bouncy if you set the pre-load high and nose-dives more than I'm really comfortable with if set low. I eventually got used to it and having it low and diving is more manageable than the loss of traction and steering control of the bouncing. I've never been able to find a comfortable middle ground as in the middle it still nose-dives pretty hard but then it bounces back up forcefully. I look forward to the day that I can afford a bike with a better fork (upgrading just the fork is cost prohibitive when the cost of a fork is 50-60% of cost of a whole bike with that fork sometimes). I am very happy with my Hardrock though and I'm falling in love with mountain biking more every time I go out. My recommendation from admittedly limited experience- buy the one with the best fork you can afford.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ProEdgeBiker's Avatar
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    The HARDROCK can be put thru anything you can throw at it, it's the components that cant take the abuse.

    in 09' Specialized really cheaped out the componentry of the Hardrock, every other year in the past came with OK parts but boy this years...WOW....`
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  20. #20
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    I swapped the fork when I got mine home,the OEM fork is a big ol' POS. As far a s the rest of the components I have has 0 issues out of them.........but I just ride bike paths.
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  21. #21
    Senior Member ProEdgeBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker66 View Post
    I swapped the fork when I got mine home,the OEM fork is a big ol' POS. As far a s the rest of the components I have has 0 issues out of them.........but I just ride bike paths.
    as long as you dont have the Wallmart Cassette you're fine. it's actually a freewheel not a casette.
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  22. #22
    night goat. johnnytheboy's Avatar
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    What's wrong with a freewheel?
    As long as your comfortable with the gear range, why would it matter?
    Fwiw, I just bought an '09 hardrock disc. Its got the "wallmart" (as you call it) freewheel on it. I swapped out the bars (to a 31.8 specialized alloy enduro riser) and stem (31.8 origin8 alloy I had lying around) because they looked (and are) really cheap. I also got some peaty lock-ons for it. I kept the fast trak's, but switched to some specialized air locks. I peeled the decals off the fork, and now I think I got a pretty sweet lookin' and ridin' bike. I've been a road rider for a loooong time, and this was my first mtb. I didn't know if I'd even like it, so why not buy something that didn't break the bank first? I'm a shop mechanic, so I got a pretty sweet deal on it. But even for the $460 retail, I don't think it can be beat. I'm 6'2" 260lbs and I have taken it out 3 times so far and abused the piss out of it already, and all I've had to do so far was re-allign the rotors. The frame would be my main concern, and I'm not worried about it at all. When my rear derailleur breaks, I'll buy a new one. When I blow the fork, I'll buy a new one. But for now, this is all I need. I look at the other guys on the trail with their s-works epics and I think "man, that's a nice bike" and they look at me and think "now that's a practical bike." Sure, I won't be doing 10' drop offs, but I wouldn't do that ***** anyway.
    Op- buy a hardrock. You won't regret it. Upgrading is half the fun of cycling anyway!

    Btw- I bought the satin black hardrock disc. The 3 times I've taken it out have been worth every penny I paid for it.

    (No I'm not affiliated with specialized, I'm just tired of people trying to talk other people into ***** they don't need)
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  23. #23
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProEdgeBiker View Post
    2) if you ever decide to upgrade your parts, IE: 24spd or 27spd, you wont have to buy a new wheels set..
    9 speed will work on a wheel that was 8 speed.
    Strike like an eagle and sacrifice the dove.
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  24. #24
    night goat. johnnytheboy's Avatar
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    Also, my bike weighs 3lbs less than my buddy's epic. I do realize he has a full suspension (with a brain), but I was pretty impressed that an entry level bike like the hardrock weighs in at 30lbs. on the nose. And it probably weighs a pound less than that now that I got rid of the boat anchor stem/bars.
    That's less than half of the magna that I bought 10yrs ago that got me into bike riding seriously.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member ProEdgeBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannihilator View Post
    9 speed will work on a wheel that was 8 speed.
    Actually if a cassette is 8spd, then the hub is campatible w/ 9spd, but "Freewheels" only come up to 7spds and hub is not compatible with cassettes.
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