Pretty New to mtn biking, been just a roadie, I bought a 2011 hard rock sport 29er, great shape on CL for 400$, really like offroad riding, I'm looking to upgrade the stock drivetrain and maybe the wheels, local guy bought a 2009 cdale 29er 2 as a leftover mid 2011, rode with us a few times, not into it, sticking to the road , he's looking to sell the cdale for 875$ about 1/2 what he has into it, ( added pedals , seat, shoes etc) he's firm on that price.
I've riden it and like the lefty alot, it's a sweet bike, and I'm thinking, would I be better off buying his and flipping my hard rock or putting a few hundred into my hardrock ?
Thinking with the cdale all I would eventually do it dump the triple crank?
If it fits and is in good condition (and you actually like the Lefty), I'd do it. I'd probably call him out on the year and use that as a bargaining point (I know you said he's firm...but he also is under the impression it is a 2009, which it may not be).
If, on the other hand, you choose to upgrade the Hardrock, I'd probably upgrade fork before I played with wheels and drivetrain. I think you'll notice a bigger difference in the ride with that particular upgrade.
I own a hardrock and have been upgrading it. It actually has a good strong frame. I've banged on it hard and it basically just shrugs it off. I want a new fork first, for sure. I've already upgraded the brakes to very nice shimano discs. Fork will probably be something like a manitou circus 80 mm, or if I see a good deal on ebay - something along those lines, nothing crazy. THEN drivetrain.
Also: wheels and tires too. Going to be a big difference there.