Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Suburban Kansas City, MO
Bikes: 08 Spec Sequoia Elite, 98 Spec Hardrock Sport, 04 Spec Stumpjumper, 93 Burley Rock n Roll, 11 Trek Transport
I favored old because it sounded like you would mainly be commuting, and my previous post assumes that street or path is where your bike will live most of the time.
If you are commuting, I wouldn't bother with a 29er with suspension. Way too inefficient for primary street duty. But if your primary use is off pavement, sure. If I was buying a suspension bike, I'd stick to something with a better fork than what you get with a Hardrock. The stanchions look to be pretty small on the Hardrocks.
Back when I looked at new mountain bikes a year ago, my conclusion after looking at a bunch of bikes was that I'd be spending $1000 (new) to get one with a decent fork and components. I seem to remember coming away with the thought that I'd want something with 32mm stanchions, preferably Rock Shox or Fox fork. Then again, my memory is spotty since that was a year ago. But I held off buying because it became apparent to me that to get a good 29er it was going to cost me more than I wanted to spend at the time, and I'd rather not waste money on something inferior.
A while back, it became the "in" thing to throw a front suspension fork on every bike known to man. It sells bikes because people thought it looked hard core or high tech. But the side effect of this was that a lot of bikes started coming with very mediocre forks, because a high quality suspension fork is expensive. Consumers who don't know any better (not saying this is you, just in general) see a shock fork and think it must be a good bike or an upgrade. Not necessarily.
If you are heading offroad a lot of the time, and a suspended MTB is for you, fine. For the money that a new Hardrock costs, you could probably get a nice, higher quality, used MTB on Craigs. Just food for thought. I'm just playing devil's advocate to an extent.
I ended up getting a used Stumpjumper in great shape with a Fox fork for $300 instead of new, when I was MTB shopping. Half the price of a new Hardrock, and arguably at least as good if not better. But yeah, some of the tech is dated. I'm not that hard core of an offroad guy to notice. It was a quality bike when it was new, and I figured I couldn't lose much at that price.
Last edited by syncro87; 06-11-14 at 03:32 PM.