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Old 06-11-14, 12:04 PM   #1
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Older or Newer Hardrock???

So I have been wanting to get into mountain biking for a while but I am on a budget. I have decided to get a used Specialized Hardrock and have ran into one problem. I keep hearing that "they never make bikes like they used to" and that older bikes are more durable. I have also heard that bikes now a days have better technology, etc. I just want a mountain bike that will mostly be used for commuting and occasional screwing around with that will not break down. So my main priority is durability. I've always hated dealing with and adjusting derailleurs and i have had 1 of them snap on me and will be turning my Hardrock into a singlespeed if that becomes a problem.
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Old 06-11-14, 12:22 PM   #2
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I have a 1998 Hardrock. Can't see myself getting rid of it. No front suspension to mess with, steel frame rides great, lots of utility. Can pick them up cheap, too, although they seem to be a tad higher than they used to be. 26" tires are easily found in any type.

I wouldn't get a suspension bike unless the fork was decent. Most lower end suspension forks are crap. I'd rather have no suspension than cheap suspension. If you're commuting mainly, I'd skip it.

My bike sounds like the definition of what you're looking for. Check Craigs for one where you are. By today's standards, they are more like a Hybrid almost, than a MTB.

The bike has 26x2.0 street tires in the pic. I had 26x1.5 street tires on it before that. You can run a lot of different stuff. Might even fit a fatter tire than 2.0, but at that size you're getting toward the top of the range it could handle. For the street, 26x1.75 would probably be a good compromise.

Last edited by syncro87; 06-11-14 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 06-11-14, 01:37 PM   #3
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I wouldn’t bother with an older Hardrock, I’d go with a 2014 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er, which is a much nicer bike.

Specialized Bicycle Components
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Old 06-11-14, 03:24 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 06-11-14, 03:39 PM   #5
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They have been making something called Hardrock for about 25 years, I guess. There have been a lot of different bikes sporting the name. Mine is a 2002, aluminum frame with a cheap suspension fork, 24-speed with trigger shifters. The crankset is flexy and the small ring wore out, and the FD and BB have been replaced. But the RD and cassette have been solid. The shifters got gummy so I cleaned them out a few years ago. The rear wheel has lost a few spokes in recent years, I have been considering replacement. The fork was never very good and I dialed the preload all the way up for commuting. The riding position is fairly aggressive with the bars about level with the seat. The frame has a tab for a rear disk brake but it came with V-brakes which work just great.

IMG_0584 by Darth Lefty, on Flickr

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Old 06-13-14, 09:22 PM   #6
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Wow.. I just bought a brand new 2015 model specialized hard rock a week ago.... nice to see that someone is looking for the same model...
Mine is the basic version though and costs $400 only. So far I love it, even though I wish it would go faster on the road... .
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Old 06-14-14, 01:22 AM   #7
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It is looking older.
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Old 06-14-14, 08:42 AM   #8
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How old are we talking? The one that Darth Lefty posted, the 2002-08 models, are overbuilt and heavy, but I'd take one of those over a new Hardrock any day, but that's just my preference for overbuilt frames. On the other hand, any older than that, and I'd go with a new model. It's true, they don't make bikes like they used to, but for the most part, they make them better now. New low-level components are as good as old high-level components in my cases. Just don't overpay...the number of way overpriced Hardrocks and other entry level bikes that I see on Craigslist is astonishing.
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