1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    2011 GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc or 2011 Specialized Hardrock Disc

    Hey everyone,

    I am very new to riding and would like your input on some entry level bikes. I have boiled my decision down to either the GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc or the 2011 Specialized Hardrock Disc. Which one is a better buy? Riding has been on my mind all day lately. Thanks in advance!

    GT Avalanche 3.0
    http://www.gtbicycles.com/bikes/moun...sc-satin-black

    Specialized Hardrock
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...cname=Mountain

  2. #2
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    pretty similar, but on spec's alone I think you come out a little ahead with the GT. Longer travel fork, a bit more stopping power (due to the 180mm front rotor), and I have had better luck with Shimano's entry level drivetrain stuff over SRAM (This all changes once you reach the SRAM X5 stuff though).

    As with everything, test ride both, and choose what feels right.

  3. #3
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    Bump.

    I have ridden both bikes and liked them both. From a component point view of which bike is better?
    I'm a newb, been researching here and elsewhere, looking for my first bike.

    Also how does the Hardrock Sport Disc compare to the GT Avalanche 3.0
    Last edited by shuto007; 06-25-2011 at 07:41 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombinate View Post
    pretty similar, but on spec's alone I think you come out a little ahead with the GT. Longer travel fork, a bit more stopping power (due to the 180mm front rotor), and I have had better luck with Shimano's entry level drivetrain stuff over SRAM (This all changes once you reach the SRAM X5 stuff though).

    As with everything, test ride both, and choose what feels right.


    I second his post. I've ridden both bikes and I'm still for the specialized. The best way to know is for you to ride them both a bit. Either way they're both great bikes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombinate View Post
    pretty similar, but on spec's alone I think you come out a little ahead with the GT. Longer travel fork, a bit more stopping power (due to the 180mm front rotor), and I have had better luck with Shimano's entry level drivetrain stuff over SRAM (This all changes once you reach the SRAM X5 stuff though).

    As with everything, test ride both, and choose what feels right.

    i believe the website has a mistake for the rotor size upfront a buddy has one and its only 160mm as well as the picture.

    i would choose the avalanche based on 100mm travel the frame is designed fo as this cant really be change as for everything else can be upgraded

  6. #6
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    What are the prices for these two bikes? Just a personal observation, it seems an "equivalent" Specialized bike to any other bike is typically pricier. I don't know if that's because of the Specialized name, or if their frames are supposed to be better or what. Not slamming them, just what I've noticed from lots of bike-looking over the past couple months.

  7. #7
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    Specialized Hardrock Disc...$520
    Specialized Hardrock Disc Sport...$600
    GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc..$550

    Not a major difference price wise between any of them.
    I'm leaning towards a GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc in white, would it be a pain to keep clean compared to a black one?

  8. #8
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    I was debating this about a month ago. I went with the Avalanche. Couldn't be happier.
    I will note - the front and rear rotors are the same size. The spec list is wrong.
    Also, the 3.0 shares the same frame as best I can tell with the 2.0 and the 1.0, which means a little longer than 100mm travel fork will also work.
    Once the bike was dialed in, it shifts and brakes well. It's not as smooth as higher end stuff, but it is good.
    The fork on the 3.0 is decent enough for getting into it. It is heavy but it handled my high weight well. I have recently replaced it though with something lighter.

  9. #9
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    So are both the rotors 160mm or 180mm?

  10. #10
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    But I weigh 250+ and they stop me when I want them to. So it's a non-issue as of yet.

  11. #11
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    From all I have read and in talking with buddies who have ridden both, the GT is your best bet.

  12. #12
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    Thanks

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    I had the same dillema last year when I ended up with an Avalanche 2.0. If you are in the US, Performance usually has the 3.0 for around $400-450, while the Specialized is around $500-$550. The GT is spec'ed slightly better, and is a decent amount less $$$.

    I actually ended up getting the 2.0 for only $500 while I was waiting for the 3.0 to get shipped to the store. For that price, it was really a no brainer.

  14. #14
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    I know nothing about the specialized but I purchased the GT Avalanche 3.0 from Performance Bike a couple months ago. Great purchase in my opinion, brakes when needed, smooth on rough roads and solid.

  15. #15
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    Hello all I'm new to the community as well, but I had a very similar question. My price range is limited but I want something better than something I would get at Walmart. I've narrowed it down to these two. Any input or feedback woulf be appreciated. I'm hoping to get one of them this weeked because they are having a sale.

    .....

    I am unable to post links or make my own post because I don't have enough posts. The two bikes are.

    2011 Access Raptor 3.0 Mountain Bike - $399

    V.S.

    2011 Diamondback Response Mountain Bike - $399

    w w w .performancebike.com/bikes/ProductCompareView?catalogId=10551&storeId=10052&langId=-1&categoryId=400308&parent_category_rn=&top_category=&searchTerm=400308&compareList=1095570%2C1096075&compSKU=1095570&compSKU=1096075

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparta01 View Post
    Hello all I'm new to the community as well, but I had a very similar question. My price range is limited but I want something better than something I would get at Walmart. I've narrowed it down to these two. Any input or feedback woulf be appreciated. I'm hoping to get one of them this weeked because they are having a sale.

    .....

    I am unable to post links or make my own post because I don't have enough posts. The two bikes are.

    2011 Access Raptor 3.0 Mountain Bike - $399

    V.S.

    2011 Diamondback Response Mountain Bike - $399

    w w w .performancebike.com/bikes/ProductCompareView?catalogId=10551&storeId=10052&langId=-1&categoryId=400308&parent_category_rn=&top_category=&searchTerm=400308&compareList=1095570%2C1096075&compSKU=1095570&compSKU=1096075
    Unless there's something I am missing that would be a slam dunk for the Access Raptor. There are people here MUCH more knowledgeable than me regarding componentry, but the Access appears better across the board.

    Fork: If I am properly evaluating the Suntour chain then the Access XCM is better than the Diamondbacks XCT.

    Front Derailleur: Shimano Acera on the Access 1 or 2 steps above the Shimano TX50 on the Diamondback.

    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio on the Access 1 step above the Shimano Altus on the Diamondback.

    Crank: Not positive but I believe the Shimano Altus on the Access would be better than the Suntour XCT on the Diamondback.

    Shifters: Shimano Acera definently better than EF51.

    Cassette: 8 speed on the Access better than 7 speed Diamondback.

    Brakes: Tektro Nevela on the Access not great but definitely better than the "alloy linear" brakes on the Diamondback

    Did I miss anything? The Access appears the slam dunk winner to me, unless I am missing some real red flag in the specs somewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  17. #17
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    What about the comparison between the Access 3.0 and the Avalanche 3.0? I have plans on buying one of them this weekend too, and was wondering if a component set on one stood out from the other. I am a complete newbie and all I know is that the GT fork has the lockout feature that might be nice for me. Great info. on this post here, and not meaning to hijack, but like Sparta01 I don't have enough posts to do my own. Thanks.

  18. #18
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    I haven't heard anything about the Access 3.0! What are the specs?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonhans View Post
    What about the comparison between the Access 3.0 and the Avalanche 3.0? I have plans on buying one of them this weekend too, and was wondering if a component set on one stood out from the other. I am a complete newbie and all I know is that the GT fork has the lockout feature that might be nice for me. Great info. on this post here, and not meaning to hijack, but like Sparta01 I don't have enough posts to do my own. Thanks.
    Sorry, don't have the time to go as far in depth with this comparison but I would say its practically even between those two. The components are pretty even drivetrain wise and I am not enough of an expert on wheel sets to differentiate there. I guess the question is if the fork lockout, plus the GT name, is worth the extra $50. I believe, not sure though, that Access is Performance's house brand.

    Link for the Access Raptors specs:
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400308

    GT Avalanche 3.0:
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400308

    Diamondback Response:
    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._20000__400308
    Quote Originally Posted by STT GUY View Post
    Screw the search function... you're new, ask the question(s). If anyone gets thier undies in a bunch it's thier problem.

  20. #20
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    I pulled the trigger on a GT Avalanche 3.0 in white. Took it for a 1 hr ride in the park...getting used to riding again after 20 years... dam I'm getting old.

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