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.
mtn. biking 101
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 Haro FL3 or 2013 Specialized Hardrock

    I had decided on a 2013 Hardrock. But when I went in to a new store for me I found out about a new 2011 Haro FL3 on sale for $399. I fell for it, looks great. Cheaper than the Hardrock and has disc brakes. Test ride later today. So now I'm reading all I can about Haro. After reading another thread I checked out the GT Avalanche 2. The 2011s were in my price range but none in stock in my size. Back to the Haro. We ride hard packed single track with some exposed roots. Some woops here and there. Family all gos together. Will the fork let me down? Is price fair? Are there any components on the 2011 Haro FL3 that are better than the 2013 Hardrock?
    Thanks
    Karl

  2. #2
    No good in rock gardens..
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    The Spec appears to have hydraulic brakes as opposed to the Haro's mechanical. The hydro's will likely be stronger and less constant adjustment than cable discs. IMO the Haro frame looks cheap and nasty too. Just my opinion though. Otherwise spec is very similar. Spec have an annoying habit of fitting 80mm forks onto this level of bikes. IMO 100mm is the way to go - you simply get a more supple and capable fork.
    My Cannondale Lefty keeps failing....

  3. #3
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    Both have a Suntour fork reviewed as "punishing offroad"
    The Airborne Guardian has a Rockshox XC28 which is a useable coil fork.
    A Suntour Epicon off ebay is a good upgrade for your choices.

  4. #4
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    Sorry for any confusion but the Hardrock I was looking at is the straight up Hardrock with brakes on the rim, not the disk version.
    So I rode the FL3 last night and I loved it. No trails near the bike shop but a large grass field with holes, bumps and tree roots. Hit all the hole,bumps and roots I could find and wow the front end rides like a dream. I may not have a good bike to compare with because my 16 year old Ross is rigid in the suspension area, it kills my wrists. But with the FL3 I only felt bumps in the butt.
    As for looks I was planning on a satin black bike. I like plain. But something about this FL3 hit me as awesome. Funny thing, not the 2012 models, just this one.
    So after my test ride I put deposit on it. I get disc brakes, 100mm fork and a bike I think looks great for $399. I pick it up next week or week after depending on my evening schedule. I cant wait. Hope I'm free sooner than later.

  5. #5
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    I forgot to say thanks for the input. So Thank You.

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