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  1. #1
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    Hard Rock Sport VS Talon 4

    Hi everybody,
    this is my first post, but I've been lurking for a little while. Currently I'm riding a 2004 Trek 4300 and I'm looking to upgrade.

    I went down to my LBS and the 2 bikes they're suggesting for me are the Giant Talon 4 27.5 (or I could get the Talon 5 and save a few bucks) and the Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er. The 2 are priced just about the same. I know ones a 29 and the other is a 27.5, but I really don't know which to pick. Any help would be great, thanks.
    Last edited by AndrewS85; 03-06-2014 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    I don't know that either of those bikes is much of an upgrade.

    How do you feel about the fit of your 4300? Have you tried to dial it in?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    the only issue i have with the 4300 is that being a bigger guy i bottom out the fork. The reason I'm not just shopping for a new fork is that the bike isnt actually mine, my step dad let me borrow it for as long as I'd like but i really dont want to upgrade something that isn't mine.

  4. #4
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    Also, if anybody wants to throw out some better suggestions im all ears. trying to stay under $1000

  5. #5
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    I went with the Talon 1. I liked the better fork and components and do not plan any upgrades ... except possibly tubeless. I'm pretty happy with it.

  6. #6
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    I ride a HR Sport 19"frame and for me it's been perfect fit! Love it! Just passed my 1year anniversery with it so to show thanks I gave it a new front end and new shoes to were! My bike is very happy and so am I :-)

    Best to ride both, go to another LBS and ride another...then buy the best feeling bike you can afford...parts are parts..get a good frame and you can upgrade all day long until your checking account is empty LOL
    Burt
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  7. #7
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    Are you opposed to used bikes?

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    In this situation yes. For 2 reasons 1) I'm so new to bikes that i really don't know what to look for 2) I like the idea of supporting the small businesses in my area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    I went with the Talon 1. I liked the better fork and components and do not plan any upgrades ... except possibly tubeless. I'm pretty happy with it.
    I was looking at the Talon 1 too, the only thing is that its a little out of my price range

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    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    I ride a HR Sport 19"frame and for me it's been perfect fit! Love it! Just passed my 1year anniversery with it so to show thanks I gave it a new front end and new shoes to were! My bike is very happy and so am I :-)

    Best to ride both, go to another LBS and ride another...then buy the best feeling bike you can afford...parts are parts..get a good frame and you can upgrade all day long until your checking account is empty LOL
    Burt
    very good points, thanks.
    How do you like the 29er? have you compared it to a 27.5? im so new i cant even notice a difference on the streets when i test ride

  11. #11
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    The Talon 4 got a very favourable review from a well known Brit website/mag.

  12. #12
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    Love my 29er..rolls over all kinds of stuff !! LOL
    Never rode a 27.5 so?
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  13. #13
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    Get the Talon 29er, better equipped and less than a grand.

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    If your budget is hard and fast at $700, the two bikes you have listed are good choices. If you're really thinking of upping the budget to the range of the Talon 1, that is a completely different kettle of fish with MANY more choices available. I generally advocate getting as much bike as possible when you purchase a bike (it is much more cost effective than the 'upgrade' route).

    Sooooo, I will limit my comments to the two choices originally outlined. The Giant Talon 4 27.5 has a 9 speed drivetrain vs. the 8 speed drivetrain on the Hard Rock Sport Disc 29. That, and the wheel size are the two biggest differences. If you really like the 29" wheels best, I would not let the 8 speed drivetrain sway me from them as it won't be that big of a deal on the trail. The rest of the components are relatively comparable. OTOH, if you are generally neutral on the wheel size, or the 27.5 suits you better, the 9 speed drivetrain is somewhat of a bonus.

    If you're going to go down the upgrade path on the drivetrain (not that I would advise it), then the 9 speed stuff (on the Talon) will be easier to get higher quality components for. IMHO, neither of those frames would be my preferred platform if I was planning to go down the upgrade path as they both have straight head tubes. Better to get into a frame with a tapered head tube if you're planning to do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    If your budget is hard and fast at $700, the two bikes you have listed are good choices. If you're really thinking of upping the budget to the range of the Talon 1, that is a completely different kettle of fish with MANY more choices available. I generally advocate getting as much bike as possible when you purchase a bike (it is much more cost effective than the 'upgrade' route).

    Sooooo, I will limit my comments to the two choices originally outlined. The Giant Talon 4 27.5 has a 9 speed drivetrain vs. the 8 speed drivetrain on the Hard Rock Sport Disc 29. That, and the wheel size are the two biggest differences. If you really like the 29" wheels best, I would not let the 8 speed drivetrain sway me from them as it won't be that big of a deal on the trail. The rest of the components are relatively comparable. OTOH, if you are generally neutral on the wheel size, or the 27.5 suits you better, the 9 speed drivetrain is somewhat of a bonus.

    If you're going to go down the upgrade path on the drivetrain (not that I would advise it), then the 9 speed stuff (on the Talon) will be easier to get higher quality components for. IMHO, neither of those frames would be my preferred platform if I was planning to go down the upgrade path as they both have straight head tubes. Better to get into a frame with a tapered head tube if you're planning to do that.
    Thank you for the very helpful response. I'm not dead set on one of these 2 bikes, but I would like to stay under $1000 on the cost of the bike so I have a few bucks left over for some gear (recently witnessed my buddy have a bad crash, gear shot to the top of my list real fast), but if a little more money makes a big difference I can make it happen.
    I really don't have a preference on wheel size since the only size I've had out on a trail is a 26". I'd love to hear a couple more options if you don't mind sharing. I certainly like the idea of investing a little more up front to save on upgrade cost if its cost beneficial in the long run.
    As far as upgrade plans for this bike (whichever it may turn out to be), I don't have very big plans, this is my first real mountain bike so it will just be a starting point with undoubtedly fancier bikes in my future.

    thanks for all the input so far everybody

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    Re: Hard Rock Sport VS Talon 4

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewS85 View Post
    the only issue i have with the 4300 is that being a bigger guy i bottom out the fork. The reason I'm not just shopping for a new fork is that the bike isnt actually mine, my step dad let me borrow it for as long as I'd like but i really dont want to upgrade something that isn't mine.
    LOL, so not really an upgrade so much as you want to have a bike of your own.

    I saw your comments about secondhand further down the thread. All the cities I've lived in have supported a couple shops dealing in used bikes. For me, this is a very appealing compromise. You can still ride a few bikes back to back, you still start out on a bike that has been tuned up well, but you also still stretch a buck. And, you still support a local business. So give it a little thought. With a little luck, you may get something with a fork you can tune for your weight and style.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    LOL, so not really an upgrade so much as you want to have a bike of your own.

    I saw your comments about secondhand further down the thread. All the cities I've lived in have supported a couple shops dealing in used bikes. For me, this is a very appealing compromise. You can still ride a few bikes back to back, you still start out on a bike that has been tuned up well, but you also still stretch a buck. And, you still support a local business. So give it a little thought. With a little luck, you may get something with a fork you can tune for your weight and style.
    Wow I really didn't even think about that. I will definitely look into shops that sell used bikes. I think the 2 that I have been looking at are 100% new bikes, but I will look around. thank

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewS85 View Post
    Thank you for the very helpful response. I'm not dead set on one of these 2 bikes, but I would like to stay under $1000 on the cost of the bike so I have a few bucks left over for some gear (recently witnessed my buddy have a bad crash, gear shot to the top of my list real fast), but if a little more money makes a big difference I can make it happen.
    I really don't have a preference on wheel size since the only size I've had out on a trail is a 26". I'd love to hear a couple more options if you don't mind sharing. I certainly like the idea of investing a little more up from to save on upgrade cost if its cost beneficial in the long run.
    As far as upgrade plans for this bike (whichever it may turn out to be), I don't have very big plans, this is my first real mountain bike so it will just be a starting point with undoubtedly fancier bikes in my future.

    thanks for all the input so far everybody
    As an example, for another $180, the Specialized Rockhopper has a tapered head tube (more options for better fork upgrades in the future) and for a given size is a little longer in the top tube length which is aimed toward a bit more aggressive riding. It also has a 9 speed drivetrain, presta type rims instead of schraeder, more real 'trail' type tires (fast trak vs. ground control), hydraulic damping in the fork instead of elastomers (MCU), integrated headset vs. traditional pressed in cups, a wider 31.8mm x 700mm handlebar vs. a 640/660mm x 25.4mm bar on the Hardrock, a 180mm front rotor, and lock-on grips among a few other differences. Those are all differences that could add up if you go on the upgrade path with a lesser bike.

    To get those features on a sub-$900 bike with a tapered head tube frame, and on a brand sold at a type bike shop, is tough. If you decide that the tapered head tube isn't a deal breaker (not the end of the world, but I'd prefer it if I planned to stick with the bike and possibly upgrade the fork), then there are more options that can be found through local bike shops.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    As an example, for another $180, the Specialized Rockhopper has a tapered head tube (more options for better fork upgrades in the future) and for a given size is a little longer in the top tube length which is aimed toward a bit more aggressive riding. It also has a 9 speed drivetrain, presta type rims instead of schraeder, more real 'trail' type tires (fast trak vs. ground control), hydraulic damping in the fork instead of elastomers (MCU), integrated headset vs. traditional pressed in cups, a wider 31.8mm x 700mm handlebar vs. a 640/660mm x 25.4mm bar on the Hardrock, a 180mm front rotor, and lock-on grips among a few other differences. Those are all differences that could add up if you go on the upgrade path with a lesser bike.

    To get those features on a sub-$900 bike with a tapered head tube frame, and on a brand sold at a type bike shop, is tough. If you decide that the tapered head tube isn't a deal breaker (not the end of the world, but I'd prefer it if I planned to stick with the bike and possibly upgrade the fork), then there are more options that can be found through local bike shops.
    oh man, that does look like a good deal. It seems like a bike I could ride for a while before I outgrow it. I'm going to have to check how much my LBS is selling those for, and take it for a spin tomorrow.
    I hate this choosing/researching stuff, I just want to go for a freaking ride this weekend!
    Thanks again Jeffj, you're teaching/helping me more than you know.

  20. #20
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    I hear what Jeffj is saying but you can upgrade a straight 1-1/8 just as easily as a tapered 1.5..
    Each rider has their own way and personal preferance and all this is opinion...yes a good frame is important. The HR Sport frame is different than a base line HRock And the HR Sport comes with Hydro brakes that are working great so far. 400 miles and still work great.
    Take what you read ..mix it all up and form your own opinon..then buy what "feels" right, only you will know that.
    Remeber you still need gear, new "real" helmets are not cheep..riding shoes..pads ..sunglasses, backpacks, trail tools, etc...there goes the checking accout again LOL
    Happy FRIDAY!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    I hear what Jeffj is saying but you can upgrade a straight 1-1/8 just as easily as a tapered 1.5..
    Each rider has their own way and personal preferance and all this is opinion...yes a good frame is important. The HR Sport frame is different than a base line HRock And the HR Sport comes with Hydro brakes that are working great so far. 400 miles and still work great.
    Take what you read ..mix it all up and form your own opinon..then buy what "feels" right, only you will know that.
    Remeber you still need gear, new "real" helmets are not cheep..riding shoes..pads ..sunglasses, backpacks, trail tools, etc...there goes the checking accout again LOL
    Happy FRIDAY!!!
    Let's RIDE!
    Lots of good info, Thanks. Im deffinently taking everybodies opinions and mixing them around in my head with the info that I find myself online.

    Im trying to do a lot of reading in the 27.5 section because in the 2014 Giant catalog they have a compelling section with fancy math numbers favoring the 27.5.

    Like you said, it comes down to what feels right. I'll definitely be riding some bikes after work today (and getting very little work done at work).

  22. #22
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    Nice...I'm "working" right now...shhhh quiet

    This is a fun sport and if anything it will keep you alive longer just by getting off the couch!
    Good Luck!
    Burt
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    I hear what Jeffj is saying but you can upgrade a straight 1-1/8 just as easily as a tapered 1.5..
    That is true today. Just like it was true for the 1" steerer my GT Outpost had back in the mid-90's. But, that is also what made that frame all but obsoloete in a couple short years. They're like hen's teeth now, and were even limiting my choices back in the day.

    I don't have a crystal ball, but I could see straight steerer tubes becoming obsolete on all but entry level forks in the near future. Just looking at most frames on anything but entry level will tell you that day is coming sooner rather than later IMHO. Just food for thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    Happy FRIDAY!!!
    Let's RIDE!
    Indeed!

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    Re: Hard Rock Sport VS Talon 4

    I'd recommend checking out the Airborne Seeker... Air fork, 2*10 drivetrain, tapered headtube (same frame as their higher-end Goblin), sick color scheme IMHO. Roll on over to the Airborne manufacturer forum here at MTBR. $950+shipping... I think it pretty much beats anything in its price range. I've owned an original Goblin for a couple years and put a few thousand miles on it so far and it still rides great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by perturbo View Post
    I'd recommend checking out the Airborne Seeker... Air fork, 2*10 drivetrain, tapered headtube (same frame as their higher-end Goblin), sick color scheme IMHO. Roll on over to the Airborne manufacturer forum here at MTBR. $950+shipping... I think it pretty much beats anything in its price range. I've owned an original Goblin for a couple years and put a few thousand miles on it so far and it still rides great.
    I'll check it out, but honestly I'm getting so overwhelmed with options I'm probably just going to go down to my LBS and pick whatever feels good and get out onto the trails

  26. #26
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    ^^^Do It! and post pics :-)^^^
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    So I ended up with the Talon 4. I liked the feel of the 27.5 a bit more than the 29ers. The shifting feels good, and so do the hydro discs. Shout out to Roy's Cyclery in Upland CA, they were very helpful with all my newb questions. Also thank you guys all very much.

    Tomorrow I'll be taking her for a ride on the pacific electric bike path, and Sunday I'll she can do on Marshall Canyon Trail.

    Quote Originally Posted by Burt4x4 View Post
    ^^^Do It! and post pics :-)^^^
    Ask and you shall receive.

    Hard Rock Sport VS Talon 4-2014-03-07_19-51-18_397.jpg

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewS85 View Post
    So I ended up with the Talon 4. I liked the feel of the 27.5 a bit more than the 29ers. The shifting feels good, and so do the hydro discs. Shout out to Roy's Cyclery in Upland CA, they were very helpful with all my newb questions. Also thank you guys all very much.

    Tomorrow I'll be taking her for a ride on the pacific electric bike path, and Sunday I'll she can do on Marshall Canyon Trail.
    Nicely done. Marshall Canyon will be a good break in ride. If you're feeling really froggy, you can climb Potato Mountain too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Nicely done. Marshall Canyon will be a good break in ride. If you're feeling really froggy, you can climb Potato Mountain too!
    Maybe during the week, but Potato mountain and the Claremont loop really grind my gears on the weekends. Something about housewives walking 5 wide on a trail oblivious to their surroundings........ lol

    Thanks a lot for all your help jeffj

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewS85 View Post
    Maybe during the week, but Potato mountain and the Claremont loop really grind my gears on the weekends. Something about housewives walking 5 wide on a trail oblivious to their surroundings........ lol

    Thanks a lot for all your help jeffj
    Now that you mention it, I do remember the foot traffic on the lower trails there. Equestrians too. When I ride in spots like that, I have a 'bear bell' attached to my saddle rails that tinkles by itself as I ride. The hikers/equestrians can hear it from a ways away (unless they have ear buds inserted) and usually appreciate the advanced warning. You can get them at REI or Walmart.

    Coghlan's Bear Bell with Magnetic Silencer at REI.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    Now that you mention it, I do remember the foot traffic on the lower trails there. Equestrians too. When I ride in spots like that, I have a 'bear bell' attached to my saddle rails that tinkles by itself as I ride. The hikers/equestrians can hear it from a ways away (unless they have ear buds inserted) and usually appreciate the advanced warning. You can get them at REI or Walmart.

    Coghlan's Bear Bell with Magnetic Silencer at REI.com
    very cool, I'm going to need to invest in one of those little guys.

  32. #32
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    Helll Yaeh!! Looks great Bro!
    Ride RIde ride!!!
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