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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    Hardrock 29 frame

    Quick question:

    I've been riding a few months, but, I rode BMX and a rigid in my teenage days and early twenties, so I know my way around a bike. I bought this entry level a few months ago and have been riding about 30 miles a week since. I've had to take the bike is for a couple of tune ups that were free from my LBS, but I've run out of free. I ride it very hard as it didn't take very long to get the feel of being back on the bike. I crashed a couple of times from washouts going into slick berms (grip issue), I can already ride completely in 2nd gear without having to ever use first on every trail I ride including climbs (wanting to upgrade to single speed). Every component on the bike is entry level.

    Is the hardrock frame worth upgrading? My LBS has a buyback program and I can get credit with the store and they also have a used bike shop, so I have an option to purchase a used bike with better components. I'm not talking about dumping 3k of upgrades; my budget is 1k immediate with buyback value or 1750 over time.

    My LBS recommended an upgrade of some sort pretty quick not only based on how much I ride, but also how hard (albeit probably noob-ish compared to some, but still pretty balls out) and how my bike has looked when I bring it in for tune ups.

    I'm not sure what to do here since any component upgrade I make for performance is going to obviously going to make a difference, but I do feel the bike is heavy as a whole.

    Thanks in advance for helping. I just don't know all that much and will be using this as a learning tool as well, so feel free to include any and all info.

  2. #2
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    What is it that you want to upgrade? It sounds like you are riding more often than that bike was designed for. Can you test ride some other bikes? What would be the ideal bike for you ? The buy back program sounds good ,if you could get something that was already upgraded ,you would save money in the long run.

  3. #3
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    Hardrock 29 frame-mtbr.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    What is it that you want to upgrade? It sounds like you are riding more often than that bike was designed for. Can you test ride some other bikes? What would be the ideal bike for you ? The buy back program sounds good ,if you could get something that was already upgraded ,you would save money in the long run.
    First would be the fork. Not sure if you can see the attachment I posted, but there is a downhill part of the trail I ride the most and I have hit this part at 32+mph. When hitting this part, I can really feel the kickback of the stock fork. When I position my body to take most of the impact, I feel a lot of recoil in my wrist an elbows (with current technology, i don't have a feel for digging corners and all around better ride). I'm comparing this to a fellow I met that let me take his Chromag Aperture with a gold series Fox fork for a ride through the downhill part and it was a totally different ball game. I had much more control with this and a feeling of much more comfort. My brakes are no problem; I feather the front when needed and know body position is more important while using the front than using the back and skidding and hoping to maintain control. I definitely could use more experience with shifting, as I've been told, to prematurely shift for climbs (question mark here) when reading a trail. Maybe I should attend some workshops?

    As of right now, I definitely feel my bike is heavy and cumbersome and doesn't allow me to ride the way I envision the line should be. Maybe it's because of the 29 set up and my intuition remembers BMX and 26 from the past? I've never inquired about demo'ing and all the conversations i've had with my LBS are that I need to upgrade (two reps pointed me to $3500 FS bikes). I get it, I just don't know where to start: Brand new Hardrock 29 frame and building around that? Or, buying a used bike with a better frame and fork and going from there.

  4. #4
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    A different fork will definitely make a difference in the way the bike performs...nicer wheels will also make a huge difference. My suggestion is to think about the type of terrain you ride. Is it rocky/rooty or smooth with very little features? Also think about what you want out of a bike...you mentioned wanting to convert to single speed. It might be worth exploring the idea of that buyback program and buying a better used bike from the shop.

    You also keep mentioning that you think the bike is heavy. Do you have a target weight in mind for a new bike? Unless you're dropping quite a bit of coin, you'll end up with a bike in the upper 20's, low 30's pound range.

  5. #5
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    I have a hardrock also, and it's a pretty decent bike except for the forks. I bought a second bike instead of upgrading the forks on my hardrock, but after riding a bike with decent forks I think that it would be a worthwhile upgrade if you are thinking about keeping the hardrock.
    DaveH
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  6. #6
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    Coming from BMX and 26"ers in the past, if you end up going the new bike route, I'd strongly suggest not limiting your possible choices to 29" wheels. I get the same cumbersome feeling from them; very much prefer smaller wheels for my riding style. Lots of great deals out there on used 26" bikes. (Probably be the same with 29" bikes in a couple years when the bandwagon moves along to 27.5".)

    Building a bike from the frame up is pretty much guaranteed to cost more money (and time and headache) than buying an equivalent bike complete. Used rigs are by far the best bang for the buck.
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  7. #7
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    Hmm a 26er of 27.5er does seem like it would fit his riding style and what he wants to do better. I mean if you are in tight and twisty and want to throw it around thrash fun good time 29er may not be ideal.

    For 1000 dollars... maybe ya should be shopping for a good used rig? More bang for the buck. He could keep the Hardrock 29er for that other beater and have something cool too.

    What year and version of the Hardrock is it? Yes the wheels and for will suck. The frame is heavy but stout. The brakes... are they hydraulic?

    I do want to point out the very important thing of having the right frame size. Nothing's worse than being stuck with the wrong frame size.

  8. #8
    turtles make me hot
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    I work with a guy that has a Hardrock 29. I had to true up his rear wheel for him. That wheel weighed ten tons.
    If I was going to lighten up a Hardrock I'd want to swap the fork, wheels and cranks. Probably not really cost effective. What will they give you for the bike?
    There's a Rockhopper that's all blacked out that I remember is pretty light and tricked out for the money.
    I like turtles

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by davesupra View Post
    I have a hardrock also, and it's a pretty decent bike except for the forks. I bought a second bike instead of upgrading the forks on my hardrock, but after riding a bike with decent forks I think that it would be a worthwhile upgrade if you are thinking about keeping the hardrock.
    Yep, it's only good until you find something better. I can totally relate to that...

  10. #10
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    Tough, since you have some money sunk in the Hardrock.

    $1000 is a lot, used. I think you're best off going for the do-over.

    I have an upgradeitised Hardrock. I actually got it to work pretty well, although the suspension fork may be trashed.

    Here's an idea, though. Rather than asking The Internet, ride some of the used bikes you can afford and write down the spec lists of your favorite(s.) Price bolting all that stuff to your Hardrock. It should be pretty evident where your money will go further.

    Hop on some FS bikes too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Tough, since you have some money sunk in the Hardrock.

    $1000 is a lot, used. I think you're best off going for the do-over.

    I have an upgradeitised Hardrock. I actually got it to work pretty well, although the suspension fork may be trashed.

    Here's an idea, though. Rather than asking The Internet, ride some of the used bikes you can afford and write down the spec lists of your favorite(s.) Price bolting all that stuff to your Hardrock. It should be pretty evident where your money will go further.

    Hop on some FS bikes too.
    Great idea and you get to try other size wheels also.

  12. #12
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    Get a used bike. But keep in mind that the used bike selection at the store will be smaller than what you can get via craigslist or other classifieds and their prices are likely to be higher. Of course you are less likely to get a bike that has serious problems or has been stolen.

    The community around an LBS (employees, customers, groupies) is often an excellent sources for used gear. So if the used selection at the store does not do it for you ask the employees if they know anyone, ride with anyone, who has a bike for sale that might suit you.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the replies! I have test rode several bikes of various wheel sizes and have decided to look for 27.5 HT. I've decided to not do the buyback program (so I can keep riding), but keeping my eyes open in the used shops here in Austin until I find the one!

    Thanks for your help!

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