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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    Hardrock Sport or Hardrock XC?

    What is the difference between the sport model and the XC model? I understand XC stands for cross country riding and I understand the XC disc comes with disc brakes, but they have different forks. Which one is better? Are they for different uses? I am leaning towards the XC disc -- does it have better components? I tried doing research on the forks but I know they aren't top of the line but I am a beginner so it doesn't really matter. Is it worth spending the extra $50 for the XC disc?

    Hardrock Sport specs - $369

    Frame Specialized A1 Premium aluminum
    Fork SR Suntour SF7-XCM, 100mm travel; 12-inch: 80mm travel
    Rims/Wheels Specialized/Alex
    Hubs Front: Specialized; Rear: Shimano
    Spokes 15-gauge stainless-steel
    Tires Specialized Resolution, 26 x 2.1
    Crankset SR Suntour
    Chainwheel 42/32/22
    Front Derailleur Shimano Altus
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Acera
    Rear Cogs Shimano HG-40, 8-speed: 11-32
    Shifters Shimano EF-50
    Handlebars Aluminum
    Tape/Grips Specialized Enduro, dual-density Kraton
    Stem Specialized, aluminum
    Brake Levers Shimano EF-50
    Brakes Promax, linear-pull
    Pedals Steel cage, composite body
    Saddle Specialized Aggro
    Seat Post Specialized, aluminum, micro-adjustable
    Seat Binder Specialized, aluminum quick-release



    Hardrock XC Disc - $420

    Frame Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum
    Fork RST Capa T26, 80mm-travel
    Rims/Wheels Alex Z-1000
    Hubs Specialized aluminum
    Spokes 15-gauge stainless-steel
    Tires Specialized Fast Trak LK Sport, 26 x 2.0
    Crankset Shimano FC-TX70
    Chainwheel 42/34/24
    Front Derailleur Shimano FD-C050
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Altus
    Rear Cogs Shimano MFHG-37, 7-speed: 14-34
    Shifters Shimano Revo twist
    Handlebars High-tensile steel
    Tape/Grips Kraton Revo
    Stem A-Head aluminum
    Brake Levers Tektro
    Brakes Tektro IOX, mechanical-disc
    Pedals Steel cage, composite body
    Saddle Specialized XC
    Seat Post Aluminum, micro-adjustable

  2. #2
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    The HRXC is their cheapest model, and the HRXC Disc just adds discs. Those discs are probably the cheapest on the market, therefore it's just marketing (ohh neato its got discs!), as their performance will be the same, or perhaps worse, than the standard V-brakes that come on the Standard HRXC.

    The HR Sport adds double wall rims, which are supposedly stronger for trail riding. It also upgrades the components by one level, and has an 8 speed cassette compared to the HRXC's 7 speed.

    If it were me, I'd go for the Hardrock Sport between the 2. So to answer your question, SAVE money by getting the sport model, and you'll get a better value overall. Use that extra money to save up for upgrades as parts need to be replaced.

  3. #3
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    what about just going with the most basic rockhopper? spending an extra $100 -- is it worth it?

    rockhopper basic $519

    Spec Name Specialized Rockhopper
    Frame Specialized M4, fully butted aluminum
    Fork RockShox Dart 3 SL, 100mm-travel
    Rims/Wheels Specialized/Alex
    Hubs Front: Specialized; Rear: Shimano
    Spokes 15-gauge stainless-steel
    Tires Specialized Fast Trak LK Sport, 26 x 2.0
    Crankset Shimano
    Chainwheel 42/32/22
    Front Derailleur Shimano Altus
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Rear Cogs SRAM PG-830, 8-speed: 11-32
    Shifters Shimano Acera
    Handlebars Specialized, aluminum
    Tape/Grips Specialized Enduro, dual-density Kraton
    Stem Specialized, aluminum
    Brake Levers Promax
    Brakes Promax, linear-pull
    Pedals Steel cage, composite body
    Saddle Specialized XC
    Seat Post Specialized, aluminum, micro-adjustable
    Seat Binder Specialized aluminum quick-release

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliveryou
    what about just going with the most basic rockhopper? spending an extra $100 -- is it worth it?
    It's very much worth it! Lighter, better fork, better components. The 2009's just started to arrive, so you might be able to find an 08 on sale.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliveryou
    what about just going with the most basic rockhopper? spending an extra $100 -- is it worth it?

    rockhopper basic $519
    Absolutely. The Rockhopper is a great bike and a great deal.

  6. #6
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    ok last question guys! i havea 27/28 inseam -- i was told i was between a 15" frame and a 17" frame. with a 17" frame on a hardrock i have about a 1inch - 2inch clearance. the 15" frame felt to small, though. would i be ok on a 17" frame?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliveryou
    ok last question guys! i havea 27/28 inseam -- i was told i was between a 15" frame and a 17" frame. with a 17" frame on a hardrock i have about a 1inch - 2inch clearance. the 15" frame felt to small, though. would i be ok on a 17" frame?
    Go with the one that feels best when you are riding it, so the 17in. 1-2in should be enough standover room

  8. #8
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    finally, what about disc brakes? are they really that overrated and not worth the money? opinions on disc brakes vs. v brakes?

  9. #9
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    The perfomance of disc brakes really depends on the quality. At our shop we recommend rim brakes unless the the disc are avid bb5 or higher. On the rockhopper disc, they come with bb5, while the basic model comes with tektro rim brakes. In that case I would recommend the rockhopper disc. THe rockhopper is a great bike, probably the 3rd most sold bike at our shop. It is about 5 pounds lighter than a hardrock, and it feels great. Enjoy!!!!
    Buy My 2010 Mint COndition Transition Covert LARGE 150mm Full suspension. 2000 firm see classified add

  10. #10
    surfer w/out waves
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    My Hardrock disc (2005) quickly had the brakes replaced w/ bb7's... then I chucked the fork... then x-7 shifters/ derailleurs, sd-7 levers, . A few months ago I built up a new FS... the Hardrock got stripped of everything (including paint) and is now a rigid singlespeed.


    Truth is, you are buying a great bike... but the components will wear out and need replacement. Don't be afraid to upgrade the brakes soon...the rear derailleur will probably go next (unless you taco a rim)... and then maybe the fork in a year or so (depending how hard you ride).

    PS... those cheapy discs suck!!! However, the disc ready bike will be easier to upgrade to better discs soon.
    "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government!..." -- Dennis the Peasant

  11. #11
    Weekend Warrior
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    Go with the RockHopper hands down. I got the 08 and love it, but as Havnmonkey said, pretty soon you will start upgrading. If I would have known then what I know now I would have just gotten the Stumpjumper HT.

    If you have a disk capable bike you can get nice BB7s for $50 each, otherwise If you do it like I did, I had to get a wheelset that is disk capable and then the BB7's. The Bike's weight alone makes it worth it. Mine (Large frame) with disks, tougher wheels and a bunch of upgrades comes in at 29.39lbs (that's before the new, much lighter wheels), and that includes heavy clipless pedals, lock on grips, etc. A 17" should come in at or under 27lbs.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by daleksic
    Go with the RockHopper hands down. I got the 08 and love it, but as Havnmonkey said, pretty soon you will start upgrading. If I would have known then what I know now I would have just gotten the Stumpjumper HT.

    If you have a disk capable bike you can get nice BB7s for $50 each, otherwise If you do it like I did, I had to get a wheelset that is disk capable and then the BB7's. The Bike's weight alone makes it worth it. Mine (Large frame) with disks, tougher wheels and a bunch of upgrades comes in at 29.39lbs (that's before the new, much lighter wheels), and that includes heavy clipless pedals, lock on grips, etc. A 17" should come in at or under 27lbs.
    So if I get the 08 rockhopper disc would I be able to easily upgrade the discs to better ones? Or wouLd I need new wheels.

  13. #13
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    If you get the disc model, then all you have to change is rotors/calipers. Ask at the shop before you buy it what they'd charge extra to upgrade to Avid BB7s. Might be cheaper than you think since they'll keep the "take offs" and resell them.

  14. #14
    surfer w/out waves
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    '08 rockhopper discs = bb5's.... decent all around start!

    I would go w/ the Rockhopper over the Hardrock... if you can afford it.

    I would go with the Stumpjumper over the Rockhopper... if you can afford it.

    The Rckhopper is an excellent entry-level bike. The components are low end, but solid... and fully upgradeable as necessary.

    Like I said above My hardrock is almost 4 years old and the only thing that is stock on it is the frame (minus the paint). When you break a part... shop around and look for a deal on a better one.

    For example, if you slam into a tree and break a shifter pod... look around for some Shimano Deore/Xt/Xtr or you could go SRAM like I did... You'll learn alot over the first 6 months, if you ride hard...
    "Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government!..." -- Dennis the Peasant

  15. #15
    Alien Surf Team
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    Rockhoppers are excellent bikes. Entry level but I'm certainly not entry level rider and push it too hard sometimes but no problems.

    I have the Rockhopper for my son and the Rockhopper disc for myself because my son isn't into riding that much. I drag him with me a lot and now his brake just aren't working out on long descents. Ofter we'll switch bikes half way down just because he's tired of having to smash his brakes. The brakes are like night and day. I already bought BB5 for the front of his bike and now just need to find a cheap wheel. I wish I had gone disc on his bike now.

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