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
    mtbr member
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    New question here. Specialized shifter replace or upgrade?

    Hey there.
    Just got myself a 2010 Specialized Hardrock 3x7 speed in good condition for a good price($150) I think.Bike needs some attention,but nothing I cant handle.
    It needs right shifter (SRAM X3 7 speed),so I was wonderingif I can convert biketo 8 speed. Do I just need new shifter and cassette,or new wheel too? Should I stay with SRAM or go with Shimano? I got older Deore LX brake/shifter combo 3x8+new rear derailleur and cassette (and wheel?)
    No trail riding in the future,just light pedaling. Thanx...

  2. #2
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    This is actually kind of a complicated question. 7-speed cassettes are narrower than 8-10-speed cassettes and there are also 7-speed freewheels. However, a 7-speed cassette can be mounted on 8-10-speed hubs, using a spacer. So you need to figure out what you've got.

    The short answer is "yes." But I can't tell you how much of the drivetrain you'll need to swap to do it.

    If you can't tell, post some pics. Take your rear wheel off and get up close and personal, both from the right side and in line with the cogs.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  3. #3
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    I would keep it at 7 speed and start saving for a higher end bike. My first Mtn bike was a 2010 Hardrock I picked up used and I rode the crap out of it.

  4. #4
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    If you are doing "light pedaling " you don't need more gears ,want is a different story. The reasons to have more gears is to have either a wider range or to have a narrower range .Ride it until you wear stuff out or break something.

  5. #5
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    I can almost guarantee that's a freewheel-equipped bike. You'll have a really hard time upgrading that to 8-speed for a reasonable cost. Sheldon Brown has a definitive guide on how to determine if you have a freewheel or cassette: Freewheel or Cassette?
    Last edited by joe_bloe; 09-27-2013 at 11:09 AM. Reason: corrected title of link

  6. #6
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    ok, thanx guys. there is no other bike in the future, will stick with this one. guess i just replace the shifter and keep on riding....

  7. #7
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    Here's an X.3 7-speed shifter on Amazon: SRAM X.3 Rear Shifter

  8. #8
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    Probably way more than you wanted to know:


    Upgrading From 6-/7-speed (126 mm) to 8-/9-speed (130 mm)

    Most Shimano 6- or 7-speed cassette Freehubs can be upgraded to 8-/9-speed by replacing the Freehub body, as described above.
    6- and 7-speed hubs generally use 126 mm spacing, while 8-/9-speed hubs use 130 mm (road) or 135 mm (MTB/Hybrid).

    Many people will tell you that this requires a new axle, but if you're only going from 126 to 130, this is not true. The 137 mm long axles commonly supplied with 126 mm hubs are plenty long enough for use with 130 mm spacing. There is absolutely no risk to this.

    If you do re-space your hub, you'll also need to re-dish your wheel, because the extra space will all be added on the right side by installing the wider Freehub body. You'll need to tighten spokes on the right, possibly also loosen some on the left, to move the rim 2 mm to the right so that it will once again be centered in the frame.

    In going to a wider hub spacing, you'll also need to deal with the frame spacing, but this is not as difficult as you might suppose. For details on this, see my article on Frame Spacing.


    8 Of 9 On 7

    If your 126 mm frame is carbon fiber or held together by glue, you probably shouldn't try to spread it. That still doesn't mean that you're stuck with 7-speeds!
    Any 7-speed Shimano Hyperglide Freehub will actually work with 8 sprockets, without any modification! What you need to do is to use 8 of the sprockets from a 9-speed cassette, with the 9-speed spacers.

    To make this work, you'll also need to use a 9-speed chain and shifters. Your old 7-speed derailer should work OK if it isn't too badly worn. The limit stops on the derailer will cause the useless 9th position on the shifters to be locked out, so this will work as a perfectly normal 8-speed rig

    Shimano Cassettes & Freehubs, by Sheldon Brown

  9. #9
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    thanx again, everyone, for the info...

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    IME, recent-model 7-speed MTBs are still spaced 135 mm between the dropouts, like most other contemporary MTBs. Still, it costs nothing to check.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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