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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    What kinda trail a specialized hardrock disc can ride on?

    I understand it is an entry level one. But I am wondering what the hardest road it can challenge without easily damage to the bike or danger to the rider. are there any measurement to describe the difficulty level do the trail?

    I am not going to challenge any very steep and rocky mountain trail. But sometime i will try it on some small hill trails. Not sure if this bike meets my needs.
    Last edited by kingming; 07-25-2012 at 01:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Can you post a picture or link to the bike. I am not familair with a hardback disc bike. Is it the specialized hardrock disc or maybe a hardtail bike? If its not a department store bike then it will probably handle any trail a beginner would do. Probably the hardest thing on bikes from a beginner is going to be crashing and all bikes don't like crashing.

  3. #3
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    sorry, it is hardrock disc.
    Quote Originally Posted by brent878 View Post
    Can you post a picture or link to the bike. I am not familair with a hardback disc bike. Is it the specialized hardrock disc or maybe a hardtail bike? If its not a department store bike then it will probably handle any trail a beginner would do. Probably the hardest thing on bikes from a beginner is going to be crashing and all bikes don't like crashing.

  4. #4
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    any trail you want to... its not really about the trail breaking the bike, its more about wear and tear. lower end parts, even if not thrashed around, will wear out quicker. they are also more prone to breaking from damage done by knocking them around and whatnot. if you want the parts to last the longest, don't use them lol.. but generally speaking, unless you're doing 6' drops and whatnot, you won't break the bike with the trail specifically, you will just be wearing the components out by using them.

  5. #5
    crash test dummy
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    I scared myself doing a 4ft+ drop on mine. I landed hard but held it. Later that day I crashed going jumping off a simple hump going too fast and at an awkward angle... rider error.
    I wouldn't recommend it for downhill or anything more than small drops and jumps. But it's a great bike for simple trail riding.

  6. #6
    Beer Me!
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    Hardrock Disk will be able to do most anything it sounds like you plan on doing, that frame is stout, and built burly. This is more of a situation where you need to remain in your comfort zone,. The bike may help the rider, but the rider makes the bike. You may be surprised what entry level bikes are capable of. For example, here is a high end carbon road bike that is NOT made for trail riding:

    Not meant to discourage you, just to put it into perspective

    Use this bike to build up your skill and confidence, it is perfect for entry level to intermediate level riding.
    My Bike: FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er

    "Any wheel size is better than sitting at a computer all day." -Myself

  7. #7
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    haha that video's awesome.. as long as you're not bashing the bike around it'll hold up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingming View Post
    sorry, it is hardrock disc.
    no problem. That was my first guess, haha. Well to answer your question anything you are going to ride the bike should handle. The hardest thing on the bike will be your crashing, which you can't avoid and shoudln't worry about it.

    If you start riding really hard trails then check your wheels. I suspect that these will be the first things to start to show wear if you are pushing the limits of your bike. If you rims keep getting untrue (wobble side to side) from just regular riding and not crashing then you might want to start thinking about upgrading the bike or atleast wheels. I would imagine that is probably your weak point if you were to start riding trails that the bike couldn't handle. I wouldn't worry about the frame as its probably the strongest part of your bike.

  9. #9
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    I have a 2007 Hardrock and I have taken the thing down some hard terrain and it has held up like a monster for me. Haven't had to replace anything at all in 4 years.

  10. #10
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    My son absolutely rips his 2010 Hardrock down just about anything! Nasty rock gardens to 2-3 foot jumps no problem. But we did swap his fork to 120mm Tora 318 which is nite n day difference.

  11. #11
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    I recently bought a 2013 Hardrock disc 29er. While I'm a newbie to MTB, I have been pleasantly surprised by how well this bike continues to handle itself. There have been 2 sizable crashes thus far, and the bike has hardly shown a scratch! Wheels still true, shifting as smoothly as the 1st day, etc.
    As I had been reading lots of comments and reviews of parts here on the forums, I had initially started feeling that I had bought an inferior bike just because I didn't have a $1,000 fork-all carbon parts-$800 wheelsets, and all those other parts that people discuss on here. The more I ride though, the more I find that my bike handles everything with ease. My inexpensive Suntour stock fork absorbs all the rocks and roots I have hit in central New England without question, my stock seatpost and handlebars have yet to show a scratch or any type of slippage, and my wheels stay straight and keep me rolling over everything!
    Is this bike exotic? certainly not. It DOES handle just about everything, and then comes back for more. Your body will usually quit before the bike does.
    Get out there and enjoy the ride, and the bike will be right there with you!

  12. #12
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    You might wear through some of the components faster than a higher-end bike, but the Hardrock is a great place to start. I've been replacing components as I go and my '10 Hardrock Sport Disc can take anything my abilities can throw at it. Ride the s*** out of it, you know it wants it.

    Once you put a "real" fork on it, there's no going back to the Suntour, though.
    '10 Hardrock Sport Disc

  13. #13
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    I've had a Hardrock Disc for 4 years now, and it's help up very well on some really tough technical trails and even small to medium sized drops (less than 3 feet). You will wear through a bunch of the stock parts pretty quickly, but just upgrade them as they break or wear out and you'll be fine. The only thing I would recommend upgrading sooner is the fork.

  14. #14
    local trails rider
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    Riding tires on, or near, the ground there's practically no limit to what the bike can take.

    It is more like, when the going gets very rough, you may notice that you want to keep the speed down a little to keep from breaking yourself.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #15
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    I am in the same boat as xyesterday and just posted something similar in the 29er forum. Have had my 2013 for a bit less than a month and have put on 85-95miles in north west jersey. Its my first bike.. so I have stuck to some of the more "intermediate" trails near me... mostly single/double track and fire road. Some technical sections, fairly rooty and rocky. Haven't stepped up to the more advanced trails yet... but it has handled everything I have thrown at it to date and I think I have probably been pretty hard on it as a beginner.

    I did just snap my derailuer hanger and bent up the rear derailuer.. lead to a fun hike out, but that was the stick's fault or mine. I am upgrading the derailuer.

  16. #16
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock48nj View Post
    I did just snap my derailuer hanger and bent up the rear derailuer.. lead to a fun hike out, but that was the stick's fault or mine.
    I recently heard a guy call a stick like that an "upgrade stick"

    With a chain tool, you can turn the bike into a singlespeed. Usually that makes you faster than hiking.

    I got tired of bending derailer hangers ... so I quit using derailers.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  17. #17
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    Hey, I own a 2008 Hardrock pro disc and I'll tell you; the thing is a BEAST! You can basically ride any trail you want, but I did take it off a 4 foot jump and it caused the rear wheel to be out of true. IMO, the wheels are the weakest part of the bike. Even my front wheel started to be out of true. Replaced them with a better set and you'd be amazed at how awesome the bike feels.

    Only other mods I did was slap on a DEORE F/R derailleaur (and they're pretty affordable) and it's basically all good to go. I found that the Atlus stuff wasn't that great for trail riding.

    One thing to becareful of is pedal strikes. I find that the hardrock's bb height is a little bit low for my taste and sometimes when I'm pedaling through a corner while leaning just a tad bit, I tend to strike the pedal onto roots or rocks, or what-have-you.

    About that fork, yeah, I'd upgrade that darn thing as fast as possible. That thing is too bloody heavy.

  18. #18
    crash test dummy
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    My rear went out-of-true, probably from my big drop too. Luckily my LBS is awesome and does routine maintence for free on all the bikes they sell. 10 min at the shop and I was right as rain.
    I'm also thinking of upgrading my fork to something lighter and more responsive.
    From what I've found on the forum the HR is a decent bike to upgrade and ride forever if you don't mind a heavy-ish frame.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by v3biker View Post
    One thing to becareful of is pedal strikes. I find that the hardrock's bb height is a little bit low for my taste and sometimes when I'm pedaling through a corner while leaning just a tad bit, I tend to strike the pedal onto roots or rocks, or what-have-you.
    Pedal strikes is something to be careful of anyway.

    The trails in my area have lots of bumpy sections and minding where the pedals are in relation to whatever is on the ground is a must. Careful timing and even ratcheting are very useful skills, riding among rocks and stumps, in places where you cannot rely on gravity to keep you going.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    I recently heard a guy call a stick like that an "upgrade stick"

    With a chain tool, you can turn the bike into a singlespeed. Usually that makes you faster than hiking.

    I got tired of bending derailer hangers ... so I quit using derailers.
    Yup definitely an upgrade stick. I think I am lucky i didn't lead to more upgrades based on the size of the stick and speed I was going when it happened. I just ordered a multi-tool with a chain tool. It was on my "list" but that incident moved it to the top. Would have been a much faster out for me as the ride i was on starts out with most of the climbing and finishes more downhill.

  21. #21
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    I have a 2011 Hardrock. I have beat the crap out of that poor bike. I love it. I have only upgraded the pedals, but now I am ready to get new tires.

  22. #22
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    Most of the people I ride with have Hardrocks and no one has any major issues. Of course they all want a higher end bike, but the hardrock does everything they need. The biggest complaint is always the fork.

    One of the better guys I ride with had a Hardrock for about 6 months. It never broke, per say, but after getting trashed for 6 months it was having issues. He would have needed to change some parts (brakes, fork, and RD) if he was going to keep it.
    Last edited by Sickmak90; 08-04-2012 at 06:11 AM.

  23. #23
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    As others have said, it's capable of pretty much everything as long as you ride it appropriately for each trail. You can't beat the hell out of it and expect it to just sit there and take it like a beefier bike would. As for durability of the bike and components, here's some of my experience with the bike....

    I bought a 2012 Hardrock Sport Disc 29er a few months ago. It's main purpose was to simply get me on the trails, period. I wanted to ride and I needed to start getting in shape. I went into it knowing that while I was spending a pretty good chunk of money, it was still at least half the price of anything that most riders would call a "nice" bike so it would probably have some shortcomings. Yup, plenty. The bike itself is pretty decent overall. It's got a good feel to it, nice balance, very good handling, etc. It's the crap hanging off the bike that's the problem.

    The factory installed SRAM X4 stuff is garbage, plain and simple. No matter how many times I adjust the front and rear derailleurs myself or how many times I have very well qualified shops do the same thing, they don't stay adjusted properly for more than an hour on the trail. Be ready for a lot of noise, delayed shifting, and general frustration with every aspect of the drive train. During longer trail rides, be prepared to stop and adjust or else deal with lost gears.

    Both shifter bodies/casings have cracked twice. They warrantied them once, won't do it again. This compounds the problems that the derailleurs are having. I still have use of my rear shifter but the front no longer ratchets at all. Until I get the cash to upgrade and replace the shifter, I'm stuck in the first chainring up front.

    Something that should be obvious to anyone who has any experience (but is not so evident to a n00b who might not plan for the extra expense) is that the factory plastic pedals should never ever be used and need to go into the trash can immediately. With even a hint of moisture the plastic pedals become as slippery as ice and they will cause injury. I bought $50 Forte Convert pedals from Performance Bike and they are a great cheap option to start out with. Grips will go into this "replace it immediately" category too. They're slip on grips and they're junk. Get some lock-ons for like $20.

    The factory Suntour fork is utterly useless. Sure it technically has some shock absorbing capabilities because it moves up and down, but it's one step above a rigid fork. After a few months on the trail mine no longer compresses unless I hit a drop or lean way out over the bars. It now functions as nothing more than a spring to launch my front end up at every bump during any climb.

    The wheels are very weak, even when properly tensioned. I wrecked hard when I rolled down into creek crossing and hit a wide, flat rock at the bottom. Moderate speed, fairly smooth... a completely reasonable use of the bike. Wheel folded in half, threw me over the bars and I missed work for three days because I couldn't move my right arm.




    The BB5 brakes are decent, once you get them properly adjusted. However, be prepared to deal with the nightmare of squealing... lots of squealing...and grinding, rubbing, ticking, etc. for about a month until you finally get them adjusted properly. During one ride I was so frustrated with the noise that I sat on a rock staring at my bike trying to break it in half with my mind, but it didn't work . Right off the bat you'll have to attack the rotors with Brakleen, lightly scuff sand the pads and rotors (as if you were preparing to bed-in performance brakes for a car), loosen the caliper bolts, squeeze the levers to center the caliper, tighten, an then readjust the pads, and then you'll probably have to do it at least five more times.

    With all of that said, it's a fairly capable bike. You just need to realize that if you do any trail riding regularly you will reach the outer limits of that the components can handle. Also, remember that with at least new pedals and grips, you'll probably be another $100 on top of the cost of the bike. That's the case with every bike though, so that doesn't count as negative.

    I have to say that I would definitely be happy with the feel of bike once I upgraded to a half decent fork like a Recon Silver or Gold, and maybe some BB7s with SD7 levers (BB7 over the BB5 for the extra adjustability), and maybe some X5 or X7 drivetrain stuff in addition to the requisite pedal and grip upgrades. The funny thing is that after all is said and done, that's the same amount of money you'd spend to get a higher end model that would have already had better components to start with. It's all about the money though, and for me at the time of purchase, the Hardrock was the most I could do.

    Here's my bike (with junk extra pedals and grips for now, my stuff is on a weekend demo Giant Anthem X 29er right now ):
    Last edited by DC2.2GSR; 08-04-2012 at 02:10 PM.

  24. #24
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    DC2.2GSR, what wheels did you replace the stock ones with?

  25. #25
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    I have a 2011 Hardrock Sport Disk 29er. I'm big (6-1/285lbs) and it's holding up OK under me. I replaced the BB5s due to what DC2.2GSR was describing and they're great. I replace the fork with a Reba as a Father's day present (nice). I replaced the pedals with some cheap but functional platforms with spikes. Put on ODI rogue grips because I read good things about them (which were true) and they were cheap. I recently had to replace my front wheel due to bendage. Not as bad as DC2.2GSR's but determined to be not permanently reparable. I built a Stan's flow with XT hub and Wheelsmith butted spokes. It's nice. Overall, I like my bike.

    Mine hasn't had shifting issues (yet). Upgrading shifters is tricky due to the Hardrock being an 8-speed and the nicer shifters being 9 or 10 speed. Upgrade the cassette too I guess?.

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