Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10

    Help me pick between Hardrock and Forge

    I'm trying to pick a beginner bike for myself.

    The LBS has a 2009 Hardrock Sport they will sell me for $400.

    Target has a Forge Sawback which is the same price, $400, and I have heard good things about both bikes.

    Anyway, my budget is $400, which bike would you buy at this price point?

    Help me decide!

    One thing I wondered about was that the Forge has disc brakes and the Hardrock Sport does not. The LBS guy said he didn't think disc brakes on the Hardrock were worth paying extra for because they don't really work any better than the normal brakes on the Sport, and he would rather spend the money for the other features the Sport has (such as double wall rims and the ability to lock the front suspension for street driving which I may do for school).

    It's a tough decision, the LBS bike will have lifetime service included in that price, but this is not quite as big a deal for me since I'm very handy and probably would like to work on my bike myself anyway.

    Help!

    Oh almost forgot one thing - I'm a fat guy (250 pounds) so the bike / rims / etc. need to be able to handle my extra weight! Take that into consideration please!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    22
    For street riding I would consider the locking suspension almost a necessity, especially for any hills. I have tried my bike with the suspension unlocked on the street and found it very annoying and probably a waste of energy.

    Give the Hardrock a try with the suspension unlocked to see the effect and then decide for yourself.

  3. #3
    Dirt Deviant
    Reputation: savagemann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3,694
    Hands down, 100%, no questions asked, Hardrock.
    You get LBS support, warranty support, and a bike assembled by someone who at least works in a shop.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: daylight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    56
    I would go with the forge, I made the same choice myself (hardrock vs forge) a couple of months ago, assembled it in <2 hrs with a biker friend, and have had a pretty reliable experience ever since. You get mostly better parts for the price, too. Disc over v-brakes is a no-brainer...

    The dart 1 isn't too amazing but it did its job (I have replaced it with a real fork now).

    Buying a bike outside of an LBS has been something I did not regret at all - it's taught me tons about bike maintenance and I actually very much enjoy tuning my bike up and fixing things on it by myself rather than having someone else work on it.

    As for the weight issue.. both frames should handle it fine. If you live in the south bay you can try my sawback out. Granted, it's far from stock but you can get an idea of what the frame feels like.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10
    Thanks for the offer Daylight, unfortunately I'm in Arizona so I can't take you up on that

    Dang so looks like 2 votes for the Hardrock and 1 for the Forge so far.

    Does the Forge have the ability to lock out the front suspension? I feel like that might be important since this bike will primarily be used to ride to school, then only for mountain biking on the weekends. I just can't afford 2 separate bikes right now.

    Another thing to consider is that I really like working on stuff, I always fix my own car problems even the tough ones, so even if I had the warranty I would probably end up working on the bike myself anyway. I probably would like wrenching on it more than actually riding it, I'm that kind of person.

    Anyway I'm not making a snap decision, I'm going to think about it and look around at my options, so if anyone else has an opinion please let me know!

    By the way - can you get a Sawback in the store or does Target only sell it from their website? I have at least ridden the Hardrock for a minute, it would be nice to at least look at and sit on the Sawback...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    57
    The Forge is the better bike. While the disc brakes it comes with are pretty entry level, the fact that the wheelset and fork are already disc ready make for an easy upgrade if you feel it necessary. 9 spd drivetrain is also nice at that pricepoint. I wanna say those bikes are pretty much 90 percent assembled, nothing a pedal wrench and mini tool wont finish. While support from a bike shop is nice when you're new to the sport, I never used the free tune ups and instead bought a bike tool set and do my own stuff. So yea, I say go with the Forge, its almost comparable to a Rockhopper.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10
    How hard and expensive would it be to change the front shocks on the Forge to something that has a lock-out (and maybe dampening)?

    Also, at 250 pounds wouldn't I want to put stiffer springs in the front anyway than the stock ones?

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,615
    Quote Originally Posted by Hellbore
    How hard and expensive would it be to change the front shocks on the Forge to something that has a lock-out (and maybe dampening)?

    Also, at 250 pounds wouldn't I want to put stiffer springs in the front anyway than the stock ones?
    A fork upgrade is probably going to run you at least $200 to $300 and that's assuming you will buy online and install it yourself. It's usually not a good idea to buy a new bike with intention of immediately upgrading the fork. You would be much better off adding that money to your bike budget and just getting a better bike with a better fork.
    And Yes, you will probably need to get stiffer springs at your weight. However,if you buy a bike with an air fork, you can just increase the air pressure to suit your weight (I think you can still run an air fork at 250, but you may want to check before buying).
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10
    Hmm so the Hardrock shocks already have lock-out on them, and I'm guessing a stiffer spring wouldn't be too expensive (not replacing the whole fork just putting stiffer springs in).

    Should I maybe consider spending a bit more for a Hardrock Sport Disc, to get the disc brakes?

    I am really tempted to just get the Forge but I'm afraid that not being able to lock out the front fork will drive me crazy.

    Maybe I should just look for a used bike with no suspension (rigid, is it called?) and use that for my commute and save up for a mountain bike later... what do you think about that idea? If I do that, any suggestions for a rigid commuter bike to help me in my search? (on Craigslist most likely)

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,615
    Quote Originally Posted by Hellbore
    Maybe I should just look for a used bike with no suspension (rigid, is it called?) and use that for my commute and save up for a mountain bike later... what do you think about that idea? If I do that, any suggestions for a rigid commuter bike to help me in my search? (on Craigslist most likely)
    That may be your best option. You have to sacrifice too much to try to use a bike as both a trail bike and a commuter. As far as looking for a specific model for a used bike, that's pushing your luck. Just see what's out there and pick whatever seems to be the best fit for you. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding a used rigid bike to use as a commuter for $100 or less.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10
    Yeah that makes a lot of sense, plus my commuter bike is likely to get damaged or stolen.

    I just hoped I could have it all in one bike hehe... I'll start looking for rigid commuters!

    Anything I should be looking for in terms of seats, for comfort on the commute? I don't want to become sterile just yet... lol...

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    57
    That sounds like a great idea actually. I have a rigid Trek 930 that I use as a commuter.. well, I use it on the trail as often as my hardtail. Any older Rockhopper or Trek antelope/singletrack will do the trick.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10
    What do you think about this bike

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/1312305250.html

    looks like the right size for me, and at $150 it's inexpensive.

    Also found this

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/1331399348.html

    and this

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/1331399348.html

    Here's a cheap deal

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/1287769441.html

    This one is a little large for me but might work

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/1287136623.html

    So lots of bikes available in my area...

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: daylight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    56
    The dart1 does not have a lockout, I just adjusted the preload before downhill bombing runs though, so I didn't miss it much.

    However, the new 08 140mm marz fork that I put on it is a world of difference (thanks, tomsmoto). No idea if I should have a fork this big on the Sawback frame, but one technical ride has been completed with no mishaps so far.

    Look around for a used fork if you are concerned with the lack of a lockout, maybe. The Forge is a lot of nice parts for the price, so if you can't wait to start riding, why not?

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    57
    That 930 looks very much like mine. Very light and handles great, I do ride a larger frame on older bikes. I wanna say mines a size up and i'm 1'9. I could be wrong though. The red rockhopper looks mint and damn sexy, but kinda expensive for its age. I'd see if he takes 150, if so i'd jump all over that.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,615
    Quote Originally Posted by Hellbore
    What do you think about this bike

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/1312305250.html

    looks like the right size for me, and at $150 it's inexpensive.

    Also found this

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/1331399348.html

    and this

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/1331399348.html

    Here's a cheap deal

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/bik/1287769441.html

    This one is a little large for me but might work

    http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/bik/1287136623.html

    So lots of bikes available in my area...
    Figure out your size. You've got 16", 17", 18", and 19" bikes there. Also remember those bikes are around 15 years old, so you need to see what condition they're in. That Red Rockhopper is too pretty to use for a commuter though.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    675
    I'd go with the Forge myself,better specs for sure.From my research it looks like the frame is made by Giant so it's a good frame.
    Last edited by CRed; 08-20-2009 at 08:37 PM.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    158
    I too was deciding between the 2 and ended up with a Forge. its a great bike and the components are good for a $400 bike. Im new to mtb but assembly was really easy. It also alllowed me to learn about mtb bikes. The Hardrock I feel is more entry level than the Forge. The Suntour fork I heard is junk on it and the travel is only 80mm. The dart1 on the Forge is pretty good. Also the bike rolls well. The only thing for me was the bike was slightly too big for me. 15" Rockhopper was my other choice. Parts wise I think thats more comparable but only 24 speed. But in the end I wanted something I can handle better so I bought the rockhopper and will return the Forge. If it werent for the size issue I wouldve stuck with the Forge. The other plus about the Forge, you can return it if youre not satisfied and Target will even have UPS pick it up for you no charge. So if you dont like it, you dont really lose anything.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10
    I'm a little confused about size.

    I'm about 5'10" maybe a bit taller, and so I expected 19" would be the right size for me. However, at the bike shop, they only had 17" then it went up the 19", and the 17" seemed like it had just a couple inches between the top bar and my crotch. Isn't that supposed to be how the bike fits?

    The 19" on the other hand felt like if I had to jump down off it suddenly, I would rack myself pretty hard. I could still stand over the bike but with no room to spare.

    The guy helping me seemed to think the 17" frame was a good fit for me but said it was up to me. Seriously? How am I supposed to know which size is right? I'm the one who is new to this stuff! I didn't go to a bike shop to have them say it's my decision, I went there for advice... but ok...

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    158
    Its not necessarily your height that determines if the bike is right for you. If you have shorter legs then your crotch could still touch the top bar. Generally if it touches your crotch then it's too big but if youre comfortable it then its up to you. I know someone who actually prefers a bigger bike. For me the 15" rockhopper gave me about 3" clearance and I found I could maneuver and handle the bike better as if I was riding a bmx bike which is what I prefer. Not so with the 17" Forge but I was still able to ride it ok.

  21. #21
    Dirt Deviant
    Reputation: savagemann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    3,694
    On every bike that I own, I have no standover clearance on the top tube.
    I have short legs and a long torso.
    If I sized my bikes by standover clearance I would be in trouble. My bikes would all be too small and riding would cause me alot of pain.
    Get what feels most comfortable to you.
    I'd rather have a frame that is a tad longer, and a bit too tall.
    It really just boils down to your body type/shape and how you plan on riding the bike.
    If you were to tell me you were going to jump every little obstacle you saw, drop every ledge, hit every double with big air, I would recomend the smaller frame.
    If you plan on being comfortable and doing standard trail riding, hitting the occasional jump/drop/kicker, I'd say go with a larger frame.
    You can always add a shorter stem if the frame is a hair too long.
    And since bikes usually come with what I feel to be the longest stem possible, if you go with the smaller frame and find it to be too small, you can't really add a longer stem without messing up the steering.
    Now keep in mind, as I said, I have an odd body shape......long torso and short inseam.....so this is all my opinion.
    Listen to the shop, but most important, listen to your body.
    Test each size bike. Try to ride it for a good 10 minutes at least.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    2,615
    I'm 5' 9.5" and my XC bikes are all between 18" and 19.5". The old "crotch clearance" rule is just not the right way to fit a bike, and unfortunately some bike shops are not all that helpful in this area. Asking a new rider "well how does that feel?" is ridiculous. You need a bike that puts you in the proper riding position, and for a newb the proper riding position may not initially feel right to them.
    Effective top tube length (ETT) is actually the more important measurement for typical XC riding. You can try a bike fit calculator like this one
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
    If you're careful with your measurements, it should give you a pretty good place to start. You still may choose a slightly bigger or smaller frame based on your personal preferences and expected use of the bike. It would not be unusual for a new rider to want to go a little smaller, though you shouldn't go too much smaller. You may initially feel more comfortable on a smaller bike, but it won't get you into the optimal riding position.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    10
    Well I found a used bike I think fits my needs on Craigslist. Here is what I got:

    http://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/B...oads&Type=bike

    The one I bought is a bit more beat up than that pic, but came with brand new tires and everything works.

    I went riding with a friend and it seems to do well, I think this will fill my needs for commuting.

    If anything, I might want a better seat, it's not very comfortable. Or maybe that's just bike seats in general? I'm not used to riding distances at all.

    Anyway thanks for the advice!

    Oh by the way: I was concerned at first that it has a chromoly frame, rather than aluminum, but when I heft it, it feels lighter to me than my friend's similarly-sized Trek 7100, and that one has an aluminum frame and is a very similar style of bike (hybrid / comfort).

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •