Hardrock Sport VS Hardrock XC
I haven't had much luck reading any threads or much reviews for the Specialized Hardrock XC model. Does anyone even own this bike or just passed it up for the Sport? Is there a significant difference in quality of components where I should just pick the Sport over the XC?
I'm trying to do my research prior to purchasing my first mountain bike and really liked the feel of both the XC and Sport model. I'm not a "pro" biker but pretty much a noob just getting back into biking. I'm hoping to do some dirt trails and entry level mountain paths. Anyways, I went to my LBS and test rode them in the lot but I'm assuming I won't get a real grip on the bike unless taken to a dirt trail etc. I also rode a Trek 4300 which was nice too.
Going for a ride......
I hope someone whos recently looked at or purchased either will help you. I brought a hardrock comp back in 2001, that was the year before the changed the design more so towards the sport type that you're looking at. I think that was to tartet the younger riders who wanted to do more than just xc riding - beefed it up to handle more so street and dj style of riding as well. I'm not sure if the xc line appeared at the same time or down the track.
The sport seems to have slightly better components (and the price is reflected accordingly too), plus you also get 100mm of travel as opposed to 80mm on the xc. I think the sport has the more durable rims as well. On the other hand it's probably a slightly heavier bike overall if that matters to you.
Also I've noticed that the hardrock xc only comes in the one model or a womens version whereas the sport goes all the way to the $800 odd pro level. On this basis I'd be leaning towards the sport - probably better resale value too. The xc is obviously meant to be entry level only & that's it - after that you'd start looking at the Rockhopper.
In my opinion the Sport would probably be a bit more versatile and durable. Hope this helps you somewhat anyway.
Here are the links for anyone else who may wish to compare.
The hardrock sport is not a fantastic bike, but it is a very good value for the purchase price. Learn how to adjust your own brakes and stuff and you'll be fine. For light riding, it will last a long time, for harder riding, you will gradually wear things out and break stuff, but that happens with all bikes, especially at low price points.
The XC model, on the other hand, looks to me like a down-graded version. The frame doen't look so strong, cheaper brakes, twist grip 7 speed shifters, shorter fork... In my opinion, it is fine for a boardwalk cruiser, dirt roads, or very nicely-groomed bike paths, but I wouldn't consider it a real mountain bike.
If you want a solid bike for the least money, go to all specialized dealers anywhere near your house and find one that still has a leftover model in your size sitting in the shop-an 06 leftover should be nicely discounted and an 05 leftover should be nearly marked down to wholesale cost. For the hardrock line, that could mean getting a lot more bike for the money, since there haven't been that many changes in the last couple of years.