Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: madsedan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,456

    Need advice on repair/upgrade or sell and buy better bike...Hardrock content...

    OK, so I'm about 2 months into ownership of my 2011 Hardrock disc 29er and so far I've replaced the front fork due to failure of the stock piece, the rims are bent, the crank and headset sound awful, the drivetrain has a mind of its own, and the brakes need to be upgraded now that I know what I'm doing on the bike.
    At a minimum I need to buy better rims, brakes, new crankset and bottom bearing, and potentially a new headset. The fork was sent off a couple weeks ago for a warranty replacement or repair to suntour but I bought a nicer Tora so it won't go back on the bike unless I want to sell it stock.

    I have put a couple hundred miles on the bike, hard trail riding, climbing, etc. and as my skill level has gotten allot better I know I could really benefit by having a better bike under me. I'm at the point where I need to spend $400-500 on parts and upgrades for the Hardrock or repair everything and sell it and put the money towards a better bike like a stumpjumper, something along those lines.

    But if I buy nicer components to repair and upgrade the Hardrock it'll be a pretty nice set-up but only worth not much more than its worth now when I decide to get a better bike next spring as I had originally planned. But as it is now the bike is pretty much unrideable after I went OTB 3 times yesterday in parts of a trail where I'd never had problems because the bike either ghost shifted causing my feet to loose grip or the wheel flexxed so much I thought it was going to be a catastrophic failure.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Student Driver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1,245
    After living in your shoes a long time ago, I'd probably go to at LEAST a Rockhopper, but I'm a Stumpjumper fan so go with that. Return your existing bike to stock (or as close as possible) and unload it or use it as a commuter. This is what I would do, as I'm impatient and detest having something "wrong" with my equipment.

    Another option could be to simply keep the stock parts in the garage, keep upgrading as needed, and then just buy a frame when you're ready and move the parts over. I've done both, and while I prefer to build up a bike it's *usually* cheaper to buy a complete bike if the parts that come with it are what you want, or at least can live with until you wear them out or break them.

    Have you ever heard the line "do what you love, and the money will come?" Well, this applies to bikes too. If you really love riding, you will eventually attract and acquire all kinds of bikes and parts, so the situation will, at a minimum, work itself out by the time next spring arrives.
    1997 Specialized Stumpy Pro
    1998 Specialized Allez Epic
    2007 Specialized Stumpy FSR Elite
    2010 Specialized Roubaix Expert

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: madsedan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,456
    True, good advice.
    That option is on the table for me if I decide to upgrade the failed components and spend more money on the Hardrock. I was considering a Rockhopper but I don't know that there would be that much difference between the bikes. I f I were to put better components on my Hardrock than what the Rockhopper comes with I'd probably have a better bike in the Hardrock as the frames are so similar, at least to me when I rode them back to back.
    I think shopping for a ncie Stumpjumper frame in the spring would be more of a move up for me if I decided to stay with Specialized.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    13,258
    Anything you take off-road will require more maintenance than bikes ridden only on the road. Especially if you're just starting out and still plowing it into things and wiping out a lot.

    Have you tried to true your rims? You may not need to buy anything to fix that problem... I was going to say something about rebuilding your wheels, but I notice that the spec. doesn't even give a brand name for the hubs. So I'd give them an inspection and decide if they're worth keeping. If so, decent-quality rims and a full complement of spokes should run you around $120. Building a wheel is good experience for every mountain biker to have - it tends to keep coming up. Do it by hand and your wheels are likely to give you a very long service life. New bikes come with machine-built wheels almost all the time, and while some high-end companies take the time to hand-retension and true, a lot of the time that step is omitted. (But again, you might be fine just truing the wheels you have.)

    Is something actually wrong with your crankset? There are cranksets, shipping with bottom bracket, online for $85. And they're nice cranksets, too. Just NOS or overstock. I'd probably go for the Deore LX. If there's nothing wrong with the crankset, you may be able to replace the chain rings individually. Much cheaper.

    Crack your headset open and see if it's actually damaged before you decide to replace it. They need to be preloaded correctly and may not always ship with the bearings properly packed. If you do, though, there are nice headsets online for $35. New bikes frequently come with pretty cheesy headsets even at higher pricepoints. It's not a part that makes a difference in how a test ride or demo feels.

    Whatever you do, though, don't sell an entry-level bike with a bunch of extra money bolted to it to buy a mid-level bike that doesn't have as good a fork anyway. If you're going to upgrade, get the Rockhopper Pro 29er (assuming you want to stick with big wheels?) at a minimum. Otherwise, you're just going to keep finding things to be unhappy with. Frankly, the Pro still doesn't have especially good brakes or crankset... I'm sure that the other companies all have equivalents at those pricepoints. If you replace your Hardrock, you should be aware that frame geometry is different for the higher-model bikes, so you need to do the test-riding thing again, and look at some other brands - you can't assume that the Rockhopper or Stumpjumper with the same nominal size will fit you the way you like.

    I'm unlikely to buy another complete 26" hardtail, because I've been chipping away at the build on my Hardrock for a while and I'm very happy with it. At this point, I'd have to go all the way to a Stumpjumper Comp to actually be upgrading, aside from my wheels (next on the list...) Given that there are some very nice frames kicking around online for as low as $200, the idea seems silly to me.

    What do you do in terms of maintenance? Have you figured out your barrel adjusters? Often bikes shift a little differently on the stand and on the trail, so fine-tuning really needs to be done during a ride.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: VanillaEps's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    347
    Quote Originally Posted by madsedan
    True, good advice.
    That option is on the table for me if I decide to upgrade the failed components and spend more money on the Hardrock. I was considering a Rockhopper but I don't know that there would be that much difference between the bikes. I f I were to put better components on my Hardrock than what the Rockhopper comes with I'd probably have a better bike in the Hardrock as the frames are so similar, at least to me when I rode them back to back.
    I think shopping for a ncie Stumpjumper frame in the spring would be more of a move up for me if I decided to stay with Specialized.
    I'm going to have to agree with you on this one. I don't think the Rockhopper will make a big enough difference to warrant the change. The Rockhopper LTD 29'er looks pretty good, but for $300 extra, the Stumpjumper Comp 29'er comes with Avid Elixir hydraulics and SRAM X.7/X.9 components.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: madsedan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,456
    I'm going to go back to my LBs this week when I have a chance and have them go over it and see what can be done with the rims, etc.
    I was looking at the Deore LX crankset myself, great for the price.
    The stock wheels are likely not worth rebuilding honestly, the hubs are "meh" with Alex HRD rims ( I assume HRD stands for Hard-Rock Disc???). I can buy some decent WTB or Easton 29er rims with some decent hubs for $200-250.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  7. #7
    Trail Rider
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,416
    Agreed with the above, if you're going to upgrade, go Stumpy at the minimum.

    Keep in mind you're probably going to end up busting parts off of it(stumpy) as well, if you've only been riding for 2 months. I'm going to go out on a limb and say its going to take 6-9 months until you figure everything out just riding.

    Unless you put the money down for one of the upper level Rockhoppers(which would be silly with Stumpy Comp at nearly the same price points), the components are not going to be much(if any) step up. You'd get a lighter frame...


    IMO, keep riding what you have, upgrade stuff when its busts. Eventually things will quit busting, a sure sign you're riding above the newb status, and you'll start seeing where the bike is holding you back.

    From there, either upgrade to a new complete bike, or buy a frame and throw all your upgraded parts on it.

Posting Permissions

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