Strengths: Awesome entry level bike ! Not your basic wal-mart huffy or mongoose !
Weaknesses: Well nuttin really ! If you compare apples to apples !
For a beginner it is perfect, if you decide to go single track then some upgrades are in order, first tires then pedals and so on !
First some about me, i am a total noob, 5'6" and 168 lbs. And somewhat out of shape ! Lol ! My first ever single track was this past weekend and did well on a beginners track. I did have an experienced guide showing me the way so i new where i was going. My bike never once gave me an issue. Only thing was the stock fast trak tires are adequate but not intended for single track use, so my first upgrade will be tires for that purpose. And as long as the bike is fitted to your body it is a great beginners bike. Upgrading components really depend on you as you progress, for me i will not unless anything breaks. But if i get bitten really hard by this hobby I know what i will want and that will be a higher level bike and it will definitely be a specialized !
Favorite Trail: just starting out so only have tried one.
Duration Product Used: 1 month
Purchased At: bike works orlando
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2013
Strengths: Stealth black paint
Purchased bike and peeled off green stickers. Dumped the wheels for a set of Stan's Arch factory wheels. Added a couple of Specialized "The Captain 2.0 r, 2.2 f" tires and have been very happy.
I owned a Specialized Epic in the past and it was great. I sold that bike and am just as happy with my current set up. If the components are adjusted properly you can beat the heck out of them.
One issue I had was a squeaky front fork. I removed, cleaned, and rubbed Valvoline axle/packing grease on the forks moving parts and the squeak has not returned.
Tip: learn basic maintenance skills for cycling and you will discover that a properly tuned entry bike rides like an upper end rig. Unless you have the cash ($3000 + for high end) this is a worthy ride.
Strengths: The 2013 Hardrock is a a solid frame. Hydraulic brakes are great for this price point. 29er wheels are great.
Weaknesses: Bike is heavy. Tires are suitable.
Overall I love this bike. I began riding in early 2012 and I feel this frame is very solid and stable. I love the 29" wheels compared to my previous bike (Trek 820). The addition of the hydraulic brakes at this price point it makes the bikes value rating go up. So far I have had very positive experience with this bike. I will say that the bike feels heavy, but that could be in part to the 23" frame. I ride mainly on the road for fitness with trail riding on the weekends and I feel it is suited well for this type of buyer.
Weaknesses: ...but as heavy as an ox. Altius front derailleur had to be replaced almost immediately, along with the crappy Fast Trak tires
This Hardrock was my "first real bike" after an ancient Giant rigid 26er that I suffered on for awhile. I picked up my Hardrock used yet in nearly new condition at about a 50% cost savings; I'd recommend buying this bike used because it's built very strong and would be hard to abuse to the breaking point. When I purchased it, I was a newbie mountain biker who had enough experience to know that I wanted a better-than-K-Mart quality bike but wasn't sure if I was going to get into it enough to warrant spending big bucks on a high end ride. This is the perfect choice for that sort of rider. 1500 miles (and 30 pounds) later, I found myself pushing the bike to its limit and lost sleep over whether or not I should spend money on upgrades or fork out for a new bike altogether. Today I finally decided to pull the trigger on a full suspension replacement, not because the hardtail is wanting but because I'm coming off a back surgery and figured I'd better start treating my body appropriately. I'd say that this bike's target market is for folks who spend 80% of their time on pavement and 20% of their time on dirt. I'm just the opposite, but the bike has performed admirably, and I'm selling it for close to what I paid for it. For the record, I spent a week on a $3800 full suspension Giant AnthemX 29er 0 demo bike, which beat my Strava times that I'd recorded on the Hardrock; within a month of being back on the Hardrock, I'd beaten every one of the Giant's times as well-- so this bike can hang. I've also ridden this bike from the top of Mammoth Mountain down to the Village. Having said that, I really wouldn't choose this bike for the most technical of terrain, which is why I'm upgrading to a new bike that costs 3x more than this Hardrock did new. Again, for the beginner rider who is just getting into riding, especially cross-country style riding, this is nice "gateway" bike, especially if you can pick it up used.
Bike Setup: Ghetto Tubeless and Kenda Kharmas, upgraded to a Deore front derailleur, otherwise stock
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 22, 2012
Strengths: Affordable entry level all-purpose bike. Easy shifting up or down, front or rear. Tough frame that is worth keeping and up grading components as $ and experience allow. Suspension fork is usable, but no "stump-jumping" etc -- come on folks, it only costs $580.00 after all (non-sport).
Weaknesses: Non-hydraulic disk brakes are a little weak, but usable on the non-sport version. Haven't tried the hydraulic on the sport.
After getting back into riding after a 15 year break from regular riding and good bikes, this bike is a great improvement over the department store junk I've been attempting to ride and destroy. I ended up buying one for me (48yrs old) and one for my 15 yr-old daughter. Yes, it could be improved, but not for the $580.00 it costs retail. I love the 29 inch wheels and haven't had the problem other road bike riders are saying about the hard pedaling required on pavement, but coming from a "tank" anything is easier. The bikes will be used combination road and dirt bike wider trails and limited single track, Maybe even for some light touring. Much more comfortable than my old Giant CroMo framed touring bike with index shifting and 700mm X 23c tires, and much more flexible in usage (just try riding a narrow tire on a caliche dirt road at any speed over a walk). The more upright riding position takes the pressure off my older shoulders and wrists. I will be upgrading the pedals, but I've done that on every bike I've owned -- not a problem, personally I prefer to buy a bike with cheaper throw-away pedals instead of trying to find a buyer for the pedals I'm going to replace anyway. Really good bikes don't even come with pedals...
Strengths: 29" wheels roll over everything, decent components for a beginner, seems like a good bike to upgrade as skills progress.
Weaknesses: Somewhat heavy, takes some tuning to get right at first.components could definitely use an upgrade.
A great bike for a beginner or someone getting back in to the sport like myself. I use it to commute to and from work occassionally, but most enjoy riding it on the trails here in central Maryland. The bike is big and sturdy enough for a guy like me (6'1", 215lbs). The components are able to hold up t my style of riding. I like to push myself, although I am not the most technical or smooth rider yet. It takes a little bit of a beating. Some of the parts on this bike I can tell I already want to upgrade, but over all it is a pretty rider friendly and amateur friendly bike, especially for someone who doesnt have the largest budget.
Strengths: Durable, performs well on basic mountain trails, good hardware for the money, Solid entry level mountain bike if you really want to ride off road. Stock tires decent for basic moutain trials and also work for rolling around on pavement, albeit with somewhat heavy pedaling.
Weaknesses: Fairly heavy, front wheel little out of true after one mountain ride, mediocre on open road even with slicks, rare occasion chain seems to skip a tooth on sprocket when taking off. I wouldn't recommend it for pavement commuting, like 5 miles.
I've ridden this bike pretty much stock on basic mountain trails as a newbie mountain biker, but experienced road biker. It did pretty well in dry weather. Took me a while to figure out how to adjust up the BB5 brakes, but it's easy now. Set the calipers, then occasionally adjust inboard, outboard pads. I mostly ride streets though, prolly need more adjust with lots moutain rides.
I wouldn't recommend this bike if you're expecting a good pavement commuter, cause IMO, it's not very good at it. I have a rocket road bike, '07 Spesh roubaix expert which rolls very fast, very, very smooth. Cruise 20 mph into headwind. The Hardrock with 700 x 38c Infinity slicks and thornproof tube up front ... feels sort of sluggish on the open road. I'd hate to commute even 3 miles on it, cause I like efficient road bikes. If you want to pedal hard on road, this bike is for you. IMO, I wouldn't put 700 x 25 or 28 tires on this Hardrock because the front sprockets are too small and it would look awkward anyway.
I will be looking to replace this bike with likely a Sirrus commuter bike, in time as given circumstances, I won't be mountain biking much. Shouldn't have bought a mountain bike, but the store did suggest it would double as a good commuter with slicks to which I now disagree.
Bike Setup: 700 x 38c Specialized Infinity Armadillo tires, front thornproof tube, Spesh pro-set stem at 16 deg up, 1" riser 31.8 bars cut to 640mm width, Ergon GP1 grips, Salsa bolt-on seat collar, Serfas E-gel saddle, Niterider Lumina 350 headlight.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: August 15, 2012
Strengths: the bike rolls over anything and great for trails or street. solid biek to start out on and learn.
Weaknesses: the gears are not solid, the forks are terrible (mine snaped clean in half after a month of riding), im not a pro but i can spot flaws when i see them and it seemed they cut corners when making this bike.
The hardrock is a great bike when starting out and has great qualitys but cant compete when used by upper level riders. it has to many cheap qualitys
Strengths: rolls over rocks and roots well. brakes work well. Wheels are very strong. frame is very sturdy and feels good for someone over 6'1" and 250 lbs.
Weaknesses: Had a little brake fade on downhills and the 29er is a not as nimble in tight corners. The tires could be a bit better for trails but it is great on roads and hardpack. The drivetrain could probably be upgraded.
I really enjoy this bike. For the price I paid, its been tough and handles well. This bike sees a lot of road travel as a commuter and also several hours of trail riding on the weekends and has handled my size very well. After taking it on some the downhill trails in Utah, I want to get a full suspension bike now.
Strengths: Very fast rolling. Rides over roots, stumps, small rocks, etc. with ease. Shifting is very smooth and the hydraulic disc brakes can stop on a dime. Black / blue / orange color scheme and graphics look really nice.
Weaknesses: Stock tires and pedals are awful for a bike like this. The lock-out fork has immediate functionality issues. If you're not used to a 29" bike, it will be a tough change to adapt to and you will be compromising precision in turning, making it tough if you do a fair amount of riding in the woods.
THIS IS FOR THE NEW 2013 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er Model** (Black / Blue / Orange)
Less than one week into owning/riding the bike, I am having some chain issues. The chain issue does not occur under heavy peddling, rather it pops up frequently if you jump (term used very lightly) or hop around at all, and has come off the crank completely twice from hard (again, term used lightly) jumps. I don't know enough to speculate on why or how to alleviate this issue.
Before I go further, I should first explain my style of riding; I would say I am a very aggressive & fast rider. I like the ability to ride 20-30 miles on pavement at a time and, with the same bike, take it on advanced off-road / woods trails, which could include steep incline and decline hills and riding over roots and rocks. I am by no means a technical expert, but I've been riding almost every day for the last couple of years, so I have a solid grasp on the fundamental areas of functionality. I use this as a daily commuter to work (2-3 miles) and at the end of the day I use it as my fitness machine.
I come from years of using a 26" (2001 Haro 8.1 escape to be specific) and for those who are similar, a 29" will probably take most some serious getting used to, as I'm struggling with the same. I had to add side handles so I could regain the leaning forward feel and have the option of focusing on my calves when pedaling. Hardrock's frame almost forces you to pedal in an upright position. The Hardrock is also a little heavier, compared to my previous bike.
Lock-out Fork: While the switch to lock out the front shocks is easy to reach while riding, it does not actually allow you to do so while you're moving or putting any pressure down. What happened with me is when I tried to lock it out while riding, instead of locking it out the switch knob spun around so now it's backwards and, while it's still functional, it only appears in a 'red' lock sign (it normally switches between green & red). Also, be sure not to slam down while you are locked out, otherwise it will slip and mine does not lock out completely now (probably my fault).
The 29" wheel also gives up some important precision turning and I'm finding that I'm hitting my foot on the front tire during tight radius turns (might be an adaptation issue). I've found out immediately that to do any serious off-roading, you will need to upgrade your tires and pedals as they are VERY slick. The tread on the stock tires are minimal, at best, and the stock pedals are a generic plastic.
On the positive, it takes very little effort to get this thing rolling fast. and, once it does, its momentum is easy to maintain. It shifts beautifully and the hydraulic disc brakes stop on a dime.
All in all, from the heavy research I've done, this bike comes in at a great value for the components included. On paper, this should be a perfect fit for my riding style and needs. My close friends and family who are experienced riders, not only recommended Specialized, but this series, for the same reasons.
Unfortunately, I might look to sell and go back to a 26" and a frame/stem that I am more comfortable with. Feel free to offer up suggestions, especially in the specialized family. Or, if you're interested in buying it, let me know. I've used it for 3 days total.
Strengths: entry level price for a 29er bike. great looks, I actually bought the cheaper (not sport) model, the very basic 29er disc bike
Weaknesses: you pay for what you get, SR Suntour shock, mechanical disc brakes and Sram doesn't even list X3 on their own web page, what's that tell ya? Use common sense when rating the bike
I put over 120 kilometers on this bike each week. I commute to work 10kms each way and also fitted the bike with a Polisport baby carrier for my 2 year old son. I push my bike hard off road. My outgoing bike is a 26" wheeled Stumpjumper from Specialized. I literally parked the Stumpy when I got the 29er because I am hooked on the bigger wheels. BTW the stumpy is up for sale :) 2013 29er stumpy for me next season!
The bike is what you pay for. I had hydraulic Elixer 5's in my parts bin at home that are black and white, so match the black and white bike. I figured since I was going to winter ride it, I'd get the cheapest shock and buy a Fox for summer, the SR Suntour does not work like a much more expensive shock, but hey, a Fox is more than the whole bike cost... use your brain.
The brake change should be a no brainer, I mean the Elixers out preform the Tektros any day. As well, later I put on 203mm discs. It brakes like a 26" wheel bike now, no problem scrubbing off speed. i'd strongly recommend any 29er rider to put 203mm discs on their bike, much more control.
I'd recommend this bike to anyone. Depending on your riding style, you could use for some upgrades, but before I swapped anything, I rode it 40+ kms around the city and found it to be adequate for what it is.
The tires provide little grip when you get into the slick stuff, but are fast for paved trails or hard packed, so there's a compromise. A more aggressive tire is simply not going to be as fast on the pavement. that said, I can climb Thunder Bay's Hillcrest Park straight up the steepest section with the stock tires, a product of more traction because of the wheel diameter. They slide when pushed through corners off road (yes off road every day it's not raining on the way to and from the office, the trail is in my way).
Hand grips/seat are fine. the stem/handlebar is surprisingly heavy, I swapped them out too.
Stock plastic pedals are embarrassing, so they're gone and switching to an XT crank will save you a full pound. (I am not joking, crank + bb and stock pedals = 4lbs, XT with DX shimano pedals + external bb = 3lbs)
My only gripe with the bike, after factoring in that it is the cheapest 29er offering, is the basement bike comes with 7-speed stuff, so I am having to change the free hub to upgrade to 3x9. I built a second set of wheels for summer and the stock will be winters, still going with 9 at the rear once a free hub is found for winter. they won't admit what hub they put on this model, which is strange, but it looks like a Formula unit.
Otherwise, for the price, the Trek Mamba was a bike I considered, but I have ridden Specialized for a number of years and the customer service has always been great.
Similar Products Used: Test ride Trek Mamba
Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc (26" wheels) outgoing winter bike.
Bike Setup: Elixer 5 hydrualic brakes with Hope 203mm discs, XT hubs on DT Swiss 485D hoops + spokes, Sram X-9 rear shifter + X-0 carbon RD, Sram rear 9-speed cassette and single 38t front with chain guard and guide from Straitline.
Specialized stem and Demo bar.
Strengths: Solid frame, although a little heavy. Rolls great once up to speed. Disk brakes are decent - haven't had any problem. Shifts smooth and solid - again no problems. Fast trak tires are decent but I like the Captains for single track better - seem to handle roots better.
Weaknesses: definitely the pedals but that's about par with other mfg as well. Suntour shocks were okay for general riding but am going to change them out for SS. Not as nimble as a 26" but maybe that's just me.
Let me be clear upfront ... I'm kind of biased ...I'm hooked on Specialized. I just started riding a few months ago (I'm over 60, 5'10", 165 lbs.) Got a used Crossroads and decided it was an old man's bike so I traded it in for a Sirrus Sport. I replaced the front fork,seat post and handlebars with carbon as well as the torturous seat and I put on Shimano clipless pedals and really started to enjoy the bike. Oh yeah, I got a set of Armidillo tires and have not had a flat since. I'd put 50-75 miles on it per week.
That's when the problems started. I ran into some folks half my age that were into urban riding. Well, the Sirrus isn't really suited for that but I found a used Hard Rock for a decent price so I bought it and started riding with them. Decided I enjoyed the on road/off road rides so I sold it and bought a new Hard Rock 26er. The first time out on a trail, I hit some mud and wiped out. I went back to the LBS and they suggested I try a 29er so I tried the 29er the following weekend, hit the same mud patch, only this time went through with no problem plus cruising on flat surfaces, street, fire trails, it just seemed easier once I got up to speed. Bottom line, I went back and got the 29er Sport Disc. First change was the pedals to clipless like my Sirrus. Second change was the seat (who designs these things? BG = Body Geometry? My a$$!). Third thing was to go to Captains 2bliss tires.
All was well and good until I started riding Single track so now I'm looking at upgrading the front fork with maybe Rock Shox and I've started playing around with the stem and handlebars. I've almost taken down trees with the stock (660mm, I think) handlebars but, other than that, I love the bike. Maybe I'm pushing the capabilities of the bike and will probably go for a FSR in the future but that's another grand that I don't have and this is working great for me now.
Bike Setup: Hard Rock Sport Disc 29er
Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform Pedal
Shimano SH56 SPD Multi-release Cleats
Serfas Men's RX Bicycle Saddle
Specialized The Captain Control 2Bliss Tire with STANS
Strengths: The wheel’s unbeatable strength; never had a bike to have not bent its wheel in this long. Not even needing a truing. The fork is ridiculously sturdy, Takes to impact very well. At 190 lbs. I have only bottomed out twice in 4 months.
Weaknesses: Shock does not lockout on the fly, the freewheel takes to powerful legs like butter to a knife, the rear hub and bearings, the bottom bracket, the stock pedals and brakes take a while to break-in.
I believe now that the bike has durable-impact-kind of parts, but not such a durable drive, which is good, really, because that means you don't need to upgrade things like the fork, or the wheels, or even the crank arms, or the headset, all of which have held upgrade, as long as you do no jumps. For anyone who is either not pushing 1400 watts max and a 300-watt average power, or who, hahahahaha, doesn't know what they’re pushing, this drive would last them a long time. And, the impact of curbs, and rocks, and other small obstacles, will not hurt this bike for a long time, like maybe a full year, and with proper care even might go for two years or 1500 miles without anything but maybe a new chain. Good overall. Racers must upgrade the drive train and maybe the front break, and the shock if they plan on more than XC races.
Similar Products Used: specialized pump for 6 years workes well and was only $50.
Bike Setup: specialized spd clipless pedals and shoes
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: July 15, 2012
Strengths: Cost for an entry level XC bike. Takes a lickin keeps on tickin.
Weaknesses: Pedals, Tires, Fork
I am a former road rider and this is my first mountain bike. Ive been riding it for about 3 months on New England trails - rock gardens, mud, hard pack, loose over hard etc. I ride trails 2-3 times a week. Overall I am happy with the bike... First off, ditch the pedals and the tires. Upgraded the pedals to some Welgo's ( I like to ride flats) and replaced the stock tires with a beefier setup. (WTB Bronson rear & Maxis Ardent up front) They made all the difference in the world for climbing and wet muddy trails. The front fork works OK, but compared to some of the better forks Ive tried out on friends bikes, not nearly as smooth. Broke a few teeth on the big chain ring crossing logs etc. Pulled it off and replaced it with a bash guard. (never used the big ring anyway) I Like the way the bike rolls over most anything, and it climbs well. I like the geometry ( Im 6'2". 190 lbs). As I improve my riding skills I guess I will want something a bit lighter with a better front shock, but for now this is fine and is providing me a fun workout without breaking the bank.
Strengths: Im a big guy 6'10" 300lbs so the structure in itself seems to be able to take the load.
Weaknesses: I had major component issues.
Let me say first that I am in fact a new to this. I bought the '11 version May 19th of 2012 so I'm only going on a month and a half of riding. That said, from day one I always, and by always I mean every time I rode the trails, there were shifting hangups, the chain would jump off if the bump was big enough, and the bigger issue was that every time I climbed a hill, the chain would skip and my foot would go from 1 o'clock to 6 o'clock. That happened from day one. Initially, I thought it was a newbie thing but my el cheapo Giant Rincon never did this. I often brought it back to my LBS to look at it explaining to them the issue(s). Let's just say they don't like to see me so much. They would do little things here and there, and just when we thought it was good to go.....major fail. The chain slipped, so did my foot, and the pedals really tattooed the back of my calf and achilles area. (I'm working on getting shoes for a 16 wide).
Sooo, my LBS ended up changing the rear cassette (is that the right term? i call it a sprocket), and changed the rear derailer to an sram x7. They adjusted the rear derailer to ensure that the chain had more wrap around.
After a month and a half of wondering if my bike was ever gonna work, it finally does with the upgraded components. Today, it didn't even hint at wanting to slip. I rode it hard and it responded well.
Had the issue not been fixed this time around I would have given 2 chilies instead of the 3. I can't speak to the rest of the components, everything seems fine. I do think that the bike is a pretty good value, for me, being that I need a rugged bike to put up to my punishment, yet out of the box it should have performed as it does now. Maybe after a year, if this thing stays stable, I would give better marks. I think when it comes to the entry level bikes YMMV.