Weaknesses: Cheap Pedals
Chain always come off
Handle bars move all over the place
I've had this bike for about 3 now. It is the biggest piece of crap I have ever owned! I warn you DO NOT buy this bike!!!
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2014
Strengths: The price. Seriously, for what you're getting you're not going to find anything better. The frame is SOLID. this thing can take a beating. Shifters worked well for the first 200 miles or so, then I had to replace the shifters (front and rear) as well as the rear derailleur. For an entry level bike the brakes are decent.
Weaknesses: The fork, it's crappy. Pedals are super cheapI recommend replacing them. (Go clipless, you won't regret it!!) Its also a heavy bike, but again you get what you pay for.
Bottom line, it's a great beginner bike. I had two mountain bike rides on a crappy schwinn then decided to buy the hardrock. It was a great decision and it did really well for me for two years. I never had any problems with the tires, but I did replace the front wheel after only a few months. The rear wheel held up just fine and is still completely true. If you're just getting into mt. biking, I highly recommend this bike.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: June 11, 2014
Strengths: I've had never had any problems with the frame. Front suspension holds up very well in surprising ways. As far as the tires are holding up pretty well Better than I expected. I had to replace the back tire In the spring. Because of hard braking. I still have Original tire and tube on the front.
Weaknesses: Can't think of much weakness other than the pedals on it. Cheap plastic pedals breaks easily on the hard trails. Especially when you hit rocks or stone. It is not much of a winter bike which I found out the hard way. Because I had to replace the back rim and wheel. the brakes squeal like A woman screaming for help. Because of the salt that they use on the roads.
I bought the bike brand-new last summer. It is my main transportation to get in and out of town and exercise. There are some minor issue that I can work with. Even the bike is pushing close to 1400 miles on it as of now. It stands up pretty well to the rough stone trails at 20 to 30 mph down hill.
Weaknesses: Dangerous bike if you don't replace a lot of components and probably the front fork as well. Extremely low quality parts and integration.
Had this set up by a pro shop in Boulder, CO. Chain kept falling off or ending up caught between the gears and the frame. This happened sometimes when changing gears, but also when cruising along flat, paved trails. I had to realign the disc brakes every time I put the front wheel on and sometimes during rides. After fooling with this a few times, I started bringing it into the shop for realignment. I never got to ride it, because they would realign it and as soon as I would get it home and put the wheel on, it would be misaligned again. They cleaned, bled, and then ultimately replaced the sticky brakes and flattened the rotor. Although both original and replacement brakes were very sticky in terms of piston retraction, the bigger problem is that there is too much play between the fork and the hub. To summarize, I want to warn people not to purchase this bike and to be aware that Specialized has an "F" rating with the BBB. I tried to post a negative review a few times on the Specialized website and they keep rejecting them (I rewrote it carefully and resubmitted twice based on those guidelines - still rejected), so I wouldn't give any credibility to the ratings on their website.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2014
Strengths: Solid frame
Wanting to get back into mountain biking, I bought the Hardrock as a starter. I've owned the bike for two years and ridden it on singletrack in the Georgia sand/clay, mud in New England and flowy pack around Northern California. I understand this bike is meant for recreation on fire roads, smooth trails, etc. but I have ridden it weekly for well over 500 miles on technical singletrack. Here's my breakdown of the bike:
This thing is solid. I love the rigidity for climbing and feel like I could ride hard for another two years without worry.
It's a Suntour fork so don't expect too much from it. I've taken it apart, cleaned it and used slick honey but there is no cure for it's continual squeaking. The travel is decent for a lower-end fork but I have no problem bottoming it out on small jumps (160lbs. rider) I've had problems with the lockout as well (which can only be engaged at a dead stop).
Fast Traks are good for the road, or tame trails, so I recommend switching tires. I've got a Bronson on the back and a Mountain King on the front. Combined with the stiff frame and 29er setup, you can push this thing through some thick mud. However, I've had serious issues keeping the rims true. After being trued, the spokes would stay put for a few rides and then the wobble would be back. Ridden on smoother trails, they might have done well.
The 11-34 cassette that comes on this thing offers a good range for climbing when combined with the three-ring crankset. You will have plenty of gears to choose from on all types of trails. The original crankset on the bike is pretty heavy and seemed to wear down extremely fast (sharp teeth, bent easily) and I replaced it with a SRAM set. There is also not a lot of ground clearance with the longer arms and triple chainrings. The rear derallieur and front work smoothly enough.
I was impressed by the stock Tektros on the bike. They perform very well and have a good amount of stopping power if you decide to bomb a hill. Keep those pads clean, they tend to wear down quickly.
I've ridden this bike as a mountain bike and very little on recreational trails. For fire roads, easy singletrack and greenways, I believe this bike is a great value. If you're wanting to get into mountain biking, and plan to hit up a little more advanced singletrack, I highly recommend saving up a little bit more money and investing in a nice setup you can grow into.
Favorite Trail: Burlington Landlocked Forest, the Fells, Monte Bello, Saratoga Gap
Duration Product Used: 2 years
Purchased At: Peachtree Bikes
Bike Setup: Upgrades:
- WTB Bronson 29x2.2" and Conty Mountain King 29x2.2" Tires
- Crankbros. Candy II
- Sram Crank & Rear Cassette
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 6, 2014
Strengths: Great Brakes. Solid Frame. Nice shifting. Light.
Weaknesses: Weak Fork. Cheap Pedals? Slick Tires?
2014 model. Bought it for entry level beyond department store quality. Been an on and off mountain/urban biker, maybe lower-advanced level for quite a few years but never had anything better than a cheap cheap bike.
Test drove several in the $5-700 range. This was definitely worth paying the higher end of that, $650ish. Rode the "advanced" single track the other day and it performed as well as could be expected. I'm and intermediate to advanced range rider. I wasn't expecting to get $3000 bike type performance, but this is about how it went:
Everything was solid but the fork, which that trail rattled quite well through the faster parts and with the tires bouncing pretty hard over tree roots. But it, combined with the fat tires, helped the bike clear log piles and tree trunks and even stairs really really well. As long as the front sprocket clears, it'll roll right over obstacles. If the tires would keep traction, you could hit a staircase head on and ride right up with little shock. But, being that I do urban biking too, I'm not sure I'd want knobbier tires and sacrificing the speed. The only time my foot ever came off the pedals was when I was bounced that way. But I do agree with most that for a $600+ bike, they could've put better than $2 pedals on it.
It's much faster than most of the bikes I compared. Good acceleration, speed, and climbing power in mid gears without all sorts of shifting required. Dual hydraulic brakes in that price range are good and very quick to slow you down. Lighter in weight than most others compared. Handles really well. Rolls and cruises really well.
Again, the pedals could certainly be better. The fork isn't good enough for the rest of the bike. Though I don't want knobbier tires, they should've put the 2.2, not 2.0 (is that inches wide?) tires for a little bit of traction compensation.
Overall, if you're looking for a bike under $700, I highly recommend it. If you can afford a bit more, get the Hardrock, but get one with a real fork. This bike will certainly be enough to get me back in the game, but I'll personally be looking to upgrade to full suspension when I can.
Strengths: - big wheels
- modern cockpit (short stem, relatively wide handlebar)
- nice painting
Weaknesses: - front fork
I totally agree with the previous reviewer, it's a great bike for the money and all its weaknesses are totally forgettable when you count the money you have left in your pocket. It's meant to be ridden on pathed trails (Spec says it's recreational), and in such environment it behaves beautifully. Things get worse when the ground gets loose or you want to make turns at speed, as the tires have shallow knobs and the ones on the side looks the same as the ones in center. The fork has a very stiff spring, I am 160 lbs and could not get it to bottom out anywhere, also on small jumps (you don't want to make bigger ones on this bike). Pedals are cheap, but it's good, given everyone now has his preferred set - clip in or platform.
Overall, it's one of the best bikes I've ridden for the money. I also own a carbon Enduro 2012, S-works roubaix and a Demo, so this condition - for the money - is very important :)
Favorite Trail: for this bike - Giant Salamander, El Corte de Madera
Duration Product Used: 2 days
Purchased At: craigslist
Similar Products Used: lots of old, hartail bikes
Bike Setup: stock
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 24, 2013
Im a beginner mountian biker I got into the sport last year when I was riding a tiny k2 zed. This year (2013) I decided to upgrade. I was looking for an affordable enrty level bike for a teenager (500$ range) that i could ride around the neigborhood but also take to the trails and get good results out of it. i chose the specialized hr disc 29 over the trek wahoo 29 and the giant revel 29r 0. When I took the bike for a test ride the first thing that really stood out to me was the brakes. The disc brakes although are not hydraulic, they are really reponsive and will still stop me on a dime. The second thing I noticed was the shifters. The trigger shifters allow you to fly through gears very quickly. I really like the shimano setup where unlike the SRAM you use your pointer finger and your thumb to up-shift /downshift instead of using your thumb for both. It was also a nice addition to have 24 gears instead of 21. On the trails the big 29 inch wheels run over everything with ease. The bike is a little slow to get up to speed but really hauls ass once you got it going. The tires are average. They give minimal grip enless on hard packed dirt. I really lean into my tires during corners expecting them to hold thier grip but a lot of the time they would just slip out from underneath me. Once you are adjusted to the bike though it is easy to ride around. Another downside is the pedals. They are those crappy plastic Walmart pedals. I highly suggest getting aftermarket pedals. The seat isn't bad, it's pretty squishy and has quick adjustments so you can position it where you want it on the fly. The grips on the handle bars are nice and flexible but will rotate and twist around the handle bars. I would suggest spraying them with hairspray or invest in some locking grips. The fork is also average. It is very stiff (Doesn't lock out). Me being about 150 lbs can only move the shock when I really lean into it. As I ride though it has been loosening up. Lastly the frame. The frame is pretty heavy, but is also sturdy. The only real downsides to the frame besides being heavy is the plastic piece that covers the gears (which I snapped) and the bar under the chain is very beat up. But now I'm just getting picky. Overall the bike is amazing. If you are new mountian biking like me or want to start, go buy this bike. It is a perfect affordable bike that you won't be disappointed with.
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
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2013
Strengths: Very Solid frame, Great Tires (Fast Trak LK)= Speed and Grip, Grip, Grip , Good Gears, Great Breaks when adjusted properly. Awesome seat.
Weaknesses: Fork, nothing to complain about its a fork after all... better then not having one yet nothing to write home about.
I just love how people complain on this page about weight, fork and pretty much all other components. Serious i went against these reviews and bought it anyways. And i love how much bike there is for MSRP of $580. For one weight is not an issue, I got XL frame weigh in just under 34lbs. Its not the lightest bike around by any means however how can one expect a Ferrari quality for Kia price also all i have to do is just drop a gear problem solved. Bikes that are under $2000 weight in about 30lbs (with XL frame) not much of the weight difference. I love how stiff the frame is, great for climbs and those tires do not let me down good traction on rock, gravel and some loose dirt also very fast since they are 2.0. I do not baby this bike, i ride on really heavy trails so far i clocked in over 100 miles 3 month of riding not a single problem yet. Just had to get spokes re tightened. Fork is not the greatest but it works 80mm of travel, i set it to the firmest setting
If you need a good bike that is cheap and you can beat up on without giving second thought... this is your bike!
Personally i think its peoples inexperience in riding that lead to negative reviews, however the components are trail worthy definitely not competition worthy but again for the price cant go wrong.
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.