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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I posted this in the Specialized forum but thought i'd post it in here too incase this gets more views. Apologies if this has been brought up before, I did do a quick search on the forum and couldn't see anything so here we go!

I am a total newbie when it comes to mountain biking; I used to go out a lot when I was younger but haven't done any proper riding since I was about 15 or 16. I'm now 26 and have recently wanted to get back into riding so i'm buying myself a bike and plan on getting well into it in 2010. Initially I plan on doing some general riding in the countryside but have some friends who do trails and stuff so will join up with them once i've got my fitness levels up a bit. I am just over 6'1" and about 230 lbs and was going to go for a 21" frame.

I decided some time ago that I wanted to get a Specialized bike and initially had decided on a Hardrock. I can get a 2010 Hardrock Disc for £314.10 http://www.cyclestore.co.uk/productDetails.asp?productID=21403&categoryID=60 and having done some looking around this seems to be a pretty good deal.

However on the same website they also have a 2009 P2 AM on sale at £329.59 - down from £439.45. http://www.cyclestore.co.uk/productDetails.asp?productID=17368&categoryID=423

During my initial research the Hardrock seemed to be rated as an excellent bike for beginners so I would have gone with this, and reading a few threads on here the P2 seems to be heavier and the wheels and forks not the best quality, but with the P2 on sale I would like to know what you guys on here think - is the Hardrock the better choice for me, or the P2? Also if you have any general tips when i'm buying that would be great. I've been told that getting quick release wheels are a must, but anything else would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Phil.
 

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hardrock sport was my first mtn bike back in '93. i loved that bike. it served the purpose and i eventually put slicks on it after 5 years because i drifted away from off road. a few years after that i had it stolen and wish i still had it.
 

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This is really coming down to what kind of riding you expect to do.

Hardrock: Components are spec'ed for typical trail riding. Emphasize is on lighter components (e.g. single wall rims) to minimize pedaling effort. Expect this bike to shine on smooth trails and to climb well.

P: Components are spec'ed for rougher trails and some playing on stuff (e.g. jumps, drops, stairs and other stunts). Emphasize is on surviving some abuse (e.g. double wall rims) to minimize maintenance. Expect this bike to shine on descends as well as on technical trails.

Now, if you think your friends mainly ride looking at time, distance and elevation climbed and you need a faster bike to keep up - the Hardrock is the ticket. If your friends do more playing on technical sections - or if speed on the descends is more important than being fast on the climbs - the P is the better choice. What do your friends talk about when discussing the last ride?

Don't worry about Specialized branded components. In my experience Specialized branded components are just as good as others.

2 hints in this thread I need to echo:

1) The first bike is often enough a throw away. Not because the bike is bad - just because the style of riding might change dramatically over time. I started doing pretty tame rides just for fitness... and developed quickly a taste for highly technical rides.

2) If possible sit on the bike before you buy. In the given price range you cannot expect to be able to really test ride any bike. A loop in the parking lot is all you probably get. But even that will tell you if the bike feels right.

Very important (but likely unecessary) advice: Plan to buy

- Must: helmet, gloves and basic tools (multi tool, pump, spare tube, patch kit)
- High want: biking shorts (chamoise), biking shirt
- Later: biking shoes
 

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i also say go with the hardrock, and ride it for a season or two. you will likely outgrow it (skill wise) and upgrade your bike if you stay in the sport more than a year.

I started with a US Spec P.1 AM Disc (similar to a hardrock) and rode it for 1 season before upgrading to a rockhopper. you'll learn about what upgrades u want and you'll make a better choice the 2nd time around.

get a bike u can afford now, get a helmet, some athletic gear and find a nice warm day and ride. take it slow and when you fall, get up and keep riding
 

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rent play buy

I does not cost much to rent some different bikes for the weekend; Why throw away that money that you used to buy your first bike when you could spend less than half of it to see what you need; that is if you are going to upgrade within 6 months of buying your new bike.:thumbsup:
 

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managedenemy said:
I does not cost much to rent some different bikes for the weekend; Why throw away that money that you used to buy your first bike when you could spend less than half of it to see what you need; that is if you are going to upgrade within 6 months of buying your new bike.:thumbsup:
Many shops will apply rental fees towards the purchase of a new bike.
 

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Why limit yourself to Specialized? I would understand if you had some personal experience with the brand and were loyal to it, but you don't. You also mentioned "online". That concerns me. What I suggest, as well as others in this thread, is that you actually go out to some shops and ride some bikes. You may find that the Specialized works for you, or you may find that you like the way another brand feels better. You won't know until you start throwing a lev over some bikes and riding them. As for the original question. The Hardrock is the better bike for the type of riding you described. The P2 is more of an urban assault/ dirt jump/freeride hardtail in my mind. Sure, it will go XC, but not as well. I suspect the reason it is on blowout is due to the narrow definition of it's purpose in life compred to other bikes available. Great bike, just not much demand for it in that area. And I'm pretty sure that model line has been discontinued. Both warning signs as to the flexibility of the P2.
 

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i think everyone's given good advice here. i for one didn't want to go overboard with buying a new bike a few years ago because i was just getting back into mtn biking and even before that i hadn't done much off road riding so i didn't really know how far i would take it.
i haven't really gone to the next level so i'm still happy with my current bike which isn't a spec. but gets the job done. i did upgrade the fork and pedals though.
so it's up to you how far you think you might go with it and also how much you can spend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi all,

Many many thanks for all the advice given.

I probably should have said a bit more about my background in my initial post. I started looking for a new bike last summer and went to various shops and tried out a few different brands. I came across a shop that sold mainly Specialized bikes and having spoken to the guys in there and taking a 2009 Hardrock out for a brief spin (albeit only on the road) I decided this was the one for me. Unfortunately I had a few personal things that came up soon after this so I put the biking thing on hold until now. I had therefore pretty much made my mind up to get a Hardrock but when I saw the P2 on sale I started to doubt myself!

Having read through the comments I have decided to go with my initial thoughts and get the Hardrock as this seems much better suited to the kind of thing I intend on doing (for now at least). The order has been placed and now i'm excited like a fat kid in a sweet shop. The bike should be coming in a couple of weeks (they don't have any stock until the middle of January) so between now and then I plan on going to a few shops and getting some basic kit that some of you have mentioned.

Thanks again - my mountain biking adventure begins here!

Phil.
 

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PhillyG said:
Having read through the comments I have decided to go with my initial thoughts and get the Hardrock as this seems much better suited to the kind of thing I intend on doing (for now at least). The order has been placed and now i'm excited like a fat kid in a sweet shop.
Congrats, man. Enjoy your new bike and be sure to get her dirty. And if you really like your bike, feel free to disregard the disposable mentality that seems to have crept into the riding culture these days. I selected my first real bike 13 years ago based on the quality of the frame and upgraded it where appropriate and she's still going strong (though an overhaul is planned soon). :thumbsup:
 
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