If you want to make the biggest upgrade, get some lighter wheels. Go to www.notubes.com and hook it up. It'll drop more than a pound of rotating weight and it will handle way better.
Not to go off track. But post up a picture of that thing...........I remember seeing it when you first got it, then you put rims and fork on it. Last time I saw it.........madsedan said:By this weekend I will have upgraded everything on my Hardrock, its a great bike but I have to have a new frame this year, but all the new parts will carry over.
-Tora SL solo air was a wonderful upgrade, only $100 form another member on here
-bent both factory Alex HRD rims, replaced with a budget build of Stans Flows with X7 hubs, new Captain Armadillo S works tires and tubeless for $500
-replaced the factory crank with '11 Stylo GXP 32t 1.1 and new platforms $150
-Sunline V1 OS flat bar, ESI chunky grips, nicer Specialized 100mm stem
-Formula RX brakes, as new condition with only 50 miles on them for $160
-used Stylo team setback seatpost and new Bontrage Inform RL saddle, $55 total
-this week I finish my drivetrain swap with all new '11 X9 rear mid der, pg-980 cassette, X9 9 speed shifter, pc-991 chain all for $265
I know this is allot dumped into an entry level bike but these are all parts that will carry over to my next bike, I'll buy a new frame. As I was new to biking last summer I have learned about gear as I became a more skilled rider and replaced parts as they failed with parts I knew I could best utilize, all with the mindset that I could use them on my next rig.
I'll order something along the lines of a new Stumpjumper 29er M5 frame or a niner perhaps, will stick with a hardtail and nothing more than about $750.