i have an old marin Bobcat, [like 2000 old] and i liked how that rode, and i have ridden my friends brand new hardrock, so i guess it is down to looks and which has better parts... looks, the specialized wins, parts, is what i am looking for your help with!
I am in a similar position, bobcat or hardrock sport. Have you bought either of these now sailor200 and are you pleased with the chosen bike? i was thinking of going for the marin, but would be keen to hear from you.
i went ahead and bought the specialized rockhopper, but without the disc brakes. the store closest to me is a specialized dealer, so that was part of my decision, also, i felt i was getting more for my money with the rockhopper... and to be honest, my red 'hopper looks to me, cooler than the silver marin i was looking at. proformance wise i love the rockhopper, it's a smooth ride, and the shocks are really, actually not as bad as i had been warned. a little stiffer than i would ideally have, but all in all very good. my money ran out before i could do discs, but the rims do fine, actually more than fine, they sent me over the bars my second day... =/ lol.
as for the hardrock sport. the store i went to had both hardrock and rockhopper next to each other, and i could have gotten either. the discs look very sexy, but my friend has the hardrock, and it is very much heavier than my bike. i like a light bike, and so that really helped me decide. the regular rockhopper and the hardrock sport have a 20 dollar price diff. if i were you, i would go with the rockhopper, it is a better bike with better components, in my mind... besides, as i said, the red looks really sick!
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