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Hello all,

Lots of helpfull and encouraging information here. I have just bought a used bike and have a few questions about it.

It is a Specialized Hardrock 24 spd with front suspension. I think the frame is around 18-19"s. I picked it up at a Pawn Shop for 75.00 bucks.

Obvious problems are a fraying front shifter cable, loose pedal, worn out saddle and some cosmetic stuff.

Questions.
1. How difficult is it to replace the farying cable my self?
2. Is it worth upgrading the pedals to clipless as opposed to some new platform pedals?
3. What is the best way to choose a new saddle?
4. How can I tell what year the bike is?

Thanks for any and all info.

Randy
 

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Semi-Hairless Sasquatch
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1. Replacing the cable shouldn't be too bad. Adjusting the derailleur after you replace the cable could be a little tricky if you've never done it before.

2. Really a matter of personal preference. I've been riding clipless on predominately singletrack and like it a lot, been thinking about picking up a decent set of platforms to try them out as well though. People who do mostly downhill and freeride type riding seem to be more partial to platforms as it's easier to dab and/or get clear of the bike when bailing. People who are more into cross country tend to like the additional pedaling efficiency ease of keeping your feet on the bike that clipless provides. Either way you go, getting a decent set of pedals and shoes is worth it IMO.

3. Get your butt fit so you can see what size saddles are supposed to be ergonomically correct for you and use that as a jumping off point. I'd say buy locally and from a store that will let you try a saddle for a couple weeks and exchange it for a different one if it doesn't work out for you.

4. Should be able to tell by the serial number in some manner, but I'm not aware of where you would look this up. Alternately you could post a picture, or go through the Post Your Hardrock Here topic in the Specialized forum and try to match it by looks.
 

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Reignmann33 said:
Hello all,

Lots of helpfull and encouraging information here. I have just bought a used bike and have a few questions about it.

It is a Specialized Hardrock 24 spd with front suspension. I think the frame is around 18-19"s. I picked it up at a Pawn Shop for 75.00 bucks.

Obvious problems are a fraying front shifter cable, loose pedal, worn out saddle and some cosmetic stuff.

Questions.
1. How difficult is it to replace the farying cable my self?
2. Is it worth upgrading the pedals to clipless as opposed to some new platform pedals?
3. What is the best way to choose a new saddle?
4. How can I tell what year the bike is?

Thanks for any and all info.

Randy
First off, welcome to the wonderful world of mountain biking.
1) frayed cable- in and of itself is a simple exchange. But it will most likely require some fine tuning to get the shifting correct. I would recommend that you pony up the extra few bucks to have your local bike shop do this for you. You want to make sure it is done right or its not worth doing it at all.

2)Pedals-being clipped in certainly has its advantages out on the trail, especially if you plan to race. Things to consider, this is an investment. You would have to buy pedals and shoes. Together that equate to a few hundred dollars which is more than you spent on the ride. You'll have to decide if it is within your budget. But it is certainly worth having if you can afford it.

3)Saddle-Again LBS will be your friend on this. Find a reputable dealer, preferably one that deals with Bontrager parts because they will likely have a measuring tool for your sit bones. That will get you into the size range that you need to narrow down the selection a lot. Of course you do not have to buy a Bontrager saddle unless that is the best one for you.

4)Most bikes only you a paint job/color scheme for one season. If you head to bikepedia.com you can start by guessing a year(something you think is close) then move through the different years until you see the one that looks like yours. It will give you all the info that you want to know about the bike.

Hope this helped and happy trails to you
 

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Semi-Hairless Sasquatch
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Specialized dealers also have the Body Geometry measuring system (I tend to like their saddles as well as they offer a relativley wide range of size and shape options). Ultimately, you can do this on your own by sitting on a piece of wet cardboard and measuring the distance between the impressions your sitbones make.

Edit: On the shoe/pedal front, while you could spend $500+ on a set of top of the line clipless pedals and shoes, you can get a perfectly serviceable setup for $100-150 that should be fine for years. I'd look at spending about 2x more on the shoes than the pedals for your first set as the main difference within clipless pedal lines is weight and the ability to rebuild them. The stiffness of the soles, durability, and overall comfort of the shoes seems to vary more as a function of price. Seems like you can get an equivalent quality platform setup for roughly the same price (maybe more like $75-125 for decent entry level) but they top out a bit earlier at ~ $150 for the shoes and $125-150 for the pedals. I don't have significant first hand experience w/ platforms though.
 
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