I am interested in upgrading my '04 Hard Rock Pro, but as a newbie I am not sure where to start or what to focus on first. Any suggestions or links to articles would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
It's been answered many times before. It is a great bike for the money, DON'T waste your money upgrading it, unless you want to change pedals or get clipless, well worth the expense. Ride it, maintain it, and when you are ready for an upgrade either sell it or keep it for a backup and step up to a better bike. If you upgrade that bike, you will end up putting $700 into a $600 bike and not have as good of a bike as if you just spent $1000 on a new one.
Upgrade the shiz out of this bike. I don't know what that last guy was sayin, somethin about a new stock one being better. Yeah, it might be, but remember, if you upgrade this bike with good parts, and maintian them (I agree with him there) you'll be able to transfer those parts onto any new frame you buy, if you decide to by a new one. Don't buy anything until you need it. Not to say you shouldn't buy some rims until they're like rubber bands, but don't buy a fatty-moo-fatty fork until you'd be able to put it to use. There's nothing more retarded than seeing someone with a couple grand in a bike that has the potential to go big, but rides around and doesn't do anything. Oh yeah, enough good parts could point you in the direction of just buying a frame for the final upgrade. Just remember to think ahead, very far, so that anything exspensive you buy will fit on a frame, or anything, you might want in the future. ...the shiz out of it.
I have the HR Comp version. I broke the fork (MZ Comp) after three months forcing me to up-grade. I went with a Marzocchi MX Pro w/ETA (105mm) and put in a Chris King headset at the same time. I've also changed the tires, grips, saddle and added an LX front DR and Shimano 520 clipless pedals. I also plan to ad a slightly longer stem and new bars. Next season will most likely see a new crankset/BB, drivetrain, shifters, and break levers (SRAM/Avid). I'm torn about the cost of swapping out the wheelset but if I find something decent for a good price I'll probably go for it. I'll also probably wear out the Tektro discs and up-grade to Avid mechs by next season as well.
When it comes to up-grading an entry level bike like the HR the only thing standing in your way is $$$. You need to decide if the bike frame is worth it to you in order to justify spending the money on up-grades. The first poster is absolutely right in the respect that for the cost of up-grades to this bike you could have a very nice "stock" bike with decent components. If you're like me though saving $$$ is a lot harder then it should be. I choose to pimp out my ride over time when I've got the spare skrill or when something breaks. This path also enables me to make the bike perform to my needs and not to those of a specific target demographic or pricepoint. Besides, I really dig the frame geometry. It fits me better then any HT I've ever owned. I'll be keeping this frame for a while.
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