Specialized Hardrock Review

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The Specialized Hardrock is a fantastic mountain bike for the entry level rider for a number of reasons. Many aspects of the ride of the Specialized Hardrock 2011 model are greatly superior to competitive models in other makes and models, but with a similar price range. It's commonly known that Specialized is among the industry leaders in mountain bicycle technology, but the Specialized Hardrock, in particular, does it's job admirably and with little complaint!

Learn a bit more about the components, ride, and overall value of this bike in the following Specialized Hardrock review. Enjoy!

Specialized Hardrock Review: Components and Parts

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A lot of the reason that the Specialized Hardrock is such an able competitor in this price bracket is the high quality and nice combination of parts used on the various models. These parts give the bicycle the extra push that it needs to lead the pack.

The Specialized Hardrock comes in four packages, as of 2011, in various price points. You have the option of having a bare bones Hardrock, which I don't entirely recommend but isn't a bad option, or going with the Sport Disc 29er model, which is considered the fully loaded package. The Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er is a model including linear pull disc brakes (disc brakes that are manually activated, not hydrolic) and 29 inch wheels. 29ers are becoming increasingly popular: the large wheel size increases ground clearance and mechanical advantage, useful for mountain or trail riding.

The weight (around 29 pounds) is not terribly heavy, and the frame of the Specialized Hardrock 2011 is small and nimble. By small, I mean that the frame tubing isn't extremely oversized, so you won't experience as much stiffness, but you'll also enjoy less vibration.

The top end model recieves an XCR Suntour fork, a very good upgrade over the base models. The Specialized Hardrock's ride is considerably better than other mountain bikes in it's price range, and allows for a greater degree of ride flexibility. The brakes stop well, and the shifting is clean, efficient and satisfyingly noise free.

Specialized Hardrock Review: Ride and Use

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The Specialized Hardrock is a great bicycle for an entry level rider. The drivetrain is super efficient, and you'll notice easy acceleration and shifting immediately once you start riding. The small and nimble frame is perfect for a quick, agile ride, and the Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc 29er, with its large wheels and capable suspension, is probably easily able to eat up time on the trails.

This isn't a dedicated mountain bike in any particular aspect, so you shouldn't expect it to handle drops like a hardcore downhill bike. Likewise, it doesn't have hydrolic disc brakes or an extremely high end suspension, so this is more of an everyday rider. 

The Specialized Hardrock might be the perfect bike for you if you're looking for an everyday mountain bike with just that little extra kick of capability to get you over the hump. And it looks great too!

Specialized Hardrock Review: Summary

The Specialized Hardrock is a great all around bicycle for hills and trails. The frame is light and nimble, and the components are high quality compared to other mountain bikes in this price range. With the Specialized Hardrock, you have a number of frame and equipment options, depending on the type of riding you hope to do. 

Price: $450 - $700

Weight: ~29 pounds