Pros: Fast bike. Smooth shifter. Very fun. Good value.
Cons: Tires need to be replaced. The stock tires lose traction easily (the rear spins out and the front will slide out from under you). Rims aren't very sturdy either and bend out of dish and true easy (I weigh 190). I think there is some sort of weight restriction for this bike (I recall reading it in the owner manual). I think if I weighed 175-ish and less, this would be an incredible bike. Weigh over 200 and it would simply be dangerous. I saw one user describe it as "twitchy," and I thought that was a good description. I've had my worst wrecks in the year I've had this as opposed to the previous 10 years on it's older predecessor, but it's also a lot faster. Breaks can be noisy, but once they settle in it's not so bad.
Recommendation: Good bike for the money. Lose weight and replace the tires. REPLACE THE TIRES!!
Pros: Sweet, well balanced ride. Handles all I through at it. Nice, fast & responsive. Great at climbing. Good at technical single track and holds it's own on some steep, fast descents too (with upgraded fork)
Cons: the back can be a bit twitchy at times
Recommendation: Have upgraded forks, wheels, tyres, pedals, stem, bar & seat. I can see this bike lasting me forever now. But I have got my eye on the 2010 29er Stumpy Comp too. Maybe next year...
Cons: Shifting is not that quick (notice old year/model of bike)
Brakes have begun to squeak.
Recommendation: I got this bike used 3 years ago and have been riding it since. For it being such an old bike, it holds up very well. Like mentioned before, front suspension is cushy and still takes downhills smoothly. You can let go on rocky or rooty downhills and still maintain control.
Pros: Smooth ride
Great front suspension
Brakes grip well
Handles hard turns like a dream
Cons: Front brake has started to squeak a bit
Recommendation: I've been riding this bike for about a month now and it has significantly increased not only my riding abilities but also my confidence. No longer do I opt for the easier marked trails but attack the more/most difficult trails in a park.
Pros: Comfy cockpit feel.
Feels intuitive as soon as you sit on it.
Top end models come with great spec.
Cons: To get the good spec you pay top dollar!
Recommendation: A great package bike. A fantastic middle ground hardtail that is reasonably light (circa 27lbs) with equipment that will see you over most obstacles with ease. Buy the cheaper version for the frame and upgrade the parts in your own time.
Cons: Upright ride with stock handlebars and stem
Heavy (33-34 lbs)
Recommendation: This is a great bike to start your trail riding. In the five years I've owned it, I've only broken a derailleur hanger, seat rails, rear brake, and changed the chain. Definitely not a bike for racing, but it's been fun for me.
Pros: solid frame.
pretty good components
lightweight for a beginner bike
Cons: none that i can tell.
Recommendation: i bought the 2010 rockhopper expert, and everything performs pretty well for me. Im 235pounds, probably around 250 geared up, and i ride somewhat aggressively and everything on the rockhopper is holding up great so far
Cons: Rear disc had to be replaced after only a few weeks. A lot of spokes have broken, again in the rear wheel.The hub in the rear wheel has just been replaced and the pedals are naff - one has almost fallen apart.
Recommendation: Would recommend staying away from this model (09)Pro SL
Recommendation: Has something happened to Specialized's wheel makers? I used to have a 2000 Hardrock and used it for commuting around London for 7 years. The wheels just kept on turning - till the rims wore out simply from braking. That was OK - I'd got more than 10,000 miles out of them. My son also has an older Hardrock and hammers it round a mountain bike course every weekend, again without any problems.
Recently I got a new Hardrock - the 09 pro disk model with Alex Rims. Within four months the rear wheel has collapsed with three broken spokes. I have only used it for commuting in London. Looking at the spokes I can see why - they are much thinner and flimsier than the old ones.
What's more, this is the second Specialized bike I've had to have suffered a rear wheel collapse. The last one was a Rockhopper comp. I keep it for mountain biking but it too was less than a year old and had hardly been used. And I'd kept checking spoke tension.
I think Specialized have either skimped on the wheels or chosen a bad supplier. Either way it could be that you'd be risking a lot of hassle and cash if you go for the current Hardrock and Rockhopper models.
Model/Year: 2012 Pros: Good comfortable frame Cons: I ride my bike to work each day. 20km (12m) on the road and bike path. There are no stairs, jumps, rock or even hills to get excited about on my ride. It is flat and smooth.I am not a light weight guy 100 kg or 225lb. The Alex rims HR 26" wheel are useless. In two months since I bought this bike I have broken two rear spokes buckling the wheel each time and now the front wheel has buckled whilst going round a corner throwing me off!! Recommendation: Buy the bike but make sure you're either a light weight or plan to upgrade the wheels!
Pros: Great frame. Very light and easy to control. This bike come with decent components and rides well. Does great on dirt jumps and trails.
Cons: The wheels were either not assembled correctly at the shop or are just weak. These wheels will not stand up to hard shocks like stair flights. I know stairs are the roughest thing for a wheel but i figured they would withstand it better than they did.
Recommendation: Overall great bike for the money. I plan on upgrading components in a year or two when these wear out. Very pleased with my purchase.
Pros: I ride allot of steep uphill and trailless cross country and have found this frame to be very light and able to withstand some punishment and extreamly technical downhill rides with a rider weighing 250
Cons: I wore out every component on it in about six months and just replaced them all this year with all XT gear(Wich I love). The only thing I have not had to replace is the bb5 disc brakes.
Recommendation: Overall I love my bike even though I just had to replace all the coponents. Now I'll get a few more years out of it.
Pros: I am riding the 08 Pro Disc. Good bike for the money, nice componenets, I feel that you get a lot of bang for your buck. It's a Specialized how can you go wrong.
Cons: Tires are bad for where I ride (East Coast) I had to change them after about fifteen miles. I have to agree with the guy who had the rear brake issue, I must have tweaked my rear disc too and now I cant get the lever pull right and it squeaks a lot, I am not a huge fan of the hyro brakes I think I would prefer mechanical over the juicy three for more aggressive riding. One last thing about the brakes is that I experience a lot of fade when riding a lot of fast or technical sections, the brakes are getting too hot and you can pretty mch pull the levers into your grip, and yes I have tried to adjust all of this. I have put over 200 hundred pretty aggressive miles on the bike and it has held up very well overall.
Recommendation: I would say go get this bike, for the money I feel like I got a great piece of equipment. With the exception of the brakes everything else has been a dream. It could just be the way I ride so please do not hesitate picking up one of these at your local dealer.
Pros: I got this with the Comp disc brakes and TORA front shock. The bike is great for XC and has survived some intense and technical downhill.
Cons: Front rim gave out on the downhill and sent me for a nice flight. I do have a issue with the brakes. I slightly bent the back rotor and ever since I can't get the right setting for the brakes. Either is squeeks or is too loose. I don't believe this is a bike fault, just my own.
Recommendation: I am glad I chose this bike for my intro to mountain biking. I was told a hardtail would make me a better rider. We'll see when I upgrade to a full suspension.
Pros: Relatively light but very sturdy for being an aluminum frame bike. The price was better than ‘right’.
Cons: Came with a very soft Manitou fork. Don’t like the routing of the derailer cables. Wish it had disc breaks- but now I'm being picky.
Recommendation: I picked up one of these used last year without knowing anything about the model. The lady selling it said the bike had been in storage for a year, it had 32 miles on the Cat Eye odometer and not a scratch on it. One short ride up & down the alley and I was sold- $300. I wasn’t sure if I would like the hardtail but it seems to be more than adequate for the riding I do here in Alaska. The geometry of the bike itself seems to fit my riding style very well. I upgraded the fork to a fully adjustable 100 mm Marzocchi MX Pro (paid more for the fork than the bike- D’oh!), installed Shimano PD-M424 pedals and switched to a tougher seat post, all this coming together as one bike I am very happy to ride.
Pros: I picked up an '05 Rockhopper Comp as an intro to mountianbiking and it has served me well through much abuse. The frame is lightweight and responsive. A solid XC design.
Over time I have had to replace several components - some to more match my riding preference and others as replacements for worn parts.
Cons: It was a fine deal considering the price, however as with any setup when you get to know your abilities and the components well you begin to see where you saved money. Didnt like:
Fork -> replaced with REBA Race
Crank -> replaced with Race Face Evo XC
BB -> Race Face Deus X-type
Cassette -> Sram PG 980
Saddle -> went thinner
stem -> went lighter, OS
headset: nothing special
rims: kept breaking spokes
Levers: Avid Speed Dial 7
Recommendation: Get it if you are considering the sport b/c it wont hold you back and will last for years. If you already know you will be riding hard and often - save up a bit more.
Pros: Strong frame, great components, shifts fast and smooth, good price.
Cons: none yet
Recommendation: I'm a first time buyer of a serious mtb, and couldn't imagine a better ride. After just one week and a few trail rides, I'm already thinking of trading up to the Rockhopper disc. Consider it if you'll be in mud and rain (that's any bike, not just the Rockhopper though)
Pros: I really enjoy the feel of this bike, the ride is amazing and has allowed me to really appreciate getting into this awesome sport and hey, it is pretty darn cheap too!
Cons: The fork takes a little while to break in and the derailleur hanger is very easily bent, other than that I just loive this bike.
Recommendation: If you are just getting into mountain biking and would like something a little better than the Hardrock, this bike is perfect for you. If you are a well versed rider then I would say this is definately not the bike for you.