Giant Rincon vs. Specialized Hard Rock?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Thunder9 Nospam, Apr 27, 2003.

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  1. Looked at some bikes for me and my 13 yr old son. I've narrowed it down to Giant or Specialized.
    Here's some bikes, in order from worst to best. Any comments welcome.

    Giant Rincon: RST Cap TL suspension fork 3 in travel. Comfort saddle. Alivio 24 speed drivetrain w/
    cassette rear hub.

    Specialized Hardrock. RST Capa TL fork 80 mm travel. Altus/Acera drivetrain. Truvativ X-forge crank
    w/ capless bolts. Tektro linear-pull brakes.

    Specialized Rockhopper. Manitou Axel Comp fork. Alivio

    Giant Iguana: RockShox Pilot C suspension fork. Deore 27 speed drivetrain Rapidfire shifters.

    Giant Iguana disc. Deore + Hayes mechanical disk brakes. Double-wall aluminum wheelset.

    (Other bikes tried. Trek 4500 and 4900...the shocks seemed stiff. Kona Blast and Kona Nuni.... I
    don't like the compact geometry.)

    Regards, Thunder9

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  2. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Looked at some bikes for me and my 13 yr old son. I've narrowed it down to Giant or Specialized.
    > Here's some bikes, in order from worst to best. Any comments welcome.
    >
    > Giant Rincon: RST Cap TL suspension fork 3 in travel. Comfort saddle. Alivio 24 speed drivetrain
    > w/ cassette rear hub.

    Hmm. No, I'd say stay away from anything with "comfort" attached to it. Probably the wrong geometry,
    for one thing.

    > Specialized Hardrock. RST Capa TL fork 80 mm travel. Altus/Acera drivetrain. Truvativ X-forge
    > crank w/ capless bolts. Tektro linear-pull brakes.
    >
    > Specialized Rockhopper. Manitou Axel Comp fork. Alivio

    Lots of people love their Rockhoppers. Pretty bombproof, and excellent value.

    > Giant Iguana: RockShox Pilot C suspension fork. Deore 27 speed drivetrain Rapidfire shifters.
    >
    > Giant Iguana disc. Deore + Hayes mechanical disk brakes. Double-wall aluminum wheelset.

    Giant bikes are very hard to beat for value. I've had a look at the Iguana Disc. Kinda heavy. Get
    the regular Iguana, and "upgrade" to discs if your kid insists. He'll want 'em, because they're the
    current fad.

    > (Other bikes tried. Trek 4500 and 4900...the shocks seemed stiff. Kona Blast and Kona Nuni.... I
    > don't like the compact geometry.)

    Personal choice, I guess; but Kona geometry (designed by Joe Murray) is the *best* IMHO. There is no
    downside: Increased standover, longer top tube, dialed-in angles = perfect geometry. For a growing
    kid, this is exactly what you want, since you can buy a size larger than you could with other bikes,
    and still give a safe standover clearance. You'll be happy in a couple of years when he's a full
    frame size larger. Plus, Kona's are a little less common than Trek, Specialized, Giant, Fuji.

    Get the best fitting frame, even if it's plain steel with cheaper components.

    -Barry

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  3. On 29 Apr 2003 20:20:01 GMT, "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> Specialized Hardrock. RST Capa TL fork 80 mm travel. Altus/Acera drivetrain. Truvativ X-forge
    >> crank w/ capless bolts. Tektro linear-pull brakes. Specialized Rockhopper. Manitou Axel Comp
    >> fork. Alivio
    >
    >Lots of people love their Rockhoppers. Pretty bombproof, and excellent value.
    >
    >> Giant Iguana: RockShox Pilot C suspension fork. Deore 27 speed drivetrain Rapidfire shifters.
    >>
    >> Giant Iguana disc. Deore + Hayes mechanical disk brakes. Double-wall aluminum wheelset.
    >
    >Giant bikes are very hard to beat for value. I've had a look at the Iguana Disc. Kinda heavy. Get
    >the regular Iguana, and "upgrade" to discs if your kid insists. He'll want 'em, because they're the
    >current fad.
    >
    >> (Other bikes tried. Trek 4500 and 4900...the shocks seemed stiff. Kona Blast and Kona Nuni.... I
    >> don't like the compact geometry.)
    >
    >Personal choice, I guess; but Kona geometry (designed by Joe Murray) is the *best* IMHO. There is
    >no downside: Increased standover, longer top tube, dialed-in angles = perfect geometry. For a
    >growing kid, this is exactly what you want, since you can buy a size larger than you could with
    >other bikes, and still give a safe standover clearance. You'll be happy in a couple of years when
    >he's a full frame size larger. Plus, Kona's are a little less common than Trek, Specialized,
    >Giant, Fuji.
    >
    >Get the best fitting frame, even if it's plain steel with cheaper components.

    I got the Specialized Hard Rock for my son, and Specialized Rockhopper
    w/ upgrade to Avid disk brakes for me. Everyone raves about the Kona geometry, but it seemed kind of
    "cramped" to me. Maybe that's just because I'm a rank beginner and don't know a good thing!

    I actually liked the feel/geometry of the Giant a little better than the Specialized. But I chose
    the Specialized on these points:

    1. I liked the professionalism from the store for Specialized a little better. Oh gee this could be
    a whole nother thread....

    2. The store let me rent two Specialized Hard Rocks to try out $25 each for two days ($50 total)
    and said I could apply the price of rental to the cost of a bike.

    3. They will give me better service (1 year free instead of just 90 days free) and I haggled a 10%
    discount on the Rock Hopper.

    4. I didn't like the Giant's color schemes and hey, when it comes down to the wire, color is pretty
    damn important. :)

    Regards, Thunder9

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  4. Van Bagnol

    Van Bagnol Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] wrote:

    > Looked at some bikes for me and my 13 yr old son. I've narrowed it down to Giant or Specialized.
    > Here's some bikes, in order from worst to best. Any comments welcome.
    >
    > Giant Rincon: RST Cap TL suspension fork 3 in travel. Comfort saddle. Alivio 24 speed drivetrain
    > w/ cassette rear hub.
    >
    > Specialized Hardrock. RST Capa TL fork 80 mm travel. Altus/Acera drivetrain. Truvativ X-forge
    > crank w/ capless bolts. Tektro linear-pull brakes.
    >
    > Specialized Rockhopper. Manitou Axel Comp fork. Alivio
    >
    > Giant Iguana: RockShox Pilot C suspension fork. Deore 27 speed drivetrain Rapidfire shifters.
    >
    > Giant Iguana disc. Deore + Hayes mechanical disk brakes. Double-wall aluminum wheelset.
    >
    > (Other bikes tried. Trek 4500 and 4900...the shocks seemed stiff. Kona Blast and Kona Nuni.... I
    > don't like the compact geometry.)

    What kind of riding do you and your son plan to do? More aggressive riding will warrant hardier
    components. The choice of shock depends a lot on your weight and your riding proclivity.

    It's cheaper to buy a bike that already comes with good componentry than to replace inadequate
    componentry afterward. For moderate entry-level mountain biking, STX-RC/Deore would be the minimum
    acceptable rear derailleur, IMHO. For street riding or light off-road use, you can get away with
    less. For more vigorous mountain biking, you should go for better (LX or XT).

    I'm surprised the Rockhopper has Alivio components. My '99 Rockhopper came with an LX rear der and
    (what is now called) Deore front, LX shifters and brake levers. I did upgrade the fork, though, from
    a stock RockShox Jett to a Manitou Magnum R (which the '00 Rockhoppers came with) at time of
    purchase, and am glad I did.

    As for the other features you mention ("double-wall aluminum wheelset", "X-forge crank w/capless
    bolts"), pay little attention. All the bikes you mention have double-walled rims. What's important
    is the bike fit and how it feels when you ride.

    Van

    --
    Van Bagnol / v a n at wco dot com / c r l at bagnol dot com ...enjoys - Theatre / Windsurfing /
    Skydiving / Mountain Biking ...feels - "Parang lumalakad ako sa loob ng paniginip" ..thinks - "An
    Error is Not a Mistake ... Unless You Refuse to Correct It"

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    rec.bicycles.off-road is moderated by volunteers. To find help solving posting problems, or contact
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  5. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Van Bagnol" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > > Looked at some bikes for me and my 13 yr old son. I've
    narrowed it
    > > down to Giant or Specialized. Here's some bikes, in
    order from worst
    > > to best. Any comments welcome.
    > >
    > > Giant Rincon: RST Cap TL suspension fork 3 in travel.
    Comfort
    > > saddle. Alivio 24 speed drivetrain w/ cassette rear
    hub.
    > >
    > > Specialized Hardrock. RST Capa TL fork 80 mm travel.
    Altus/Acera
    > > drivetrain. Truvativ X-forge crank w/ capless bolts.
    Tektro
    > > linear-pull brakes.
    > >
    > > Specialized Rockhopper. Manitou Axel Comp fork. Alivio
    > >
    > > Giant Iguana: RockShox Pilot C suspension fork. Deore
    27 speed
    > > drivetrain Rapidfire shifters.
    > >
    > > Giant Iguana disc. Deore + Hayes mechanical disk
    brakes. Double-wall
    > > aluminum wheelset.
    > >
    > > (Other bikes tried. Trek 4500 and 4900...the shocks
    seemed stiff.
    > > Kona Blast and Kona Nuni.... I don't like the compact
    geometry.)
    >
    > What kind of riding do you and your son plan to do? More
    aggressive
    > riding will warrant hardier components. The choice of
    shock depends a
    > lot on your weight and your riding proclivity.

    The shock probably makes the most difference. I'm not familiar enough with the latest shock models
    to give good specific advice. If you're medium weight (130-170 LB), most shocks work pretty well,
    even the cheap ones. If you're heavier or lighter, you'll want more adjustability.

    > It's cheaper to buy a bike that already comes with good
    componentry than
    > to replace inadequate componentry afterward. For moderate
    entry-level
    > mountain biking, STX-RC/Deore would be the minimum
    acceptable rear
    > derailleur, IMHO. For street riding or light off-road use,
    you can get
    > away with less. For more vigorous mountain biking, you
    should go for
    > better (LX or XT).

    I disagree. All Shimano gear systems, from the "bottom" on up, shift perfectly well. There is
    virtually no difference in shifting performance. In my experience, the most important practical
    difference is the bearing seals -- more expensive groups have better sealed hubs, headsets, and
    bottom brackets. It used to be that STX-RC was the cheapest group with good seals (in fact, STX-RC,
    LX, and XT hubs were practically identical). But now Alivio hubs look pretty good too, better than
    XT from 10 years ago. I haven't lhad a hard look at anything cheaper lately, but I would have no
    qualms about an Alivio bike -- even for heavy/hard use.

    The bottom line is that if you get a bike with a decent shock, the rest of the gear won't
    let you down.

    Disk brakes are great if you ride in the mud all the time, otherwise they're a huge,
    unnecessary expense.

    > I'm surprised the Rockhopper has Alivio components. My '99
    Rockhopper
    > came with an LX rear der and (what is now called) Deore
    front, LX
    > shifters and brake levers. I did upgrade the fork, though,
    from a stock
    > RockShox Jett to a Manitou Magnum R (which the '00
    Rockhoppers came
    > with) at time of purchase, and am glad I did.

    That was probably a good choice. The Jett/Quadra/Mag shocks were still a bit flexy, while all the
    Manitou shocks were at least up to Judy levels of stiffness.

    > As for the other features you mention ("double-wall
    aluminum wheelset",
    > "X-forge crank w/capless bolts"), pay little attention.
    All the bikes
    > you mention have double-walled rims. What's important is
    the bike fit
    > and how it feels when you ride.

    Exactly. Comfort is key.

    Remember that part of marketing is making you feel like you're missing out on something by not
    buying the more expensive model. Don't give in. Bikes are like computers -- they get better and
    cheaper every year. Buy a bike that works, and spend the rest of your money on the clothes and
    accessories that will make much more difference in your riding experience. And of course, actual
    riding -- save some money for riding vacations.

    As a famous Texan once said, "It's not about the bike."

    Matt O.

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  6. Van Bagnol

    Van Bagnol Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "Matt O'Toole"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > "Van Bagnol" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] wrote:
    > >
    > > > Looked at some bikes for me and my 13 yr old son. I've narrowed it down to Giant or
    > > > Specialized. Here's some bikes, in order from worst to best. Any comments welcome.
    [snip]
    > >
    > > What kind of riding do you and your son plan to do? More aggressive riding will warrant hardier
    > > components. The choice of shock depends a lot on your weight and your riding proclivity.
    >
    > The shock probably makes the most difference. I'm not familiar enough with the latest shock models
    > to give good specific advice. If you're medium weight (130-170 LB), most shocks work pretty well,
    > even the cheap ones. If you're heavier or lighter, you'll want more adjustability.

    Agreed. It's best to try the bikes yourself with your own weight and test the shocks -- ride over
    curbs, jounce the handlebars, hop up and down -- to see if they give you the level of absorption
    comfortable to you. Test-riding forks both above and below your target price will give you a basis
    for comparison.

    > > It's cheaper to buy a bike that already comes with good componentry than to replace inadequate
    > > componentry afterward. For moderate entry-level mountain biking, STX-RC/Deore would be the
    > > minimum acceptable rear derailleur, IMHO. For street riding or light off-road use, you can get
    > > away with less. For more vigorous mountain biking, you should go for better (LX or XT).
    >
    > I disagree. All Shimano gear systems, from the "bottom" on up, shift perfectly well. There is
    > virtually no difference in shifting performance. In my experience, the most important practical
    > difference is the bearing seals -- more expensive groups have better sealed hubs, headsets, and
    > bottom brackets. It used to be that STX-RC was the cheapest group with good seals (in fact,
    > STX-RC, LX, and XT hubs were practically identical). But now Alivio hubs look pretty good too,
    > better than XT from 10 years ago. I haven't lhad a hard look at anything cheaper lately, but I
    > would have no qualms about an Alivio bike -- even for heavy/hard use.

    All Shimano systems shift well -- at the beginning. It's how long they continue to shift well before
    starting to get sloppy that's the issue. Harder and longer riding in more varied terrain equals more
    shifting under harsher conditions, and will accelerate wear and tear. I'm at the point where I'm
    replacing components, and the lesser groups were needing replacement sooner.

    Light neighborhood/bike path riding on basically flat terrain is still fine for my wife's bike's
    Alivio/Acera componentry, but XC/mud/rain rides, rolling hils and climbs have caused me to change a
    lot of my bike's STX-RC and LX parts. The bikes were purchased at the same time.

    Oh, and don't forget that frequent cleaning and maintenance will keep parts lasting longer, too.

    > The bottom line is that if you get a bike with a decent shock, the rest of the gear won't let
    > you down.

    Yep. Since shocks tend to be matched with the other components, if you ride within the shock's
    limits, you'll likely be riding within the level of the rest of the bike.

    > Disk brakes are great if you ride in the mud all the time, otherwise they're a huge, unnecessary
    > expense.

    V-brakes are simple, light, and easy to maintain. Mud will chew up your rims, though, until you can
    clean out the rocks embedded in the brake pads and learn that submerging your wheels through silt is
    _not_ a good idea. :) (Besides, it's not good for trails anyway -- it hastens erosion and a
    dried-up tire rut is a ride hazard.)

    In some areas wet weather is the norm, or at least inevitable during the winter months, so if you
    plan to ride hard year-round you _might_ want to consider disc brakes, but they add weight and
    aren't strictly necessary. Discs do give you better control (you can "feather" your braking), but
    ultimately it's better to try them out on a test ride to see if it's worth it to you.

    > > I'm surprised the Rockhopper has Alivio components. My '99 Rockhopper came with an LX rear der
    > > and (what is now called) Deore front, LX shifters and brake levers. I did upgrade the fork,
    > > though, from a stock RockShox Jett to a Manitou Magnum R (which the '00 Rockhoppers came with)
    > > at time of purchase, and am glad I did.
    >
    > That was probably a good choice. The Jett/Quadra/Mag shocks were still a bit flexy, while all the
    > Manitou shocks were at least up to Judy levels of stiffness.

    That's what I discovered when test-riding lots of bikes (over 15 that I remember) at the time. (I
    also had the luck to have found a hilly dirt fire road and log jump near the shop for testing.) I
    told the dealer "I like _this_ bike but I prefer _that_ fork" and he arranged an upgrade.

    I was able to take home the stock bike while the new fork was on order. It was quickly evident that
    the original fork was inadequate -- it was springy with very little damping, and I can feel the fork
    top out when I popped the front wheel onto curbs. In contrast, the Manitou fork was very plush.
    Riding off a curb felt like landing on a cushion rather than jumping on a pogo stick.

    > Remember that part of marketing is making you feel like you're missing out on something by not
    > buying the more expensive model. Don't give in. Bikes are like computers -- they get better and
    > cheaper every year. Buy a bike that works, and spend the rest of your money on the clothes and
    > accessories that will make much more difference in your riding experience. And of course, actual
    > riding -- save some money for riding vacations.

    Good advice. A good pair of gloves, jersey, and shorts will make a world of difference in
    comfort, and a frame pump, spare tube, multi-tool and saddle bag will pay off the first time you
    have to use them.

    > As a famous Texan once said, "It's not about the bike."

    Ride on!

    Van

    --
    Van Bagnol / v a n at wco dot com / c r l at bagnol dot com ...enjoys - Theatre / Windsurfing /
    Skydiving / Mountain Biking ...feels - "Parang lumalakad ako sa loob ng paniginip" ..thinks - "An
    Error is Not a Mistake ... Unless You Refuse to Correct It"

    --
    rec.bicycles.off-road is moderated by volunteers. To find help solving posting problems, or contact
    the moderators, please see http://rbor.org/ Please read the charter before posting:
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