Specialized HardRock Pro II


The Specialized HardRock Pro 2010, not the first bike I’ve ridden, or tested.  But this one in particular is the very first bike I’ve paid for entirely by myself!

I really wanted it in black though, but by this point I wasn’t going to be fussy about bloody colours, I hadn’t ridden in months and had to get the funk out of the house. I needed a hard hitting bike at a ‘fair’ price and the HardRock is what I found.

I’ve ridden and raced downhill for about 8 or 9 years now and I’ve got to a point where just riding downhill gets a bit stale and that I want to get more out of my riding.  I need a bike to reflect that, an adventure machine if you will.  So I was taking this pretty seriously, some would say, in the choice of my new rig to go down the XC trails with. I had an idea about what components I wanted on it, something of a high standard as I’m not a ‘light’ rider. And I wasn’t prepared to let those standards slip and along came the HardRock Pro 2010, I was very happy with everything I saw, even at a second glance this beauty was going to be in my shed in a matter of weeks!

Having bought it now and ridden it a lot I’m very happy with the build. The gearing on the bike is a combo of SRAM and Shimano, SRAM on the back and Shimano on the front. Solid shifting but if even the slightest bit of muck gets into the front mechs hosing it will start to get a bit sluggish…but I suppose this kinda thing is going to happen in our lovely welsh climate.

A lot of the other bikes in the £550 bracket all had a similar spec to the Specialized but I found nearly all of these other bikes came with cable disc brakes…..not interested. After you’ve had a pull on a well bled, bedded in set of hydraulic disc brakes, cables just don’t cut it and I’d even go as far to say that its pointless buying them. Would you used cables to stop you in your car?? No you would not, so don’t slap them on mountain bikes and tell me they’re safe.

The frame is funkin awesome and reminded me of those So Cal beach cruisers when you look at the top tube. But this thing delivers a far from laid back ride, its very positive. Either climbing or descending.

I’ve started to like the paint now, and the graphics as well. Looks very dramatic and fast I reckon.

The fork, RockShox Dice at 80mm of travel.  Wouldn’t have been my first choice of fork personally. The lack of travel does take it out on the arms on those rough descents at Brechfa. I found that the forks provide you with a really ‘flat’ ride position. Slap on some 120mm or some 110mm even and that should slacken out the head angle which will then give the bike a more stable feel on steeper terrain.

The Ride is awesome, this thing climbs like a bastard, and corners like a New York hooker! I took it out for a ride not too long ago, kept the pressure hard on the pedals, head down, slugging it out and then looked up and all of a sudden I’m on top of the Raven Trail at Brechfa. If you drop the saddle down the bike is actually pretty handy in the corners, it’s no 4X machine but It holds you in the turns and your ride flows a lot better as a result of this. This bike will help you in stringing together corner after corner. Its very satisfying.

But because of the RockShoxs up at the front, the downhills feel pretty tame as you do not have the confidence due to the steeper head angle and tend to feather the brakes too much. On gradual gradients she’s awesome, and through flowing single track, but tilt the earth up a few more clicks and the HardRock does start to struggle and I bet you will be hanging on tight to those brakes.

Conclusion- She worth every penny, As an introduction bike for a beginner rider to a seasoned rider, the HardRock creates an awesome ride experience. The opportunities to upgrade the bike are massive and I cant wait to go out for my next ride down the woods.



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