Hardrock Sport Disc review

Specialized's Hardrock Sport entry-level hardtail is a burly, dependable play bike, if a little on the heavy side.

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £370.00 RRP
Specialized Hardrock Disc Sport ticks all the usual boxes and has aggressive styling and cable discs

Our review

A really good value hardtail. It might slow you down, but it won't let you down
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Specialized’s entry-level hardtails are split between dirt jump and XC styles. The Hardrock Sport is the former – sort of like baggy jeans to the Hardrock XC’s Lycra.

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The Hardrock Sport Disc’s boxy main tubes lend a burly look and give enough strength. The down tube is curved where it meets the head tube to reinforce it without gussets. Even the stays are chunky, and they carry rack and mudguard eyelets. A stumpy stem gives the bike a shorter reach than you’d expect from the top tube.

The Feel

The short, fairly upright riding position is beginner friendly. If you want to stretch out to distribute your weight around the bike, you’ll need to consider a step up in frame size (if your bike-?t is borderline), spec a longer stem or slide the saddle right back (if it’s not).

The short, fairly upright riding position is beginner friendly

The latter gives the front end a tendency to pop up and stop you on bobbly climbs – which is a pain when the bike already ascends like a cruiserweight.

Kit Notes

Shimano M465 cable discs are the upgrade over its £70 cheaper V-braked stable mate, the Hardrock Sport. If you want an easier upgrade path to hydraulics it’s a price worth paying. If not, then it isn’t. Simple. Modulation and outright bite are not noticeably better than decent V-brakes.
Those disc hubs have 36 spoke holes, however. For a bike that’s probably going to be ridden down rocky or rooty drop-offs more than swoopy hardpack, that’s good; a 36-spoke wheel will be stronger than a 32-spoke one. The wheels are shod with proper off-road tyres in a comfortable width for uneven trails.
Running gear is Shimano Acera. Its 8-speed Freehub is stronger than the 7-speed threaded hubs you’ll often see on full-suspension bikes at this price, because the drive-side bearings are closer to the end of the axle. The bottom gear is decently low (22×32) but the big chainring may as well be a bashguard for all the use it’ll get.

Summary

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The Hardrock Sport Disc has a tighter focus than many hardtails. It labours on long climbs and long days, and it makes a ponderous street bike. It scores well on the ?at and downhill sections of man-made trails, or messing about in the woods. It’s ruggedly built, good value, and available in a huge range of sizes. Ideal for teenagers and newbies wanting a burly, dependable play bike. Best for: Big-grin descents, play. Bad for: XC weight weenies, hurrying.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Hardrock Sport Disc
Brand Specialized Bicycles

Spokes Brand DT
Saddle Body Geometry
Max. Fork Travel 100mm
Colour Silver
Wheelset HRD 26
Rear Tyre Size 26x2.0
Rear Tyre Specialized Resolution DC
Front Tyre Size 26x2.0
Front Tyre Specialized Resolution DC
Available Sizes 15 Inches 16 Inches 17 Inches 21 Inches
Available Colours Black Silver
Weight (kg) 15
Stem 3D
Shifters SX5
Seatpost Alloy Micro Adjust
Seat Angle 73
Rims HRD 26
Bottom Bracket ES-25 Octalink
Front Hub Hi Lo Disc
Cassette Shimano MFHG-50
Chain Shimano HG-73
Cranks M-442
Fork MZ Race
Frame Material Aluminium
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore
Grips/Tape Enduro
Rear Hub M475 Disc
Handlebar Riser
Handlebar Rise 31
Head Angle 70.5
Headset Type 1 1/8 Inch Threadless
Pedals Alloy Platform
Rear Derailleur SX5
Handlebar Type Riser