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I picked up the Specialized Hardrock GX mountain bike that I bought on eBay. It was advertised as a 1999 Specialized Hardrock with an 15 inch aluminum frame. But it turned out to be a 17 inch Chrome Moly frame. And looking pictures of the 1999 Specialized Hardrock bikes, they are different. They have the name Specialized displayed on the down tube. Where the bike I bought has Specialized displayed on the top tube, and the downtube is label “Hardrock”. I have looked for pictures of 96 and 97 Hardrock’s, but I haven’t found any that are labelled as such. I have found some photos of a couple bikes that look like what I bought, but they aren’t labeled with the year.
The brakes need to be adjusted. I think they are too tight. The pads rest kind of near to the rim. The rear brakes are unbalanced, where the one pad moves more than the other. I rode the bike around my driveway, and played with the indexed shifting. I think it needs to be adjusted too. I considered taking the bike up to the local bike shop and having it tuned. They charge I think around $40. I still might. But since we are unlikely to be using the bike in the immediate future, I decided to try and tune it myself. I ordered a book titled The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair: For Road and Mountain Bikes by Todd Downs. It got pretty good reviews. There was another book titled Barnett’s Manual: Analysis and Procedures for Bicycle Mechanics by John Barnett. The Barnett book is a actually a set of books, and is much more expensive. So I decided to go with the Downs book. I can always take it into a bike shop later.

I have been watching eBay, craigslist and the classified ads for a good deal on a quality road bike. There were a few new Treks that I was watching on eBay a couple weeks ago, but they ended going for more than I wanted to pay at the time. An old Trek 400 went for a little over $100 last night. I had a bid set up for $77. But I would have had to drive 3 hours round trip to pick it up, and I was sure if I really wanted a bike of that vintage. If I got a good enough deal on it though, I would have gone for it.
I placed a bid of a little over $300 for a Litespeed bike with a titanium frame. The reserve wasn’t met, and I was outbid anyway. I wasn’t surprised. The same seller also had a Cannondale. But the Cannondale is a little smaller, and seems to be fitted with a mishmash of components.
A week or so ago, I looked at a Trek 700 hybrid style bike. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a hybrid, though a hybrid might have been use for the duathlon I raced. It was only $50. But the rear wheel was so bent up, that I ended up passing on it. I suppose for $50, I could have tried to bang the wheel straight, or maybe replaced it.
I did look at a new road bike. I stopped in at a local bike shop, and they had some Scott brand road bikes for $650. That’s a little more than I was hoping to spend. And I don’t know the Scott name.
I am not in any hurry, and am more than willing to wait for a good deal. I probably won’t be doing much road riding until Spring time.

I have been watching eBay, Craigslist, and local classifieds for a quality bike for my wife. When I bought my Diamondback Mountain Bike, I spent close to $300 for it. But I knew I would ride it. But my wife, I am not sure that she will like bike riding. I am not sure that she can do it without hurting herself. She tends to be injury prone. I took her rollerskating once, and she didn’t make it twice around the rink without falling down, and injuring her knee to where she couldn’t continue. And then I am not sure that she will actually want to go bike riding much. So I didn’t want to invest a huge amount of money into a bicycle that will sit gathering dust. But I didn’t want to buy a piece of junk either. I figured that if I bought a quality used bike, and that if she didn like it, I could turn around and sell it for around what I bought it for.
So anyway, I found a Women’s 1999 Specialized Hardrock Mountain Bike with a 15 inch frame listed on eBay. It looked like it was in great shape from the pictures. I won the auction, and got the bike for $102.50. From my research this seems a reasonable price for the bike. This was the perfect size for my wife. And I know that Specialized is a good brand. It doesn’t have a front suspension like my bike, but I don’t see my wife riding much off road. I think she will be more into taking nice easy rides along the canal path. The bike is local so I don’t have to pay shipping. I just need to go pick it up. I hope my wife will get into bike riding.




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November 2006
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