2013 Specialized Hardrock 29er Upgrade

Anyone familiar with hobbies knows that they are a slippery slope. Whether it’s scrap booking or bicycles, hobbies start out small and typically spiral out of control.

My entry into the world of mountain biking has recently taken that familiar dive. After building my Nukeproof Scout 275 last year, I got the bug, BAD. I couldn’t stop tweaking adjustments and swapping parts all in the vain attempt of improving an already fantastic bike.

As the pile of “old” parts started to grow (most of them with only 1 ride on them) I needed someway to put them to use so they wouldn’t rot away on a shelf.

Enter my Mom’s trail ride, the 2013 Specialized Hardrock 29er Disc.

The Specialized comes factory as mid-tier bike with a Suntour spring fork, cable actuated disc brakes and a low end Shimano 24-speed drivetrain. Prior to the latest upgrades the only change to my Mom’s hardrock was the addition of a 100mm set of Rockshox Recon forks to replace the abysmal Suntours.
The Rockshox instantly transformed the bike into a contender at the local trails, increasing the front end travel while also improving both the low-speed and high-speed dampening.

With my sights set on improving the Hardrock, my priorities were reliability, simplicity, and weight reduction in that order.

The focus on reliability necessitated a single narrow-wide chainring up front and I had a Solodrive 34T available 

Narrow Wide: Solodrive 34T

Switching to a 1x setup in front required changing from the unitized Shimano 3x setup and sourcing new crank arms. Since the bike shipped with a square taper bottom bracket and everything felt tight, I elected to order crank arms only and settled on the SRAM S600 setup which include the 3x chain rings and comes with removable bolts. These crankarms are extremely well built and don’t break the bank. I lucked out and found an Amazon Warehouse deal that knocked a couple extra bucks off the price

Crank Arms: SRAM S600

Next up was the rear of the drivetrain. Halfway through my Scout 275 build I decided the 1×10 wasn’t enough for me and I upgraded to a 1×11 setup. That left a SRAM x.9 10speed trigger and a SRAM GX 2.1 10speed derailleur available. After digging through a random box of parts that I had traded a friend for, I found an 11T-36T 10speed casette and we were ready to go.

Trigger: SRAM X.9 10 speed

Derailleur: SRAM GX 2.1 10 speed

Cassette: SRAM PG 1030 11T-36T

Chain: KMX X10.93

When I started to assemble the whole setup, the dominos began to fall. That was when I discovered the original crank arms had non-removable chain rings and the brakes and shifters were a combination setup which would require either new brake handles, or a new set of brakes. Luckily I had a set of Tektro Draco hydraulic discs that I had rescued from the dumpster when I helped a friend of mine upgrade to a Shimano setup on his mountain bike. A new set of pads had them as good as new.

Brake Set: Tektro Draco

Brake Pads: Tektro Replacement Pads

I also decided I wasn’t going to install old pedals on the brand new crank arms so I purchased a set of Wellgo MG-1s

Pedals: Wellgo MG-1

Below are some pictures of the bike once completed.

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