GT Avalanche vs. Specialized Hardrock

In the battle of entry-level hardtails, who kicks whose ass?

Dear Lee,

GT Avalanche 3.0 – $430

I was a former sprinter on track and field. I represented my state way back in Borneo. Migrated to New Zealand and saw some guys riding. checked it out and I’m hooked. Seems I can go fast on a straight line but anything else I’m pretty novice. Went to look for some bikes and I have a hard time deciding between a Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc and a GT Avalanche 3.0. Can you help me decide on these? I dont mind you giving a straight answer — I wont hold you liable for anything.

– Justin

Hey Justin.

Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc – $500

Those bikes are very comparable. The Specialized Hardrock costs another $70 U.S., but I’d choose it over the GT. Why:

– Longer top tube and shorter stem handles way better.
– Bigger tires have more float. These Enduro ties roll fast, too.
– Slightly slacker head tube (70 vs 71 degrees) is more stable at speed.
– Name brand rims (Alex).
– You can get the seat lower for aggressive riding.

DISCLAIMER: Specialized helps me with bikes. In my opinion, the Hardrock has a more contemporary design and a better spec.

Good luck and rip it up!

— Lee