I recently purchased a new bike, a Specialized hardtail mountain model. It is on the cheaper side, but with the brand I expected a good ride. Less than a month of riding it, the drivtrain has started skipping. Under a hard torque load, the rear drivtrain will "chink", and the crank will slip forward just a little. It only does this in a few gears, specifically 7 and 8 on the back with the middle chainring. Shifting down to 6 usually stops it. As it is good quality, brand new bike I did not expect this. I looked at the rear derailer, and it appears to be ever so slightly bent, but i dont think this is the problem. It is hard to look back while pedaling hard, but it doesnt look like the chain is trying to go up or down a gear. Since I got it, I have given it a good wash and lubed everything back up, but the problem remains. It is a less expensive bike, so I expect to replace some components eventually, but I would like to get my money's worth from the old ones first. Also, I live over two hours from the nearest bike shop, so any help here would be appreciated.
Skipping like that is usually worn cassette, chain or chainring(or all 3). Considering it's only doing it in the highest gears, my first guess would have been the cassette. But since it's only a month old, it's much more likely to be the derailleur is mis-aligned just a little bit. You say the derailleur is "ever so slightly bent", that little bit can make a big difference if it's out of alignment with the gears. Also, as Criggie says in the comments, the cables "settle in" a little after about a month or 2 of riding, that's very common, and the reason most shops offer a free tuneup in the first year you own a new bike. May be worth checking to see if the shop you got it from offers one.