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  1. #1
    WNG
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    Vintage Specialized MTB inquiry...

    I spotted an early 80s [corrected: 90's] Specialized Rockhopper that may fit me. I'm about to head out to inspect it. It appears to have those long chain stays of early MTB offerings. But the frame doesn't look to be lugged, but TIG-welded.
    It isn't complete. OEM drivetrain and possibly wheels aren't there. May be newer wheels.
    But the price is right.

    How did the Rockhopper fall in the Specialized line up? It's below the Stumpjumper...but was it very low on the ladder?

    Worth the effort?
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    Last edited by WNG; 02-22-10 at 10:34 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Stumpjumper
    Rockhopper
    HardRock

    Now, the spec is very year dependent. as there was model creep. Rockhopper was always below the Stumpjumper but it got better with time. Always tigged though.

  3. #3
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Looks like it might have a sloping top tube, which says 90s to me.

    Rockhopper fell between Stumpjumper and Hard Rock.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  4. #4
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +1 Looks like 1990s to me, and in that case, the TIG welded frame makes sense too. You can buy complete MTBs from that era around here cheap, real cheap, even the nicer models. Rigid frame MTBs represent the best value in bikes IMHO.

  5. #5
    WNG
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    Thanks for the info. Anything decent and worthwhile in my area is hard to come by, and usually priced excessively high. I thought this would make a nice project.

    update: Hmm, the seatpost is stuck in the seat tube according to the seller. :-\
    Last edited by WNG; 02-22-10 at 04:53 PM.
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  6. #6
    sultan of schwinn EjustE's Avatar
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    The Specialized MTB offerings in the late 80s and early 90s (I think yours is late 80s btw; I did not see it in the 90s catalogs in that color combination) were indeed ordered (high to low) :

    Stumpjumper
    Rockhopper
    Hardrock

    but, it is not the full story. Within each offering there were 3 levels of trim: Regular (no indication), Sport, Comp (in low to high order).

    So a Rockhopper Regular is not a mid/high offering, but more of a mid/entry offering. The Rockhopper regular had M400 group, the Sport M500 (both Exage LX) and the Comp Deore LX. The high end Hardrock had M300 group. I am pretty sure that all Rockhoppers had DB tubes (at least main tubes) by Tange.
    -E

    still stuck in the '80s; '70s were good as well, but i severely dislike tubulars.
    I tri...

  7. #7
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    In 1995 there were 5 different Rock Hoppers, not counting the kids models.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  8. #8
    ish
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    Rockhoppers are pretty mediocre unless they are one of the very early Rockhoppers or a late 80s or early 90s Rockhopper Comp.

    IMO, hold out for a Stumpjumper or Rockhopper Comp. Most people view all old mass production complete MTBs as worth about $100-$200 and the frames as worth $20-$50, so it's worth your while to wait a bit and spend a little more to get a higher end bike.

  9. #9
    WNG
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    Well, it turned out to be too small for me; 16" frame. And it's a Rockhopper Sport. It has "Direct Drive" cromoly stickers on it, so I think it's an early 90's model. The only original components on it are the Suntour X1 canti brakeset, FD, Accushift thumbies, and the crankarms. There's a Suntour front hubbed wheel, and a Shimano Parallax 7spd rear. I think it and a cartridge BB was added later. The BB doesn't match the Suntour X1 crankarms, width is all wrong. The bike was converted to a single speed and I assume the shorter BB was swapped in for chainline reasons.

    From the pics, I assumed it was an early model, but the chainstays only looked long due to the lack of a tire being mounted.
    It's in rough shape, but the frame/fork are straight and no dents to the tubes. Seller threw in several tubes and tires, a box of removed parts, so I bought it. It fits my wife and she doesn't have a MTB anyway (not like she's asking me for one, LOL).
    With a little luck and TLC, and my parts bin rummaging, I should be able to get this rigid hardtail back on the trails.
    Currently have the frame inverted and PB Blaster soaking the seatpost. Hope it breaks free. If not, it was only a $15 investment.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
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  10. #10
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Yeah, MTBs look REALLY long with no tires on the rims, even with 1" road tires on they look really long.

    Not bad at all for $15. If you can get a decently functioning bike by only spending $35 or less additional on it, you're golden IMO.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  11. #11
    ish
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    Nice deal for $15. When you said the price is right, you really meant it!

    At worst, you have some more part for your bin.

  12. #12
    Death fork? Naaaah!! top506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    Currently have the frame inverted and PB Blaster soaking the seatpost. Hope it breaks free. If not, it was only a $15 investment.
    That's worked twice for me this winter on similar bikes, a GT and a Bridgestone.
    Decent ridged hardtails from the late 80s/early 90s seem to be turning up a lot at the dump lately.
    Top
    You know it's going to be a good day when the stem and seatpost come right out.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    If you can get a decently functioning bike by only spending $35 or less additional on it, you're golden IMO.
    What?

    Huh?

    Oh.
    *Recipient of the 2006 Time Magazine "Man Of The Year" Award*

  14. #14
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    You can do a nice cruiser style city bike out of an old MTB, and a 90's one will be light and lively enough to avoid the lame slowness of a normal cruiser. Swept back handlebars, big slick tires (Fat Franks?), fenders, a single chainring plus chainguard, a big basket...
    Bikin' far-off places with the wife: http://peacocksride.wordpress.com

  15. #15
    WNG
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    I like the older MTBs as well, lighter, simpler, more responsive and versatile...like the option above. The 1" fork and quill stem gives me some configuration room...Commuter, tourer, drop bar conversion. But this one will stay a MTB. My wife 'needs' one.
    We have some nice trails around Usery Mountain Rec Area, and the Apache Trail near us. Should be a lot of family fun.

    After a night of PB Blaster, I managed to twist the post 3/8" around. Still very tight, but with a little help and a long pipe, I think I can break it a full 360.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
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  16. #16
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    This isn't as clean as yours (nice find by the way ,) but I picked up a well-used 1990 Rockhopper Comp a few weeks ago and have put a few miles on it.

    The paint is a mess, the drive train was seriously neglected and it wasn't a great value at $80 given the condition, but I really like it!




  17. #17
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    What bars are those? I love the crazy sweep.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  18. #18
    Senior Member Chris_in_Miami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
    What bars are those? I love the crazy sweep.
    Same as these: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=290403518243 My wrists tend to take too much abuse with flat bars, the angle helps a lot.

  19. #19
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    This one is nice as well, I have one on my basket bike:

    http://www.somafab.com/arcbar.html


    Ooo, it's available in colours now. Shiny.


    Salsa makes nice heavily swept bars appropriate for off-roadin'. I run a 11 degree super-wide flat bar on my trail bike and love the thing. I appreciate the stability of a super wide bar on rough and technical bits and the sweep is just soo comfy.
    Last edited by tashi; 02-24-10 at 08:17 AM.
    Bikin' far-off places with the wife: http://peacocksride.wordpress.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    My 97 purchased new. I use it to commute.


  21. #21
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    My 97 purchased new. I use it to commute.


  22. #22
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    I have two Specialized MTB's in regular use. The red and white Stumpjumper is set up with a modern 1x9 drivetrain and Big Apples. I haul my grocery trailer with it, among other things. The black (drewed and powdercoated) Rockhopper is a fixed gear bike that is a fun to ride and I use it all the time for around town things when I don't have to haul much.

    Both are nimble but tough bikes that are endlessly useful and fun.

    jim
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  23. #23
    WNG
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    Nice examples posted above! Mine is far from good shape, it's pretty weathered. Wife likes the factory purple color, so I think I'll repaint it a uniform purple for her.
    I have some Suntour XCE gear that I'll combine with the workable X1 pieces that came with it, and make it full Suntour once again.
    Well, the seatpost has been 'extricated', so the project saga begins.
    Last edited by WNG; 02-24-10 at 02:13 PM.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
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  24. #24
    Senior Member southpawboston's Avatar
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    here's my wife's '92 rockhopper comp, purchased new. she only rode it for two years before putting it in storage for 13 years. two years ago i dug it out and converted it for city use. still has the original deore LX group:


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