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Old 03-24-03, 02:07 PM   #1
descartes
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best upgrades for 2003 rockhopper

Thanks to everyone who replied to my earlier thread. Decided to go with the rockhopper. My shop will let me trade out parts (discounted, I presume) before I take it home. I know that in other threads people recommend to wait until something breaks before upgrading but I think I have a good opportunity to save some cash in the long run. Can anyone recommend some specific upgrades that provide the most bang for your buck? Is this frame worth pouring more money into or should I just be happy with it as is and ride? Thanks.
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Old 03-24-03, 02:17 PM   #2
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Which one? The FSR (full Suspension) or the Hardtail?

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Old 03-24-03, 02:22 PM   #3
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hardtail
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Old 03-24-03, 02:24 PM   #4
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Sorry, I reviewed your other post.

Personally either color is good looking. I think I'd go for the blue over the orange.

Also as far as components, if they'll give a good deal on a better fork, I'd upgrade that. Everything else? I'd leave it! It's a good bike as it sits.

If you've got money to burn, The only other thing is to go for some Avid Disc's. That probably means new wheels and the calipers/rotors. (Same levers).

But, if you're going to spend that much more, you're better off buying another bike with them already on there! I personally (for my style of riding) like the P.1 or the P.2. If I were going to buy a new bike, I'd get the P.1 and ride the crap out of it!

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Old 03-24-03, 02:27 PM   #5
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You could get the HardRock Pro and upgrade the fork too!

Ahhh, lots of options. I love the decisions and the confusion of buying a new bike!

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Old 03-24-03, 03:17 PM   #6
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If you are a heavy rider get the stiff spring for the Axel fork. The fork is very good . If you change go for either Manitou Black or any Marz! Steer clear of Rockshox. For brakes go for DeoreXT if you need brake power. If you need disc hype get some mechs (Avid). Change the rear mech to XT and the Tires to panaracer FireXCpro or TrailblasterPro. Stem needs changing to something stiffer for my taste and saddle to something firmer. My choices flite ti saddle and raceface deus stem. Bare in mind that in Europe the Rockhopper has better parts than in USA (just check the international specialized site) so if you live unluckily in America you need more parts upgraded.

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Old 03-24-03, 04:20 PM   #7
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I had the manitou axcel fork on mine and swapped it out for a marzocchi. All i can say is that if you are getting the one with the manitou, thats where i'd upgrade. Go for a marzocchi or fox. Makes a considerable improvement in steering response and generally makes the bike feel lighter and better, plus it's air adjustable. The manitou has not adjustment that makes any noticable difference.
That and discs are the 2 main upgades i did to mine and thats all it needed as far as i'm concerned. Now it brakes and handles as well as i could want.
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Old 03-24-03, 09:25 PM   #8
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i don't think you can save very much money by getting the rockhopper then swapping the fork and going for discs. almost better off getting a better bike in the first place.
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Old 03-24-03, 10:40 PM   #9
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Well, that depends on the bikes. For example, i added discs and fork to my stumpjumper FSR and ended up with more bike than my friend's FSR comp stumpjumper at about the same final cost. And i like the color of mine far more, plus i love the Marzocchi fork.Had i bought one like his i'd not have discs or the color i like as i now do at the same cost. If he added discs to his he'd be well above my total. In any case, it's a matter of what components are important to you as far as both which components and what brand. For example, if i didn't like the fork on the better bike, i could buy the cheaper model and add the fork i like and in some if not many cases, end up paying less. In other words, you cannot say that buying a better bike instead of upgrading is the way to go. In some cases it may be, in some not. The point being it's totally dependant on the individual situation.
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Old 03-24-03, 10:45 PM   #10
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i can't disagree with you. but we can't deny that it's quite a sum to upgrade both the fork and to disc brakes. my friend went through the same situation with his rockhopper, where getting just the disc brakes alone meant new wheels.
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Old 03-24-03, 11:08 PM   #11
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True. But thats my point.........it depends on the sitch. In my case the discs were rather cheap at $99 per wheel (hayes) and the wheels that came with the bike were disc ready. Plus i got a great deal on the bike to begin with, and i would have gotten only an ok deal on the upper model. So overall i could get the fork w/o going over the cost of the better model which doesn't even have discs.
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Old 03-25-03, 02:08 AM   #12
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A Rock Shox Duke is a LOT less flexy than that Manitou Axel.

math2p14 I don't know if non US spec Rock Shox are different than what they sell over here but the Duke is just fine for this Clydesdale
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Old 03-25-03, 12:46 PM   #13
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if your going to upgrade parts why dont you upgrade models instead? it will probably be cheaper. if you go up to a stumpjumper the groupo will be less expensive than buying it yourself.
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Old 03-25-03, 12:48 PM   #14
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ps if your already not happy with the components it's not really the right bike.
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Old 03-25-03, 03:57 PM   #15
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In the UK the RockShox forks are all NON-USA made so the quality suffers in comparison with italian made Zokies or US made manitous (or ever Taiwanese manitous).
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Old 03-25-03, 04:44 PM   #16
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Crankset.
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Old 03-25-03, 04:59 PM   #17
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Whoa!!! thanks for the comments. Now I am thinking of just scrapping the idea of a rockhopper and biting the bullet to get a c'dale f400 or f600 or a stumpjumper hardtail. Stump seems the lightest and best equipped but the f600 has avids and the f400's price is the easiest to take. Any thoughts? I guess no matter what I will get I will always want something better but the last thing I want to do is buy a $500 bike and spend another $500 on upgrades when I should have just bought a $1000 bike. Or worse yet, buy a $500 bike and six months later buy a $1000 bike. Decisions.
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Old 03-25-03, 05:43 PM   #18
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Pricepoint has Avid Mecs for $70 per wheel
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Old 03-25-03, 08:36 PM   #19
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You will usually always come out ahead buying a more expensive complete bike with the components you want vs. upgrading at time of purchase. The exception to this is if your LBS is willing to do some dealing for you.

If you can only afford $500, buy a $500 bike and upgrade as things break, wear out, or you save some $$$ and there is a killer deal on closeout. If you've got $1,000 buy a complete bike for $1,000.

Now, if your budget is over $2,500, you can usually do just as well cost wise, and get specifically the parts you want to build a complete bike, but you had also have all the necessary tools and knowledge necessary to build one up!

With your budget, I'd go with the Stumpjumper Hardtail. It's really a sweet bike. Cannondale are good bikes, but you pay a lot for a Cannondale vs other brands.

They're Made in the USA, and there are extra steps in the manufacturing process for their frames. i.e., the weld their frames, sand the welds smooth, then heat treat the whole frame, to elimate any weak points where the welds are. Then they're painted with an automotive quality paint job, decals applied, and then clearcoated. All that cost more, and worth it if you get a bike that is over $1,500.00 Otherwise the value of the frame is too great of a % of the total cost.

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