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Old 10-16-07, 12:25 AM   #1
leamcorp
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Specialized RockHopper vs others

I am currently in the market for $500-600 range hardtail. I've been looking at several models within this range and I've narrowed my choice to a Specialized RockHopper. Other choices were Cannondale, Trek, Fisher and Fuji (all of which my neighborhood LBS's carry as I'm not looking for a used bike).

The problem (or perceived problem) I'm having is the specialized component group. As far as the shock wise, every one of the bike in this price range is either Rockshocks Dart 2 or 3. The FD and RD is where RockHopper seems to be lacking. Most other bikes in this price range seems to be a Deore or better. The Rockhopper is equipped with Altus/Alivio.

I really would like to use my closest LBS but am I getting less of a deal? I would really appreciate your opinion. Thanks
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Old 10-16-07, 06:20 AM   #2
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The rockhopper is known for it's awesome frame; so you will be getting that. I was in a similar situation, trying to get the best bang for the buck. I ended up with a K2 Zed 3.0 (06 models are on sale at many REI shops) with Deore's all around and RockShox J1 (similar to the Dart series) for about $450 out the door. IMHO though if I had your kind of money, I would have gone with an American made Cannondale. I'm still new to the biking scene, but after my first visit to the LBS, I had to rethink all of my choices after I noticed "Made in China" slapped on every bike under $500.
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Old 10-16-07, 07:58 AM   #3
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What about a Haro Flightline Comp? Any feedback on these?
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Old 10-16-07, 10:39 AM   #4
leamcorp
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The rockhopper is known for it's awesome frame; so you will be getting that.
Thats what got me interested as 2008 version is now M4, which used to be on a Stumpjumper (I think they move up to M5?). As for the Rockhopper, even the $900 Rockhopper comp only comes with plain Deore. At that price I would of expected Deore XT.

It seems like they skimp on some of their components set. This is really perplexing as I don't know if they are just over priced or their frame is that much superior. I can't imagine that frames from Cannondale, trek, or Fuji is not as comparable.

I'll check out the Cannondale though.
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Old 10-16-07, 10:43 AM   #5
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don't worry about drivetrain components, they're easy to break and at that price point, you shouldn't really be comparing them at all. big manufacturers are watching each others' bike lines and most of the time, there's a reason why one is more or less expensive than the other. for example, norco's freeride hardtails come with really low end drivetrain components for the price, but they have above-average cranks, brakes and forks for their category. that stems from their philosophy that drivetrains are easily broken esp. with freeriding and you get better brakes and other longer-lasting components for your money.

one mistake i made when buying my first mtb a couple of years ago was being set on a certain drivetrain part. there's really not much of a difference between say, alivio and deore. just focus on which frame geo you like best. also, brakes tested at the lbs may vary a lot, because brake pads usually have to be broken in.
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Old 10-16-07, 11:12 PM   #6
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How about the Hardrock Pro, compared to a RockHopper. The frame is a little heavier, does that make it stronger and better for downhilling?
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Old 10-17-07, 05:06 AM   #7
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I just recently bought a Rockhopper but mine seems to have different components than the one you are looking at. Mine has M4 frame with RockShox Tora 302 front shocks, Juicy 3 hydro discs, Deore LX rear derailleur. Great bike as far as I'm concerned but I'm no MTB expert, rather I'm a newbie with them. I paid $1399 (Aust $$).

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Old 10-18-07, 10:18 PM   #8
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Buy the frame you like you'll replace the drive train as you wear it out!
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Old 10-21-07, 01:17 AM   #9
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I just recently bought a Rockhopper but mine seems to have different components than the one you are looking at. Mine has M4 frame with RockShox Tora 302 front shocks, Juicy 3 hydro discs, Deore LX rear derailleur. Great bike as far as I'm concerned but I'm no MTB expert, rather I'm a newbie with them. I paid $1399 (Aust $$).

I think thats called Rockhopper pro disc in the US. The model I was looking at was the bottom of the barrel from that group. By the way I bought it couple of days ago and like it a lot. I bought the A1 frame version instead of waiting another month for the M4 frame. I'm a roadie and this is just a diversion, so it suits me fine. Thanks everyone for their advice.
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Old 10-21-07, 08:47 AM   #10
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I just went through this process and wished I had a LBS I liked that had the Rockhopper so that I could compare. Bottom line is the choice came down to the Trek 4500 and the G. Fisher Marlin. My LBS had last years model on the 4500 and loved the color scheme and price. But when it came to ride and feel the Marlin won over. Biggest complain I had was the 4500 gearing felt cheap didn't shift as smooth and did not have the lockout on the shock (this years model does btw). My LBS offers a two year maintenance on the bike for adjustments and cleaning. Best advise is go ride them and find a dealer that will give you the best bang for the buck. I'm certain that this frame will allow me to upgrade as I see the need.
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Old 10-23-07, 07:36 PM   #11
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I love my Rock Hopper it is a solid bike , can't go wrong with Specialized!
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Old 10-24-07, 10:30 AM   #12
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I bought an 05 Rockhopper and love it. Over time I replaced the Deore rear derailer and the Alivio front derailer with ebay purchased LX. Total cost $20. I replaced the Alivio shifters with used XT, total cost $26. I replaced the Tektro V brakes with used XT, total cost including new pads $29.
Like other have said, buy the frame you want. Replace parts yourself. Find someone with LX or XT that's upgrading and buy their used, but good condition parts. Then you'll have the bike you want with the drive train you want at a bargain price.
EDIT: I replaced those parts because I like XT and LX bling, not because the original parts were not operating properly, with one exception. The Alivio front derailer had to be replaced as it consistently threw the chain (chain suck) when down shifting. No problems with the LX.
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