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Old 10-01-08, 12:09 PM   #1
TheBigSmoothie
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Specialized Rockhopper vs. Gary Fisher Marlin

I bought my first bike back in the 90's. It was pretty worthless, so I ended up not liking it at all. I'm trying to get back into mountainbiking for fun/exercise, but I can't do it with my current ride. So, I'm shopping.

My leading candidates are the Gary Fisher Marlin or the Specialized Rockhopper (base model).

At one LBS, I found two remaining 2008 GF Marlins (silver). One is new at $590 and the other used at $500. The used one needs a new 3rd chain ring and a new pedal. I'm guessing the damage is from 1 bad crash because everything else looks decent. The store said those repairs would be made for free. I don't feel too much difference with the "genesis" geometry which is supposed to push your weight a little more above the rear tire.

At another store, I found a 2007 Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc (silver). The ticket said $900, but they were selling it at 20% off, so that brings it down to $720. We think I'd need a slightly shorter stem because my back felt a little stretched. The week before, I quickly tested a 2009 base Rockhopper in a parking lot at another store ($700) and liked it. I do really like the bends on Specialized's handlebars.

If I was comparing an '09 Rockhopper versus an '09 Marlin, I think I liked the weight, fit, and look of the base Rockhopper better. They're both $700. However, the option of getting an upgraded '07 Rockhopper at that same price level versus an '08 Marlin for much cheaper kind of complicates things.

Of course the sales rep tried to sell me on the merits of full suspension, but I don't think I'm ready for that in ability and budgeting.

Does anyone have any insight here? There are many component differences. Do you think that the '07 Rockhopper Comp Disc can be further discounted from $720?
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Old 10-01-08, 12:16 PM   #2
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go Rockhopper, I just got Rockhopper Disc today and thats awesome...
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Old 10-03-08, 01:34 PM   #3
pwyll99
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I would say go with the Rockhopper. Of course I own an '03 Rockhopper myself so I'm playing favorites here. $720 sounds good to me. I bought the base model for $500 back in 2003 and spent at least another $300 on it over the years upgrading the wheels and brakes (Avid BB7's are on it now) as I wore parts out.

Also my Rockhopper is no longer a real mountain bike as I've turned it into my commuter, I have a dualie for offroad riding now. A warning against dualies, they break more often than a hardtail with all the extra moving parts and also cost more to fix. My rear shock (Fox RP3) already got stuck down once on a easy ride on some doubletrack, fortunately while on the way back to the car. That was $100 to fix along with the downtime while waiting for the shock to be repaired.
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Old 10-03-08, 03:08 PM   #4
CercaMemorial
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The Rockhopper is a great bike, lightweight frame great cross country geometry. I borrowed my friend's for a little bit when we was on vacation and I thought it was great. I say Rockhopper.
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Old 10-03-08, 07:33 PM   #5
roccobike
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Actually, I think you answered the question as to which bike. You said, with a different stem, you liked the fit of the Rockhopper better than the GF. That's the answer to your question. A bike that doesn't fit you right is not a bargain. Try the Rockhopper with a different fork to be sure.
Between the two Rockhoppers, if the 07 has an M-4 frame, (the website is confusing about that), I'd certainly go with the 07 with better components. I made that same decision in 06 when I passed on a new Specialized FSR XC base for a leftover, 05 FSR XC Comp disc for the same price and I'm really glad I did. Those nicer components pay off long term.
Take into account I am slightly biased because I also own a 05 Rockhopper, but if the GF fit you better, I would have recommended you go that route.
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Old 10-06-08, 08:44 AM   #6
TheBigSmoothie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roccobike View Post
Between the two Rockhoppers, if the 07 has an M-4 frame, (the website is confusing about that), I'd certainly go with the 07 with better components. I made that same decision in 06 when I passed on a new Specialized FSR XC base for a leftover, 05 FSR XC Comp disc for the same price and I'm really glad I did. Those nicer components pay off long term.
The 2007 has the A1 frame. As far as I'm aware, I think it's 1 lb. heavier(?).

Last week I found a place that has 2009 base Rockhoppers for $639 (not $700).
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