Basically what I'm asking is does one bike have significantly better components than the other? If the answer is no then I'm gonna pick up the rockhopper on Wednesday. My LBS only has one left. I've been on both and they both feel good so it's really a matter of which one has the better components.
Giant XTC Team Custom XC bike, Nashbar tourer custom commuter
I can't find detailed specs for the 08 comp disc with 26 inch wheels, but it seems like they are VERY similar components wise.
Very similar forks, BB5s, similar quality drive trains, the rockhopper uses more company-brand parts, but being Specialized I figure they're comparable quality to what Trek is offering.
The chief difference I can see is this.... the Trek uses an X.5 derailleur set, the Rockhopper uses Deore. If you need SRAM, then Trek is worth it, but otherwise I don't see a compelling reason in components. Of course, builds can vary a bit depending on the store and the stock, so I would take a look to see what you'd be getting.
There is some confusion over the fork though, both are listed as Dart 3 forks, but some conflicting information for the rockhopper shows a Tora 302, which should be a step up.
I can't say on other factors because I don't have the experience, but from a purely parts point of view they are quite similar.
Why was the MSRP for the '08 $940 and MSRP for the '09 is $770 (for the Rockhopper Comp Disc)?? Was it due to the Tora Fork in '08 v. Dart 3 in '09 or other things as well??
Yea,They drop the price to compete with GF-Marlin and one of those Treks. Then they down graded it severly. Maybe SRAM gave'em a good deal on parts. They changed shifters, derail's, and fork, and this and that.