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Old 07-20-11, 10:21 PM   #1
sjnoor
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Old Specialized Rockhopper Questions

I have a mountain bike that i have used for years but now many of the parts are in need of replacement due to wear and tear. I was curious if I was better of buying new parts and equipping my old frame or if I was better suited to invest the money into a new mountain bike.

I have a Specialized Rockhopper and Im fairly sure it is from the 90's, but it was a used bike given to me by another family so I can't tell you the year for sure. If there are any other identifying features I am unaware of what they are. If anybody could help me identify it and tell me if it is a decent frame or not I would appreciate it.

Attached are some pictures Im not sure how much they will help, but better than nothing.







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Last edited by sjnoor; 07-20-11 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 07-21-11, 01:43 AM   #2
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Yup early 90's Rockhopper, maybe a bit earlier judging from the canti brakes and threaded rigid fork. Have you checked bikepedia? dunno if they go back that far.

Rigid chromoly steel bike. Me? I'd keep it as a beater and spend money on a modern bike. Decision would be based on how you're gonna use the bike and how deep your wallet is.
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Old 07-21-11, 07:13 AM   #3
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I'd keep it as a beater and spend money on a modern bike. Decision would be based on how you're gonna use the bike and how deep your wallet is.
+1
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Old 07-21-11, 09:54 AM   #4
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If you want to narrow down the year of manufacture, you can date the components by using this Vintage Trek site. On the back of some of the components, such as the crank arms and brakes, will be a date code. This is not always that exact, because the components may have been replaced, but if not, you can figure that the bike was sold within a year or two of the component date.
http://www.vintage-trek.com/component_dates.htm
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Old 07-21-11, 05:18 PM   #5
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Only from the looks of the bike, it's not really a beater either. I'd repair it and ride it for the rest of your life.
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Old 07-21-11, 11:28 PM   #6
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Hey thanks for the pointers. At this point Im looking at replacing the chain, both the front and back gear sets, as well as all the brake cables. I was told this would cost upwards of the $250 range, so I wanted to make sure it was worth it. I live in a college town so it is nice to have a bike that works and gets me around but is not too flashy or expensive enough that I have to worry about it getting stolen.
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Old 07-22-11, 01:27 AM   #7
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I live in a college town so it is nice to have a bike that works and gets me around but is not too flashy or expensive enough that I have to worry about it getting stolen.
In that case you have the perfect bike.
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Old 07-22-11, 08:07 AM   #8
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There is no way that I would invest $250 in that frame, not when I see much newer AL frame bikes with =/> components, in good condition, for that or less.
That said, only you can decide if it's worth it, but since you asked, well...

Is it a "decent" frame? Depends on your definition of decent.
Is it worth putting $250 into? IMO, no.

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Old 07-22-11, 12:01 PM   #9
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At this point Im looking at replacing the chain, both the front and back gear sets, as well as all the brake cables.
How did you determine these items need to be replaced? Condition of the bike doesn't look bad, maybe you just need some things adjusted and not replaced. By front and rear gear sets I'm assuming you mean derailleurs. They probably just need adjusted not replaced and maybe cable replacement. Since you are in a college town see if you can find a bicycle co-op in the area.
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Old 07-25-11, 11:51 PM   #10
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I have had this bike for a while, and I knew it needed some general maintenance, but I just wasn't sure how much. The brakes cables definitely needed to be replaced, they are rusty and old. However, when I went into a bike shop they told me that my chain was stretched to the max, and that it had worn down the teeth on the gears in front and back. I have had problems with my chain slipping and difficulty changing gears but it didn't come around until just recently, so I'm assuming that it is because I haven't changed my chain or anything since I got the bike.
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Old 07-27-11, 09:46 PM   #11
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Yeah, that happens over time to all chains and cogs. Replacing the chain would be the first move, usually it’s the most used rings on the crank that get the most abuse. You can either replace the rings that look the most worn, or get a new tapered crank. If you like the bike, it would be worth doing.
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Old 07-28-11, 05:54 AM   #12
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You definitely need a chain and cassette (that will fix the skipping/jumping teeth problem), but I doubt that you need to replace the crank / chain rings unless they have been damaged beyond normal wear. Cassette cogs typically wear much quicker than chain rings, so if the cassette is original then I can't imagine that the crankset doesn't have a lot of miles left in it. I've worked on some pretty old and used-up MTBs, and was always able to get them running smoothly with original cranksets.

Without having seen it, from what you describe your bike should be fixable with around $50 in parts - $200 for labor sounds really high to me, and in any case I would automatically be skeptical of a shop who isn't advising you to put that money toward a new bike.

new cassette or new freewheel
new chain
brake cable set

Last edited by scyclops; 07-28-11 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 07-28-11, 11:28 AM   #13
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I have to agree with scyclops on both his points. One, that I neglected to mention replacing what is probably is the freewheel on your bike; and two, that $250 seems very expensive even if the cost included replacing the chain, freewheel, and crank. If you tried to sell the bike as-is, you might get half that for the whole bike.


I’d take it to another bike shop and ask them to check the derailleur hanger alignment. A bent hanger is very common and is easy to align with the right tool. Another option is to put an ad on Craigslist asking for help. In my area, at least, there are plenty of bike mechanics who advertise their services for quite a bit cheaper than LBS labor costs.
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