Fully Rigid Fun Bike: Specialized Rockhopper vs Raleigh Urban Assault
Hey guys (and gals)
Getting a replacement bike for my 13yr old. He rides only paved roads, but he rides hard... VERY hard: curb hopping, laying down, wheelies, jumps, etc.
We also go on rides to the beach on weekends (about 18miles round trip, paved roads, a couple hills). So I wanna get him something durable yet fast. Alas, I've narrowed down to two 1990's fully rigids, both apparently in decent shape, the specialized rockhopper and raleigh urban assault, both of which are for sale second hand, in good shape.
Does anyone have any experience with either (or both).
I owned a 1993 Specialized Rockhopper. I used it on rugged mountain trails in Utah and in the desert here and it held up beautifully. How fast it is may depend upon the tires you use and your son's fitness level. I picked it up second hand when it was a couple years old. The MSRP was $399 and I saw it was rated pretty well by Consumer's Reports back then. Be sure to replace the brake pads on anything that old. Surprisingly a lot of them are listed on CL for about what I paid back then. I think my limit would be about $80 for the bike these days.
If this is the Raleigh you are looking at: https://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/bik/4546266989.html it has a replacement front fork and only 10 speeds versus 21 for the Rockhopper. I'd wonder what happened to require a replacement. Also saw a pair of these for sale in the Chicago area for $70 so it obviously is a less appealing bike.
I'll second the recommendation for the Specialized RockHopper. The '90s versions of these bikes are solidly built and seem to have a bit of a following. The RockHopper was the middle of the line with the HardRock below it and the StumpJumper above. The sheer number of these bikes that have survived and are still in rideable condition is a testament to their build quality.
Nearly any bike can be broken through hard enough use, but the RockHoppers can really take it.