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Old 01-31-11, 03:24 PM   #1
cycletheroad
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Pannier recommendations for a 1998 specialized rockhopper?

Hi there, im looking for advice on any particular pannier recommendations for a 1998 specialized rockhopper that i could fit, any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 01-31-11, 06:29 PM   #2
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I had a '93 (?) Rockhopper that I built up as a touring bike, and the choice of rack is more important than the choice of panniers when you have shorter-than-optimal chainstays. I used a Tubus Logo, and that worked well, since it can put the bags lower and farther back than most other rear racks.

FWIW, I used Ortlieb Back-roller classics with it, and had minimal heel strike.
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Old 01-31-11, 08:56 PM   #3
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I don't have direct experience with that bike but if I was fixing up a short chainstay mtn. bike for touring I wouldn't load up the rear with big panniers. What kind of load are you needing to carry? If it's the kind of load you'd need to carry for touring in a set of panniers I'd get a small set to put on a front rack like an OMM Sherpa then pile the rest on the rear rack.
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Old 02-01-11, 02:51 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gorshkov View Post
I had a '93 (?) Rockhopper that I built up as a touring bike, and the choice of rack is more important than the choice of panniers when you have shorter-than-optimal chainstays. I used a Tubus Logo, and that worked well, since it can put the bags lower and farther back than most other rear racks.

FWIW, I used Ortlieb Back-roller classics with it, and had minimal heel strike.
Your right.I actually meant to say rack.I will take on board what you said and look into the ortlieb back roller classics.
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Old 02-01-11, 02:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
I don't have direct experience with that bike but if I was fixing up a short chainstay mtn. bike for touring I wouldn't load up the rear with big panniers. What kind of load are you needing to carry? If it's the kind of load you'd need to carry for touring in a set of panniers I'd get a small set to put on a front rack like an OMM Sherpa then pile the rest on the rear rack.
Thanks for reply. I would only be setting up for commuting at the moment but would be looking to get a decent enough set up on the bike.
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Old 02-01-11, 08:39 PM   #6
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I have just a standard Blackburn rear rack on my 1998 Hard Rock. I'm not sure if the Hard Rock differs from the Rock Hopper much but the Blackburn works fine for me. I commuted with it and toured on it twice with that rack. Also used Front and Backroller classics which worked great.
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Old 02-02-11, 12:07 PM   #7
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Thanks for reply. I would only be setting up for commuting at the moment but would be looking to get a decent enough set up on the bike.
The Ortliebs are nice because you can shift the pannier back on any rack by changing the position of the hardware for heel clearance. It makes a difference if you have size 8 or size 13 feet regarding pannier placement. While the Tubus Logo is a killer rack, I've got one, it's not cheap and if you ride without fenders you'll want some kind of platform to act as one. For any rack that's going to carry panniers get one with three struts so the panniers can rest back on it. The basic bike racks like the old Blackburns with two vertical struts are pretty much designed to be platforms and not as much for securing panniers. For the money a Topeak Explorer or Explorer DX with lower rails is a good value. I haven't seen one of these, it's probably heavy given the use of solid aluminum rod but it looks good. http://store.interlocracing.com/khalra.html
You don't mention how much you need to carry for commuting. If it's just a change of clothes and lunch that's something you can put in a rack bag or small panniers. If it's a bigger lap top then it'll take big panniers to pack and secure it well. The weight isn't that great but the dimensions exclude smaller/front panniers. I put mine in a foam sleeve AND surrounded with an inflatable seat cushion like the Thermarest Sport Seat.
If you're setting up for eventual touring gear and don't need to carry the kitchen sink for commuting check these out.

http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FSBP They're a bit overpriced compared to all the bells and whistles panniers you can find elsewhere but they are small and not that tall so heel strike is reduced and with a bungie strapped from bottom to top they'll be compressed against the rack and not catching wind like big bags. In the event you decide to do loaded touring these small panniers with gear piled on the rack can be balanced with a front rack carrying Ortlieb front rollers/sport packers (the smaller pannier). I'm more inclined to keep the panniers small if don't need the volume for commuting and distribute the load to the front wheel and rack for touring.
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Old 02-03-11, 11:49 AM   #8
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The basic bike racks like the old Blackburns with two vertical struts are pretty much designed to be platforms and not as much for securing panniers.
Mine has been loaded up and ridden about 3,000 miles, including a couple of hundred miles of rough, rocky, unpaved roads, without a single problem. My front rack is also one of those cheap two-strut models (CyclePro) and it too has covered the same miles with a full load of panniers, the only problem being in devising a way to mount it securely on the front fork when it was meant to be a rear rack. They may well have been designed to be platform racks, but in my experience they work just fine for carrying panniers as well.
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Old 04-24-16, 10:28 AM   #9
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So what combination of rear/front racks ended up working best for you? I recently purchased a Rock Hopper of the same vintage and am setting it up as a light duty tourer. Think I've got a Topeak that will work for the rear but I dunno what to look for up front.
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Old 04-24-16, 10:35 AM   #10
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Panniers fit on a rack... you have to buy that and put it on your Bike first , No matter what brand and nmodel the Bike Is

Tubus-Ortlieb is a super pair , Not cheap, but they dont fall apart like cheap, May.

suspension forks complicate fitting a front rack ..

you can replace those with a fork that wont drop the head tube and change the steering Angle..

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Old 04-24-16, 12:12 PM   #11
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hello there Irish fellow (or lass). Put up a photo of your rockhopper so I can compare it to mine. I think mine is a 98, I bought it used sometime in the early 2000s, cant recall what year. I've ridden mine pretty much consistently as a commuter since then, but I have travelled with it and it handles two rear full panniers very very well, even on twisty downhill mountain paved roads and me pushing it, no frame flex problems.

I have mentioned here before but sometimes circumstances end up that for the ride home I pick up all kinds of things, so if I have one pannier it ends up being very heavy, and therefore lopsided weight wise with only one pannier. The rockhopper has rather thick rear triangle tubes, and even over potholes with a lopsided load, the frame handles this really well.

Ive toured quite a bit and am always impressed with how this mtn bike frame is very solid.

The chainstays if I recall correctly, are about 435mm or 440mm long, this bike has the same medium quality alu rack on it that the previous owner had on it, and it works fine, despite being rather worn in areas from panniers rubbing against it and being used for easily 15 years. I wear size 9 feet, and with my panniers set father back on the rack, I do not have heel strike issues, but it could be an issue depending on your shoe size, or the rack, or the panniers--so no clear answer.

I've used various tires on it over the years, but find that 1.5in roadish tires are a good size, I've used 2in slicks also, but 1.5s roll nicely along on good roads, but are wide enough (38mm) to be good for rough roads, especially if you don't over inflate them for your weight. As you can see in the photo, I still have the original suspension fork on it, which keeps on working and also helps with our rough roads here.
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Old 04-24-16, 12:34 PM   #12
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Is it an aluminum or steel model? Some of the aluminum Specs around this vintage are kind of a pain, the mounting hole is in the middle of the dropout and so you need long screws and some spacers to stand off and clear the chain stays
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Old 04-24-16, 12:42 PM   #13
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Is it an aluminum or steel model? Some of the aluminum Specs around this vintage are kind of a pain, the mounting hole is in the middle of the dropout and so you need long screws and some spacers to stand off and clear the chain stays
mine is alu, and the bottom mounting hole is pretty standard, and does not require any spacers to mount the rack. As I said, mine has had the same rack on it and used regularly, it has been pretty solid--after riding with a very heavy load, checking bolt tightness regularly is always a good idea.
re spacers, I have used spacers often for front fender mounting to keep a low rider rack from rubbing agaisnt the fork, and its been fine. I know spacers are used with disc frames often for rack clearance, so its not necessarily a bad thing (within reason though, it makes sense that things would be more solid without spacers, perhaps more for a rear rack, although I do know its somewhat common to use them.)
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Old 04-24-16, 01:34 PM   #14
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Here's my Hardrock, a post from a few years ago on the same topic.

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I picked up a '95 aluminum A1 comp Rockhopper last fall. Thought I'd use it as a winter bike and not have to worry as much about corrosion in the MN winters. I'd been scanning craigslist obsessively, checking bikepedia, etc, etc, so when I saw this for $100, it seemed like a no brainer. Rigid fork, ready to ride, in really good shape.


It wasn't until I got it home that I noticed the rear dropouts did not have eyelet/holes for a rear rack. I was surprised; all the steel Rockhoppers of that vintage had rack eyelets. Anyway, it wasn't a deal killer, I put on some stainless P-clamps to mount my fenders and have been riding it all winter.


Just last week I see a '98 aluminum Rockhopper frame on Craigslist - appears to have almost identical rear dropouts, but these are drilled to accept a rack. Before I saw this, I wasn't going to mess with it - wasn't quite sure if I'd be compromising the strength. But now it looks like it would be easy to do, especially using this photo as a guide. Not to mention I have a couple extra rear racks in the parts bin.


Anyone drilled rack holes on rear dropouts before? Any non obvious pitfalls I should be worried about?


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As promised. Hole in the same place and washers to space it out from the seat stay.





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