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1985 (First Year made) Specialized Rockhopper

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1985 (First Year made) Specialized Rockhopper

Old 12-14-16, 01:00 PM
  #1  
IrishBrewer 
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1985 (First Year made) Specialized Rockhopper

Hi folks,

I work at a local charity that takes in donated bikes and gets them road worthy for all ages in need but most of our stuff gets placed through school guidance counselors. We get bike donations of all sorts from people looking to clear out their garages and I would say that about 85% of the bikes are Walmart specials (heavy clunky and with crappy brakes that aren't fun to work on).

Once in a while we get a nice bike and recently a 1985 Rockhopper showed up. The bike looks like it has been garage kept and is in very good condition as far as I can tell thus far - no rust to speak of on the frame, wheels look good and true. Really it just seems a little dusty. I believe it is in 100% original condition except for the tires which are Kendas. The bike even has a service tag from a local bike shop on it so it appears that it was serviced then put in a garage or basement for many years without being used. I would love to restore and keep this classic bike for myself but I've got too many bikes if there is such a thing (at least until some of my kids start moving out).

So, since our shop is in the need of a good locking toolchest and a few tools that I need to purchase, I was thinking of cleaning up and selling this bike to get some cash to buy these things for the shop. I did a cursory internet/ebay search and from what I was able to find, these are going from anywhere from $200 to $375. I'm going to overhaul all of the bearings and clean/lube all of the drivetrain elements and give it an overall cleaning to get it ready to sell (so far I've only looked at the front wheel bearings and found them to be sealed units but still spin like butter).

Any thoughts here on the value? I would think that the original year production for this model and the condition of the bike would give it some appeal to the right buyer.
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Old 12-14-16, 01:09 PM
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The usual response on this forum is that estimates are meaningless without some decent photos and information on the frame size.
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Old 12-14-16, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
The usual response on this forum is that estimates are meaningless without some decent photos and information on the frame size.
Thanks. I'll give it a quick wipedown and take some pics and measure the frame. I would call it a medium sized frame without having the exact size but I'll get the actual measurement and include that along with pics.
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Old 12-14-16, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
The usual response on this forum is that estimates are meaningless without some decent photos and information on the frame size.
Don't forget location, too. Bikes sell for substantially higher prices in some areas than others.
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Old 12-15-16, 07:42 AM
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Rockhopper photos

I forgot to measure the frame when I was taking the photos but I'll get that and post it later (you should be able to get a sense for the size from the photos). The bike is located in Pennsylvania (Harrisburg area). I gave it an initial wipedown to clear out the cobwebs and thus far, I am impressed with it's condition. I also overhauled the bottom bracket and crankset. The bearings and cups were in great condition and just needed to be cleaned and packed with fresh grease. Spins like a dream now.

Derailleurs are Shimano Stag Heads which is their first generation of MTB specific derailleurs and somewhat of a collector's item.

Everything looks to be original. Here are some of the photos:


20161215_072158 Resized.jpg

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It does have the pedals as well. I took them off to work on the crankset and to grease the pedal bearings. They are in good shape too.

Last edited by IrishBrewer; 12-15-16 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 12-15-16, 09:27 AM
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More pics. I like the old-school wrapping of the DS chainstay with bar tape to protect it. It was well done and is also in great shape so I'm going to leave it on. Kinda fits the character of that era of bike. I used to do the same with a strip of rubber cut from an old tube.

Pedals are Suntour XC-II. I was shocked that these alone are selling on eBay for $130+ in used/good condition. With these pics, any ideas on a value?

20161215_072214 Reduced.jpg

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20161215_074233 Reduced.jpg

Last edited by IrishBrewer; 12-15-16 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 12-15-16, 10:10 AM
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Really nice Deerhead/DeoreXT drivetrain. And great pedals. Fantastic cosmetic condition, really.

I would think this would be worth more parted out vs sold in current condition.

Ebay research could get you an idea of prices for the pedals, shifters(those are m700s?...itll be labeled somewhere), derailleurs, canti brakes, and crankset.
You could then sell the frame and fork with headset included too.



Total guesses-
- pedals $40
- shifters $40
- both derailleurs $70
- canti brakes $35
- crankset(crank and bottom bracket) $50
- brake levers $20
- frame, fork, and headset $130
- wheelset $50


Those prices are based on what I sometimes see the components actually selling for. But I also dont look very often, so it might not be accurate.

As a complete bike- right now $150. Warmer time- $200.
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Old 12-15-16, 10:16 AM
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Sweet bike but concur with the others that it is likely worth more as a part out on the evil bay than as a complete bike.

Most vintage MTBs aren't worth a heck of a lot; this might be the exception given its condition, parts, etc. Unfortunately it's not a stumpjumper so not at the top of the line.
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Old 12-15-16, 10:18 AM
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That is a very nice bike, and I would love to have an old Rockhopper or Stumpjumper from that era. The best way to estimate prices is to search completed listings on eBay. That will give you some ballpark numbers. You might have better luck selling the bike or frame on a forum such as this because the early Specialized MTBs are collectable among cyclists who know better, and yours is in very nice condition. That bike could be used for commuting and touring as well as trail riding.
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Old 12-15-16, 10:25 AM
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mstateglfr - I know the derailleurs are M700s, shifters probably are too. All I know is that they had Shimano branding - I'll check.

I struggle with the parting out thing on a bike like this that is completely original. I hear you about the parts being worth more than the assembled bike but the bike lover in me has a hard time doing that.

When you see a set of the pedals going on ebay for like $130, it's hard though. Somehow, it would be easier for me to sell it for $275 and let someone else do the chopping. ;-) I'm sure some of you can sympathize.

Really would love to keep this one in my garage and ride it. Tough choices...

Last edited by IrishBrewer; 12-15-16 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 12-15-16, 01:09 PM
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I would just keep it-- fmv for your locations/time of year is approx 150 cash (total). Sure, some parts worth some cash but not 275 worth once you factor in shipping, fees, etc. Best bet is to buy it at fmv, sell the pedals to recoup some cash and ride it.
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Old 12-15-16, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishBrewer View Post
mstateglfr - I know the derailleurs are M700s, shifters probably are too. All I know is that they had Shimano branding - I'll check.

I struggle with the parting out thing on a bike like this that is completely original. I hear you about the parts being worth more than the assembled bike but the bike lover in me has a hard time doing that.

When you see a set of the pedals going on ebay for like $130, it's hard though. Somehow, it would be easier for me to sell it for $275 and let someone else do the chopping. ;-) I'm sure some of you can sympathize.

Really would love to keep this one in my garage and ride it. Tough choices...
The Deerhead derailleurs are really collectible and you have some clean looking ones. Sold as a pair, thatd be a sweet find for someone.

I totally get the hesitation to part out the bike.

One other suggestion would be to sell it here. I think a 1 or 3 membership is something like $10. You could sell it in the C&V section as there is a classifieds area that is very active. A lot of activity on that forum concerns 80s MTBs and people there are constantly building up older bikes.
Sell the components individually there or try to sell the bike whole. It'd require shipping, yes, but you would know everything is going towards people who will put the items to good use and net your organization some $.
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Old 12-15-16, 02:13 PM
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You will almost always make more money by parting out a bike rather than selling it whole. If you sell it whole, the buyer might just part it out anyway. However, I can understand your preference for keeping it original.
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Old 12-15-16, 02:21 PM
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That bike will move on this forum. You'll get a better price here than on CL. Vintage MTBs don't get much of a price on CL. The price won't be as good as eBay but you won't have the hassles of dealing with eBay. The C&V sale forum is a pretty good place for selling a bike like this.
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Old 12-15-16, 02:41 PM
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Thanks fellas, I think I'll give it a shot selling it here before trying eBay or Craigslist. I should be done going over it in a week or so.

Just did the overhaul on the pedals. I can see why they are desirable. Rock solid and a dream to work on.
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Old 12-15-16, 04:36 PM
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I've sold ready-to-ride circa mid 1990's Rockhoppers for around $200. All cleaned up, the bike above should be worth $225+/- 10%.

Good luck!
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Old 12-16-16, 08:06 AM
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Derailleurs cleaned up very nicely.

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