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Specialized Rockhopper '91 build

Old 07-31-22, 01:59 PM
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Specialized Rockhopper '91 build

Hi,

following the acquisition of a Specialized Rockhopper from '91 and a lovely discussion as to what type of shifting I shall put on, I will try'n document the build progress in this thread. I hope that is okay - if mods don't allow such shameless self promotion ( ) please feel free to delete this.

Frame seems to be in quite good condition, just needs proper clean and shine to make it sparkle.

W/o further ado, here goes: Pic of the bike as bought:

Rockhopper in his dusty state as aquired

Stripped the bike down to the frame and removed everything to get the frame cleaned and buffed up with some car wax. While seatpost and quill stem came off no problem, as expected BB gave (and still gives) me troubles. The non-drive side was easily loosened and removed, despite some rust build up in the BB-shell. The drive side hower, won't budge. Will take it to a bikeshop to get the drive side cup loosened/removed

Stuck drive side BB shell. (frame still needs to be washed and polished)

Aight, that's the progress so far. Hope that's something all of you are interested in. Will update in due course.

Peace!

Last edited by Positron400; 07-31-22 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 07-31-22, 02:05 PM
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Bike forums would fall apart without a lot of shameless self promotion! You are in good company. Looking forward to watching the build. I’m a big fan of vintage MTBs, especially Specialied
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Old 08-01-22, 11:12 AM
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Quick update - My LBS had a 36mm flat wrench and loosened the drive side cup in like 2 seconds . Removed the cup and gave the frame a thorough clean and degrease. Not really much rust buildup except for some in the BB shell. Some WD40 in there and in the steerer/seat tube and drying it overnight. Next up - wax and shine! No pictures at this point as there is no discernible difference to the one I posted
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Old 08-01-22, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
Quick update - My LBS had a 36mm flat wrench and loosened the drive side cup in like 2 seconds . Removed the cup and gave the frame a thorough clean and degrease. Not really much rust buildup except for some in the BB shell. Some WD40 in there and in the steerer/seat tube and drying it overnight. Next up - wax and shine! No pictures at this point as there is no discernible difference to the one I posted
Great to hear the LBS was up to the task as they should be, sounds like it was a normal job.

We often discuss this here, at length, ad nauseum, many, many schools of thought, albeit some misguided.

These can often be a challenge, if this one came off with just a wrench it was not and may have not been tight enough.

Keep in mind that if they are stuck or very tight as they should be and often are, the LBS may not be up to the task, this can go south very fast, if they attempt and fail it can get desperate as rounded off flats can be very hard to overcome.

They need to come out on the first try when they are really stuck, seized, etc. it usually takes far more than a wrench.

All that said, welcome aboard, glad you found us, you're in the right place. We love these.
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Old 08-01-22, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by merziac

They need to come out on the first try when they are really stuck, seized, etc. it usually takes far more than a wrench.

All that said, welcome aboard, glad you found us, you're in the right place. We love these.
..In fairness, it took the "assistance" of a fairly solid WHACK on the end of the wrench with a hammer, so to me, it seemed to be proper tight BBs always make me nervous when I need to loosen them.

Thanks for the warm welcome and the positive feedback -.I've only been slowly building up the courage/know how to wrench on my own, but my last build gave me confidence to keep going with these.
As promised, I will be providing more updates and pictures. A load of parts should be coming in this week to fully build up the frame. (fingerscrossed)
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Old 08-01-22, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
..In fairness, it took the "assistance" of a fairly solid WHACK on the end of the wrench with a hammer, so to me, it seemed to be proper tight BBs always make me nervous when I need to loosen them.

Thanks for the warm welcome and the positive feedback -.I've only been slowly building up the courage/know how to wrench on my own, but my last build gave me confidence to keep going with these.
As promised, I will be providing more updates and pictures. A load of parts should be coming in this week to fully build up the frame. (fingerscrossed)
All good, no worries.

I never use a hammer on these, one slip and....

Plenty of folks do it so, whatever, glad they got it right, this time.

As you can see, we're glad to help. This is a good test case while not being a really special subject but being very well revered none the less.

Get this right and the ones that follow are likely to be less challenging as you move forward.
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Old 08-01-22, 03:59 PM
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I can't tell what shift levers you have, but I am very partial to good old-fashioned friction or truly friction-compatible thumbies on mountain bikes.
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Old 08-01-22, 10:18 PM
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cool bike
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Old 08-01-22, 11:31 PM
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very nice project.

for next time, try this Sheldon Brown trick:
Get a bolt/nut and some washers. Do it up on the fixed cup and keep turning it.
You can apply a lot of force this way, with a long pipe over the wrench (I use a tow-bar bike rack).




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Old 08-02-22, 05:07 AM
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NIce bike! I hear ya on the bb cup, that can be a tough one. I've had bikes where I've just left it on there and cleaned it from the other side. That's the good thing about the older three-piece BBs, I guess. I brought a pretty darn similar Rockhopper back to life during the summer of 2020. The co-op couldn't open shop because of pandemic restrictions, so we basically started a list of people who needed bikes, and spent the summer refurbishing and delivering bikes like Santa Claus. It was a crazy but wonderful experience. This one went to a young graduate student at a local university from Pakistan who got stranded for the summer in all the international air travel craziness and needed something to get around on. It came in as if it was pulled from a tar pit, but it cleaned up well, as most Specialized bikes do.
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Old 08-02-22, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Soody
very nice project.

for next time, try this Sheldon Brown trick:
Get a bolt/nut and some washers. Do it up on the fixed cup and keep turning it.
You can apply a lot of force this way, with a long pipe over the wrench (I use a tow-bar bike rack).
Cool! Will definitely try this the next time I encounter a stubborn BB shell - Thanks!

Regarding the build progress - just now polished the frame up and it looks loads better now! No more dull frame but lovely and shiny! The dings and scratches are still there, since I didn't go the clay bar route but I dont mind them too much

Before polishing

After polishing

Quickly tried to put my Hollowtech BB in and thought I had the wrong one, since the width of the BB was 73 mm and I was sure It had to be 70 mm. Bike standards are weird!
Next up: Quill stem adapter & stem + BB and Crankset - And maybe a quick testfit of the drop bars (If they arrive anytime soon :/ )

Peace!
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Old 08-02-22, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by John E
I can't tell what shift levers you have, but I am very partial to good old-fashioned friction or truly friction-compatible thumbies on mountain bikes.
Seems like you read my mind - I will be putting Microshift 11s Bar end shifters on - in friction mode (at least unitl i get an 11s casette/hub)
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Old 08-02-22, 01:47 PM
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I have the same bike in red. Bought at the Janzen Beach REI. They didn't carry specialized so I had it shipped in from their Atlanta Store.

Now when I ride it, people comment on vintage steel. I don't feel that old where a bike I bought brand new is considered vintage. But, it bothers me much less than overhearing some youths comment on the music they listen to.

"I like the oldies, you know....like the BEASTIE BOYS"

grrr.
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Old 08-02-22, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
Cool! Will definitely try this the next time I encounter a stubborn BB shell - Thanks!

Regarding the build progress - just now polished the frame up and it looks loads better now! No more dull frame but lovely and shiny! The dings and scratches are still there, since I didn't go the clay bar route but I dont mind them too much

Before polishing

After polishing Peace!
Looks good, love it when this happens.

I would bet that scuffing on the seatstay could be lessened by at least 50% with rubbing compound or medium cut cleaner and more elbow grease.

Anytime the paint is still there and mostly intact, there's often room for improvement, sometimes a lot and sometimes you have to really get after it with your thumb and scrub it good.

The results can be amazing as we see here.
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Old 08-02-22, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
Cool! Will definitely try this the next time I encounter a stubborn BB shell - Thanks!

Regarding the build progress - just now polished the frame up and it looks loads better now! No more dull frame but lovely and shiny! The dings and scratches are still there, since I didn't go the clay bar route but I dont mind them too much
Peace!
Dings and scratches are called patina; like wrinkles and scars, it shows the bike has lived a life.
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Old 08-03-22, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Looks good, love it when this happens.

I would bet that scuffing on the seatstay could be lessened by at least 50% with rubbing compound or medium cut cleaner and more elbow grease.
Had to look up what "rubbing compound" and "medium cut cleaners" are, since i am new to the whole "frame restoration" thingy (and it has a different name in my country), but i think i found something and will defo give it a try!
Thanks for the hint!
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Old 08-03-22, 01:26 PM
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Progress update

Ritchey Venture Max 460 mm Bars arrived, plus I installed the Hollowtech BB. Bars were fit to a quill stem adapter and a 100 mm PRO stem.
Not a fan of all those spacers, but couldnt get the adapter lower - Might need to switch it eventually for a shorter one.
Also the Maxxis tyres arrived today



Ritchey Bars & quill stem adapter. (and too many spacers :/ )

Hollowtech BB

...and some Maxxis DTH 26x2.15 tyres! Should be fun!


Starting to look like a proper ride (almost )

Peace!
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Old 08-04-22, 01:14 PM
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Update

In todays editon of : "You wont believe the incompatibility issues you can run into when building a bike": Apparently my GRX crankset is incompatible with the BB I planned on using - So I guess I have to get a "proper" MTB crank to get the spindle length right
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Old 08-04-22, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
Had to look up what "rubbing compound" and "medium cut cleaners" are, since i am new to the whole "frame restoration" thingy (and it has a different name in my country), but i think i found something and will defo give it a try!
Thanks for the hint!
Well it can still be labor intensive but when you find the right stuff that clicks with your style of work, it can really be an "ah ha" moment and from then on you can get right to it for better faster results. Turtle wax chrome polish and rust remover can work wonders as well, may not be available where you are but should be online. Not for paint but great on chrome and can help with other metals as well, add scotchbrite for more aggressive metal cleaning, start off easy and lean in as it goes well.
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Old 08-04-22, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
Update

In todays editon of : "You wont believe the incompatibility issues you can run into when building a bike": Apparently my GRX crankset is incompatible with the BB I planned on using - So I guess I have to get a "proper" MTB crank to get the spindle length right
GRX is just hollowtech II right? If you have a 73mm shell you can run road cranks with a 73mm 'mtb' hollowtech bb like deore bb52.
The 73mm hollowtech bbs are 5mm narrower than the 68 road ones. The size ends up being the same if you don't use the included spacers.

It's all compatible as long as it's right for your chainline.
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Old 08-04-22, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Robvolz
I have the same bike in red. Bought at the Janzen Beach REI. They didn't carry specialized so I had it shipped in from their Atlanta Store.

Now when I ride it, people comment on vintage steel. I don't feel that old where a bike I bought brand new is considered vintage. But, it bothers me much less than overhearing some youths comment on the music they listen to.

"I like the oldies, you know....like the BEASTIE BOYS"

grrr.
Oofah! I still remember riding my trusty old Rockhopper (which I still have) to J & R music world to buy Paulís Boutique waaay back in the day.
Hard to believe that MCA is gone and the remaining beasties are among the elder statesmen of hip hop now.
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Old 08-05-22, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
Well it can still be labor intensive but when you find the right stuff that clicks with your style of work, it can really be an "ah ha" moment and from then on you can get right to it for better faster results. Turtle wax chrome polish and rust remover can work wonders as well, may not be available where you are but should be online. Not for paint but great on chrome and can help with other metals as well, add scotchbrite for more aggressive metal cleaning, start off easy and lean in as it goes well.
Yep, I went and ordered some Turtle Wax heavy duty rubbing compound, and the scuffing came right off (with some serious scrubbing and polishing)


Originally Posted by Soody
GRX is just hollowtech II right? If you have a 73mm shell you can run road cranks with a 73mm 'mtb' hollowtech bb like deore bb52.
The 73mm hollowtech bbs are 5mm narrower than the 68 road ones. The size ends up being the same if you don't use the included spacers.

It's all compatible as long as it's right for your chainline.
Yea, I should have clarified - GRX is indeed hollowtech II, but uniformed me, was expecting the spindle to be "just right the right length", (because why not - it's just a crankset like all others ). I didnt take into account the 73 mm width of the bb shell, which is too wide for the GRX crankset to properly fit. I went and ordered a deore 36/26 which should work. I wasnt planning on going that low with gearing, but it should make climbing on "trails" easier. Now I just have to cross my fingers, that my GRX FD will work with the deore crankset (which I am afraid might not, but friction shifting might get around that hopefully..)

Lesson learned, I guess
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Old 08-05-22, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Positron400

I didnt take into account the 73 mm width of the bb shell, which is too wide for the GRX crankset to properly fit.

Lesson learned, I guess
No it's not. You just used the wrong bottom bracket. The bb shell is 5mm too wide and you can get hollowtech bbs that are 5mm narrower. The 73mm mtb ones. Like Deore.
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Old 08-05-22, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Soody
No it's not. You just used the wrong bottom bracket. The bb shell is 5mm too wide and you can get hollowtech bbs that are 5mm narrower. The 73mm mtb ones. Like Deore.
colour me suprised - i thougt that was impossible. Could you maybe tell me what BB that would be?
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Old 08-05-22, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Positron400
Could you maybe tell me what BB that would be?
I already did man.
Look, i took a photo. Right and left are the same 73 mm 'mtb' bb, left has a 2.5 mm spacer on it. Middle is a road bb. Does this make it clear? They fit the same cranks. The mtb ones are 10 mm wide, the road ones are 12.5 mm wide. There are also bbs for italian shells, which are 11.5 mm wide because italian bb shells are 70mm. They all fit the same cranks.

Btw 'mtb' bbs will often say 68/73 because you can run those 2.5 mm spacers and use them in a 68 frame.

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