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Hardrock into a commuter?

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Hardrock into a commuter?

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Old 10-10-06, 02:26 PM
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jtgish
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Hardrock into a commuter?

Could I turn a Specialized Hardrock into a commuter, it is an older model, late 90's. Just change the tires and add a trunk?
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Old 10-10-06, 02:32 PM
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I'd suggest a softrock like sandstone or shale.

Actually, it's a pretty good rig. I'd also give it an overhaul. Reliability is paramount on commuter rigs.
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Old 10-10-06, 02:35 PM
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one of the best frames to convert.

definitely new tires, possibly fenders...
new stem, switch to riser bars, lose the bullhorns, better saddle...
I'd make it a single speed, but that's just me
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Old 10-10-06, 02:48 PM
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I think this is a great platform for a commuter. I used a similar Trek model for years. Only issue I had was that it was my old MTB from 17 yrs ago, and the frame was too small (MTB use + being an inch or two shorter back then), which gave me knee pain.

If it fits you well, I say an overhaul, slick tires, a rack/trunk combo, and some lights should be a great start. Read up, but higher pressure tires in a 1.25-1.5" size range will be much more efficient and provide better traction at speed than knobbies.
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Old 10-10-06, 03:41 PM
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Definitely! I ride a Rock Hopper from the late 80's, its an awesome bike. Slick tires, fenders, a rear rack, blinkies and a headlight if you need it. If you find the bike comfy as is, then ride it. You may want to raise the handle bars a bit. I vote for *keeping* the bar ends. Just cover them in old tube. I did that. Works great. Lastly, do a *complete* overhaul if anything is at all questionable. Lube everything (bottom bracket, hubs, headset). Replace cables as neccesary, as well as brake pads with salmon koolstops.

As for slick tires, get the biggest ones that you can fit with fenders. Probably 1.9's.

Also, don't skimp on the refresh of the bike. Think of things like new rim tape (cloth not a big rubber band).
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Old 10-10-06, 04:51 PM
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I regularly (well, now that the yucky weather is upon us) commute on a late 90's Specialized Rockhopper. In my opinion, these old hardtail MTBs make very solid, reliable commuters. Mine has Deore LX components which shift perfectly to this day.



Mine has become quite a Franken-commuter at this point.
-- Freddy Hardcore Fenders.
-- Topeak MTX rack and Nashbar rack trunk bag
-- Planet bike front/rear lights
-- Mix of Serfas and Specialized 1.25", 100PSI slick tires (they roll fast!)
-- Ergon ergonomic grips

Works well for me - and allows my trailer-queen road bike to stay inside where it is warm and dry
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Old 10-10-06, 04:57 PM
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Aw ... the memories comes flooding. In the early 90s, I commuted on a Hardrock. I was a complete novice at the time, so I never changed anything from stock. The poor thing rusted to a pulp over time because I stopped using it when I moved within walking distance. I think it's in a landfill somewhere. It was a great bike, and I shouldn't have let it go.

Vindicate my bike by converting its mighty brother, and ride the hell out of it! Good luck.
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Old 10-10-06, 05:37 PM
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You mean like this?



Get some slick tires, some lights, fenders, a rack and panniers if you're into that sort of thing.
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Old 10-10-06, 06:08 PM
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thanks everyone. I had just seen the ad on craigslist today(dallas) and after seeing the replies I went and bought the bike and now have it at home, pictures will be coming soon. I paid $80 for the bike which I thought was a sweet deal, I could be wrong. It is a Hardrock GX(not sure what that means). He said its been in storage and just needs a tune up. I will take it in tommorrow and then will begin adding the new toys to it. This is where you guys can help me build my first commuter. Thanks everyone.
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Old 10-10-06, 09:42 PM
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I started commuting last year on my 97 Hardrock Sport. I replaced the tires with semi slicks, put on some bar ends, and was off on my 28 mile roundtrip commute. It worked out great. I used it until this February when I finished my Surly Cross-Check commuter.
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Old 10-10-06, 10:15 PM
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I commuted on a hard rock for over 3 years. IMO $80 is a good price if it's in good (not cherry) condition and everything works. The worst problem I had was the seatpost jammed. The rear rim cracked after almost 4 years, but I weighed 250 most of the time I owned it, and I rode it offroad some. I liked 1.5 to 1.9 slicks for commuting at 65 psi. It will not be real fast no matter what (unless you regear) so I would not use the hi-pressure narrow slicks. For me, the main reason to use a MTB as a commuter is that you can take off-road shortcuts, put skinny tires on it and you can't even do that. I wouldn't raise the bars on it either. The bars it comes with are nice and the shifters and levers are real ergonomical, at least for my messed-up hands. Don't mess with success!
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Old 10-11-06, 09:11 AM
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Get a brooks saddle, Conti ultra gatorskin or Specialized armadillo tires, fenders and a rear or front rack (With panniers) and you're good to go...

edit: oh and the drivetrain probably needs replacing...
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Old 10-11-06, 09:23 AM
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Old rigid fork Hardrocks make great commuters. I started commuting on mine as is. Over time, I have customized it for my commuting style. Now it's a single speed with North Road handlebars, 26x1.5 street tires, fenders, and a rear rack. For winter, I'm going to change to 26x1.9 inverted tread tires and lower the gearing from 56 to 50 gear inches.

The stock cranks on these bikes are cheesy with riveted chainrings. Mine wore out and started to slip. A guy I work with commutes on an almost identical bike. He wore his chainrings/crank out too. He had the LBS replace the whole drivetrain with identical parts for $200. I opted to do a SS conversion job on it myself. I kind of went nuts on it and ended up with something that more closely resembles a cruiser with quick handling, or an English 3 speed commuter with 26 inch fat tires. Only regret I have is I wish I had gone with a coaster brake hub.
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Old 10-11-06, 11:57 AM
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I have an updated picture of my Hard Rock. I started tinkering with it one weekend and then I couldn't stop. The BB was a little clicky so I took it apart and tried cleaning and regreasing. Didn't really work. After awhile I got frustrated and decided to see if I could fit in an old cartridge BB I had in my spare parts bin. Went in easily and spins like a champ.

Then I thought I would get rid of the flat bars. Even with bar extensions, my wrists always feel sore after more than 10 minutes on the bike. So I pulled them off and slid in an old set of SR drops. I'd heard that you couldn't fit road drops into a mtb stem, but these fit.

Okay, now that I have drops, what about braking and shifting? Again to the spare parts bin, where I found my old 8spd RSX brifters from my first road bike. Even though the HR has a 7spd cassette, and just slightly different spacing, it's close enough. And in the gear combinations I usually ride, it's as good as ever. So, now it looks like an old tourer. Super comfy.

Next purchase will be a set of full fenders.



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Old 10-11-06, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jtgish
Could I turn a Specialized Hardrock into a commuter, it is an older model, late 90's. Just change the tires and add a trunk?
Like this?


I added street slicks, fenders, a rack, lights and a bungee cord. I love it, I get a lot of compliments on it and even offers to buy it. But I love it too much to part with it willingly and it does a good job going up and down the hills of Little Rock.
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Old 10-11-06, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
Then I thought I would get rid of the flat bars. Even with bar extensions, my wrists always feel sore after more than 10 minutes on the bike. So I pulled them off and slid in an old set of SR drops. I'd heard that you couldn't fit road drops into a mtb stem, but these fit.
You've heard this because people who make a distinction between "road" and "mountain" stems based on clamp diameter don't know what they're talking about. The ISO standard clamp diameter for all handlebars and stems is 25.4mm. 26.0mm, which is sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as "road" clamp diameter is simply the Italian dimension. Back in the day, most high-end handlebars and stems available on the aftermarket were Italian. Anyone trying to compete in this market would also use this standard. Fortunately, this didn't carry over into MTBs when they became popular, so 26mm MTB bars are rare indeed, but 26mm remains the standard for high-quality road bars and stems. The confusion remains as well. The reason those SR drops fit is because they're older and Japanese - almost all Japanese manufacturers of stems and handlebars used the ISO standard back in the 80's. I don't know if this is still the case, but Nitto now sells most of its nicer road bars in 26.0.

Anyway, sorry for the digression! That's an awesome bike, caloso - looks like a real tank.
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Old 10-11-06, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby
You've heard this because people who make a distinction between "road" and "mountain" stems based on clamp diameter don't know what they're talking about. The ISO standard clamp diameter for all handlebars and stems is 25.4mm. 26.0mm, which is sometimes (incorrectly) referred to as "road" clamp diameter is simply the Italian dimension. Back in the day, most high-end handlebars and stems available on the aftermarket were Italian. Anyone trying to compete in this market would also use this standard. Fortunately, this didn't carry over into MTBs when they became popular, so 26mm MTB bars are rare indeed, but 26mm remains the standard for high-quality road bars and stems. The confusion remains as well. The reason those SR drops fit is because they're older and Japanese - almost all Japanese manufacturers of stems and handlebars used the ISO standard back in the 80's. I don't know if this is still the case, but Nitto now sells most of its nicer road bars in 26.0.

Anyway, sorry for the digression! That's an awesome bike, caloso - looks like a real tank.
I discovered the Italian end of this when I bought a beautiful vintage Ambrosio road stem! Thanks.

And yes, it's a tank. I call it the Bomber. She's a little slow to accelerate, but once she gets up a head of steam, she's a go-er.
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Old 10-11-06, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby
...
Anyway, sorry for the digression! That's an awesome bike, caloso - looks like a real tank.
These bikes are kind of a ***** descending hills when rigged fixed gear. I did two fixed gear experiments this summer. The first was on my 80's Hardrock. I call that one a failure mostly due to the head of steam I picked up going down hill. The second experiment was with my SS road bike conversion. That was much more enjoyable. I didn't feel out of control on the descents. That one is a much lighter bike.
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Old 10-11-06, 02:52 PM
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I have an old 88 or so Streetstomper that I'm thinking of turning into my rain commuter. It has two eyelets each on the front and back for racks, fenders. It just needs a major overhaul or conversion into SS. Neither of the pics are of mine, but the first one is what mine looks like and the second one is what I'd like to do to it.
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Old 10-11-06, 04:41 PM
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Caloso, that's one hell of a bike. I bow down.

Don't you find it ironic whenever you see a "Keep Tahoe Blue" sticker on an automobile? Especially since their #1 recommendation is to not use a car.

You go!
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Old 10-11-06, 05:41 PM
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Here's what my rockhopper looks like as a commuter. Fixed gear, fat tires. It can cruise 16-17mph pretty easily

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Old 10-11-06, 05:46 PM
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Rykoala: What fenders are those?
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Old 10-11-06, 05:58 PM
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They are ATB Freddy Fenders. I really like them
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Old 10-11-06, 06:00 PM
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Hah! Freddy Fenders! "Hey, baby ?que paso?" That's genius. I have to get a set just for the name.
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Old 10-11-06, 08:11 PM
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My commuter is just like that: it's an older Miyata MTB (rigid frame). Just about perfect for the job. It has lower-end components on it (we're talking Altus here), but it's been well-maintained and gives me no trouble whatsoever. Very mechanically reliable.

Like everyone else said get different tires, fenders, rack, some lighting and it's good to go.
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