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Old 01-17-06, 10:55 AM   #1
TimJ
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True Temper vs. Ritchey

I’ve been wanting to get a steel hardtail with front suspension to become my new mountain bike, and I recently picked up 2 from a police auction, and now I've got to pick one. (Why 2? because I was looking for a 19” frame and the first one they said was 19” so I got it but in fact measured the frame wrong. The 2nd one they said 19”, and from the photo it looked like it was a little bigger than the other, got that one too, but in fact they’re the same size- more like 18”)

One is a Trek 930 (green w/ burgundy lettering) from the late 90’s with a mono-seatstay and triple-butted True Temper OX Comp II tubing.

The other is a Specialized Rockhopper (sparkly blue with white lettering) from the late 90’s made of Ritchey Nitanium tubing.

They’re practically identical in size and geometry, the Rockhopper’s frame seems to be in a bit better condition but there’s nothing wrong with the Trek, just a couple spots of surface rust, so there’s nothing that makes one clearly better than the other. But I’ve got to pick one and sell the other so my question is- which is the better frame?

Any insights?

Yeah, as soon as I get them fixed up enough I’m going to compare rides, but I’m just wondering if either one, on specs alone, is a clearly better frame. As an aside – if there’s anyone out there with a 19” steel hardtail w/ FS who wants to trade for an 18”, talk to me.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:36 AM   #2
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Quality steel is quality steel as far as I'm concerned. I don't think that one is inherently superior to the other. Both bikes were probably of similar quality and price range in their days.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:41 AM   #3
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ride both. keep whichever fits better/feels better while riding. swap all of the better parts onto that frame, sell off or keep the rest as spares.

both are quality steels. it would be extremely difficult to tell the difference in the two steels while riding. tires/build/geometry/build quality will determine more of how they ride than what type of steel.

a good framebuilder could build a bike out of cheap 4130 that would ride well, and a crappy builder could build a crappy riding frame out of good reynolds 853.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:50 AM   #4
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That's what I figured, more or less. I wasn't sure about the Rockhopper though. Trek had their one series or model in steel but Specialized pretty much just had the hardrock, rockhopper and stumpjumper and I thought the stumpjumper was the first to go aluminum, so maybe they bumped the rockhopper up a notch in quality- I hadn't heard of the nitanium before. I had a vague notion that the Rockhopper, at the end there, may have replaced the steel stumpjumper. Probably not.

Anyhoo.

Oh yeah, and the trek has a "wishbone" seatstay, not "mono".
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Old 01-17-06, 01:13 PM   #5
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I could be wrong about this, but I thought that the trek 930 was a bit more hi-end than the rockhopper, meaning that the trek probably has nice components. framewise, though, they're probably pretty similar. I'd take the one in better condition.
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Old 01-17-06, 02:10 PM   #6
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I've got both so whichever I settle on all the good stuff is going on it. The Trek had been upgraded quite a bit, actually. It's got an XT rear derailluer and the rear wheel is some weird Bontrager Asym deal that looks pricey. It's also got LX levers and the front brake is an LX- all of that's an upgrade. And I got it for $50!
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Old 01-17-06, 09:14 PM   #7
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Which ones lighter?
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Old 01-17-06, 10:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Flak
Which ones lighter?
Which ones stronger?

I'd strip the trek and build the NiTi (Nickle Titanium chromoly) frameset.
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Old 01-17-06, 11:18 PM   #9
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that doesn't mean it's an absolutely stronger frame. again, build quality comes into play more than just the type of steel.

to the OP:
go for whichever fits better/has the geometry you like the most. failing that, go for the colour you like.
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Old 01-18-06, 01:46 PM   #10
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I can't compare weight, their components are too different. I suspect the frames are of a pretty similar weight, anyway. I'm gonna get the wheels on the trek trued and take them out and use the same wheels on both bikes and compare notes. The Rockhopper has crappy wheels. It's gonna be a tough decision.
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Old 04-04-06, 12:21 PM   #11
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I finally got a chance to take these apart and decided on the Trek, mainly just because I like the look of the frame but hate the paint, so I’ll have an excuse to paint it. I like the color of the Rockhopper so I wouldn’t want to paint it, but I want an excuse to paint a bike, and it doesn’t have the cool mono seat-stay… Yep, that’s how I made the decision. They’re very similar in dimensions, etc., the only big difference is the Rockhopper has shorter chainstays by about a ½ inch. They both weigh about 6 lbs with the bb in. The Trek seems heavier, actually. It feels heavier than the rockhopper when you pick it up, especially in the back, but weighing them they seem to be about the same. The Rockhopper definitely has a more racy feel to it, though.

So I’m selling the Rockhopper for $60 if anyone is interested. The only thing is I found a couple little dents on the bottom of the chainstays after I took it apart. They don’t seem to be anything to worry about though. It had an 80mm fork on it. It seems to be free of rust of any consequence. The inside of the seattube is dirty, though- the insides need some wd-40ing and then some frame savering. The bb needs to be replaced. Here’s some photos:

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