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Upgrading a used Rockhopper

Old 07-19-20, 02:03 PM
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Sealth
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Upgrading a used Rockhopper

I bought a used 2017 Rockhopper on craigslist for $300. The bike is very lightly used having spent most of the last three years in a garage. Now I want to go about upgrading the bike hopefully ending up with something pretty nice for less than $1k. I need some help deciding how I should spend the ~$700 upgrading the bike. This is what I'm thinking right now,

Highest priority, upgrade ASAP.
  • Pedals. They're the stock plastic pedals. I want something thinner, wider and with metal pegs. It's a cheapish upgrade too.
  • Drivetrain, shifters, etc. I want a 1x drivetrain, and I want higher quality shifters/derailers than the bike currently has. The 3x9 or whatever it is right now is annoying although it shifts OK for the time being.
Middle priority, will upgrade, but maybe not ASAP.
  • Fork. People will probably **** on the Suntour XCM on this bike, but I want to try riding it for a while before I change it. I ought to know was a budget coil for feels like before I start dropping money on fancier forks. It's definitely really sticky right now, but I think that's just because it needs to be serviced.
  • Brakes. The brakes seem fine right now, maybe the rear needs servicing or new pads. The front brake feels fine. I think I'll eventually want nicer brakes, but they'll work for now.
Lowest priority, may not upgrade, depends on usage.
  • Wheels. I would only upgrade these if I want something lighter or if I have problems with the current wheels.
  • Seatpost. Maybe I'll invest in something lighter if I have the cash, or maybe I'll get a dropper post. Honestly a dropper post seems more important on a hardtail because your rear suspension is your legs and not having a dropper post effectively limits your rear suspension travel.
  • Seat. Just need to see if the current seat will work for me or not.
  • Grips. Same as for the seat.
  • Stem and Handlebars. I'll upgrade if I feel like I want to change the handling of the bike. Otherwise I think they'll work fine.
  • Headset. I'll probably only upgrade if the old headset breaks or if I upgrade the fork and I need to buy a new headset for it.
Also, is there anything I should maintenance or replace ASAP? The fork definitely needs some maintenance as it's sticky. The rear brake feels a little soft so maybe it needs some love too.
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Old 07-19-20, 02:16 PM
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Iíd swap the fork ahead of the drivetrain makeover.
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Old 07-19-20, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Iíd swap the fork ahead of the drivetrain makeover.
Any suggestions for a specific fork considering I probably want to revamp the brakes and drivetrain as well for <$700.
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Old 07-19-20, 05:31 PM
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Crank Brothers make some good affordable flat pedals.
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Old 07-19-20, 08:22 PM
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You can convert your 3x to a 2x to start. You just have to figure out what you need for a middle chainring. You might be able to swap the small (22t?) for a 24t or ??? if you donít need that low of a chainring.

I run a 24/34 and run the 24t where there is more climbing or Iím not familiar with the trail. On more level or rollers I run the 34t. I donít shift a lot between the 2 chainrings.

I never liked a 3x since Iím only riding trails.

John
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Old 07-19-20, 10:44 PM
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What kind of terrain are you riding? If you're on smooth trails the fork may be fine.
Nothing wrong with running a triple if it shifts fine and has the gearing you want. The worst thing about triples to me was mud. Mud is a good reason for a one by set-up.
I definitely recommend a dropper. It will make descending nicer. I also lower it a bit when on a steep technical climb. That could be a priority.
Good shoes and pedals for sure.
Wheels can come later after you thrash the ones you have.
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Old 07-22-20, 11:47 AM
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I bought the Kona Wah Wah II small pedals. Next I'm going to clean the lowers on the fork and take it for a ride to see how it feels. I may service the uppers of the fork if it still feels sticky, and I think it would be an instructive thing to do anyway. Depending on how I feel about the fork after a few rides I may upgrade the fork before the drivetrain or brakes. I think I'd also get a dropper post quite soon, but that depends on how the bike rides and what I end up riding. The drivetrain will probably be upgraded before the brakes.

Originally Posted by big john View Post
What kind of terrain are you riding? If you're on smooth trails the fork may be fine.
Nothing wrong with running a triple if it shifts fine and has the gearing you want. The worst thing about triples to me was mud. Mud is a good reason for a one by set-up.
I definitely recommend a dropper. It will make descending nicer. I also lower it a bit when on a steep technical climb. That could be a priority.
Good shoes and pedals for sure.
Wheels can come later after you thrash the ones you have.
I think I'll be riding blue and maybe black trails. I live in Colorado, so the trails are often pretty rocky.
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Old 07-22-20, 02:57 PM
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I don't know about the fork you have but I have a low-end Fox 36 and it's pretty great for rocks and bigger hits. It doesn't deflect and remains stiff when turning. It's 160mm but they can be set up shorter.
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Old 07-22-20, 03:46 PM
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Rockhoppers to my understanding have straight steerer tubes and headset. Might be limited to what you can get when you eventually want to replace.

Few that I hear are good though:

Suntour Epixon

Manitou

Rockshox Judy
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Old 07-22-20, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman View Post
Rockhoppers to my understanding have straight steerer tubes and headset. Might be limited to what you can get when you eventually want to replace.

Few that I hear are good though:

Suntour Epixon

Manitou

Rockshox Judy
I'm pretty sure the 2017 has a tapered head tube (see https://mtbdatabase.com/bikes/2017/s...per-expert-29/)?
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Old 07-22-20, 05:10 PM
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NVM, the 2017 Rockhopper Sport, which I have, has a straight headtube while the Comp and Expert have tapered headtubes. That's too bad.
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Old 07-22-20, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Sealth View Post
NVM, the 2017 Rockhopper Sport, which I have, has a straight headtube while the Comp and Expert have tapered headtubes. That's too bad.
What's interesting to me is that the brand new Rockhoppers, all of them, including the comp and expert all have straight tubes now. Which I find somewhat strange that Specialized went backwards on this when it used to have tapered and now doesn't, especially when the Expert costs over $1100.

What really amazes me, is the 2021 Rockhoppers appear to have already sold out of the large sizes.
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Old 07-29-20, 03:41 PM
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Change the pedals, saddle and spend the rest on weekend riding trips.
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