So now to build the red frame up. I started by totally disassembling the white Specialized Rockhopper. I took into researching the bikes and found out that it was a 2002 frame. It's since been sold and is on it's way to Canada now. The red Rockhopper is a 2011 SL Comp and has a unique-to-Specialized 42mm integrated bearing headstock. Looking up the original spec I found that it came with 100mm Rockshox Recon forks and Deore componentry, with Specialized wheels and cranks. Well... that's a co-incidence! The forks I showed a while back that I bought for the Kona are Rockshox Recons, albeit with 130mm travel. And all the gearing on the white frame was Deore, so it was simply a matter of changing it all over. I set to:
I'm keeping the front gears on the bike for now, even though I don't use them much, just because I wanted to get the bike set-up and see if it was better than the white frame had been.
The seat-post was the same ID so the post fitted, but not the same OD so the clamp did not. I found a clamp to suit, then switched over the little lever to keep it all in-house...
And then it was time to set it up, so I found some wood to balance it on...
And almost ready... I was originally going to run it with the Mavic Cross-One wheels that the white bike had had on it, but then as per previous post I'd bought the other wheelset and the rear one was a Specialized wheel, so that absolutely had to go on of course. Not willing to break up the Mavic set, the only other front wheel available to fit was the one from the Kinesis. And sure we're talking about a wheel change on it anyway, so...
My riding buddy finally found something that he could be happy with - a Voodoo Bantu with a couple of small upgrades. He popped on his bright orange pedals and then he and I were both ready to head out on new (to us) bikes on the same weekend.
So, here it is, on it's first outing, my new bike...
My 2011 Specialized Rockhopper SL Comp, final spec: Deore 3x9 chainset Spec. Forearm cranks DMR V8 pedals Shimano square-taper BB Deore shifters Deore derailleurs Deore hydraulic brakes, 160mm rear, 180mm front Shimano discs Rockshox Recon 130mm front fork Unbranded front wheel, Spec. rear wheel with Shimano hub Panaracer Fire DH 26x2.3 tyres Spec. seatpost, saddle and clamp Spec. bars and headstock Headset bearings mixed brands, Cane Creek mainly GT white lock-on rings with black grips White gear cables
And I have to tell you, this bike is a world apart from the white one. It's so much more planted. The gearing is obviously the same, but whatever it is, whether it's that little rake backwards from the frame shape or the taller forks, or something else - it rides so much more competently, it's not skittish, it's fast, it's grippy, and I immediately have so much more confidence. First ride out and I was starting to get some air again in places where I had been yanking on the brakes on the white one. I am really pleased with this one, it's about perfect. Even the gearing just needed a tiny tweak, setup was almost spot-on. Now I have to make up for the few months I've only been riding sporadically, as my fitness level has dropped off dramatically since we were out regularly in summer and autumn. Then I can really test this thing out!
Interesting read, some real retro-ness going on! I tried to buy a Voodoo Bizango last year to replace my ~2015 rockhopper I use as a commuter bike, but the Nz importer was about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike. They're really well rated and it'd be nice to have a more competant alternative to my mondraker dune for the more xc rides. Tried to buy a Commencal Meta HT after the Voodoo was a no go but they couldn't get one in my size. Couldn't have been more helpful guys though so I know where I'll be going when they have some in stock.
I think there is something missing from this thread...
pictures of when I went full send with the Kona frame...
So that's waiting on paint now. I still can't decide what colour to go, nor what spec to build it up to (either retro-light-MTB with the Mission wheels, or absolute heavyweight with the 20mm front axle Hope...)
One bike I do know what I'm doing with is the orange Trek.
I mentioned before about changing the brakes over
and, remember these Alivio combination shifters that I removed from the Kinesis? No, of course not, I haven't posted about the Kinesis rebuild either! Anyway the shifters are 7x3 gears and cable brakes, perfect for the V-braked Trek.
Fancy new cables
Doing away with this junk... replaced with the brand new base-level Shimano 7 speed mech that came on the white Specialized when I had first bought it. Finally a bike I can make better with all my unused low end but new parts!
Which brings us to this current state of affairs!
It's not far off. Will need wider bars, and probably a riser or longer stem. This will make a great road bike and all for £15 and using up the parts at the bottom of the spares box.
Been reading for a while - loving the general fun on a budget vibe. I think people forget you can have a lot of fun off-road on a bike that didn't cost £1.5k+. Spending has got way of hand for a lot of MTBers for a bike that ends up sitting in their shed most of the time!
One of my most fun rides [ever] was on a free hire bike in a hotel/motel in Austria. I had a day to kill so I pulled one of these out the hotel basement, put some air in the tyres and pointed it up a mountain.
It was a pretty basic bike. A low end 3x8 Shimano gearset with ratchet shifters that I didn't recognise, which worked flawlessly all day. Low-end cable discs (assume were also Shimano) that, again, worked flawlessly and efficiently. Basic suspension fork with a lock-out. Nothing set up particularly well, I just adjusted a few things until they were roughly in the right place. Then rode uphill for around 4 hours until I ran out of track, stuffed it in a bush and climbed the rest on foot where I was feeling the lack of oxygen. Then bombed back down to where I was working, following some pointers I'd laid along the way to remind me which way to go, and met some work chums in a bar. Best solo day ever!
Hi and thank you for sharing! How many bikes do you have finally? Can't count right. Specs of Rockhopper are amazing, very decent!
Thanks for asking.
Currently I have the red Specialized that I use. It's had a few changes made lately. The orange Trek - almost finished, I added some more things to that also. The yellow Kona frame - not decided on paint yet. The green/black Kinesis - I rebuilt this bike, but then realised I was never going to ride it again and I stripped it down. That's two usable bikes and two frames. I also just bought another bike for a bit of a retro jump-bike project which is quite exciting. That's nearly built and then I'll post it up. That's five. And for the sake of completeness, I also have my Freestyler BMX from the 1990s, and I still have the Lapierre I bought for my ex
Another guy joined our riding group. He said he had a bike but it needed some repair so we said drop it round and we'll sort it out.
First off was to pull the bottom end apart.
And then to get the other side out - this was an absolute mission. It was so, so tight, a bar had to be welded to it and then some heat applied too. This was a 2-man job.
I replaced that with a Shimano square taper BB I had spare and bolted it all back together. Sorted out the brakes and gears, a new cable or two and it was all good to go again.
However you are 100% right in thinking that this isn't a mountain bike, nor is it good quality. So the first time the new guy came along, his bike "wasn't ready yet" and another guy loaned him his Orange P7. So now he knows his bike isn't all that great but we have enough loaner bikes now that it's all good. We've two or three people that come out with us regularly now who don't have their own - including one young guy who's going through the application process to join the Marines later this year so there's no point him buying a bike to then just leave it behind in a few months.
While in servicing mode, the Carrera bike we built came back for a replacement rear derailleur..
And we had some RST forks to rebuild on this Diamondback
They were in abysmal shape
So in the end, after I put them back together, they were still so bad that I wouldn't give them back to the 16 year old who's bike this is on accounts of I don't want him to mash his face in, so I fitted the Rockshox Judy's that came off my previous white Specialized.
The bench the forks are sitting on, is the newly built bicycle workshop space.
In my friend's garage, not mine. My tools and spare parts all migrated over to the same spot, handily clearing my tinkering area in work. As we cleared up some old parts and also wondered where on the wall we could store cans, we quickly bounced an idea together that resulted in him welding this up the next day:
That is a steel bracket holding up a worn out bottom bracket holding up a couple of front gear sprockets, with 4 bits of steel tube to make cups. It took only a few minutes to weld together and now there is a rotating spray tin holder made out of old bicycle parts on the wall beside the bicycle tools. Excellent.
The Trek I had got built up but it was (of course) far too short for me and the bars were too narrow. I started by looking for a longer stem or maybe an adjustable one, but quickly found a product that was better than that. Starting point:
And a long riser-adapter to allow you to use 1.1/4 head stems -
So that I could utilise parts that I do already have, namely spare bars and a spare long stem...
That gave me a longer reach than any one-piece stem I could find, and a decent rise. The bike is still on the small side for me but manageable now. I'll fit a couple of cow-horns to the end of the bars also for that bit extra and then it should be finished. That stem adapter is the only bit I've had to buy for this bike so it's still all built for under £30.
Those bars and stem on the Trek came off the Kinesis. I came to realise that I am not ever going to ride that bike again - it's too heavy, too out-dated, and everything regarding building it better is just a chore (see previous posts - brakes, rear cassette etc) so, I made the call to retire it. It's value to me is the sentimental part of being my first MTB, the one my best friend at the time gave me, and got me into this thing at all. But, it still has the same meaning if it's mounted on my wall as it does built up. So, I don't need it to be built up any more.
Felt like a relief actually to finally strip it down and put it away. Time to move on!
So there was this dilemma. I'd bought a set of really wide Mission wheels, because they are ultra cool. But they are rim brake only. One of the other guys had bought a set of 2.8 tyres for his old 26" GT, but they wouldn't fit, and then he bought a brand new Vitus 29" anyway. So he threw the tyres over to us in case they'd be useful to anyone. One day, I popped them on the Mission wheels. And they looked sick. So then, the hunt was on for a bike that would be wide enough to accept a 2.8 tyre, but old enough to also have V brake mounts. Hmmm. It took a while but I eventually ended up looking at almost retro but not ancient jump / dirt bikes. And then I found the ideal one - a special edition Kona Stuff. They were released in various black, grey and dark green paintjobs over the years but there was one year that through what seems to have been a sponsorship deal of some kind, Kona made some bikes for Nissan. They might have been for employees - I've only found scant info about them. But they are, importantly, red and white, and, the spec sheet for them says they came with 2.5 tyres fitted. The standard Shred had 2.3 so I wasn't going to assume it would be OK, but I thought I would chance it on a bike that Kona were happy to produce with 2.5s.
I bought it on a recent car collecting trip to England, and I'd ran out of space in the car, so I had to dismantle it to fit it in the car. As soon as I was back, I set to and got that back wheel popped in.
Tight doesn't even describe it! But it was in.
Unfortunately the Marzocchi DJ forks aren't suitable for rim brakes so the next best choice was the Z2 fork freshly liberated from the Kinesis. Which is where the V brakes also came from:
The fat front wheel just manages to squeeze in!
But the cones were actually pinching on the fork. The Bomber forks have a recess about 1.5mm deep and the cones being quite large were not clearing that. Fixed that with a 2mm washer on either side of the wheel, slotted into the recess, with the forks pulled apart slightly to squeeze the wheel in.
But this bike was not only a decent spec, but it had been upgraded in areas too. So I couldn't leave the ebay tat stem on it.
And that leaves it in a weird place. It's a really good spec bike other than the wheels, which are cool, but the V brakes don't really fit around them because they are so chunky. And the bike is actually capable and heavy duty. So it could do with disc brakes, really. And then the DJ forks could go back on. Because the early Bombers, although in vogue for the wheels, are proper retro, and the bike is kinda old-ish, and the components are all pretty decent.
I've done it again - made a half new, half old bike. It's got too much new age stuff to be fully retro, but too much old gear to be fully usable as a modern bike.
All I've done is change the dilemma to a different one!
And I bought a wheel offof ebay for the Rockhopper.
A white DT swiss rim with a Hope hub seemed like a bargain. But, advertised to suit 9mm QR, it turns out those are adapters and it's a 20mm through axle. Which would be OK, but it gives it just a little bit too much room to flex. I tried it anyway, but it squeaks like mad and rattles a bit on rockier ground. I'm undecided what to do, but at least my bike is usable for the meantime.
Those 2.8's and wide rims might go on an old DH bike, but they're an odd combo. Very cool mind.
The stuff might be a bit DJ oriented as it sits. For trail use I'd consider a mullet and banging a 27.5 or 29er fork on the front to give a more aggressive head angle and raise the bb slightly. Excellent bikes though. I learnt to ride on a kona blast and they're hardy old things!