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  1. #1
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    Newb here 2018 Rockhopper

    Hey all. I recently purchased a Rockhopper for fitness, and some backroad riding. Im 50 now, and 6'2, 245lbs. I already made some small changes like seat, bars, seat post/clamp, shorter stem with some rise. But Im ready to dump the Suntour XCT. Im think about steel rigid fork, like a Salsa. The Rockhopper has a short steer now, and I guess a zero stack. I need more steerer. I dont like my lean over position.
    My question is this: do I have a tapered set up now, or 1 1/8? I cant figure it out by Specialized website. After I learn that, is Salsa a good choice for me? One more thing, which headset should I choose? Thanks for your help.
    Im going to have an LBS put it together, but Im out of town and want to take advantage of July 4th sales and have the parts waiting at home.


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  2. #2
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    It might not matter, but is that the bone-stock Rockhopper, the "sport" or the "comp" model?

    you can probably have the headset crown race (headset part that is pressed onto the top of the fork) removed and put onto a new fork. from the look of the photos on Specialized's website, that is a straight steerer tube, not tapered. you should have no problem just using the old headset parts if you make an even swap with a fork of the same dimensions.

    it looks like that frame is built around a 100mm fork, so a fork with an axle-to-crown measurement of about 480mm will work. There are lots of those on the market. Soma, Surly, Salsa, etc. just be sure to verify the steerer tube size and get something with the appropriate dropouts (pretty sure all of the lower-end Rockhoppers are 100x9 mm for a conventional quick-release axle), and of course, disc brakes.
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  3. #3
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    Just spoke with Specialized. It is 1 1/8. Has anyone been using the Salsa Firestarter? I would like to add some racks eventually.

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  4. #4
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    Thorn in your Sidewall
    Vassago Jabberwocky

  5. #5
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    Thanks. I think Im gonna go with the Surly Krampus. 483 a-c. Can you recommend a headset in the $60 range?

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  6. #6
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    I meant to say Salsa Firestarter. Ive been on my motorcycle for 29 days, and Im a bit exhausted.Newb here 2018 Rockhopper-20180630_104039.jpeg

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  7. #7
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    I am pretty sure you can use your old headset. if you want something nicer, you can't go wrong with a Cane Creek 40. you'll have to leave the specific measurements to your LBS. most modern headsets are sold top and bottom separately because there are so many variations of head tube, amount of stack wanted, and fork options.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the help. The 40 looks nice. Great reviews.

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  9. #9
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    I called Salsa, they have them, Steel Firestarter, and call Jenson USA and ordered one. $120.00 /free shipping! Im going rigid!

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  10. #10
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    sorry if I was not clear. if you buy a tapered fork, you can probably use it in your frame with a new headset. if the frame has a 44mm head tube, it currently most have an internal headset cup. you can replace it with an external cup if that is the case. is the Firestarter tapered?
    Thorn in your Sidewall
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  11. #11
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    No, straight steerer

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  12. #12
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    I do not follow why you are doing this mod...

  13. #13
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    At 50, Im not doing the trails anymore. I just do this for exercise and some hardpack gravel roads. The XCT is to weak for my clyde frame, and I dont want to spend a fortune for a good sus fork with lockout on a $500 bike. Also, the steerer on the bike, as it came, is WAY to short for me. It causes me to lift my head back at an uncomfortable angle while riding. Its a zero stack headset. So I needed a replacement to correct these issues that dont kill the wallet.

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  14. #14
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    I'm a fan of rigid forks on mtb's, lighter and the bike really seems to accelerate when you're out of the saddle on climbs. I see the logic on this move.

  15. #15
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    It will be about 10 days till Im done with my trip. Then Im dropping the bike off to LBS for fork swap and headset. I will post some pics and impressions. My previous ride was a 2011 26" Hardrock. It had a Reba, Noir cranks, Sram X0, Hayes brakes, Mavic 717s, XT hubs, and some Race Face stuff, with FSA headset. An XL that weighed 23lbs. But Im old now, and focusing more on health, travel, and kayaking. I recently bought a Vibe Sea Ghost, and have been doing some fishing. So the biking has slowed way down.

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  16. #16
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    If you feel too low/ forward on the bike, a taller stem, a shorter stem, or riser bars might be a good idea. Just don't turn the bike into a beach cruiser unless you have some profound, debilitating, irreversible medical condition that necessitates it.
    Thorn in your Sidewall
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  17. #17
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    I shortened the stem from 110 to 60, and added 6% rise, maybe 8, cant remember...Its that the steerer is cut real low. I feel that another 40-50mm is needed of steerer length. I have a beach cruiser. Soul Stomper.Newb here 2018 Rockhopper-20180119_082720.jpeg

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  18. #18
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    Im back from my trip. Here is what I was saying about the short steerer on stock bike. Also, you can see the new stem I put on.

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