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  1. #1
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    How to Best Lighten a 2011 Specialized Rockhopper

    Hey All,

    I've got an interesting setup that Id like to lighten up a bit. I am a 5'11" 185 lb rider. I started out with a 2011 Specialized 19" Rockhopper Expert 29er. I actually had a crack develop in the frame after about 6 months, so Specialized upgraded me under warranty to a 2012 Carve Pro frame. So basically, I am riding a Carve with all 2011 Rockhopper Expert components. Only upgrades so far have been the grips, clipless pedals, and a 180mm rotor up front. I love this bike and it does about everything I could want to do on the trails, but its a bit heavy for a hardtail and I am wondering what you all suggest for the most effective upgrades to remove some weight. I was thinking the biggest impact per dollar spent would be a lighter wheelset (would go tubeless) and a lighter fork (maybe a Rockshox Reba or similar). Any other suggestions? Below are the bike's current specs:

    Thanks!


    FRAME
    Specialized 2012 Carve Pro Frame: M4SL fully manipulated alloy frame, 29" XC geometry, fully butted w/ smooth welding, tapered head/seat tube, forged post mount 160mm dropouts w/ replaceable derailleur hanger, disc only
    FORK
    RockShox Tora TK 29 SL, magnesium lower, 32mm Cr-Mo stanchions, 1 1/8" alloy steerer, coil spring w/ preload adj., turn key damping w/ LO & external reb. adj.
    HEADSET
    Integrated 1-1/8" threadless, Campy type full cartridge bearings
    STEM
    3D forged alloy, 7 degree rise, 31.8mm clamp
    HANDLEBARS
    Butted alloy riserbar, 25mm rise, 8 degree back sweep, 6 degree up
    GRIPS
    Specialized Contour XC, Locking
    FRONT BRAKE
    Shimano BR-M505 hydraulic disc brake, dual piston, Shimano SLX SM-RT66 180mm rotor
    REAR BRAKE
    Shimano BR-M505 hydraulic disc brake, dual piston, Shimano SLX SM-RT66 160mm rotor
    BRAKE LEVERS
    Shimano BR-M505 hydraulic
    FRONT DERAILLEUR
    Shimano Alivo, 34.9mm clamp, top swing, dual pull
    REAR DERAILLEUR
    Shimano Deore 9sp Shadow Long cage
    SHIFT LEVERS
    Shimano SL-M590 Deore trigger
    CASSETTE
    Shimano HG30, 9-speed, 11-34t
    CHAIN
    KMC X9 w/ reusable Missing Link
    CRANKSET
    Shimano FC-M430-8, Octalink spline
    CHAINRINGS
    44A x 32S x 22S replaceable
    BOTTOM BRACKET
    Shimano BB-ES25, Octalink spline, cartridge bearing, 68mm x 118mm
    PEDALS
    Forte Carve Clipless, SPD
    RIMS
    Alex RHD 29", alloy double wall, pinned w/eyelets
    FRONT HUB
    Forged alloy, hi/low flange, double sealed, ground race, machined disc mount and flange, QR, 32h
    REAR HUB
    Forged alloy, mid flange, double sealed, ground race, machined disc mount and flanges, cassette, QR, 36h
    SPOKES
    2mm (14g) stainless
    FRONT TIRE
    Specialized The Captain Control, 29x2.0", 60TPI, tubeless ready aramid bead
    REAR TIRE
    Specialized The Captain Control, 29x2.0", 60TPI, tubeless ready aramid bead
    INNER TUBES
    Presta valve
    SADDLE
    Specialized Rockhopper XC, Body Geometry, 143mm width, front and rear bumpers
    SEATPOST
    Forged 6061 alloy, 2 bolt head, 27.2mm, 12.5mm offset, micro adjust
    SEAT BINDER
    31.8mm, forged alloy, extruded QR lever

  2. #2
    Old Punk
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    I'm actually looking to lighten up my '09 RH. It's only stock parts now are the Tora solo air fork, crank arms/bb and the Deore shifters.

    A carbon cockpit and light saddle will be where I start. I have the cockpit perfected and will replace with exact geo.

    Then I'm going to a lighter 2x10 or 1x11 drivetrain. The 2x9/bash is durable but heavy. And after riding an XTR 2x10, it leaves a lot to be desired.

    Next will be a Stan's/Hope wheel set to replace the WTB SDAM/DeoreXT set I built. I'll save a little weight and be on a stronger wheel.

    Then a Reba fork with a thru axle. I'm happy with the performance of the Tora solo air, but its heavy.

    And after I'm devorced for spending my life savings, I'll replace every bolt on the bike with a titanium twin.

    Then buy a new bike and repeat. Lol

    Good luck
    Last edited by curtboroff; 09-02-2013 at 03:49 PM.
    '09 Specialized Rockhopper expert 29
    Born 26" trials
    '07 Specialized Allez

  3. #3
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    Fork, front wheel and tire will make the most noticeable improvement.
    Get the weights for what you have and start comparing.

  4. #4
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    A new XT cassette is a easy way to save a bit of weight.
    Tires are another way to easily save weight for little outlay.
    Duct tape iz like teh Force. It has a Lite side and a Dark side and it holdz the Universe together.

  5. #5
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    Re: How to Best Lighten a 2011 Specialized Rockhopper

    Wheels for sure will make a huge difference and going tubeless will save approx 100g per wheel (assuming 2oz of sealant). XT cassette as someone mentioned saved a nice amount as well...I was forced to get one with my Stans wheels.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
    2012 Scott Spark 29 Team
    2013 Scott Scale 970
    2011 Scott Speedster S20
    1999 Specialized FSR Comp

  6. #6
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    My Rockhopper started out at 32lbs and ended up 23lbs... and it's all a matter of lighter and more expensive components.

    With regard to the XT casette suggestions... to add to it... Unless you go to the XTR 10 speed cassette (yes I have), 9 speed is usually lighter. The XT 10 speed cassette is not much weight reduction.

    There's also a lot of weight in the bottom-bracket-crankset you have, an XT or SLX crankset and the accompanying external BSA bottom bracket will be a good chunk of weight for the money.

    For the front brakes, 160mm is usually more trouble free, and there are some lightweight rotors front and rear which are 67g of rotating weight... throw in a set of Ti bolts for the calipers.

    The Reba is a great idea, that will save over 2 lbs.

    If you're looking at 1X11 (XX1 I assume) consider a Wolftooth single up front, and get rid of the front derailleur/chainrings/shifter/cable for a lower cost alternative (with the XT crankset perhaps)

    That along with proper wheelset/tubeless should get you under 25lbs.
    Pivot Mach429
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi View Post
    A new XT cassette is a easy way to save a bit of weight.
    Tires are another way to easily save weight for little outlay.
    Cassette is a wear item, no point in replacing it until needed. Wheels/Tires best most noticeable.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  8. #8
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    Re: How to Best Lighten a 2011 Specialized Rockhopper

    I dropped 113g going from an CS-HG62-10 to an XT CS- M771 cassette so it's still something to consider. Plus if u r going with a Stans wheelset or similar with soft alu hub body it is recommended to go with a cassette with carrier assy.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
    2012 Scott Spark 29 Team
    2013 Scott Scale 970
    2011 Scott Speedster S20
    1999 Specialized FSR Comp

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Very helpful! I think the bike weighs in currently at around 29 lbs, but the bike shop said to take that measurement with a grain of salt since their scale wasnt so accurate. If I could get this bike to about 25 lbs or so, I think Id be pleased.

    So basically what I am hearing at this point to have the biggest impact is the following:
    1) drive train (crank, bb, and casette...all XT or similar; might as well throw a new front derailleur in there too since the Alivo is kind of a piece of junk; the Deore rear derailleur is pretty nice though)
    2) fork (Rock Shox Reba or similar)
    3) wheelset (Stan's Arch or similar)

    I would guess that those upgrades would not only give me a much nicer ride, but also shave off the 4-5 lbs I am looking for.

    If I were to replace the drivetrain, I am a little unsure what route to go since it seems that the 3x9 setup has basically become non-existent on newer bikes. Are those components still readily available? In addition to the trails on weekends, I do use this bike to commute most days to work about 13 miles round trip (with a different set of more-road-friendly tires). As such, having the large chainring is actually really useful. 100% of my road riding is done in the 42 tooth chainring. When on the trails, about 80% is in the middle 32 tooth chainring, 10% in the 22 tooth chainring (not a lot of climbing here in central Texas), and 10% in the 42 tooth chainring. Would I be able to be comfortable both on the road and on the trails with a more modern 2x10 setup?

    Also, how do you all feel about carbon handlebars and seat posts? Might save me another 0.5 lbs. or so between the two.

  10. #10
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    Carbon handlebars and posts ride nicer due to the compliance that carbon has.

    I lost 1.86lbs of rotational weight off my Scott Scale 29er by going with Stan's Arch EX, tubeless, Race Kings, SLX Rotors, and XT cassette. Dropping your rotational assy weight will have the most noticeable affect. Steering assembly weight reduction would be very noticeable as well.

    Plus after you build up your new set of light trail wheels, you can mount some more road friendly tires on your old wheelset so you don't dull the knobs on your trail tires on the pavement! So new wheelset is Winning!

    It's probably a good idea to know your current component weights so that when u r shopping u aren't spending a lot of buck for same weight, heavier weight, or very little difference. I built an excel sheet that had weight of current components and weight of potential upgrade parts to get an idea of what each part would bring to the table for weight drop.

    2x10 setup is good, good range. However I prefer having my middle ring + little and big ring when I want to use them

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tschonis View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Very helpful! I think the bike weighs in currently at around 29 lbs, but the bike shop said to take that measurement with a grain of salt since their scale wasnt so accurate. If I could get this bike to about 25 lbs or so, I think Id be pleased.

    So basically what I am hearing at this point to have the biggest impact is the following:
    1) drive train (crank, bb, and casette...all XT or similar; might as well throw a new front derailleur in there too since the Alivo is kind of a piece of junk; the Deore rear derailleur is pretty nice though)
    2) fork (Rock Shox Reba or similar)
    3) wheelset (Stan's Arch or similar)

    I would guess that those upgrades would not only give me a much nicer ride, but also shave off the 4-5 lbs I am looking for.

    If I were to replace the drivetrain, I am a little unsure what route to go since it seems that the 3x9 setup has basically become non-existent on newer bikes. Are those components still readily available? In addition to the trails on weekends, I do use this bike to commute most days to work about 13 miles round trip (with a different set of more-road-friendly tires). As such, having the large chainring is actually really useful. 100% of my road riding is done in the 42 tooth chainring. When on the trails, about 80% is in the middle 32 tooth chainring, 10% in the 22 tooth chainring (not a lot of climbing here in central Texas), and 10% in the 42 tooth chainring. Would I be able to be comfortable both on the road and on the trails with a more modern 2x10 setup?

    Also, how do you all feel about carbon handlebars and seat posts? Might save me another 0.5 lbs. or so between the two.
    Save up and buy a bikesdirect.com bike. swap parts if you want to keep and now you have dream bike and a beater.
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    2013 Cannondale Trail 29er 1
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  12. #12
    official eMpTyBRain
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    Best bang for the buck:

    Dump the lock on grips and get a set of foam grips, Like ESI grips. That will save you around 100 grams for under $20!!!
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  13. #13
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    I'm 15 lbs fat so I'm starting there LOL!

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