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  1. #1
    Singletrackmac
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    Diamondback Apex vs Rockhopper

    I am looking to get a new (to me) steel and can't decide between this rockhopper and this diamondback apex. They both look to be my size and I believe both are tange which will be a nice change since I already have a TT OXII. I think they have similarly spec components with deore DX but I am not sure. I realize these are not rare, but I am more interested in quality steel that I can ride the piss out of.

    Both are going for a C note and look to be in good condition although the apex has some craptastic plastic pedals and the stem and brake levers look a little worn and the spec has a funky looking seat. Although I like to keep things original, the pedals and seat are not that big of an issue since I have plenty of extra to swap, but the stem and brake look a little concerning unless they are supposed to look that way.

    I have always liked the two tone paint on the DB, but dig the black spec as well.

    Any thoughts on either?

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    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  2. #2
    Sneaker man
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    Apex gets my vote
    2003 Yeti ARC
    2008 GT Zaskar Reissue
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  3. #3
    CS2
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    I'm partial to Specialized.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  4. #4
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    Unless you are planning on replacing parts, this is a daily rider, then you need to take a close look and the condition of the components on each bike. Things like chainrings, shifters, hubs (bearings) and rims are going to cost you money if you need to replace them.

    It is impossible to tell all of that from the pictures, but the Specialized seems to look cleaner.

    It is unfortunate that the brands have gone in opposite directions from their steel roots.

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21

  5. #5
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    Unless you are planning on replacing parts, this is a daily rider, then you need to take a close look and the condition of the components on each bike. Things like chainrings, shifters, hubs (bearings) and rims are going to cost you money if you need to replace them.

    It is impossible to tell all of that from the pictures, but the Specialized seems to look cleaner.

    It is unfortunate that the brands have gone in opposite directions from their steel roots.

    John
    Agreed, looks like Apex might have had a Roller cam brake, my eyes are old. The Rockhopper was using Deore ll parts which are really cheap on ebay now.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  6. #6
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    The Specialized looks a bit nicer, as mentioned above. I'd echo John and make my decision based on brake pads/tires/cables/moving parts and which overall would require less funds to be ship-shape.
    Somec is like the digital Zunow
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  7. #7
    Singletrackmac
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    Thanks guys. I have a few mountain bikes, a FS AM bike with all kinds of bells and whistles, two FS XC bikes and an aluminum HT, but only one steel rigid. And that '91 steel is by far my favorite bike to ride so I am looking for something similar, but a little differernt. I think tange will be a little more compliant than my lugged TT OXII and will have a different feel.

    While i like to keep things original, i am mostly going for the performance and feel of a good steel frame. I do have extra parts from the mid 90's if needed. Mainly deore DX and xt deralieurs, shifters and brakes, extra wheels, chain rings, basically stuff I can take off a few donor bikes I bought for cheap. However, as you all have said, if I can get one if these two bikes with good working parts that would be best so I will take your advise on that.

    I don't think the apex has roller cam brakes as I am pretty sure it is a 1990 model. Not sure what year the spec is though. Maybe late 80's.

    It looks like it is a rockhopper comp. Anyone know what the "comp" signifies?

    Either way I think I will check the rockhopper out first as it looks the cleanest from the pics and if parts are all good go with it.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  8. #8
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    Well, with a storehouse of parts you have opened another can of worms.

    To begin, there are people on this forum that know so much about steel bikes that is far beyond anything I now or will ever know. But I will give you my take on it.

    In my limited experience, I'm not sure I could tell the difference between a TT or a Tange or Reynolds when it comes to the feel of a good steel bike. Even if I'm just oblivious to the nuances, it seems to me that geometry plays a bigger role in ride, especially handling.

    After I built up my Trek, a really nice older version of my same model popped up on my local CL. I passed on it because I didn't want basically the same thing. I looked at and researched a lot of frames from Paramount to Specialized to Bianchi to whatever popped up from the early 90's. When I picked up the Serotta it was everything the Trek was not and vice versa. I ride the Serotta a ton more and it is a blast, but when my son takes me out on a trail for the sole purpose of cashing in my life insurance policy, I will take the Trek.

    I don't know if this helps or not, but since you already have a nice steel bike you need to decide which one of these will work for what you want to do.

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21

  9. #9
    CS2
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    It looks like it is a rockhopper comp. Anyone know what the "comp" signifies?

    Either way I think I will check the rockhopper out first as it looks the cleanest from the pics and if parts are all good go with it.
    I have an 89 Comp. Yours is newer. In 89 it was basically a Stumpjumper with heavier wheels. They used the same Deore II group but small parts and rims were different.
    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  10. #10
    Singletrackmac
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    In my limited experience, I'm not sure I could tell the difference between a TT or a Tange or Reynolds when it comes to the feel of a good steel bike. Even if I'm just oblivious to the nuances, it seems to me that geometry plays a bigger role in ride, especially handling.
    You make a good point about geometry playing a bigger roll and I will definitely look into the differences. However, I should have also pointed out that the steel I have now, a '91 trek 970, is lugged with 1 1/4 tubing, as well as TT OXII. I believe the two bikes I am looking at are not lugged with only 1 inch tubbing. However, I no longer think the rockhopper is tange. Regardless, I think, but don't know that these differences would make for a different feel that I could notice.

    The trek I have also has a Tange Big Fork which is a beefy 1 1/4 non-tapered tubing rigid fork and I figure a regular 1 inch rigid tapered steel fork would feel different as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS2 View Post
    I have an 89 Comp. Yours is newer. In 89 it was basically a Stumpjumper with heavier wheels. They used the same Deore II group but small parts and rims were different.
    According to the catalog your are right, they are pretty much the same bike, but it says they have the same wheels. In fact, the only differences I see are the pedals, saddle, headset, tires and that the rockhopper comes with rack mounts and the stumpy does not.
    StumpJumper & StumpJumper Comp | Specialized Catalogue 1989 | Retrobike
    Although the rockhopper I posted looks to me like an 89 with a stumpjumper comp paint color scheme. I can't find that color scheme on any other year specialized and being it has thumb shifters I would think it's pre 1990. I no longer think it is Tange steel because it looks like only the stumpy comp and team stumpy were made with tange, however, like 70sSanO points out, that probably will not make a noticeable difference to me.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  11. #11
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    i thought the Specialized had a better ride than the DB. I could never really say why, but the DB felt slow, and clunky while the Specialized felt crisp and lively. And the Rockhopper Comp was the value buy for anyone wanting a Stumpjumper, same frame/fork, lesser quailty parts. These sold themselves to customers wanting a Stumpjumper.

  12. #12
    Singletrackmac
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    Picked up the rockhopper today. It is in good to very good condition. Everything is working on the bike and all looks good except it does look like the head set will need to be re-greased as there is some resistance when turning the front wheel. Frame is scratch free with no dents and the decals look good with just a few tears here and there.

    All seem to be original but the seat, pedals and tires, all which I would have changed out anyway. I will replace the 4 finger brake lever with a pair of extra 2 digit ones I have since I plan on riding this bike on some of my local singletracks and since I can't stand the 4 finger levers.

    I will report back here with a ride report once I get a chance to take it out (rain in Tahoe the last few days). I will also post some pics as is and after I fix it up on the specialized pic thread.

    Thanks for all the advice, can't wait to get this bike out on the trails.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  13. #13
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    I think you made a good choice. Are the 2 finger levers canti and not v?

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21

  14. #14
    Singletrackmac
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    I think you made a good choice. Are the 2 finger levers canti and not v?

    John
    I have 2 sets of v and one of canti. Will the v brake levers not work with the cantis on this bike?
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  15. #15
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    Cantilever levers won't work with V-brakes because there is not enough cable pull. I was given a mountain bike and it had that setup and stopping was an experience so I swapped out the v-brakes for cantis.

    V-brake levers with cantilever brakes is the opposite. The levers will pull more cable so the brake action should be pretty quick. I guess it is not an issue if you set them up with more clearance and if you are used to touchy disc brakes they might even be a better option. I've never setup a bike in this way, but I'm sure others have.

    John
    1995 Trek 970 - 80mm Atom Race
    1992 Serotta T-Max - 70mm Z3 Light
    1993 GT All Terra - 46mm Mag 21

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