Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    1

    suspension on 1991 rockhopper

    Hey
    I'm trying to fully restore and replace some old parts on a 91 rockhopper that I was given and was wondering if anyone has tried to put a suspension fork on this bike or any from this era? Any help or ideas would be appreciated. New to the forum so Hey to everyone here.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Vespasianus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,219
    Those bikes had 1" steerers. It is very hard to find a good suspension system that comes in 1". I would just stick with the steel fork on it and use a big tire.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  3. #3
    sftrydr
    Reputation: ssulljm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    965
    Put a Softride stem on it.Frame+Era correct

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    244
    +1 to ssulljm's sentiment. The Softrides are excellent stems and when combined with a fat front tire they handle just wonderfully. You can pick them up on Fleabay for decent prices pretty regularly. Don't be concerned by some of the NOS ones you will see on there for hundreds of dollars. You can often find a nice one for ~$100 give or take $20. For that bike you will want a quill version of the stems. If you can't find any pics of them installed on bikes let me know, I have them on both of my MB1 Bridgestones which are 91 and 92/93 respectively so same era you are looking at for your rockhopper.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    244
    Saw your PM. Here is a pic of one on my first MB1.

    suspension on 1991 rockhopper-170396_10151018448555376_517597599_o.jpg

    suspension on 1991 rockhopper-mb1_small.jpg

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    244
    It is a little hard to see because of the bag on it but you get the idea. This one is a 130MM all aluminum version with the quill stem. You can also get steel ones for a bit cheaper and I would likely go that route for a Rockhopper. If it was a lugged Stumpjumper I might say to wait and kick down for the aluminum version fur on the Rockhopper I think either would be sufficient.

  7. #7
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    656
    Those Softride stems were some of the biggest piece's of junk ever made for a front end, stay away from those wobbly, dive inducing, cast aluminum garbage and go with a large front tire, like a 2,35 Z-Max or similar. They work better, have less moving parts, and no four pivot points to loosen up over the course of a ride.

    The only thing worse was the Girvin Flexstem that Off-Road had used on their bikes.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  8. #8
    sftrydr
    Reputation: ssulljm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    965
    So unicrown doesn't like softride stems,duly noted.
    Try the Softride stem on that bike, chances are good you may like it.If not, well, it comes right off.
    I've heard-seen riders blame all kinds of equipment for their own lack of skills for decades now, see for yourself, that's the best tact.

    Popcorn Anyone?
    Last edited by ssulljm; 09-04-2013 at 05:34 PM.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    244


    God I love it when people get feisty on here, hehe. So I personally love the softride stems. The one pictured on that MB1 has well over 10,000 miles on it. So long as they are properly maintained (which amounts to occasionally disassembling, cleaning, and greasing) they will all but last forever. I have replaced the bushings in mine at one point in its life but with the number of miles on it that is to be expected.

    The softride was never meant to be a point straight at a rock/root and hammer over it like you have a bomber on the bike. They simply take the edge off and cut down on a bit of upper body fatigue. You still have to ride the bike as though it is a rigid and pick your lines accordingly.

    I do definitely agree with Unicrown though on a large front tire. That is the cheapest way to add comfort and as noted there are no moving parts. The only trade off there is the rolling resistance piece and that is always manageable.

    By the way, love your tag line Unicrown...... Every bike I own has now been moved back to either XT or DX thumbshifters....... nothing can ever replace the joy of trimming.....

  10. #10
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    656
    I don't mean to be rude to the other posters here when I state my opinion on those God awful things.

    Its just as a mechanic back in the 80s and 90s I had to deal with these and try them out to see what they could do, or not.

    Datmony sums them up perfectly, they weren't really designed to take direct hits, that really put pressure on the bushings and created a heck of alot of sideways flex. If they are used properly, they will work in some manner to alleviate the bumps.

    But I still ride rigid and a big tire is the way to go, still after all these years! As for the XT thumbies, you know it Datmony! I ONLY run XT or XCPro thumbshifters on my off-road rides, period. And toeclips too.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  11. #11
    Rogue Exterminator
    Reputation: kjlued's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    4,382
    Not familiar with the stems but a little familiar with suspension. Flex in the stem to me just seems like a bad idea. I see where it might make for a little comfortable ride but it also seems like it would make the bike handle like a nightmare.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    244
    Lateral flex is bad on these stems, if they have it then that means either loose bolts or worn out bushings. The stems are however designed to move up and down in a vertical plane which then allows the bike frame to pivot underneath the rider. In that instance think of the movement as compression and not flex. There is a large spring in the stems that actually compresses providing the "suspension".

    It is actually not a concept that was new to these stems. Any of you that has a car with A arms on it and independent front or rear suspension has the exact same principle providing the suspension on your car, truck, etc every time you drive.

  13. #13
    sftrydr
    Reputation: ssulljm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    965
    3 sr mens world champion cross country victories in the early 90's x Henrik Djernas utilizing the Softride stem counters the observation from the self described unfamiliar w Softride stems poster above about it potentially being a handling nightmare.
    True, the stem doesn't-isn't designed to take the big hits, but speaking for myself, I always try very hard to avoid big hits when I ride.
    Anyway, a long time ago,late 80's-early 90's, I was a Ritchey-Softride-US National team Mt Bike rider, we had the option of any fr suspension available for our training time.
    For me, moto fork suspension was not suited for my riding technique+where I lived(Bellingham Wa,-Rainy,mucky hell on bike eq), too prone to seals failure.
    Eventually the moto fork companies figured out lockouts to stave off the mush aspect when climbing too, but for me, a totally unacceptable layer(lockouts) of failure prone stuff for my mt bike.

    I ride tested some of the 1st competition hydraulic (disc) bicycle brake systems also, and am sure they've improved that stuff since then, but for me, I'm firmly in the "simple is better on a bicycle-retro grouch camp" and don't have it on any of my current 4-5 day a week rider bikes.
    If I had a mechanic following me around to fix all that stuff, I'm sure I'd be using it, but alas, I don't.
    So, to each their own, the OP should give the stem a try, that's the only way to see if that's the tix for his-her bike.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    244


    One of these days there will be a p-series Ritchey with a softride in my garage......

    Unfortunately never seem to find one in an 18 or if I do it is at the worst time, did you race the beam or a hardtail?

  15. #15
    sftrydr
    Reputation: ssulljm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    965
    In late 90-91, raced mainly w the stem on the Ritchey squad,both DH+CC, but trained w the beam-stem combo.
    92-93 raced CC -DH +trained exclusively w the beam+stem.
    My lower back has been happy ever since, w no re-occurance of the lower back sacrum area spasms experienced before-during-after cyclo-x + mt bike seasons during the 80's.
    Team tidbit:
    Ruthie truly enjoyed using the stem during the 91 season. Going so far as to reach out to me at the beginning of the 92 season to secure a few stems for her training bikes. Her winning the CC worlds in Il Ciocca garnered her a sponsorship from a deep pocketed suspension fork company, but her affinity for the function of the stem had her obliging her contractual obligations at major events by utilizing the susp fork. But when grinding out those training miles far from the limelight, she preferred the lightness+function of the stem hands down.

  16. #16
    マスターの自転車整備士
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    91
    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Those bikes had 1" steerers. It is very hard to find a good suspension system that comes in 1". I would just stick with the steel fork on it and use a big tire.
    The '91 Rockhopper was meant for a rigid fork. Back in '90 and '91 the Rock Shox RS-1 and Manitou 1 were the only boys on the block, and they cost an arm and a leg. Most guys used 1.95 Ground Controls or 2.2 Hardpacks front and rear, and rode rigid. If you want period specific, that's the way it was back then.

    Fix it up, and ride it with fat tires. It'll give you a whole new appreciation for picking lines and using finesse to get the bike down the trail.

Similar Threads

  1. RockHopper Comp 2011 VS RockHopper 2012
    By JayClaire in forum Specialized
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 03-02-2012, 08:31 PM
  2. Suspension fork suggestions for '93 Rockhopper
    By vwvapor in forum Vintage, Retro, Classic
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 11-26-2011, 09:11 AM
  3. 2001 Rockhopper Pro vs 2010 Rockhopper Comp 29er?
    By redpointist in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-21-2011, 05:11 PM
  4. 2010 Rockhopper Comp vs 2011 Rockhopper
    By FL_rider in forum Specialized
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 08-20-2011, 01:23 PM
  5. 2010 Specialized Rockhopper Comp vs 2011 Rockhopper
    By FL_rider in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-28-2011, 02:38 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •