Help! Just trying to figure out what I got here- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help! Just trying to figure out what I got here

    I've been hunting for the right bike for a few weeks now. I don't have the money to get what I want, and didn't want to get a flippin' department store bike...so I've been hunting every thrift store, yard sale and pawn shop in the carolinas, hoping to find a fall find. Over the past three weeks, I picked up two "banger bikes" just for fun. Both are late 90's...one a Trek 800 sport for $40 in great shape, and another late 90's Fuji Tahoe for $50. Both are in great condition...but not really what I wanted. I just figured that they would get me around the block with my kids while I hunted for the right bike.

    Then...at a pawn shop last week, I found a hybrid 2010 schwinn sporterra for $100. I didn't buy it because I want something that can get me on a trail, but it gave me hope. I then found a Specialized Hardrock (not sure what year, or what specific type) that they hyped as a $400 bike for only $269. No, didn't get that one either when they wouldn't budge on the price...so I walked with the guy flying out behind me...to offer a whopping $20 off.

    Finally, I came upon a Specialized Rockhopper for $169. It looked in good shape, and after I rode it, while there seemed to be some issues with the gears (nothing major, just some extra noise that I figured I could get fixed with a tune up), but I thought I may have found the bike for me. I walked out the door with it for $120.

    So, not really sure about what kind of deal I got, because I don't know the year of the bike, or the model. I'm relatively sure that it's a 2005 or 2006, but not sure if it's a regular rockhopper, or a comp.

    That's where you all come in. I'll post a pic of the bike...and perhaps you can help me figure out what I've got my hands on...as anything you want. I know virtually nothing about mountain bikes as yet...but trying to learn...so any help would be outstanding...


  2. #2
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Oh, and would any of you pick up the Sporterra for family treks around the block? I do have the Trek 800 and the tahoe, but the Sporterra has the mountain feel with the road bike tires...and is a 2010.

    At only $100, I'm thinking I could likely make an offer of 80 or so and walk out the door with it...would anyone do it for 80...or even the 100?

  5. #5
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    2005 Specialized Rockhopper

    I can't post links, but if you google it, the top link should be for the Specialized website. It will show the Rockhopper Comp Disc. Just select Rockhopper from the list on the top right.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I was thinking a 2005 too by that distinct shape on the top tube where it meets the seat tube. $120 isn't a bad deal. Looks clean. I have a 2007 RH in flat black and love it. Great bike.

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    Looks like you got yourself a bike that should do just fine for getting on some trails.

    Is it a good size for you? Not too long or short from seat to handlebar?

    Everything that should turn freely is turning freely?
    Things that should be tight are tight?
    Wheels are round?
    Brakes are braking?
    Gears are shifting? (did you figure out what makes the sound?)

    Ride it on some paths and easy trails. Find something more challenging. Have fun.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  8. #8
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    If that thing fits you, it's a killer deal, and a great way to get out without investing too much.

    I would pay like 20-40 bucks for the schwinn. IF it was in good condition.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    Looks like you got yourself a bike that should do just fine for getting on some trails.

    Is it a good size for you? Not too long or short from seat to handlebar?

    Everything that should turn freely is turning freely?
    Things that should be tight are tight?
    Wheels are round?
    Brakes are braking?
    Gears are shifting? (did you figure out what makes the sound?)

    Ride it on some paths and easy trails. Find something more challenging. Have fun.
    It's a perfect size for me, don't feel stretched out at all!

    Everything is turning freely and tight, and the wheels seem trued. The breaks could send me over the handlebars...so they seem to be working just fine.

    There does seem to be some gear issues though. I'm not sure if it's the chain, or the derailleurs that are the issue, and truthfully have no clue how to find out. Overall, most of the gears are working fine, with some noise, but it does struggle to get to third gear (not even sure if it's third gear...the big sprocket on the front derrailleur). I hate sounding like such a novice at this...but I am.

    The Schwinn isn't a department store schwinn...and sold in the neighborhood of $400 new according to everything I've seen. Is it still only worth 20-40? If so, I'm just going to leave it alone...

  10. #10
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    You got a great deal on an awesome bike...I bought 09 RH comp disc recently and I love it...so light and nimble

  11. #11
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    If you can afford to do it, I'd take it to a local bike shop and have them give it a once over. If you're short on cash, tell them what you can afford and at least they can make some adjustments, if need be. The chain should be checked for wear and expected longevity and that's easily checked with a chain tool. You don't wanna be out on a trail and have the chain fail. The best bet would be to have an LBS to a complete tune up on it for around $75. Congrats on your purchase and go have some fun. And buy a helmet if you don't already have one.

  12. #12
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I don't bother tuning anything else on a drivetrain unless the chain is clean and not worn out. Here's how to tell if it's worn out.

    Chain Maintenance

    If your chain's in good shape, move on to the derailleurs and shifters. It's likely to be either dirt and age or an indexing issue. Here are some articles about derailleurs. You can probably scroll down to the stuff about "indexing adjustment."

    Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Front Derailleur Adjustments
    Park Tool Co. ParkTool Blog Rear Derailler Adjustments (derailleur)

    Park Tool is a great resource for almost everything else on a bike, so bookmark their site. Sheldon Brown's site is a little harder to use, but fascinating if you like the mechanical aspects of bicycles.

    I wouldn't bother with the Schwinn, unless you need a lock-outside bike. It sounds like the Trek or the Fuji probably already addresses that. Basically, the Schwinn won't do anything that one of your three mountain bikes can't, but you'll probably have to sink more than just the purchase price into it to get it to work reliably.

    EDIT: Oops - forgot to mention. If you can't get your derailleurs working reliably with indexing adjustments, try new cables and housings. The derailleurs themselves should have a pretty long service life and are less likely to need replacement.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  13. #13
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    If you're strap for cash and nedd bike maintenance done, I'd have a look at Craigslist bike section and see if anyone is offering bike tune-ups for a fraction of what an LBS charge. It looks lime the LA and Orange County bike sections have a number of bike mechanics offering their service. Make sure they are legit and know what they're doing. Some actually work at a shop and are just doing it for extra cash.

    Funny how bike servicing can get just as expensive as a car tune-up! Man, I spent about $50 for a truing and a crankset install. And that was the cheapest. I recently bought a chain tool and that thing has paid for itself already! But for now cranksets go to the LBS, as I don't do it often enough to justify spending over $50 for crankset tools. Anyway, I digress.

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