New commuter project.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New commuter project.

    I recently acquired an old cromo rockhopper I think its a '96. I got the bike for free and the frame is in superb condition. At the very least I'm going to replace the tires with semi slicks and redo the brakes because they are awful. I dislike grip shifters and would love to either convert it to SS or just get new 7 speed thumb shifters. What bothers me about that is then when the rear der or cassette goes I'm stuck investing in old 7 speed stuff. Considering I got the bike for free would it be worth putting like $200 into? I feel like because I got the bike for free it would be nicer then most $200 bikes out there. Any build suggestions or if you feel like I should ride it as is and not invest anything I'd love to hear your opinion.

  2. #2
    Natural Born Killer
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    I've got a '99 "nitanium" (chromo-steel) framed Rockhopper that I built into a commuter. So I think your bike would be worth spending a couple hundred on in upgrades. 7 speed shifters should be pretty cheap if you just wanted to run it like that and ride it into the ground so to speak. You could also look for used parts to upgrade this bike with. There are always people with upgrade-itus getting rid of nearly new wheel sets and other components. Cheers and have fun with it.
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  3. #3
    weirdo
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    I might dump $200 into it if I happened to have the cash around and I was up for a project. You aren`t talking thousands, and it isn`t like dumping money into a total piece of crap. But what do you mean by "stuck invensting in old 7-speed stuff"? You don`t have to keep it 7-speed unless you want to, and if you ever have to replace that derailler, don`t be fooled by the vendors or manufacturers assertions that any derailler is for X speeds. Deraillers don`t care how many "speeds" they handle. Bottom line, if you`re looking for an extra commute bike anyway, that one would probably be a good candidate if you got it for a good price.
    And since it just stumbled into your hands for free, it`s destiny!

  4. #4
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    It's worth $200 if only to make it comfortable to ride, or maybe indulge your curiosity on experimenting on bike set up. As long as it isn't your go-to bike, there's no harm in trying things out on the cheap.
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  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    I'm not sure I'd bother replacing the shifters unless you went with something similarly simple like thumbies. Grip shifters are pretty reliable and easy to use with gloves for winter riding.

    I'd certainly at least clean it up with cables/housing, saddle, grips, tires, fenders, etc. I'd probably also pull apart the bearings and give them a good cleaning/greasing.

    As far as switching up the rest of the drivetrain, I'm not sure I'd bother with that, either. While you could most likely use any derailleur on it (save for the 10spd stuff), with a 7spd cluster on the rear, I'd suspect it has a narrower rear hub spacing and the wheelset definitely won't be able to handle more cogs on the cluster with its spacing. And I'd suspect it uses a freewheel, too? Changing those things will take work and more money.

  6. #6
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    You can coldset the frame to increase the spacing to fit 8/9/10 speed hubs.

    The Sheldon Brown site has a great description: Bicycle Frame/Hub Spacing
    (scroll down to "Spreading the Frame")

    And I post photos of this bike way too often, but


    It's a 7speed frame I spread to 135mm following Sheldon's instructions, and it was super easy.

    Big Apples, Singlespeed (dinglespeed, technically), I replaced the cantis with v-brakes, and it's a complete blast to ride. It might be my favorite bike (but that's tough to admit since it was so cheap).

    I'd totally recommend bringing new life to the rockhopper.

  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    You can coldset the frame to increase the spacing to fit 8/9/10 speed hubs.

    The Sheldon Brown site has a great description: Bicycle Frame/Hub Spacing
    (scroll down to "Spreading the Frame")

    And I post photos of this bike way too often, but

    It's a 7speed frame I spread to 135mm following Sheldon's instructions, and it was super easy.

    Big Apples, Singlespeed (dinglespeed, technically), I replaced the cantis with v-brakes, and it's a complete blast to ride. It might be my favorite bike (but that's tough to admit since it was so cheap).

    I'd totally recommend bringing new life to the rockhopper.

    I didn't say it was impossible. I said it took work and money (money for the new wheelset and all).

    If you're playing with it as a project and you're willing to put whatever money and time needs to go into it to get it exactly how you want it, have at it.

    Getting a serviceable commuter on a budget? I'd skip it.

  8. #8
    Monkey Junkie
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    I'd get the brakes adjusted and then ride it as is for a while to see how much you like the bike overall. If you like it enough, then get rid of the old 7 speed stuff and go SS. Semi Slicks are probably a good idea at some point.

    A few years ago someone gave me a prestine, early 90's rockhopper and I loved it. I rode it for a couple years and did lots of different things with it. Set it up SS, spread the chainstays and put a 135mm rear wheel on it to run 8 speed, and got rid of it as a 7 speed once again. Really wish I'd kept it.

    If yours is in good shape and fits you well, then keep it and slowly set it up however you want it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    I didn't say it was impossible. I said it took work and money (money for the new wheelset and all).Nah all of a bout 30 mins
    If we are taking about spreading the chainstays.....and oing to a 135mm rear wheel...I did that....

    I just dug out a bolt that fit the dropouts and cranked the nut out.....both chainstays moved equally and viola...

    I only did cause the 130mm rim was dented and I picked up a cheapy 135mm for $25 bucks with hub and free hub.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    If we are taking about spreading the chainstays.....and oing to a 135mm rear wheel...I did that....

    I just dug out a bolt that fit the dropouts and cranked the nut out.....both chainstays moved equally and viola...

    I only did cause the 130mm rim was dented and I picked up a cheapy 135mm for $25 bucks with hub and free hub.
    Same here. Threaded rod works, too with washers and nuts. Saves over the Park tool. One bike from 120 to 130, the other from 126 to 135. CAUTION! I used a strap around the chain stays at the chai stay bridge and another around the brake bridge on the seat stays. My frames were brazed. This ounce of prevention keeps the stays from separating from the bridges. One bike had to be over widened then the bolt removed to see where the setting was several times to get the new width to stay. Both required a slight alignment of the dropouts to make them parallel to the centerline. I think this in the Sheldon description.

    BrianMc

  11. #11
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    Can I switch the cantis to v brakes on this bike?

  12. #12
    Monkey Junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Striper View Post
    Can I switch the cantis to v brakes on this bike?
    Yes, but you'll need different brake levers because of the different cable pull. Travel agents are also an option if you want to keep the original levers.

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