2011 Rockhopper vs 2010 Leftover Rockhopper- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2011 Rockhopper vs 2010 Leftover Rockhopper

    Looking at entry level mountain bikes at the local specialized shop.

    They have a 2011 with mechanical disc ($699 on sale for $640) and a 2010 with rim brakes ($620 on sale for $475), all other components are the same.

    Is it worth the extra cash for the disc brakes and the "new model year"?

    A few years ago I was looking into bikes and was told the mechanical disc brakes are not as good as the rim brakes. Is this still true?

    Also back then the Rockshox came on the rockhoppers at this level. Now they come with a suntour. My current bike (Giant Rincon 5 or 6 yrs old) has the suntour which are pretty crappy. Are the newer suntours like on the rockhoppers any good?

  2. #2
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    Disc brakes on these are better than the V brakes, no question about it, and the 2011 probably comes with Avid BB7's which are great disc brakes. I have a 2011 Hardrock and my suntour gave up the ghost after about a month of trail riding on hardpack with roots/rocks mixed in. I just got a deal on a Tora race air to replace it though, then I'll send off the stock shock for a warranty replacement to keep as a backup.
    $225 is a big different in price though, if it was me I'd ask if the 2010 can be converted to disc if you decide later you want to upgrade, I've seen BB5's sell for less than $40 a wheel online. You can also pick up a nice shock for less than $200, you can get Tora 302's for under $200 if you look around hard enough.

    All that said, if you are even considering it I'd try to get a little more off the 2011 and buy it, I went through this recently when I bought my first bike, couldn't get over the sticker shock of how much they cost and bought a Hardrock 29er in the high $500 range, within a week I regretted not spending another $100-200 on a nicer equipped bike and if I could do it again I'd do that.
    You might also ask if your LBS has a rental program to try a coupld bikes and see what you like and whats worth spending more money for.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  3. #3
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    If you can snoop around for 2009 rockhopper 's they already come equipped with the tora . I found an 2009 at a shop this past april and they gave it to me for 880 with tax . that was tora and disc brake equipped

  4. #4
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    some more to add.

    The 2011 has the BB5's. When I ride them, the rim brakes actually feel better. My terrain is pretty docile in Michigan flatlands.

    Right now I have a 2006 Giant Rincon with acero front derailer and alivio rear derailer. It has the Suntour X60 front suspension (basically junk in my opinion). This was a $340 bike when new.

    Am I gaining much by going to the 2010/2011 Specialized? They have the Shimano Altus front derailer and SRAM X5 rear derailer and the forks are Suntour SF11 on the 2011 and S9 on the 2010 (is there a difference of the two?).

    Or would I be just as well off to buy a decent front fork to add to my Giant and look for better derailers?

    I know these are low end bikes and probably chump change to some, just trying to upgrade cheaply as my budget has been severly tightened in the last year.

  5. #5
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    2011 Rockhoppers with mech discs come with BB5s, just like the last years models and the upper level Hardrocks.

    You could certainly equip the '10 model($475) with BB7s for less than you can buy the disc'd '11 model.

  6. #6
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    id go with the cheaper one and then upgrade later. i bet the V brake will be just fine for most riding though

  7. #7
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    They got any 2010 Hardrock Disc Sports? some of my local shops had them close out for like $490, those come equipped comparably to the Rockhopper you are looking at as far as fork and disc brake selections. I couldn't tell the difference between teh RH and the HR on my initial back to back test ride honestly.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

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    I'm not an expert on this so correct me if I'm wrong...but if you are thinking of replacing the v-brakes with the disc brakes, don't you need to change the wheels also?

  9. #9
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    Its possible to retrofit disc to a v-brake typically but its hard to go the other way as disc bikes allot of times come with non-v-brake rims.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  10. #10
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    Well went into the LBS at lunch and brought my Giant with me for a back to back comparison.

    The RH ergos were definitly nicer, and the shifting components seemed to be much smoother. Plus this is the bike I wanted to buy when I bought the Giant a few years ago.

    Only thing I didnt like on the RH is the meatgrinder pedals which they will swapout for free.

    The shop has free tuneups and adjustments for the life of the bike too.

    I ended up buying it. Going to pick it up tomarrow and take it up north this weekend to try it out. Thanks for all the input.

  11. #11
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    which one did you end up getting?

  12. #12
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    bought the 2010. I didnt like the mechanical disk brakes, riding them felt like they were a step down from the V-brakes. I didnt bother trying any hydraulic as they were out of my spending limits.

    Side by side on the spec sheet there was very little difference other than the brake type. Different tires, the SF11 vs SF9 forks. The bikes felt virtually the same riding except for the brakes.

  13. #13
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    Nice, you'll enjoy the bike!
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  14. #14
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    cool man i think you made a good choice

    i will say, just to be fair, that the disc brakes will work/feel a lot better once they are broken in

  15. #15
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    "I didnt like the mechanical disk brakes, riding them felt like they were a step down from the V-brakes."

    Did you try-out a new bike with new disc brakes,disc brakes always take a bit of breaking in before they start to bite good,im suprised you felt V's were better.
    " The Revolution Will Not Be Motorised "

  16. #16
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    the only disks I tried were on the 2011 RH, so no I didnt try any that were broken in.

  17. #17
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    I believe all the 2010 models are disc friendly if you choose to upgrade, FWIW.


    Discs feel much better once they're broken in compared to when they're new

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacktro
    "I didnt like the mechanical disk brakes, riding them felt like they were a step down from the V-brakes."

    Did you try-out a new bike with new disc brakes,disc brakes always take a bit of breaking in before they start to bite good,im suprised you felt V's were better.

    ^^^^AMEN! It is to bad you went this route. They dont make a V brake that can compete with todays Disc brakes. The pads are brand new and need seating on the disc brakes. Once seated though (ten minutes of riding) they will act the same in ANY weather condition. Those V brakes will always be different depending on Temp, humidity and all other factors, i.e. dirty rim, pads, water, grease... Most average riders dont want hydraulic brakes and want mechanical. The BB5 is a great great brake. Manual and auto adjust pads and easy pad replacement with a ton of aftermarket pads out there on the cheap. If you get the chance to pick some up (always online for cheap) make the change, you will not regret it!

    Oh, and where in Michigan are you riding? Novi area here...

  19. #19
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    The new Suntour fork on the 2011 Rockhopper has 30mm stanchions compared to 28mm stanchions on the Dart.
    We also have a custom aluminum damper with a shim stack that is exclusive to us.

    The new fork doesn't suffer from hydraulic lock when the going gets fast.
    As for the BB5s, they work better than a good many Hydro brakes that are out there.

    All in all the 2011 is a more potent package for only an $80 increase.

    Of course there are those closeout 2010s out there, but the base model doesn't have disc brake hubs. So a new wheelset will be in order. Can you see why we changed it to Disc brakes for 2011?
    Specialized R&D

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