Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Specialized RockHopper FS 1993 model

Hello and Welcome, We are in the middle of our fall clean-up here. I think we are finally getting ahead of the leaves. We have mature Oak trees, and while they are nice in the summer. In the fall they are nothing but work. But now that the clean-up is under control I can start spending more time in the shop/garage. To all who have been using the blogs face-book page Thank you and Thanks for all the "Likes" as well. If you haven't checked it out yet, The Face-Book link/logo is in the right hand column. Please check it out when you get a chance.

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Above: This is pretty much how I found the bike. except for a quick cleaning nothing else had been done at this point. My first concerns were the Handlebars and Saddle. I did not find either one very comfortable. Other concerns were, all the rusty looking cables and the resin pedals. My shoes seem to slide all over the resin pedals, especially when it is damp. I also want to be sure to spray and lube and adjust the derailleurs.
Above: My choice of saddle for this bike is the WTB Speed V Comp. The nose is a wee bit wide for serious road bike use. But for mountain-bike and hybrid bikes and even road bikes "for short commutes" it is a very comfortable saddle. The stock micro-adjust seat-post is great, no change needed there.
Above: The handlebars are Avenir. I originally purchased them for the GT Avalanche.
One thing you might want to think about when considering a change to riser handlebars, is cable length. The stock cables and housings were all to short for the higher bars. Since I had already planned on replacing the cables it was not a problem for me. As "almost" always I went with Jag-Wire brake and derailleur cables and housings. The grips are just an old set that were laying around the shop. They will do fine for now.

Above: These are Avenir dual-sport pedals. I use these a lot, they run about 20.00
And for 20.00 they get the job done fine. I like the old style traps and straps probably just because I am accustomed to them. (and I`m cheap)
Above: This is an experiment. I had this left-over dark cork tape laying around, so I thought I would try using it instead of grips. I think it looks cool and being free "it is right in my price range". I can not say how well it works or how long it will last as I really have not ridden this bike much. But the grips feel fine
so far.

Above: The Cannondale under seat bag is great. Under the Velcro-flap is a draw-string closure. I just cleaned it up with some Simple Green "cleaning wipes" and now it looks like new!
Above: The Specialized wheel-set is very good quality and needs very little truing.
I cleaned them up quickly with Mother`s Mag and Aluminum Polish. I used Armor-All cleaning wipes on the spokes and a little Mother`s on the hubs and flanges. Also the tires are in wonderful condition. Not the least bit brittle and almost all the nubs are there. I would not be surprised at all if they turned out to be replacements. But due to the style, I will assume they are the originals.
Above: The Shimano EXAGE rear derailleur. I did re-use the short rear cable housing. It is in fine condition and being the length is perfect it just seemed silly to replace it. Being an index derailleur I decided to view the same video
I recently posted in the "video of the week" section. My first attempt at adjusting it was not quite "in tune". So after watching the video I re-adjusted it following the proper order of adjustments, and now it is Spot-On! Imagine that. Thank You Tony wherever you are!
Above: The front derailleur was easy, I just cleaned and lubed it. Then I installed the new Jag-Wire cable. No adjustment whatsoever needed. I am however having a problem with the front derailleur on the GT Avalanche. I might do a post about how I go about correcting the problem.
Above: I cleaned-up the crank-set and arms with Clean-Streak and Mother`s on the alloy parts. The bottom-bracket is a sealed unit and it is clean and super smooth so I left it alone.
Above: A nice shot of the front end. That tire (and the rear as well) shows absolutely no signs of wear. The Suspension fork is smooth but not quite as strong as the Rock-Shox fork on the GT . This is a smaller frame, and I weighed about 205 lbs last time I rode this bike.(I`m down to 200 already) So I`m thinking the fork is probably fine for someone about 175 lbs max. And the brake-shoes also show no wear and are not squeaky. And are stopping the bike really well. So I just cleaned those up and I have no plans of replacing them any time soon.
Above: I have never been a huge fan of index shifters. But I will say this, I am
now "beginning" to understand them and how to adjust them. And now they don`t seem so bewildering anymore. I have learned that it is very important to do the adjustments in the correct way and in the proper sequence. Again I refer to the video I recently posted on the video of the week (Rear Derailleur Adjustment/Index)
One of, if not "the best" instructional video I have ever seen. I gotta find his front derailleur video.
Above: As awesome as these tires are, for my type of riding they are way to aggressive. Tires like these on pavement feel like an endless wash-board road. And with the softer suspension I have ruled this one out as my keeper. So now it is down to the Giant or the GT. I am leaning towards keeping the GT. The "triple triangle" has always been my favorite mountain bike frame design. And the GT was in really rough shape when I got it. Am very pleased (considering the condition) how nice it turned out. And I deeply regretted parting with the last GT that I owned. So it looks like I`m going to keep the GT Avalanche for a while.
Above: Here is the finished project. I should mention the paint color it is a "dark plum" color. I have not done the paint touch-up yet. But thanks to my wife for locating the color. Revlon # 799 Plum Night. I am sure it will be a near perfect match.
Above: Here is a shot of the Ashtabula single crank conversion kit installed in the Ross`s bracket shell. It looks like it went in there real easy, does it not? Well it did not go in there easy at all. And I promise you will hear all about it real soon. Until Next Time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE,
Cheers, Hugh


  1. Like the look of that bar wrap - super clean. Looking forward to hearing more about the BB conversion kit.

  2. Thanks Ryan, I think they look good too. But maybe not the right application. I think on a vintage 3 speed or any old English style cruiser they would look really cool.
    I am actually going out to the shop now to search for a workable 3 piece crank for the Ross. If I have one, there should be a part one post real soon. If not, it may take a little while to get one shipped. I`ll post on the F.B. page latter. Looking at the adapter it just does not look like it is going to work.
    But this is a first for me, that is why it does not look right to me. I`m sure it is probably fine. We shall see.

  3. I have that exact same bike. I bought it new in 1994. The tires in your pictures look like the originals. Mine has the original shift/brake levers, derailleurs, hubs, rims, bottom bracket, cranks and bars, but everything else has been swapped out over the years. The seals blew on the suspension fork ages ago, so now it has a rigid fork with threadless headset. I now use it for commuting. It's been a great bike.

    1. Hey lpaulriddle,
      I am running road tires on my Rock Hopper FS now, and they roll nice. I just need to remember to stay on the pavement, because they are "useless" off road. I wish I had gone with a better replacement fork. I was trying to keep it simple by ordering a threaded replacement. But the only threaded suspension fork I could find with the correct specs was this really cheap Zoom p o s. I noticed the rubber seals are already splitting. I may try again latter with a better thread less fork and just do the conversion I should have done the first time.
      The paved roads are a little rough around here, so I would like to keep it a front suspension bike if possible. Thanks for leaving the positive comment.

  4. Hi Hugh, I have the same bike :-) bought in '93 and now I'm gonna upgrade it with Shimano SLX, Magura hydrolic brakes and a Rockshox fork.
    It will cost my about 700 Euro's. Guess I have a new bike for that cost but..I love my bike :-)
    Will try that aluminium polish! And after that I can ride the hills in Flanders back again ;-)

    1. Thanks Bart,
      I really need to replace the crappy suspension fork I put on mine. I don`t think I will go with new brakes though. I should have converted mine to a thread-less headset. That would have given me more options as far as what forks will fit the bike. Mother's is great aluminum polish I don't think you will be disappointed.
      Cheers, Hugh

  5. I love mine! Thread-less conversion to allow Rockshox Judy XC fork, '91 XT deraileurs, top-mount shifters, it's a fast little bike!

    1. Sounds sweet! Maybe you can post a pic of it over on the face book page.
      Cheers, Hugh


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