Friday, April 27, 2012

Rock-Hopper F.S. Update. And a few other projects taking shape in the shop as well

Hello and Welcome, The last time I posted about the Specialized Rock-Hopper F.S. I was awaiting arrival of a new suspension fork. I had trouble locating a new suspension fork with a 1-1/8 threaded steerer tube and the proper hub width and suspension travel. It appears that the bicycle industry is more concerned about selling the new than supplying the old. And I guess we the public dictate what they offer for sale by what we buy.

Above: The replacement fork was very cheap about 20.00 plus delivery and a Tektro Front Cable Hanger /guide. About a forty dollar investment. I wanted a slightly better fork (100.00 to 125.00 range) but this was literally the only one I could find where all the numbers matched. After doing all the measuring I realized that the steerer tube needed to be cut and the tube re-threaded. Despite the numbers matching the two forks were totally different. Talking to two local bike shops about re-threading was depressing. Again the emphasis is on servicing and selling the new, not the old stuff. Seems nobody wants to have anything to to with re-threading these days.
Above: I went to see Dan at Cycle Therapy in Waterford after inquiring about some headset spacers. He was able to sell me some spacers that would make the whole thing workable, although it would raise the bar height by about 10 mm. Since this was going to be my "urban warrior" bike, I had no problem with raising the bar height a bit. While I was there I had them remove the crown race from the old leaky suspension fork.
Above: When I got home to install the fork I ran into another problem. I ended up about 4 mm short on thread to screw the top part of the head-set/cup down. So not wanting to got back to the re-threading issue I decided that if I could just raise the crown race 4 mm, I could make this thing work "maybe". Knowing this would raise the front of the bike with the already taller fork another 4 mm. Oh what the #%&@ if it does not work I can always take it apart and try something else. Well here you see it standing tall in the front. It settles down a little when I put my 189 lbs on the bike. I have since ridden it at least a half dozen times with no problems. I raised the crown race by honing out a 5 mm spacer (after grinding it down to 4mm) just enough so it fits tightly onto the top of the crown and the race sits a top the spacer.
Above: I have also installed a set of Kenda K West road tires or "smooth rollers" as I like to call them. These really roll nice and smooth with much higher air pressure than I could run in the cruiser tires on the Giant. These max out at about 65 psi as the Cruiser Tires max out at about 35 psi. But the cruiser tires did ride nice, I was just looking for less drag. At nearly 56 years old I need all the help I can get.
Above: I installed a nice looking tubular rear rack that was under 40.00. The rack is very adjustable. I did have to cut-off the excess rods that were left sticking out under the rack platform. I will post a pic that shows the excess below.
Above: The adjustment rods have rubberized plastic caps. I just removed the caps and cut the rods down in place with a cutting wheel on the high-speed drill. Then I wiped off the shavings and replaced the caps. Good as new.
Above: I did take my "WTB Speed V Comp Saddle off the Giant along with the tool kit bag and my new Avenir Ultralight Pedals with old style clips. One of the reasons it made more sense to sell the GIANT and keep the Specialized is, I`m not sure how well the spacer under the crown race is going to hold-up. If it is going to fail , it is better it do so when I am riding the bike. And I really like the Specialized! So far it is working flawlessly and does roll a little better than the Giant with these higher pressure tires.
Above: There is nothing wrong with these Schwinn grips. But I would like to upgrade to some Ergon Grips, like the ones on the Giant. Also I am considering converting it to a threadless headset. This would allow me to get a much better suspension fork. Other than the fork I would need a thread-less head set (about 30.00) and a new stem as well(another 30.00) along with a few spacers. Not to mention it would make a great post topic. And greatly increase the performance and value of the Specialized. And there are some Rock Shox Suspension Forks that are not all that expensive. I think they start about 125.00 . Being this bike is not going to be used off road, I am sure the entry level fork will do fine.
Above: I relocated the tail light (Bobber style) to the left side seat stay. Although not visible the headlight is in the normal spot up front. If I had a "do over" I would have gone thread-less the first time. But I had no way to foresee all the problems I would encounter. The description of the replacement fork led me to believe it would be a simple "remove and replace" project. I should know better by now...ltms However, Anytime you learn something new or gain experience, it is a positive thing.
Above: Here is the original suspension fork. You may or may not have noticed I also changed the front cantilever brake. The shorter cantilever arms just seemed to fit better with this new set-up. With the new cable hanger down lower I did not have as much room for the taller cantilever arms and straddle cable. I will get around to installing the matching arms on the rear cantilever brake when I replace the brake shoes.
Above: The Chro Mo frame, fixed gear / single speed touring style bike is coming along fine. It now has fenders, pedals and functioning front and rear brakes. Also front and rear racks are on the way (I have made a change there) And I am picking up the lights tomorrow. I might be changing the handlebars (and or lever position) and or type of levers I am using. I am just a couple of deliveries and decisions away from wrapping this one up. So I will be posting this one real soon.
Above: Despite the dirtiest and nastiest crank housing I have ever seen, The Roadmaster "Star Rider" restoration is coming along nicely. This pic was taken after I used the Shop Vac to get all the dead bees out of the crank housing. The front fender and tank-light and housing has arrived from Pennsylvania. The fender is a little pitted but for about 50 it looks pretty good. I am awaiting delivery on several components for this bike.
Above: The after shot of the crank housing and races. Ok! That gets us pretty much caught up for now. So until next time Please RIDE SAFE and Remember to Always..RESCUE, RESTORE & RECYCLE! Cheers,Hugh

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