Rockhoppin'

Just before we moved, I picked up a '98 Rockhopper off CL. It was so:

Not a bad find overall for $50, but there were clearly some issues that needed addressing:

- The rear derailer was bent and the chain was shot:

- Bar ends and riser bars are a clear fashion faux pax:

But it does amuse me that someone combined a bolt on riser bar brace with one of the flexiest forks of all time, the Rock Shox Indy C.

- Did anyone ever steal seats and posts off entry level mountain bikes? Maybe on campus. Regardless, the cable can go:

- The rear tire was almost worn smooth, and the casing was shot as well:

These are all minor issues for someone with a pretty comprehensive parts bin. And, I was curious if the frame could live up to this label:

Would the Ritchey "Nitanium" (huh?) tubing feel like a good steel frame?

After a few days of unpacking and getting our new house a little more ordered, I had unearthed enough of my bike stuff that I was able to take a break and toss a few parts on the Rockhopper. New chain, new rear derailer, and new shifters to replace the stock Shimano underbar shifters after I found the rear shifter couldn't click anymore. It ended up like so:



This has become my go-to bike for quick spins to explore our new neighborhood and sneak quick rides in. So far, the frame feels quite lively, and the nearly undamped fork isn't too terrible. I explored some future building sites to get a feel of the bike off road:

Last weekend, Henry and I opted out of the Dublin Irish Fest and headed out to go mountain biking instead. Of course, I took the Rockhopper, a $50 nestled bike in the back of an $83,000 SUV:

I had checked out the Q7 from work for a trip on Saturday to the annual Twins Days festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. Guess who wanted to go?

But back to John Bryan State Park, where I was hoping Henry could have a good ride like his last time there. He easily managed a couple of ramps like this:

But overall he was more interested in stopping for snacks and talking about our lunch stop rather than riding:


We did only a few miles before I gave it up, we hit the road, and made tracks back to the Audi, and lunch at Piada.

I didn't get much chance to try out the Rockhopper at speed, but a few quick bursts made me realize the limits of worn out 26" tires. Also, my hands and shoulders were starting to ache near the end. I'm now working on converting it to a neighborhood cruiser now (Open Bars, etc), because I really can't see riding this bike much off road when I have the Jones and Surly waiting in the wings.

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