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I am sure you hate to see the newbies who ask this all the time! But I am looking for some advice on upgrading the brakes, handlebar and stem, and seat post on my specialized Rockhopper. It's a hard tail. The handlebars are a little to wide. I also want to raise the stem up and inwards. I am 5 feet 4 inces and I have had a little bit of neck strain on the bike. I would love to get lighter replacesments. Is carbon the way to go?

I was a road rider for many years and I am new to mountain bikes. I need advice on reliable components for upgrades. I purchased the bike becuase it seems like a good middle of the road model and one that I can sell easily if I want to move up to a better bike.. TIA!
 

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carbon is only an REAL option for bar and seatpost. I am seriously considering for a bar a Maxm Mx-1, about 120gr, and still pretty wide but not as wide as what you probably have, (mamx is 590mm) and it can be used with bar ends. $66

For stem upgrade I am looking at a syntace f99, although I am not too sure as it may be too weak for me... $80

For a seatpost, I am right now looking at nothing but thomson ($56), though would love some other recommendations that are still strong and with a good clamp like thomson. 31.6 diameter...
 

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For me as far as stem and seatpost go, no questions, no contest Thomson. Beautifully made, easy to install and no problems. The stems come in two different rise angles 5 degree and 15 degree and any length from 50mm to 140mm. Here's a link to the sizes:

http://www.lhthomson.com/elite_stem_sizes.asp

If you're having neck pain you may want a riser bar for a more upright position. I've been riding with an Easton MonkeyLite XC carbon bar for some three years and its been great. May be a bit wide for you (660mm) but they can be cut down. It is approved by Easton. They have instructions on their site how to cut them. It may be the way to go. You can cut a half inch at a time and try it until you like it. Answer also make a really nice riser. The 160 gram ProTaper Carbon XC which is 645mm wide.

As for brakes tell us what type you are looking for. Is your Rockhopper a canti. or disc model? To me it does not make sence anymore to have anything but discs on mountain bikes. They work better period and there are very light models available. If you have cantilever though, your hubs may not be disc ready. If you are interested, go to the "Brake Time" forum and on the right side of the page there is a link to Brake FAQs which is worth reading.

Ronnie.
 

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There are many nice carbon parts but its not necessarily THE only way to go. Plenty of nice aluminium stuff out there. When in doubt with stems or seatposts, go Thomson. Pretty much the benchmark for quality. They are super strong, excellent construction and finish, pretty light, and look great too.
If your bar is too wide you can cut it down. A word of warning about cutting risers. Typically risers can't be cut too short because of the drop area in the middle. If you cut them too short you won't be able to get the controls in far enough to fit the grips. If you have very narrow shoulders and want to run a pretty short bar its best to just go for a short straight bar. Specialized sells their bikes with crazy wide bars so its definately a good idea for a smaller rider to trim them down.
 

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A hopped on pop.
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unless i was going to be racing and wanted an ultra-light bike, i'd skip carbon.

check out syntace....they make some nice, lightweight aluminum stuff. good stems and bars.

thomson makes incredible stems and posts.

since you are on a hardtail, i would definately suggest a ti seatpost. maybe moots, airborne or dean. it will make for a nice, comfy ride.

check out www.mtnhighcyclery.com for deals on parts. he sells much more than on his site, give larry a call. you'll probably be a customer for as long as you ride.

if you insist on carbon, go with maxm siuff. it's not ultra-light, but it's reasonabley priced and seems pretty durable.

cheers!
 

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Experiment if you can

Hi,
I'm your height, and have a short torso. I had neck pain too, and I would say to start by replacing your stem. Thompson is indeed a great name, however if you're not sure what size to buy, try this: buy a cheap stem that's on sale (supergo usually has weyless stems for cheap, for example), or if you have a friend that's got a short stem to loan you try that. I went from a 90mm 0deg to a 45mm 10deg and it's made all the difference in the world to me. Also, I had my LBS cut down my handlebars, which also made my position a lot more comfortable. Try these before you get a new seatpost, because Thompson makes a straight up version as well as a (regular) setback seatpost. As far as the brakes are concerned, if you're having trouble reaching them (smaller hands, shorter fingers), find out if your LBS can adjust the brake levers or even bend them into a position that's right for you.Or if you're looking for new brakes, I think the Women's lounge had a thread not too long ago about brake levers for smaller hands (try doing a search).
Hope you find your sweet spot. :)
 

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those are Rollercams...
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All sage advice...

wheeliegirl said:
I am sure you hate to see the newbies who ask this all the time! But I am looking for some advice on upgrading the brakes, handlebar and stem, and seat post on my specialized Rockhopper. It's a hard tail. The handlebars are a little to wide. I also want to raise the stem up and inwards. I am 5 feet 4 inces and I have had a little bit of neck strain on the bike. I would love to get lighter replacesments. Is carbon the way to go?

I was a road rider for many years and I am new to mountain bikes. I need advice on reliable components for upgrades. I purchased the bike becuase it seems like a good middle of the road model and one that I can sell easily if I want to move up to a better bike.. TIA!
...not much more I could add. However, your pics are fantastic. I'm something of a nature nerd myself :)
 

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wheeliegirl said:
I am sure you hate to see the newbies who ask this all the time! But I am looking for some advice on upgrading the brakes, handlebar and stem, and seat post on my specialized Rockhopper. It's a hard tail. The handlebars are a little to wide. I also want to raise the stem up and inwards. I am 5 feet 4 inces and I have had a little bit of neck strain on the bike. I would love to get lighter replacesments. Is carbon the way to go?

I was a road rider for many years and I am new to mountain bikes. I need advice on reliable components for upgrades. I purchased the bike becuase it seems like a good middle of the road model and one that I can sell easily if I want to move up to a better bike.. TIA!
There's a lot of gooed advice here. The only thing I would change from the other posters' advice is the Thomson stem. You can go cheaper and lighter....and they will be plenty strong.

Don't get me wrong, the Thomson stem is a beautiful stem, but it's not the lightest, and some have issues with them (thought not many). In fact, Chris King headsets specifically recommends against using the Thomson stem. They don't mention it by name, but they talk about the clamp style...and only Thomson has that clamp style (not mentioning the name avoids lawsuits).
 

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I did a search just recently to find that reference on the Chris King website and could not find it. If you can, please give me a link. I would like to see what the reasoning is. I've been using a King headset with a Thomson Elite for years now. What possible reason could there be? A clamp is a clamp. The stem does not even touch the headset. There is a spacer in between!

Ronnie.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
There's a lot of gooed advice here. The only thing I would change from the other posters' advice is the Thomson stem. You can go cheaper and lighter....and they will be plenty strong.

Don't get me wrong, the Thomson stem is a beautiful stem, but it's not the lightest, and some have issues with them (thought not many). In fact, Chris King headsets specifically recommends against using the Thomson stem. They don't mention it by name, but they talk about the clamp style...and only Thomson has that clamp style (not mentioning the name avoids lawsuits).
I doubt that. Thomson and CK is probably one of the most popular combos and no one has issue's with that. Yes I'm sure there will be issue's on some setups but I would hardly consider that the exception. I've run countless bikes with this setup in the last few years and so does just about everybody I know.
 

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Ronnie said:
I did a search just recently to find that reference on the Chris King website and could not find it. If you can, please give me a link. I would like to see what the reasoning is. I've been using a King headset with a Thomson Elite for years now. What possible reason could there be? A clamp is a clamp. The stem does not even touch the headset. There is a spacer in between!

Ronnie.
The thomson clamp is different than the others. The other brans wrap completely around the steerer tube. The thomson is completely different...look inside.

I don't have the time to find the Thomson quote...I think it's in their tech sections or faqs. DO a search in the discussions group here. It's been discussed. A couple of people also mention that the King tech support told them the same on the phone....call them.
 

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Hecubus said:
I doubt that. Thomson and CK is probably one of the most popular combos and no one has issue's with that. Yes I'm sure there will be issue's on some setups but I would hardly consider that the exception. I've run countless bikes with this setup in the last few years and so does just about everybody I know.
Believe what you want. Religion can't be argued with.

The bottom line is that what I said about King is true...search in the forums...you'll find it. It's been discussed ad nauseum. Or call King tech support. Or search the King site...it's in print.

I posted that most don't have issues. I'm glad you don't. I have and I know others that have.had issues with slipping and creaking.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
The thomson clamp is different than the others. The other brands wrap completely around the steerer tube. The thomson is completely different...look inside.
Yes, I know what a Thomson Elite stem looks like. I've got two of them. By the way they also clamp all the way around. When you tighten the wedge, the stem itself is pulled tight against the steerer tube. It is not just the wedge that is holding it.

I tried a search by the way for a string on the subject using "Thomson and Chris King". The search engine came up blank.

I found the following on the King website (FAQs):

"My headset won't stay tight--It just keeps coming loose.
A properly set up Chris King headset shouldn't need adjustment more than once or twice a year (depending on riding style). If your headset needs adjustment more often than once a month, check for the following:

Threadless models:
1. The pinch bolt on the stem may not be tight enough or the clamp method may be inadequate. We have found that stems with a split and one or two pinch bolts hold better with less chance of distorting the steerer tube than internal wedge designs. Solution: Tighten or replace the stem.
2. Steerer tube may not extend far enough into the stem. Solutions: 1) If spacers are being used to elevate the stem, remove as necessary to lower the stem to within 3mm of the top of the steerer tube; 2) Replace the steerer tube and be sure to cut steerer tube to extend to within 3mm of the top of the stem (steerer tube must not interfere with the stem cap).
3. Steerer tube may be pulling through the crown. This is more common with older suspension forks. Solution: Contact the fork manufacturer to determine the proper remedy for the steerer tube pulling through the crown. 4. Demanding applications (such as trials and BMX) can generate strong leverage on the handlebars and walk the stem up the steerer tube. Solution: In this case it is best to extend the steerer tube through and above the stem. Spacers may then be used on top of the stem to allow proper functioning of the stem cap. (We learned this trick from the boys at GT BMX racing.)"

Pretty vague I'd say. So maybe someone at Chris King doesn't like Thomson. The fact is you would need to be King Kong to get a properly installed Thomson stem to move. So, assuming that it is properly installed and properly clamped the above is hyperbole. :rolleyes:

Ronnie.
 

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My original statement was a bit off. Here is the quote from the Chris King site:

A Note on Threadless Stems:
We recommend using stems with a split clamp and either one or two bolts (preferably two).


Here is a link to the document.

http://www.chrisking.com/tech/tech_headsets.html

They infer not using Thomson stems. What other stems don't use a split clamp?

Also, search the forums here. Unless the poster(s) were lying, CK tech support doesn't recommend Thomson stems.

If you like Thomson...use it. I personally don't care. I'm not out to get Thomson. I use it on one of my bikes. I've just had issues on another...and I know of riders that have also had issues. Nothing's perfect.
 

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Carbon Risrer Bar

wheeliegirl said:
I would love to get lighter replacesments. Is carbon the way to go?
Check your private messages. I have a brand new carbon riser bar for sale at a very good price.

Clyde
 

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Blue Shorts said:
My original statement was a bit off. Here is the quote from the Chris King site:

A Note on Threadless Stems:
We recommend using stems with a split clamp and either one or two bolts (preferably two).


Here is a link to the document.

http://www.chrisking.com/tech/tech_headsets.html

They infer not using Thomson stems. What other stems don't use a split clamp?

Also, search the forums here. Unless the poster(s) were lying, CK tech support doesn't recommend Thomson stems.

If you like Thomson...use it. I personally don't care. I'm not out to get Thomson. I use it on one of my bikes. I've just had issues on another...and I know of riders that have also had issues. Nothing's perfect.
I've seen that. They state they prefer the standard split clamp. Thats not the same as saying not to use Thomson. If you have any problems with any stem and a CK its more likely the facing and reaming (or lack of) of the headtube are to blame. There is no big science in the stem and headset interface. All the stem needs to do is stay in place, and be correctly manufactured to specifications/alignment. Something the Thomson is perfectly capable off. Its one of the most popular combo's hence its likely going to have more reported problems. Like I said, I'm sure there have been cases, but there are problems with many other types of traditional clamps too. This is not such a big deal to watch out for as you make it out to be.
 
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