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Discussion Starter #1
Can anybody offer some advice please?

I'm looking to buy a new hardtail, upgrading significantly from my existing bike which is 13 years old. I have narrowed down my choices to a Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo 2006 and Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc 2006 retailing at £800 and £750 respectively (although both dealers have offered to knock off £50).

I don't have much knowledge in the way of which components are better than others however having done a little bit of research, they seem to me to be similarly spec'd, though perhaps the Specialized might have the edge.

My difficulty is that I have ridden a demo bike of the Gary Fisher for a weekend over terrain I normally ride and found this to be a very light and fast bike which climbs hills easily. I liked it very much. I have only ridden the Specialized in the shop's car park which makes it very difficult to compare the two properly.

I'm wondering if anybody has any opinions on either of these bikes, preferably in comparison to each other, but any comments at all would be really appreciated.

If it helps, I would consider myself a medium aggressive. but not hard, rider... on yet... though I feel my style will become faster, harder and more technical once I have a new bike. I am 5'10" and weigh 11st (155lbs) if that's useful.

I'm looking to make a decision tomorrow so any early responses would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help!
Pete
 

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The GF uses the Genisis frame that runs a longer top tube. GF also tends to make the frame as light as possible. If you are going to riding agressive i would recomend the Rockhopper as a more durable frame. The differance in brakes is a toss up, the HFX9's are fair the master cylinder has poor feedback & the Avid BB5's are awsome. You can upgrade the masters if you feel the need to the HFX-Mags later. See if the Spec dealer will allow you to ride it if your not happy give you a refund because of the top tube length it makes a big differance on cockpit comfort. If it was my choice it would be the Spec. :)
 

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I've got an '06 HKEK and my girlfriend has the Rockhopper. Don't worry about the specs too much. The HKEK has a little bit better specs overall, but the big differences between these two bikes are the frame and the geometry.

As dogonfr pointed out, the HKEK has a lighter frame (the ZR9000 is VERY durable though) and is much more stretched out. This makes it very fast and an excellent climber, but can make techy downhill sections a little dicey. The Rockhopper is a little faster in the twisties, but doesn't climb nearly as well. IMO, the geometries are such that if one bike really suits you, the other won't. An online fit calculator like at competitivecyclist.com or wrenchscience.com might help you in this situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey guys

Thanks for the advice, thoughts and comments, all very helpful... also for responding quickly, really appreciated. Especially your input, TLud, that was exactly the kind of info/guidance I was looking for!

I've decided to go for the HKEK as I know I was happy with it from the test ride and I think it will also be more suited to my style of riding. The shop just needs to order one in my size now.

Once again, thanks!
Pete
 

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my father just got a 05 HKEK that he ended up spending the whole weekend on. As everyone has said, its stretched out more. but that didnt make much of a difference in the tight rooted single track(it still hauled @ss) and climbes and descends great. i ended up having to really work just to stay in front of the old fart
 

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carnage said:
my father just got a 05 HKEK that he ended up spending the whole weekend on. As everyone has said, its stretched out more. but that didnt make much of a difference in the tight rooted single track(it still hauled @ss) and climbes and descends great. i ended up having to really work just to stay in front of the old fart
I definitely did not mean to imply by my first post that the HKEK doesn't handle or descend well. It is very fast in both types of situations, but having ridden both bikes I think that the Rockhopper frame geometry makes it easier to carry a little more speed in the twisties and a little more stable downhill (allows the rider to keep more weight back). Overall, the HKEK is a much faster bike and outclimbs the Rockhopper no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
When I rode the HKEK I couldn't believe how easy it went uphill, and on the flats it seemed to want to go on its own (I couldn't see or hear an engine anywhere!), and that's what's really sold it to me. Struggling uphill because the bike is too weighty or geometrically wrong (or indeed because you're not fit enough!!!) clearly isn't a lot of fun, and that's important to me (hmm maybe I need to get fitter!).

When I borrowed the demo bike, my buddy (who's not yet an old fart but getting there...) really struggled to keep up with me, but then his bike was a 10-year-old Rockhopper so there wouldn't have been much competition. He did comment though to our friends that evening that it was like keeping up with a Ferrari.

So yes I'm pleased with the choice, but I only got there thanks to your input guys.It's going to be about two weeks before I get my hands on it though... shop needs to get it ordered from the distributor who are low on stock at the moment.
 
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