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I am looking into buying a new mountain bike and was looking at the GT idrive 5 and the Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc.

Here is the link to the GT: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=25630&subcategory_ID=3050

I can get the GT for $900 and the Rockhopper for $700.

The GT seems like a lot of "bang for you buck". How would the quality of the GT compare to the Rockhopper?

I have only ridden a hardtail before. What is the main benefit of going to full suspension? I am mainly doing single trail XC type riding. I am assuming the full suspension is going to give you a smoother ride overall. I do have some lower back pain, so I thought maybe full suspension would be good.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

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I bought an i-drive 5 2.0 frame and built it up and was really impressed with the action of the rear suspension and how the i-drive isolated the pedals from the suspension action (and I have some high end full suspension bikes to compare it to).

Both bikes have Dart 3 forks (which are on the lower end of the performance scale), so everything is equal on the forks.

The GT has hydraulic disc brakes, the Rockhopper has mechanical (cable) disc brakes, advantage GT

The GT has 9-speed shifters/cassette, the Rockhopper has 8-speed, advantage GT

The GT has Kenda Nevegal tires, rated one of the best out there, advantage GT

Quality wise, based on construction and the components used, I'd say they are pretty equal.

The rear suspension helps smooth things out, which would be better for your back.

Between these two bikes, I'd recommend going with the GT
 

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brianr34 said:
I am looking into buying a new mountain bike and was looking at the GT idrive 5 and the Specialized Rockhopper Comp Disc.

Here is the link to the GT: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=25630&subcategory_ID=3050

I can get the GT for $900 and the Rockhopper for $700.

The GT seems like a lot of "bang for you buck". How would the quality of the GT compare to the Rockhopper?

I have only ridden a hardtail before. What is the main benefit of going to full suspension? I am mainly doing single trail XC type riding. I am assuming the full suspension is going to give you a smoother ride overall. I do have some lower back pain, so I thought maybe full suspension would be good.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
Either get the Rockhopper or save your money and get a nicer full suspension bike. That GT looks nice but since it is full suspension they obviously had to save money somewhere considering it's under 1,000 dollars. I didn't look at the specs....but I guarantee there are at least a few sub par parts on that GT.
 

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EndersShadow said:
I didn't look at the specs....but I guarantee there are at least a few sub par parts on that GT.
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=38430

Front derailleur: Shimano Deore on GT, Shimano Altus on RH, advantage GT
Rear derailleur: Sram X7 on GT, Sram X5 on RH, advantage GT
Shifters: Sram X5 on GT, Sram X4 on RH, advantage GT
Crankset: The Hyperdrive as mentioned on the GT spec appears to be part of the Shimano Alivio group, there's not much info on the web regarding the Shimano FC-M36108 on the RH, other than coming on lower end bikes. The GT has 44 tooth big ring, RH has 42. Quality probably the same, advantage GT for the 44 tooth big ring
Bottom Bracket: equal octalink on both
Wheelset: They both appear to be reasonable entry level wheelsets, you can find more info on the web on the WTB rim. The RHD26 rims on the Specialized are made for them by Alex rims. The WTB wheels are both 32 spoke, the Specialized is 28 in front 32 in rear. Advantage GT as the 32 spoke wheel might be sturdier than the 28 spoke on the RH
Chain: Shimano on the GT, KMC on the RH, advantage GT
Tires: Kenda Nevegal 2.35 on front, 2.1 on rear for GT, Specialized Fast Track LK Sport 2.0 on both. As mentioned before, the Nevegal is a highly rated tire, and you see them for sale all the time on ebay. The Fast Track has closely spaced center knobs aimed for less rolling resistance. For the dirt you want something that grabs the trail with wider spaced knobs. There is not one single Fast Track tire listed on ebay. Advantage GT

The OP is asking about two bikes. I realize there may be other options and suggestions from other bicycle manufacturers, but when a broad claim is made (without even looking at the specs) that one bike has sub par components than the other, it doesn't serve towards helping the OP with his question. It turns out the Rockhopper is the one with sub par components compared to the GT.
 

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Whitedog said:
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=38430

Front derailleur: Shimano Deore on GT, Shimano Altus on RH, advantage GT
Rear derailleur: Sram X7 on GT, Sram X5 on RH, advantage GT
Shifters: Sram X5 on GT, Sram X4 on RH, advantage GT
Crankset: The Hyperdrive as mentioned on the GT spec appears to be part of the Shimano Alivio group, there's not much info on the web regarding the Shimano FC-M36108 on the RH, other than coming on lower end bikes. The GT has 44 tooth big ring, RH has 42. Quality probably the same, advantage GT for the 44 tooth big ring
Bottom Bracket: equal octalink on both
Wheelset: They both appear to be reasonable entry level wheelsets, you can find more info on the web on the WTB rim. The RHD26 rims on the Specialized are made for them by Alex rims. The WTB wheels are both 32 spoke, the Specialized is 28 in front 32 in rear. Advantage GT as the 32 spoke wheel might be sturdier than the 28 spoke on the RH
Chain: Shimano on the GT, KMC on the RH, advantage GT
Tires: Kenda Nevegal 2.35 on front, 2.1 on rear for GT, Specialized Fast Track LK Sport 2.0 on both. As mentioned before, the Nevegal is a highly rated tire, and you see them for sale all the time on ebay. The Fast Track has closely spaced center knobs aimed for less rolling resistance. For the dirt you want something that grabs the trail with wider spaced knobs. There is not one single Fast Track tire listed on ebay. Advantage GT

The OP is asking about two bikes. I realize there may be other options and suggestions from other bicycle manufacturers, but when a broad claim is made (without even looking at the specs) that one bike has sub par components than the other, it doesn't serve towards helping the OP with his question. It turns out the Rockhopper is the one with sub par components compared to the GT.
I'm sorry....but did I compare those two bikes at all? I don't think so. That GT IS a sub par full suspension bike. Any FS with a Dart 3 on it can't really be taken too seriously. It's not a terrible bike...but if the OP wants to go FS he should save a couple hundred more and get a bike with better components. Also....There is a 200 dollar difference in the price...I would hope that the GT has some better parts on it.
 

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EndersShadow said:
I'm sorry....but did I compare those two bikes at all? I don't think so. That GT IS a sub par full suspension bike. Any FS with a Dart 3 on it can't really be taken too seriously. It's not a terrible bike...but if the OP wants to go FS he should save a couple hundred more and get a bike with better components. Also....There is a 200 dollar difference in the price...I would hope that the GT has some better parts on it.
Usually when people post a couple bikes, one $200 or so higher, they usually don't have any extra beyond that. I agree, if he had $1100, or $1300 or $1500, then there are better equipped FS bikes out there.

Earlier you told him to get the Rockhopper if he didn't have extra $, and above you mention any FS with a Dart3 fork can't be taken too seriously....note the Rockhopper has a Dart3...using your logic, doesn't that translate to a 'hardtail that can't be taken too seriously?'
 

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spazzy said:
i will disagree with what you said about the brakes, i would rather have a set of bb7s than juicy 3s or hayes hxf9s...as long as they are setup correctly
Maybe so, but note the Rockhopper in question doesn't have BB7s, it has BB5s.
I had a '06 Ironhorse MKIII Sport with BB5s...my Juicy 3s (and 5s and 7s) and hayes Nines outperform the BB5s.
 

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Whitedog said:
Usually when people post a couple bikes, one $200 or so higher, they usually don't have any extra beyond that. I agree, if he had $1100, or $1300 or $1500, then there are better equipped FS bikes out there.

Earlier you told him to get the Rockhopper if he didn't have extra $, and above you mention any FS with a Dart3 fork can't be taken too seriously....note the Rockhopper has a Dart3...using your logic, doesn't that translate to a 'hardtail that can't be taken too seriously?'
Nope. FS bikes generally have nicer forks on them. Well the nice ones do at least. The Dart 3 is an ok fork. I have one on my Trek 6000. I like it. It works well for a XC bike. I just believe that at the price you pay for a FS bike you should be getting a nicer fork. A lot nicer than a Dart 3 that is.
 

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I get where bean is coming from; if you're gonna have suspension it ought to be good suspension. A Dart 3 does a good job of forgiving your hands when you smack a rock or land a little jump, but that's about it. On a hardtail, mediocre front suspension is ok, there isn't any suspension in the rear and your riding technique will reflect that- you never expect the bike to smooth out the trail. On a FS bike the suspension should eat up the trail irregularities, and a dart/bar combo won't do that, there's no way to stop high speed hits from making the damper spike. If it's just makign it cushy when it doesn't really matter, there's no point to it, it's just extra weight, sogginess and expense. Get quality shocks and forks for FS, or don't bother.

My own philosophy is either high-end suspension or none at all, but of course that doesn't work for everyone.

Same goes for brakes, if you're gonna get hydraulics they should be good ones- problematic hydros are a pain in the ass, and bb7's are powerful and easy to maintain.
 

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Get the GT, it's a great bike. With the Specialized you're paying for the Specialized name more than anything else. I had a 2006 GT idrive 5.0 for over a year and it's a great bike, you wont regret it. The rear shock on mine was a Fox Float and this one has a RockShox bar 2.1. There's nothing wrong with either one unless you weigh > 250lbs. The frame quality is just as good as the Rockhopper. Don't listen to the haters about not being able to get a good, inexpensive full suspension bike for <$1k. That frame rocks and you can upgrade the rest of the parts with time.
 

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scottzg said:
I get where bean is coming from; if you're gonna have suspension it ought to be good suspension. A Dart 3 does a good job of forgiving your hands when you smack a rock or land a little jump, but that's about it. On a hardtail, mediocre front suspension is ok, there isn't any suspension in the rear and your riding technique will reflect that- you never expect the bike to smooth out the trail. On a FS bike the suspension should eat up the trail irregularities, and a dart/bar combo won't do that, there's no way to stop high speed hits from making the damper spike. If it's just makign it cushy when it doesn't really matter, there's no point to it, it's just extra weight, sogginess and expense. Get quality shocks and forks for FS, or don't bother.

My own philosophy is either high-end suspension or none at all, but of course that doesn't work for everyone.

Same goes for brakes, if you're gonna get hydraulics they should be good ones- problematic hydros are a pain in the ass, and bb7's are powerful and easy to maintain.
Yeah man....You pretty much took the words out of my mouth. Oh and nice job with the whole bean thing....I doubt too many people will get why you're calling me bean....but for those that do...Awesome.
 

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norcom said:
The rear shock on mine was a Fox Float and this one has a RockShox bar 2.1. There's nothing wrong with either one unless you weigh > 250lbs.
The float is a good shock that lacks adjustments, the bar is a crappy shock that lacks adjustments, not the same at all.
 

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the GT rides really nicely.. its sort of heavy though.

but be serious.. its a 900 dollar bike, of course the fork is going to suck. if/when you start riding enough to really hate the dart, grab a new fork. no big deal. its a good frame for a good deal, you can replace what you dont like later. the bar does suck pretty bad.. but a 5th element coil should fit and they're dirt cheap.
 
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