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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, HI. I am new to this forum, not so new to riding. Been riding Florida trails for a long time, stopped and started to backpack- now I want to continue combining both worlds!

So I am in a dilema. I bought a used 2008 Specialized Rockhopper awhile back I used to MTB trails in south Florida (Markham/Amelia only). I bought the bike used from Oleta River Park for a killer deal (I think 130 at the time). It was a rental so it was used and banged up, but worked fine.

As the bike stands today, the forks dont damper at all. I cant get them to move so they must be old/frozen. Also, when trying to pedal fast, I always seem to skip a few links (does this make sense?) Either the teeth are too short, or chain is too loose? Not really sure.

My questions is- for simply trail riding to campgrounds (not expert level trails at parks anymore) should I keep this bike and get it repaired, or just sell and get a cheaper bike? I figure I would replace front forks to a new front suspension, and replace the sprockets and chain. Any idea on potential cost of this? Any good deals that arent specific for heavy duty MTB riding? Or would just selling this and getting a BD be worthwhile? I got no problem spending $$ on something that will last, so let me know what you would do?

This is the bike:
2008 Specialized Rockhopper - BikePedia
 

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Forks and drive trains need ot be serviced from time to time. Chains stretch over time, then they slip, and wear out the cogs and chain rings. You'll need at least a new cassette and chain at this point. Have a bike shop look at your fork.

In the future, you can buy an in expensive guage to check chain growth. It will save the rest of your drive train.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They do, but I cant seem to get it to "unlock" they are the standard Rock Shox Dart 3. I wasnt really happy with them when I was going expert trails, so I have a sour taste in my mouth with them. I will double check but Im sure they leaked and just dont work too well anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oops. That was intended for EABIker.

Thanks ser jamison. Any idea where to start looking for a new chain and casette? I have rebuild motorcycles and outboard engines- so I assume this replacement is something I can do on my own?
 

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Oops. That was intended for EABIker.

Thanks ser jamison. Any idea where to start looking for a new chain and casette? I have rebuild motorcycles and outboard engines- so I assume this replacement is something I can do on my own?
If you want to order on line, I like Price Point, but there are lots of good ones like Jenson and Colorado cyclist. Any of the ads on tthe home page here lol.
You'll need a couple of tools to change a chain and cassette, but they don't cost much and are good to have. Go to Park Tools.com to see what you need. It's a great site for working on your own bikes.
 

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Before buying anything at all, have the shop give it a once over. Might just need some adjustments as far as the drivetrain goes.

2008 is not very old, I've got forks far older that still work fine. I don't see how losing oil is going to lock it up (though I guess it's possible to so have some sort of hydraulic lock-up if the oil found it's way into the wrong place internally; I dunno enough about that particular fork to say for sure). I would be thinking that something is going on with your lock out. It's a pretty simple fork; take it apart and see if there's anything obviously wrong inside.
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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OP, bicycle drivetrains are easy to fix. I'd almost bet that the problem with your chain is really a tuning problem with your front derailleur. I'm about outta lunch break, so I'm not going to do your Googling for you. Check out the repair blog on Park Tool. Search for "front derailleur" and "rear derailleur." There's a lot of other stuff there too.

It wouldn't hurt to check your chain for stretch. If you have a metal ruler or tape measure, you have the tool you need. Check out the chain wear article on sheldonbrown.com.

For the fork, if you're going to have to spend money, give some thought to a rigid as well.

Good luck!
 

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Before buying anything at all, have the shop give it a once over. Might just need some adjustments as far as the drivetrain goes.

2008 is not very old, I've got forks far older that still work fine.
It's 6 years old, and Rockshox recommends servicing the lowers every 30 hrs., and if he hasn't done any service on the bike for six years, it's a safe bet he needs a new chain LoL. Should get new cables too, and check the bottom bracket. 6 years is old for wear and tear parts.
 

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I'm thinking fully locked up is likely caused by something other than lack of service (does anybody on the planet actually take those service intervals seriously?) I run a 5 year old fork on my main bike that's only been serviced a couple times and it's got many thousands of miles on it. Works like a charm. Hell, I've got a 17 year old fork that I put through a lot and it still works almost like it did when it was new (they just don't make 'em like they used to).

There's definitely a good chance he's got some worn drivetrain bits. But depending how much it's been ridden, it may not need a whole lot. Then again, it may need everything. Impossible to tell without actually seeing it, which is why I recommend bring it by a decent shop. Or maybe even post some pics.
 

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Check your chain wear.

Since all bike chains share the same 1/2" pitch, stretch can measured the same way. My preferred method because it's cheap, simple, and accurate is by tensioning the chain slightly and measuring 12" (or 11-1/2" if the ruler doesn't have good ends). All pins should line up the same way at 1/2" intervals, but with wear, each will be a bit beyind it's respective mark. Over 12" it accumulates to something you can see and measure. 1/16" over 12" is the common replacement point.

You can also buy one of those gadgets made for the job, but they tend to be less accurate than the free method.
Take a close up pick of your front chain rings, and your rear chains, post it here. We might be able to tell how worn they are.

For your front fork, If you can't get it satisfactorily without too much hassle, i would consider buying a $200 epicon new off amazon or ebay. pretty good reports on their value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Awesome, thanks SOO MUCH. I took it to my buddy who used to work at a bike shop as a helping hand back in highschool and still avidly mtbikes. He mentioned to me that the chainring was worn, and the chain needed to be replaced. He said it wouldnt hurt to get a new rear cog and to either lube/replace the cables. Seems like you all mentioned the same.

Either way, when I get home tonight I will post pics to show you all, maybe get a little more insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was planning on doing it myself. What type of cables/housing would be needed? Also, I just checked the forks- and they are locked in... No movement whatsoever.

Would it be worth replacing all these parts, or trying to sell the bike, and just getting a true budget bike?
 

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Going by what's in the pics, that thing's on the tired side, and it sounds like you got your money's worth out of it. I think you'd probably better off just looking for something on the used market for a bit more than what it would cost to do everything you're thinking of as upgrades - say 4-500, if you're willing to drop that much, should net you an overall nicer ride. I'd recommend that route rather than trying to put lipstick on a pig, so to speak.

Not sure of your height/inseam, so some of these won't fit, but with a little bargaining, I'd think you could stay under 500 or so. The little bit of extra money would really go far. (disclaimer - I didn't check the bike blue book or bikepedia to investigate these in detail - just throwing them out there for examples. Lots of decent deals around looks like to me.) Not to try to spend your money or anything, but I think you'll get a better return on investment by spending a couple hundred more and just getting a nice complete bike that's ready to roll, and if you ever decide you feel like hitting the trails again, it'll be up to it.

This Jamis is pretty sweet...
https://miami.craigslist.org/brw/bik/4339941348.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/4318962084.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/bik/4319514516.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/4318962084.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/brw/bik/4320834758.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/bik/4348693969.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/4356114211.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/4353087054.html

https://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/bik/4355836947.html
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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If your chain doesn't skip, your rings are alright. Unfortunately, you won't really know until you're in it at least as far as the new chain. You can wait on the cassette. A couple rides on an old cassette won't kill your new chain, and you'll know pretty quickly if you need a new one.

Bike shops order cables and housings in bulk. I think just buying new housing at the shop is still the cheapest way going. Don't let them sell you the premium kit. Just buy cut lengths to replace what you've got. Take the bike with you.

It's worth finishing the ends well. Read the article on cables and housings on sheldonbrown.com.

Then, follow the front and rear derailleur procedures on Park Tool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, well.. Im not apposed to a newer bike. I will probably buy the chain just to check, but just incase- IF I wanted to sell it, what would be a decent asking price, and is there anything I should keep off of it (I was thinking wheels) and sell frame for ~80ish? Let me know your thoughts.

Would a Marin be a bad choice? Marin sky trail s about 350 new
 

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Sale price is tough when your bike is in only marginally ridable condition. $80 doesn't sound too far wrong. It would probably be worth $200+ if everything worked, but I know as a buyer, I wouldn't want to take on a lot of risk, and as a seller, you take on some risk fixing it up, which often doesn't boost your sale price enough to cover the time and money you'd need to plow back in.

I think bikes are a great value if I buy them to ride. But they're terrible in any sort of "investment" context.

Probably just selling it for the value you think is tied up in the frame is right. The stuff bolted to it is basically worthless outside a used parts shop at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hmm, well the wheels are solid, so is the frame. Brakes are super sharp. It seems that a chain, rear cassette and fork might be all that's needed. I rode it today and the chain did skip a little, but it seemed to shift ok. The question now is- can all of that be replaced for under 300? Because if not, selling the bike for ~80 if I can get that, then forking out another 350+ for a good used or a decent new bike might not be worth it!

The age old dilemma- fix old or buy new!! AHH
 
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