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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
quick intro, I am 49yo and and a newbie regarding bikes, and all the options and technologies are confusing me to death.

So I have this dilemma, I like my gary fisher Capitola 2003 (original) but I need to revive it, it needs new tires, change cables and rear derailleur, probably shifters?. Since I am a newbie I dont know whats exactly wrong with it.

So I said, instead of investing money to fix this old bike I should shop for new one, right? but budget is low.

I found an old (looking mint) 1999 specialized rockhopper.
the other option is +150$, the GT Aggressor sport 2020.

based on my "research" on this forums and google the rockhopper is a mid-level with good (old & dated) parts and the GT is entry level but the derailleurs are the most basic from shimano, and I think that's exactly what makes me doubt about it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks to all for your feedback.
 

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I'd stay away from the 1999 Rockhopper. its too old, dated geo, dated everything. It might be a cool retro thing for around town but if you want a MTB, buy something newer.

The GT Aggressor Sport, I don't know how much $$ you're talking used. If it is a really good price, it could get you started. However, if it were me, I'd spend a bit more and get something with hydraulic brakes a 1x drivetrain and an airfork. But having said that, if you're going around town and some dirt roads, the Aggressor sport would be fine.
 

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I think the capitola was a comfort, town bike. Your choices kind of depend on what you want to do with the bike. For off road you def. need a mtn bike as the capitola will disappoint you, even if you fix everything (it will work fine for gravel paths etc.)

The GT is sort of a clone of a bunch of entry level bikes that should be around $500-$550 on sale. Other bikes in this group include the Trek Marlin 4, Marin Bolinas Ridge, Giant Talon 4, REI Coop drt 1.1, etc. Most brands have something like it. Usually it comes with a Suntour XCE (or XCT, or XCM) fork, cable brakes and a 3x drivetrain. These aren't terrible bikes, they get you out into the woods and I see more people having more fun on these bikes that people on $3000+ bikes. A 1999 specialized will probably require at least $100 in tuneup to get riding well and its old v-brakes, while not bad, probably wont be as good as modern cable disc brakes. Go to a local shop, try some bikes out, go riding.
 

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I think the capitola was a comfort, town bike. Your choices kind of depend on what you want to do with the bike. For off road you def. need a mtn bike as the capitola will disappoint you, even if you fix everything (it will work fine for gravel paths etc.)

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Great point here - I'm not a Gary Fisher expert, so assumed the Capitola was an MTB, but it is indeed a town cruiser after looking up a picture. If the usage is for in-town, technically any bike will do, and could be worth the basic maintenance.

My take on the Rockhopper is that it was/is an entry level MTB from Spesh, unless they targeted a different group back in 1999. In any event, a 22 year-old fork is likely to need service, and that might cost more than the bike. (Even a mint bike could have rotting seals.)
 

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So I have this dilemma, I like my gary fisher Capitola 2003 (original) but I need to revive it, it needs new tires, change cables and rear derailleur, probably shifters?. Since I am a newbie I dont know whats exactly wrong with it.

I found an old (looking mint) 1999 specialized rockhopper.
the other option is +150$, the GT Aggressor sport 2020.
The answer to having an old bike is rarely to get an older one.
Of the 2 options, not knowing how tall you are, I'd go for the GT in a 29.
If you're 5 feet tall, get the 27.5
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This has become such a great discussion, thanks to all of you now I have a better understanding and a clearer view.
I want to use the bike in the city and trails, around 60/40%, BUT NOT to do any hardcore biking but just for leisure trips.

I see now that I may not even need to change the Capitola but since I want to upgrade I will see if I can get the GT at a good price, if not I will ride my Capitola till the end of the year and go shopping again in 2022 (is getting colder in Canada!).

By the way, now I think that is absurd to ask 350$ for a Rockhopper from 1999, and is even more absurd that I was considering it an option!

Thanks!
 
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