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My 2012 Specialized Rockhopper Expert

Tigger con carneTigger con carne Posts: 181
edited March 2014 in Your mountain bikes
A bit of history first. I got this as a replacement for my Cycle to Work Cannondale Trail SL4 that got nicked from work. I'd probably not have chosen it but it was supplied by Wheelies on behalf of my insurance company. Having said that, I absolutely loved the feel of it when I rode it for the first time. I started upgrading a while back when I saw what I thought was a good deal on a pair of Ryde Adrenaline wheels from On One.


Frame: M4 butted alloy frame
Fork: RockShox XC30 TK SL, 80mm travel as the frame is a small (according to the official spec, at least)

Front Derailleur: Shimano Alivio, 9-speed
Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX Shadow
Shifters: Shimano Alivio
Chainset: Shimano Alivio

Pedals: Shimano M520 SPD

Wheels: Ryde Adrenalin full wheelset part carbon (though I'm not sure how much the carbon is form over function, given their price :roll: ) with titanium QR skewers
Rotors: Superstar 6 bolt. 180f, 160r
Cassette: Shimano HG61 11-34

Brakes: Shimano BR-M446 hydraulic 180/160mm rotors f/r
Brake Levers: Shimano BR-M446

Handlebars: Carbon Cycles eXotic full carbon riser (710mm width, 15mm rise)
Stem: Carbon Cycles Al Meta F (60mm)
Headset: FSA Integrated 1-1/8"
Grips: Carbon Cycles Cubic (red with black lockrings)

Tyres: f/r both Specialized The Captain Control folding, 26 x 2.0", 2Bliss ready (according to the original spec sheet, but there is nothing on the tyres themselves to say "The Captain", only Ground Control)

Saddle: Charge Spoon in red, CrMo rails (and it is actually red, not the orange it appears on the photo!)
Seatpost: Specialized Forged 6061 alloy OEM
Seat Binder: Specialized QR OEM

Other bits:
Crud Catcher and Crud Guard
Specialized bottle cage in red

The upgraded parts I've put in red

I've got a pair of RX Rebas 100mm in white (I'd prefer black but they didn't have black in the RCZ deal I got them on, but I'm not that much of a ponce that I'm that concerned about the colour scheme) from on order as I find the XC230s not very responsive to small bumps. This is probably because I'm pretty light so the spring is a bit stiff for me, but I want a lighter, better fork anyway. I'm also aware that I need end caps for the bars so I'm about to get some lock-on end caps. Lastly I'm also planning to get some new tyres for summer riding. I've been happy with the original tyres in current conditions apart from the worst mud.

I've not yet had a chance to try out the new bars since I fitted them the day before I broke my collar bone on my commuter bike, but they are light as a helium-breathing gnat (about half the weight of the originals). I fitted the saddle today so that's also not been tried out.

Maybe I've not got very high expectations, but the remaining components seem to work fine, so I've no plans to do any more upgrading on this bike unless something wears out, though I might be tempted if I see a good price on a new set of Shimano brakes, Deore or better.


  • Hi Tigger,

    I like it.......but I think if we combine both of our rockhoppers we should have one sweet ride.

    Think you know the upgrades on mine, and for me the biggest improvement was forks REBA sl's. But I'm a heavier rider.

    What differences did you notice after upgrading from stock wheels as this is my next purchase?

    Went out with Dan and the lads on Sunday, good group and nice 20miler, despite me getting 2 flats on the rear and losing everyone at the end. Not sure why I kept getting flats, maybe the X-Kings aren't that tough, but they are more faster rolling than the Captains.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Good to have a bike that feels good and quality forks like the Reba's are a good upgrade from low end forks.
  • Yeah, Kajjal, really looking forward to seeing how they work, once I sort out getting them over from RCZ

    Glad you went out with the group on Sunday, Mark. Cracking day for it. I really fancy a trip out this Sunday coming. I might have to swap to platforms though as I don't fancy any SPD-related topples onto my dodgy shoulder

    I think the new wheels make the bike more responsive and quicker to get up to speed. I have noticed the Adrenalins really need to have the rear QR tight or they feel a bit sketchy. I'd definitely look at getting wheels to upgrade. I can't vouch for them myself but Superstar's offerings are rated highly rated on this forum by people who know more than me.

    I'm now thinking of putting the old bars and stem onto my commuter which is also a Rockhopper, but about 15 years old. It's stock flat bars are ridiculously narrow.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    When I swapped lighter wheels (and tyres) the difference in 'lightness of ride' was huge despite it being a relatively low weight saving.
    In my case I made a direct comparison from Mavic Crossrides (circa 1950g) to my home built Superstar hub, Ryde edge7 combo at 1740g. (as an aside the all alloy Edge7's are 375g a rim).

    As for QR's, Shimano is best despite the weight penalty (Deore or XT to budget, XTR are not really worth the extra in my opinion), Ti having a lower Youngs modulus is a poor material (well not as good as steel) for the skewer shaft.
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