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Replacement or upgrade of forks for Specialized Rockhopper 29"

Hello. First time poster and long-ish term London commuter cyclists here - one of those morons who rides a mountain bike on the road because I tend to clatter over pot-holes and think slinky bikes look too weedy for my clumsy riding style.

This is probably a very dull question, made worse by my vague detail, but here goes. I have a Specialized Rockhopper 29" (the 2013, 2014 or just maybe 2015 version) and the forks are well overdue replacing.

There's a strong argument for just getting a new bike, but I had a £200 overhaul 18 months ago and since then have had replacement brakes and geary circley thing - you know the one?! - so I wonder if there's a sensibly priced replacement fork option that will keep the big old girl on the road until somebody finally nicks it?

Any advice appreciated. You won't be surprised to hear that I'd need somebody else to do the actual fork replacement work too.

Many thanks

PS: For true MTB lovers feeling sorry for my under-used bike, I should say I do belt down the disused railway line from Highgate to Finsbury Pk from time to time. It's not exactly Olympian stuff, but it gives me a *tiny* little taste of what most of you enjoy doing so much. Some day I'll head out somewhere and give the real MTB experience a proper go...


  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,681
    A few things needed to make a recommendation:

    1. What's the budget?
    2. What travel does it have? You can approximate this by measuring the length of the stanchions, which are the bits which go into the lowers as the fork compresses.
    3. Is it a tapered steerer? If it is, the bottom of the frame tube that the fork goes through will be fatter than the top.
    4. Does it use a quick release or a through axle? When you take the wheel off, if you have to pull a 15mm diameter tube out of the wheel, that's a through axle, if you just flip a lever and the wheel can drop out, that's a quick release.

    Pictures can help if you're not sure on any of this.
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,438
    You say that the forks are well overdue for replacing, but they are not that old and have not had a rough life. Maybe they just need a service? This could be a lot cheaper than buying new forks. What forks are they? It normally will say what they are on the forks themselves.
  • crofty21crofty21 Posts: 14
    Thanks both. Just about to ride into work till late tonight - will have a good look and post again on Monday.

    Thanks again. Your replies are very much appreciated.

    PS My LBS said the fork was (forks were?) fit for the bin. I'm hoping for a £200 or cheaper solution, if the advice from you guys is that a 5yr old Rockhopper iIS worth the upgrade...
  • I’d assume you’d have a straight steerer, qr axles and 100mm travel from pictures online.

    If so, the rockshox xc30 tk is a reliable coil fork for £100.

    Also, you’re lbs will probably have to fit the forks, as the steerer needs to be cut down to length. Shouldn’t be too expensive.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 26,948 Lives Here
    If you’re commuting in London I’d get some suspension corrected rigid forks. They’re plenty strong enough to cope and no moving parts to wear.
  • crofty21crofty21 Posts: 14
    Just a quick reply while I'm on a break. I have an extraordinarily poor, weight-forward riding position, which seems to rely on my right hand as a key contact point (embarrassingly I can't actually ride no-hands nor even left handed!).

    I'm also partially sighted, and while I CAN see other road users I sometimes can't differentiate between a patch of shade and a shallow obstacle nor do I have real perception of depth so those bumpy bits at bus stop braking zones are often a surprisingly entertaining bit of MTB fun for me...

    I should say, I think I'm up to 30,000 or so miles of incident free riding - with the exception of a couple of You've Been Framed contenders on my limited off-road try-outs...

    So I don't think I'm a danger to myself or others, BUT the above does explain why I feel the need for a bit of front suspension to smooth things out for me. (I'm trying to think if there's anything interesting to conclude from what the fork is *literally* doing for me; is it just helping keep the bars steady? And I guess even a hardtail is doing its bit to maintain rear-end to seat contact?)

    Anyway, I enjoyed writing that. Not sure if it's interesting to anyone else! I guess I'm both an embarrassingly poor cyclist and a vaguely disabled bloke who wouldn't be allowed anywhere near a driving test who can only experience independent transport through my bike. With the latter in mind, you can guess how much I love it...

    More bike dets to come in due course. Thanks again for your interest, prompts and advice. It's greatly appreciated.

  • crofty21crofty21 Posts: 14

  • crofty21crofty21 Posts: 14
    Errr, would it help if I cleaned them at all?!
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,438
    Google "Suntour XCM"

    You can access videos on how to service, the fork, ride reviews, where to buy and how much etc.
  • crofty21crofty21 Posts: 14
    Yes, what a numpty I am for not realising the name of the fork is written on them!

    I'm no expert reviewer, but I've never much liked them - there's a hefty bash back up onto the bars when they rebound. So, amid all my rambling on, I guess the key question (if I trust LBS advice that the fork is beyond servicing) is: Should I replace with another Suntour XCM or something else like the rockshox xc30 tk that was recommended earlier in this thread?

    Thanks to all for your interest and help.
  • The rockshox is more reliable and better quality, although the Suntour is slightly cheaper. Personally for £100 you can’t beat the xc 30👍
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,811
    The XCM is undamped (literally has no damper) so rebound is always violent and can be clunky.
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • crofty21crofty21 Posts: 14
    Thanks so much for replies. So here's the big call for me - no worries if everyone's had enough of my dreary fork dilemma - but any advice appreciated.

    So, I'm basically using my hardtail to commute in London - 16 miles daily - as my eyesight is poor and I REALLY do need hand-to-bars contract at all times.

    That being the case, a posh air (?) fork with some dampening IS a sound investment that will help keep me in control if I don't spot a pothole, right?

    But they've generally so expensive bought alone that a new bike - Norco Fluid 1 HT say - might be the wisest use of the money???

    Like I say, I do know this is a dull thread that's getting duller by the day, so no hard feelings if you've all had enough 😁

    Many thanks

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