Vintage RockHopper Conversion

Published October 28, 2020

OK, so, hear me out: I need a project for the rapidly approaching winter.

I have a fondness for MTB frames from the 80s and 90s: high bottom brackets, steel frames, clean welds.

So, as one does, I picked up a vintage Specialized RockHopper steel frameset off of Craigslist for $30 last Friday. It includes the frame (d’oh), fork, bottom bracket, and (threaded) headset. It also included the derailleur cable routing bracket that mounts under the bottom bracket—but I won’t be using that because (drum roll) I want to make it a singlespeed. Hell, maybe I’ll even throw in a oval chainring to bump up the street cred an extra notch.

Name TBD. Rocky? Hopper?Name TBD. Rocky? Hopper?

While I’m at it I also want to swap the wheelset to 650B to open up the tire options. Basic research tells me that Tektro CR720 cantilever brakes have the adjustment necessary for the 12.5mm increase from 26” (559mm rim diameter) to 650B (584mm rim diameter). For those paying attention, that’s a 25mm delta but we only care about 1/2 for the context of the brakes.

I’m in the process of breaking the frame down to get it painted. The headtube races/cups are proving very difficult to remove as they are press-fit and likely original from when it was originally assembled 20+ years ago. I quite honestly have no idea what I’m doing but that’s part of the fun. 🚲🤘

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Last modified July 9, 2024  #biking   #buildlog 

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