Custom 1997 Specialized Rockhopper

A Specialized collision came about recently when John brought in a 2006 Rockhopper for a service quote and I discovered a crack in the aluminium frame.  A shame but as the bike, a 15 year old whippersnapper, was in otherwise pretty good condition I felt it would make a decent donor bike.  Turns out that deeper in John’s shed lay this very tatty 1997 model, minus wheels!  Now, I’ve built a good few Rockhoppers in my time – and the Ritchey Nitanium tubed version is my favourite – so naturally we devised the Rockswapper project.

The ’97 frame is now presented in a fresh orange powdercoat of John’s choosing, with no branding (for now) and with a smooth new headset installed.  The Rockswapper keeps its original silverware in the form of Dia-Compe v-brakes and Specialized chainset, bars, stem & seatpost along with the Deore XT front derailleur.  The Deore/Specialized on Mavic wheels (with the almost indestructible Crossroads tyres), 9 speed Deore cassette & shifters and Deore LX rear derailleur come from the scrapped later bike, along with the much improved Body Geometry saddle.  A new 73mm bottom bracket (increasingly harder to find), brake pads, chain and cables (with a splash of blue housing) and classic ODI grips finish off the build.  Apart from a N.O.S. Onza 58bcd granny ring which is on its way – if you look carefully, you can see this 23 year old has climbed some hills!

Be sad to see this one go, along with its bag of leftovers…

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