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1990 Specialized Rockhopper How to Fluff and Flip
#1
Its no secret If you know me I love to take ugly ducklings and make them beautiful swans once again. However sometimes you have to draw the line on how far your willing to go on any given bicycle. This bike is such a case (basket case) that is. great old steelie but not a ton of value in the end. So the first thing to do is gut it like a deer on opening day, make a plan, and execute said plan. Decide a budget (which I hardly stick to). and decide what will be the purpose of the finished bike and what market it will be aimed at and understand the reality in your area of what price it may fetch. I see this bike as being for someone just needing a bike relatively cheap but a quality bike compared to the same price range for a more expensive option in a retail store. My target would be $250 to $350 range. In order to do that it must be 100% like new in function. I can tell you now that I am all ready losing money compared to do the same thing to working on someone elses bike that I can charge labor for.
This baby has seen its fair share of weather, has its share of nicks and scratches, dulled paint.etc. But will I be able to make a decent bike that someone can enjoy for years to come and give away some of my skills vs profit to make it happen? yes I can and I love to do now and again just to save one from the scrap pile if I can. This was a $30 thrift store purchase and as i have said many times before, even a free bike that needs refurbished and done right can cost 2 or 3 hundo and many hours later to make it all happen. With that said I am already $30 in the hole! ha


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There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#2
Well the old beater is gutted. Time to work the build sheet out to start adding up the costs. Climbing fast so I decided to do 2 build sheet plans to compare prices. I feel the target price in my area should be around $250 if I expect to sell. If this holds true then it will be a bust and may decide to try to sell the frame/fork and keep the wheelset and let someone else go for it. But I may still do it up, Just on the fence at the moment on this one because I have been busy getting ready for spring, The best time for me to move a couple bikes around here usually.
I came across this exact bike on Ebay to watch. I think the guy is dreaming on his price, just another guy trying to get big payback for doing nothing. He could not even wipe it down, take good pics, and its equal or even worse condition than the one I have. But I do not even wish him luck on selling it because I would feel that bad for the person that buys a worn out rockhopper for that kinda scratch. here are some pics of the ebay bike for $500


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There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#3
This bike has been a challenge to dismantle down to the frame so far I had to use my 4ft breaker bar to remove the pedals and i imploded my 3/8 drive rachet and adapter attemting to remove the seized Bottom bracket. I pressed on a 20mm impact socket to my removal tool to allow a 1/2in drive breaker bar to use with my 4ft. pipe to crack this bb loose. The frame is soaking with solvent for the moment, then try again as they say. Until this happens I will not proceed with this build. But I can keep the hardly used wheelset for another project. I have decided to try and strip the crank arms in the meantime as they look like crap because of the marks,. I will then see how they polish up. If I do not like that then off to powder coat they go.


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#4
Well it was a workout but the 1/2in drive setup and the 4ft breaker bar did it. Thank god I have a higher end shop grade workstand. Of my wall mount, folding stands and bench stands I would have surely broke every other stand I own on this one for sure. A few hundred pounds of force and a two person job on that BB.
So now I can go ahead with the building up of this bruiser class Rockhopper. I did pinpoint the year and I think it is a 92'. It will be getting a new BB of course and I will be updating to v-brakes and new pads, a new stem without the cable hole, updated used but nice 3x7 shifters v-brake compatible, new conti tubes and panaracer tires, new plain ergo grips, new chain, new headset, and all new cables/housing should round it out nice. Polish the turd as they say, and decide how to fluff the crankset to make it purdy again along with the seatpost and then send her!
One funny note, I guess if you watch something on Ebay like the bike the one guy has for $500, as a seller you are savvy to this. The other day he sent me a offer that I could purchase his now for $450, Mercy sakes alive. these were far from the nicest version of rockhoppers. i would not take his bike for free +shipping. I will have my bike built and fluffed for less than two hundo and still less than if I added in my $150 labor. And still my target price range for selling is $250ish. Here he cannot even wipe it off, clean, lube, or replace even a cable. I say again to the world, don't be that guy! if you are, get out of the business, you are helping no one.
Well enough for now. I have some things to order and start prepping the frame, Install headset, BB, polish whats left of the paint etc.. etc
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#5
The polishing of the frame has started, The build sheet is focused in on the vision of the finished build intended to meet the projected price range. The crankset is an Exage 400LX, steel chainrings hat are replaceable, the overall look was dull, surface rust on the the chain glide spots due to lack of use and the black finish was dulled due to oxidation. The crankarms were scratched from whatever so I made the call to strip the paint from the arms, polish what was the left of the black chainrings, This chainset is a solid durable chainset but In my opinion was to much black, black rings, black arms, so to mix up and color I will leave the arms natural color after the stripping process, or I may decide to do a shot peened process similar to what FSA do with some of their arms.
If anyone out there wants to know what product to use to strip off the black without harming the alloy, I use Klean strip Aircraft Ultra, place parts in ziplock bag and pour in the stripper and seal up then work it around the parts and let sit. after an hour or so you should be able to see results happening. then pull out parts and wipe off under hot water with a mild scrub pad. "DO NOT BREATH" THIS STUFF IS WICKED!


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#6
Build plan is in order, cleaning and polishing winding down and the build process begins. I have had an inquiry about one of my other bikes that was a tad out of the persons price range. Then this bike came into the conversation and offering said person a say in the finished project to keep in his budget, plus suit his intended purpose. All good to me and it lands in my target price range of $300. I added a pic of the front derailluer before and after and a couple extra pics of the progress. expected delivery of Mar. 1st. we shall see, as long as no last min. changes I should be there and on to the next.


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There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#7
Golly, this should be a real beaut when it's done!
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#8
There is some beauty in battle scars and surface imperfections, as long as the build is solid and runs out like new and if you can keep one more from the scrap pile it is all worth it in the end. The new owner seems pretty excited to get it and is even traveling some distance to pick it up. I hope it meets his expectations. These are great platforms to build upon for sure!
There are two kinds of people in the world, "Those who help themselves to people, and those who help people!"
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#9
Coming along with some help of the parts bin, V-brakes from 2006 sporting new pads, shifter combo from 2016 lightly used in like new condition. The crank arms stripped of the black paint and left raw, kinda like it that way for this raw build.


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