Finally have my 2013 Specialized RockHopper 29er mountain bike.
I am very happy with it, even though it was on the lower price range at $800, it’s a great quality bike that will last me a long time I’m sure! I’ve had the bike for week now and I’ve already ridden it about 75 miles. This bike is definitely going to get a ton of use! I am a little bit disapointed with the grips though, they’re very comfortable but are already starting to wear down where my thumbs are. Other than that everything is holding up nicely. There’s a few things I really need to buy for it though. Today I bought a water bottle and holder so I don’t have to carry a backpack with me! I also picked up a small 69 cubic inch saddle bag to hold various things like; wallet, keys, tire patch kit, first aid supplies, tire levers, chain links, multitool.
Since I bought the bike with the intention of doing some rather long distance rides, I’ll be looking into panniers as well, I want something that’s a decent size to carry my clothes, random odds and ends, and probably food. Also preferably insulated so if I want to ride over to the super market I don’t have to rush back with cold items. Plus the insulation seems to me like it would aid in keeping things dry. Like I mentioned in my last post, I’ll be towing my kayak with the bike too. I plan on keeping the bulkier items like; the Hammoch, sleeping bag, fishing gear, and things of that nature in the kayak when in tow. When I’m just going for an overnight ride I’ll strap those items to the luggage rack that’ll support my side bags. I may also look for another small bag kind of like a saddle bag to hold a spare tube or two and maybe a tire. I’ll also definitely need a small pump for quick flat repairs on the road. I’m really looking forward to organizing all these things on the bike when I get them. I’ve been reading about lots of people who travel the world all the time. It’s got me thinking, is it possible to just go around the world having fun (for me, going around on my bike)? I know there are programs where you work on farms with families that will put you up and give you a few bucks for your efforts. Has anyone used this type of thing to live around the world? Sounds like it would be an absolute blast! I’m sure I would meet some incredible people and learn tons of different skills along the way. Europe definitely sounds like the place to start a bike your, they cater to cyclists better than anywhere else I’ve read, although Australia and New Zealand are great places for cyclists as well. Who knows where the bike will take me. What sort of adventures have you biked on?
So this weekend I went out, test road the 2 bikes I have been looking at for the last 5 months, and put down a few bucks to hold the last in stock Specialized RockHopper 29er!
I’m super excited about this bike for many reasons. The biggest reasons are; saving on gas, getting in shape without having to run, and getting back to something I used love. Before I got my license I road my bike everywhere! I had a single speed redline BMX bike. Tough to pedal uphill, tough to maintain downhill speed gain, super uncomfortable to pedal sitting down, and not great for going long distances. The furthest I remember riding in one day was 20 miles each way to the “mountain bike” trails and riding probably something like 7-8 miles of trails. A few of my friends made the ride on bmx bikes but most of them were on mountain bikes. The bmx bike handled the trails ok but not great. The mountain bike I will soon own is going to be pretty good on all but the tightest trails and will also handle nicely on long rides. I’m hoping the bigger wheels will make each mile a little easier than on a 20″-26″ bike. When I took it out to test ride it I only got to do a couple laps around the shop but I could tell the bike was definitely for me. The brakes are super responsive, the riding position was very comfortable, the ability to lock the front forks while riding seems convenient, and it felt pretty solid on the gravel/grass area I rode on. I definitely plan on doing some long distance rides with this bike, hopefully frequently, so the front fork lockout feature will be a wonderful thing! Also with this bike, I intend to tow around my kayak on a trailer system either from WIKE trailers or I’ll build something similar. The biggest advantage to this will be not having to carry my kayak a mile or two down to launch at this one spot I really like. What I currently do is drop my kayak in about 2 miles away and paddle over. That wastes a lot of time that I could spend either fishing there, paddling around looking at the wildlife(this spot is the quietest area with the most to look at), or biking through all the scenery. I think being able to ride my bike and then go kayaking will be great on those longer distance rides. If nothing else it will serve as a secure area to hold my camping gear, clothing, spare parts, etc. I’m absolutely a beginner when it comes to long distance riding so any advice will be greatly appreciated. As far as spare parts and tool kit, I’m planning on taking these items; two spare tires(probably going tubeless right away), a few chain links, 2 cables, a few spokes, hand pump, spoke wrench, chain tool, a few various wrenches for fixing on the road, and of course, duct tape. I’ll have my new bike within a month, hopefully sooner though, so check back to see what I think of the bike once I get to ride it for a few miles. Also check back for the trailer idea, I will probably end up building my own to save some money but who knows. If anyone have any input on trailers or distance riding, I’d love to hear from you, shoot me an email Sean.Dziedzic@gmail.com.