Hi again everyone and thanks for your help the other day 🙂
I have found a new Rockhopper at a store on closeout for 476+tax, or a used Rockhopper from Facebook Marketplace for 350. For my first bike, is it worth paying the extra money for a new one, or should I get the used one and make necessary adjustments? Thanks in advance!
Unless you have an affinity for mechanics, or have done a bit of wrenching so you are comfortable, I would say new for sure. Matter of fact, back in 2015 I bought a new FS bike and though I have done auto, motorcycle, and bike mechanics my whole life, I thought the one year free maintenance was worth the difference seeing as I had not wrenched on a bike in several years. Not sure if your LBS offers that with a new bike, but mine did.
Since the free year has been up, I have done all my own work and last year I bought a better bike, in parts form and built it from scratch myself.
I think buying the new Rockhopper would be your best bet. That way you could be sure to get the right fit. Don’t buy a bike that is too small.
However, I would make a couple of changes to make the bike more trailworthy. The Rockhopper is more of an XC-bike. It has a steep headtube and a short toptube. I would buy a Rockhopper that is one or two sizes to large and then push the saddle all the way foward and then put on a 35-50mm stem. The idea is to get the right fit with the saddle pushed all foward and also use very short stem. To do this you need to get a larger bike. Doing this will improve the stability and capability of the bike.
The Rockhopper comes with inner width i25mm rims and very narrow 2.0-2.1 tires. If you could switch to a 2.4 tire on the rear and a 2.6 tire on the front, the bike would climb better and descend better. Tires are the most important part of any bike.
Try to get your bike shop to make these changes as part of whole deal where they give you some credit for the parts they remove. Many shops will trade stems for free.
What ever you do, fit is the most important part to get right!