Doin’ Work on the Single Speeds

About a year ago, I had the very first mountain bike I ever purchased (when I was 13 or 14) converted into a single speed by our local bike guru Nick Smith at Red Wheel Bike Shop.  It was an early 90’s Specialized Rock Hopper, and I loved it.  I actually loved it more as a single speed than when she had gears.  I call her Paula (after Paula Abdul the Laker Girl since it is purple and yellow).  Here she is:

Early 90's Specialized Rock Hopper Converted to Single Speed.

Unfortunately, the threads on the original fork just couldn’t keep up with the punishment I’ve dished out on Paula.  I hated to replace the original fork, but I had no choice.  So, as I talked about in an earlier post, I found an early 90’s Specialized Rockhopper frame and fork on craigslist-St. Louis for $30.  I figured I could use the fork from that bike on Paula, and then I could eventually use that frame to build another fantasticly-old-school single speed.

Bob working on the single speed Rockhopper

Bob with a big tool in his hand

Well, apparently the bikes were not from the same year, and the fork would not fit Paula.  So, Bob and I had a little fun moving everything over from Paula onto the other frame.  Now, keep in mind that we are not bike mechanics, and I know almost nothing when it comes to working on bikes.

Converting an early 90's Rockhopper into a single speed

The "Quick" Release chain link was not very quick

We got everything switched over.  The brakes were a pain in the ass, and we still don’t have them quite right.  I stole a pair of grips from Bob, and I also stole some platform pedals with toe cages from him until I can switch my clipless pedals over.  The only thing that is going to need replacing is the headset, because the handlebars are a little loose.  But for now this baby is ready to go.

The New Old Rockhopper Single Speed

Since this bike is made up of a hodge podge of parts begged, borrowed, and stolen from others, it is sort of a Frankenstein of bikes.  So I think I’ll call it Frank.  If you have any better ideas for a name, post them in the comments below.  And here’s one more pic of my new-old ride:

Frank - the Early 90's Specialized Rockhopper single speed.

About Lukas Lamb

Husband to a wonderful wife, father to 4 incredible kids (3 daughters and 1 son), adventure racer, mountain biker, runner, lifter of weights, reader of books, and lover of life. He can be found on Google+

Posted on December 18, 2009, in Gear and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. How much does she weigh? Have you pedelled her yet. I like the Franenstein theme but you can’t go with Frank. We all know that bikes are all female, always, all the time. For your ride, is there a female version of “Frank”? Or you could name her after your favorite female celebriiy hat has had a lot of work done on her body, hence not all her original parts…kind of like your new bike. Just some thoughts. Let us know what you decide. I still have to name my new ride. Maybe after a couple of epic rides this Christmas break and her name will be revealed.

  2. I like Dolly, like Dolly Parton and “her coat of many colors.” And anyone who wants to make fun of me for know a Dolly Parton song can kiss this ass.

  3. I agree, the bike is a female and needs a better name. After taking her on her maiden voyage this morning, Bob came up with Dolly, as he mentioned above. I love it, so Dolly it is.

    By the way, we got the brakes fixed and working well, and although the handlebars were a little loose, the bike was awesome. It’s just as much fun as Paula (God rest her soul – for now at least until we rebuild her). More info on this morning’s ride to come in another post soon.

  4. I swear I thought of Dolly as well. I almost recommended it but thought otherwise. Dolly, is also the sheep that was cloned, kind of like this bike. You are mnaking it just like the original. Plus, going back to my plastic surgery name reasoning, Dolly (as in Pardon) works well too. I like it. Dolly is a good name. Now we need to name my ride. Any ideas?

  5. I have this black and purple rockhopper also. Size xs for my wife. She loves it

  6. Burton Schwab

    Great Work! What year is the Laker Girl and what year is the black and purple frame. I have the black and purple frame rigged with a rock shox white indy fork for bar hopping and other weekly activities.

    • Burton Schwab

      Didn’t check the email me notifications for replies box, thx.

      • I believe I bought the Laker Girl in 1991, but it may have been ’90 or ’92. I’m not sure about the black one since I found it on Craigslist. The description labeled it as an early 90’s frame, but there was no specific year given. You still ride yours?

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