The Pitch and Rockhopper of old have merged to become one platform
The Specialized Rockhopper is almost as old as mountain biking itself. But having such a rich past comes with constraints, its heritage woven into it very DNA.
While the new Rockhopper looks radically different to the bike it replaces, it retains its XC-inspired handling and the ability to fit a kickstand and a rack. Handy, if you’ve recently take to two wheels for the daily commute.
It’s still a mountain bike through and through, though. The sleek new Rockhopper frame has stacks of standover clearance, where the butted A1 aluminium tubing saves weight while offering a more complaint and forgiving ride. It also sports features like internal cable routing and dropper post compatibility to bring it bang-up-to-date.
Specialized has also extended the size range and introduced size-specific wheels to the Rockhopper platform to improve how the bike fits and handles. As such, the size XS, S and M Rockhoppers roll on smaller 27.5in wheels, while the L, XL and XXL bikes get proportionally bigger 29in wheels. It’s a great concept, but sadly not all models will be available in all sizes, at least not in the UK.
Trickle down technology from Specialized’s full suspension program sees the introduction of Rx Tune suspension across the Rockhopper range. So even the entry-level bikes have size-specific travel and spring rates to ensure consistent geometry, handling and suspension performance, regardless of frame size.
With five models in the new range, there’s now a Rockhopper for every budget. It kicks of with the entry-level Rockhopper at £379, jumps to the Sport at £449 which has hydraulic disc brakes, then the Comp at £549. Things start to get more interesting with Elite model as it gets an air-sprung fork and a 1×10 drivetrain for £699 before we get to the range-topping Expert at £899.
And while the latest Rockhopper is probably the most progressive to date, it still has one foot firmly placed in the past. If you’re looking for an aggressive hardtail for carving sweet singletrack rather than ducking in and out of traffic, check out our Hardtail of the Year test for all the best bikes under £1k.
2021 Specialized Rockshopper models
|ROCKHOPPER EXPERT 29 KM SILDST/BLKHLG||£899|
|ROCKHOPPER EXPERT 27.5 KM SILDST/BLKHLG||£899|
|ROCKHOPPER ELITE 29 KM CSTBLK/BLK||£699|
|ROCKHOPPER ELITE 29 KM REDWD/SPR||£699|
|ROCKHOPPER ELITE 27.5 KM CSTBLK/BLK||£699|
|ROCKHOPPER ELITE 27.5 KM REDWD/SPR||£699|
|ROCKHOPPER COMP 29 2X KM SMK/BLK||£549|
|ROCKHOPPER COMP 29 2X KM OIS/TARBLK||£549|
|ROCKHOPPER COMP 27.5 2X KM SMK/BLK||£549|
|ROCKHOPPER COMP 27.5 2X KM OIS/TARBLK||£549|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 29 KM SLT/CLGRY||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 29 KM CBLT/CSTBLU||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 29 KM WHTMTN/DSTTUR||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 29 KM BLZ/ICEPPYA||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 27.5 KM SLT/CLGRY||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 27.5 KM CBLT/CSTBLU||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 27.5 KM WHTMTN/DSTTUR||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER SPORT 27.5 KM BLZ/ICEPPYA||£449|
|ROCKHOPPER 27.5 KM TARBLK/WHT||£379|
|ROCKHOPPER 27.5 KM FLORED/WHT||£379|
|ROCKHOPPER 27.5 KM CSTBLUMET/ICEBLU||£379|