The Rockhopper is a time-tested XC hardtail built for cruising fire roads and slicing through singletrack. Equipped with Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes and a custom-tuned SR Suntour suspension fork with lockout, the Rockhopper 29er combines performance with value in a package every rider will appreciate.
Fully butted M4 alloy frame with 29er trail geometry for better control, leverage, and bump performance, plus singlespeed-compatible dropouts and sliders
Custom-tuned 29" SR Suntour suspension fork with hydraulic damping and proprietary Spike Valve, lockout with lightweight magnesium lowers, and alloy steerer deliver the supple ride qualities of a high-end fork
Light and durable double-walled alloy rims are tough enough to handle the rough stuff
Specialized The Captain Sport tires lend a perfect knob pattern for diverse conditions
SR Suntour replaceable-ring crankset uses Shimano's sealed cartridge bearing, Octalink-splined, BB interface for reliable power transfer and ease of service
Double-butted, flat alloy handlebar designed for navigating singletrack terrain
Tektro Draco hydraulic disc brakes with dual pistons and forged calipers assure precision braking and durability
Shimano Alivio 9-speed rear derailleur and Rapidfire trigger shifters for reliable, high-end performance
Shimano 9-speed, 11-34t cassette offers gearing options for a variety of terrain types
Strengths: Solid frame, changes gears very well, I like the trigger shifters and brakes.
Weaknesses: a little sloppy on the technical stuff. i think this is due to this being my first 29er.
Bullet proof frame, that is very surprising strait out of the box. I have owned Treks, Schwinn Homegrown, etc and always wanted to get a specialized. I am very happy with this purchase and definitely like the bike so far. I'm gonna take it the next few weeks and shred the hell out of it to see what its really all about, but as of right now, I like it alot!
Strengths: Good value for the price. Light weight compared to similar level bikes.
Weaknesses: Have a hard time cornering as tightly as I would like to. This may be due to needing an XL size frame.
Over all I am pleased with my purchase. I have had this bike a little over a year now. I have gone on long flat xc rides and done some fairly technical single track in the hills, it climbs and tracks well. I would recommend this bike to friends.
Strengths: Frame Geometry makes for a fast climber and very capable descents.
Weaknesses: The pedals, tires, fork, and Acera derailleur.
I have had this bike about 6 months now. I ride almost every day. The first month I had this bike, I thought that the negative things people said were not true. I thought the tires and fork were surprisingly good. However, they are cheap and will wear out fast, period. If you ride aggressively like I do around three or more times a week, it won't be long before you notice the negatives. However, the frame is awesome and the brakes have been surprisingly great. I had heard bad things about the Draco's but they have performed well. The frame is so good actually that it is worth it to upgrade the bike around the great geometry. The ride is so comfortable, and you feel really confident and capable. With the right upgrades, this bike is as good as some i the $1600-$1700 price range.
The shifting wasn't reliable from the start. The front Acera derailleur is not great. It hesitates when shifting, grinds, skips and the chain pops off during climbs, which is very annoying. I upgraded to Shimano SLX's and have been super happy. Once the shifting is reliable the bike is so much more enjoyable. I will probably have to replace the crankset in the future, but for now it is fine.
The fork feels really good for the first month, but after that it wears out fast. The lockout stopped working on mine after 3 months, and the ride started to deteriorate after the first month. I upgraded to a RockShox Recon Gold, and it's like I'm riding a brand new bike. It's amazing.
I put Kenda Nevegals on it, and have been very happy.
Bottom line: If you are not super serious and just want to have some fun on the trails on the weekends, then you will be extremely happy with this bike as is. It is a wonderful beginner mountain bike that's great for light trail riding on the weekends and commuting. If you are more serious however and ride several times a week and really beat your bike up like I do, you will have to upgrade some things. Once upgraded, the bike rides like a much more expensive bike. A new fork, derailleur setup and tires and it is a very capable bike that can take a beating and keep on ticking.
Date Reviewed: July 9, 2012
Strengths: Great frame geometry, and a solid component setup lead to a very comfortable experience.
Weaknesses: Pedals, Seat and the bike could have a little bit better derailleur setup than the Acera's for the money IMO.
Overall this is a very solid bike. The frame is great, and the bike attacks trails very well for the price. I love how rugged the bike is as well. About sicks weeks ago I had a nasty crash. I hit a tree and broke my clavicle, but the bike stood up just fine. Just bent the rear derailleur a bit, but other than that it remained solid.
I have seen people complain about the tires and fork, but honestly they have performed surprisingly well for me. I though those were two things that I would have to replace pretty quickly, but honestly I've been pleasantly surprised at how well they both perform. The Suntour fork is nice and cushy, and really responsive. Together with the great geometry of the frame it makes downhills a breeze. The tires have performed well also. I have VERY rocky terrain where I ride in Fort Worth, Texas and the tires have been great. I run them around 40 psi and have had surprisingly great results. They have a really nice feel and they make for a comfortable ride. I will probably go tubeless in the near future just because I love a tubeless setup, but so far the tires have been surprisingly impressive.
There are not many negatives about this bike, but the negatives that are there are very noticable. The seat and pedals are absolutely bad. I have replaced the pedals with a Shimano clipless setup and man, what a difference! It feels like a totally different bike. You really feel the positives of the frame when you get full control with the pedals. The seat is flat out uncomfortable to ride. Trying to commute on this bike has been hard with how uncomfortable the seat is. I will DEFINITELY be upgrading the seat. However, if you strictly use this bike on the trails than 70% of the time you will be in the attack position anyway so you most likely won't notice. If you commute on concrete however for a period longer than thirty minutes, you will have a sore butt.
The last negative for me is that the shifting hasn't been as responsive as I like on the trails. This is just my opinion and I don't want to complain too much about the bike because it really is solid. However IMO the bike could have a bit better derailleur setup for the price you pay. Other bikes in this category (Trek Mamba, Scott Scale, Cannondale Trail SL3) all offer Alivio and Deore setups which are a bit better IMO. But that's just me. Most people won't notice at all.
Overall great buy for the money, and I would highly recommend the Rockhopper 29er!
Strengths: Uphill climbs, Rapid Fire shifters, Fast Track Sport tires and Captains front tires, Hydraulic brakes, Suntour XCR fork....
Weaknesses: Fork is heavy, Rims can get out of true when hitting small jumps.
I'm 5'5, 140lb rider. Bike size: 15.5. Front and Back tire set @ 29psi, Fork set at max compression 65mm. Trails: Roots, singles tracks, small jumps some steep climbs. see trail YouTube- RoyalSummit Hawaii...
So far this Rockhopper rips through trails with no problems. small jumps seems effortless. i have full control riding through roots. Suntour XCR fork, believe it or not, is pretty damn good. Lock outs & 30mm sanctions- solid! Tested Rockshox Dart3, X32 and Toro and does not feel as stiff and buttery as the XCR fork. The only complaint about the fork is the weight. overall, love this bike. i was contemplating in getting a FS bike after i rode a Spec Enduro. After setting this bike up to my weight and feel, its like im riding a FS. With all that money you spend on an Enduro, you can get sweet upgrades for the Rockhopper. I also switch out the wheels to ride on the road when im commuting. i have 2 bikes in 1. Im glad i made this choice in getting the rockhopper.
If you're one of those people who likes to ride on trails and also commute on regular roads, The Rockhopper would be a wise choice...
Similar Products Used: 2004 Canondale, 2010 Spec Enduro
Bike Setup: All Stock. Ride it till it breaks, then upgrade. If it ain't broke, why fix it.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2012
Strengths: Frame, hydraulic disk brakes, rapid fire shifters
Weaknesses: 80mm sun tour fork, heavy but grippy tires.
Great 29er bike for the money and for entry level riders, this was my first 29er and I put it through the test, even crashed it into a tree and only broke a brake lever. I loved the geometry of this bike and it turned on a dime ( I had a 19" frame.) Overall the suspension wasn't big enough for my riding style so I sold it for a full suspension.
a Weekend Warrior
from south dakota,usa
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2012
Strengths: great frame.dual piston one finger hydraulic discs.shimano shifters,wheels seam stiff,replaceable dropouts,looks great all black and white..i got it ever so slightly used still had all the stickers and reflectors on it
Weaknesses: seat is like shards of glass.suntour fork is for light duty only,pedals are junk,tires are heavy,bb,cassette,post,hubs,grips are for small hands ,
I think i got a great buy on a great bike for the money.It fits the bill for me right now.Im used to cannondale jekylls with lefty fork and fox air rear udjustable geometry so this is somewhat less of a bike.upgrade as you break things and yoill be fine with it ts made for leisurely rides of modest abilaty riders. the bike is great for bombing around town on the bike path and local street hills.the big wheels are fast rolling up and down hills.
Strengths: I'm a big driver, and it feels great, nice and solid. I'm surprised how the fork has performed for me (so far)
Weaknesses: So far the drive train, working all the kinks out but my 2nd time driving it i bet the middle chain ring when the chain popped off.
I don't like the stock back wheel, not enough traction for my liking.
Ive always wanted a Specialized mtn bike and finally have one, kind of upset about running into problems so soon but I hope I can just attribute that to my newness.
I'm still trying to rationalize spending 900 dollars on something that already needs upgrades lol... guess that's the name of the game.
Bike Setup: all stock-
** just added a Nikishi padded seat (makes more sense than buy padded pants when the seat is the issue)
a Cross Country Rider
from Fort Worth Tx
Date Reviewed: January 15, 2012
Strengths: Comfortable, good climber, feels solid, gives confidence
Comming from old school Cannondale Super V downhiller and taking a brake from cycling I decided to get back into riding cross country. Compairing this bike to its younger brother 26er there was no comparison to how the bike fit me. It was much more comfortable. I have been riding it on rough/ rocky single track lots of fast drops and steep climbs and I have been impressed with how it handles. Even with the cheesy fork it was fine. The wheels are still very much in true and I weigh 250. I have never been a finesse rider I just go over the top of what evers in front of me. I know there are better more expensive bikes but this bikes' foundation is solid and upgradible. Worth the purchase and for those who can do their own repairs can just upgrade it as they go along like me.
So I am giving this bike 5 chilis cause for the price yoru getting a great bike.
Bike Setup: Now I have upgraded the for to a Manitou Tower pro.
a Weekend Warrior
from bethlehem, ga
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2011
Strengths: good frame, climbs good
Weaknesses: suntour fork is below par for a bike at this level, wheels
This is a pretty good bike. I've pushed it a little, and the only thing I can say is the fork is in need of upgrading (you can get a good one on ebay fairly cheap) and the wheels are in need of truing after only two rides. Like the other guy said, putting a little money into upgrades and you can have a pretty BAMF bike. I can tell once I get my setup tweaked how i want it, it's going to be a great bike.
Bike Setup: upgrading to a rock shox recon fork, everything else stock for now
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 14, 2011
Strengths: Frame Geometry is worthy of upgrades. Good brakes.
Weaknesses: Cheap Fork, cheap crankset. Heavy.
For about $900 you can ride the rough single track and rocky trails without worries. Ditch the stock tires, go stans tubelss, replace the fork and for about $1250 total you have a much more capable bike than most at the $1500-$1700 price range. In 2011 on a 2012 frame anyways.