The Rockhopper is a time-tested XC hardtail built for cruising fire roads and slicing through singletrack. Equipped with Tektro disc brakes and a custom-tuned SR Suntour suspension fork with lockout, the Rockhopper combines performance with value in a package every rider will appreciate.
Fully butted M4 alloy frame for lightweight confidence over the roughest trails
Custom-tuned SR Suntour 80mm-travel suspension fork with hydraulic damping, proprietary Spike Valve, lockout with lightweight magnesium lowers, and alloy steerer delivers 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
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
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
Shimano 9-speed, 11-34t cassette offers gearing options for a variety of fitness levels
Strengths: This review is for the 2011 disc 26er, 17.5". With nearly perfect geometry, the Rockhopper holds a line like a cat on a rug. "Captain" stock tires are fantastic for most XC conditions (loose, dry, rocky, damp). SRAM’s 3x8 works perfectly and is very durable. The stock fork is very stiff and has nice action for a 150 lb rider. The Avid BB5 mechanical discs have a wonderful feel and are fairly powerful. Specialized did not skimp on the R&D for this model. This bike costs less than the wheelset on my EPIC S-works. The 2011 Rockhopper is an insanely good bike for the money!
Weaknesses: Avid BB5 calipers take patience to set up. Lack of rebound damping adjuster could be an issue for some riders.
Similar Products Used: EPIC S-Works. El mariachi Ti
Bike Setup: Stock, stem down
Date Reviewed: August 3, 2013
Strengths: Low/ no maintenance; stiff enough for climbs supple enough for smooth gravity; good energy return when mashing; good geometry
Weaknesses: New Components make it yours
I have a 2009!? Still rides great. I use this bike for training in the hills/ fire roads and hard pack, surrounding my house. Thus far, I have only changed the cranks to 175mm, wheel set to Rhino Lite rims with Deore XT hub. Just picked up some Avid B7 brakes (not installing until the season is over) I love this frame, it is a perfect fit for me (5'10.5" tall, 32" inseam, 210 lbs of hammerhead beefcake!) ?..Anyway...! I will replace the seat as often as needed, still not married to one specific seat. These slight upgrades have really made this "my bike". I really do not think there is a better XC for the money. I rode this thing stock for about 2 years. Think of it as a gateway to bigger things. Not sure you are willing to get serious about riding? This is a great way to decide. Style wise, you could go either way from this point, full-sus or hard tail (for real). Put it on the rrail and you will see. My Pivot Mach 5 was a logical step after the Rockhopper. The climbing is there, the speed is there, control on both ends of the speedometer is there. Although not a beginners tool, I highly recommend this bike to anyone as a beginner step or a low/ no maintenance training tool. GET SOME!
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 13, 2012
Strengths: This is a lightweight bike very strong on the uphills and the down.
Weaknesses: the forks are my only problem with the bike.
Overall this is a very good bike that loves the uphills but when you arer going uphill the front end does like to come up and the forks on this bike are junk i would replace them with some fox shocks or some rock shocks cause the suntours suck!!!!!!!!!!!! but a great bike Love it.
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2012
Strengths: Great starter bike. Good value. Lightweight, nimble, easy to maneuver.
Weaknesses: Didn't take long at all for the derailleurs to start malfunctioning. Gears don't last long w/o needing a replacement.
This was my first mountain bike. It's served me well. Light weight makes it easy to take up slopes, but it's still reliable on downhills as well. My only complaint is the low quality derailleur system. Other than that, if you need a starter bike, this is a great choice.
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2012
Strengths: Frame is built to be punished. Gears put the exclaimation point on this bike. The rims and tires make this bike glide up concrete steps! Love that front shock quick release lever!
Weaknesses: wish they made a lever for the front shock to lock up when needed!. My only complaint is that this bike didn't come with peanut butter. LOL. I love this bike yo!! Thumbs up guys...
This bike is dynamite!! I beat the shiit out of it and it keeps up with my riding. I've had this bike for 2 months now and I have yet. To bend a rim. This bike rules. I've just started to learn wheelies on it. I've never been able to do that b4 on any bike. I'm 38 now and id rather ride than drive. 2 thumbs up guys. Keep up the good work. Oh and id be nice if you could make a lever for the quick release for the front shocks!!
a Weekend Warrior
from Alton, IL, USA
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2011
Strengths: Light weight. Good design.
Weaknesses: Drive train.
I like the design of this bike but have had too many problems with the shifting. The chain used to fall off the small chainring. Then the chain would stick to the middle chainring when going from mid to smallest. Recently lost the lockout knob off the fork. The shifting still isn't great and I'm in the process of replacing the stock BB cartridge with on with a longer stem in order to get better shifting. Just too many problems for a $720 bike.
Weaknesses: Crankset, shifters (mainly the front shifter, and wheels
First off Ken's bike shop has many nice bikes and fairly priced but absolutely do not stand behind their products.
I have already had to replace the wheels. Don't try hopping any curbs with the stock wheels; they just aren't sturdy enough. The most irritating part is the front shifter. This bike continually drops into a lower gear on it's own in the most inopportune times. This caused the center ring in the front gears to completely bend as I was on a steep climb. I bought this '09 Rockhopper brand spanking new last year and have already had to replace the wheels to a rhyno suntour wheelset (way sturdier), replaced the crankset to a shimano SLX (much smoother and stronger), and am about to switch out the stupid front shifter any day now. The sram x4 on it really really should be thrown in the trash and never be considered to be put on any bike. Well maybe a child's bike. This bike is a great frame but the components on it suck. I am really loving it after I have put an additional $450 + into it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Houston, Tx
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2011
Strengths: Weight, price, looks, and handling
Weaknesses: Stock rims (Alex Rims) and breaks (UP GRADE TO DISC)
I'm 6'2" and weigh in at 235lbs, so I'm a bit of a Clydesdale. I ride a base 2009 21" Rockhopper that I bought in the spring of 2010 at my LBS. It's a great starter bike with some decent components and only minor problems.
The only two weaknesses that I can see on this bike are the rims and breaks. The rims just aren't up to my specs because they seem to come untrue easily. I'm a weekend worrier that xc rides and doesn't do anything crazy on my bike. IMO there is no reason, other than maybe my weight, that my rims shouldn't be true after only a handful of rides. My only other complaint is the rim breaks that came with the bike lack the stopping power that is required for a person of my size after only 6 months of use and 2 trips to the LBS for tightening. I only wish that my LBS would have warned me of this when I bought the bike because I would have upgraded to disc on the spot.
I plan to upgrade to a set of Avid bb7s breaks and a new set of rims shortly. Other than those two minor issues it is an amazing bike that handles well and is very light IMO. I have also ridden my brother-in-law's stock Giant (not sure what model but know it was around $650 new) and was very pleased to find that my bike handled better and was faster. So after about 300 miles of riding I feel that I can say that the base Rockhopper is a great starter bike for someone that is new to the sport but I would recommend upgrading to disc breaks. Also IMO the frame would be a great base to build a bike off of on a low budget.
a Cross Country Rider
from Amherst mass U S A
Date Reviewed: January 29, 2011
Strengths: Steel. Great looking red and just a beautiful bike. great handling too.
I really use this as a trail bike, not really a mountain hard core rider. Getting older ! you know. i love these cromoly steel bikes. this one i bought from a person who just really had no use for it. it was in like new condition, so i paid a bit for it. Bike companies really don't make them like this anymore. Unless you pay big money for a custom. A bike like this will never let you down. You can always change the components later if need be. If you see one that is in good shape , get it. just dry it off, when it gets wet , and it will last forever, but you will not !!
Similar Products Used: old mongoose, Schwinn , Giant
Bike Setup: basic bike parts shimano cheap parts, but work fine
a Weekend Warrior
from simpsonville, sc
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2010
Strengths: Handles well, good brakes, great shifters, front suspension soaks up pretty much anything I've thrown at it going downhill. Light weight, climbs well on smoother trails, seems very durable.
Weaknesses: Stock grips are worthless, front derailleur sometimes changes from 2nd sprocket to 1st on steep climbs in very low gear, stock tire tubes easily damage, climbing rooted and leaf covered trails, the tires lose traction very easily, with damp conditions they're downright dangerous.
This is my first mountain bike and I seriously considered a comparably priced Cannondale and Trek but I have no regrets about my purchase. I plan on replacing the stock grips and getting different tires as soon as possible and those are probably the only mods. I will make before I eventually upgrade to a full suspension bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Appleton, Wisconsin
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2010
Strengths: Frame! M4 frame Used on older stumpjumpers
Weaknesses: Components, Fork is okay
I was comparing the trek 4300 with this bike and just liked the feel of the rockhopper way better. Also, I figure since the frame rocks I can always upgrade components as I go. My wife thinks bikes shouldn’t cost more than $200. At least I’ll have more time to ride after she gets the credit card bill and divorces me….
Similar Products Used: My first REAL mountain bike and I think I am in love.
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 3, 2010
Strengths: Rock solid,
My 93 Rockhopper is the best bike I have owned. After snapping the head off my last bike I spent the money on a bike that could take my punishment, 6-3 and 206. Little did I know that it would have lasted this long. My only issus has been brake pas and snapping the chain twice. This bike is so easy to handle and maneuver you don't even have to think or worry that it won't do what you ask it to. As far as a climber, I'm not sure you could beat it. You just point and go. I can't say enough about this bike. There is always the urge to buy a new " upgraded " hopper, but mine still holds it own. She may be purple, but she hasn't stranded me yet.
Similar Products Used: I can't remember that far back.
Bike Setup: stock,altus a10, specialized rims, tires etc.. except for powerchain, trico sports memoflex seat, new brakepads and bar ends
a Cross Country Rider
from gso, nc, usa
Date Reviewed: June 2, 2010
Strengths: strength, geometry, price
Weaknesses: don't make'em like they used to
a beautiful thing considering what it cost(s), amazing, ultimate bike for the money and considering it was part of a large production mass-manufacturing thingy. these are not all the same! owned the later version cr-mo with bigger tubes...not as nice a ride. I was a bike courier in seattle, a semi-pro mtn. biker and have owned way too many bikes. i rode this originally as a courier and thought...kinda heavy, but damn smooth and the geometry is perfect (as good or better than the brodie and kona...specialized was on the cusp of the long top tube revolution waaay back when) Sold it like all dumb youngins do, but just found one in my size recently and the magic came back. Use it for training so I can at least perform .5assed on my 29'er fisher aluminum. If you are going suspension get aluminum, if going stock get steel. And of all the steel I have owned, few if any beat the rockhopper ride...a bit heavy yes, but pure joy and smooth rolling magic??? YES! WIll never sell it and I can't say that for any of the others above!!! Though I really wish I had kept the brodie.........sob.
There is a Rockhopper Expert for sale locally and I was curious what people's opinions are on this bike and what it might be worth. It seems to be in good condition, just some scratches and stuff. I am rather new and have been wanting to replace my 13 year old Trek. Our trails have moderate hills, r ... Read More »
I haven't noticed any significant change in the specs between the 2013 and the 2014...which makes me suspicious that the [URL="http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/2014-early-launch/rockhopper/rockhopper-29"]Specialized website[/URL] hasn't updated their photos or specifications for th ... Read More »
The measurement I'm really only concerned about is the steerer tube length. I'm looking to buy a used fork that's coming from a 2013 Specialized Carve and need to be assured that it will fit as is on a 2013 Specialized Rockhopper. Anybody know firsthand? The specs on Specialized website does not ... Read More »
Instead of selling my 2011 26" rockhopper and picking up a 29 HT, I'm considering doing a 27.5 conversion.
A few questions, some of which I know have been posted previously but it would be great if someone has specifically done this to my exact bike and fork.
Frame is 2011 specialized rockho ... Read More »
Looking for all of your expert opinions on which bike I should get. I have ridden them both locally here in St. Louis, both were very enjoyable rides, albeit on sidewalks and parking lots..
Currently leaning towards the rockhopper for the sole reason of the shop (MESA cycles) being very close to m ... Read More »