Specialized Rockhopper XC Hardtail

4.37/5 (499 Reviews)
MSRP : $880.00


Product Description

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


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Reviews 1 - 15 (499 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by WillRide a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2014

Strengths:    Super durable, great handling through turns, pretty lightweight, and just a BLAST to ride! Great for wide range of riders.Comfortable as well. Front lockout makes easy pavement commuting. Great high speed maneuverability. Easy to adjust brakes. Shimano equipment is high quality and durable. GREAT, Absolutely GREAT learner bike.

Weaknesses:    Dart 3 front shock isn't the best front unit but it honestly does the trick pretty darn well. Brakes do not like mud at all, expect to find yourself cleaning them if you thrash any mud and/or muddy puddles. Besides that, nothing to complain about.

Bottom Line:   
I got this bike as my first serious bike. I was in 8th grade and now in college have logged hundreds of miles off road and on road. I have ridden lots of single track and it is a blast. I personally love how this bike handles turns. I have taken a super tight switchback and moments later been doing 35mph on a gravel down hill. I am only upgrading because I am now riding trails that have jumps and demand rear suspension. If you don't jump it, the wheels hold up wonderfully (similar to many entry FS bikes' wheels). If you want to hit Jumps and drops, don't buy the Rockhopper, buy an FS bike. It is even a blast in urban jungles- will hit thirty stairs with no problem if you are confident in the fact that the rear WILL stay down if you ride it out.

I gave it a five in every category because it has been literally no cost to me except self-performed maintenance till I destroyed the rear wheel on a jump (but that is my fault not the bikes.) I rated for what it is which is an XC hardtail with decent price of $450 back then. It gets a 5 star/peeper rating because it has done more for me than I have ever expected.

It is a very easy bike to service the brakes and chain. If you want to do mountain biking/XC and also want to be able to commute or exercise on your local paved bike path, it is an awesome bike. If you are getting into mountain biking and don't want to blow thousands on a rear shock you may not want, definitely consider the Rockhopper. It has given me many adventures for seven whole years. Even as a hardtail, its back wheel hops around in a delightfully fun way. I have ridden this all throughout Fort Ord and keep up with my buddy on a Trek Fuel EX full suspended bike. Overall, great stability, versatility, and fun. If you want a multi-use hardtail, BUY it. You will love it through every turn.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fort Ord Trails, Monterey CA

Duration Product Used:   7 years (have owned two)

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   Art's Cyclery, San L

Similar Products Used:   Trek Mountain 220 (a joke compared to this bike),

Bike Setup:   Absolutely stock for all seven years

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by tortoise speed

Date Reviewed: May 11, 2014

Strengths:    Frame: geometry is great for climbing, decending and long distance xc rides. Never felt like I had too little bike or travel.
Brakes: bb5 get a bad rap from most, but never had anything brake, even after some bad crashes. just need a bit more maintenance as the pad wears down.
Crank, cassette, chain, and shifters: over 1500 miles on them and still good. shifts are still clean, no ghost shifting. levers have also taken a beating and are still crisp.


Weaknesses:    Shock: dart 3 leaves something to be desired on anything but asphalt and hard pack.
Seat: long distances leave a bit to be desired. was swapped for a wtb.
Tires: fast tracks were sketchy in loose terrain, rubbish in wet, or muddy terrain.


Bottom Line:   
One word. Wow. I am reviewing the 2010 spec bike and after 4 years, its still holding its own. The frame design is great, even better with a 120mm adjustable shock. I replaced the dart 3 shock with a Reba team dual air, and the bike really started to shine. I highly recommend an upgrade once you really start riding. The stock Alex RDH wheels are still rolling true. I wi The avid brakes have taken a beating from crashes, the worst bent the handle and all I had to do was straighten it out. Rock gardens and minor jumps are awesome. Yes it is still a hard tail and no, you cannot plow downhill without picking a good line, but for 80% of my riding this thing rocks. Crank, chain, cassette and derailleurs are still original and still have a bit more life before I swap them out. Crank still spins perfect, even with tons of scars from rocks, roots and trail abuse on them. The tires were swapped for a Maxxis minion up front and spec ground control and were a big upgrade. Solid way to start out mountain biking and lots of room for upgrades down the road.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Texasxc a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2013

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.

Bottom Line:   
Bang for the buck!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Big Cedar

Duration Product Used:   2 years

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   EPIC S-Works. El mariachi Ti

Bike Setup:   Stock, stem down

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Silverback

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

Bottom Line:   
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!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Byron montgomery 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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jonshonda

Date Reviewed: September 20, 2012

Strengths:    Great Frame, Durable Finish, Standard Components Fit great, no special crap required

Weaknesses:    Wheels are junk, fork too.

Bottom Line:   
I bought my 09 Rockhopper 29er Comp used and have been loving every minute of it. I bought it cheap knowing certain things would need to be upgraded. I was 308lbs at the time, so I went through some parts quickly.

Wheels are Alex, and are known to be junk. Replaced within 150 miles. I replaced the headset and front fork quickly too. The headset was not a fan of a really rainy ride I went on, and the Dart 2 fork is known junk, but might has suited someone a little less massive then myself.

The frame has been bulletproof, zero issues. I did have to face the bottom bracket shell, as it was 1-3mm out of true, and caused bottom bracket issues. Everything else has worked great.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by bdawgg

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.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Drew Doherty

Date Reviewed: June 3, 2012

Strengths:    Very light, great for climbs, good front fork, nice gears, pretty good brakes. i love the handel bar grips!

Weaknesses:    peadals are junk, seat not the best either, other than that nothing bad

Bottom Line:   
GREAT bike i would recommend it to everybody, good bike for the price. Its good enough for serious riding with our breaking the bank

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jeff lee

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...

Bottom Line:   
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!!

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by fuzzylogic a Weekend Warrior from Toronto

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2012

Strengths:    handling, good looks, climbing ability, decent front shock.

Weaknesses:    hubs, brake noise and stiction issues, plastic derauiler cage

Bottom Line:   
I am on the heavy side at 250 lb. I put this bike through quite a bit of xc, but never abused it by jumping etc. It handles like a dream for recreational bike.
Hovewer, there are problems: rear hub pawls wore out after 1500km. Chain and casette were close to being done at the same time. The wheel went out of true a few times. Front hub (Specialized Hi Lo) needs constant upkeep.
Saddle needed to be replaced as the original felt like permanent colonoscopy. Pedals were replaced with SPD - slippage on the stock pedals was bad.Original tires wore out at 1500km - not a big loss, they were plain dangerous on wet roots.
Rear derauler has parts of the cage made of plastic - this cacked and in time caused the unit to malfunction due to alignment issues.
I upgraded the rear wheel to DMR revolver 6 pawl (same like the reviewer below) and found out this to be a complete crap - lasted about 800 km before pawls got chewed. Not covered under warranty....
But the worst part was a crack in the frame which I discovered during regular maintenance - on the non drive side at the crimping where the chainstay goes around the tire there was a crack. I am not sure if this was caused by stiffening the rear wheel, or by my leg torque trying to twist the frame.
As this was a second handed bike Specialized told me to get lost - I was not after a free frame, but it would be nice of them to consider selling me a frame under their crash protection program.

Good bike if you are not a clyde. Otherwise stay away. If you are a clyde and think about upgrading this bike for durability - it is not worth it. Start with something sturdier to begin with.


Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Albion Hills, Durham Forest

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   second handed

Similar Products Used:   Giant Trance, Ellsworth Epiphany

Bike Setup:   SPD pedals, Specialized body geometry saddle

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by HaveBlue83 a Cross Country Rider from Bensalem, PA, USA

Date Reviewed: November 15, 2011

Strengths:    Frame, Brakes, TIRES, shifters, wheels, shock

Weaknesses:    Rear Cassette, seat

Bottom Line:   
This is THE entry bike if u want something that is quality and about $800 as a leftover. I searched for a month and this bike had everything I wanted for the price. Adjust the shock to where u want it and it will take a jump over and over. I was worried about the suntour shock but I actually really like it. I get a little bit of fluid film leaking onto the shock but thats after 8 miles or after multiple rides and no cleaning. the tires ROCK. the Captains are great. no issues. the seat SUCKED. i bent the metal inner frame after a few landings. grab a decent seat and problem solved. the handlebars are kinda wide but they are stable. the bike is light and easy to maneuver. the rear cassette BLOWS. just but a new one right away or the chain will need replacing when the cassette teeth start to deform and create "rollover" of the metal from hard peddling. it took 3 months and mine was SHOT and it broke the chain from the wear. I picked up a $70 SRAM unit and its smooth and much better than the $12 OEM one. I also go a front bash guard and removed the large ring. BIG help. drop the front derailler down and its all good. brakes are GREAT. the rear one seems to drag off and on after a few months. they are very powerfull tho. For my first real bike its GREAT! just did 25 miles and it shined :)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Neshaminy, PennyPack, Middle Run

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $840.00

Purchased At:   Main Line Cycles

Similar Products Used:   n/a

Bike Setup:   SRAM rear cassette, $18 padded seat, otherwise stock. SPD clipless pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by macdaddy1660b a Weekend Warrior from Los Angeles, Ca, USA

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2011

Strengths:    SRAM shifters offer smooth quick shifts. Tunable front fork allows the rider to optimize the fork damping for his physical build to gain the most front wheel to ground contact when flying down hills. Tires perform phenomenally in sandy uphill climbs. 26" alloy wheels stay true even when hammered. Frame is light and durable. Excellent for riding on the street as a commuter bike, too.

Weaknesses:    The 4 click SRAM shifters take a little getting used to. The lever throw on the 4th click is a bit too far for my thumb. I've remedied this by planing my thumb closer to the fulcrum when I down-shift the rear wheel.

For some reason, it took a few months to break in even with me putting 7-10 miles on it per day. After three months, its finally broken in nicely.


Bottom Line:   
A fine example of Specialized quality. Pay a little extra more for the higher quality components over the Hardrock. All in all, an easy and fun bike to ride on the streets and on the trails. I never thought it would be possible to love a bike any more than I loved my old Hardrock.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $630.00

Similar Products Used:   2008 Specialized Hardrock Comp Disc. This one was stolen from me, so I bought the Rockhopper. Gearing is identical. The frame geometry is similar, except I notice that there is a bit more room to lean forward when climbing. Getting used to this ride was easy, therefore.

Bike Setup:   I'm 6'1" and ride a 21" frame. Setup is stock. Avid BB5 disc brakes. Stock wheels, pedal, tires. Added heavy thorn-resistant tubes, but don't feel them in the pedals at all. Been riding it every day to work and on the trails for three months and the chain has not needed to be lubed.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by sknhgy a Weekend Warrior from Alton, IL, USA

Date Reviewed: October 9, 2011

Strengths:    Light weight. Good design.

Weaknesses:    Drive train.

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lost Valley

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $720.00

Similar Products Used:   Trek mountain bike

Bike Setup:   All stock 2011, 26 inch wheels

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Pro Hurr Tour a Weekend Warrior from Madison, Ct, 06443

Date Reviewed: July 20, 2011

Strengths:    Excellent construction, great attention to detail, welds are awesome. It is light weight and maneuverable. Dropouts are extra strong. Holds a straight line like no other and climbs like a beast.

Weaknesses:    Can feel to light, almost unstable in the fork when navigating in tight areas, but just takes time to get used to.

Bottom Line:   
The bike is a great price point for people looking to jump into the sport or for those who are already living it up who do not want to spend everything they own on a bike. The Auriga Pro hydraulic disc brakes are legit, and the Shimano set up is unbelievable.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Zanes Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Trek 6000, Specialized HardRock (2000)

Bike Setup:   Stock Set Up

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by chryss a Cross Country Rider from Fairbanks, AK, USA

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2011

Strengths:    Nimble, lightweight, stable, good tires and wheels.

Weaknesses:    Not sure about mechanical disc brakes, fork is meh, drivetrain is functional but nothing special.

Bottom Line:   
For my first mountain bike I could not be happier, having found a 2009 model on sale at the LBS in my size. I currently ride 6-10 mile loops a few times a week on the MTB, which doubles as a get-around vehicle over the potholes of Fairbanks, and several longer road rides on a touring bike. The Rockhopper is much fun to ride on the local trails, including through some mud holes, over roots and bumps, or simply on the road down the hill to get lunch in the middle of the workday. Specialized has been making Rockhoppers for a good while, and I guessed they'd have figured out the product by now -- I've not been disappointed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   UAF trail system

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $628.00

Purchased At:   Beaver Sports, Fairb

Bike Setup:   Stock 2009 model.

Reviews 1 - 15 (499 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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