Specialized Rockhopper | The Classic Gateway MTB Gets Redesigned

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The classic gateway drug of MTB, the Specialized Rockhopper, gets a redesign for 2021.

For many, the Specialized Rockhopper will have been one of the first mountain bikes they ever rode. It’s been the gateway drug, affordably priced but specced like a ‘proper’ bike, and available in local bike shops up and down the country. Price, spec, and accessibility have made them a consistently popular model, but this year there’s a complete redesign – perhaps recognising the increasing competition in the market.

The key change is in wheel size: where once there was the Specialized Pitch for 27.5 loving riders, and the Rockhopper for 29ers, now there is just the Rockhopper, but with wheel sizes that vary with frame size. Sizes XS to M will have 27.5in wheels, while M to XXL will have 29in wheels. Americans will also have the option of an XXS with 26in wheels, aimed at the youth market.

No XXS for the UK market – sorry!

The new alloy frame shaves weight off previous models, while adding in new features. You get practical ones such as a threaded bottom bracket and stealth rack and kickstand mounts. Then there are the features you’d want on any mountain bike, like dropper post compatibility and internal cable routing.

Specialized Rockhopper 2021 Pricing

  • Rockhopper – £379
  • Rockhopper Sport – £449
  • Rockhopper Comp – £549
  • Rockhopper Elite – £699
  • Rockhopper Expert – £899

The entry level Rockhopper will be just £379 and comes with a coil sprung SR Suntour fork, while the Rockhopper Sport adds hydraulic brakes into the mix. The Comp model swaps out brakes and hubs for Shimano components, the Elite gets an air fork from Rockshox, better quality drivetrain and is tubeless ready. The top of the range Expert gets a SRAM SX Eagle drivetrain.

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Comments (8)

    ooooh its even in the same colours as my old one!

    QR front and rear? Plus not boost compatible…hmmm, I’ve just had a it of a nightmare getting a new wheelset for this same setup. If it was boost compatible then I think it would have been spot on, especially on the higher spec models where you may wish to upgrade at some point.

    I bought a Rockhopper in 1986, it was £399. I know there are some crazy prices for bikes now but I bet even the basic £379 model is better than the one I had 34 years ago.

    “Top of the line” more like top of the garbage heap with Sram SX. That is one piece of crap groupset. Still suffering from the “will not budge from the largest sprocket” syndrome, occasionally leading to rider clicking repeatedly on the shifter release and then the now-slack cable getting stuck inside the shifter. Just last friday had one of these at 15 minutes till closing time on an almost new bike.

    SX should not exist, period. Its some finicky plastic garbage.

    I will also agree with the ‘why QR still?’ and why SRAM?

    Like the colour, but it is a ‘nah’ from me.

    It’s a cheap bike QR wheels are fine.
    But I will agree the sram sx is a shame utter tat.

    Think it’s a shame we won’t be getting the xxs 26 in the UK

    QR ? Threaded BB. Non boost.
    HURRRRRRAAAAHHH. Some common sense.

    Can I get a frame-only option please so I can transfer all the quality Hope stuff I have on my 15 year old triggers-broom Stumpy as the pivots are all fhecked on it

    And don’t tell anyone… but that frame looks like it will take a FRONT MECH

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