Like a lot of people, my first 'proper' mountain bike was a Specialized Rockhopper hardtail. It has been an entry-level fixture in the brand's line up since 1985 and has brought thousands of riders into the sport as a simple, value offering for novice riders.
For 2021, Specialized is updating the hardtail with a new frame that brings it more in line with modern trends and geometries. Specialized mentions the "stiff competition" it is facing in this category so has worked hard on delivering a high value, entry level bike.
Updates to the frame include lighter weight, new geometry, internal cable routing, a threaded bottom bracket and dropper post compatibility. Recognising this bike may be used in the city as much as on the trails, Specialized have also added stealth rack and stand mounts too.
Specialized used to have the Rockhopper for 29er duties and the Pitch for 27.5 wheel fans, but the two lines have now merged and wheelsize will be dictated by frame size and model. The geometry is on the XC end of the spectrum for this bike, with a 68° head angle and a reach of 445mm for a size large.
Sizes XS to M can have 27.5" wheels while S to XXL are able to take on the big wheel duties. A few things to note here - not all the the models get the full range of sizes and the US will also get an XXS option with 26" wheels for younger riders. Also size-specific is the tune, travel and spring of the shock, this is a concept borrowed from Specialized's full suspension range and should ensure consistent geometry and feel through the range.
The full specs of the range are below:Specialized Rockhopper - £379/ $500 / €500Specialized Rockhopper Sport - £449 / $600 / €600
Sizes - XS, S, MSpecialized Rockhopper Comp 2X - £549/ $750 / €700
Sizes - XS, S, MSpecialized Rockhopper Elite - £699 / $950 / €1000
Sizes - S, M, L, XL, XXLSpecialized Rockhopper Expert - £899 / $1125 / €1200
Sizes - S, M, L, XL, XXL