- Price Range: £629.00 - £849.00
- Discipline: Hardtail 29er MTB
- Usage: Cross country trail riding
The Specialized Rockhopper is simply one of the best classic hardtail mountain bikes you can get in the sub £1,000 price bracket. Efficient climbing ability combined with stable handling and a confident, snappy ride is aimed squarely at rapid cross-country adventures. In fact, the Rockhopper’s assured ride characteristics make it a great choice for trail centre loops too.
Bang up to date for 2020, the Rockhopper Expert comes equipped with a no fuss maintenance Shimano Deore 1x10 speed drivetrain and range 11-42t cassette, making it our top pick of the range.
For its price, the Rockhopper comes with some top quality frame engineering, especially under £1,000. The balanced geometry won't let you down either.
Naturally the frame is aluminium, so its light and durable. Butted tubes mean any extra metal has been shaved away where it's not needed further keeping weight down. Internal cable routing keeps the silhouette nice and clean too.
The Rockhopper isn't just for towpaths, riding cross country or occasional commute. Specialized's tried and tested Sport geometry offers nimble handling and a planted feel; giving you the confidence to push on challenging trails if you're feeling more adventurous.
Just as with the frame, the suspension is great for the price. SR Suntour forks are fitted to all models. You get a premium ride feel without that 'pogo effect' you get on most forks at this price point.
The Rockhopper Expert comes with an air spring fork which is lighter than its coil spring cousins. You can also tune the spring rate to better match your weight; ideal for smoothing the bumps.
A remote lockout switch is a nice touch as you don't have to take your hands off the bars if you want to stiffen the front end for climbing.
Another great addition to the Rockhopper Expert for 2020 is the 1x10 Shimano Deore drivetrain. It's easier to maintain than a double or a triple, so you can focus on enjoying the ride than the complexity of the gears.
The one-by also makes gear shifting far more intuitive and helps to keep the chain in place on rough descents. Combined with a wider range cassette, you still get all the gears you need for taking on off-road climbs and descents.
The Rockhopper comes with 29er (29") wheels as standard on all models. 29er wheels roll fast over lumps and bumps while offering a more comfortable ride than they're 27.5" brothers. You sacrifice a bit of acceleration but a do-it-all off-roader like the Rockhopper a 29er is exactly what you need. The bigger wheels offer a bigger contact patch with the ground so you feel more confident in the corners and when braking.
From trail centre loops to traditional bridleway XC rides, the Rockhopper offers that perfect balance between rugged capability and lightweight efficiency at an affordable price point; especially the Expert model with its air sprung fork and one-by Deore drivetrain.
All of the models sit under the £1,000 mark, so if you are looking for a commuter bike that will double up as weekend adventurer then these bikes are an ideal choice.