Specialized calls this the best Rockhopper they’ve ever made, bringing singletrack-ready performance to the masses at affordable pricing and in wider-than-ever sizing for any rider looking to step up their mountain bike game

Sharing the same lightweight, butted aluminum hardtail frame setup across the range, complete bikes start as low as $500. With wheel sizes from 26″ to 29er, and size-specific fork travel, once the full 2021 Rockhopper range rolls out over the summer, this is the kind of bike that will develop the next generation of mountain bikers…

The affordable new Specialized Rockhopper

2021 Specialized Rockhopper Elite
2021 Specialized Rockhopper Elite, c. Specialized

For 30 years, the alloy Specialized Rockhopper has always been the right blend of high value and high performance hardtail that gets new cyclists hooked on mountain biking. But now, with a complete frame overhaul, broader sizing & fits, and a revamped component spec, the Rockhopper is more accessible to even more riders.

Size-specific wheelsize & XC trail geometry

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtailA first for mountain bike hardtails at this level, the Rockhopper introduces size-specific wheel sizes and fork travel, so all sizes of rider can get handling & performance properly scaled to them.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail size specific geometry

Now available in nine sizes (XXS to XXL), the smallest XXS is 26″ only, XS/S/M come with 27.5″ wheels, and the 29er gets a wide S-XXL range. (This effectively merges the previous Pitch & Rockhopper into a single platform.)

New Rockhopper tech details

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail

The new disc brake frame is built from an all-new A1 Premium aluminum alloy with butted tubes & forged dropouts to cut weight and offer a more comfortable ride.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail

The new Rockhopper sticks with Quick Release axles (as opposed to thru axles) to keep build specs affordable, but it does add full internal cable routing with stealth dropper seatpost compatibility.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail

It also gets a threaded bottom bracket, straight 1 1/8″ headtube with internal Zero Stack headset, chainstay post mount rear brake, replaceable derailleur hanger, and QR clamp for the 30.9mm seatpost. It even includes hidden rear rack & kickstand mounts for everyday commuter versatility.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper pricing & availability

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail
2021 Specialized Rockhopper Comp

For now though, we know that the Rockhopper will come in five spec levels:

  • $1125 / 1200€ Expert
  • $950 / 1000€ Elite
  • $750 / 700€ Comp
  • $600 / 600€ Sport
  • $500 / 500€ Base

Of those Expert & Elite will offer wide 1x drivetrains in 9, 10, or 12-speed variants. While the less expensive models will get 2×8 or 2×9 drivetrains. Importantly, as wheelsizes are based on rider size… 26″, 27.5″ & 29″ bikes of the same spec-level get the same retail price.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail
2021 Specialized Rockhopper

Those entry-level $500€ Rockhoppers get size-specific SR Suntour XCE coil forks with 80, 90, or 100mm of custom Rx tuned travel and a 2×8-speed drivetrain mixing Shimano Tourney & Altus derailleurs to microShift shifter & a SunRace cassette.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail
2021 Specialized Rockhopper Expert

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the top $1125 / 1200€ Rockhopper Experts move up to RockShox Judy air forks with the same size-specific 80-100mm travel (still QR axle, though), SRAM SX Eagle 1×12, and tubeless-ready rims & Ground Control tires. (Tubeless-ready tire+wheels for Elite, wheels-only for Comp, too.)

2021 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, affordable aluminum alloy MTB hardtail
2021 Specialized Rockhopper Sport

So far, Specialized has given the new bike a soft rollout first across Europe, but some North American information is up on the website. Technically it’s a model year 2021 mountain bike (which would typically debut early this summer), and thanks to the logistical impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, global delivery has been impacted. Many of the new bikes are now available in Europe, but full inventory is expected in US bike shops a bit later, around mid summer through September 2020 depending on the model.

Specialized.com

25 COMMENTS

  1. This announcement makes no sense. These bikes should be available now or they should not have been anounced. I can’t think of any reason to announce these bikes so far ahead of when they will be available.

  2. Nice bikes at a reasonable price. Now. How do we get these built in America by American workers in decent working environments?

  3. I don’t think the end consumer is the audience for this announcement.

    Recession-proof bikes. Smart move.

    I love that entry-level cost is going down.

  4. Regarding availability from a current dealer. We have the new Rockhopper and are getting more. The problem is there’s a world wide bike boom happening. Bikes are leaving the sales floor in record numbers. I hope this info is helpful.

  5. Would be cool to see a build using the new Deore 1×10 or 1×11. Maybe next year.

    I could see getting one of these for my son who is outgrowing the 26″ rat bike I built him. $500 for a non-BSO is a good deal.

    • Yeah, there seems to be room in the range for something between the Comp and Expert. A 1×10 M4100 or 1×11 M5100 drivetrain and a Suntour Air-sprung shock @ $950-$1000?

      • Excuse my dumb comment above, I didn’t read the article carefully enough. The bike I’m asking for more or less exists as the Elite. I made the comment after looking at range on the US website, which doesn’t show that model yet, leaving a gap between the $750 1×9, coil-sprung Comp and the $1125 1×12, air-sprung Expert.

    • Bought my teenage son a Bikes Direct $400 29er and after he broke the rear derailleur, upgraded to an SLX 1×11 transmission groupset from Merlin for $240 which dropped 750 grams off the stock 3×8 gearset.

    • Article mentions “stealth” dropper post cable routing. If you zoom in on the pics, even the 2x versions have an open port on the drive side of the downtube. One would presume that’s for the dropper cable.

  6. Putting a 29 wheel set on a small frame is like asking a runner to wear clown shoes. It make absolutely no sense especially in a cheap bike. Everyone knows how weak a 29er wheel is.

  7. I have just bought two 2021 Rockhopper Comp 29 for my kids. They love them. It’s a great all round bike for kids or anyone starting out on MTB riding. The 1×9 puts the power down fast.

  8. I’ve been to these factories, as many brands have overlapping suppliers… on the grand scheme of things, a lot of these factories actually have pretty decent working conditions. that’s one way that factories kind of set themselves apart, and making it more attractive to come and work there… this is very important, because in so many cases, there are more jobs than people. if the conditions are bad, the workers will leave unless paid more, so in the end it ends up costing. it’s better for the factory to have good conditions and retain employees rather than not, because these are skilled workers, it takes time to train people.
    a lot of carbon or wheel factories have air conditioning too, which is quite a luxury on the factory floors.
    personally i don’t mind where the product is built, as long as the end result and quality is the same. i’ve never looked it as a nationality kind of thing… i’ve looked at it as us all being humans, and we all need to put food on the table. we’re all on this planet together.

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