Specialized Rockhopper 2021
Introducing the all-new Specialized Mountain Bike
Few bikes have such an esteemed history as the Specialized Rockhopper Mountain Bike so the launch of the 2021 edition certainly garners keen interest. The first Rockhopper was introduced into the brand's range in 1985 and, despite the genre of mountain biking already in full swing, became an instant hit. Its exceptionally attractive price to performance ratio enticed riders away from the beaten path and encouraged them to explore further thanks to its rugged CrMo tubing, robust wheels and fat, knobbly tyres.
Affordable and Capable
The ethos of the original Specialized Rockhopper model that encompasses performance, affordability and off-road versatility still rings true to this day within the latest 2021 version. This fresh iteration is again positioned within the Specialized range with the requirement to lure newcomers, and it certainly appears set to do this due to an array of innovative and exciting design traits and concepts, all while keeping a substantial focus on affordability.
Improved Frame Design
The most noticeable improvements to the latest version of the Specialized Rockhopper arrive with the frame. The upgrades start initially with a slick new silhouette that can't help but hark back to the halcyon days of rapid cross country racers of old via the compact aesthetic. Achieved in the brand's own A1 Premium aluminium, each tube section receives a fresh butting pattern that chisels internally. The result is threefold with a lighter weight, maintained efficiency and increased strength.
Convenience and Versatility
With the frame's foundation catered for, Specialized then turned their attention to enhancing the Rockhopper's convenience and versatility. Internal cable routing tidies the appearance, dropper post compatibility facilitates more technical descending before a threaded bottom bracket aids foolproof serviceability. Rack and kickstand mounts extend the bike’s remit into the urban environment.
The new Rockhopper frame is realised punctiliously with a balanced, cross country inspired geometry that has been gleaned from Specialized's years of racing heritage. This format encourages successful passage across any off-road landscape by bestowing a perfect balance of reactivity and composure. An increased standover height supplements confidence over tough terrain and within busy city environments alike.
The Specialized Rockhopper receives another important and inspired design decision by way of newly conceived frame size-specific wheels. 27.5” wheels are used for smaller sizes and 29” hoops for larger frames. By employing this notion, smaller, more technical riders aren’t overwhelmed, while larger riders can take advantage of the increased rolling ability of the greater circumference wheels.
This wheel size ideology has resulted in a simplifying of the Specialized off-road range with the Rockhopper now enveloping the old 27.5” Pitch model to produce just one neatly configured platform that the buyer can easily choose within.
Range of Models
The new collection of the Specialized Rockhopper is designed to meet the needs of every rider, with the same frame enlisted across the range. Where each differs is in the suspension forks, drivetrain and braking systems, changing for each model and to cover every budget.
The air-sprung RockShox Judy suspension fork, with its accurate rebound, makes a prominent appearance on the top two models, the Expert and the Elite. On all the other models, an Rx-Tune configured, SR Suntour fork takes care of flattening the bumps. With regards to drivetrains, the 1 x 12-speed, SRAM SX Eagle tops the bill before a slew of Shimano components is used across the rest of the range.
In each of the models, the new Specialized Rockhopper continues the time-honoured tradition cemented by its forefathers. It is ready to amplify performance, enjoyment and enthusiasm to riders on any budget, enticing them to go further and faster, across any manner of singletrack and fire roads; precisely as originally intended all those years ago.