13 May 2020

Drawing on the Epic and Chisel hardtails, the Specialized Rockhopper gets a brand new alloy frame for 2021 along with a huge range of sizes, colours, spec levels and wheelsize options

The base model Rockhopper in size small, using 27.5in wheels a real little ripper bike with many nice finishing touches.

Alongside the Stumpjumper, the Rockhopper is one of Specialized’s most iconic names. This humble hardtail has been in the mountain bike range for a rather astonishing 35 years, making it nearly as old as mountain biking itself. For 2021, Specialized continues to evolve the Rockhopper, which for the first time ever, now boasts 26in, 27.5in and 29in wheel size options, and a humongous size range to accommodate as many riders as possible, across a very broad range of budgets starting at $750.

The Specialized Rockhopper – What’s New?

Following in the footsteps of the Epic and Chisel, the Rockhopper is an entry-level hardtail mountain bike that’s built around a 100mm travel fork and disc brakes. For 2021, Specialized has updated the A1 alloy frame, which features sleek internal cable routing through the downtube, an internal headset, two water bottle mounts, and the option to fit a kickstand and rear pannier rack.

Inspired by its more expensive brethren, the Rockhopper sees improvements to its geometry to make it more stable and comfortable to ride – paramount for those who are just getting into mountain biking. The head angle has been slackened out to 68° for more stability when descending, and the bottom bracket sits lower to help bring down the centre of gravity. The seat tubes have also been shortened and the top tube now sits lower too, which increases standover height – a good thing for the confidence levels.

Entry level aluminium punching above its weight, very slick.
The new Rockhopper is set to become a lot of people’s first foray into the world of proper mountain biking.

140 Different Rockhoppers, Seriously!

When you take into account the different models, sizes and colours, that’s how many different Rockhoppers are coming into Australia this year – unreal! The expansion in offerings is because the new Specialized Rockhopper range has taken over the Pitch model for 2021 too. So no more Pitch, it’s all Rockhoppers as far as the eye can see.

There are a load of colour options, along with seven frame sizes from XX-Small all the way up to XX-Large. Specialized has also adapted the wheelsize depending on the frame size, so the bigger the frame, the bigger the wheels;

  • XXS = 26in wheels
  • XS-M = 27.5in wheels
  • S-XXL = 29in wheels

Depending on your budget, there are five different spec levels in the Rockhopper range, starting at $750 AUD for the base model, and going up to $1,700 AUD for the Rockhopper Expert. Here’s a closer look at each model;

Top of the rocks, the $1,700 version looks well up for a proper trail thrashing.
2021 specialized rockhopper expert
The Expert is the top model of the Rockhopper range, and it features a 1×12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain, an air-sprung RockShox Judy fork, and tubeless ready wheels.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper Expert

  • Frame | A1 Alloy, Internal Cable Routing, Quick-Release Dropouts
  • Fork | RockShox Judy Silver, Solo Air Spring, 100mm Travel
  • Wheels | Shimano Hubs & Specialized Stout SL Alloy Rims, Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Rear, Tubeless Ready
  • Drivetrain | SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 w/SX 30T Cranks & 11-50T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT-200 Hydraulic Disc
  • Sizes | XS, S, M, L, XL & XXL
  • RRP | $1,700 AUD
2021 specialized rockhopper elite
The Rockhopper Elite moves to a more economical 1×10 Shimano drivetrain, though it shares the same frame, wheels, fork and hydraulic disc brakes as the Expert.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper Elite

  • Frame | A1 Alloy, Internal Cable Routing, Quick-Release Dropouts
  • Fork | RockShox Judy Silver, Solo Air Spring, 100mm Travel
  • Wheels | Shimano Hubs & Specialized Stout SL Alloy Rims, Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control 2.3in Front & Rear, Tubeless Ready
  • Drivetrain | Shimano Deore 1×10 w/Stout 30T Cranks & 11-42T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT-200 Hydraulic Disc
  • Sizes | XS, S, M, L, XL & XXL
  • RRP | $1,400 AUD
2021 specialized rockhopper comp
Sitting in the middle of the range, the Rockhopper Comp comes with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and a SR Suntour fork with a lockout.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper Comp

  • Frame | A1 Alloy, Internal Cable Routing, Quick-Release Dropouts
  • Fork | SR Suntour XCM w/MCD & Lockout, 100mm Travel
  • Wheels | Shimano Hubs & Specialized Stout Alloy Rims, Tubeless Convertible
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control Sport 2.3in Front & Rear
  • Drivetrain | microSHIFT Advent 1×9 w/Stout 30T Cranks & 11-42T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano MT-200 Hydraulic Disc
  • Sizes | XS, S, M, L, XL & XXL
  • RRP | $1,000 AUD
2021 specialized rockhopper sport
Diving below the $1,000 mark, the Rockhopper Sport shares the same frame as the Expert model, and it also comes fitted with a suspension fork, 2.3in Ground Control tyres and hydraulic disc brakes.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper Sport

  • Frame | A1 Alloy, Internal Cable Routing, Quick-Release Dropouts
  • Fork | SR Suntour XCM, 100mm Travel
  • Wheels | Formula Hubs & Double-Wall Alloy Rims
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control Sport 2.3in Front & Rear
  • Drivetrain | Shimano Altus 2×9 w/Stout Cranks & 11-36T Cassette
  • Brakes | Tektro M275/276 Hydraulic Disc
  • Sizes | XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL & XXL
  • RRP | $875 AUD
2021 specialized rockhopper
The entry-level Rockhopper maintains exactly the same frame and geometry as the more expensive models, though this one is also available in an XX-Small size for younger and shorter riders.

2021 Specialized Rockhopper

  • Frame | A1 Alloy, Internal Cable Routing, Quick-Release Dropouts
  • Fork | SR Suntour XCE, 100mm Travel
  • Wheels | Formula Hubs & Double-Wall Alloy Rims
  • Tyres | Specialized Ground Control Sport 2.3in Front & Rear
  • Drivetrain | Shimano & microSHIFT 2×8 w/Stout Cranks & 11-34T Cassette
  • Brakes | Radius CX-7 Mechanical Disc
  • Sizes | XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL & XXL
  • RRP | $750 AUD
Specialized has unveiled some pretty incredible high-end machines over the past year, but we love that it hasn’t forgotten about those who are newer to our sport.

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