If you can't spend much, reviewers say the Specialized Rockhopper is a good mountain bike for new riders. The durable alloy frame is solid, and experts say it can grow with you as your skills improve. The lifetime warranty is a plus for the pocketbook, experts say. Reviewers agree, raving about the value and saying this bike is quite a steal at this price. The Specialized Rockhopper can hold its own on the trail against bikes costing much more, and the components are suitable for new riders. Even though the Specialized Rockhopper doesn't have suspension over the rear wheel, users say it provides a comfortable ride on tough trails. However, riders say the bike can slip gears easily, especially when climbing. Reviewers would also like to see better tires with more traction for wet or muddy trails. If your budget is very tight, reviews point to the Trek 4300 (MSRP: $570).
BikeRadar.com has the best review of the Specialized Rockhopper. Editors conduct extensive testing on mountain bikes, rating each bike on a five-point scale. User reviews are available at MTBR.com, Buzzillions.com and SingleTracks.com, but many of the reviews refer to the 2010 model. However, little has changed on the 2011 model with the exception of a new fork and tires.
BikeRadar.com gives the Specialized Rockhopper a 3.5-star rating (out of 5). "A great frame and competitive price make it a budget bargain," says Seb Rogers. Most of the components are suitable for beginners, but Rogers would like to see a better fork.
Review: Specialized Rockhopper Review, Seb Rogers, Feb. 5, 2011
The Specialized Rockhopper earns high overall ratings from more than 90 users at MTBR.com. Reviewers appreciate the lightweight frame and solid disc brakes. However, some riders would like tires with better traction.
Review: Specialized Rockhopper XC Hardtail, Contributors to MTBR.com
Buzzillions.com compiles nearly 40 owner-written reviews for the Specialized Rockhopper. Most riders say the bike is a great value that handles well out on the trail. One owner reports problems with the brakes and shifters.
Review: Specialized Rockhopper, Contributors to Buzzillions.com
Nearly 20 riders review the Specialized Rockhopper at SingleTracks.com, where the bike enjoys a 4-star rating (out of 5). However, most riders review the Comp model, which has slightly better components.
Review: Specialized Rockhopper Reviews, Contributors to SingleTracks.com