The Rockhopper line of bikes from specialized has been around for a long, long time. Specialized has updated these entry-level bikes for 2018. Some of the changes include a refined frame design that shaves weight and internal cable routing.
They have also reworked the geometry of the bike. Notably, the Rockhopper moves from a 71° to a 69.8° head tube angle and the chainstays have gone from 442mm down to 435mm. Here is a size medium comparison of the 2017 and 2018 versions:
|2018 Size Medium||2017 Size Medium|
|HEAD TUBE LENGTH||95mm||100mm|
|HEAD TUBE ANGLE||69.8°||71°|
|FORK LENGTH, FULL||506mm||505mm|
|TOP TUBE LENGTH, HORIZONTAL||595mm||615mm|
|BIKE STANDOVER HEIGHT||775mm||810.4mm|
|SEAT TUBE LENGTH||430mm||445mm|
|SEAT TUBE ANGLE||73.8°||72°|
The 2018 models also feature new component builds at prices ranging from $490.00 to $1100.00. The lower end models feature triple chain rings, coil spring forks and mechanical disk brakes which put them in the category of bikes that a mountain biker will quickly outgrow. The higher end models feature air forks, 2x drive trains and hydraulic brakes that make them a bit more respectable bikes. However you will be pushing near the $1000 mark for those builds and that point there are a ton of much better specced bikes available from manufacturers that don’t put “Specialized” on their downtubes.
In the end it feels like the Rockhopper still fills a price-point in the Specialized lineup without providing anything special. The updates make it an improved bike, but probably not the best bike for the money.