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Specialized Releases New Rockhoppers for 2018

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 Medium2017 Size Medium
STACK605mm624mm
REACH418mm412mm
HEAD TUBE LENGTH95mm100mm
HEAD TUBE ANGLE69.8°71°
BB HEIGHT312.5mm310mm
BB DROP57.5mm64mm
TRAIL82mm80mm
FORK LENGTH, FULL506mm505mm
FORK RAKE/OFFSET51mm46mm
FRONT CENTER676mm657mm
CHAINSTAY LENGTH435mm442mm
WHEELBASE1104mm1091mm
TOP TUBE LENGTH, HORIZONTAL595mm615mm
BIKE STANDOVER HEIGHT775mm810.4mm
SEAT TUBE LENGTH430mm445mm
SEAT TUBE ANGLE73.8°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.

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I’m a mountain biker currenlty residing in south east Wisconsin. I love riding bikes with my family and friends, race casually and am plain crazy about bikes.

Current Steeds:

Raleigh Tokul 3
SE [email protected]
Trek 1000

3 Comments

  1. Thanks for a quick review on the new Specialized. I recently test rode the 2018 Norco Charger 1. It’s priced at $1150 at my LBS. Seems like Norco might be a better option than this one. I am inclined to go for it primarily due to 1x drivetrain and a good fork. What are your thoughts?

  2. I’ve been shopping for my first MTB and recently test rode 2016 Kona Kahuna and 2018 Norco Charger 1. LBS just started stocking Norcos so I was very much looking forward to giving them a shot.
    Charger 1 happens to be in the same range as this new 2018 Rockhopper. Based on your review, I feel like Charger 1 is still better value for money. I was sold primarily on the 1x drivetrain and the SRAM shifter which (in my personal opinion) are much snappier than Shimano.

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