Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29 review

Stiff racy feel

BikeRadar score3/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

Specialized’s Rockhopper Comp 29er will be appreciated by bigger riders and racers as it's one of the stiffest bikes on test, both in terms of steering and pedaling. The drawback is that it rides harsher than most of the others. The Rockhopper’s highlight feature is its slider rear dropouts. Remove the derailleurs, add a fork with rebound damping or a rigid one, sub in some lighter wheels and you have a bike perfect for singlespeeding; heck, Ned Overend won the US singlespeed national championships on a tricked out Rockhopper with virtually the same frame!

  • Standout features: Versatility of the frame — it'll stay in a rider’s stable even after they upgrade, due to the slider dropouts
  • Pros: Racy feel; Tektro Draco brakes
  • Cons: Harsh and somewhat sluggish-seeming ride; stiff tires; very poor performance from the fork, including harsh top-out (ie. you feel a thud through the bars when the fork re-extends after an impact)
  • Weight: 14.08kg/31.04lb. Wheelset: 5.26kg/11.61lb
James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Age: 40
  • Height: 173cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 70kg / 154lb
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA
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