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
Rockhopper comp 29 (11) (US)
SR Suntour SF11-XCR-DS-29-LO-SP, 1-1/8" alloy steer, mag. lower, 30mm stanchions, hyd. damping w/ lock out and custom tuned spike valve