Finally. After a month after my 2003 Specialized Stumpjumper suffered catastrophic failure, I am back on the road again. This time sporting the freshly redesigned 2013 Specialized Rockhopper Comp. Much has changed in 9 years since my last bike purchase. 29 inch wheels and disc brakes are the norm, lockout on front suspension fork is to be expected and prices have sky rocketed. To get into a comparably equipped Stumpjumper to my 2003, it would set you back a cool $2000. With a price point of $1000, the all new Rockhopper is a great value for what I need.
My initial thoughts were about the weight of the bike, several pounds heavier than that of other bikes on the market. 2013 Rockhoppers are made of A1 aluminum, a down grade from the M4 for last years model. With the Carve and Stumpjumpers being the high end hardtails, the M4 was reserved to set a premium on the those models this year.
After a few gravel road rides and some urban mountain biking conditions (potholes, curbs…texting drivers) I have found a great appreciation for the agility of this bike. Steering is firm thanks to the newly designed tapered head, the 29 inch Ground Control tires pair nicely with the Rockshox XC28 fork to roll over obstacles with ease. Running around town, the disc brakes help avoid cars, pedestrians and the deer running across the road, I would have a hard time purchasing anything with v-brakes again after experiencing the smoothness of disc. Coming for 2003 Shimano XT level components, I was not expecing much from my Shimano Deore Shadow components. Boy, was I wrong; the derailleurs shift clean and quickly. The rear derailleur hugs tight to the wheel giving extra clearance from rocks and log piles.
Overall, I am pleased with my new Rockhopper Comp. The flat black gives a stealthy look to an overall will refined bicycle. This would make a great bike for any entry level or experienced rider looking for a great value.