Specialized Rockhopper 2012 Review

I Have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 and the time has come to test ride this iconic mountain bike.  I have owned several over the years and its plain to see why the Specialized Rockhopper has evolved in to one of the most popular mountain bikes in the world.

Specialized Rockhopper 2012 Review

Specialized Rockhopper 2012 Review

My current cycle is a Specialized Rockhopper 2009 model and it’s clear to see the improvements that have been made over the 3 years.
My first impressions are that Specialized have improved the paintwork and the look of the cycle and have created a real head turner that will make other cyclists stop and stare at this stunning piece of cycling history.

The black and white or white and flow red options that are available on the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 are both stunning works of art and give off a lasting impression of quality and durability which is what this cycle has been known for the last 30 years.


Taking hold of the cycle for the first time it all comes flooding back , generations of Specialized Rockhoppers have evolved in to this latest model and the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 again feels and rides like no other mountain bike I have ridden.

Looking at the main features of the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 the bike oozes quality.

  • The frame is a fully butted, smooth-welded M4SL alloy superlight frame with integrated head tube and asymmetrical seatstays which offers a quick, responsive, and compliant ride.
  • The bike comes with custom-tuned SR Suntour suspension fork with hydraulic damping, lockout with lightweight magnesium lowers, and alloy steerer which delivers the supple ride qualities of a high-end fork without costing the earth.
  • Wheels consist of light and durable double-walled alloy rims that are tough enough to handle the rough stuff on any ride.
  • For that extra grip the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 model comes complete with Specialized Captain Sport tires that lend a perfect knob pattern for diverse conditions
  • The Shimano crankset with forged alloy arms and Octalink-splined BB interface means greater durability and better shifting performance so it will never let you down on the hardest of rides
  • The Shimano dual-piston hydraulic disc brakes assure solid, worry-free braking performance under any conditions which is a must on any ride and ensure your safety.
  • Shimano Deore Shadow 9-speed rear derailleur and shifters for top-of-the-line shifting performance and improved clearance making sure you never miss a gear.

After a quick ride around the car park and a few little adjustments I am ready to put the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 through its paces along the river Mersey.  I manage to keep up a steady pace along the rough riverside path changing up and down the gears with ease. The improved gear system comes in to its own on a steep section of the track and the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 does not let me down and I ascend with ease sitting in the saddle.

The quality aluminium frame and components make the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 a light weight machine that handles well on all surfaces and at times I forget the cycle is there as I become at one with this amazing mountain bike.  I eat up the miles as I head south along the river testing out the front suspension which makes the roughest of terrain seem no more than a stone in the road.

Overall the Specialized Rockhopper 2012 has to be seen and ridden to be believed.  After a 20 mile workout I am hooked and will be trading in my Specialized Rockhopper 2009 model for the new and improved Specialized Rockhopper 2012.

After reading my review of the Rockhopper and you are interested in buying one of these mean machines why not look at one of our partners to to get the best price.

Buy a Specialized Rockhopper today