Red Rockhopper Comp 98-99


Retro Guru
Just finished rescuing this Specialized Rockhopper Comp in a fetching deep red colour, not seen another in this colour anywhere else? The metallic red really pings. I had the Deore LX shifters from a previous strip, and they look great but not really impressed with their function, might have to find something less temperamental. Splashed out on some tan wall tyres from Halo, bloody impossible to find 26" tan walls at the moment. Saddle is a cheap plastic placeholder for now, looking for a Ritchey Comp to finish the build. Not sure if this was 1998 or 1999, haven't seen anything similar online to date it.






Senior Retro Guru
Love it! Perhaps the best looking Rockhopper I've ever seen.

The year is puzzling me. If it was 1998, it would have a Ritchey Nitanium sticker on it and I think that 1999 was the same (but with a 'flash' behind the Rockhopper logo). That leaves me wondering whether it's a 1997 model. I don't know if they still made fully rigid, steel Rockhoppers in 2000. I doubt it, though.

What's the frame number? There might be a clue in that.


Roberts Fan
Thanks, I was curious as to what was different about the Ritchey Nitanium. I have just done a deal on a 97 Rockhopper and some sources say it has a Ritchey Nitanium frame and others differ.


Senior Retro Guru
I think that the Nitanium Rockhoppers were 1998 and 1999 only. There was a Nitanium Stumpjumper in 1998 too, but not in 1999 as the 1998 was the last of the steel Stumpies. The 1997 Rockhopper had a 'Direct Drive' frame and fork; no mention of Nitanium. The attached PDF shows the specs and blurb for the 97 Rockhopper (pulled from Specialized's website on July 22 1997).

I'm not sure how the 97 Rockhoppers compared with the Nitanium ones but the Nitanium ones have a springy ride quality. Perhaps the OP will comment on the ride quality of the model above.

At the risk of a thread hijack, this screenshot shows what Ritchey's website said about their NiTi bike and Nitanium in late 1998 or thereabouts:


  • 1997 Rockhopper.pdf
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