Hi everyone, I’m currently riding an 08 Cannondale F4 and overdue for a new ride. I’m torn between 2 new bikes at the top of my limited budget. The Giant fathom 29er 2 and the Specialized Rockhopper comp 29er. Anyone have a preference and why?
I’m not familiar with nor have I rode the Giant bike so I can’t give you any yah’s or nay’s about it. I’m sure that it is a darn good, quality bike. They don’t make cheap bikes for sure. My entry level bike into this world of mountain biking was the Specialized RH Comp 29er. I am 5’10 and got a large but in reality should have gotten a medium. But it wasn’t something that made or broke my experience on the bike. I LOVED my RH and still have it. I found the handlebars a little too wide for me (based off my shoulder width) so I had them shortened by 1″ on both ends. Doing that helped my climbs tremendously. This isn’t just a Specialized issue but, if you go the RH route you may want to have your LBS check that out for you. I upgraded my pedals to the VP Component Vice aluminum alloy flat pedals for more grip (probably the best and cheapest upgrade I made). And lastly, I upgraded the tires from the stock 2.1 to 2.3’s and went tubeless. HUGE difference in the curves especially on a big 29er.
I went into my first entry level bike with a 29er ONLY mindset and while it was a great choice for me (fit my budget as well), I only wished I had been more open to trying out a 27.5+ with 3″ tires. I recently tired out a Specialized Fuse Comp 6Fattie (Medium) and was in LOVE the instant I sat on the saddle. I went with the 29er because of the “rolls over anything” mindset but, I didn’t know what “rolls over anything” was until I got on the Fuse. AND, it was also within budget of where I could have afforded it! Lots of LBS still have the 2016 version and are knocking off $500-$600 to move them in order to make room for the 2017 models. Go check one out if you are open to trying out something else before pulling the trigger on a 29er! Whatever your choice, you can never go wrong with a Specialized bike for sure! Good luck!
They are comparable quality bikes, I find Specialized ergonomics less comfortable to me, The Giants I have tried fit me better. You should see if you can test ride them both.. I don’t have real long legs so another thing I like about Giant is the lower stand over height.
I’m looking at these exact 2 bikes (2017). Can you provide a follow-up review/wrap-up? The Giant seems considerably lighter, but I like the geometry of the Specialized; seems less upright. But I’m leaning towards the Giant. Thanks!
Like @kenwrightjr I went with the 2016 Specialized Rockhopper Comp and I have no regrets. It is not the most aggressive geometry Hardtail, but for my first serious mountain bike, it hit the mark. I have done a several upgrades to date and am looking forward to this biking season, after which I hope I can upgrade to a full suss bike. Which coincidentally might be a Giant product(Giant Trance 2).
So whether you choose Giant or Specialized bike, you will be happy for sure.
The Rockhopper has slightly older geometry, and is more suited for general riding, has harder/tougher compund tires. The Fathom has the more modern longer front center geometry which has improved stability and capability of xc/trail bikes in the last few years. The spec for the giant is way better, and they have internal cable routing for a seatpost dropper which you might want to add later. The Fathom is a more serious xc bike than the Rockhopper.