Spotland old boy Jason Kennedy and James Hanson secured the second away win on the spin for the Bantams, who carried on their impressive form following the derby success against Leeds United in midweek.
Delighted Bantams assistant manager Steve Parkin said: “We had watched Rochdale and we knew it would be a difficult game. We knew they would ask questions of us. But the whole back four were immense.
“We’ve got a very tenacious group here and they’re all brave, but goals change games and that definitely happened here.
“We played with good fluency and moved the ball around much quicker and better than Rochdale I felt.”
Rochdale opened the brightest amid a terrific atmosphere and Matt Done went close with a shot which whistled past an upright.
The same player then smashed an angled effort into the side-netting.
Shortly before the interval, Hanson ought to have broken the deadlock but failed to test Conrad Logan sufficiently after latching on to Filipe Morais’s smart cross.
The visitors looked more in control in the second period, and two goals inside six minutes secured the victory.
Kennedy notched when he drilled home following Hanson’s knock-down. Hanson then bagged his fifth goal of the season when he headed past Logan from Alan Sheehan’s corner.
Rochdale: Logan, Rafferty (Donnelly 67), Allen, Eastham, Kennedy, Tanser, Bennett, Hery, Done (Fenelon 67), Henderson, Vincenti (Andrew 73). Unused substitutes: Dawson, Musangu, Rose, Camps.
Bradford City: Pickford, Darby, Meredith, Liddle, McArdle, Kennedy, Sheehan, Morais (Clarke 46), Bennett (Mclean 75), Hanson, Knott (Dolan 82). Unused substitutes: Williams, Yeates, Routis, McBurnie.
Referee: N Miller (County Durham).
Man of the match: Jason Kennedy.