Interbike 2011: Rocky Mountain

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Rocky Mountain’s PR guy, Andreas Hestler was kind enough to show us through the new 2012 Rocky Mountain bike range, just before he jetted off to the Trans-Provence race, where he did pretty well…

First up is the Vertex 990. When designing a full suspension bike, there might be 20 different versions of the design going backwards and forwards as the engineers tweak everything to get it all right. With the Vertex hardtail, there was 100 different modifications done to get it right. What Rocky has come out with is a sub-kilo 29er carbon frame that claims to offer a lot of stiffness while still being compliant, and grippy enough for longer distance racing. Oh, and it looks great…

If it's not flared and internal these days, forget it.

 

A hardcore 29er racing frame that comes in at 997g

 

Super-slim rear stays give some, er, give.

 

Who said that XC racers don't want stiff and simple 142mm back ends?

Here’s a quick look at Rocky’s DH bike, the Flatline. Big and chunky, it’s been tweaked to be more of a full-on DH bike, rather than the halfway house of slopestyle/freeride AND downhill of the previous design.

A neat touch on the seat clamp there. Perhaps the Canadians really do understand the wet?

Now here’s the Element. It was redesigned last year and includes its ‘Smoothlink’ suspension platform, which is a true four bar system. Here is the 29er Element 950. There is a custom Rockshox Revelation fork with a 120/100mm quick switch for uphill/downhill, or ‘race’ and ‘relax’ modes.

95mm of travel puts it in the ’29er racer’ ball park. (Or should we say ‘football stadium’?) – there are three 29er models: the 970, 950 and 930.

 

Super neat sag-o-meter built into the pivot.

 

120mm fork or 100mm fork at the flip of a switch.

 

It's not all 29ers or swanky carbon either. the new Element range has 11 models in it, including far more affordable aluminium models and those three aluminium 29er models.

 

 

 

And if you like a little more in the rear, the Rocky Mountain Altitude offers 140mm of all-mountainness

Now the only slight hitch with these great looking bikes is that Rocky Mountain currently doesn’t have a UK distributor. Until recently it was brought in by Silverfish, but as of about Eurobike last month, Silverfish had stopped importing Rocky Mountain and had taken over the Yeti distributorship from Evolution Imports. Whether Rocky will pick up a new distributor or go dealer-direct, we can’t be sure, but we’ll let you know when we do. Either way, we can’t see this brand going away in a hurry. After all, they own the domain www.bikes.com!

 

Chipps

Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

Comments (4)

    Amazing, now just about anyone seems to get sub 1kg even with a 29er. Few years back only Scott had managed it for 26″. How low can it go?

    bring back straight tubes!

    Be good to see if the new importer can be more competitive on the price

    Seem to be one of those brands that always ends up on sales at the end of the year – guess cause they are overpriced, I have bought a few of their hard tails over the years and never been disappointed…of course I am a sucker for a good paintjob.

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