Rocky Mountain had their 2011 range on display at the Eurobike trade show, including new Element RSL and MSL cross-country bikes, updates to their Altitude and Slayer rigs, plus a 30th anniversary Vertex TO hardtail.
The classic Element, first launched 14 years ago, has been given a makeover for 2011 and comes in two versions – the 100mm-travel RSL and 120mm MSL. Both frames are made almost entirely from carbon, with only the front derailleur bolt inserts and inserts for the link pivots on the front triangle being made from alloy.
Rocky Mountain design their FORM C12 and C13 carbon tubing in-house and tailor the custom carbon layup to maximise stiffness and minimise weight. The company were keen to tell us about their Smooth Wall monocoque frame construction – a technique which apparently leaves the inside of the frame wall as smooth as the outside.
This means there's no excess fibre or resin, saving weight, and no extra material which might compromise strength and ride quality. The Element RSL is more race orientated, while the MSL has slightly slacker head and seat tube angles, plus a higher bottom bracket.
Traditional cartridge bearings are replaced on the Element by ABC Pivot Technology – a stiffer, lighter (by 120g, according to Rocky Mountain) linkage bearing made up of an angular contact polymer bushing against an angular alloy contact bearing sleeve on an aluminium sleeve. ABC pivots require almost no maintenance and can’t be over-tightened by ham-fisted riders.
Two chain suck plates have been integrated into the frame; one moulded into the chainstay and one at the bottom of the front derailleur.
The Slayer full-susser, built to go up the hill and fly down the other side, gets a reworked frame for 2011, with a tapered head tube and hydroformed tubing. This ‘70’ version comes with a high-end spec including a Fox 36 TALAS R fork, custom valved Fox RP23 XV rear shock, Formula The One disc brakes and Race Face SixC carbon crankset.
Mountain Biking UKmagazine will have a review of the new Slayer in issue 260, so keep you eyes peeled for that.
Rocky’s 2011 Altitude gets an updated down tube, integrated headset for use with tapered forks, and a carbon rocker link out back. A claimed 200g has been shaved off the frame weight.
The Vertex TO has been introduced to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary and features an old-school Selle Italia Ti Flite saddle, classic Rocky Mountain graphics and a custom RockShox SID 100mm-travel fork.
Rocky Mountain’s Flatline has just been piloted to second place at the women's downhill world championships in Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Canada by Sabrina Jonnier. We're told that the pro riders ride the exact same bike, with the same spec that you can buy off-the-shelf.
Here's a list of UK RRPs for the 2011 Rocky Mountain mountain bike range:
* Element Team RSL: £6,799.00
* Element 70 RSL: £4,299.00
* Element 70 MSL: £4,399.00
* Element 50 MSL: £3,499.00
* Element 30 MSL: £2,699.00
* Element 50: £2,499.00
* Element 30: £1,799.00
* Altitude 70: £3,599.00
* Altitude 50: £2,799.00
* Altitude 30: £2,299.00
* Slayer 70: £4,199.00
* Slayer 50: £2,899.00
* Slayer 30: £2,299.00
* Vertex Team RSL: £5,999.00
* Vertex 70 RSL: £3,399.00
* Vertex 50 RSL: £2,599.00
* Vertex 50: £1,999.00
* Vertex 30: £1,249.00
* Vertex T.O. 30TH: £2,799.00
* Altitude 29 SE: £3,349.00
* Altitude 29: £2,399.00
* Vertex 29 SE: £2,249.00
* Vertex 29: £1,399.00
* Flatline World Cup: £5,499.00
* Flatline PRO: £3,499.00