Oversized tubing. All tubes are larger diameter than our prior Vertex frames for increased stiffness without the weight penalty. Tapered head tube. Larger frames tend to be flexy at the front end. By using a tapered head tube ( 1-1/8” at the top and 1-1/2” at the bottom) we are able to make the front end of the Vertex 29 stiffer and stronger. The tapered head tube allows for a wider down tube at the head tube joint which helps to laterally stiffen the front end of the frame without increasing the tube thickness.
Strengths: The power to weight ratio for climbing bad x country. Also still nimble and agile to throw anywhere. Had a 2010 giant trance x2 found it a complete slug. I just love riding this now.
Weaknesses: Width of bars - will take an inch or so off before long.
Just rode yesterday over some mighty tough terrain rocks, water, sand, hills, down hill, etc. and the bike was magnificent!!
a Cross Country Rider
from teton valley, Idaho
Date Reviewed: October 16, 2011
Strengths: Geometry: Front tire stays down when climbing hard, back tire stays down when braking hard, turns tight, but isn't twitchy. It just seems in perfect balance. Fork and brakes are excellent at this price, and far better than bikes just a couple hundred bucks less. Small stuff is good too--I like the seat, the quick seatpost clamp, the dual water bottle option, the grips etc.
Weaknesses: The stock Crossmark tire is fine in the back, but washed around in the front in loose conditions and cornered poorly. Switched to Ikon up front and solved those issues, without gaining too much weight/rolling. Stock bike also comes with 2 too many chainrings (:
Last year, I mountain biked maybe twice. This year 3 times a week, partly because this is such a great bike and so fun to ride. On my 26er, I was slower and often wishing I had full suspension. I never wish this bike had full suspension--it's as comfortable as I need.
Even after a season of riding it hard, I haven't broke a thing, though I've had to replace chain and brake pads. I'm amazed at how much bike a grand can buy these days.
Similar Products Used: Rocky Mountain Soul hardtail 26er
Bike Setup: converted to 1x9, riser bars, Ikon front, eggbeater peddles.
a Weekend Warrior
from cincinnati, ohio
Date Reviewed: July 8, 2011
Strengths: Great bike for the price point, largely because of the awesome frame. Other components are very much in line with other bikes in this price range, but the frame quality and design is hard to beat without spending more. Great rollover, as with any 29er, but the VErtex has a great wheelbase that makes it feel more maneuverable than other wagon wheel'd MTB's. Plus this bike is sexy; chix dig it ;)
Weaknesses: As soon as you ride it, you will want the SE, Altitude and Altitude SE! But again, for the price point, the standard Vertex 29 is absolutely P.I.M.P. The weakest link (if I had to paint with that brush) I guess would be the seat...but it isn't bad at all. I would just prefer a slightly larger/softer seat (sorry...saddle) in an aluminum hardtail. The WTB Rocket V comp is adequate though for all but the fiercest of whatever you would attempt with this kind of bike I guess. The handlebars aren't overwhelming either, but again for the price point its what I would have put on them too because its better to spend the money on other things than something as unique as those seem to be.
For the price (which is the qualifier you need to preface pretty much any review with):
Good components for the price.
Very good handling....nimble, fast and forgiving.
Great frame you can upgrade later and never be underframed.
Made in North America, yay!
Sexy looks (I know, not that important, but if you got it flaunt it!)
Similar Products Used: Spent decades on cheap road bikes, but this is my first MTB XC HT and first 29er. However this purchase was prefaced with several months of grueling research...internet, friends, LBS's, big chain shops, magazines, friends of friends, etc. Had already made up my mind to get a Trek until a friend recommended that I look into RMB.
Bike Setup: Stock with Crank Bros Mallet 1's and a cheap water bottle rack.
from matthews,NC 28104
Date Reviewed: May 6, 2011
Strengths: Love the 29 inch wheels, role over is amazing. The light weight overall accelerates quickly. I weigh about 200 lbs and I have riden this bike hard for about 8 months... Every comp. has held up well.
Weaknesses: None other than I like to ride it too often.
Great buy. I would buy it again tomorrow. Good job ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIKES.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2010
Strengths: ( Review for Vertex 29 SE) Stiff frame, Excellent welds and finish, Nice components, Fork w/15mm axle is great. Stans wheels are great XC wheels, Conti Race King tires were a nice surprise. 19" frame has plenty of room for bottles. Overall, a lot of bike for the money.
Weaknesses: Still evaluating the Race Face Evolve crankset- May replace it with familiar XT.
Crashed my Racer X a month ago. Needed a bike for Iceman race. I demoed a GF-Paragon which convinced me about the benefit of 29" wheels, but some of the components were lower grade than I wanted. This Rocky Mountain Vertex SE had better components (especially wheels), lighter weight, and great end of season price. Handled great in the Iceman-climbs like crazy. I will look at Rocky Mountain again.
Bike Setup: Stock except for WTB Laser V saddle, Easton Carbon flat bars 580mm, Stan's tubeless coversion on wheels and tires. Weighs in at 26 lbs.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: December 19, 2009
Strengths: This bike is a monster!! it excellerates like a road bike.The tapered head tube is a work of art, making it super stiff and stable.the seat tube bb junction is crazy!!short chain stays, beautiful drop outs.Speced really well, love the new 15mm Fox fork. Formula brakes feel really powerful.photo's do it no justice, 29 inch wheels with that famous Rocky Mountain sloping top tube and ride!!!
Weaknesses: no room for bottles in small frame. Tires not great for west coast winter rides.
love the bike, gotta do some epic rides to really get to know 'er. This is the bike for that die hard 26" wheel xc racer.One ride & they might be hooked on wagon wheels !!