Rocky Mountain Vertex 29 29er Hardtail

4.74/5 (19 Reviews)


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Product Description

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.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Adventure Dan

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2014

Strengths:    Quick handling, stiff making it a good climber.

Weaknesses:    Brake noise_ Finally solved

Bottom Line:   
Updated review. Have changed to carbon seatpost and carbon handlebar, 1 x 10 with a set of Sun Black Flag Pro wheels.

Handling is quick. Great for tight single track but you need to keep a minimum speed. Too low speed, and the bike becomes nervous causing handling issues. Love the 1 x 10 set for the hard packed trails I ride in southern Ontario. Run a narrowwide Raceface chainring with a Sram type 2 medium cage X9 rear derailler. Never dropped a chain.

Brakes were loud from the start. Changed the pads for Brake authorities and managed to quiet the front, but not the back. I finally solve the back brake squeal but replacing the Formula brake hanger with an Avid I had lying around. The Formula hanger was not square and causing the brake to squeal.

Bike is still too fast for me.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2013

Strengths:    Frame stiffness and vertical compliance. Very quick handling

Weaknesses:    Brakes. Formulas are on or off. Poor modulation.

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding 29ers since 2008. This bike handles like a 26" wheeled bike. Climbing on this bike requires proper weight transfer to maximize traction. Downhill steering is precise but quick. This is a true XC racing machine. Not a moving couch. You need to be fully attentive to stay on the trail. Low speed handling is tricky. Bike begs to go fast and will push you to comply. When not racing or riding with fast buddies, this bike has to stay home. Riding it slow is not an option. If you are looking to race, this is your ride. More vertical compliance than aluminium frames. Purchased after breaking a Scandium 29er frame, and can ride longer with less lower back stress.
Components are good, internal cable routing is easy. DT swiss wheels are OK. Converted to tubeless easily with Specialized tires. After 3 month of riding, they need minor truing.
Comfortable saddle.

If you want a XC race bike, this is the one to purchase. If you are planning on marathon racing and long rides, be mindfull that this is a fast reacting ride that can be a challenge as you get tired and are not as attentive.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Similar Products Used:   Misfit Dissent SS, Titus RacerX 29, Kona Kula 29

Bike Setup:   Stock except grips and tires. Went tubeless with Specialized FastTrak tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jeff

Date Reviewed: April 29, 2013

Strengths:    bike gears shifts smooth and brakes very strong

Weaknesses:    handle bars didn't like how they felt and colour is a bit odd, need to up grade tires, its abit on the heavy side

Bottom Line:   
very balance roll over anything turns wit ease

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2012

Strengths:    Light, design absorbs trail shock without sacrificing rigidity. Cost effective alt to the big three and a decent build.

Weaknesses:    Cant seem to get the brakes to "break in" . Still rough when breaking hard. Have had them apart twice now. The stop great but just very loud and sounds like you are down to the metal. Will have to take the bike down the slopes before winter sets in. Wish it was fabricated in the US or Canada.

Bottom Line:   
First carbon HT, took a ride on a carbon Stumpy, Santa Cruz Highboy and a Giant. For the buck and ride I thought this was the best pick. It rides aggressively so you want to go fast, sometimes too fast. The bike seems to want to stick to the ground and locks into the corners. On most of the local trails you finding yourself always wanting to push yourself harder. The bike just asks for it. I ride this with my race pals so it isn't the primary ride but it is fun to take out here and there for sure. I am still a little hesitant to get a carbon HT bike too far in the air for fear of the obvious. We'll see.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   State College area

Duration Product Used:   5 Months

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Keiran

Date Reviewed: October 26, 2012

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.

Bottom Line:   
Just rode yesterday over some mighty tough terrain rocks, water, sand, hills, down hill, etc. and the bike was magnificent!!

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Malo

Date Reviewed: August 4, 2012

Strengths:    Climbs extremely well, feels good and direct

Weaknesses:    Sram shifters, X7 feels cheap and difficult to shift to a bigger gear, as if the spacing of the two levers aren't correct. The Easton Handlebar, although similar to most other low range builds, feels strange, riser bar in my opinion would have been a good option.

Bottom Line:   
Enjoying the bike, feels good, climbs well. Good value for money, compared to other bikes in this price range seems to be on par. Like the decals and paintwork, much better quality frame and finish than what I have seen on rivals in my opinion. Will probably change over the Sram shifters with Shimano when I have some cash.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by NZAndyB a Racer

Date Reviewed: July 22, 2012

Strengths:    OMG the frame! A load of vertical compliance, incredibly laterally stiff, handling so precise it can be ridden while asleep.
Great value for money!


Weaknesses:    Comes with a 0 degree stem which made the setup on my (17') a little difficult. Not a huge fan of the DT swiss rims, they are a solid product but not particularly stiff for the relatively hefty weight of them.

Bottom Line:   
Love at first ride! I spent an hour or so on a demo 970RSL and in that time my mountain biking world completely changed. I'm not unfamiliar at all to 29rs, having ridden and raced both full suspension and hardtail bikes from Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Specialized and Niner. But this bike is an epiphany, a religious experience, like winning the lottery while losing your virginity. Sure it doesn't feel twenty-niner'y like say a Trek Superfly, and unlike a Niner rip 9 it isn't much like a Sofa. It just goes FAST, mind blowingly fast. Compared to a Cannondale flash ultimate this feels like it has twice the vertical compliance, it feel twice as stiff, and it handles twice as well. The 'unusually' slack headtube angle as matched to very short wheelbase is like the Rosetta stone of 29r geometry, the ceiling of my personal bike handling ability got blown right off.... In some ways at first I hated this bike because it left me feeling like a terrible rider, no matter what I did the bike just had no limits and I am (still) slowing IT down.

Simply if you can't afford the 990, buy the 970.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Velo Edmunston

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Trek Superfly, Trek Superfly 100, Cannondale Flash 29r, Trek Hi-Fi, Specialized Epic 29r, Giant Anthem 29, Niner Rip 9....

Bike Setup:   2012 Vertex 990 RSL 17'. XX rear derailleur, XX shifters, 8 degree Easton EA90 (white) stem, Stans Crest 29r rims (white), DT swiss Aerolite spokes, DT swiss 240 fifteen front hub (the factory hub is a heavier multi-fit axle version of the 240). ODI Ruffians.... The rest is all factory. 19lb 6 ounces.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Comanche a Racer

Date Reviewed: May 16, 2012

Strengths:    The geometry, through axles, BB92.

Weaknesses:    Loss of "monster truck" feel found on most 29er bikes.

Bottom Line:   
I first rode this bike as a demo, and instantly fell in love. I was riding a Niner Air 9, and I have to say this bike feels different than any other 29er hardtail I have ridden. The shorter chain stays and overall wheel base make this feel more like a 26" bike. The flattened seat stays, and 27.2mm post, do an amazing job of damping out the bumps and providing vertical compliance. The 15mm front axle combined with the 12 x142 rear and BB92 bracket make this bike uber stiff laterally. It does not waver while blasting through rock gardens, and rockets out of turns. I am a pro mtb racer in CO, and I cannot imagine riding anything else. However, part of the appeal of 29ers is the feeling of being able to roll over everything. The longer wheel base and lower bottom bracket found on other bikes probably appeal to a wider audience. But if you plan on racing this is the ticket.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   Niner Air 9


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by aaron weiss

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2012

Strengths:    this is an update to a previous review. everything I said earlier still stands. the update comes after my first race on the bike

Weaknesses:    nada

Bottom Line:   
I used this bike in a race I have done for 5-6 years now and wanted to update on how it handled in a race situation and the differences I experienced. On the same course I was able to take almost 4 mins off of my best time for the same number of laps. I have not been riding more, not been focusing on training more, in fact....I have had more travel for work and expected the times to be the same or worse. My lap times were more consistent and I felt no problems (body wise) from the hardtail over a 3 hr race with 1733m of climbing. I am very impressed with the bike and find it hard to dispute the benefits of the 29 inch wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 50ale a Cross Country Rider from Bracebridge, ON, CAN

Date Reviewed: April 9, 2012

Strengths:    AGILITY!


Weaknesses:    NONE SO FAR

Bottom Line:   
This is the first 29er I have owned. I am normally a full suspension 26" rider. I just got off of a 2011 Scott Spark RC, to give you an idea of my other ride. This is also my first hardtail, and trust what you have read about a 29er hardtail being a sweet ride I have rode other 29ers, and been disappointed with the lazy steering. NOT this bike. It took no time at all to become accustomed to the Vertex 990. This thing feels every bit as agile (or better) than my 26" bikes. Rocky Mountain has worked magic with this bike. I can't wait to try the Element.

Weights without pedals;

As purchased (XO) 21.1 pounds
Set up with SramXX 20.8 pounds
SramXX and ENVE carbon tubulars with Tufo tires 18.6lbs

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Porcupine Rim, UT

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Nielsens Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Xprezo T29, Niner Air9

Bike Setup:   Swapped out the XO for XX

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by adub1978 a Racer from kamlooops, BC Canada

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2012

Strengths:    light, great geometry, looks great,

Weaknesses:    none that I can tell

Bottom Line:   
I am really surprised by this bike. I had no real expectations as it is my first 29. the best thing about the bike is that it took no time to feel right. after an hour it felt great and after 3 it felt better. I am quite blown away by how comfortable it is. it really does do all of the things that they say about 29ers. I can't recommend it enough. it is not sluggish, it does not take time to get up to speed, it is just a really good hardtail bike. I wouldn't say I am a convert yet, but I am a believer. I still really like a 26 fully, but the 26 HT is not something I'll invest in again

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   salty dog race course

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $5500.00

Similar Products Used:   none other than 26er hardtails

Bike Setup:   full xtr 28-40 fr rings, rock shox sid xx 29

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by quiggs1974 a Racer from Australia

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2012

Strengths:    All round package, the frame is probably the greatest strength it is light strong and ridiculously agile. Dt swiss 240 hubs stock, full X0 group and sweet easton bars and components

Weaknesses:    With the compact frame, I know three riders that have had to swap to a longer seatpost, due to the stock 350mm being too short. The DT swiss rims seem soft.

Bottom Line:   
This an amazing bike it is light quick and Rocky Mountain have nailed the geometry because if you are a doubter of 29ers nimbleness as a race bike ned to throw a leg over one of these racing machines. It's ability to get through tight switchback corners will have you giggling with the ease that this bike gets around.

This is one sweet bike do yourself a favour and get on the 29er wagon with one of these babies.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   iRide Bikes Melbourn

Similar Products Used:   came from a smaller wheeled bike

Bike Setup:   stock except for negative rise stem

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Teton29er 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 (:

Bottom Line:   
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.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Habitat in Driggs Id

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain Soul hardtail 26er

Bike Setup:   converted to 1x9, riser bars, Ikon front, eggbeater peddles.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by PutSumStankOnIt a Racer from Austin Texas usa

Date Reviewed: September 9, 2011

Strengths:    Great components for the price. SRAM 2X10 is awesome. Formula brakes. Dt Swiss Wheels and hubs. Climbs like a goat. Eye candy.

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
This is my first 29er. I've been reluctant to make the switch from 26 but after riding the Vertex 29se I'm really impressed. The cornering and agility of it feels really no different than my 26fs which Im very impressed with. It accelerates and climbs really well. If you are looking for a ht29er with a component set you don't need to upgrade that is race ready at around $2000 it's a great buy.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Austin Greenbelt

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Bikes Online

Similar Products Used:   None, always been on 26


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Doodgiggity 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.

Bottom Line:   
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!)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Reser

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.

Reviews 1 - 15 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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Rocky Mountain Vertex 29 SE 2011

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