Remember the first 29ers They were slow-handling and flexy. It looks like those days are coming to an end. The full monocoque carbon fiber Rocky Mountain Vertex 970 RSL is a race thoroughbred. The slightly stretched top tube gives the bike a roomy feel with plenty of space to crank climbs without feeling cramped. This roominess doesn't hurt handling, however. The Vertex is quick and whippy, thanks to steep head and seat tube angles. Stiffness is not an issue, either. In fact, it's one of the Vertex's strong points. Features like a tapered head tube, massive down tube, Pressfit GXP bottom bracket, and a 142 x 12 mm thru axle rear end mean lateral flex is virtually eliminated. Rocky built vertical compliance into the ride as well with chainstays that are thin vertically and have a wide cross-section All that in a frame that weighs about 1000 grams means we'll be expecting to see you on the next available podium.
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.
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.