If you can only buy one AM rig and youTrend moreTowards DHThenThe Slayer isThe bike for you. The designers at Rocky Mountain were lookingTo pushThe evolution ofThe AM category by creating a lightweight, yet durable bikeThat could climb as well as it could rip downhill. Using creative design features such as a light, strong, integrated rocker pivot, 2 piece bottom bracket shell and using an e-type derailleurThat bolts ontoThe swing arm,The designers at Rocky Mountain were ableTo create aTruly AL
My mountain biking background has been dominated by downhill. Though as I’ve grown older and acquired more responsibilities, 20ft step downs and riding hell bent over nasty rock gardens just doesn’t have the same thrill that it used to. So I’ve been on a hunt to find a bike that will allow me a bit of the DH fun while reducing the pain and agony of hill climbs. The Slayer caught my attention for many reasons, but mostly I hoped the relaxed downhill geometry would allow me to ride all the local DH trails as well as the XC/All Mountain ones. Continue reading →
Strengths: Exceptional climbing performance. Downhill...it's a downhiller. Light. Downhill cartridge in Lyrik fork is a thing of genius. Easton wheels stay marvelously true. 203mm G3 Disks are a must. Reverb seat post is perfect.
Weaknesses: Easton Haven rear hub: the usual play after 1 season. Recently replaced with newly engineered parts under full guarantee from Easton.
Easton Haven direct pull spokes and nipples are difficult to get in exotic places. You should have at least 5 of each at home for sudden repairs.
I have not crash too much on this bike, but given the lightweight components around the cockpit I can imagine them not liking that too much.
For some reason in very muddy conditions, with the chain on the smaller chain ring, it sometimes gets caught on the bigger one and pulled up, blocking the drivetrain. I don't know why this happens only in wet and mega muddy conditions and have as yet no solution, but it is only function of the chainrings.
Repairs: this is highly specialized piece of gear that is also quite light and if you ride it hard it will fail at some point. I have just invested 700$ in a big spring repair job (with a fair bit of guarantee parts) on the fork, brakes and wheels. I would not recommend charging this thing in bike parks too much, but on the trail it's killer.
To be fair, the bike as described is way more than the MSRP here shown and the only reason I was able to afford this machine was because I got it used, but in practically new condition...and even then it was a bit more than the MSRP shown here. Having said that, this thing is marvelous.
The upright geometry is fantastic and the pedaling position for long climbs is very comfortable and efficient. You sit very solidly above the pedals. Even on steep pitches, sitting down the front has no inclination to lift off. As a result, the lack of lockout or travel reduction on the Lyrik Fork is no issue. I rode the bike with the Talas 36 and felt no big difference in the uphill characteristic. For a 165mm travel bike the back is also very nice and stiff in the climbs and with the Monarch works very well. But it is the whole package: better pedaling position = smoother pedaling = less bounce = less suspension bob = more control = going up stuff you previously walked. The relatively short distance from your body to the cockpit takes some getting used, but I find it now a very comfortable and flexible position for uphill and down. One will notice however with a wide handlebar, your knees sometimes get in the way when going around tight switchbacks, but that's a technique thing.
The downhill performance is blinding! With the dropped down seat post and Monarch on soft this thing flies over everything you throw at it. The relatively slack fork angle is combined with a relatively short wheelbase and this makes it maneuverable and big hit tolerant while tracking like a freight train. You sit quite centered on this bike due to the shorter top tube and I personally love the fact of being really in the trail, but when things get steep you can move back with smaller moves while not having to extend your arms too much.
In short, this is the perfect Enduro and Trail bike which rips in the park too (in moderation).
Similar Products Used: Lapierre Jesty
Bike Setup: My Slayer 70 is the 2011 Medium (I'm 5'10, 170lbs) Frame (165mm travel) with pretty much the parts of the 2013 model....although assembled in 2011. This setup is pretty much that used by RMB team riders for the first two years of the bikes presence on the market.
The frame is extremely well built and I find very aesthetic. The paint job is perhaps not the most flashy but the paint is very robust. Excellent protection of front derailleur within the frame even though it my appear the thing would get all kinds of mud and junk on it. Not true. All suspension joints have stayed aligned and have yet to require tightening.
Fork: Rockshox Lyrik RC2 DH 2011 (the downhill cartridge very important!), 170mm. Travel cannot be changed on the fly and the fork cannot be blocked but read on regarding uphill performance....Small bump performance is marvelous...MUCH better than a Talas 36 for example.
Rear shock: Rockshox Monarch
Wheels: Easton Haven...recently the usual Haven rear hub issues have crept in, but it has just been handled on a full guarantee. Front wheel is marvelous. Have used in DH park and on tours.
Tire: Continental Rubber Queen 2.4 run as tubeless. Light, robust and grippy.
Brakes: Avid X0 with 203mm disks. This was the big minus on the original 'new' Slayer. The 203 disks are much better suited to the bike and the way it can be ridden. Avid is a lot plastic on the handles, but has a very good consistent feel. The G3 rotors are also easy to maintain and don't warp in long descents. Bleeding is a piece of cake. Running Nukeproof Organic Pads.
Seatpost: Rockshox Reverb: the standard. Also not on the original 'new' Slayer, but a must for Enduro. Regular bleeding is required, but it's excellent.
Front derailleur: Sram X9. Nothing to report.
Rear derailleur: Sram X0. Compact and quick.
Shifters: Rear X0 - has a handy upshift lever for the thumb which can be positioned for best comfort. Front X9. No fancy lever, but no big deal.
Handlebar: Easton Havoc carbon 506. A big old stick.
Chainrings& Cranks: Raceface something or other with bash guard. Extremely robust.
Chain guide: Bioncon. Very simple and effective. Slightly more friction than a wheel, but a lot less weight and much more reliable. Chain must be opened to replace tube but after 2 years of intense riding I have yet to have to do this.
The weight as I recall is about 13.2 kg....so quite light.
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: September 25, 2012
Strengths: Climbs nimbly without sagging into it's travel, Geometry keeps you nice and upright when climbing,
Descending at speed this bike feels solid, rear end is firm, brakes are very powerful
Weaknesses: Short stem, crap grips( clear) get rid of them asap as water gets under them, chain bounces off some times
I tested this bike for a year, and got to ride it on a very varied amount of trails. My local loop deals with alot of rocky climbs both solid and loose, this machine sucks them up with out a problem, comes with a great spec and once setup correctly rides like a dream, although it looks bulky it rides nice and light, sure your not going to beat MR XC up the hill, but you will smash him when it points down.
Strengths: Stiffness, climbing, dropper post, descending like a fiend
Weaknesses: Upright geometry starts to hurt my back during long rides. Seat's not too comfortable
Phenomenal bike. I live in the CO Front Range, and this bike just eats it up. It climbs incredibly well for a 6.5" bike, super light, minimal pedal bob, and just forms to the terrain you're on. I'm amazed at how well it climbs, coming from a Santa Cruz Heckler. The upright geometry (or whatever it's called) certainly does put you in a strong position for climbing, but it takes a bunch of rides to get used to that position. It also kind of hurts my bike if I'm out on a long ride, but not too bad.
The downhills are just crazy fun on this bike. The rear thru-axle stiffens it up a ton, so you can point and shoot down those loose sections that normally bounce you around like a pinball without a problem. The big beefy Fox 36 is pretty sweet, confidence-inspiring on the technical downhill sections (i.e. Hall Ranch).
Big fan of the Formula The One brakes, they can stop you on an absolute dime. Coupled with the big rotors, you've got serious stopping power. Again, takes some getting used to, but once you figure them out, you feel pretty good about it.
First time I've ridden a 2X10 gearing, and I like it a lot, less stuff to fiddle with. I also like that there's a little piece next to the small chainring to prevent dropping a chain when you're screaming a downhill.
Shifting up front isn't too smooth, which is obnoxious, been having to play with the limit screws a bunch to get it dialed in.
All in all, this bike is absolutely incredible. It rides a lot like the Mojo HD and somewhat similarly to the Trek Slash. I'd HIGHLY recommend this bike to anyone thinking about it. Great all-mountain, free-ridey bike that can do anything you want to do (it'd be a great lift-accessed bike too). I got a killer deal on it too off Chainlove, $3,300, which is why I pulled the trigger on it (was going to buy a Mojo HD).
Strengths: Stiff, light, strong, good components, awesome price on sale.
Weaknesses: Saddle, SLX front deraileur, funky cable routing, no chain stay protection.
This year I decided to replace my aging Specialized Enduro, and after a lot of test rides I decided on the Slayer 70. As luck would have it, jensonusa.com was running an INSANE sale this month, so I was able to get one for almost two thousand less than list price.
I was a little upset that the 2012 model came with the Fox Float instead of the TALAS like last year, as I've gotten quite used to the travel adjust of the TALAS on my Enduro. However, the Float has been working great, and I have to admit I like how it feels more like a coil than the TALAS. Considering Rocky added the Reverb seatpost to the 2012, I feel it's a fair trade off, as I've been using the Reverb way more than than I ever adjusted my fork height.
The bike looks great, and I was impressed by how stiff the rear thru axle and tapered steerer made the bike too. It's held up to all the normal light freeriding and AM riding I like to do, and fact that it comes stock with The One brakes was also impressive (they work great compared to the Elixer x.9's I was using before).
What really surprised me was how well this bike climbs though, it feels almost like a hardtail in terms of weight and there's almost no pedal bob either (even with pro-pedal off). I'm not sure how much longer my body will be able to take all the large jumps and drops my friends and I like to do, but I know that when I start focusing more on XC riding I'll have a bike that works great for that to. Definitely an all around bike for just about any conditions.
The stock saddle is pretty umcomfortable, I'll be swapping that for a WTB Laser shortly. The SLX front deraileur was a huge pain to fine-tune, I still get chain rub in the gear combo's I like to use and none of my friends who work in bike shops have any better luck getting it dialed in.
I don't mind the cable routing going under the downtube, but to have them also stick out so far below the bottom bracket is slightly worrying. The bash gaurd should protect them, but I could see it being an issue for irregular shaped log roll overs perhaps. Finally, I wish Rocky would have included a custom chainstay protector as well. The rear deraileur cable routing makes using one of the aftermarket ones from companies like Lizardskins a no go as they don't fit. Seems like a real oversight on a $5k bike meant to be used for aggressive trail riding.
Overall though I'm EXTREMELY happy with this purchase, and feel like I chose a bike that will grow with me over the next decade, regardless of the terrain I'm riding.
Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro Elite, Specialized Stumpjumper
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2011
Strengths: The Do it all bike, anywhere you go you have the right machine if you are there to have fun. UP down technical long uphill name it. Slayer 70 2011 is the game changer. Straith up make a big difference and smooth link did it all the time.
Weaknesses: none that I know and feel except waiting to received the bike
All mountain all the time. RMB DEV team did really fun to ride beast.... Go try it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Draper, UT
Date Reviewed: April 26, 2011
Strengths: Exceptional climbing capability
Exceptional downhill capability
Truly an all mountain bike
Weaknesses: Bar graphics easily mar when adjusting breaks. Not a big deal to me but you may consider really loosening clamps when dialing location.
I cannot say enough good about this bike. I feel like I got my money's worth and more. I took it to gooseberry mesa and fully tested its climbing capability and was able to find some jumps to test suspension. Cornering is excellent as well. I think this is a combination of bike and tire but together I was rippin it up on the turns. Weather is bad now but have hit a loading dock and some cornering drills. Compared this to same exercises on 05 Slayer and wow what a difference 6 years makes!!!
I own a 2005 Slayer 50. The 2011 Slayer is a monster upgrade! I did not know a 6"+ travel bike could climb so well. Climbing is considerably better than my 05. I have tried a few other bikes in this class and I have not found one better.
Before buying the bike I did a lot of homework. I could not find anything close to the Slayer 70 for the money.
Way to hit it out of the park Rocky!
One final plug for my LBS. I was professionally fit by Canyon Bicycles in Millcreek. I would highly recommend doing this. Go to Canyon if possible they are pros and a top notch Rocky dealer.