Like to play the gravity-assisted game of seconds Then charge out of the gates aboard the energetic Rocky Mountain Flatline WC. Refined with over a decade of podium-dominating technologyAAAplus all the top-shelf suspension, drivetrain, and stopping goodies to get you down a mountain as fast as possibleAAAyouAAAll easily drop seconds off your runs.
Strengths: great geometry : super-stiff : fantastic cornering : likes to go airborne : phenomenal small-bump compliance : quality construction and beautiful paint finish : value for money : easy shock removal : shock is not a "mud catcher" : simple and effective rear thru-axle.
Weaknesses: a little heavier than some WC race bikes : Shifter housing takes a bit of a thrashing from the chain : Doesn't have the ridiculous, curvy hydro-formed tubes so popular with the kids these days (but maybe that's a plus?). No longer Hand-Made in Canada :(
Coming off Sunday with a pushed DHX I was a little nervous about my move to a Single-Pivot frame, but after swapping the 450lb stock spring for a 350lb (I weigh 155lb)the rear end tracked brilliantly! Small-bump compliance is better than I ever experienced on my Sunday and the suspension has a smooth ramp-up giving the bike a nearly bottomless feel. Certainly the suspension feels a little harsh when dragging the rear brake through rock-gardens but I'm finding this to be helpful reminder to avoid this poor habit and ride a little smarter.
In spite of a slightly longer wheelbase than the Sunday the cornering performance on this bike feels far superior and definitely has a "snappier" feel to it. Although the bottom bracket height is quite low (13.8") the bike seems to sit up quite well when pedaled hard and so far I haven't managed to catch my pedals in any major way (something I lived in constant fear of on the Sunday).
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise was how well this bike jumps. I never been the most natural in the air but the Flatline has boosted my confidence no end when hitting big steep lips - The bike feels both stable, yet flickable at the same time. One aspect of the geometry I really like is the unusually steep 74 deg Seat Angle - I find that I can run the seat quite high (good for when I get a bit lazy on a race run!) yet it stays completely out of the way when jumping, manualing, or squashing the edge of a big, nasty drop - The beauty is that in these situations the seat pops up between your knees instead of smacking you in the ass! Gone is the quick-release on my seat post!
The rear end is super-stiff and so-far has zero play. Although the LCR2 linkage looks complicated, the shock is very easy to remove (I had it out several times while trying different springs). Also, I ride in the mud a lot and this bike cleans up pretty easily (The shock and linkage don't seem to collect much crud). Rear thru-axle threads into a (replaceable)steel insert rather than directly into the softer aluminum and fastens with just one pinch bolt. Finally the construction of this bike is really solid and looks like it could be thrashed season after season rather than just being a throw-away race machine.
That said, it is a little portlier than some other pure-bred race frames, though certainly not excessively so. My build came in a 41.7lb and that is with a steel spring - I expect to be below 41 once I go Ti. The only other complaint I have is that the shifter cable is subject to a good amount of abuse from the chain. Of course this is easily fixed by running it through some tubing or wrapping it, it only really bothers me as it looks like Rocky Mountain was 95% of the way towards having internal routing on the rear end (the Chain Stays are open at both ends) but failed to put openings in the dropouts for the cables to exit. I'm tempted to drill my own holes... but I wont!
Overall, a fantastic handling race-bike that inspires speed and confidence at a very hard to beat price... Would definitely buy one of these again!
Favorite Trail: Any well planned out DH Race Trail
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: JRA Cycles
Similar Products Used: 2010 Demo 8 (2 days only), 2006 Ironhorse Sunday, 2005 Norco Shore
Bike Setup: Medium 2011 Flatline WC Frame (w/ Fox RC4), Classic (32mm) Boxxer WC, E13 Reducer Cups with Cane Creek Zero-Stack, Fun Stem, Sunline V-One bars, Elixir CR brakes, Alex Supra D on DT Freeride 440s, Sram Descendant Cranks, Gammut P36, Sram X0 Shifter/X9 Der, Stratlines
East coast trailrider
from Ringwood, NJ, USA
Date Reviewed: August 4, 2011
Strengths: Frame, rear suspension, fit and finish, geometry, overall quality, looks.
Weaknesses: -Came with cheesy pedals (but most people would replace that anyway...).
-Product does not come with torque specs for frame (ie. pivot point, rear thru axle, and direct mount stem torque specs). Most riders that own a bike like this, service and maintain their own bikes, hence having these specs would be helpful...
I cannot comment on "Longevity" of the product because I have only had it about a month. The performance: Fantastic! I LOVE THIS BIKE! And this is the lower part spec Flatline Pro, and I could not be happier. This bike is probably the best bargain on the market for DH bikes. The rear suspension is very plush and responsive, but without being "mushy". Front suspension is fantastic as well (and it is still breaking in!). As far as the frame is concerned, I really do not think you can ask for more than this. AND THERE IS NO SLOPPINESS IN THE REAR AT ALL, EXTREMELY STIFF LATERALLY.
When I was shopping for bikes, it was down to 2 bikes, this one, and the Moorewood Makulu with a similar part spec custom build. I could not test either, so it was a gamble. I went with the Flatline simply because I could get it at a better price for the spec, and a freind that rides RM DH bikes highly reccomended. Well, I am not disappointed at all, and could not be happier with the bike (Although I imagine the Makulu is excellent too)...
HucknRoll did a great job the building the bike, and did a first rate job packaging it too. Received it perfect, without a mark on it. All I had to do was put on the front wheel, and adjust the seat.
Out of the box, the bike is good to go. The pedals are cheesy, BUT ARE USEABLE. I did a few rides with the stock pedals before I received my Straightlines, and they worked fine. I did get a custom top notch wheelset for the bike (which I love). The wheels I had made were made by Prowheelbuilder.com, and he did an outstanding job as always (he also made me wheels for my trailbike which I love too). But let it be noted: The wheels that came with the bike ARE NOT cheesy, and better than I expected. I did a few rides with the stock wheels, and I had no complaints with them.
Bottom line: The Flatline Pro is a top of the line bike at a fair price, and with some upgrades, it is a flawless masterpiece that does not leave you wanting more.
Bike Setup: This review is for the 2011 Flatline Pro. MTBR does not have a section for this bike, so I put it in with this WC reviews section. The frame is the same...
-Stock bike, plus Straightline pedals, and custom wheelset.
from Vernon BC Canada
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2010
Strengths: Stable in the rough, great suspension design, slays berms, eats braking bumps for dinner.
Weaknesses: none so far
I love this bike. It steped up to all my expectations in a race bike. The new design is a huge improvement from the 09 design. Lighter, more nimble, lower. Rides very stable in tech gnar. Airs like a SS bike. Very reliable and predictable. The suspension is very sensitive and easly adjusted. The saint build is great, the bike comes out of the box ready to race.