Weaknesses: *General spec is below par for the price braket (then again, most experienced riders will upgrade bars/stem/post on any bike to get the position that suits best) *Deore brakes take a long time to bed in, and lack power which detracts from the confidence inspiring feel of the rest of the bike *NO MAPLE LEAVES on the '07 ;_;
Well, I bought this intending fully to upgrade it to the stars...
The problem is that I really mistrust Carbon.. I will not have it ANYWHERE on my bikes. This seemed like the ideal frame to built up, because I loved the way they ride, and the frame is a big part of the price - alot of the parts are way below par for the pricebracket, though they are functional for the most part - and would be more than useable should you not want to upgrade.
As a general rule, the spec isnt great, then again, you will only get the 07 as a clearout now (if youre lucky), so you wont be paying the full penny so the spec will be fair enough at the price.
Who should buy this?? Well, someone that likes to go up to come down - climbing is exceptional, but open it up on the descents and it really loves you for it. Ideal use - progressive XC, technical, mix of up and down, singletrack rocket
Who shouldnt buy it?? Freeriders. Its a frame designed to be light enough for XC, yet burly enough for AM - however, though 4-5 foot drops to tranny are possible, I wouldnt want to do that too often and no further than that...
Value - 4 - Fantastic frame, fantastic suspension components, let down by alot of the rest, but the frame does make up for it Overall - 5 - I hardly ride my poor hardtail at all anymore, Unfortunately for my friends (or me however you see it) I find myself looking at views from the tops and bottoms of the hills a bit, because my friends are faaar behind now.
a Cross Country Rider
from Washington DC
Date Reviewed: April 3, 2007
Strengths: Frame design (see below), adjustable suspension, great geometry for all day trips involving major climbs and fast and technical down hills.
Weaknesses: Rear derailleur hanger.
I tend to do long distance rides and like the trails better when they are rocky. I was looking for a bike that could cope with a lot of abuse, but still not drag me down on the climbs. This bike really comes into its own after 4 or 5 hours in the saddle in these conditions. It is really easy to control even when I am exhausted. The geometry is a great balance between XC and a more relaxed freeride position – although I’d never go so far as to say this is a freeride bike. Switch backs and technical lines are a breeze and on full travel I can pretty much float over any obstacles. The solid feeling translates into a ton of confidence on the downhills where I don’t worry about hitting the bumps hard. I like my suspension plush and on full travel this thing seems bottomless and the rear wheel stays glued to the trail. The fork matches the rear end and the balance between the two is great. Both front and back track the corners crisply and I don't noticed any deflection.
I’ve actually found that climbing is just as impressive and I’m grinding up hills I had to push on my hardtail. The rear wheel seems tucked up under the saddle and traction is phenomenal. In fact, I now enjoy the uphill challenges more.
The pro-pedal switch on the rear shock pretty much locks it out until you hit something hard, and I use it for road sections, but even then I quite like leaving it active in the 4” travel for comfort. I don’t notice any bobbing unless I’m in full 5” back and 5.5” front and really stomping out of the saddle, and even then it feels minimal, although I can see both shocks cycling. Power transfer to the back wheel is immediate and I can’t get the bottom bracket to deflect from side to side however hard I pedal.
Component wise, Rock Mountain are pushing it by specing lower quality items compared to the competition, but so far I’ll give them credit for at least putting on strong and durable components, even if they aren’t the lightest or flashiest. Gone is dual control for 2007, and the drive chain has been slick so far. The Deore disk brakes are nice performers and I can’t see having to touch them for a while. The crank set is not the most beautiful in the world, but the outer chainring has taken in a few logs and not complained. I can’t comment on the longetivity of the bearings yet (frame, hubs, BB, headset).
The wheels have given me no problems and are still running true after quite a few big impacts. I normally build my own wheels, and I’d say these are nice and evenly tensioned. They aren’t the lightest, but with the stock IRC Marathon Mibro tyres they roll fast on hard pack. These tyres are surprisingly good on the rocks because of the big air volume, but I had to switch them because I was getting almost no traction from the shallow knobs in mud. I’ll put them on again during the summer.
The major reason I picked this bike over the others I test rode is the frame design. It has the following attributes that I couldn’t find all in one bike from the competition: - Geometry for all day riding fit me like a glove. - The adjustable rear travel for those short races and smoother trails (I don’t have space to store multiple bikes). - Saddle can drop all the way. - High bottom bracket. I was fed up smacking my pedals and cranks; now I clear everything without a problem. - Fairly open main triangle makes it easy to carry and hike. - No carbon means I’m not so worried about crashing. Which is one reason (money being the other) I didn’t get the ETXS-50. - Elevated chainstays gets rid of chain slap and makes it so much quieter. - Weight. It is definitely not a light bike (pushing 30lbs), but I feel a lot more secure on it than on some lighter rigs I've riden. I don't have that nagging thought in my head about strengh when bombing through rock gardens.
The only minus is for the crappy rear derailleur hanger which bends way too easily. On advice from other RM riders, I ordered a spare when I got the bike and now I’m ordering an aftermarket one from North Shore Billet. And I’ll be getting rid of the saddle soon. It just isn’t compatible with my rear end even though is nicely made.
Oh, and I got the acid green colour which I like, but I’ve had other reactions.
Similar Products Used: Test rode FS bikes in same price range - Trek, G.Fisher, Specialized
Bike Setup: Only change: Tyres now 2.5" IRC Trailbears Rider setup: 140lbs with kit. 5'10" on 18" frame.
from Fruita, CO
Date Reviewed: July 30, 2006
Strengths: Handmade in Canada. Light. Short link 4-bar suspension. Plush travel but firm ride.
Weaknesses: Weakest derailluer hanger in the entire world! Drivetrain maintenence requires careful attention. Dual control has got to go.
This bike is a pleasure to ride. Don't get it twisted, this is definatly not a freeride bike. This is a trail bike. You can do moderate drop offs, but not to flat, harsh landings or anything more than 3 feet or so. Truth is, you can do 10 ft drops on any bike, but if that is not what it is designed for you are abusing it and it will eventually fail. This bike is great for the way 90% of MTBers ride. Not out to set records, just looking for an enjoyable ride that gets up hill and descends with equal grace. The RP3 shock sets the new standard for rear suspension. It is lightweight, consistant, and durable. Matched with the Talus R up front, the package is wonderful. If you are looking for a bike in this particular market niche, give this bike serious consideration.
Similar Products Used: Titus Moto-lite, Turner 5 Spot, SC Blur LT
Bike Setup: Stock
from Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2006
Strengths: The hand crafted frame is the reason for the purchase. Excellent suspension and very plush riding. The frames are the same as the others x50 and x70. Eventually the upgrades are going to happen. I weigh 200lbs and haven't bottomed out the bike yet nor have I broken the frame after 4 to 5 foot drops. Smooth landings of course. Fork is great and the design of the bottom bracket helps climbing over logs. The adjustable rear suspension is great to play around with and actually helps in different terrain.
Weaknesses: Components: rear derailleur(changed to XT), derailleur hanger(I use after-market), loose shifting in front derailleur(changed to XTR), Crank is OK(changed to Race Face Deuce), Pedals are OK(changed to TIME ATAC), Brakes are solid minus the adjustment screw that has to be tightened on every ride in the brake lever(haven't changed from Hayes Yet), Hutchinson tires are ok for XC don't try cornering(changed to 2.3 front and 2.1 back). Shifters were OK I changed them to XT.
The bike is said to be a Free-ride class bike. This bike is tough to describe because it's able to do both free-ride and XC. I dare say if you are smooth and pick good lines you can take solid 3 to 4 foot drops no problems and no screaming from the frame. If not, you can use this bike as an XC ride. The way Rocky designed this bike creates excellent versatility, plush riding, fun trials with the high bracket, and excellent climbing on the uphills. Set the bike up correctly . . . and the bike can handle just about anything you throw at it. Be carefull with wrecking. The thin tubes can be dented easier than a heavier framed bike. Over all opinion is this bike fits me at 200lbs and 4 foot drops. It's light and can climb very well. Buy the bike in the fall to get to clearing out sales and you'll be very pleased with the bang for the buck. This bike will accomodate just about any trail.
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher cake, Trek Fuel & Liquid, Rocky Slayer, Yeti, Palomino, Santa Cruz, and Transition. All Nice bikes.
Bike Setup: Refer to weaknesses section
vw bus dude
a Cross Country Rider
from vancouver bc canada
Date Reviewed: November 20, 2005
Strengths: This review is for the 2005 etsx 30. The suspension on this bike is extremely well engineered. The almost nonexistant pedal bob when climbing is coupled with a realy plush feeling when downhilling through the nasty, rocky and rooty northshore trails I like to ride. very light frame that can take some abuse (It's not a free ride bike please reclassify under all mountain). The shimano deore brakes work flawlessly and have great modulation. The front fork is easy to dial in to your riding style and very lite for it's travel and features.
Weaknesses: This is the lowest model in the etsx line and has some lower end components that most riders will replace with better ones as they wear out or brake(I bent the easton seatpost to a 15.5 degree angle on a 24" drop to grass.The seat rails were not bent. I am 215 and 6'2"). The Irc mythos tires that come on it have ZERO sideways traction. The very thin lite weight casing give no support to the almost nonexistant teeny weeny knobs.
The frame is top quality. The rear suspension is an engineering masterpiece. The components that come on it are reasonable for the price range ( some bikes may be cheaper with the same components but you dont get the quality built and well engineered frame). This is a great bike for riders who want one bike for cross country and all mountain riding. This bike allows me to ride like the madman I was when I was 24 (1988). To the guys who have complained about "ghost shifting": It's a bicycle not the space shuttle. I get the ocasional unwanted shift (every few weeks of riding every day) but I realise that with all the thrashing and bumping that bikes of this nature go through that nothing can be expected to work perfectly 100% of the time. A machine as complex as a bike requires maintenance.
Similar Products Used: Many many different bikes of all types from many manufacturers that I test ride as part of my job as a bike mechanic.
Bike Setup: Stock except for: Tires (nokian gazzalodi 2.3 - very heavy but unreal traction in all conditions). Stem and handle bars changed to higher rise units(cheap ones because no one makes quality in higher rise stuff) because of back surgery.
a Weekend Warrior
from N.B., Canada
Date Reviewed: September 7, 2005
Strengths: Great for technical trails,love the adjustability of the fox fork. The shimano hydraulic brakes are great. Weight of bike is perfect. No problems for me being 210 lbs.
Weaknesses: Price, but it's supposed to be higher quality frame. I've had a small buzz in the front end that I have been unable to locate. other than that it's a tight ride. No problems yet with the Rock Shox Bar.
Great bike for me, a newer rider with a need for a light, tight bike that I enjoy getting out on everyday whether that be for a half hour or for half a day....
Similar Products Used: Norco Wolverine....wrong bike for my riding.
Bike Setup: Stock except for new Cane Creek grips after I botched the stock Rocky Mountain ones thinking I would put on bar ends.
a Cross Country Rider
from glasgow, United Kingdom
Date Reviewed: August 26, 2005
Strengths: Brilliant frame design. The rear suspension helps you power up hills, and the rockier it gets, the easier it becomes. Truly amazing. Very light bike also compared to its rivals. Just feels so alive.
Weaknesses: I have written off one frame by denting the top tube. It happened really with a very soft crash. That is the price you pay for very thin tube walls, i suppose. The wheels are awful. For hand built wheels, they do not stay true and i had to have the rear wheel rebuilt professionally after just one ride. This seems to be a recurring theme in reviews of rocky mountains, though. despite that, it is far better than any other bike i have ridden in this class. Had to upgrade to xtr as xt mech just never worked very well. Those hutchinson tyres are awful too, they just feel sketchy in the dry and slip around in the wet.
This is a truly phenomenal frame, let down a little by some poor components. You should not really need to upgrade straight out of the box on a bike this expensive. New wheels and tyres make a huge difference, though.
Favorite Trail: red run, Glen Tress, Peebles, Scotland
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: bothy bikes, aviemore, scotland
Similar Products Used: Orange 5 disc, Kona dawg deelux, specialized enduro, element tsc
Bike Setup: Frame upgraded to etsx70 after crash (at no extra charge from my brilliant insurance company). RP3 shock is brilliant. Flight titanium saddle and xtr mechs. Panaracer cinder 2.25 tyres (grippy as heel, but roll fast too)
Date Reviewed: May 24, 2005
Strengths: Where to start? Well, the suspension could be a good place, and in short the suspension kicks ass. Keeps the bike light, and will sail down the rough patches without fuss. Burn the uphill on this bike too -all the suspension, none of the bob. The ETS is super strong, and as far as I can tell, it likes bumps, jumps, and drops just as much as I do. Everything from the disk brakes to the quality of the components is pretty rad. I've got no complaints, and I dont expect any from this addition to my RMB lineup!
Weaknesses: You want weaknesses? Lets talk about a different bike.
This is not only a good opener to the world of full suspension. It is basically a closed book on what a bike should be able to do. I've been able to rip it uphill with the hardtails, and when the going gets rough, I know that Ive got a tough bike under me. Life couldnt be better than when Im on this thing. Basically I dont think that Im going to be able to summon the balls to throw something at this bike that it wont be able to handle... Bottom line. Get at this bike if your looking for something to keep in shape, go fast, go up, go down, ride around the city, get at it.
Similar Products Used: Just short rides on some bigger travel bikes: RM6, Bullit.
Bike Setup: Stock right now, changing the BB, Headset, Crank to some beefier DH gear (Raceface and FSA). Added some rear DE protection by North Shore Billet, and a bashguard by Envy. New rubber by Specialized, and that is about it.
a Cross Country Rider
from Minneapolis MN USA
Date Reviewed: May 25, 2004
Strengths: light feel, great for trail and agressive XC. It handles anything i throw at it, and then some. I am a big fan of the marzoozchi mx pro ETA.
Weaknesses: TIRES TIRES TIRES... they really suck (hutch. Pyton air light). They do not handle the corners as well as I like. It took me a lot of time to get things set up the way i like them , but then i love this bike.
This is a great ride, especially for the price I paid, However new tires are a must. Take the time to dial it in right, and you will love it! I am a little cautious of the rock shox SID rear due to what i've read and heard, but i haven't had a problem yet ( no leaks or anything like that).