Rocky Mountain ETSX-50 Freeride Full Suspension

4.78/5 (27 Reviews)


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Reviews 1 - 15 (27 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by woofer2609 a Cross Country Rider from Vancouver BC

Date Reviewed: August 14, 2009

Strengths:    Well specc'ed, versatile, versatile, versatile, oh, and did I mention, versatile. Fox Shocks, both the front and rear

Weaknesses:    Creaks in Suspension, wish it had handlebar lockout for rear and front suspension, or some way of adjusting travel at rear end on the fly, but that's kinda infeasable.
The 26.8 mm seatpost on the '04 is too small!


Bottom Line:   
This is a quality ride, no bones about it, I just sold my 05 Norco charger, and the difference was night and day.
I'm 160 and 5'10" and a bit and the 19" was perfect for me, I am amazed at what I can climb on this bike. Leave the rear suspension active if you are on anything but fireroad or tarmac, 3.5" out back, and the shortest travel up front will allow you to climb almost anything, just slide your ass forward on the saddle. I wish it had remote lockouts for the front at least, but that's probably specc'ed on higher models. My bike now weighs close to 34lb's because of the big tires, but they don't rip out on the climbs, and allow me to set the travel long and descend lotsa technical stuff.
The geometry on this bike reminds me a lot of my RM Blizzard when climbing, you'll give up before the bike does. I have no problems calling a spade a spade, but this bike can certainly climb.

This bike would be on fire with a 31.8 seatpost so you could put in a collapsable seatpost, then it would be a real all-rounder.
The brakes are good, I am a little concerned about creaking around the rear suspension, but when that gives out, I guess I'll buy a Blizzard frame. This bike looks good too. I love the versatility of it; change the tires and the suspension geometry and go from XC to steep descents. This is NOT a downhill bike by any means, but in the 4.5" travel setting, and the seat down, you can ride some fairly deep stuff
The front TALAS fork is smooth and infinitely adjustable, I have nothing but compliments.
Fox is the best in my opinion. The brakes are acceptable, but nothing special, and everything else does a good job, The shifting has been no problem, so that's good

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   7 summits (currently)

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Similar Products Used:   First full suspension rig, but the latest of Multiple Rocky bikes.

Bike Setup:   Specialized 2.4 tire rear, Nokian 2.35 up front, Selle Italia xo saddle, 27.5 " riser bar

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Les Cundy a Weekend Warrior from Cornwall, UK

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2008

Strengths:    Top line Fox suspension front & rear with adjustable travel 4" to 5" make this a very good package. Formula ORO K24 brakes & Raceface kit are spot on for this amount of money. My complete bike weighs in at 28lbs which IMHO is about right for an All Mountain full susser and not too lightweight. The Canuck Red & White paint job makes this a stunning looking bike.

Weaknesses:    Mibro tyres are no good for UK winter riding & were changed before it got near any mud. The WTB saddle was too firm for my butt so that was changed -personal preference. I had a new longer rear gear cable fitted as the previous one got clogged up with debris as it was short & attracted the dirt, I also had a longer ferrel fitted to stop the dirt getting in.

Bottom Line:   
This is a stunning bike which has very versitile travel options between 4", 4.5" or 5" front & rear. This means you can both climb & descend with the best, this truely is an 'All Mountain' mile muncher. I have riden this bike on open moor, rugged natural trails & at a man-made trail centre in Wales all of which it excelled at, in fact I've been sporting the biggest Cheshire cat grin, my face aches. To sum up this bike not only looks good but it goes even better, if you get the chance, buy one, you wont be disappointed!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dartmoor & Quantocks

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Certini Bicycle Co

Similar Products Used:   Giant Trance 2, Spesh XC, FSR & Enduro.

Bike Setup:   Standard spec only changed tyres & saddle - see above.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jon Coppock a Weekend Warrior from Guerneville, California, USA

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2008

Strengths:    Adjustable suspension front and back. No bob on the climb with pro pedal set right.

Weaknesses:    At this price, came with mechanical brakes and funky LX dual shifter lever crap....no dice! went to XT shifters and Avid Juicy brakes....nice!

Bottom Line:   
Keep suspension set low for the climb, jack up the travel for going down....what else. A great bike all around. No wobble or float on the rear end. Solid welds. Not to heavy (31 Lbs). After switching parts, a great ride that compeats with anything else in that market.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anadale Sonoma Co

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   CBO

Similar Products Used:   Leader, Trek

Bike Setup:   ETSX 50, Fox Talus RL forks, RaceFace Evolve XC Cranks, Sun Ringle Disc Jocky Wheels, Raceface Carbon bars, Thompson Stem and Post, XT Drivetrain.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Keith Dodds a Cross Country Rider from London, Ontario

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2008

Strengths:    2007 ETSX 50 Frame is fabulous and the front and rear shocks are amazing - brakes are great and no fade on long downhills - pedals

Weaknesses:    seat - drivetrain (spent waaay to much money trying to get it to work properly)

Bottom Line:   
The bike is a joy to ride when working properly and i have logged thousands of training and racing kms on this bike in 2007. Two 7 day races - 750kms in Belize with lots of mud and heat and the Trans Rockies in August at 550 kms.

My main issues is with the drivetrain - I have replaced the rear cassette 3 times and have not been able to get the rear end dialed in to shift smoothly even after my mechanic went through every detail with a Rocky tech on the phone. Replaced dozens of cables as the cable housing by the cassette seems to trap mud. Any suggestions are gladly welcomed as I am so frustrated the ol Trek is starting to look pretty good and it shifts like butter with way more kms on it than the Rocky. I am thinking that my dimensions 6'2" 215 are maybe too much for the carbon swing arm.

Drive train complaints out of the way ... the suspension and frame are amazing. High speed downhills over rock and very rough terrain are not a problem for this bike. It rides with complete control and soaks it all up. YOu have got to ride this rig to understand the confidence it provides.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Haliburton Highlands

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   local bike shop

Similar Products Used:   Trek 6300

Bike Setup:   Standard ride with new grips, Michelin XC Drys or AT's, Bontrager seat

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tim Biker from Edinburgh, UK

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2007

Strengths:    Speaking as both an engineer and a cyclist - it's a very good suspension system. Bike has great balance in the air, high finish quality, badge.


Weaknesses:    Weight, tall design takes some getting used to, high price for spec in UK, apparently poor cable routing on front derailleur (but isn't problematic in practice), suspension mount behind seat tube collects mud, when the shock pump is screwed on it fouls the lower frame mount on the rear shock in 4.5" and 5" travel positions, poor standover height.


Bottom Line:   
I am 5'11" with 32" inside leg - so a longish back. The 18" frame is the right size for me but the high bottom bracket has made it hard to get the bike set up in terms of saddle height/standover/leg straighness when pedalling. Going from relatively 'long and low' designs to this was a bit of a shock, very different feel. It all makes sense after a few rides though ;o) and you do save a lot of money on damaged chainrings! The suspension system is really fantastic, smooth, bottomless, efficient. Such a beautiful bike too. Took a lot of money to get it how I want it. Buying a Rocky is a heart thing as much as a head thing though so prepare to wave goodbye to reason.....

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3800.00

Purchased At:   Wheelspin Cycles, Huddersfield

Similar Products Used:   Orange P7, Cannondale F600, Specialised FSR120 Pro

Bike Setup:   Only frame and forks remaining from original bike purchased. All other parts swapped out for lightweight alternatives. Cranks lengthened to 180mm to compensate for very high BB. Weight now 27lbs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Toms River NJ

Date Reviewed: November 5, 2006

Strengths:    Climbs like a HT, adjustable rear travel, high bb makes it easy to clear any obstacle, awesome suspension design, hand built frame, extremely predictable and loads of fun on the downhills

Weaknesses:    Had some shifting issues at first but swapped the rear derailleur from XT to XTR, added a SRAM pc991 hollowpin chain, XTR cassette, and XTR cables. Now she shifts like a dream. That was the only problem I had and it has definitely been corrected so I'd say the bike has no weaknesses as of right now.

Bottom Line:   
This is by far one of the sickest trailbikes out there. The adjustable rear travel makes this an extremely versatile bike that can be set up for so many different conditions. This bike can also be made to be very light by doing a little upgrading from the stock components. I never thought I'd ever say this about a bike but here goes. "This bike has made me a better rider". I am climbing stuff I never thought I'd be able to, and I have so much more confidence in my descents as well. Basically this bike will take anything you throw at it in stride, and it keeps coming back for more. Rocky Mountain makes some serious bikes. Own one and you'll understand.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Allaire State Park

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Beachwood Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Several high end HT's, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert

Bike Setup:   2006 ETSX-50 With Crossmax XL Wheels, Mostly XTR components, Raceface Carbon Seatpost, WTB Rocket V Stealth Saddle, Raceface Lock Ons, Panaracer Fire XC 2.1 Tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Aaron a Cross Country Rider from Folsom, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2006

Strengths:    See below

Bottom Line:   
This is an update to my earlier post. In an effort to shed a little weight, I changed out the stock wheelset, stem, handlebar, and crankset in favor of some lighter parts. THE BIKE ABSOLUTELY CAME ALIVE AFTER LOSING ABOUT 2 POUNDS! I liked it before, but it felt sluggish on the climbs and when trying to accelerate hard. Now I don't just like this bike, I LOVE it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   McKenzie River Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   RiverRat

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   RF Next Carbon XC Bar, RF Deus crankset, RF Deus stem, Mavic XC717 wheels w/ Shimano XT hubs, stock front and rear shock, stock gearing.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Cross Country Rider from Albanyt, NY

Date Reviewed: October 11, 2006

Strengths:    Great clearance! I can clear almost any obstical. Excellent climbing up and speeding down hills. Super smooth on the downhills!!! The suspension is easily adjusted from 4, 4.5 and 5 inches and absorbs bumps effortlessly! Very fast and steady, with easy handling on the single tracks. Holds up well when crashed, very sturdy!! Gotta love the paint job, I got the green 2006.

Weaknesses:    Only problem I've had is that the lock-out/rebound adjuster on the top right of the Fox fork hits the bottom frame when the handle bars get turned to far (like when I crash). It's put a couple of small nicks in the frame going though the paint. I have the small 15" frame so there's not alot of clearance in that area. Might not happen on the larger frames.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike!!! and would buy it again. It's a great all around bike for expert or novice riders. Very forgiving! Great on trails or downhills! The ETSX-50 is so good I can't imagine how good the ETXS-70 can be! And you have to love the way the suspention looks!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pine Bush perserve

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   EMS- Esatern Mt. Sports

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel 8, Gary Fisher Cake 2, Iron Horse MKIII

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jackson a Cross Country Rider from Denver, CO

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2006

Strengths:    The frame is rock solid and the bob is truly minimal going up. The bike is superb all around, which is exactly what I wanted out of it. It is a very efficient climber and doing long climbs is not a problem. Like others have said, going downhill on the ETSX is a joy. It is such a smooth ride on technical downhill that I end up carrying more speed than I have in the past and flying through sections I used to move through cautiously. Really, the best review I can give is that I pass more people going up and down hill than I ever did before. Oh yeah, the paint job is ridiculous. I get stopped by more people at trailheads and gas stations (while the bike is on the car) to tell me how "sick" the paint job is.

Weaknesses:    You pay for the frame with a Rocky Mountain so the components are not what they would be on a mass produced bike (think Specialized Sumpjumper FSR Expert). I got the Rocky because the components are going to be changed over time anyway but the frame is really the heart and soul of the bike.

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the 2006 ETSX 50 with the green maple leaf paint job. As I said before, you are paying a premium for the frame but I feel it is more than worth it. The bike rides great up and down and is a really comfortable ride. The suspension smooths out any rough sections.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Similar Products Used:   Spec SJ FSR, Yeti 575, Giant

Bike Setup:   Only modification is to change the tires to Fire XC Pro.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aaron a Cross Country Rider from Folsom, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2006

Strengths:    Straight line stability rough, technical terrain is phenominal; great climber and superb descender; overall component selection; suspension efficiency; ability to adjust suspension between 3.5-4.5 inches; frame quality is top-notch; geometry puts the rider a little more upright, making it a perfect set-up for longer rides

Weaknesses:    The wheelset is somewhat heavy, and the stock saddle didn't fit me at all.

Bottom Line:   
This bike will make you a better rider. To this point, I haven't been a very good technical terrain rider. This bike changed that. It's taken me awhile to get used to it, but when you get this baby out on some technical terrain, it really starts to shine. It's extremely stable in rough terrain, which inspires a lot of confidence. I'm now riding sections I used to walk.

One of the major reasons I purchased this bike is the range of suspension adjustability it gives: put it in 3.5 inch mode and firm Pro-Pedal for fast rolling terrain for for extended climbs, extend the travel for technical sections or rough downhills, etc. When you have it in 3.5 inch mode w/ firm on the Pro-Pedal, the rear end won't budge when climbing seated. It's very effecient. For me, that adjustability makes it the perfect bike for the many different trails we have in NorCal.

My only change might be to a lighter wheelset to shave off about 1 pound of weight, but other than that, it's really great right out of the box!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   McKenzie River Trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2400.00

Purchased At:   RiverRat

Similar Products Used:   None in the all-mountain marathon category; this bike replaced a 2002 RM Element Race

Bike Setup:   Stock except: WTB Rocket V saddle, Expedo Mag/Ti pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Curtis a Weekend Warrior from Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Date Reviewed: July 4, 2006

Strengths:    This is a review for the 2006 ETSX-30, which is equivelent to the 2005 ETSX-50. I typically do all variations of All-Mountain riding, with lots of roots and singletrack.

Handling: Rocky Mountain does an excellent job on maintaing consistent and easy handling on all of their bikes.

Pedaling: The Energy Transfer System implemented on this bike is close to perfection, there is very little pedal bob, whether you are out of the saddle pushing the bike up a steep incline or cruising on a trail, each stroke goes right to the tire for ultimate power.

Decending: Once you do reach the top of the hill, and start heading down is where the bike shines. I was amazed at how well this bike could handle fast downhills that were both technical and fast. The ETSX-30 (2006) is great at holding a line if you are just pointing it and going for it, or taking it slow and cautious. This bike inspires confidence each and every decent.

Braking: The Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes do an excellent job for the money. The stopping power is superb, and riding the brake in the back is consistent and powerfull. Great brakes for the buck.

Cornering: The agile ESTX can corner with the best of them. I changed the 2006 tires for Specialized Roll-X 2.00 (Retail @ $50 each tire). The aggressive side knobs really grab the bike as it is leaned over. The suspension of the ETSX works so semlessly with the tires that it's possible to take the ETSX on corners with demand and authority.



Weaknesses:    The only tweak I would do on the 2006 ETSX-50 is change the tires to the Specialized Roll-X 2.00 if you can afford it. I did put lock-on grips and new pedals (Eggbeaters), but those are minor changes and were not changed due to a weakness of the bike/parts.


Bottom Line:   
I would have paid a lot more for this bike than I did ($2049). Some may think of this bike as an "Entry Level" bike for All-Mountain riding. They are wrong. The 2006 ETSX-30 has no major weakness, it is lightweight, five inches of ajustable suspension keeps it smooth, amazing pedaling efficency, corners like a badass, climbes like a mountain goat, decents like a fiend, coupled with performance-oriented components, makes this bike a perfect fit for one person, and that person is you.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Spencer Loop

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2049.00

Purchased At:   The Bicycle Shop

Similar Products Used:   Various All-Mountain/Freeride bikes.


Bike Setup:   Stock w/ change in tires (Specialized Roll-X 2.00), pedals, grips.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Christian del Rosario a Weekend Warrior from Cupertino, CA

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2006

Strengths:    Phenominally PLUSH
SUPER efficient - little/no bob during climbs
GORGEOUS looking bike
Good mix of strength and agility
Not light, but not too heavy either
Handmade is a nice plus, and it shows
All around a proficent bike


Weaknesses:    Wish it was a tad bit lighter in terms of frameset
Some of the color combos are kinda out there
26.8 seatpost (2004 frame) is hard to find!
HARD to setup shifting for some reason...lots of ghost shifting in middle ring range of cassette and crank.


Bottom Line:   
I admit I was drawn to the TESX because IMHO it is a work of art. It just looks beautiful to me. But ok, i've read all the reviews and it seems this bike is an all-mountain wonder. So i took a leap of faith and picked up a closeout 2004 frame because of a sweet discount. Normall it's way expensive, but for $900 I was so there. Anyway, I built up the bike with said parts and took it out for a spin on a local trail that has some nice climbs. OMG, the climbing prowess is unreal with this thing. I normally suck at climbing but with the ETSX I cleaned climbs faster than I would normally on my other bikes. And I was less tired. I read about how "magnetic" the rear suspension works from other reviewers, but now i know why. It's hard to describe but this bike just allows you to climb so much more efficiently and faster, especially over rought terrain. The bike is not the lightest, but it sure doesn't feel heavy.

Although it's not marketed as a freeride bike, it handles the downhill wonderfully. With the way I set it up, it is an excellent all-around decender. The rear suspension eats up everything with such a suppleness it's heaven. And it handles with great agility. My confidense has grown after the two weeks of riding it.

I simply LOVE this bike.

My only complaints are the hard-to-find 26.8 post for 2004. i hear they changed it for newer models which is great. Also, for some reason a lot of ghost-shifts can happen. I've read it from other reviewers and I am experiecing the same thing. if it's possible to sort it out...it's certainly tougher than the average bike.

IMHO the normal price of the frame is way expensive. But it's a tough one to say no too as it is damn good. It performs as good as I hoped...even better. And the fact it can stand as a work of art is truly awesome. The machine work on the linkage arms is simply beautiful. Rocky knows how to make a beautiful bike. And it's rare at least in my area. I have to admit I simply love owning a bike you don't see every day.

4 chilis for value because it's super expnsive if you buy it str8 up. 5 chilis for overall because even at full price at least you get what you pay for....happiness :D

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Saratoga Gap + Skeggs

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $899.00

Purchased At:   Cyclepaths

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Blur, Giant AC1

Bike Setup:   Bought 2004 ETSX 50 frame on clearance for a sweet deal (Sweet all-black color too), all XTR drivetrain, raceface XY seatpost, WTB PURE Team seat (AWESOME), Avid Juicy Se7ens, Chris King headset, Race Face Diabolus DH stem, Race Face NEXT CF Riser bar, Fox Vanilla R fork, Mavic '06 Crossride wheelset, Syncros FLT 2.5 front, Syncros FLT 2.35 rear

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Carl Dieckmann a Cross Country Rider from Spangdahlem, Germany

Date Reviewed: February 1, 2006

Strengths:    Nice design. The thing I like most about this bike, is that it suits my style of XC riding yet it is rugged enough that when that occasional downhill or technical section comes along, you have nothing to worry about. Still, I would not treat this bike entirely like a downhill bike.

Weaknesses:    I won’t say “none”, because every bike has a weakness. I do think the design is strong, and it fits me very well. It would be nice to have an easier location to adjust the rear shock, however, I don’t find myself adjusting it too often. The only problems I have had are not with the bike design, but a few components.

Bottom Line:   
The BL is that I am a very happy customer. I usually buy everything cheap and used. Not this bike. I wanted a 70 but couldn’t find one on the market in my size, so I paid for a few upgrades and got a 70 equivalent (hence the high price). I rode my old Gary Fisher hard tail into the dirt until I bought this bike. Now I have had it six months and have over 700 trail miles on it. Not bad for a guy that works 80 hours a week. I dinged the bike on value a little because for the price, you could get slightly better components. Regardless, with Rocky Mountain, you are paying for the hand craftsmanship and the frame. For me, my bike has already paid for itself.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   none

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Cyclepaths

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth and Gary Fisher equivalents (I can't remember the names)

Bike Setup:   I have a few mods. XT front and rear derailleurs, XT brakes and shifters, a Monkey lite XC handlebar that is wider for my arm length. Seat post adjustment. Yeti hand grips. Finally, an upgraded Race Face crank case.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Len a Cross Country Rider from Victoria, BC, Canada

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2005

Strengths:    As others reviewers have pointed out, this bike is incorrectly listed in the Freeride category, it's definately an XC bike (Rocky calls it "all mountain race")

The suspension works very well, it's plush and does a great job of isolating pedal forces, so pedal induced bob is minimal.

This is my 6'th Rocky Mountain, and the quality of their frames is about as good as it gets. Beautiful welds and flawless, tough powdercoat finishes. You pay a premium for a handbuilt frame like this but it's worth it to me.

The adjustable (3.5 - 4.5") rear travel feature is cool. I run mine at 4" as I'm an XC dork at heart.


Weaknesses:    The price is high, but you get what you pay for. A buddy just broke his 2004 ETSX frame after a solid year of hard use, and I see others have had failures. Any frame will eventually fail if subjected to enough abuse, but I'm not worried about mine as I use it as intended (not a hucking bike) and if it does fail, that's what a warranty is for.

Bottom Line:   
It took me a while to get used to as I'd been on hardtails for XC riding forever, but I must confess it's a hoot to ride and i like it more every time I ride it. It hooks up incredibly well on rough climbs and lets me get away with all kinds of mistakes that a hardtail would never allow. I was initally unhappy about paying the weight penalty over a hardtail, but at 26.5lbs (mine is a couple pounds lighter than "stock") it's light enough and I doubt I'm any slower going up than on my hardtail. I'd recommend an ETS-X to anyone interested in a "do anything" XC Trailbike, and I'm sure it would do fine in the occasional XC race if that's your style.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   My first XC Dually, I have owned several "freeride" duallies and lots and lots of hardtails.

Bike Setup:   I bought a frameset only and built the bike from scratch so it's a bit of a "one off"

Rockshox Reba Race fork, Spinergy Xyclone wheels, XT discs, XT/XTR/Raceface drivetrain.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Glenn a Cross Country Rider from Atlanta

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2005

Strengths:    Very comfortable, versatile with adjustable fork (90-130mm) and rear shock (3.5-4.5). Definitely well made, designed for rough conditions in British Columbia. Excellent climbing ability. Very similar to my Giant NRS which is saying a lot. Excellent suspension design, which is Rocky Mountain's version of VPP. Great all round bike.

Weaknesses:    Not really a weakness but almost too many adjustment possibilities. Some components could be better, like the LX cassette. Hence, you pay more then other bikes when you compare just based on components.

Bottom Line:   
I am very impressed with this bike. It is deceptively fast. On a four mile course that I have done many times I improved my best time from my old bike by a minute and a half. But the main reason I wanted this bike is that it is more comfortable so I can ride multi hour rides without feeling too beat up. The NRS is a very efficient bike but on a long rough downhill you definitely take a beating. The ETSX is amazing going downhill. It soaks up bumps so well. And again the climbing ability is right up there with my NRS. On the 12 mile Bull Mountain loop it handled the 3 mile initial climb great and then just flew on the downhill. FYI, my 19inch stock ETSX-50 weighed 28.75 pounds, which is not bad. But the effeciency of the suspension design is what really makes the bike. I was prepared to give up some on speed in order to have a more comfortable ride. But with the ETSX I am actually a little faster but much more comfortable. By the way Todd at Atlanta Cycling was great. He really set up the bike well for me and they even allow a 30 day trial period which made the purchase much easier. If your looking for a plush but efficient cross country bike definitely check out the ETSX.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bull Mountain, Stanley Gap

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Atlanta Cycling

Similar Products Used:   Giant NRS 2

Bike Setup:   Stock so far. By the way the components listed for this bike are from last year. For 2005 the Talas fork is the RL, and it comes with eggbeater pedals among other changes. Also this is definitely not a freeride bike. It is a cross country bike. The longest rear travel is 4.5 inches. Please move the ETSX to the cross country section.

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