Rocky Mountain Bike Reviews: Everything You Need To Know!

Rocky Mountain Bike Reviews

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Rocky Mountain’s bikes have been making headlines in the recent past, appearing on races with acclaimed athletes and competing with big brands such as Santa Cruz.

I have had the best experience with Rocky Mountain bikes testing them on the most unforgiving terrains.

They’ll never come to a breaking point no matter how much you push them. I can attest that Rocky Mountain Bikes are quality bikes, and you can go ahead and buy any model that you desire, especially if you are looking for a Santa Cruz alternative.

Here’s a candid Rocky Mountain bicycles review.

Best Rocky Mountain Bikes for 2021

1. Rocky Mountain Fusion

Rocky Mountain Fusion


  • Fork: 100 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Hardtail XC Bike

The Fusion is Rocky Mountain’s entry-level XC-Style bike and is also an inexpensive model. This cheapest bike is ideal for beginners trying to find their way into mountain biking.

It’s also suitable for beginners interested in racing XC but needs to find their balance and stability before upgrading to a full-suspension bike.

The affordable hardtail comes with a light aluminum frame and runs on a Shimano Deore 1×10 drivetrain, while the most expensive model, the Fusion 40, runs on a 1×12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain.

Fusion also features a Suntour XCR32 air fork with 100 mm travel and Shimano hubs. However, you may have to buy a dropper seat post separately as it doesn’t come with one.

The essence of a dropper seat post is to allow you to lower the seat while descending to offer the rear wheel more traction.

However, with the air-sprung Suntour forks, and the rock-bottom price of the bike, you can confidently say this is one of the best deals you’ve ever come across.

Like most hardtails, Fusion is not a forgiving bike on descents, but if you lock the front suspension, you’ll be able to climb any hill faster than a deer.

The bike will also perform well on smooth and light trails and turn into a nightmare if you decide to ride it on a rocky patch. This is the bike to buy if you are also looking for a commuter bike.

2. Rocky Mountain Soul

Rocky Mountain Soul


  • Fork: 120 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Hardtail XC Bike

Looking for a soulmate? A two-wheeled mechanical soulmate who will never break your heart? Rocky Mountain got you covered with Soul. The bike is similar to Fusion in terms of features. The only difference between the two is their wheel sizes.

The Soul comes with 27.5” wheels. This is one of the most affordable models I have come across, and it doesn’t mean that you’ll have to clear your bank account to have a soulmate.

Although Soul is a cross-country bike, it’s more aimed at fun riding and outdoor adventures. The 27.5” wheeler is right for you if all you want is a bike that you can use to explore the woods and wild trails in the backyard of your home.

It’s also a great bike to commute with or light MTB riding. It doesn’t matter what you ride, but if it’s a Soul, then it concerns everyone who has never experienced such a beautiful bike.

The Suntour XCM 120 mm travel fork will cushion all the challenges you face on the trail and offer you a semi-smooth riding experience.

The wheels come tubeless ready so that you upgrade any time you want to. The only downside of this bike is that Soul 10 comes with a 9-Speed 10-51T cassette, but you can upgrade. Soul dislikes a technical terrain, but you can comfortably ride it on smoother trails.

3. Rocky Mountain Growler

Rocky Mountain Growler


  • Fork: 130-140 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Hardtail Trail Bike

If you have been searching for an aluminum trail bike but you are on a budget and at the moment you cannot manage to buy a full-suspension or carbon bike, don’t worry.

Your dreams to ride n trail will become a reality, thanks to Rocky Mountain and their Growler model. With 2.6 inch tires, you can be confident that the traction will offer you an advantage on the trails.

There are three Growler models, namely, 20, 40, and 50. The first two come with a 130 mm travel, while the 50 is blessed with 140 mm of travel.

Most riders who have ridden the Growler say that it’s an efficient climber and also ascends better than most hardtails, and who I’m I to disagree?

I also noted that the bike is an all-weather rig that will stop at nothing. The Suntour fork is not appropriate for a bike of this caliber, but you can always upgrade when you need to.

Get Rocky Mountain’s Growler if you are passionate about mountain biking and looking for an all-rounded hardtail bike that will ride XC and trail.

It’s also amongst the best bike options for Rocky Mountain that will not cost you a fortune to have one in your garage.

4. Rocky Mountain Vertex

Rocky Mountain Vertex


  • Fork: 100 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Hardtail XC Bike

I don’t understand why Rocky Mountain didn’t equip the Vertex with a dropper seat post despite it being a top-quality Rocky Mountain carbon bike.

The Vertex is the well-balanced bike dedicated XC race hardtail. It’s the bike you’ll see in the next World Cup RC race, but there are a few things you would want to know about this bike before buying it.

First, Vertex is the most incredible XC-style bike I know, and the model is compatible with 27.5”+ wheels.

There are three levels of Vertex. The lowest one is the Vertex Carbon 50 that comes with a RockShox Reba fork and Shimano SLX /XT groupset, followed by the Vertex Carbon 70, which features an SRAM GX groupset and a Fox 32 fork.

The most expensive bike and with the best combination of features is the Vertex Carbon 90. The model features the XC-ready RockShox SID RLC fork and an SRAM X01 Eagle groupset with a 10-42T cassette.

You get to choose your type of poison. I prefer the one that kills faster.

This is absolutely the dream bike of many aspiring XC racers, and perhaps yours too. Before you try the full suspension XC bike that we will review next, you should start with the Vertex. It will help improve your confidence.

Vertex handles descents better than other hardtails, is an exceptional climbing bike, and is fast on smooth terrain.

5. Rocky Mountain Element

Rocky Mountain Element


  • Fork: 100-120 mm Travel
  • Shock: 100 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension XC Bike

Your bike needs will always keep expanding, and when you feel like you have earned the skills to ride a full-suspension cross-country-style bike, you can start with the Rock Mountain Element.

It is an all-rounded full Susser that will put you to no shame whenever you ride it. The bike features less travel suspension and narrower handlebars to make it more XC hungry.

There are four models available, namely Element carbon 50, Carbon 70, Carbon 70 XCO Edition, and the Carbon 90.

On the front, the Element is packed with Fox 34 Float Performance Elite fork with 120 mm travel. On the rear, you get a Fox Float DPS Performance Elite Shock, 100 mm travel.

You also don’t get anything lower than a Shimano XT drivetrain. For the brake-set, the bike will stand on its tracks under the pressure of the dual-piston Shimano XT disk brakes.

Rocky Mountain Element is the right bike to own if you prefer a full-sus bike that climbs well and has several geometry settings, and is as efficient as Santa Cruz Hightower.

It’s also appropriate for bumpy and technical trails. The bike is also great on descents. It’s also a bike you can use for commuting and viewing the landscape.

6. Rocky Mountain Pipeline

Rocky Mountain Pipeline


  • Fork: 140 mm Travel
  • Shock: 140 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”+
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon/Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail Bike

The Rocky Mountain Pipeline is the bike to ride if you are looking for a playful and excellent all-around trail bike. Instead of the large 29er wheels, this bike comes with 27.5”+ wheels which offer better traction and easy-rolling even on a loose surface.

That doesn’t mean you can’t run some 29er wheels and tires. The bike is so very versatile and ridable on XC or trail terrain. If you dare, you can also attempt an enduro race with it and see how it goes.

The Pipeline comes in two frame options, aluminum, and carbon. The bike features a 140 mm travel both front and rear.

The shock is a SmoothLink rear suspension and Ride-9 adjustable geometry system. The RockShox Yari RX fork and Monarch RT Debonair combination are just what you need to have the smoothest ride.

The RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post comes as an addition.

The Pipeline is the right Rocky Mountain trail bike if you mostly ride on challenging and technical trails and you are looking for an effective climber and a great bike on steep descents.

It’s also the most mud and snow-ready bike in the Rocky Mountain’s catalog. The plus-sized wheels make the Pipeline an able performer.

7. Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt


  • Fork: 150 mm travel
  • Shock: 140 mm travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Aluminum/Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail Bike

29” wheels are the new craze, but if you prefer a bike that can run 26”+ wheels, you are not left out. The Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt comes with 27.5” wheels but with adjustable geometry and enough room to run 26” wheels.

The bike is a do-it-all type that will not disappoint you. Thunderbolt is aimed at semi-pro riders. The lightweight frame, which can be aluminum or carbon depending on which model you take, features a RIDE-9 adjustment system for tuning the geometry.

Also, depending on the model you choose among the Thunderbolt Alloy 10, Alloy 30, and Carbon 50, you get a specific fork and shock brand.

The alloy version comes with a RockShox Deluxe fork and rear suspension. Thunderbolt Carbon 50 comes with Fox Float performance forks and shock, 150 mm and 140 mm travel, respectively.

Thunderbolt is a convenient bike for you if you love riding on bumpy steep and technical trails.

If you mostly ride on flat or smooth trails, you may not take advantage of Thunderbolt’s full potential. However, the bike is not a great climber, but when descents faster than wind.

8. Rocky Mountain Instinct

Rocky Mountain Instinct


  • Fork: 150 mm Travel
  • Shock: 140 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”/27.5”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Aluminum/Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail Bike

The Instinct is Rocky Mountain’s quiver killer, and you can tell why. It’s their do-it-all trail bike that can only stop at a wall.

The bike also features the geometry adjustment feature known as the Ride-9 adjustment system, which allows to interchange 27.5 ” and 29″ front and rear tires at any time.

Just a few additional components and the bike will be converted into the Instinct BC Edition.

The BC Edition is a more downhill-capable version of the Instinct, coming with a 160 mm travel in the front and 155 mm travel rears shock.

However, the model does not feature the Ride-9 feature like the original Instinct. The BC Edition can be converted back to the original Instinct.

The Instinct is the bike to own if you are looking for a trail or enduro bike that’s forgiving on the descents.

The BC Edition specifically can race enduro, and you can also take advantage of its fast-rolling 29-inch wheels to make it your bike for the weekend trail.

9. Rocky Mountain Altitude

Rocky Mountain Altitude


  • Fork: 160 mm Travel
  • Shock: 150 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon/Aluminum
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Enduro Bike

The Altitude is Rocky Mountain’s most gifted 27.5” Enduro wheeler and complete bike. The bike features the Ride-9, just like the other leading models. You get massive amounts of travel with it. Also, both the aluminum and carbon options are light in weight. The Altitude is one of the most capable enduro bikes that I have tried.

There are eight Altitude models, two alloys, and six-carbon frame options. Altitude is the most extensive line of bikes Rocky Mountain has.

This enduro model is suitable for you if you are looking for a bike with many capabilities. However, if you want a fast roller with 29er wheels, here’s your next forgiving bike on the descents. 

10. Rocky Mountain Slayer

Rocky Mountain Slayer


  • Fork: 180 mm/170 mm Travel
  • Shock:180 mm/170 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”/29”
  • Frame Size: XS, S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Enduro Bike

Since Rocky Mountain doesn’t have a complete downhill bike but a bike frame known as the Rocky Mountain Maiden, Slayer is their most downhill-capable bike yet most compare it to Santa Cruz Bronson.

You have the choice of going with a 27.5” model with a 180 mm travel front and rear, or take the 29er with 170 mm travel on both front and back. The Slayer can also race downhill if you dare. It’s quite a slayer!

There are eight Slayer models in total, four being alloy and the rest with carbon frames. Whether you are jumping over rocks, running on roots, and taking sharp corners, the Slayer will take you home.

The Slayer is the right bike for you if you fancy enduro racing and a confidence-inspiring bike.

Rocky Mountain Bicycles Warranty

Rocky Mountain offers a warranty against defects on its products. The front and strong FORM alloy rear triangle of a full-suspension frame get five years warranty. The maiden front triangle and rear triangle get a 3-year warranty.

Pivot, axles, get one year warranty. Also, the pulleys, pinions, and the transfer chain get a warranty of one year.

All warranties must be handled by the Authorized Dealer that sold the bike. The warranty only applies to the original owner of the bike.

After-Sale Service

You can contact the Rocky Mountain Authorized bike dealers for further assistance. Also, the support on the main page will do their best to help and respond to your queries in three business days.

It’s recommended that you engage your Rocky Mountain Dealer for immediate help if you have a seriously burning issue.

History of Rocky Mountain

Rocky Mountain was founded in the 80s. The company’s roots are back to the 70s when mountain biking was taking center stage.

The Canadian brand is based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Rocky Mountain started out modifying road bikes, using fatter tires and flat handlebars. The company was at the forefront of revolutionizing MTBs, and some credits should go to it.

Rocky Mountain bikes have scooped a couple of awards, including beating Santa Cruz to the  Mountain Bike Germany’s Bike of the Year Award.

Bing names in the racing world, such as Thomas Vanderham, Sam Schultz, Andreas Hestler, and Wade Simmons, race on Rock Mountain bikes. The company builds trail, XC, enduro, fat bikes adventure bikes, and a downhill frame.

Closing Remarks

Rocky Mountain quality mountain bikes are a phenomenon making it one of the most famous bike companies. It would be best if you experienced them.

You have a list of the bikes you should consider, and we are willing to help if you need help selecting any of the bikes mentioned above. Happy cycling! 

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Written By

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 50+ trails across the globe. For Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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