In order to smooth out rough bumps or trail features, increase traction, and give the rider more control, many modern bikes feature suspension. However, many suspension systems suffer from drawbacks such as "bobbing" (the suspension being compressed by chain forces when the rider pedals), "brake jack" (the suspension is stiffened during braking), and "falling rates" (the suspension is stiff at the beginning of travel, but then blows through the rest of the travel and bottoms out harshly). We tune and optimise our suspension systems to avoid these problems and provide specific performance to each bike's intended use.
The foundation of a bicycle is its frame, and a great bicycle frame needs to be both light and durable, as well as stiff in some areas and compliant is others. Bike manufacturers use a variety of techniques and materials to try achieve these goals and deliver value to riders. Using extensive manipulation of tube shapes and working with advanced carbon fibre processes put Rocky Mountain at the forefront of frame construction. We also don't dumb down our frame materials within a given bike platform — the same carbon or aluminum materials in our top-of-the-line models is found in our more economical models.
Few things affect ride-quality like the dark art of bike geometry. A slacker bike descends more aggressively, a steeper bike climbs more efficiently; a lower bike increases cornering control, but pedal strikes become more common; a more compact bike is more agile, while a longer bike provides more stability. It is by balancing and perfecting these key variables that Rocky Mountain's designers formulate the handling characteristics of our bicycles.