Four generations of freeride: the 2017 Rocky Mountain team
We're excited to announce that Wade Simmons, Thomas Vanderham, and Geoff Gulevich have all renewed ties with Rocky Mountain for 2017. They join the returning Carson Storch to round out our freeride program. The team will ride the Slayer, Maiden, and Altitude—and Carson will get a custom slopestyle bike cooked up in our North Vancouver prototype shop.
Wade Simmons, the Godfather of freeride, said “I’ve been with Rocky Mountain over 20 years now, and I’m stoked to be continuing on the program. We’ve got some fun adventures planned and I’m looking forward to sending it into the coming years. I need to show these young punks a thing or two!”
Thomas Vanderham continues to push the boundaries of big mountain riding, with appearances at select FEST events and in several film projects on the horizon. His precision and focus have also made him invaluable to the Rocky Mountain engineering team, and he works closely with them to develop and refine our bikes.
Geoff Gulevich maintains his globetrotting ways, with plans to log a ton of airmiles in 2017—both on and off the bike. His “Gullyver’s Travels” series will take him off the beaten path, and hopefully not feature too much male nudity.
Returning this year is Carson Storch. The young American athlete had a breakout year in 2016, with a podium spot and best trick at Rampage, and we’re fired up to see what he has in store in 2017.
After a long and storied career at Rocky Mountain, Brett Tippie is moving on in 2017. The Director of Good Times has been an iconic member of our family, and his signature laugh and unparalleled stoke will be sorely missed. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours Tippie, and we’ll see you (or at least hear you) out on the trails!
Rocky Mountain helped usher in the birth of freeride, and we’re proud to have every generation of freeride represented on our team. They continue to push the sport and inspire people to get out on their bikes—we couldn’t ask for better ambassadors for our brand.
Love the Ride,
—Rocky Mountain Bicycles
Photos by Margus Riga, Paris Gore, and Ale Di Lullo.
Slayer earns top marks at the Bible of Bike Tests
"This is the most capable all-mountain bike Rocky Mountain has ever made. But the Canadian company didn’t just create something that rides well, it designed a masterpiece that is both aesthetically refined and technologically advanced." — Bike Magazine
"The Slayer ushers in a new era of all-mountain bikes, taking riders farther than ever."
"The combination of the bike’s geometry and its 27.5-inch wheels makes it controllable and predictable–for such a big bike, it’s surprisingly coordinated and graceful. With a slack 64.75-65.85 headtube angle (adjustable via Rocky’s Ride4 geometry chips), stubby 425-430-millimeter rear end and low-slung bottom bracket, it’s no surprise that the Slayer slays the steepest, rowdiest mountain descents riders can find."
Suzi Q: Ride Fat, Stay Fast
- Intended Use: Fat XC
- Wheel Size: 27.5 FAT
The new Suzi Q challenges the narrative of slow, plodding fat bikes. Its lightweight carbon frame and narrow Q-factor are more efficient and comfortable than traditional fat bikes, perfect for everything from local singletrack loops to fat bike racing. Short chainstays and extended reach make for a stable and balanced ride that still feels agile.
"This is a seriously nimble whip—not what you're used to from traditional fat bikes. The narrow q-factor is a dream to pedal for big racing efforts, and its short chainstays and extended reach make for balanced, natural handling on singletrack." — Andreas Hestler
- Full carbon and aluminum models available.
- 192mm Q-factor is 20mm narrower than standard fat bikes to improve pedalling performance and comfort.
- 27.5x3.8 tires for improved rollover and lower rotating weight.
- Fits up to 27.5x4.2 tires (when available, with safe clearance from 770mm x 104mm).
- Next generation fat bike geometry is longer, slacker, and more agile.
- Integrated chainstay protector and downtube protector.
- Di2 electronics-compatible with an internal stealth battery port.
- Full carbon monocoque fork on the -90°, -70°, and -50° models.
- Lightweight bolt-on axles save 100g per bike compared to a Maxle.
- Suspension compatible. A 100mm Bluto at 20% sag maintains the ideal stock geometry.
- Two bottle cages on the fork, plus two in the front triangle.
- Front triangle Rivnuts for custom, bolt-on frame bags (not included).
- 1x specific.
- Stealth dropper post compatible.
- Internal cable housing.
- PressFit BB107 bottom bracket, ZS44|56 headset, 177mm real axle spacing.
- Sizing: S/M/L/XL.
The Suzi Q has a stable and balanced ride that still feels agile, thanks to super short chainstays and a lengthened reach. During the bike's design and testing phases we evaluated a wide variety of geometry and offset combinations to hone its steering dynamics. The result is a bike without any of the "autosteer" instability that plagues other fat bikes.
We worked with Maxxis to design a high performance 27.5x3.8 tire and wheel system. Compared to a traditional 26x4 "race fat" system, our 27.5x3.8 tires have a larger outer diameter. That means better rollover performance and plenty of traction, without the added weight and rolling resistance of 26x5 systems. In ski terms, 26x4 tires are traditional camber skis, and the larger diameter 27.5x3.8 tires are early rise tips. No, 27.5x3.8 tires won't let you carve turns in waist-deep powder, but they do roll up over soft snow more easily.
Designed specifically to have a narrow Q-factor, pedaling the Suzi Q is more efficient and comfortable than traditional fat bikes. Whether you're racing the 1,000-mile Alaskan Iditarod Trail Invitational or going for a quick rip on your local single track, the result is a more natural feel with less fatigue and knee strain.
See all the models here. Available in stores now.
The Longest Day
Today marks the shortest day of the year, December 21st. The Winter Solstice. It's the perfect day to reflect back to when temperatures were warmer, rides required less layering, and daylight lasted for what seemed like an eternity. Six months ago on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, we set out with the silly idea to ride 100 kilometers in a day on the North Shore.
Here in North Vancouver we are incredibly lucky to have three mountains flush with diverse trails that are all within spitting distance of each other. We hadn’t planned on doing a classic North Shore “Triple Crown” (riding up and down all three mountains in a day) but we knew that that was our best option to collect the kilometers we needed. With a route created to snag all the steeps and deeps, all hands were in and alarms were set.
Our start time was 5:00 AM at Panorama Park located in Deep Cove. Eight sleepy souls with eyes at half-mast feverishly stuffed food, layers, and tools into their packs along with copious amounts of coffee into their bodies. With our tires ceremoniously dunked into the calm waters of the Cove we began our mission.
You never know what you’re going to come across in the forest. Old rusted out pots, glass mason jars, beer bottles, broken china plates, all pointing to a very different era in these woods.
With Seymour done and dusted there were two mountains that lay ahead of us. The signs of how tough riding on the Shore can be began to show with our Garmins only reading 35 KMs after one and a half mountains.
After navigating our way across a steep, sandy slope where a landslide had occurred a couple of years prior we figured we should probably stop again. While we definitely weren’t hungry, we knew that if we didn’t keep feeding the fire it would burnout without hesitation.
“I needed that Vaseline earlier. I wish I knew Dre was packing it around before we did all of that climbing.” — Kevin Calhoun
With the light fading, dirt and rock transitioned to gravel and pavement, we were at the homestretch. Pedaling through the streets of Horseshoe Bay we arrived at the parking lot where cold beers and salty potato chips awaited us.
"Once everyone is tired and things are starting to get weird, that's when you find the character within, and you truly know the grit of your friends." — Andreas Hestler
"Everyone in this group impressed the hell out of me. Eight of us tearing up the climbs and fully pinned back down! Bunch of legends!" — Jesse Melamed
With the sun dipping below the horizon we submerged our tires into the waters of Horseshoe Bay and the journey was marked complete. The numbers were in: 3706 metres of climbing, 3712 metres of descending, 15 hours and 42 minutes in the saddle, and 87.1 kilometres travelled. We all decided that even though we had come up short on the distance that we set out to do, it was one hell of a hard ride that included some of the best trails on the Shore. We did it all in one day, and as a group without any losses.
A special shoutout goes to Margus Riga who made this entire journey with a massive camera bag strapped to his back all while hitting rad lines and leading the climbs with flats to boot!
Save Big With Rad Santa
The temperature has dropped, the days are shorter than ever, and ground that was previously a mixture of brown and green has been coated in a thick blanket of white. The holidays are once again upon us and in the spirit of giving we have decided to offer up big discounts on all Rocky Mountain apparel. Whether you're shopping for yourself or a fellow shredder we have a variety of apparel to help you get rad.
DISCOUNT CODE: RADSANTA
Click the link above to shop our apparel and be sure to use the discount code RADSANTA during checkout to receive 30% off all apparel! Items that are on sale already are included, which equates to almost 60% off of some pieces.
**We cannot guarantee delivery before December 24th during the holiday season. Sale valid until December 31st, 2016. Please note our warehouse is closed from December 22nd until January 3rd, 2017. Orders placed during that time will not be processed until we return.**
Get Kitted, So Kitted
Winter is here in the Pacific Northwest. We've pulled the lights and thermal gloves out of the closet, and embraced grimy post-work rides. But, with the holidays coming and plenty of riding still left in 2016, we thought it would be the perfect time to offer up some huge discounts on apparel.
Discount Code: GETKITTEDSOKITTED
Hit the link above and use the discount code GETKITTEDSOKITTED during checkout for 30% off all apparel! This sale includes on-sale items, for savings of almost 60% on some pieces.
Sale valid until December 1st, 2016.
See you out on the trail!
Trail Journal: Volume One
Volume One of our Trail Journal is dedicated to the enjoyment of putting rubber-covered wheels into dirt. It is a collection of some of our favourite stories, images, bikes, and characters. Collectively, the stories in this magazine trace Rocky Mountain's journey—looking back through 35 years of good times, and forward at what's to come.
From Margus Riga's madness, to Owen Perry's photographic Ode to BC, to Paris Gore's stunning cover shot, we've tracked down our most memorable images and stories. We dug into the archives for some of the pivotal bikes and moments in our history. Wade Simmons shared his adventures in the Dolomites, legendary photographer Sterling Lorence gave us some insight into the process of capturing his iconic Maiden image, Danielle Baker explored the Nuu-chah-nulth Spirit Forest on Vancouver Island’s west coast, and Fred Glo schooled us on the early days of enduro racing.
Thomas Vanderham gave up his backcountry coffee method, Andreas Hestler celebrated 10 years of BC Bike Race, distributors sent postcards from across the globe, and Dirk Janz and Helle Schuster enjoyed schnapps on the Walmendingerhorn.
The Trail Journal has been offset printed in limited quantities, and looks great on your shop bench, the porch at your backcountry cabin, or that designer coffee table you're too afraid to put your feet up on. Reading it may not be quite the same as sitting down for coffee with Rocky Mountain founder Grayson Bain, or dropping in on a full-moon night ride in the Italian alps with Simmons, but it's pretty damn close.
—The Rocky Mountain Bicycles Crew
Carson Storch Podiums at Rampage
Congratulations to Rocky Mountain's Carson Storch! The Bend, Oregon freerider took home 3rd Place at the legendary Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, Utah. He also claimed the Best Trick award for his massive mid-course 360 drop.
Return to Raw
This year's Red Bull Rampage saw a return to the raw, natural landscape that it was known for in the early days. With the blank canvas of a new venue, Carson teamed up with three other riders to build a massive feature with terrifying exposure—unlocking a line that event organizers had previously called impassable.
From there, Carson and his dig crew of Dustin Gilding and Calvin Huth split off from the other riders and chiseled out a landing for a huge mid-course drop, and dialled in several more significant features on the way to the bottom of the course.
"My line here at Rampage has a bit of everything. Steeps and exposure up top, big jumps and high speed lower down... a load of stuff I want to ride, so I'm happy with it." — Carson Storch
We wanted to do something special with Carson's bike for Rampage, so we worked with Painthouse Customs to create this 'Americamo' painted carbon Maiden. The design is inspired by the "dazzle camouflage" used on WWI naval ships.
He runs his Maiden in the slackest Ride-4 position, and with the Equalized geometry set up to use 26" wheels.
After eight days of building, it was time to put tires into dirt. With a steep, technical top section, tons of style, massive tricks, and a strong finish, Carson had all the elements of a great Rampage run. He would end the day in 3rd place, behind Antoine Bizet (2nd) and Brandon Semenuk (1st).
The judges were also vehement that he was the clear choice for Best Trick with his massive mid-course 360 drop. HUGE.
"Can't believe I ended up on the podium with third place, and took best trick. Such a crazy day! Thanks so much to my diggers, friends, family, and sponsors. I was riding for you today Kelly [McGarry]!" — Carson Storch
Congratulations to everyone who rolled through the Rampage start-gate this year. Healing vibes to the guys that got injured out there, hope to see you back soon! So many heavy moves went down, and the sport progressed by leaps and bounds yet again.
The late, great Kelly McGarry was a mentor and friend to Carson, and he'd have been so proud of his ride. A result like this has been a long time in the making for Carson, and we're beyond fired up for him. Already can't wait till next year!
2016 EWS Team World Champions
Photos by Matt Wragg.
Nobody ever said it, but after being runner up in 2014 and 2015, the goal at the beginning of this season was to capture the team title. The Rocky Mountain Urge bp Rally Team was gunning to be 2016 Enduro World Series Team World Champions.
EWS Round 1 Corral, Chile
Round #1 began with a flight to South America, and a few trips by boat to travel from our accommodation to the start of the race in Corral. The team would see 200km of riding between the four days of practice and racing, a big test of their off-season training. There was concern of a forest fire at one point, but when the smoke and the dust settled the team settled into their groove. It was a start much like the season would end in Finale, racing from the hilltops down to the ocean.
- Florian Nicolai — 5th
- Alexandre Cure — 15th
- Rémi Gauvin — 25th
- Jesse Melamed — 36th
- Sébastien Claquin, U21 — 2nd U21
EWS Round 2 Cerro Catedral, Bariloche, Argentina
- Florian Nicolai — 12th
- Alexandre Cure — 34th
- Rémi Gauvin — 19th
- Jesse Melamed — 48th
- Sébastien Claquin — 1st U21
EWS Round 3 Wicklow, Ireland
It was time for a change of pace and to come back to Ireland where we've had good results, and incredible hospitality. Wicklow does a great job of using the little elevation they have to create a fun, technical course. Voted best race on the circuit last year, the fans really get into the race and make for a great atmosphere—nothing like hundreds of Irishmen screaming at you to motivate a sprint to the finish! With all five racers placing inside the Top 20, the Rally Team took 1st in the Team category and jumped into the lead for the team overall.
- Florian Nicolai — 5th
- Alexandre Cure — 10th
- Rémi Gauvin — 19th
- Jesse Melamed — 16th
- Sébastien Claquin — 4th U21
Back to the towering mountains of Italy, in La Thuile, we saw the return of ALN (Andréane Lanthier Nadeau). She was out with an injury early in the season but was back and eager to race! With long punishing descents that would be more commonly ridden on a downhill bike, the La Thuile course put riders to the test. The big story this weekend was ALN. Maybe it was the espresso, or the pizza, but whatever fueled her hunger it worked, as Andreane landed on the 3rd step of the podium, proving that she has the speed and skills to play at the top!
EWS Round 4 La Thuile, Italy
- Florian Nicolai — 5th
- Alexandre Cure — 11th
- Rémi Gauvin — 23rd
- Jesse Melamed — 13th
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
- Andréane Lanthier Nadeau — 3rd
EWS Round 5 Aspen Snowmass, USA
The USA round is always a tough one for the Frenchies for whatever reason. Maybe the high altitude, or the different terrain, but we suspect it's the lack of baguettes, meat, and cheese. The tracks in Colorado are generally fast, tight, and loose—a big change from the steep, technical tracks of Italy. Flo and Alex pushed through to take respectable results, but it was Jesse who broke into the Top 10 for the first time. Another team win extended our lead on the category, and we headed north to Canada for the next round.
- Florian Nicolai — 13th
- Alexandre Cure — 26th
- Rémi Gauvin — 12th
- Jesse Melamed — 8th
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
- Andréane Lanthier Nadeau — 11th
EWS Round 6 Whistler, Canada
Whistler is our second home, and the first home of Jesse Melamed. The Crankworx EWS course is a monster of a race that takes a toll on both rider and bike, combining bike park and the raw, natural trails of Whistler and Blackcomb. Unfortunately another hand injury took ALN out for the rest of the season, so it was up to the five remaining riders to get it done. All the pressure or none, Jesse rode his race from beginning to end, knocking loudly on Richie Rude's door, and taking 2nd place! His first EWS podium, with family and friends surrounding him at the Whistler Village finish line.
- Florian Nicolai — DNF
- Alexandre Cure — 105th
- Rémi Gauvin — 12th
- Jesse Melamed — 2nd
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
EWS Round 7 Valberg-Guillaumes, France
The French side of the team was excited to return to their native soil. The legendary tracks in Valberg are steep, wild, and natural—an incredible venue for the penultimate race of the season. Alex and Flo bounced back from crashes and mechanicals in Whistler to take solid results in the maritime alps. "A lot of nose turn here at Valberg, it's really cool ride at home," said Flo. However, it was Jesse that stole the show, taking 3rd—backing up his podium in Whistler, and silencing any whispers of home track advantage. The Claq stayed consistent with another 2nd place finish in U21, and the whole team was fired up to bring it home.
- Florian Nicolai — 4th
- Alexandre Cure — 10th
- Rémi Gauvin — 24th
- Jesse Melamed — 3rd
- Sébastien Claquin — 2nd U21
EWS Round 8 Finale Ligure, Italy
A series of consistent results brought the Rally Team to Finalé sitting in top spot for the Team overall standings, but the overall win wasn't a sure thing. To make matters worse, Jesse was fighting a nasty illness. The whole team had to battle hard this weekend, but ultimately had a great race with three top 10s and the whole team finishing within the top 25.
- Florian Nicolai — 8th
- Alexandre Cure — 13th
- Rémi Gauvin — 22nd
- Jesse Melamed — 7th
- Sébastien Claquin — 7th U21
In the dusty hills above the Mediterranean Sea, our little Rally Team took on all comers and sewed up the Enduro World Series Team Overall World Champion title! In the individual overall rankings Flo finished the year in 6th, Jesse in 9th, Rémi in 15th, and Alex in 17th. The Claq earned himself 2nd place in U21. By all measures a year we're massively proud of.
Mission complete. Finalé is a great place to finish the season. Whether you win or lose, you're at the beach in Italy, on the Mediterranean with great coffee and food, and your bike. This year we managed to win the Team Overall, and have some individual successes along the way. We'll look to come back next year with more determination, focus, and fun.
Thank you to Florian Nicolaï, Jesse Melamed, Rémi Gauvin, Seb Claquin, Alex Cure, and ALN for an incredible year. Thanks to Lilian, Matthieu, Scott, and the rest of the crew—and thanks to Fred Glo for supporting this from the very beginning. The end of this season is bittersweet, with some of our favourite competitors retiring from racing. Salute to Anne Caroline Chausson, Nicolas Vouilloz, and Anka Martin for their contributions to mountain biking. It won't be the same without you on the circuit!
We would like to thank all of our sponsors, who have supported us from the first pedal stroke and supply us with the best parts available: Urge Bike Products, Maxxis, Shimano, Fox, Stan's Notubes, FTI Consulting, Race Face, Royal Racing, EVOC bags, Smith Optics, Val d'Allos, One Up Components, Clif Bar, 7 iDP, and WTB.
See you on track next year!
—Rocky Mountain Bicycles & Urge Bike Products
The Slayer is Back!
- Intended Use: Enduro / All Mountain
- Front Travel: 170mm
- Rear Travel: 165mm
- Wheel Size: 27.5”
Designed to lay waste to the world’s roughest trails, the Slayer is back as an all-carbon weapon. From the most aggressive Enduro World Series tracks to bike park laps and big mountain lines, its downhill-bike capability and pedaling responsiveness are matched with an uncanny ability to find and hold speed in rugged terrain. All killer, no filler.
“I’m super fired up that the Slayer is back. A few things really stood out to me through the development process—it pedals incredibly well, carries a ton of speed, and that extra bit of travel is awesome when you really want to rally! I see myself spending a ton of time on this bike." — Thomas Vanderham
- Full Smoothwall™ carbon frame
- Ride-4™ adjustability chip for precise geometry adjustments
- All sizes fit one water bottle inside the front triangle
- Future-proofed to run Di2 and a dropper post concurrently
- Max type Enduro cartridge bearing pivots with simplified hardware, Pipelock™ rocker link pivot
- Shock-eyelet bearings for small-bump sensitivity
- Single-sided chainstay and seatstay pivots for a narrower rear triangle—eliminates heel rub, even with Boost spacing
- Metric shock, 230x65
- 1x specific
- Clearance for up to 27.5x2.5 “wide trail” tires, and compatible with 26+ tires (26x3.0)
- Full-length internal dropper post and lockout routing. Internal brake routing in the front triangle, internal tube-in-tube shift routing
- Oversized downtube ports for ease of cable routing
- New derailleur hanger design reduces hardware complexity
- Lightweight bolt-on axle saves 35g compared to a traditional Boost axle
- PressFit BB92 bottom bracket, ZS44 | ZS56 headset
- Post-mount 180mm rear brake
- Max chainring size is 36t
- Sizing: S/M/L/XL
Our four-bar Smoothlink™ suspension has been tuned to eat up rough terrain and square-edged hits. We also increased the anti-squat values to make sure the bike pedals efficiently—whether you’re sprinting for a transfer stage or grinding towards a backcountry descent.
The Slayer features shock-mount bearings for incredible small-bump suppleness. Predictable, efficient, and capable, its rate curve provides good support at sag and a moderate ramp towards the end-stroke.
When we decided to bring the Slayer back, we knew it needed the crush-everything-in-its-path attitude of the previous generation while keeping the agility and efficiency that made it a favourite among aggressive trail riders. The updated geometry retains a fairly steep seat-tube angle, while the reach has been extended and the head-tube angle has been slackened.
We kept the BB drop neutral and the rear centre quite short to improve cornering, and shortened the seat-tube lengths to make room for the next generation of longer dropper posts.
Our Ride-4™ adjustability system was chosen for the Slayer in order to provide precise geometry adjustments while leaving the suspension curve virtually unaffected. The head-tube and seat-tube angles can be changed by just over a degree, and the bottom-bracket can be raised or lowered by 7.5mm. This allows racers to adapt their geometry from track-to-track while keeping shock tuning predictable and simple.
Size Specific Tune
Size Specific Tune ensures that riders of all sizes get the right balance of small-bump compliance, mid-stroke support, and end-stroke progressiveness. Our design team does custom shock tunes based on real world field testing, and adjusts each tune for every specific frame size, from S to XL.