Farewell to Raphaël Gagné
Raphaël Gagné has been with Rocky Mountain Bicycles since 2006. Started as a young promising U-23 development racer, he has done just that—develop. He's had some amazing seasons, and finishes his tenure at Rocky Mountain with a banner year. Raphaël spent the early part of the 2015 season racing the US Cup series, where he faced tough competition from the likes of Manuel Fumic, Marco Fontana, Anton Cooper, Dan McConnell and Nino Schurter. Hard work and consistency paid off, seeing Raphel taking several wins and the overall US Cup title!
All of those hard efforts set a base for Raph to take his competition to the next level, the World Cup circuit. He had seen early results hovering around the mid 20's at Albstadt, and Nove Mesto. After taking the momentum from the US Cup series win, Raphaël took the gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto! The momentum kept rolling with the Canadian National champion title and a personal best 14th at the World Cup in Mont Saint Anne, Quebec. The next round, only a week later in Windham, NY, Raph placed an incredible 6th!
We saw Raphaël finish off the bulk of his racing season placing 18th at the World Championships in Andorra. This top placing for any rider in America caps off a banner year, and we'd like to congratulate Raphaël Gagné on a great 2015 season! With success like this, we will surely see Raphael sporting a team Canada jersey at next year's Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
"I would like to thank you for everything," said Raph, "from development to high international performance, its been awesome to race for Rocky Mountain."
We'd like to thank Raphaël Gagné for his many seasons of dedication to racing and to our brand. Wish wish you the best in 2016 and beyond!
Thank you to:
Shimano, Stan's No Tubes, Maxxis Tires, Fox Racing Shox, Race Face, Smith Optics, FTi Consulting, WTB, Honey Stinger, Kicking Horse Coffee, Biemme, FSA, and e.13.
Rocky Mountain Supports Endure Nepal Film
We're proud to support Endure Nepal, a women's mountain bike adventure film. Check out more info below, and please consider supporting their Kickstarter campaign.
Endure Nepal Film is a documentary that will chronicle 5 amazing lady shredders bike packing in Nepal. The Langtang Valley was one of the hardest hit regions from the earthquakes and landslides that destroyed the area this past spring. Rebuilding has begun in this valley and the reconstructed teahouses and trekking routes are beginning to bring prosperity back to this devastated and beautiful area where the project will focus.
Filming is set to begin in March 2016 and will provide a visually stunning, epic adventure for this group of women. The film is an observational documentary twinned with an outdoor adventure film, which will look at sustainable tourism. The planned route will take them 100 miles, from Katmandu to Kyanjin Gompa in Langtang Valley to build a special high altitude greenhouse. The riders will gain over 23,000 feet in elevation during the trip.
Team members include: Julie Cornelius, Melissa Ross, Regina Jefferies and Tricia Davis based out of Arizona; Kjersti Christensen from Seattle, Carolyn Wells from Whistler, Reshmi Parajuli from Nepal and Sarah Li from the UK.
The Rocky Mountain Sherpa is a bike that will not only allow the ladies to tackle the long and difficult journey, but allow for an ample amount of fun to shred on the high-volume 27.5" plus tires.
"We are very excited to be riding the Rocky Mountain Sherpa in Nepal. Rocky Mountain has shown so much enthusiasm for our project and the bike will be perfect for the riding we will be doing." — Julie Cornelius, Endure Nepal Film
Huge thanks go out to Rocky Mountain Bicycles for their support in this project. Thanks also to: Smith, Blackburn, Osprey, Swiftwick, Five Ten, Crankjoy, Potential En- ergy Training and Nutrition, Rage Cycles, Clipped In, Himalayan Rides, Sherpa Adventure Gear, Fazed Pictures, N’Agro-Seeds of Life and the Langtang Management and Reconstruction Committee for their early sponsorship. If you would like to help out with this amazing project you can check out our Kickstarter Campaign. Thank you!
Welcome to the Team Carson Storch
We are proud to sign Carson Storch to our freeride program. The two-year deal will see Carson compete at a full schedule of slopestyle and freeride events across the globe. He will also be involved in several high profile film projects.
Carson is unique because he rides at such a high level in both slopestyle and big mountain—and he tears it up on trail bikes too. He’ll be a great ambassador for our brand.
"Rocky Mountain has always represented freeride, and is a company that I am proud to ride for," said Carson. "The bikes are awesome, the team is awesome, and they have been very welcoming. I'm happy to start a new chapter in my career with them."
Carson had the opportunity to work with our engineering team to build a custom slopestyle bike in our North Vancouver prototype lab. He will ride a carbon Maiden for the Red Bull Rampage and other big mountain events, as well as a carbon Altitude for trail riding.
We have a deep history in freeride, sponsoring the first freeride team back in 1995. Carson joins Rocky Mountain alumni Wade Simmons, Thomas Vanderham, Geoff Gulevich, and Brett Tippie.
Cheers bud, welcome to the team!
Introducing the Maiden
After nearly four years of development, we’re proud to launch the Maiden. With the freedom to design on an extended schedule, it represents the cutting edge of our technology. Its all-carbon frame was designed from the ground up to perform at the highest levels of World Cup racing, bike park blasting, and big mountain freeriding.
- Travel: 200mm (F), 200mm (R)
- Full carbon frame, link, chainstay, and seatstay
- Optimized for 26” or 27.5” wheels with Equalized geometry
- Four bar Smoothlink suspension
- Pipelock collet axles lock into the frame for stiffness
- Oversized Enduro MAX type bearings for longer bearing life and higher load capacity
- Integrated frame protection: molded downtube guard, shock fender, chainstay protector, and bolt-in fork bumpers
- Di2 electronics compatible with internal stealth battery port
- Internal cable and brake routing
- PressFit BB107 bottom bracket, drop-in IS42|52 headset, 157mm axle spacing, ISCG-05 tabs
- Sizing: S/M/L/XL
We tested a wide range of suspension systems during the Maiden’s development. Many four-bar downhill bikes have very low rising rates (<20% slope). They have good support at sag, but require harsh-feeling higher spring rates or progressive air shocks to avoid bottoming under advanced riders. On the other end of the spectrum, some virtual pivot bikes have very high rising rates (>70% slope). They have great small-bump sensitivity and don’t bottom out easily, but they wallow and lack support at sag.
The Maiden’s rate curve sits between those two extremes with a 40% slope. It starts low enough for small-bump suppleness, ends high enough to avoid bottoming, has good rider support at sag, and allows the use of a lighter coil spring. We also tuned the progression to rise at a near-constant rate for more predictable response and more effective shock adjustments. The result is lively, supple suspension performance. It eats up chatter, pops off lips predictably, and reacts well when pushed aggressively.
Pedaling & Chainstay Growth
The Maiden puts power to the ground efficiently, thanks to a high level of anti-squat (75% with 27.5 wheels at sag) and well-supported suspension.
Chainstay growth is minimal (26mm with 27.5” wheels or 21mm with 26” wheels), and we pushed that growth deeper into the travel to further improve small bump performance while achieving the axle trajectory we were looking for.
Our engineering team spent a lot of time improving traction and control under braking, because more efficient braking makes you faster. Our patent- pending Autonomous braking resists both compression and extension under braking—remaining active through the majority of rear wheel travel and allowing the bike to react to ground forces rather than braking forces.
The Maiden achieves its braking characteristics by balancing anti-rise (35%), caliper counter-rotation, and instantaneous inertial brake transfer values. Our virtual swingarm begins far behind the bike, lengthens backwards through infinity as the bike compresses, and ends in front of the bike. This long virtual swingarm is the key to avoiding the “grip-slip” phenomenon displayed by other bikes, especially single pivot designs.
The effect is striking: there’s more travel available to soak up terrain under braking, there’s more traction, and there’s less hand-fatigue. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
We worked closely with our gravity athletes throughout the bike's design and testing phases, and drew on Thomas Vanderham's personal settings for the bike's low centre of gravity, balanced reach, and aggressive geometry.
Adjustability & Adaptability
There are advantages to both 26” and 27.5” wheels in DH applications. Rather than just putting larger wheels into an existing design and compromising steering dynamics, we created the Equalized Wheel Concept. By using a headtube spacer in conjunction with a second rear axle position, this system allows riders to choose their wheel size while maintaining optimal BB height and fork trail.
We tuned our new RIDE-4 system to adjust geometry while affecting the suspension curve as little as possible. This allows for subtle track-to-track geometry changes in 1/4° headtube angle increments with minimal effect on your shock tune.
Introducing the Rocky Mountain Sherpa
We are excited to announce our new Sherpa overland bike.
Bikepacking has been around for a long time, but we wanted a bike that could tackle more challenging terrain and would let us get a little rowdy—even loaded down for multi day self-supported adventures. The Sherpa is designed to carry you and your gear to the ends of the earth, far from the nearest Strava segment.
The inspiration for the Sherpa came from our lead product guy Alex Cogger, whose own rides were getting longer and weirder and more rugged. Through strategic cooperation with WTB we were the first to experiment with 27.5+ tires and rims, and over the last few years we prototyped several bikes to test the capabilities of the wheel size. It was immediately clear that the increased float and traction was a great match for overland bikepacking.
The Sherpa debuted as a concept bike at Sea Otter 2014—complete with a custom Tibetan Snow Lion paint job. The awesome response it got from riders wanting to expand their exploration capabilities convinced us to bring it to production.
Fully loaded overlanding requires an extended gear range. We began with our proven Element carbon front triangle and designed a wider rear end to ensure that a front derailleur would clear even the widest tires.
The wide footprint of WTB’s 27.5+ x 2.8 Trailblazer tires gives the Sherpa confidence and stability in choppy sections—important when you’re loaded down with gear and going mach chicken over high desert chunder. They also have surprisingly low rolling resistance and excellent roll-over characteristics.
We matched its 95mm of rear travel to an increased 120mm of front travel for more capability and loaded stability. Rider position was adjusted to be more upright, making long days in the saddle more comfortable. It is critical for suspension to react in tandem with high volume tires. We worked with Manitou to spec supple suspension for excellent response off the top. The Magnum fork has a wide stance for better tire clearance, and the Mcleod requires lower air pressure, allowing a fully loaded rider and bike to remain in the shock’s “sweet spot.”
Why another new wheel size?
27.5+ is a super high volume tire mounted on a wide 27.5 rim, providing an outer diameter that is roughly equivalent to a 29er tire.
For the kind of varied terrain we wanted to explore with the Sherpa we needed a low pressure, high volume tire that didn’t exceed traditional 29er outer diameters. The extra volume improves traction and allows for low pressures even while carrying the weight of bikepacking gear—because needing to overinflate your tires is the worst. And, the outer diameter allowed us to design the Sherpa with proper full suspension in a full range of sizes.
If massive volume is so great, why aren't all your bikes 27.5+?
Because there's no "one size fits all" when it comes to wheel size. The Sherpa is the world’s first full suspension 27.5+ bike, but we’re not using the new “skinny fat” wheel size to jump on a bandwagon. 27.5+ wheels are not 27.5 and they’re not 29—they’re not a replacement for any other wheel size and our “regular” bikes aren’t going anywhere. Everyone put their pitchforks down.
￼For all their advantages, 27.5+ wheels are slower and heavier than traditional 29er systems on smoother terrain. So if you’re looking to win an XC World Cup then 27.5+ probably isn’t for you. Also, more volume means 27.5+ sidewalls are taller than traditional tires, limiting cornering stability. A Landcruiser isn’t great at the racetrack, but hits its stride when things get rough.
We designed the Sherpa for riders who want to get out and explore the world. From bushwhacking in Idaho, to traversing military trails in the Dolomites, to racing the Colorado Trail, to travelling long forgotten game trails in the Himalayas—the Sherpa is made for anyone whose adventures regularly require a GPS beacon.
- Smoothwall carbon eliminates excess resin and fibres by using rigid internal molds for industry-leading durability, ride quality, and stiffness-to-weight.
- Smoothlink suspension stays active for full time traction, yet supportive for pedalling efficiency.
- Form alloy optimizes strength, weight, and ride quality by engineering each 7005 series tube for its specific purpose within the frame.
- ABC pivots are lighter, stiffer, and require less maintenance than conventional bearing pivots.
Frame: Smoothwall™ Carbon front triangle. Form™ alloy rear triangle. ABC™ Pivots. PF BB
Accessories: Frame, bar, and saddle bags not included. We recommend Porcelain Rocket bags
Shock: Manitou McLeod Custom Valved. Smoothlink™ Design 95mm. Rebound / 4 Position IPA Platform Settings
Fork: Manitou Magnum 27.5+. 120mm. TPC Absolute+ Damper / Compression / Lockout / Rebound / 110x15mm HexLock Axle / Tapered Steerer
Headset: Cane Creek Fifteen Series: IS42mm Top / 52mm Bottom Tapered
Brake Levers: Shimano M506 I-Spec Shifter Mount
Brakes: Shimano M506 Hydraulic Disc 180mm
Cassette: Shimano HG50 11-36T 10spd
Chain: KMC X10 10spd EcoProtect Anti Rust
Cranks: Race Face Turbine Cinch Custom 83mm 170-175mm 38/24T 2x10spd
Bottom Bracket: Race Face Cinch 30mm BB92 Press Fit w. 83mm Adapters
Shifters: Shimano SLX Rapid Fire I-Spec 2x10spd
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore E Mount 2x10spd
Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Shadow Plus Direct Mount 10spd
Front Hub: SUNringlé SRC Plus / Fat Fork Specific / 6 Bolt / 32H / 15x110mm Axle
Rear Hub: DT Swiss 350 / 6 Bolt / 32H / 12 x 142mm Axle / Star Ratchet Freehub
Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
Rims: WTB Scraper i45 27.5+ TCS Tubeless Ready
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 27.5+ TCS 27.5" x 2.8" Tubeless Ready
Handlebar: Race Face Evolve 3/4 Riser Ø31.8mm x 725mm x 9° Sweep
Stem: Race Face 6° x 70-100mm
Grips: Rocky Mountain Lock On Mushroom
Saddle: WTB Volt Race
Seatpost: Rocky Mountain XC 30.9mm x 400mm
Hestler Talks Thunderbolt MSL
Andreas Hestler has a long pedigree of winning at the highest levels of XC racing. These days he's still smashing the pedals, but he's also enjoying the modern diversity of trails and definitely hammers on the descents.
Pinkbike sat down with him to chat Thunderbolt MSL, and it's clear that the lightweight, playful 120mm bike is right in his wheelhouse.
"We've had a really mild winter up here in the Pacific Northwest, and I've been loving my Thunderbolt out in the slop. It's snappy as hell and I'm excited to put it through its paces all year."
— Andreas Hestler
Vintage Signature Wool Jersey
Just in time for cold weather rides, we've reached back into the archives for the design of our Vintage Signature mid-weight merino wool jersey. It's handmade right here in Vancouver, Canada, and features our original 1980s logo. You can wear it most of the year, and layer it with a shell in the winter. Available in our Online Store.
- Raglan cut, Short Sleeve and Long Sleeve versions available
- Cut slightly longer in the back
- Medium weight, 380 gsm 100% European merino wool
- Made in Canada 8'' YKK zipper
- 3 elasticized back pockets with reinforced seams
- Special Edition, limited availability
- Handmade in Vancouver, Canada by Cima Coppi
This jersey is cut to be more fitted than a club cut, but less aggressive than an Italian race fit. It is also cut slightly longer than a true race fit to accommodate those who want to size down in order to achieve a true race fit. The knit merino wool has an accommodating and resilient stretch, and the jersey will tighten and loosen in circumference slightly during wash/wear cycles. Click here for size chart.
Hand wash in cold water with minimal wool-safe soap. Lay flat to dry, away from direct sunlight or heat. Do NOT put in the dryer, as it will shrink. Refreshing your jersey: Wool garments don't need to be washed after every single use. Instead, air your jersey flat on a bed or towel for an hour to eliminate odours, or refresh it after wearing by hanging it in a steamy bathroom. It will be odour-free and ready for your next ride.
Rally Team Overall Podium
After seven rounds of incredible racing we're massively proud of our young Rocky Mountain Urge bp Rally Team for taking 2nd in the Team category of the Enduro World Series.
The last round in Finale Ligure was super rocky, with striking mediterranean views everywhere. The team held it together to finish the season strong!
Thanks to Florian Nicolaï, Alexandre Cure, Jesse Melamed, and Isabeau Courdurier for absolutely smashing it this year, as well as Lilian, Nico, Peter, Maurian, Jordan, and everyone else who was part of this effort. Huge thanks especially to Fred Glo, as well as Chris Ball for a great season of racing.
The team could not have done this without the steadfast support of its sponsors. Thanks to:
Urge Bike Products, Shimano, Maxxis, Stan's NoTubes, Fox Racing Shox, Raceface, Royal Racing, 7 IDP, WTB, Smith Optics, Cane Creek, e13, Honey Stinger, Kicking Horse, FTI Consulting, and Val d'Allos.
Photos by Matt Wragg, whose images have kept us in awe of enduro racing all year.
Bewirb dich für die Saison 2015 als Expert oder Friend im Craft-Rocky Mountain Team, lebe unser Motto „love the ride“ und werde Teil einer einzigartigen Mannschaft!
Expert: Du bist ein Vollblutracer und nimmst regelmäßig an Marathons teil, wobei Dir Spaß immer wichtiger ist als die Competition.
Friend: Es zählt der Spirit des Bikens, ein Marathon zu finishen, ein Endurorace, Trails surfen oder die Transalp zu bewältigen sind das, wovon du träumst.
Sende einfach Deine Story, Bilder, Videos, Ergebnisse usw. bis 15.10.2014 an email@example.com.
Introducing the 2015 Thunderbolt MSL
We are excited to introduce you to our new 2015 Thunderbolt MSL.
A 120mm travel, 27.5-wheeled XC trail bike, we designed it for people who hammer at the pointy end of the pack, but stay aggressive and stylish when terrain gets rougher. Marathon racing? Sure. Triple up those whoops? Why not! BC Bike Race? Of course! Smash every corner? Be rude not to.
The design process went much further than simply making a carbon version of our popular aluminum Thunderbolt; we reengineered it from the ground up to have shorter chainstays, lower standover, RIDE-9™ adjustability, new pivot technologies, increased anti-squat and more.
Global pricing to be announced. Available Fall 2014.
- RIDE-9™ System — Our patented RIDE-9™ technology is the key to our bikes’ extraordinary versatility. It uses two interlocking chip insertsto adjust geometry and suspension characteristics, allowing riders to tune their bikes to their specific riding styles, terrain, and weight.
- SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon — SMOOTHWALL™ carbon uses one of the world’s most sophisticated carbon processes to deliver industry leading stiffness-to-weight, ride quality, and durability. We eliminate excess resin and fibers by using rigid internal molds instead of traditional air bladders. We then utilize different typesof carbon in specific frame areas to maximize stiffness and impact resistance while minimizing overall weight.
- PIPELOCK™ Pivot — Rather than relying on lateral compression for stiffness like traditional main pivot designs, our patent-pending PIPELOCK™ pivot uses a military grade, hard-anodized collet that expands radially to create the widest—and therefore most rigid—pivot stance possible. Using PIPELOCK™ allows us to cut our main pivot weight dramatically while significantly increasing lateral stiffness. PIPELOCK™ Pivots also feature grease ports for effortless maintenance.
- BC2™ Pivots — Lighter and stiffer than conventional bearing pivots, our Bushing Concept 2 (BC2™) Pivots are the oversized next generation of our groundbreaking ABC™ system. Unlike other bushings, our patented system uses a hardened alloy insert that bottoms out to control the contact of the bushing surfaces, reducing the preload that causes stiction and binding. BC2™ Pivots also feature grease ports for effortless maintenance.
- ABC™ Pivots — Our revolutionary Angular Bushing Concept (ABC™) pivots are lighter, stiffer, and require less maintenance than conventional bearing pivots. Like our BC2™ pivots, they rotate on hardened alloy inserts that bottom out to reduce stiction and binding. However, by using an angled bushing surface they increase their relative contact area, optimizing them for compact locations like chainstay pivots.
- SMOOTHLINK™ Suspension — SMOOTHLINK™ suspension stays supple yet supportive through a wider range of gears than conventional single pivot or other four-bar suspension configurations. This patented system reduces both pedal-bob and bottom-outs, while allowing us to fine tune variables like braking and climbing traction across a widerange of intended uses.
- Fully Di2 compatible with integrated battery stealth port in downtube.
- Internal cable, shock, and stealth dropper post routings keep cables neatly stowed.
- Easy internal cable management with downtube stealth port.
- 142mm E-Thru rear axle increases stiffness.
- BB92 pressfit bottom bracket provides maximum lateral stiffness.
- Grease ports on BC2™ and PIPELOCK™ pivots allow for fast and easy maintenance.
Thunderbolt 799 MSL
Thunderbolt 770 MSL
Thunderbolt 750 MSL
Thunderbolt 790 MSL
We’re a selfish bunch, so we couldn’t resist producing a Thunderbolt MSL BC Edition. With its lively, bottomless-feeling SMOOTHLINK™ suspension curve, adjustable RIDE-9™ system, and class-leading stiffness it was the perfect candidate for some additional brawn. Set up the way we set our own bikes up—wide bars, short stem, big tires, stiff wheels, and premium suspension—, the BC Edition translates the Thunderbolt’s agility into true trail bike playfulness and aggression.