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
Rocky Mountain Dual at Snow Epic
Rocky Mountain Bicycles sponsors the inaugural Snow Epic.
We recognized the Snow Epic’s potential early and shipped out a prototype of our new fatbike – the Blizzard – to Engelberg, Switzerland, for the trial ride of the Snow Epic last spring. This January 16th, 2015, we are sponsoring the Rocky Mountain Dual, a floodlit dual slalom event that promises to be the most exciting of the five separate Snow Epic races during the January 14 to 18 winter festival of biking.
Christoph Noser, responsible for marketing at our Swiss Rocky Mountain distributor, CHRIS sports, explains the thinking behind the partnership: “Rocky Mountain Bicycles has not only been building great bikes, but has also been building the culture of mountain biking around the world. Therefore it is also the aim to promote fatbiking amongst the mountain biking community. That's why Rocky Mountain will be a partner of Snow Epic. It is the sort of innovative and pioneering event that fits perfectly with the Rocky Mountain brand and will provide the best opportunity to prove Rocky Mountain Blizzard's ride quality on snow, or any terrain.”
The spectator friendly Rocky Dual will be competitive, but also a fun event. Competitors would do well to brush up on cornering skills and powder sliding.
All Snow Epic competitors will be on fatbikes, the super-sized wheel phenomenon, and Rocky Mountain Blizzards will be available to those wishing to rent a bike.
Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain team have already travelled to the slopes of Engelberg to do some testing in preparation for the big event and to make sure the rider experience is perfect.
For more info, please visit snow-epic.com.
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.
Gully Storms the Castle
A group of sixteen invited freeride mountain bikers experienced an incredible week at the 2014 Suzuki Nine Knights in Livigno, Italy. In addition to heli, sunset, and sunrise shoots, riders explored the backcountry and freeride trails on Mottolino Fun Mountain.
Geoff Gulevich ("Gully") was a man on a mission to storm the castle, stomping a flip on the step up, airing huge on the hip, and flipping the tower drop on his Flatline. Super motivated, he was up at the crack of dawn for the freeride sessions and was more than happy when he earned himself a Nine Knights ring and the “Ruler of the Week” title.
Gully's other awards from the week:
- Best Action Photo (by Christoph Laue)
- Best Lifestyle Photo (by Markus Greber, with Andi Wittmann)
- Best Illumination Photo (by Christoph Laue)
Event host Andi Wittmann (GER) was thrilled about the results of the week despite some difficult weather conditions. “I’m stoked that the teams were so motivated! The contest was quite different this year because of the new team concept and all the different riding styles, like enduro, big bike and freeriding.” The outcome at the award night was a true testament to the skill of the riders as well as the people behind the lenses.
New Web Store & Discount
We're launching a new Web Store today, making it easier to find all our apparel, accessories, and service parts worldwide. We've also got a boatload of new Rocky Mountain clothing in stock, including some exclusive Race Face trail kit and an exclusive Biemme XC collection.
To say thanks to all our website fans we're offering 10% off everything in store this week—just enter the code NEWSTORE when you checkout. PLUS, we're hooking up a free Espresso Cup & Saucer set on all orders over $200!
Fine print & info: All orders over $200 after discounts but before shipping and tax will get an Espresso set. The Espresso set won't be visible on confirmation emails—trust us, it's coming! Rocky Mountain will pay for any additional shipping costs incurred by the Espresso set. Discount and giveaway are valid only from June 16 to June 23, 2014.
On bikes featuring our patented RIDE-9™ System, riders and mechanics are able to adjust the geometry and suspension rates to specific riding styles, terrain, and rider weights. Nine configurations are possible thanks to two interlocking chip inserts that move on two separate axes.
We sat down with Thomas Vanderham, Ken Perras, and Joe Kerekes to dig deeper into tuning RIDE-9™ for a dialed ride.
For more information, check the detailed technology page here.