Archived General DB Blogs
We Ride Sneak Peek - 2009 RMB Vertex RSL Carbon
Posted: Aug 28 2008
The new Vertex carbon has been rumoured for a while, and early prototypes and pre-production versions have been on the local and world cup XC courses this season under Rocky Mountain’s racing teams.
We recently got our hands on a near-production version of the race frame to put some hours on; so it was built up in a flash and out on the trails.
The bike in the photo is likely the final paint treatment for the 70 version, although the test frame is the extra light high-modulus carbon team edition. We think the new paint scheme is hot! While a departure from the familiar maple leaf fade, the canadian theme is there with a bit more subtlety and the bike looks as fast as it rides!
Frame weight is not finalized, although we can tell you that this one is way south of 3 lbs and the complete bike as pictured in size medium is just under 21 lbs. (Build is: XTR shifters, derailleurs, brakes, pedals and cranks; 2009 Rock Shox SID WC 100mm; RaceFace carbon bars and post, Deus stem; Crankbrothers Cobalt wheelset; tube-type 2.0 tires. Nice stuff, but it is possible to shave a bunch more weight if you want…)
Some interesting touches include – integrated Campy-style headset, bolt-on front derailleur mount (slick!), polished integrated metal chainsuck protector, redesigned derailleur hanger for strength and rigidity.
This is a race bike and it rides like one. On pavement or packed smooth trail or dirt road, it feels and accelerates like a road bike. No flex, no fuss, all forward motion. Handling is similary quick and will be familiar to those that love the Rocky Mountain hardtail geometry. With the 100mm fork, it is sharp handling without being twitchy and still cimbs well – an 80mm fork would put in into lightning fast handling mode – again, very race inspired.
On the trail, it climbs like a monkey on Red Bull! Light, flickable, stiff – you simply go fast on this bike. Descending is solid and stable – not plush, this is a race hardtail afterall – but confident and no suprises.
We’ll put it through some more paces and maybe even some races (if the good folks at Rocky let us hang on to it for a while..) and report back with more data.
Pricing and availability have not yet been announced. Stay tuned and watch here or www.bikes.com for more details.
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