Black Market Roam - Review

Jan 13, 2014
by Jordan Carr  
REVIEWED
Black Market Roam

WORDS Jordan Carr
PHOTOS Colin Meagher

Black Market was founded in 2004 when Carter Holland lusted after a bike that was somewhere between the current 26" wheeled offerings and the BMX bikes he enjoyed riding so much. The first fully suspended result of that thinking was the Killswitch, a 100mm travel bike that was designed to slay dirt jumps and slopestyle courses, with the brand gaining a good following in those circles. In 2012, Black Market stepped up to the plate with their Roam, a trail bike with 120 - 160mm of adjustable travel. Despite being touted as an all-rounder, the Roam certainly carries some of the DNA found in the Killswitch. 2014 sees a number of changes implemented on the Roam, including to its geometry and the frame's ability to be easily configured to accept 26", 650B, and even 29" wheels thanks to its 'All Wheel Drop-Out System'. Offered primarily as a frame-only (without the shock), the Roam is available in extra-small, small, medium, and large sizes for $1,999 USD. Our test bike was assembled with a custom mix of solid components and 650B wheels that reflect its intentions as a hard charger, and we ran it in the longer 160mm travel mode for the duration of our time on it.


Black Market Roam Details

• Purpose: trail / all-mountain
• Rear wheel travel: 120 - 160mm
• Wheel size: 26", 650B (tested), and 29"
• 6061 T6 aluminum frame
• 'All Wheel Drop Out System'
• ISCG 05 chain guide tabs
• Weight: 33lb (medium, w/o pedals)
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L
• MSRP: $1,999 USD (frame w/o shock)



Frame Details

The Roam frame is constructed from large diameter 6061 aluminum tubing, and much like the Killswitch, a priority has been placed on both stand over height and having a low center of gravity. A cutout near the bottom of the down tube is home to the bottom shock mount, with it being compressed at the other end via a floating link activated by the rear triangle. Out back, the All Wheel Drop Out System allows for chain stay adjustability, as well as the acceptance of the three wheel sizes - one set of dropouts will take care of 26" wheels, while 650B and 29" wheels are accommodated via an optional dropout set that can be installed in place of the stock units. Moving to the front of the bike, a tapered head tube that uses pinch bolts to hold both the top and bottom cups has been employed, a design Black Market claims helps to greatly limit the chance of ovalizing a head tube, as well as making installation and removal much easier.

  Black Market uses their 'Hammer Link' suspension design that mounts the shock extremely low on the bike. Up front, a pinch bolt head tube allows for easy headset installation.


The bike's cable routing is relatively clean and easily accessible, with the brake and derailleur cables routed on the top of the down tube, while the dropper post housing sits nicely on the underside of the top tube. A traditional thread-in style 73mm bottom bracket allows for endless crank options, and ISCG 05 tabs give riders the option of easily installing a guide (our test bike featured an MRP G3 SL chain guide) or bash guard should they require one. There is a spot to bolt on a direct mount front derailleur as well, although our single ring setup left it as a bit of an eyesore on an otherwise great looking bike.


Suspension Design

The 120 - 160mm travel Roam utilizes a longer stroke version of the Hammer Link suspension layout found on the Killswitch, with the stout linkage that compresses the shock almost completely hidden by the forward section of the swingarm. This gives the bike an incredibly clean appearance that makes some of the other designs out there look a touch cluttered in comparison, and access to the linkage hardware is still possible thanks to small openings machined into the system. Linkage aside, the Roam's swingarm rotates off of a single pivot located just above the top of a 36 tooth chain ring, with gold anodized aluminum hardware holding everything together. Suspension travel is adjusted by way of a shuttle mount that moves the shock either forward or back in order to alter the leverage.


  Sliding and replaceable dropouts make for triple wheel size compatibility, and the Hammer Link suspension allows for travel adjustment between 120mm and 160mm.



Riding the Roam



bigquotesGetting the Roam to drift across the trail quickly became a predictable and controllable action, and it wasn't long before we had enough trust in the bike to push hard through each dusty and loose corner.

Climbing / Fit

The Roam’s cockpit has a very compact feel that riders who prefer the playful feel of a smaller bike will appreciate, although those who would rather have a more stretched out position for longer rides could find themselves a touch cramped. Our medium sized test bike featured a virtual top tube length of 22.9" that put us in a relatively upright riding position, but it did prove to be comfortable, even after a few hours in the saddle, so long as you take a more relaxed approach to the day's plans.

Taking a relaxed approach is helpful when climbing as well - we found that the Roam felt a bit sluggish when gassing it uphill, something that could be attributed to the bike's somewhat hefty build (our test bike weighed in at 33 pounds), and the slack 66° head angle. An ultra savvy singletrack climber the bike is not, but we also don't believe that was Holland's intention when he listed out his wants and needs for the Roam. The middle compression setting of the RockShox Monarch Plus became our go-to position whenever the trail pointed upwards, since the firmed-up ride this provided allowed for a bit more jump to the bike's progress. Long gradual climbs required a little extra effort aboard the Roam as well, with its weight becoming even more noticeable on ascents that had a good amount of mindless pedalling. Granted, our test bike had a 36 tooth front ring and a parts kit geared towards durability and strength, not setting hill climb records - do yourself a favour and lean towards a lighter build kit if you plan on doing exactly that.

black market


Descending / Technical Terrain

Forgetting about the gripes with the Roam's climbing ability happens to be easy once the trail starts to head the opposite direction - cut the Roam loose through a few choppy turns and its design philosophy becomes much more apparent. Short-ish chain stays keep the rear wheel planted as the Roam cuts smoothly from one side of the trail to the other, instilling a new level of confidence through tricky turns. Getting the Roam to drift across the trail quickly became a predictable and controllable action, and it wasn't long before we had enough trust in the bike to push hard through each dusty and loose corner. Once opened up, the Roam's slack 66° head angle became beneficial, and kept us confident in pushing the pace on unfamiliar trails, and all levels of riders will benefit from the bike's deft handling abilities in this regard. We did notice the FOX Float 34 seemed a bit under-gunned compared to the frame's extra-zealous attitude while descending, and a FOX 36 might better suit the Roam's downhill strengths more than the lighter 34. That's not a slight against the 34, though, just that the bike's handling allows for some seriously hairball speed, and a really aggressive or larger rider might benefit from a burlier fork chassis.

black market
  The Roam remained stable yet playful, even on high speed downhill sections.


Stability became the key term that resonated over and over with us while aboard the Roam, and its stout tubing and low shock position offered an extremely rigid feel. This, despite the rear quick release axle that is a bit of an oversight in our minds given the bike's intended use and overbuilt feel elsewhere. While it's a bit of an over used term, labelling the Roam a downhiller's trail bike would be an apt description of how we feel about it. It is the kind of machine that won't make you pause when rolling into that large jump or drop, even more so than many other bikes in the same class, and it can rail any turn you aim it through.

black market
  We loved the Roam's ability to push us when the trail got overly technical, and its stability kept allowing us to go faster.



Component Check

• Novatec Diablo wheels: Giving us the power of the Devil, the Diablo wheels performed flawlessly as we thrashed the Roam. The hubs were smooth, with great engagement even when we found ourselves pushing too big of a gear through steep pitch changes.

• Avid Elixir 5 brakes: Although we've certainly experienced some Avid brakes that offer an inconsistent feel from the stock bleed, the brakes on our Roam were firm and reliable throughout testing.

• Shimano Zee derailleur: The Shimano Zee Shadow Plus rear derailleur performed extremely well during testing, and is a great example of how clutch derailleurs really improve the on trail experience by reducing chain movement when the things get rough.

• Profile Racing cranks: Although it's not a crankset we see spec'd too often on trail bikes, and certainly not the first choice of anyone concerned about weight, we were pleasantly surprised with the Profile arms' stiffness and stout aesthetics.

  The bike's sturdy Profile crank arms and MRP G3 SL make for a reliable setup, while its Novatec wheelset also proved to be fault-free.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe Roam is a breath of fresh air in a trail bike market filled with weight weenie hype and carbon frames. Riders looking for a machine to flog hard on rowdy downhill runs will find the Roam to be confidence inspiring and durable, no matter how many times you let it fly. And although its weight and so-so climbing abilities could be a deal breaker for many riders, larger and more aggressive pilots will find its heft well balanced and its low center of gravity to create an amazingly nimble ride. We appreciated the DH mentality we developed aboard the Roam, and found ourselves looking forward to picking the rowdiest line on the way down. - Jordan Carr


www.blackmarketbikes.com


174 Comments

  • 102 15
 Why PB? Why you guys missed such a great chance to compare how a same bike could handle 26" and 650B wheel options and tell us the differences?
I would be really interested in how same chassis is handling both wheel size options and this bike looks to me like a very appropriate instrument for that purpose.
  • 120 16
 There is basically no difference. A 26" wheel with a fat tyre has a larger diameter than a 650B wheel with a slightly skinnier tyre. Don't believe the hype.
  • 28 7
 What is this obsession with 27.5 and 26 inch tyres? There is nothing in it. Ive ridden 27.5 bikes that were more fun than 26 and vice versa. It is a tiny difference and changes the handling characteristics by a similar amount to changing any other bike part. ie. A small bit but overall the effect is barely noticeable.
  • 14 3
 Boils down to rider preference.
  • 16 3
 and such a test had been done before www.pinkbike.com/news/26-vs-275-vs-29-Wheels.html
  • 13 18
flag taletotell (Jan 13, 2014 at 4:50) (Below Threshold)
 The difference between bb to axle height is significant. 26ers usually have a better ratio for jumping while 650b has a better ratio for turning. There is a difference. I want to see this comparison.
  • 46 3
 Because nobody cares. Pick a wheel, any wheel.
  • 15 13
 Jake Neaves - 650b rim is exactly half of an inch (12.5mm) larger in diameter than 26" rim. Typical Trail/Enduro tyre size is 2.3", and it is this like that even for 29ers. That means, hypotheticaly, that in order to achieve the same outer diameter for 26" you'd have to ride a 2.8" tyre or bigger... you might as well buy a fat bike! And I encourage everyone who wants to try a new wheel size to do that.
  • 7 1
 @waki I use a 2.1 xc tire on my 26 and a 2.5 dhf on my dh bike. i measured out an almost 3/4" difference. If you put a 2.3 on the xc bike, it would be about 1/2" difference. so the 2.1 xc tire on a 650b wouldn't be noticeable, size wise. if you were used to a 2.3.... I compare this to getting 20's and low pro tires vs a smaller rim with a larger tires for a car. like the guy said up top. all comes down to preference.

Not talking volumes, widths, traction or anything. just basic size.
  • 18 4
 The difference in RIM diameters is 1 inch (its half an inch RADIUS difference). I swear you folks will believe anything if you read it on pinkbike and never mind what's actually printed on the tires or coming from people who've ridden the bikes who aren't going into it biased against the size.

A 650B x 2.35 like a Pacenti Neo Moto is equivalent to 27.5" diameter and weighs about 750 grams for a single-ply XC/Trail foldable tire. The only 26" tire made in a similar construction and inflated diameter is the new Surly Dirt Wizard 120tpi foldable 26 x 2.75 they made for the new Instigators at 850 grams. Anything else on the market is a DH tire and 1 kg plus per tire. 650B is superior because the tire weight is the last thing you want to add to for wheels and the difference in tire weights is greater than the rim/spoke weight change. There are some 650B tire models available now (Schwalbe Hans Damf 2.4, Nobby Nic 2.4, and the Kenda Nevegal 2.35) which are closer to 28" than 27.5" thanks to taller tread blocks and larger volume casings.
  • 4 1
 yea it's crazy how many people dont understand this advantage! it's hard to explain but I think you nailed it with the weight explanation. it's more variations in set up. not for everyone.
  • 10 12
 Yea I meant radius - you never stop astonihing me with your Hitler attitude to 650B - sat ist der best vheel sayz in ze vorld! Everyone disagreeing will musen readen se very long rant full of numberz backed up by data! chill out man! Those Pacenti tyres? I love the guys rims, but tyres? You must really get an idea of geography and geology, I don't believe those work well in wet like Vancouver area unless they come in super soft compounds. They must be great in Sedona though.

makripper - I believe you on your word from now on... seems unlikely but I'm not going to bother to measure it myself. I can only promise you to not say a single word involving any number related to 650B wheels... "All comes down to a preference" - that shuts up a lot of blokes aye? I ride my Enduro 29 with Hans Dumbs at 4 bars and stop hating man! I prefer higher pressures as I puncture less and roll faster! What else? Everyone is a winner? Well yes we are all entitled to our our preferences but that argument doesn't make some of them any less stupid. For instance Fox states that they developed CTD because according to their research, the vast majority of people rode their forks and shocks on wrong compression settings, didn't they set their suspension according to their own preference?
  • 3 1
 waki, it did really surprise me when I actually took the time to measure. Just on appearances alone they look very different and my cst xc tires do actually size smaller. I can pm you pictures. I agree with what you said about the "arguments" there's no need. if you dont like it. dont ride it. but don't complain for no reason about what other people are doing, especially if you are basing all of your judgments on theories. (not directed at you) And on the CTD.. marzocchi tried something similar and failed with their early RC3 cartridges, when you adjusted the compression, it adjusted both high and low speed. (they too thought they knew what people wanted.)

www.marzocchi.com/template/detailProdotti.asp?LN=UK&idIU=2463&idC=1713&IdFolder=113&idMY=55897&uf=IU&IdOggetto=55970
  • 4 4
 I mean I really DO believe you - no hard feelings Wink
  • 20 4
 And WAKI loses the argument automatically by invoking hitler !
  • 3 1
 Hey! We did compared 26, 650 and 29 with the same bike finding out all the differences and send the article to PB editors. So give us some props and may they publish it !
http://www.pinkbike.com/u/allridersagency/blog/Enduro-in-26-275-or-29--Allriders-Pro-tries-out-Videos.html
  • 9 20
flag deeeight Plus (Jan 13, 2014 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 Just read it. If you're going to write english articles, get someone who actually knows the language properly to proof-rear / edit the final review. Just because some parts of the world still spells Tire with a "Y" instead of an "I", doesn't mean you can replace the I with the Y in other words, like "myles".

For the record, british usage/adoption of tyre was wrong from the start. The word tire was the original historic one, and even the great british inventor dunlop himself used that spelling on his patent application for pneumatic tires.
  • 2 1
 @Jakeneaves- Have you actually spent a decent amount of time on both wheel sizes? Cause if you had i'm super confident you wouldn't be making that comment. I'm saying that because i used to have the same opinion until i rode several and spent substantial time on a 650b.
  • 1 0
 Yes sorry I forgot to say is not a final review proof-rear / edit. Normally we get this by PB editors when they decide to publish it in front page.
  • 19 0
 Deeeight...please don't have the bare-faced cheek to berate someone who composes a decent article in another language....THEN write 'proof-rear' not proof-read!!
  • 1 0
 Jsmoke, Yes we spend months with each wheel size this last season. The fact is we were stacked to 27,5 until something happened with this bike and then we started to ride the 29er more and more, tryied some changes and boom! we became faster than ever! Maybe is due to Lynx 4.8 unique Geo and suspension system added to we might find the best tyre combination for this size too...
  • 2 13
flag deeeight Plus (Jan 13, 2014 at 10:59) (Below Threshold)
 There's a difference between typos of closely spaced letters on the keyboard and totally changing the spelling repeatedly throughout an article. Perhaps if you had any experience actually writing professionally you'd understand that.
  • 1 5
flag DirtyMartini (Jan 13, 2014 at 13:22) (Below Threshold)
 That's just not true, but it's somehow becoming mtb lore.

You'd have to add 3/4" the wall height of a 26" tir, which would look, feel, and ride rediciously.

A 27.5 tire is 27.5" and a 26" tire is 26"

The aspect ratios are different, but the 650b/27.5 mtb "standard" is half way in diameter between a 26 and a 29, not "a lot closer to 26" as many keep claiming.
  • 1 0
 www.giant-bicycles.com/globalstartpage/giant-27-5/#technology
^some other scientific pros and cons:
From 3 tests posted in this thread each has different overall winner which just proves that it all comes down to what do you expect from your bike.
There is enough information out there to help you decide so pick up your wheel size and STOP being dick about it.
Don't be afraid of change like some eldery farts, there are and WILL be many options to choose from any riding style/wheel size/looks/price tag.
  • 4 0
 Dirty Martini, rim sizes:

622 mm 29'er
584 mm 650b
559 mm 26'ers

650b IS closer to 26. Half an inch closer.
  • 1 2
 Metalhead. Yes, the rim size is closer to "26" rim, but the tire walls are also taller on a 27.5 tire, 1/4" to be precise. You gain 1" from the rim and 1/2" from the tire to get a 27.5" diameter overall. So the total size of the thing rolling is a full 1.5" larger than 26".
  • 1 0
 No, you don't. That's a myth also that 26" tires are actually 26" inflated all the time. Most 26 labeled tires are not 26" diameter. Hell the rim diameter where the tire bead seat (559mm) should be clue enough of that. A 26 x 1.0 tire is about 24.25" inflated. A 26 x 3.8 is nearly 29". Also there's very few actually 27.5" exactly tires. 27.5 isn't even the standard name though its becomming that because the industry knows the vast majority of the consumers are simply too dumb or too uncaring to learn the ISO codes and what they mean to wheel/tire sizes. For those of us with brains and the ability to use them, they will always be 650Bs. Tire makers who are smart label them up both ways. The ones who aren't just label them one way or the other.

Kirk Pacenti never should have labeled the tires at the handbuilt bike show as "27.5" when he showed his original model tire, the Neo-Moto 2.35 because that's where it got started. Simply saying 650B knobby was in betwee 26ers and 29ers would have been fine (and more accurate as many 29er labeled tires aren't 29" either).
  • 3 0
 Proof - rear??? Proof - read before the criticism!
  • 3 0
 So.... the bike is a good descender. What more matters?
  • 2 0
 I vote for permanent adoption of the proof rear terminology.
  • 6 0
 Deeeight calls out waki on hitler. Goes on to be a grammar nazi. Ha.
  • 2 1
 Quick! Get him! He must know where the nazi gold is hidden!
  • 1 1
 If you take the time to do some measuring you'd realise that 650b tires are 1" (25mm) larged in diameter than 26" for the same tire model eg 26x2.35 Hans damf vs 650bx2.35 hans damf
And yeah MOST 26in tire are NOT 26in exactly they vary. Some downhill 26in tires even measure over 27in eg Muddy Mary 2.5 is 27.2" (690mm).
And some 650b tires measure closer to 28in eg Magic Mary 650bx2.35 (709mm)

Now inorder to get a 26in tire that has the same diameter of a 650b you'd have to compare a 26x3.0 (Duro) with a 650bx2.1 (Pacenti NeoMoto)!!!

And as long as we are on about diameters ROAD wheels don't measure 28in then measure 26in and a bit!
  • 8 0
 OMG WHO CARES
  • 1 3
 Who cares? Geo nazis! I like it how people use industrys inconsequent tyre volume numbering in favour of the wheel size they prefer. Industry does it to make their tyres appear lighter, geeks do it to win 650 battles. Unfortunately some dorks provided evidence by posting pictures of their questionable conversions of 26" bikes to 650b by doing not much more but just putting larger wheels on them. On those pictures you may find a fork with 2.25"NNic tyre on 26" bike with ca 15-20mm tyre clearance to the crown. On the next picture you may see performance enhancement in form of 650b 2.25 tyre of the same kind having less than 5-3mm clearance to the crown. I am not going to look for those pictures of Blur TRc conversion, it was either mtbr or RM - you must believe my trolliness or fetch it yourself. 26ers FTW is pathetic, so is belief that 650b is a step forward. Wank tank...
  • 3 0
 The whole wheelsize debate can end anytime now. I am more interested in bb height to axle for how easy it makes to pull up the front wheel. For that 26 seems to have the advantage. If you are more interested in traction and feeling "inside the bike" on turns then bigger wheels are great because they put your center of gravity lower in relation to the bike without adding to your risk of pedal strikes.
All the comparisons I have seen have said that 650b makes a difference since you get some inside the bike feeling mixed with still having an easier time pulling up the front end.
It's a question of taste.
Lets get back to fighting about 1x11. That one still has some piss and vinegar left in it.
  • 2 0
 no one needs 1 by 11. everyone needs 3 gears in the front and 6 in the back. and no one needs front suspension either. rigid forks are better for every type of riding. I just got a pair of new gazzalodi 3.0 tires for my 24 inch rims!
  • 4 1
 I feel tempted to make a drawing about the wheel size debate, in the style of Hieronymus Bosch paintings...
  • 1 1
 @Makripper where did you get the 24x3.0 Nokians? I want some!
  • 1 0
 "And WAKI loses the argument automatically by invoking hitler !" says the guy who compared the wheel size debate to segregation. hmmmmmmmmm.
  • 2 1
 Well I did it just for fun... sieben koma half och tvanzich uber alles, uber alles - zex hundra funfzich Beeeeeeeeee, ich liebe grosse räder - zex und tvanzich museeeen toten maaaaachen, nein und zvenzich alzo! Fehrtamte trollen toten! Keine gramatiken! Oh here comes the poop
  • 2 0
 it's great fun making fun of other people who take things seriously that are supposed to be fun and at the end of they day, again, do what you want it's a free country. yee haw!! blah blah blahhhhh

PS. Godwin is one smart guy. i'm suprised that it's on wikipedia. then again so am I.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Gene_Bollea
  • 3 2
 Deeeight - you are an alive table of references. Please form some ideas of your own sometimes, don't call on Wiki daddy or Sheldon Brown mamma or a dozen of uncles that did more than you and me. Take it as a friend´s advice. From now on I will play the Hitler card every time I see a second reply of yours under some comment thread, I will moderate you Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Oh dear... let it go deeeight.
  • 49 3
 I'd buy one for the headtube badge alone
  • 9 0
 i bought one of there frames 9 months ago and i'm still waiting for the headtube badge, so don't get too excited about that
  • 4 0
 Seriously, its more like if they ever actually get it to you. PS. Hopefully the partnership they just made will help them get some units into the hands of consumers.
  • 1 0
 My Edit 1 came with the badge already installed.
  • 1 0
 Personally i was speaking more to actually getting the bike at all...
  • 31 3
 It is a disservice to black market to review this bike in on one setting. Its a half baked review. This bike is only available as a frame. Then the reviewer puts a single ring 36th and complains about climbing ability.

Is the 29er option even viable? How can a bike run 26 and 29 inch tires effectively?

I really shouldn't give PB too much crap about the dogshit review. Itis a free publication and we get what we pay for.
  • 4 2
 Couldn't agree more with this post...
  • 2 0
 This bike came directly from Black Market built this way. We felt the 650 option was the most desirable wheel size to give us the best overall feel for the bikes capabilities and ride. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to spend time on the Roam with all three wheel size options, while giving each wheel size the time it needed.
  • 4 0
 So its more of a first look then an actual review. Coolbeans. I wonder who set that bike up with a 36tooth ring and 34mm fork.... parts bike. Smile you didnt have any parts kicking around for it? Did you email black market to ask for more time? What are the warranty conditions and limitations. How is the balance on slow tech?.... its a coolbike though. Ive wanted one for a while but never could find anything on it. I was excited to see it get a review. .. sorry for being but hurt. Maybe they can send it back with some big tires .... oh well
  • 14 2
 'a FOX 36 might better suit the Roam's downhill strengths more than the lighter 34. That's not a slight against the 34, though, just that the bike's handling allows for some seriously hairball speed, and a really aggressive or larger rider might benefit from a burlier fork chassis. ' I think the word you are looking for is PIKE !
  • 35 4
 The Pike still utilizes a 35mm stanchion though. Clearly a 36mm stanchion is better. Because America.
  • 9 3
 The Pike uses a 35mm stantion. It does not utilize one.
  • 1 1
 The Pike actually does "make practical & effective use" of 35mm stanchions (not just one), so utilize does work Wink
  • 1 1
 Not quite. The Pike uses 35mm fork stantions as 35mm fork stantions. If it utilized 35mm drinking straws as stantions then I would agree. But who really cares anyway?:-)
  • 2 1
 I'm not quite sure if I'm getting what you are trying to say haha. The Pike definitely utilizes 35mm stanchions as a whole, functioning fork. I'm not quite sure when the semantics of the word 'utilize' were changed, as long as I've known use & utilize have always been synonyms. Man, this has gotten off track haha Smile
  • 5 0
 That was a valuable debate gentlemen.
  • 12 4
 Eeee... one frame taking 26" and 29" wheels? That sounds like a wishful thinking, considering staggering difference in geometry of 26" and 29", including reach and stack dimensions. 26 and 650B sure, but 29 as well? How many peckers in one pocket?
  • 5 0
 I'm a bit wary of overly adjustable bikes too but Black Market knows how a bike should ride so I'm pretty sure it works.
  • 4 0
 Changing the drop outs is a pretty good way to go about this kind of thing.
  • 5 4
 It's like a parapelgic pole dancer - you can do it! Just not as well as the other girls... I mean if bike rides sweet as 26er, and you get the chance to put lrager wheels on it, then be my guest - Awesome! Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing aaaand everyone knows how a bike should ride if you ask them.

taletotell - yes, but if we talk 26>29 there is quite a lot that is different... BB goes ca 3cm lower, head angle goes even 2 degrees steeper (as you must destabilize that freight train), Reach goes shorter, stack goes 3cm higher. These are "contradictory" design changes (one goes up when the other goes down) which cannot be done wit head angle adjustment or shock placement (offset bushing)

The only solution is Geo-djuster 2679!
  • 4 0
 Black Market have been making some of the finest dirtjump bikes available for years so they also know how to turn an idea into a working product.
  • 2 1
 I'm not saying no - I like your deduction...
  • 4 0
 The headangle is adjustable, and the dropouts allow you to move the wheel back and up, controlling the bb height and allowing for wheel path issues. I might be missing the problem.
  • 4 1
 If bike is made for 26/650b then many dimensions of 29" won't work just as good as a bike made straight or 29". The 29" fork will push the head tube ca 3cm up, that will slacken the seat and head angle by ca 1.5deg. head angle adjust can cover that, but that will higher the HT even more and slacken the seat angle even more. Then the head angle will be the same as it was on 26" which is too slack as 26ers lack due to BB drop while 29er has too much of it (650b is most optimal for that), so you want to destabilize it a bit. 1 deg back - and HA adjust won't do it. You may get a shorter fork for that, like 29 140mm pike instead of 26/650b 160mm pike - things go 1 degree back. Might actualy work to a certain degree, but still, it doesn't seem...riiiight. As I said, I'd market it as a bike that is 26"/650b convertible, and if you really want, we have drop outs for 29" wheels for you Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I get it now. If the threw in an adjustment like the dixon has to drop the bb and steepen the seat angle it might cover more. I would like a bike with that much adjustability.
  • 7 1
 Waki, no offense, but you read way too much into things. You can't be having fun if you are examining numbers that intensely.
  • 2 0
 Is it that weird to have a little trust in a company/person's expertise? Don't we do that all the time? If you only go by things you can verify yourself you might as well quit using internet or any medium because either you already know something or you don't trust the author's authority.

DrSanchez - Why? Some people actually like analysing things and find satisfaction in understanding why something works the way it works.
  • 3 2
 DrSanchez - I examined numbers because I have been designing my own bike (and trust me it is a super cool feeling to ride a bike that looks the way it does because you wanted it to be so) , that apparently will be made to be 26 and 650B compatible, and I think it is possible to make it work very well for both sizes. My pitiful experience is also the source of my scepticism. I've drawn only few rough sketches of 29ers so as I say: it might be possible, just seems unlikely to be optimal for all three with one frame design
  • 3 0
 WAKI - you should only have half a pecker per pocket. At least that's what I prefer. Let it flop from side to side. Numberz guys always get it wrong....
  • 2 0
 I rest my case
  • 4 0
 WAKIdesigns, You can ask me any questions about how all three wheel sizes where designed into the Roam. I designed that system for Carter three years ago and I understand it is quite difficult to believe that all three geometries can squeeze into one design.
  • 3 3
 I'm intrigued indeed, I'll do some drawing work this week Big Grin I guess it works as I wrote above: apart from using drop outs, you'd use a fork shorter than in 26? The biggest and less precise question is: would you say that in each wheel incarnation the bike we see here would be exactly as you would like it if you had to make two/three separate trail bikes?
  • 6 0
 WAKI that's a good question and the answer is yes. We wouldn't of taken on this design challenge if the numbers didn't reveal the possibility. Black Market wasn't looking for a 70 degree HA 29er either so integrating an aggressive performance scope into all three designs into one frame is beneficial to the decided/undecided(wheel size) rider and to the Black Market brand that doesn't need the warehousing of three separate frame designs with three to four separate sizes. It's cost difference is astronomical. There is quite a lot of pride in the Roam design due to this design execution in performing a service not just in trail performance, but helping riders have testable options before or after their Roam purchace combined with helping Carter and Black Market as a small rider owned company keep their inventory costs low.
  • 2 0
 i'm pretty sure someone just negs waki out of malice, irregardless of his comment.
  • 4 0
 You said "irregardless"
  • 2 1
 Kamanchi - fair enough! Thanks for inspiration to tinker a bit. Quite honestly I like the idea, it is better than having 3 bikes in so many ways, but I was looking at it from "performance enhancement oriented statistical bad ass potential buyer". Were you involved in making of Killswitch?
  • 2 0
 I usually use regardless, but i was feeling whimsical.
  • 1 0
 WAKI Thanks and stoked you are taking the time to learn product design and I hope the best for your future projects. The Killswitch was the first bike project I did for Carter and it was one of my favorites. I wanted a gun in the form of a bike for his brand.
  • 4 0
 bonus points for the use of "whimsical."
  • 3 0
 @KAMANCHI... amazing work on the killswitch... that bike still haunts my dreams.
  • 1 0
 @KAMANCHI +1 on the Killswitch. Absofrigginlutely amazing frame! I love how much it wants to fly. It's a big part of the reason i'm strongly thinking of selling my Mojo HD for a Roam.
  • 11 1
 This is how all frames should be built,make your own mind up which wheel size Smile
  • 7 1
 BUT HOW WILL THE CONSUMER BE ABLE TO DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES?!?!?!?

Pick a wheel size. Be a dick about it.
  • 6 1
 why be a dick about it, no body likes a dick. Some may like dick, but not if it's attached to a dick.
  • 3 1
 Many men go through their lives not realizing it but ladies do like dicks... I mean guys with sport cars
  • 4 0
 that big hole in front of the bottom bracket for the shock mount looks like it would allow for opportunities for the shock seal surface to get scratched by rocks coming up from the front wheel. i wonder if you could run a coil shock on it
  • 1 0
 Blk Mrkt website shows it with a coil shock. They also say "Frame will accept any 6.5" or 8" eye to eye shock" so there ya go.
  • 1 0
 I've been riding this frame without any issues with rocks. But just think, with a carbon frame a giant hole can be made at any moment Wink
  • 4 0
 I have been on the roam for a wile now. Since I have had one I have ridden my DH bike maybe five times. I rode 91 days this season In whistler bike park (some of the most punishing trails for a bike in the world.) The Bike Is by no means under built, it will take anything you through at it. It rides like no other 160 bike you have ever ridden. You will feel like you are riding a 160 bike around until you start going down. then it is the lightest, easy to throw around, corner slamming, drifting Dh machine.

And you can huck shit to flat on it to.
  • 2 0
 I have to second this; As someone who is 6'7 and is extremely hard on bikes I can vouch for the roam's durability and dh prowess. I have more fun on my roam on the shore and at whistler than on any other bike I've ridden and after a full season its still riding sweet save some very minor issues. Compare that to multiple other AM and DH bikes I have owned that last less than 5 rides (most bikes are not designed to be ridden hard by someone my size) and the black market is a shining star in it's class! Did I mention it's also the most fun, poppy bike I've ever owned?
  • 7 0
 makes me cry for my stolen killswtich :'(

BASTARDS!
  • 3 0
 This past weekend I put some miles on a medium Roam set up with 29" wheels in very dry southern California conditions. Until this weekend I was very anti 650B and 29" , but after riding this playful sub 30lb 29'er I can't wipe the smile off my face. I can't wait to ride it with 26 and 650B wheels
  • 1 0
 Did you ever get the chance to ride it as a 650 or 26"?
  • 3 0
 Currently riding one since August. Damn impressive bike. Deals can be had if you look around. I gave 1900.00 and that was with a CCDBA and headset included. I run the Hope rear axle that is 12mm stepped down to 10mm on the end. Secured tightly with Allen head bolts. Bike is so smooth and corners like crazy. Size wise I am 5' 11" and ride the medium. Seems perfect to me. Maneuverable and flickable. Also the shock can be unbolted and the top linkage can be flipped or cammed over to change the head angle a degree. Pretty ingeneous design really.
  • 1 0
 Tell me buddy... 135 or 142 mm dropouts?
  • 3 0
 Another awesome looking bike from Black market. Really nice to see a home grown, smaller rider owned company getting mainstream publicity. Look forward to seeing one of these in the flesh.
  • 2 0
 Wheel size debates suck. Has anyone here ever gone for a ride with friends come back and felt miserable that the were riding X size tires not Y size tires?
And the next bike company employee who wants to make a brand new "Standard Size" anything please eat a bucket of golf balls until you choke to death.
We don't need it,thank you.
  • 3 2
 I´m a very happy Banshee-Spitfire-Rider and love it for it´s Versatility, Adjustability and overall Downhill-Prowess, but if the Roam had been available over a Year ago I would have had a hard Time to choose which one to go. Very much Fan of Bikes like this - love the Roam!
  • 22 2
 I'm A Person With An Overdeveloped Shift Key Pressing Issue
  • 1 1
 talk about being enTITLED---hah
  • 9 0
 Well, in Germany nouns are spelled with a capital letter, maybe that is the reason why his shift key is "overdeveloped" Smile
  • 1 0
 Being German, didn't you think of the Last Herb 160? That's what I was going to compare this black market roam against.
  • 1 0
 Uhh, sorry for my overlevelopment on shift-key!!! :-/
@ dirtbiker100: If I were in need for 160 mm travel back I would go with the Banshee Rune instead of the Last Herb. I like Banshee´s versatility and adjustability for geometry and wheelsize on the V2´s. Plus the KS-Link-Suspension is really awesome performing.
  • 5 0
 Well this is 'murica, ain't no German gunna come here and mess with our language that we invented!
  • 2 1
 'murrica? its english... England and so on? Big Grin (just a random fact: life it too short to learn german)
  • 1 0
 I'm 17.... still not finished hahaha
  • 3 0
 Haha, German's actually ridiculously easy for native english speakers to learn, it's the language most closely related to english. English decended from old germanic languages xD
  • 1 0
 "this is 'murica" says the one with the canadian flag lol jk. I didn't know that about german. Learning new things every day...
  • 1 0
 A couple of things stand out - 1. it is possible to build a bike that can take all three wheel sizes - why don't the big guys start doing this?. 2. Bolt through rear axles are probably overrated (which is my experience with my Reign) Like the look of this bike but its a pricey mofo.
  • 3 0
 A couple of thoughts on those:

1. It would be taking money out of their own pockets (why throw an adjustable bike in their line-up that would be directly competing with at least 2-3 other models for the "big guys"). Also, the $$ for R&D for a larger company on technology they aren't sure is going to go well is a large turn-off for the bigger players (more to invest & potentially lose).

2. In my opinion & experience as a rider & mechanic, thru-axles aren't overrated (front or rear). I've seen more than one rider racing an enduro or downhill event go over a feature with a quick-release rear just to watch their rear wheel fall out of the dropouts (I know for a fact that the lever was tightened properly. Front wise, it is a known fact that a thru-axle dramatically increases stiffness & therefore control, durability, etc.

Just my $0.02. This bike is pretty badass & looks like a ton of fun, I would love to get the chance to ride it. Good job Black Market Smile
  • 1 0
 I have to disagree. the difference that a bolt-through axle makes in rear-end stiffness heavily depends on the frame. On some frames, the change in stiffness can be a night & day change. Depends on the design of the rear swingarm, mostly.
  • 1 0
 Don't know if my svelte build would notice the rear end stiffness difference in a TA rear, but after using one I'll NEVER get a QR again. Personally I think a TA is far easier and faster than futzing with getting the correct tension and alignment of a QR. (yeah I know it's not hard, but it's completely brainless with a TA.
  • 1 0
 @ Groghunter: In the rear I would say that stiffness is less of the focus than securing the wheel in the frame. Bikes with a quick-release in the rear have vertical or near-vertical drop-outs and the pressure/friction you create when you fold over the QR. On a road bike/cross country bike this isn't as big a deal IMO as you won't be hitting a lot of big drops/jumps or going down & through rock/root gardens that will tend to loosen up a QR over time (simple vibrations/jarring impacts will do this), but on a trail/all-mountain/downhill bike (something that has 140mm+ & is meant to get rowdy) having an actual bolt-through system that, even if it comes loose for some reason will not just eject your wheel. The difference a thru-axle makes stiffness wise is more prominent, noticeable, and beneficial in the front (control/tracking/stiffness/etc.).
  • 1 0
 I did overstate my argument. This bike and others with one piece rear triangles like my Giant probably benefit less than multi-pivot designs. The only time I have noticed any rear end "flex" was when running weak tyres that tried to roll off the rim whenever they could. A decent tyre cured that and try as I might, the back end feels solid. Maybe it would feel even better with a TA, I don't know, but it certainly isn't a problem. Reviews of my bike commented on the stiff rear end despite no TA, which verifies my experience
  • 1 0
 It's a shame they did not get a test bike with a lighter build. My Roam started with a build similar to this weight, after trimming some fat I am much happier in how it rides. My first build was with a 26in wheel www.pinkbike.com/photo/10078518, I plan on keeping my heavier 26in wheels with dh tires for days at the bike park, this build is 30 pounds. I switched to a 650 wheel mostly because I wanted to see what the hype was all about. I don't have a ton of time on the 650 set up, but I look forward to spring so I can get more time on it. I saved some more weight when I went to the bigger wheel which was noticeable when climbing. I don't have enough time on the bigger wheel to say if it's from the weight or wheel size. www.pinkbike.com/photo/10347592 the other thing I did was switch my 32t chain ring to a 30t wolf tooth chain ring to aid in the climbing.
  • 3 0
 I honestly don't understand the choice to spec these cranks. Yes, they are classics (used to have a pair on my bmx) but a Saint will be lighter, stiffer, cheaper and perhaps even stronger than the Profiles.

If I'd still ride kids bikes I'd happily run a Saint, even for street riding.
  • 1 0
 Taber - so if the heavy build with the 26" wheels and the Lyric was 30# what did the lighter build come to with the 27.5 wheels?
  • 1 0
 as for the profiles, carter is bmx from the beginning. original mobs by S&M..dirtjumper..i can see why he would have 'em on here as a demo bike. he's probably trusted them for a long time.
  • 1 0
 People were b!tching about a review that talked about components on a complete bike review, and here they're reviewing a bid available as frame only but keep talking about the components that were CHOSEN for the bike. The fork comment I get - let the readers know it is a frame that yearns for a more aggressive fork than you'd think belongs, but the pics and commentary about the wheels and crank are completely pointless in this review.
  • 1 0
 Great photo of the bike doing a drop... That drop looks brutal, if you roll it too slow or don't lift the front wheel enough.

The short top tube is not a detriment to downhill. It means you can't really straight line plow through stuff, but it is better for jumping/ drops and changing direction.
  • 2 0
 I'm still looking for "the drop" in the photos...it's just another roller on the North Shore.
  • 1 0
 Even for cornering I prefer a long TT as a shorter reach will place your weight a bit too much on the front wheel. Same for jumping, tucking the bike or doing a kickout just feels better with a roomier bike.
  • 1 0
 Making a frame that is compatible with three wheel sizes is going to compromise performance. I have noticed that forks and head tubes have angles optimized for the proper trail for each wheel size. One fork can not do the job. I suspect either can one frame.
  • 2 2
 "The Roam is a breath of fresh air in a trail bike market filled with weight weenie hype and carbon frames."....Didn't PB just praise the Carbine 29er and pretty much every other carbon AM/Enduro frame they have "tested" in the last few months? Now they are ripping them? Confused...
  • 2 0
 i was looking for pinkbike´s take on the vee ruber tires

did i miss it or is there really now word about them? would be interesting to hear/read how they ride
  • 3 0
 Don't think you missed it. However, they didn't complain about it or throw on a set of Maxxis, so I guess that they worked...?
  • 1 0
 This is what I ride with 26ers and it is the best bike I have ever owned. I throw it off anything my testicles will let me. I will get another one if it ever brakes. It is one of those bikes that sure helps your riding.
  • 1 0
 Sizing seems off by one...as in their large is actually a medium.
At 6', I bet I couldn't ride the large.
Large should be at least 24" tt...but 24.5 is modern geo w/shorty stem on enduro/130-160 bikes.
  • 1 0
 Up front, a pinch bolt head tube allows for easy headset installation... I would only buy this bike because of this feature alone. Well done! This should become a standard for all bikes!!
  • 1 0
 When is PinkBike going to write a negative review on a product? I feel like every time I read a review on here, in the end, the bike, or fork or whatever is always looked in a positive light
  • 1 0
 My current bike is ~40lbs and I have to ride it up if I want to go down. I don't understand how this 33lbs bike is considered a hefty build, sounds like a damn nice weight to me...
  • 3 0
 33lbs is quite much for a 120 to 160 trailbike, looks awesome though.
  • 1 0
 The build on this bike is on the heavy side, it comes as a frame so you can spec it how you want.
  • 4 2
 Review, without mentioning reach, stack and wheelbase, but two toptube lengths that don't mater? Not very usefull.
  • 1 0
 Has a faitly short top tube which seems kinda counter productive to its downhill intentions, a longer reach us much more confidence inspiring at speed
  • 1 0
 Sure, but the chainstays are long enough to keep it stable. As long as the TT is long enough for me to sprint out of the saddle, a short TT makes a bike very maneuverable and easy to move around IMO. Lots of manufacturers take the other approach, with short CS, long TT - the new fury and demo coming to mind. However, having a short TT and chainstays makes for a skittish, twitchy bike.
  • 1 0
 I've always wanted to try one of these - slightly slacker HA and shorter chainstay than my ReignX, and I've liked those figures on mine.
  • 2 1
 MSRP: $1,999 USD (frame w/o shock) !!!!???

SC Bronson alloy frame - $1 950 with Fox CTD Shox! You really think your Roam better? I do not think so!
  • 2 2
 Its better in that the Roam can be built as a 29er also, and there are other frame details also like that headtube design that make it superior to things like the Bronson.
  • 3 0
 What shorts is the tester wearing in the photos?
  • 1 0
 Dakine Pace Short.
  • 2 0
 Anyone can me say the Reach or Wheelbase? I can't find it.
  • 2 0
 Sweet looking bike, but does it really have a QR rear axle?
  • 1 0
 Yeah. It would be nice if they had an option - as it has replaceable dropouts anyway, it can't be that hard. However, having QR on a bike with this little travel and such a purportedly stiff frame is fine IMO...but I'm pretty light
  • 1 0
 Hope (and other companies I'm sure) make a bolt through 135. running one on my El Guapo right now, works awesome. Since you generally build this bike from a frame instead of buying complete, just spec one of those.
  • 1 0
 I run a 10mm axle in QR dropouts with a Superstar (Novatec) hub. Seems to work OK, but as it's a hardtail I can't comment on rear end stiffness. The 9mm version on the front definitely makes a difference.
  • 1 0
 33LBS??? Ride this bike at least 3 times a week and I bet ya it will make you fit and strong!
  • 1 0
 My Cove is roughly 35lbs and I'm definitely way more fit than I would be with a lighter bike.
  • 1 0
 I've never had a rig below 30lbs, my NomadC is 36lbs as my V10C, and Driver8. They definitely keep my fitness in check. haha
  • 1 0
 It's not that bad really. Take a 2014 Norco Range for example. Yes, the top of the line carbon range is right around 26 pounds for 160mm and 650B, but my base level alloy frame with a dropper and pedals is almost 34 pounds. Tons of actual real world "all mountain" bikes weight 32-34 pounds.
  • 1 0
 i dont give a s..t about the Wheelsizes ! That Badboy looks pretty good to me. And thats all that matters
  • 1 0
 i like that there is an XS size. i feel like yeti, intense, spesh small is more like a medium.
  • 2 0
 Wheel size, whatever. Let's talk about that 33lbs. Good lord.
  • 1 0
 Hey THIS looks like a really nice bike but not sure that putting profile cranks on it made it better, heavier any way
  • 1 0
 looks like my 07 reign x1
  • 1 0
 Look like profiles on there ha. Are they steel?
  • 1 0
 Ohh...they are profiles heheh
  • 1 0
 that frame is punk rock. that fork is smooth jazz.
  • 1 0
 How to adjust the travel?
  • 1 0
 Black Market, Y U no make downhill bike?!
  • 1 1
 Gutted santa has already been :-( i want one of these
  • 1 1
 Is the tester really riding flat pedals with spd shoes?
  • 1 1
 Carter Holland а grifter ... sad sad sad
  • 1 0
 135mm Reggaes.
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