Rocky Mountain Introduces New Vertex Hardtail

Mar 20, 2018
by Rocky Mountain Bicycles  
Vertex Carbon 90

PRESS RELEASE: Rocky Mountain Bicycles

The Vertex embodies speed and confidence, sitting at the top of the food chain as our flagship XC-race hardtail. Its lightweight frame provides incredible stiffness and rolling speed, while its modern, aggressive geometry inspires confidence everywhere on the race course—even technical corners and descents.

Available in a next-generation Smoothwall HBO carbon layup for even lighter weight, we've given the Vertex comprehensive, evolutionary updates across the platform—features like tooled axles, Di2, and dropper post compatibility.

The Vertex retains all the ride DNA that makes Rocky Mountain Bicycles famous. We’ve focused on XC performance for flat out speed but have not made compromises on ride quality, keeping our bikes fun when out on the trail. We’ve lengthened the reach, slackened the head angle, and shortened the wheelbase, maintaining rear end compliance and a comfortable ride.

The all-new Vertex

Technical Details

• 29” and 27.5+ compatible
• Max tire clearance is 29 x 2.3 and 27.5 x 2.8
• Lighter, tooled rear axle with an updated axle nut for more intuitive assembly
• Improved cable management including large head tube and down tube access ports, full-length shift housing, and internally routed shift housing and brake lines the front triangle
• Features both Di2 and dropper post compatibility, simultaneously
• 27.2 mm seatpost allows for extra ride comfort while seated
• Rubberized chainstay protector for increased frame protection
• Front derailleur compatible
• Boost 148mm dropouts
• Lightweight Smoothwall HBO layup available in Vertex Carbon 90 and Vertex Carbon Frameset
• Available in Flaming Lips/Back in Black/Whitesnake
• Sizes: S-XL

Pricing

Vertex Carbon 90: $5,169 USD / $6,499 CAD
Vertex Carbon 90 frameset: $1,599 USD / $1,999 CAD
Vertex Carbon 70: $3,399 USD / $4,349 CAD
Vertex Carbon 50: $2,899 USD / $3,649 CAD

The all-new Vertex

The all-new Vertex

Vertex Carbon 90
The Vertex Carbon 90 with superlight Smoothwall HBO carbon layup weighs 9.70kg (21.4lbs) in size medium.

Vertex Carbon 90 frameset
The Vertex Carbon Frameset weighs 1.22kg (2.68lbs) in size medium.

Smoothwall HBO layup

By incorporating premium 40-ton carbon fiber sheets into our Vertex Carbon 90 and Vertex Carbon frameset, we were able to eliminate more resin than what is usually left from our traditional Smoothwall construction. This process allowed us to incorporate desirable frame features, increase durability, and maintain the ride performance we are known for. Our standard Smoothwall layup on the Vertex Carbon 70 and Vertex Carbon 50 remains industry leading, without resorting to cost cutting by integrating fiberglass.
Vertex Carbon 90 paint detail

Vertex Carbon 70
The Vertex Carbon 70 weighs 10.00kg (22.0lbs) in size medium, and is available in "Back in Black/Billy Ocean/Acid Rain" or "Smoke on the Water/Back in Black/Flaming Lips".

Vertex Carbon 50
The Vertex Carbon 50 weighs 11.10kg (24.5lbs) in size medium, and is available in "Back in Black/Billy Ocean/Acid Rain" or "Flaming Lips/Back in Black/Whitesnake"

The all-new Vertex

The Vertex is available now. Regional availability may vary. More information at bikes.com.


Mentions: @RockyMountainBicycles




72 Comments

  • + 15
 Really waiting for a cool carbon trail hardtail/softtail like the BMC but with propper angles, i think there should be a market for that
  • + 23
 Kona honzo is quiet good for that Wink
  • + 6
 @sebevoltage: i think the honzo is a step in the right direction, but it was designed a few years back. I want something more in line with the modern cromo hardtails (headangle 65 seatangle 75 reach 450) but without the weight and some cool flexsofttail stuff.
  • + 2
 @AlexS1: yes thats a modern cromo hardtail -there are even better ones in my opinion like the stif morf (looks amazing in s , flexstays, cool brakemount, full antirustdip...) but as i wrote a bmc softtail with slack angles would rock hard
  • + 4
 Sonder transmitter carbon.
  • + 1
 @canucker1: Thanks! Reviews say tire clearance is 2.25?!
  • - 2
 @canucker1: About to purchase but only 1 bottle cage. Soooo close to being my perfect HT.
  • + 1
 @bikewriter: maybe 29" wheels? I know on 27.5 it can run 2.8 rear 3.0 front.
  • + 3
 Transition Vanquish.
  • + 2
 I agree, and I'm waiting for just such a bike but I'm not finding it. Something like the Canfield Bros EPO with updated Boost spacing or Santa Cruz Chameleon in carbon or Kona Honzo CR Trail but with more tire clearance (29x2.6) and maybe SS drop-out option too
  • + 3
 Transition make two aggressive carbon hardtails
  • + 1
 @optimumnotmaximum: It's meta crmo's top tube mounted seatstays and ovalized chain stays that intrigues me. Sadly not compatible with 29er wheels like it's al version.
  • + 3
 @optimumnotmaximum: wait wait what if they take that flex soft tail idea another step further and actually make the whole rear wheel move independently probably on like bearings and support it with like a spring
  • + 1
 Guerrilla Gravity Pedalhead might check the right boxes. Real similar HTA, STA, and reach to what you're looking for.
  • + 1
 @0gravity:

You can run boost wheels on the EPO. No prob. It’s Bros approved. You just need the longer thru axle.
  • + 11
 that paintjob is sweeeeeeeeeeeet
  • + 3
 That blue, and black is pretty much as good as it gets.
  • + 3
 "Billy Ocean." One day I want my job to be naming colours. That one's gold.
  • + 1
 @rrolly: except every time you look at the bike, you’ll hear this song: youtu.be/CmhjXEkI5Lg
  • + 9
 Why no 30.9? Can always shim down to a 27.2 high-flex. But limiting to 27.2 dropper posts is bunk.
  • + 5
 I think the seattube diameter matters too for ride quality. At least I recall that one brand that increased their tube diameter to allow for fatter dropper posts got worse reviews because their bike felt less lively. It wasn't an XC bike (so seated pedaling wasn't a main priority) so maybe here priorities are different.

But just wondering, are 27.2 dropper seatposts really worse than those in 30.9mm? Eightpins is probably a class on its own (with the long travel they offer) but these don't fit 30.9mm seattubes either.
  • + 2
 Narrower seat tube and post for more vertical compliance. Not every XC racer wants to run a dropper post.
  • + 0
 @gdharries: yeah I understand that. By a factory shim, solves that and gives the rest of the people more choice and option. Instead we get repeatable generic hardtails. Sure some cool carbon layup jargon.
  • + 1
 @bonfire: The general consensus is that a shim does allow for a smaller diameter seatpost, but doesn't really reduce the seattube diameter.
  • + 1
 @vinay: with the theory being that the seattube would bow, like Trek does with IsoSpeed?

Without a pivot in the frame like a Trek, you’ll get far more flex out of syntace HyFlex post, or something like a CGR post.

Especially considering many of them come with alloy seatpost.
  • + 3
 I have had the 2017 Vertex 990 RSL frame for almost a year. I decided to go from a full sus Epic to this HT. It has taken some adjusting, definitely a lot more twitchy than I expect, but have really liked the weight savings and stiffness for climbs. Feels like I'm getting more per pedal.
  • + 6
 Cool a modern frame to fit my old seat posts
  • + 1
 I build everything around my Syncros 28.6 two-bolt and a pop-can shim.

Syncros 1994 - MTB Kataloge
PDFwww.mtb-kataloge.de › PDF › Syncros
  • + 2
 This is for the European customer with tame trails, lots of cash, pure and simple (and the RMB XC pro's). They're too weight weenie to get a dropper, and if they weren't that way, they'd get an Element. Everyone that's confused or critical here needs to remember the intended buyer here.
  • + 1
 I don't know anything about the Euro market....but yeah, anyone buying something this light should only expect that it's an offroad road bike and subject to breakage at any time. I'd be afraid to drop a tall curb more than twice with it...but I'm not buying it, it isn't for me. A 2.7lb frame that can take any amount of offroad use is pretty amazing tho Smile
  • + 2
 Then I just went and read about the Blur....22.4lb dually?!!.What the hell eh...
  • + 1
 @loopie: Top tier Element Carbon 90 weighs 22lbs and the frame can take some actual dirt jump abuse!
  • + 4
 Reach is too short, not enough clearance and weight is too high. 1220 gr for a 1.5k$ frameset? Come on ! Hands down for the paintjob though
  • + 1
 It's even 1.6k$ for the frameset.
  • + 1
 Honestly, why build a carbon frame and talk about how stiff it is, then a paragraph later how a 27.2 seatpost allows for "extra comfort while seated", presumably through flexing!?

That's a lot of seatpost that could break off if you hit an obstacle at speed.

X-Fusion made/makes a 27.2 100mm dropper, I have one, good enough post, but I kinda saw it as a post to retrofit older frames from before dropper posts came out.

Going forward, 30.9 should be standard smallest size seat tube i/d,IMHO.
  • + 6
 In regards to the a frame that is stiff and also comfortable from flexing, I believe it's possible to have both. The stiffness usually refers to pedaling stiffness like when you stand up and sprint it feels like the frame is able to "push back" and you get the sensation that the force is transmitted to the chain and to the wheel not into bending the frame. That comes from stiffness in the area of the bottom bracket more. The comfort comes more from making the chainstays and seat stays compliant in the vertical direction. So stiff in the right places and in the right directions, and flexy in the right places and in the right directions. I don't think they are necessarily being contradictory.
  • + 0
 28.99 could be a nice, durable middle ground.
  • + 0
 Narrower seat tube and post for more vertical compliance and comfort. Simple as that. Not every XC racer wants or needs to run a dropper post.
  • + 1
 @PinkyScar: I'd prefer 29.00 but let's compromise at 28.995
  • + 1
 @EstebanPablo: Totally agree re. stiff bottom bracket area, etc, but I'm sure there is a negligible difference in the amount of flex in a 27.2 post vs. a 30.9 when extended to the degree that is shown in the picture. I'd rather the option to choose from a wide array of dropper posts than that marginal amount of "comfort" flex.
And I'd MUCH prefer my seatpost didn't snap halfway through a race (I've done this, sucks to finish a race pedaling standing.)
They advertise that it has internal routing for a dropper post, so why not allow people more choice. There aren't many 27.2 droppers available.
If the seatpost is indeed flexing while seated, as they claim, that means it is flexing while pedaling seated, which would seem like unwanted flex. I personally hate anything resembling pedal bob.

All this being said, I haven't raced XC since the 90's, so I'm not really the market this bike is aimed at, and don't really care too much.
  • + 1
 "By incorporating premium 40-ton carbon fiber sheets into our Vertex Carbon 90 and Vertex Carbon frameset, we were able to eliminate more resin than what is usually left from our traditional Smoothwall construction." @RockyMountainBicycles , please elaborate.
  • + 3
 Ah ah ah, when marketing meets engineering... marketing guy being like "i have not understood shit about that low resin content thing but it sounded awesome"
  • + 3
 Receiving my Vertex 90 bike this week. Been waiting for it since Eurobike 2017.
  • + 0
 Nice paint job! 27,2mm seatpost is fine by me, too. And i bet it will ride like a rocked, just like it's predecessor.
But why is it so heavy? Why do a pure xc race bike with this frame weight? Why even bother with a narrow 27,5+ clearance?
I realy hoped for something better, a bigger step forward. Seems like i need to look elsewhere. Frown
  • + 1
 I am still waiting for a modern geometry single speed option other than the Les, not to take anything away from Pivot as they are great but options would be nice!
  • + 1
 Interesting that the updated SantaCruz highball and this are so similar, but I can save a few pounds and go highball at a similar price...
  • + 2
 O Man, It's going to be a tough choice between "Back in Black" and "Smoke on the Water"!
  • + 3
 So it doesn't use a metric shock?
  • - 1
 "• Features both Di2 and dropper post compatibility, simultaneously
• 27.2 mm seatpost allows for extra ride comfort while seated"

Well there's an oxymoron if I ever saw one in a features list... dropper post compatibility and 27.2mm... yeah...let's limit folks to like FOUR mid/high end brands of dropper posts... KS, Thomson, X-Fusion, Gravity Dropper... and then there's a handful of lower end brands... Tranz-X (which is the fancy brand name of HL Corp...who also manufacturers Specialized's command posts and a few other house brands), TMars, and that's about it that I can think of. Even DNM doesn't bother making a 27.2 dropper.

As to pricing and geometry... Salsa has Rocky beat... the Woodsmoke carbon is 29, 29+ and 27.5+ compatible, ranges from 2,199 USD for a 29er NX configuration to 4,299 USD for a 27.5+ X01 Eagle configuration. It can run larger tires (29 x 3.0 or 27.5 x 3.25), has longer top tubes (an XL is 671mm, L is 641, M is 611, S is 591 and XS is 571) and shorter chainstays (adjustable 409-417mm) with a slacker head angle (68.4 deg, 120mm fork 29 x 2.4). Let's compare the medium sizes as they have the same seat tube lengths as one another. The vertex has 11mm less top tube length and 21mm longer chainstays with a degree steeper head angle than the woodsmoke (in a 29er configuration).
  • + 1
 "27.2 mm seatpost allows for extra ride comfort while seated"

The rigid seatpost provides "extra" comfort, as if a 30.9 rigid seatpost is only mildly comfortable?
  • + 1
 The 27.2, in theory, should be more comfortable to ride and verticle compliance is a wonderful thing when in the red zone an hour into a race. Also, it makes everything a bit lighter and probably costs less which mean more profit margin for them, and happier weight weenie xc racers.
  • + 1
 Unfortunately this looks like a massive miss. Heavy and already dated geometry.
  • + 1
 I am in love with the red and black paint job! can i get that on a full suspension please!
  • + 1
 yes, 2018 Element
  • + 1
 How many proofs of purchase do I need to send in to get the decoder for the geometry tables in the articles on this site?
  • + 2
 The graphics are flippin awesome.
  • + 1
 27.2 seatpost, on a bike released in 2018? dumb
  • + 1
 Anybody know the max chainring size for 1x?
  • + 1
 27.2mm dropper post..pffff..make it 30,9
  • - 1
 Make some limited edition bikes exactly the same graphics but a Ti and a steel hard tail. Carbon fibre isn't trendy any more.
  • - 2
 Frame and colorway are pretty sick! however no Alu, no buy - if the Carbon is $1599 that means an Alu frame would be like $800-900 (and next season even cheaper). Opportunity missed, Rocky.
  • + 5
 RM does make two aluminum versions of this bike. They are listed on their website.
  • + 0
 Are hardtails and XC full suspension bikes the "in" thing for 2018?
  • - 1
 Since when is a bare ht frame a "frameset"? Frameset is frame and fork or frame and shock. A set requires distinct objects.
  • - 1
 Awwwwwh spewin, I thought this was going to be a DJ bike....
  • + 1
 Spewin? What's that?
  • + 4
 @Flowcheckers: Making space for more beer
  • - 3
 As soon as it said xc race... I backed out..
  • - 1
 calling all squids!

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