Video: Thomas Vanderham in 'Slayer Raw' Episode 3

Dec 20, 2019 at 10:13
by Rocky Mountain  

When we set out to make the Slayer Raw series, our goal was to show the bike being pushed hard by our athletes. Starting with Carson Storch in Utah and following up with Rémi Gauvin on Vancouver Island, the "Slayer Raw" series wraps up with freeride legend, Thomas Vanderham in Kamloops, BC.

Over the years, Thomas has filmed numerous riding segments across BC’s interior. Whether it's the endless singletrack, massive hits, or just the contrast from his home trails on Vancouver's North Shore, Thomas has always loved filming around Kamloops. When we set out to pick the location for his section in Oscillation, he wanted a place he could really push the limits of the bike. Thomas is known for his fluidity and seemingly-effortless style, but you know he's putting the bike through its paces.

Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.
Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.
Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.

Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.

Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.
Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.

Thomas Vanderham rides the 2020 Slayer in Kamloops B.C.

Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.
Thomas Vanderham rides the 2020 Slayer in Kamloops B.C.

Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.

BTS of Oscillation.
BTS of Oscillation.

Thomas Vanderham riders the Slayer in Kamloops.
Thomas Vanderham riders the Slayer in Kamloops.
Thomas Vanderham riders the Slayer in Kamloops.

Thomas Vanderham rides the 2020 Slayer in Kamloops B.C.

Thomas Vanderham rides the Slayer in Kamloops.

Thomas Vanderham riders the Slayer in Kamloops.

BTS of Oscillation.

Presented by Rocky Mountain

Directed by: Liam Mullany
Cinematography: Harrison Mendel, Liam Mullany
Colourist: Sam Gilling
Post-production Sound: Keith White Audio
Still photography: Margus Riga
Thanks: Ron Penney, Landmark Trail Works, Carlos Zumino

Episode 1 - Carson Storch
Episode 2 - Rémi Gauvin

Author Info:
RockyMountainBicycles avatar

Member since Jan 14, 2011
144 articles

  • 101 8
 Look at him just baby those fragile little chain stays.
  • 6 1
 Bike manufacturers will add 5kg of concrete on their frame before send out for next Field Test.
  • 1 0
  • 4 0
 No axles were harmed in the making of this video
  • 5 6
 The amount of Instagram damage control taking place via Rocky’s team riders Is truly insane.
  • 2 0
 Just realized how your username is ironic.
  • 52 9
 What if PB didn't report the break? Everyone would be losing their minds saying that they were paid off by RM etc.

Truth is, it broke and in a catastrophic way causing pretty serious injury to one of their testers. Luca is off the bike for weeks and most likely a few months because of it. If it had happened to me I would definitely be selling the warranty replacement and looking for a different bike.

Is there a systemic issues with RM bikes or the Slayer specifically? Probably not and IMO PB was very fair and measured in their reporting of it. RM has not come back with any sort of response saying definitively what happened either, but bike companies rarely do root cause analysis. Stop with the "RM is awesome" and "their riders beat on the bikes", we get it. It doesn't change the fact that this specific bike failed and we don't know why which then casts doubt on the rest of the production bikes.
  • 17 1
 I absolutely want Pinkbike to report stuff like that and be honest in their views. What I’m saying is shit happens. I’m from the same town and have seen all those guys riding test mules of that bike for over a year before it was released. It leads me to believe the bike is good to go. I don’t work for Rocky, I don’t even own a Rocky, but I still Think they make great bikes.
  • 8 4
 Do you doubt every bike on the market thenlol Cause they all breakWink
  • 9 5
 Not to offend anyone at Rocky but speaking from personal experience this isn’t just a flaw in the slayer. I owned a 2012 Flatline World Cup and the dropouts cracked and pretty much every stress point around the shock. Also I’ve heard loads of stories about the altitudes chain stays snapping in half. And if I remember correctly one of their first reveal videos acknowledged that their bikes shouldn’t be ridden they way they were in the ad :S
  • 6 3
 A survey of one is not evidence lol @FilipStarcevic:
  • 2 0
 @salespunk I saw Luca riding at Ted's on Tuesday. He looked okay. I'm sure the accident hurt pretty bad though.
  • 2 1
 @enduroNZ: my comment was hardly a survey of one, I mentioned that many altitudes also have a chainstay issue.
  • 1 2
 @FilipStarcevic: what about the many snapras and treks with rear ends that don't line up and canyons that crack and cannon dales that fail
  • 2 7
flag m33pm33p (Dec 28, 2019 at 9:21) (Below Threshold)
 Truth of the matter is pinkbike testers don't set their bikes up properly.. it could have happened to any bike in the field. Bottoming is unacceptable under anything but extreme conditions
  • 3 0
 @enduroNZ: RM6, Switch and Flatline all with broken chainstays, if your going to talk out of your ass try sitting up first
  • 2 0
 We do know why.
The Axle failed at a thread root. It failed because it was over tightened, probably numerous times. Once the axle sheared off from the threaded portion, a single chain stay tried to withstand a tremendous moment from the rear wheel, now no longer supported in a double shear scenario.
That failure wasn't Rocky Mountain's fault. Blame people who hand tighten ( and over tighten) aluminum fasteners.

The only way to prevent that failure again, isn't changing anything with the frame, but moving to a steel or Ti axle.

THere are literally 1000s of examples of fasteners failing in an identical in a million textbooks all showing what happens when fasteners exceed their torque spec.
  • 76 35
 No offense to the Pinkbike test crew, but when you got guys like Thomas, Carson, Remi, Jesse, and Wade our there beating the shit out of that bike everyday without a problem, the bike is probably good to go. Shit happens and many of us have broken stuff. Maybe that axle wasn’t torqued when buddy changed those tires?? We may never know. What we do know is that these guys show no mercy to those bikes. I’m still a fan
  • 18 10
 Cmon admit it.. you did mean to offend! . . . . Because it is well deserved!
  • 39 13
 Do you expect Thomas, Carson and crew to break a chainstay and be like oh lets share this to the interweb and get sum likessss.
  • 12 3
 I agree 100%. I think every bike manufacture has issues with stuff breaking at one point or another. We all know someone who has broke a bike or parts on a bike. Heck I broke two Specialized enduros in less than two years and I dont ride nearly as hard as these guys. Its unfortunate that the chainstay-axle broke and someone got hurt but if it was just an average consumer that broke this bike we wouldn't be here talking about it. I would ride that bike any day of the week!
  • 21 7
 When Pole puts out a video of their athletes riding hard and not breaking their bikes, are you gonna go stroke them off too?
  • 24 4
 A broken bike is one thing, every bike breaks and every brand has had problems. But when the broken bike causes a pretty significant injury... sorry, but it's worth noting and good on pinkbike for actually doing that.
  • 13 6
 I don't give a rip about the PB field test that bike looks lit
  • 20 24
flag dmackyaheard FL (Dec 27, 2019 at 9:55) (Below Threshold)
 @projectnortheast: How about giving the bike an honest review instead of saying "We cannot recommend this bike." Total BS... get another bike and test it, so those of us who care to see the review can get some good ride feedback instead of "Sorry guys, were not going to review this." I think its interested that Bike Mag didn't break their test bike, and the other free ride dudes from Rocky haven't broken it? If anything... credibility in pink bike suffers from them drawing that line in the sand.
  • 16 0
 This doesn’t change the fact that mortals testing bikes at whistler had a catastrophic failure sending their tester to the clinic.
  • 4 1
 He may even have Over Torqued it - which can lead to that happening as well. Shit does happen we never wish it on anyone...I was rolling my ole Remedy and my chainstays broke clean off on a very small mogul. It didn't take much but I'm sure all of my riding and drops and hits and crashes before that lead to it breaking. There's also the stress of moving bikes on a vehicle that can cause failures - so if you had it hanging on a bike rack and it hits hard on the ground while driving that'll mess things up. I'm still rolling the Slayer and can't wait to send it however long it lets'll make it's own mind up just like the ether.
  • 1 3
 @teethandnails: OoOoOoO throwing the heat
  • 15 0
 @chyu: yeah exactly. The bike broke, causing injury. What other option do Pinkbike have? Pretend it didn't happen? People are welcome to do research to find out if it's a one off or not, but saying that the pro team don't break them means nothing as they would literally never publicise that fact.
  • 4 0
 @chyu: exactly
  • 3 0
 I think we pay more attention to the field test than we should, each to his own and the bike that felt the worst for them might be exactly what we're looking for... or maybe im just trying to justify my gt force
  • 1 0
 PB did report it rightfully so and I don't want to downplay the crash and the injury.
But if anybody doesn't trust that axle (and PB says it was the axle), get a different brand and be done with it.
  • 13 1
 @teethandnails: lol, if I had a bike break under me, and I had to go to the hospital and couldn't ride anymore I can tell you without a doubt I would not recommend that bike just the same way Pinkbike did. Without a clear answer as to why the failure occurred would you ask another employee after getting hurt to "get another one"? not in a million years... luckily though, there are other bike reviewers out there who will give you feedback. So, just go read those.
  • 3 0
 @lognar: not sure if you've heard but Luca Cometti ain't no slouch on a bicycle...
  • 4 8
flag scottyrides5 FL (Dec 27, 2019 at 15:17) (Below Threshold)
 Pinkbike real vague about how it broke.. They say something like "luca sent deep but still with plenty of transition left..." I don't buy it. I am pretty sure Luca just accidentally sent it to complete flat and broke it. Maybe not completely flat, but if you are not running proper spring-rate or air pressure, you will break a bike easy on even a mediocre drop. Pinkbike testers just running too low spring rate and getting way too send happy. That equals broken bike.
  • 2 6
flag scottyrides5 FL (Dec 27, 2019 at 15:20) (Below Threshold)
 @chyu: They probably don't break very many as they are running proper spring-rate. . . . Pinkbike - lets run 30% sag and go send to flat! It will be a great idea!
  • 1 0
 I imagine that almost every bike company has had at least one of their bikes fail catastrophically, it’s just very unlucky Rocky’s one failed on a test
  • 12 0

My two cents is this.... I worked at a rocky dealer for a bit. 2 years to 18 months ago Bikes were coming out of the box with no grease on the axle and torqued down very tight likely as tight as it should’ve been, but they were stuck. I broke the head clean off 8 or 10 rocky rear axles removing the wheel on brand new bikes. I bet there is a good deal of compromised axles out there and some bikes/axles grease is extra important.
  • 6 4
 @teethandnails: bike mag rolled out all their videos for the 2020 Bible of the bike tests and they have one on the Slayer.

And though PB field tests have gotten better the folks at Bike Mag still are kings when it comes to the multi bike field tests.
  • 10 1
 @scottyrides5: @teethandnails: So you wanted Pinkbike to recommend a bike that broke and they got very little seat time on? Is this real life?
Ontop of that they even gave Rocky (aswell as Pole) a chance to figure out why the failure happened before putting that review up rather then putting it out ASAP to capitalize on more web traffic/page views. Holy shit the comment section on here it brain damaging.
  • 1 0
 There's a possibility, slim but real, that there was either a minor manufacturing defect or a minor mechanical misstep. Either is possible, either would explain the break, neither is the bikes fault. I believe this is a good time for old Occam and his shaving kit to show up.
  • 16 3
 Rocky Mountain has been dropping a lot of Slayer edits since the Pinkbike Field Test of their bike. Pretty savvy from a marketing and PR standpoint. Admit you're not sure what caused the failure and stand in positive contrast to Pole, then flood the MTB community with sick edits of your pros shredding a variety of big lines on the very same bike. Nicely done.
  • 3 0
 Well, in the video it does look like a pink bike...
  • 14 4
 Looks like the chainstay is holding on pretty good on his slayer Smile
  • 8 0
 Excellent video! Thank you
  • 9 3
 if anyone wants an actual review of this bike head over to Bike Mag, it's in their bible of bike tests for 2020.
  • 4 0
 Vanderham has been and still is one of my favorite riders to watch. I would add "and emulate" but who am I kidding?! And to think, he and Shandro were behind me in line for a Bagel. Swoon! I mean... Coool Bro!
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Vanderham’s style is timeless.
  • 2 0
 There is a reason why all bikes and parts have warranties. Rocky handled the test bike failure with honesty . That's class. This bike makes me think of hitting double black gnar and I would have little concern about the bike failing on me. Well a lil bit but that's what warranties are for. Canadian rider on a solid bike from a Canadian company.
  • 1 0
 unrelated but I'll share....
We bought a 2020 Rocky Moutain Soul 20. A entry level hardtail just under $1000. We were stoked until we rode it. In the lower gears, the chain would skip over the 11 tooth drive because rocky wanted to act like they could put a 1X system on a bike using the lowest end derailleur that isn't capable of holding chain tension for shit! bike was unrideable. then the pair their size small with a 34mm Suntour fork that is unmovable for a 190lbs rider. what??? man their lower bikes are cheap shit garbage, with a weight of ike 36 lbs for a SMALL hardtail and a 1X (that does not work) that's insane!! returned it. The first 2020 soul sold was the first one returned.Get it together rocky!!!
  • 5 0
 oh this is good.
  • 4 0
 This is how I wanna ride my bike
  • 4 0
 Vanderham still kills it after all these years!! ????????
  • 4 0
 Hauling Ass!!!! Boy still has it ????????
  • 1 0
 I've had a rocky mountain altitude in 2013, after one year, I had the chain stay broken... I see the problem is still not solved. Will never buy a Rocky Mountain again for sure even if the bikes look great.
  • 4 0
 “The Kid”
  • 3 0
 TV and classic Kamloops ravine lines. So good.
  • 3 0
 this guy never gets old
  • 9 7
 Disclaimer: No frames were broken in the making of this video.
  • 2 0
 such a satisfying edit to watch. thanks for this!
  • 1 0
 This video is incredible. We’ll just go ahead and click the “add to favorites” button....
  • 2 0
 Flat out shredding! Awesome series with all these riders. Nice work guys!
  • 2 0
 I will forever be in awe of how smoothly he landed that jump at 1:51
  • 2 0
 Butter smooth!!! And those cable cam shots.... absolutely insane
  • 2 0
 that first trail tho!
  • 1 0
 I guess that'll be my next bike, regardless.
And its red Smile
Nice Video !
  • 1 0
 1:08 & 1:57 are sweet jumps
  • 2 0
 Epic riding
  • 1 0
 Landing too deep in Hospital. Better check these chain stays.
  • 1 0
 There's a sales pitch for you. I want to try one now.
  • 1 0
 Don’t recognize this trail?
  • 1 0
 Now that makes me want to ride, the flat corner at about 1:14, jesus.
  • 1 0
 That busted windshield would make an excellent graphic for a tailgate pad.
  • 6 6
 Yoann city bike would be a better pick for this trail.
  • 1 0
 So good!
  • 1 0
 Wild ????
  • 1 0
  • 1 0
 Bring back the RM6!!!!
  • 1 0
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