Spotted: A New Rocky Mountain Slayer for 2023?

Sep 12, 2022 at 21:04
by Mike Kazimer  
photo

It's been three years since the Rocky Mountain Slayer last received an update, which means it's very likely there's a new version on the way in the not-so-distant future. A keen eyed reader recently sent over a few photos of what's likely the next iteration, a carbon-framed bike that looks to be well past the prototype mule stage. With Schwalbe tires, Shimano flats, and OneUp stuff, we'd guess that it's Thomas Vanderham's bike—hopefully on a boat to film a launch video or something.

The overall shape is close to that of the current model, with the shock mounted to a strut that runs between the top and down tube. This time, the shock is mounted to a bracket rather than being attached directly to the frame, suggesting it's mullet compatible, just like the Altitude. The chainstay length looks to be adjustable via a flip chip, another feature also found on the Altitude. It's also worth noting that the blind chainstay pivot of the current generation appears to have been replaced with a more conventional design.

Rocky may be hopping on the in-frame snack storage bandwagon, with what appears to be a lid positioned in the middle of the downtube. It's hard to tell how it would open – possibly a latch at the top, or maybe it uses magnets, a tactic that we've seen used by Last bikes. Now that most bikes have water bottle compatibility, frame storage has become the latest must-have feature. I'm all for it—the less I need to carry on my back or around my waist the better.

photo
The seat tube now has a more pronounced kink in it above the bottom bracket, possibly to ensure the wheel doesn't hit the frame deeper in the stroke.

As for geometry, I'd imagine that it's a little longer and slacker than before. (Crazy theory, right?) In the neutral setting the current model has a 64.5-degree head angle and a 475mm reach. That’s not too far off from what's become the modern norm, but assuming that the Slayer remains a 170 / 180mm freeride machine I could see it dropping to 64 or 63.5-degrees, maybe with a few millimeters added to the reach.

No, there's no review tomorrow, or the day after, but we are hoping to get one in for testing when / if it officially launches. It's no secret that things didn't go to plan with the last Slayer we tested, so it'll be good to get the newest version in and give it another try.

Rocky Mountain's official statement about the mystery bike is:

bigquotesAt Rocky Mountain, we're constantly dreaming up, designing, and testing bikes in our backyard (the North Shore) and beyond. While we can’t confirm this bike will make it to production, you can be sure we’ve got some cool things up our sleeve for future platforms.

photo
A van would probably be a better way to transport an unreleased bike...


Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,725 articles

166 Comments
  • 249 13
 These fake spy shots are great lol
  • 93 5
 Are you trying to tell me someone didn't actually break into a garage to snap these?
  • 131 1
 @yoki-bike: Its a photo from bc ferries
  • 18 0
 @yoki-bike: hahaha - It looks like this is on a Ferry, Kaz with the keen eye!
  • 10 10
 at least they did more to differentiate that from the altitude, 1 more tube across the front triangle. Santacruz on the other hand....
  • 261 5
 I'd say about half of the unreleased bikes we run stories on are brands hoping to get some protohype by having them in conspicuously public places (world cup races, Whistler during Crankworx, etc.). It's not coordinated, but they're clearly hoping for coverage.

The other half of the time, brands are NOT stoked we're letting the cat out of the bag. I promise you I spend a lot of time on the phone talking angry brand managers off a ledge because they're shocked that a reader sent us a photo of a new bike they had out in public. We've lost ad revenue over it in the past, but it's part of our job. We aren't looking to screw anyone over—I once had a designer send me an unreleased product BOM, but it was fully an accident so we didn't run it. But if it's out in the open IMO it's fair game.
  • 7 2
 @yoki-bike: read the article. "Hopefully on a boat to film a launch video or something".
  • 7 0
 @brianpark: I would say in this case, since they already have a decal package all over it, and it is sitting out in the open in the back of a pick up, it was fair to assume the former.
  • 22 0
 @Quinn-39: looks like this turned into a boat launch.
  • 18 2
 @Quinn-39: ha, and "With Schwalbe tires, Shimano flats, and OneUp stuff, we'd guess that it's Thomas Vanderham's bike," [that and Vanderham was also standing next to the truck sipping a coffee]
  • 8 12
flag daugherd FL (Sep 14, 2022 at 14:01) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: protohype? I can’t roll my eyes any harder at this portmanteau.
  • 5 0
 @brianpark: I used to design cars. We'd put all kinds of time into camouflaging prototypes. Everything from the paint scheme to lots of tape to change head/tail light shapes to even more fun. There are people who make their living by taking spy photos of cars.
  • 6 28
flag scott-townes (Sep 14, 2022 at 15:31) (Below Threshold)
 @brianpark: So that's why you sold out to Outside. Fack.
  • 2 1
 Crazy that they left it unsecured. I def lock mine - someone could nab it and stuff it in the back of their van so you cannot find it anymore despite being confined until you dock.
  • 5 0
 I've been seeing this bike in the seymour parking lot for a few weeks now, clearly left in the open for people to see. They're not trying to hide it and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to come out in late September/early October.
  • 4 24
flag trollhunter (Sep 14, 2022 at 20:05) (Below Threshold)
 Tell your mom to stop taking photo of my rock hard carbon frame. I know she wants to metric 8mm cap screw, but I’m still more SAE.
  • 7 1
 @brianpark: Bike brands just need to budget the cost for a little old lady to crochet a nice frame cover for the front triangle. It could spark a whole crochet sub genre outside of tea cosies.
  • 2 1
 @scott-townes: Another banger comment Scott, keep the hits coming. And this guy bitches about other people being negative lol
  • 4 0
 "A van would probably be a better way to transport an unreleased bike..."if you want to hide it.
  • 6 0
 @daugherd: Voted up for using portmanteau in a sentence.
  • 1 0
 @nonk: I used to love the slow reveal with automotive spy shots as a camo slowly came off with time. Such a tease
  • 4 13
flag scott-townes (Sep 15, 2022 at 4:48) (Below Threshold)
 @rbeach: Aw look, I have a 40-year-old man stalking me on PB! Let me guess, you also waste time down voting comments? hahaha, the epidemy of maturity.
  • 2 1
 @brianpark: If you actually lost ad revenue for publishing a shot of something they had in the wild, that's a CMO that needs to be shitcanned stat. And blackballed forever more.
  • 1 0
 @daugherd: At the concept, or at that actual word? Because the word is literally perfect. The concept is total eye-roll, sometimes full cringe.
  • 3 0
 @scott-townes: They built something successful, then someone came along and offered them a tidy sum for it. And you have a problem with this...why?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Haha anyone who gets pissy for having a proto out in public plain view needs to chill out. Also, lets face it, this is just mtb's, its not the most serious thing in the world. Don't take any crap from guys Brian! New stuff is too fun to look at to stop!
  • 3 3
 @brianpark: fake news
  • 1 0
 Glad to see that 165mm cranks are recognized as the best for any gravity rig. Or are those 160s?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: In the editorial business you are just reporting the news, and as you said, "if it's out in the open IMO it's fair game".

Kind of a related story, a few years ago, Intense rented my studio for a photo shoot, I don't remember the photographer's name that booked the shoot, when Jennifer Gabrielli saw me at my studio, the first thing she said," remember you are still embargoed from showing the new Bikes", about a year before the Intense studio shoot, I photographed a press day with RC for Intense and I had to sign an NDA.
  • 1 2
 @Chuckolicious: you know what’s cringe? When people use “aw look…” in a pinkbike response. E.g. “aw look, a guy who uses aw look on the internet”. Cringe central
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh: I measured the crank relative to the pedal length and it looks like the crank is a 165.
  • 1 1
 @presta07: Yep that's what the Eye Test told me too
  • 80 1
 LOOK AWAY NSMB DOT COM
  • 16 2
 dump daddies will be livid
  • 3 0
 Can somebody explain me that joke?
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: I have to admit, those were fun cross-over articles lol!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: thanks for the recap! I had missed seeing the tonkatruck April 1 article. Pure gold from all involved!
  • 9 2
 I used to think pinkbike was hipster snobby/gatekeeperish until i went over to NSMB. Holy hell…my college GF’s sorority was less petty/b*tchy than that site. Its makes pinkbike feel downright sane!
  • 45 0
 When you do get one to review... remind whoever puts on the control tires to tighten the thru-axle this time. Wink
  • 2 0
 I think someone didn't torque it to spec but went by feel.
  • 39 0
 Not a high pivot, not a mullet....so 2021... can't be it.....lol
  • 19 4
 I'm sure it rides great, but I have never understood the design. It's not ugly, far from it, but it's not a beautiful bike. Something is just odd
  • 5 2
 And it's soooo acoustic. /s
  • 25 0
 I still want the real prototype Slayer in disguise: www.pinkbike.com/news/wade-simmons-pipedream-old-school-cool-video.html
  • 8 0
 @pakleni: and the version before was one of the most beautiful bikes
  • 2 0
 @MTBrent: you can see this bike on display at Corsa in Squamish
  • 3 0
 @MTBrent: There’s no way they could ever make enough of them to keep up with demand tho. They should do a grom version of it too. It’s financially ludicrous that they haven’t figured out how to make that exact bike and colors or very close to it at least. Total fail
  • 32 12
 Makes freeride bike, doesn't have a freeride team. Y'all lost your freeride cred when you dropped storch.
  • 32 6
 Doesn't have a freeride team. Doesn't make a DH bike. I miss the days of RM9's with Monster T's getting sent off the biggest shit I'd ever seen. But I'm sure Rocky's gravel and ebikes are pretty neat too, or whatever.
  • 19 1
 @toast2266: nothing says hitting drops like the handlebars on a gravel bike amirite
  • 8 0
 @toast2266: until you realize 12 yr olds are hitting the same stuff on slope bikes.
  • 23 1
 Thomas Vanderham - Freeride legend Alex Volokhov - current team rider going to rampage Vaea Verbeeck Think you might be wrong there buddy
  • 4 9
flag luckynugget (Sep 14, 2022 at 12:13) (Below Threshold)
 @toast2266: freeride would be bringing back the 27.5 maiden, not this 1 bike does all half assed enduro stuff. Even truer freeride would be doing whatever you want on whatever bike but when they keep getting ridiculously long with oversized wheels it starts to limit a bike's trickability and performance on steeper jumps. Seems like rocky's chasing the covid bubble aunt and uncle market like the rest of the big brands tho
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: I got my hair cut there this week!
  • 2 0
 @luckynugget: wait til you see the latest footy of Alex ripping his Slayer down huge gnarly Alaska freeride lines. This bike didn't seem to hold him back at all. Should be getting released in a few weeks.
  • 2 0
 @woofer2609: Had to be 'fro' riders because allegedly Cannondale copyrighted freeride. Wade will always be the Godfather or Freeride and he's been on Rocky's since i was a teen in the 90's
  • 12 1
 Needs linkage plates
  • 4 0
 I've got one word for ya... =)
  • 8 3
 I really hope they don't make it any longer. They already have a long race bike in the altitude so they should keep the Slayer short how it should be for freeride. There are already too many short bikes being turned into long ones, so we need some short ones left for us who like a playful bike.
  • 4 0
 Agreed. I love how short the rear end is on my 2019 29er slayer compared to other bikes with similar travel numbers. Makes it a lot more playful, which is what I want out of that type of bike compared to a long planted race machine like the altitude.
  • 9 2
 Just size down?
  • 5 4
 Comments like this give me hope. Shit's getting long enough, I'm 5'11 and am starting to feel comfier on Size S bikes. Long is nice for pedaling but there's more to it than that
  • 4 7
 @luckynugget: I'm 5.8-5.85 in a good day and I'm on a size L.(faster than I ever was, no matter the trail.. while being older, weaker and less fit at the same time)
  • 2 1
 @Stokedonthis: I think this is a pretty valid point.
  • 5 1
 Nothing screams more freeride than a dual 29er, 63 HA with 445 chainstays! /s
  • 2 2
 @Stokedonthis: Im 5'8 and so I cant size down below a small. My Ideal reach is 420-430 and a LOT of smalls these days are 440-450 so i cant size down. And sizing down doesn't make chainstays shorter (usually)
  • 4 1
 @eugenux: you're so cool!!
  • 2 2
 @Stokedonthis: 1 people who are already short and cant size down
2 when you size down the top tube shrinks because seat tube shenanigans and just math so the bike gets really cramped even though its not necessarily due to reach. running a longer dropper doesnt help because the lower your seat is the further forward it is.

basically your seat always gets in the way because its too far forward so i am behind the seat on like a flat downhill. it also makes it impossible to drop your heels

ask me how I know, it totally isnt because I tried sizing down on one of these long bikes and it didnt really work

honestly they should probably make the altitude a little smaller too since jesse and remi have said its too big and end up running angle sets and what not
  • 2 2
 @NoahJ: 100% I'm 5'6, I have a 2015 Enduro evo, reach is 405mm, with 423mm chainstays, it's perfect for me. Hopefully I can keep it going cause you can't buy anything like it now.
  • 2 7
flag eugenux (Sep 14, 2022 at 23:54) (Below Threshold)
 @ybsurf: nope.. just a living proof that big reach and wb works.
Someone below/above said that, at 5.8, his ideal reach is 405. That's less than I had on my 27.5 xc hardtail from a couple of years ago(which was 414) and that felt incredibile short back then. These days, anything under 450mm reach feels like a toy bike. Like I have said, big reach and wb works..PRs everywhere.. even when I'm not trying really hard. I guess, being a mediocre rider helps.
On one hand, I wish I would be a faster rider like most of the guys here but, at the same time, being slow really works with modern bikes so, I have that going for me. Wink
  • 1 2
 You can always just size down. I hope this thing gets 530mm of reach on size XL. Would be cool if for once they made a bike that fits tall people.
  • 7 0
 in frame storage in front of the water bottle mounts? and no headset cable routing Smile
  • 6 0
 For years they said the frame was optimized with areospace technology. Not an ounce heavier than necessary, they said. As I look down at the enormous hole in the downtube, all I can think is that they lied and I was the sucker who believed it
  • 7 0
 Full carbon, Slayer facemask decals, etc, but "can't confirm it will make it to production"...
  • 7 0
 Rocky stop making sexy bikes, im broke as fuck because of you
  • 8 3
 When is the ride 69 chip coming out?
  • 3 0
 I'll hold out for the ride 96
  • 3 0
 @pdxjeremy: ride 69 sounds more exciting…
  • 1 0
 Ride 68, ride 69 you eat sh@t!!
  • 2 0
 @vonroder77: you’re doing it the wrong side around Big Grin
  • 2 0
 What are peoples’ opinions on those Shimano XT flats? I’ve only had one try on them on a demo bike with destroyed pins. Seemed to spin real nice and bigger than Specialized Bennies, but also seemed chunky
  • 1 0
 I loved mine, The pins were kinda dumb and proprietary, but they had great grip and huge platforms with a nice thin profile. Uncharacteristically, after nearly five years of daily use, the end of the spindle that the preload nut lives on, suddenly broke off during my ride home and I had to pedal 15 miles with a pedal that would suddenly slide off the spindle. They haven't been in stock since so I can't replace them.
  • 1 1
 Okay, not as good as Deftraps or TMacs.
  • 1 1
 Pedals & saddles are all about personal preference. I am probably in the minority but I hate concave pedals and the Shimano XT flats that I tried were concave and thus terrible for me.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: I don't know, I really don't ride flats a lot, mostly on my commuter, my other bikes with flats have Chesters (fat bike) and some Bontrager Lines (the plastic ones, another commuter) Compared to those, they have larger platforms and (did) spin nicer. The Bontrager's have incredible grip, but they use some small m2 screws from the underside and they're tall and very sharp, but I don't think they'll have great long term durability, but so far they've held up ok. I ride the Chesters like three times a year, so I don't have a real opinion of them. I had Chromag Contacts for a long time on my Chromag Rootdown, I'd say the XTs have slightly less grip then those. I do use them on my commuter, but my commute usually includes about six miles of single track, and up to about eight miles depending on the route I take.
When I can get more XTs I will buy them.
  • 1 0
 @wyorider: I have deftraps now and I’m very impressed by them for how much they were. Good to know, thanks
  • 1 0
 @sjma they didn’t get much love because of the issues with the previous generation, but I’ve been using the new RaceFace Atlas pedals for months now on a few different bikes (DH, DJ, trail) and I’m super impressed with them so far. Excellent feel and grip, much better shape and size than TMacs (which I think are too square and snag on rocks/roots too much), and clearly can take abuse from all the types of riding I’ve used them for. The last cherry on top is that they’re a complete breeze to service, easier than any other pedal I’ve had in the past.
  • 3 0
 Their is a new 2023 slayer so don't try to fool us....we know this is the one and it is coming soon! lol Looks too much like the old one to me though.
  • 7 0
 feel bad for shops that got the 2022 Slayers a month ago... they'll need to be slashing prices to sell them.
  • 10 0
 @jaydawg69: trick question. No one got 2022’s
  • 2 0
 @jaydawg69: Killer deals coming soon.
  • 2 0
 @usedbikestuff: local bike shop got about 6 of them last month. Altitudes do out sell the Slayers even in the North Shore
  • 3 0
 Agreed - I am sure there have been meaningful changes, but overall this design looks nearly identical to the prior generation.

Carbon rear bits + in frame storage. Otherwise, more of the same.
  • 5 0
 150% not the Pinkbike test bike
  • 1 0
 It actually surprises me that they still make the Slayer with how capable the Altitude has become. With all the $$$ that goes into developing a new bike it seems a little odd. What is the Slayer's category, "freeride"? Is there a big enough market to justify it? I don't see a lot of those bikes where I live BUT that doesn't mean I'm right about this. Just posing the question.
  • 3 0
 What was wrong with the current model?
  • 3 8
flag wyorider (Sep 14, 2022 at 15:43) (Below Threshold)
 Other than breaking rear ends??
  • 1 0
 Nothing; my Slayer 29" is awesome!
  • 6 0
 @wyorider: bro you ride a yeti lmao
  • 7 3
 review tomorrow
  • 3 0
 Love seeing pads wrapped around the ridiculous tailgates on newer trucks.
  • 5 2
 cut a hole in the downtube, put a plastic lid over hole, call it new.
  • 2 0
 I like the positioning of the storage in the downtube relative to the bottle cage
  • 5 3
 Carbon frame means it most certainly is going into production.
You don’t do trial and error with molds.
  • 2 0
 it says "no animals alone, something something" on the wall anyone decipher? thats the real spy shots
  • 1 0
 Ha, that's the secret BC Ferries message. I think it probably said, "No animals allowed above deck" or something like that.
  • 3 0
 Looks a lot like the old Slayer to me. Lol.
  • 1 0
 they could easily design(also in their backyard :-)) ) and sell it as an extra , a triangular frame bag just to take advantage the space in this front triangle.
  • 4 2
 Wooo Whooo love me some downtime storage 

Blank Stare
  • 1 0
 Those look like carbon chainstays and possibly carbon seatstays too; the current model has aluminum.
  • 2 0
 i would appreciate a full aluminum model Smile
  • 2 0
 Looks ike a Mk1 Furious....
(Joke BTW)
  • 2 0
 Wade’s truck in his garage?
  • 2 0
 Isn’t it supposed to be 190mm front and back?
  • 2 2
 It is beautiful,just saying ,and if it coming with a new coil marzochi 38 it will be the best ever (c’on marzochi make that thing please,please ,please )
  • 2 0
 Anyone know what the rear mudguard is on the other bike?
  • 2 0
 clever, radical updates. Tundra on the ferry with Wade.
  • 2 0
 IT MIGHT HAVE MAGNETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 My sources tell me this entire redesign was centered around the new place to put your beer by the bottom bracket
  • 2 3
 From my vantage point, Rocky Mountain seems to be a disappearing brand. This is from the non-North shore areas of Greater Van.

I don't see many riding them ... maybe it's stock, price, or availability?
  • 4 0
 I'm out in Alberta and they are everywhere. So many Slayers and Altitudes.
  • 1 1
 @jsnfschr: Now that you mention, I recall a former RM employee saying they were popular in the USA too.
  • 2 0
 bad take
  • 1 0
 Not sure whats a rarer site, the new Slayer or the Powerplay beside it.
  • 2 2
 Dog leg seat tube. No sale. And I assume it has a derailleur, so I won't buy it twice.
  • 1 0
 Please, please, please make one in aluminum!!!
  • 1 1
 No matter no ho when price will be $4500us for frame and lees time hits 2025 delivery 2027
  • 1 0
 SPOTTED - Continental tyres hooking up great at Hardline.
  • 1 1
 It's a Rocky, so you know it's going to be pretty sensible and well rounded. In all regards except for the price.
  • 1 0
 Vans are always better @mikekazimer Wink
  • 1 0
 Apocalyptic zombie hyena’s
have also been spotted Smile
  • 2 2
 Where did they hide the motor?
  • 2 2
 No chainstay brace ….it’s gonna break
  • 1 0
 I miss the stiffness of chainstay braces
  • 2 2
 who has a spyshot of the new specialized enduro.
  • 1 0
 That's a leaky boat...
  • 3 4
 Stop making "freeride" bikes with DH bike geometry
  • 3 1
 awful take
  • 1 2
 @deknarp: awfully good take tbh
  • 4 7
 Please refrain from posting pictures of orange bike parts.
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