Bike Evolution: Rocky Mountain's Slayer from 2001 to Today

Aug 30, 2019 at 15:28
by Mike Levy  
Rocky Mountain Slayer evolution
Rocky Mountain Slayer evolution

Rocky Mountain recently released their 2020 Slayer, a long-travel, hit-all-the-things carbon fiber bike with up to 180mm of suspension and a head angle that can dip as low as 63-degrees. It's what some might call a 'no excuses' bike that you could use instead of a downhill rig, and especially if Rampage-worthy moves are the goal. Freeride might not be dead, but the Slayer could even pop up for some EWS racing as well.

Go back nearly two decades to the first Slayer, pictured above, and it's hard to see the resemblance.

2001 - 2002: That bike had 120mm of travel and had to be good at everything when it was released back in 2001. Cross-country? Yes. Ridiculous, neck-snapping wheelie drops to flat? Yes, and you better do them a few times. These days, I could come up with all sorts of excuses if I was aboard that OG Slayer, but it was known as a burly, capable bike in the period.

With its horizontally-mounted shock bolted to the toptube, the first Slayer also looked a lot like the cross-country focused Element. That bike had 100mm of travel, though, and the Slayer was manufactured using Easton's RAD aluminum tubing that was intended for more aggressive riding. There was also a different '3D' linkage to bump the travel up to 120mm via a coil-sprung shock from Fox, despite coils not being cool until around 2017. The single-pivot, linkage-driven suspension layout seems primitive now, but it was par for the course in 2001, as were the bushing issues that many riders seemed to run into.

While the Slayer was intended for more aggressive use than the pure cross-country bikes, it was only a touch slacker at 70.5-degrees up front. That sounds scary now, sure, but it's not all that bad if you don't know any better.
Rocky Mountain Slayer evolution
2003 saw the Slayer get a new tubeset, gain some sealed bearings, and lose some weight.

2003 - 2005: The Slayer would appear to stay largely the same from 2003 to 2005, but there were some major changes to be seen if you took a second look. The new Easton custom Bi-Oval RAD tubing replaced the previous frame's more square-shaped tube shapes, and Rocky Mountain ditched the troublesome bushings in favor of sealed bearings at every pivot location. Travel stayed at 120mm, but they bolted on a Fox Float RL shock with a lockout lever and stuck a 130mm-travel Marzocchi Z1 on the front of it.

From the first model in 2001 to the 2005 version, the Slayer was a very conventional-looking machine. Double-diamond frame, pencil-like tubing used to build the rear-ends, and the shock attached to the underside the toptube. Yawn. But 2006 saw an all-new, much more capable Slayer from Rocky.

2006: While the bike still used a linkage-driven, single-pivot suspension system, it made the old design look prehistoric in comparison. There was 152mm of travel via an air-sprung shock from Fox, and it came specced with a 150mm fork. The tubes were heavily hydroformed and the bike looked the part, even if there seemed to be a few too many speed holes in the middle of it. More importantly, the geometry took about ten steps forward; the head angle was 68-degrees, and the seat tube was at 73-degrees. Reach? That wasn't invented yet.


The LC2R-equipped Slayer debuted in 2006 and offered 152mm of travel, a 68-degree head angle, and much better looks.


2007: Rocky must have known they were onto something with the new Slayer because there were more updates the following year as well. Travel was bumped up to 160mm via the LC2R linkage (Low Center Counter Rotating) and as good as speed holes are, they cleaned up the suspension area and added a set of carbon fiber seatstays. Aside from the geometry, which wasn't changed from the previous year thanks to adding 10mm of travel to the front, the 2007 Slayer frame wouldn't look all the out of place today.

2007 also saw the Slayer line split, with a burlier, slacker SS model intended for slope riding and a women-specific model added to the range.

SmoothLink suspension came to the Slayer in 2011, as did a slacker head angle and steeper seat angle. Rocky Mountain was way ahead of the curve with their Straight Up geometry.


2011 - 2014: The next time Rocky would start over with the Slayer would be in 2011 when it saw yet another wholesale change, this time going to a more conventional-looking layout with a vertical shock, 165mm, and heavily hydroformed tubing. LC2R was swapped for SmoothLink, a four-bar system that saw Rocky Mountain place the axle pivot above the dropout instead of below where it was more commonly seen. The bike also received their Straight Up geometry that saw a 75-degree seat tube angle used back in 2011, even if the reach wasn't extended to match.

At the time, many other bikes had seat angles that were 3 to 4-degree steeper. It was slacker at the other end, too, with Rocky relaxing the handling with a 66.5-degree head angle.


Rocky Mountain Slayer evolution
The Slayer SS, short for slope style, had 100mm of travel and quicker handling.



There was a new Slayer SS as well. Kind of. The mini-Slayer had 100mm of travel and compact, fast-handling geometry for Geoff Gulevich and Jarrett Moore, but only for them - the new SS stayed a prototype until 2013.

2017 - 2020: Rocky kept both the standard and the slope Slayers around and unchanged for 2014, but the name was left out of their catalog for the following two years. That brings us to the recently retired 2017 Slayer, a 165mm-travel, 27.5" wheeled bike (it could also do something called 26+ that never took off) that stood out for its unique combination of incredible pedalling abilities (at the cost of small bump compliance) and relaxed handling.


Rocky Mountain Slayer evolution
This version showed up in 2017 on 27.5" wheels and with 165mm of travel.


It wasn't universally loved, but it was the right tool for a certain kind of rider who valued efficiency and still wanted capable geometry and plenty of travel. It seems like there weren't many of those people, however, as this version was put out to pasture for latest Slayer that was released only a few weeks ago.


2020 Rocky Mountain Slayer


Depending on how you see it, that makes for at least eight different iterations of Rocky Mountain's Slayer if you include that newest model. Do you have a favorite?


142 Comments

  • 51 1
 OMG this hits me right in the feels with nostalgia! I have drooled over everyone of those versions in their day. "Cross-country? Yes. Ridiculous, neck-snapping wheelie drops to flat? Yes, and you better do them a few times." Oh man that brings me back!!!
  • 90 1
 Anyone else remember mashing on the pedals for that wheelie drop only to have your 3x8 drivetrain do something horrible and send you over the drop headfirst?
  • 22 0
 @gibspaulding: Ohhhh yeah. I ended up replacing the big ring with a Tooth Fairy bash ring, then abandoning the small gear and using the front derailleur as a chain guide of sorts. Rocking the 1x9 back in 2000. Wish we had some bigger range cassettes back then.

And man, those THE fenders. I grew up riding in Minnesota and I wanted one of those so bad for the spring thaw mudfest.
  • 9 0
 @James2785:

I was one of those 1X8, 1X9 guys too! Back in the day, my hucker of choice was an Evil Imperial that was 100% on trend - 1X, reverse mullet (26/24!), plus (24X3 Gazza out back!), wide rims (doublewides!) hardcore hard tail. That was a very different, but very fun time in MTBs, particularly if you were young in New England and had a shop discount.
  • 7 0
 @Glenngineer: I ran an 03 Bullit with a Super T, 26" Single Track up front with Gazza 2.6, 24" Double Track out back with a 3.0 Gazza, Hayes Nines with 8" rotors, an XTR 2x9 drivetrain with a Profile Racing bash guard, Easton Flatboy pedals, a THE steel stem, Azonic World Force risers, a WTB saddle, and a Thomson seatpost. The thing probably weighed about 40 lbs but I was just so happy to have a pimped out bike at the time. lol
  • 3 0
 @Glenngineer: Mine is a '99 Gary Fisher Paragon, which is absolutely a XC race bike. Or was... I raced XC in high school back then, but hucked it off anything I could find doing my best North Shore impressions and had to replace a lot of parts. It is hanging in my garage now with that 1x9 setup, some massive Mavic wheels with WTB Velociraptors, and a 30mm riser bar that is absolutely tiny by today's width standards.

It was definitely a different time back then. I do not miss v-brakes at all.

What do you think about the new Box 9 speed drivetrain that is out?
  • 5 0
 @gibspaulding: nah man! Single ring front sandwiched with bashgaurds since 2001
  • 2 0
 @James2785:

I honestly think the gear jumps on the Box drivetrain are too extreme...managing your pedal stroke and cadence is one thing, but I'm worried that even with a 9 speed architecture, you could get into a situation where your bending cassette cogs, ripping off teeth, or mangling chains if you're not careful.

I'm more interested in the Microshift stuff - 11-42 is plenty around Chicago, where I live now, and I think builds a more sensible cassette. And if it doesn't work... its cheap. When my NX setup blows up on the fatbike, I was thinking of trying it out there...
  • 2 1
 @James2785: I think Box is a game changer. I remember not eating lunch in school to save my lunch money for replacement drivetrain parts that all costed way too much. Now for $180 you can get an entire drivetrain that is functional and durable!?!? AND I can retroactively upgrade all my old bikes!?!? I love it. Currently I'm running 11s Box Two and love it.
  • 4 0
 @makripper: and people think a one by drivetrain is something new.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: ha! I had an 01'( I can't even remember what year ! ) Bullet with a Monster T with a similarish build. Like you said, I was just so happy to have pimped out bike too. Wasn't too happy when my foot would slip off the old Primo bmx pedals and shin me tho, terrible memories!
  • 2 0
 Oh man. All the memories of the huckin' days - Banshee DH bike with Azonic cranks and bar, Jr T... Spesh Big Hit with halo wheels and 24" rear... Azonic DH bike with Monster T... Ellsworth Aeon with Z1... Kona HT with 1x9 and a Manitou Minute. So many good bikes, such a good time.

All with flat pedals and all the bloody shins.

Thanks Pinkbike for such cool articles.
  • 7 0
 Obviously terrible quality but here are some screenshots of my little brother sending it on the 2001 Slayer. That thing was so friggen bombproof.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/269046

www.pinkbike.com/photo/351848

www.pinkbike.com/photo/351849
  • 2 0
 @Glenngineer: 1x8 was the way back then. Could never figure out why everyone was running triples and doubles up until narrow wide just a few years ago. And who really needs Eagle?
  • 1 0
 @Sshredder: I guess people weren't hard enough to run the best - the Envy inner bash ring was the game changer.
  • 1 0
 Anyone ever get way too carried away with their coil shock rebound settings and getting flung off the saddle upon landings? Talk about being over-enthusiastic.
  • 40 1
 Old bikes are terrible. The 2017 still looks raddest.
  • 18 1
 I actually really like the 2011. I have a weakness for overbuilt, industrial-looking, aluminum bikes and bash guards.
  • 10 0
 2017 for me too. beautiful machine, wish they'd kept the general look of it.
  • 1 0
 @gibspaulding: I like that stuff too, just not olde tyme geo and suspension. I have a soft spot for Orange bikes, even though I'll probably never buy one.
  • 3 0
 I love my 2018. DHX2 coil on the rear, MRP Ribbon coil up front. Small bump compliance is not an issue and I can ride it anywhere and everywhere from full DH track runs to all day pedal fests. Only issue I really have is the reach on my L is a little short and you really have to be over the front to keep it weighted evenly or else you risk washing out the front.
  • 2 0
 @JesseE: oh man! 2000 model Orange Patriot built with JrT's was a lust worthy machine, original 4 piston hopes and XT 1x9
  • 1 4
 looks like a session
  • 2 0
 @slayerdegnar: no it doesn't, c'mon man
  • 20 1
 I had the 2001 Rocky Mountain Slayer. It was my first full suspension trail bike. I spent so much time buying new pivot bolts & linkages for it. It sheered those damn bolts off regularly. You couldn't get the linkage bolts to stay in with any amount of locktite & torque. They'd stay tight for some random time, then spin out in an instant mid-ride then sheer off as they backed out.
The bolt that held the linkage to the shock bent on the regular too. Really enjoyed beating that thing out monthly & going to the hardware store for more.

People now have NO IDEA how hard mountain biking was back then. I've lubed the chain & tightened down a few bolts on my Process 153SE in the 8 months of heavy riding I've done.

The Zoke fork though...oh, I get damn near misty eyed thinking about that precious piece of squish!!!! Big Grin
  • 4 0
 Yes ! I had to keep a handful of those on hand for my 2001 Edge, which was the same bike but in a lower spec with coil shock. I loved it though.
  • 2 0
 my RMX was the same, i was pretty broke when i got mine (used) and issues with the linkage and the linkage bearings made it financially unsustainable for me to keep biking at the time. i havent really looked at rocky mountains since, but that new slayer does look nice and jesse sure makes them look fast and capable
  • 3 0
 @DARKSTAR63: I also had the Edge! mine was a total frankenbike with a Z1 I loved the thing. Even took it to MSA once! That was the bike that got me back into hardcore MTB
  • 3 0
 Had the 01’ as well and the same experience! Called it the rainbow trout because of the cool multi colored metal flake paint. Thankfully bikes have come a long way since then!!!
  • 1 0
 Oh gosh...trying to think. Maybe I had the Edge now that I think about it.

I was so excited to get that thing and thought it was the "answer", but nope.

Actually just found the expansion lug for that THE fender in the shed last weekend.
  • 3 0
 Spot on. I had an '01 too. Linkage plates would fold over and get wedged. Oh and those Magura brakes needed a bleed "at the trailhead* before every ride. At least they had awesome threaded syringes back then...wish they still did.
  • 2 0
 The threads were aluminum for the top pivot of the seat stays on my 2001. Steel bolts into aluminum threads in that location were a disaster. I quickly decided to drilled them out and installed steel helicoils of an appropriate size. I also cut some fiber washers by hand to remove the slop. It worked great and never loosened like that awful stock pivot design!
  • 23 1
 The 2017 Slayer with the yellow/blue color scheme as shown is one of the best looking bikes ever made.
  • 9 0
 Like @bizutch I had the OG 2001 Slayer inherited from my wife. It had a speckled black frame; Marzocchi QR20 Z1 and truly awful Clara brakes that needed constant tending. The linkage bolts needed constant retightening also. I rode that thing down PHD in Pemberton when that trail was new which was pretty startling when older me now stops to think about it.

Subsequently I ovalized the BB and RMB offered a warranty replacement so I swapped the frame for an Element. That Element was ridden for another 6 good years until I donated it to a deserving person.

My neighbour also had a 2001-vintage Slayer (actually bought in 2003 or thereabouts). She had it hanging in her garage for the longest time until she asked me to find someone deserving to take it over. I refurbished that Slayer and donated some more modern parts, swapped in new brakes to it plus new tires (the old tires were pretty far gone just from age). Then found a broke trailbuilder who needed a bike and made a donation.

By no means were they the best bikes of their time. And perhaps it's because we knew no better, but we had fun on them. And that has to count for something.
  • 2 0
 Bought a Slayer SXC in 2007 after „decades“ of riding and racing hardtails – even though it was fickle as f... to get the rear suspension working I had a blast on the bike and it reinstilled my love for riding mountainbikes. Two or three years before I nearly stopped riding because it was all about training and I totally lost the desire to get out and ride for fun.

But it was also my last Rocky Mountain because the german/european distributor was a nightmare to deal with when a part of the bike broke first ride. So I swore to myself to not buy any of their product as long as „bike action“ is in charge of distribution here in Germany.
  • 13 0
 These articles are great. Thanks Mike.
  • 3 0
 Agreed, very entertaining read!
  • 9 0
 "The bike also received their Straight Up geometry that saw a 75-degree seat tube angle used back in 2011, even if the reach wasn't extended to match."

Could argue that the reach did increase, because you could ride a larger frame and not be all stretched out because of that steeper seattube.

"At the time, many other bikes had seat angles that were 3 to 4-degree steeper. It was slacker at the other end, too, with Rocky relaxing the handling with a 66.5-degree head angle."

I think that should be "3 to 4-degree slacker".
  • 12 1
 Long live the Slayer. The 2017 generation is one of the most beautiful and capable bikes I've ever ridden.
  • 5 0
 I don't understand the negativity towards the 2017. Every review of the 2020 throws the 2017 under the bus, while at the time the 2017 was launched to really positive feedback. The '18 I'm on is an amazing bike. It sits in the sweet spot of all day trail bike and downhill monster. I would have loved the 2020 to be an evolution of that theme but with the Maiden leaving the lineup, I think Rocky was forced to move the Slayer to dedicated park bike.

I think the 2017 is the FJ cruiser of bikes. Popular when launched, sales dropped off pretty quickly and cult following (and expensive) once gone.
  • 1 0
 this will be the Transition Sentinel in 2 years.
  • 1 0
 The 2017 was an excellent big travel bike for its intended audience of people who want a gnarly bike that pedals really well. The super high antisquat on this bike is in my opinion why the Rocky EWS team were riding the instinct for races (not because of the wheel size). That made the sales plummet since consumers by what pros are riding even though the majority would benefit from the higher antisquat bike..
  • 4 0
 Man...bikes have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. I wonder if we are within the diminished innovation slope. Kind of like cells phone hit a while back (it's kind of mostly somewhat the same but a bit better every year).
  • 5 1
 Hard to believe how hideous bikes looked less than decade ago. That goes for all brands and makes, not just Rocky Mountain. Aesthetically, MTBs today look great.

*Fast-forward to 2029*

Ugh, bikes in 2019 were the ugliest I've ever seen.
  • 1 0
 It's not a linear development though
  • 2 0
 Had one of those THE front fenders back in the day. Thought it looked hardcore moto style at the time - how embarrassing. Didn't even work very well.
  • 7 0
 Slayer, for those who like their metal hard AF.
  • 3 0
 The 2004 Slayer was my first Full Suspension bike... In 2013. Bought it for $400, sold it for $350 4 years later! It had been converted to 1x10 XT drivetrain, had all the shock bolts/bushings replaced, ran 26x2.4 Ardents and was using a front brake lever upside down for the rear. Although I kept the shock/fork lubricated, I never once opened up the suspension... the Slayer shrugged it off and kept slaying.

Moving to a modern Process with a stiff AF chassis, dropper post, good brakes, bigger tires, forgiving geo, basically better everything... It was a treat. However, my Slayer still retains some PRs to this day on some really punchy technical XC stuff. I attribute that to its lighter weight (30 lbs) and its shorter, more efficient travel. Makes me want to look into demoing a Ripmo or Hightower instead of pursuing drool inducing Enduro Sleds (i.e. new Slayer). I love to plow gnar, but there's something satisfying about climbing aboard a thoroughbred climber.

Check out my albums for pics!
  • 3 0
 Slayer was a great band before they kicked out Dave Lombardo. Then Jeff Hanneman died, leaving that poor band with the 2 bastards who are Kerry King and Tom Araya. Fortunately they`re retired now.

No, seriously, I still ride my 2008 Slayer in bike parks and harsh enduro terrains and I still love it. Updated with a 170mm RS Lyric and top components it keeps on being a do-it-all bike, even if the geometry doesn`t stick to the latest standards.

Reign in Dirt!!!
  • 2 0
 I worked for a Rocky dealer in the early 00s and toured the factory in late 2000. We saw some prototypes, including a "Reaper FS". It of course was the 1st gen Slayer. I already had a Reaper and loved it. Ordered the Slayer as soon as it was available.
  • 2 0
 I use to race my rocky mountain soul hardtail in dh and xc races alongside Norbraten in high school. I took the seat off for downhill races and put on my THE fenders and always rode with the beartrap pedals. He zipped by on a santa Cruz bullet!!!
  • 3 0
 You raced with no seat?
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: he was preparing to get robbed by Norbz
  • 2 0
 Always liked the 2006 Slayer. A good design is always good. It made me excuse the too steep head angle and perhaps a few other geometry related issues. If a current version of it was made, it would equally make me excuse whatever relatively minor non-optimal characteristics the bike might have.
  • 2 0
 Memory lane. I have had more RMs over the years than any other brand. Owned the '07 (stolen so I didn't have it long enough to fall in love) and '13 versions of the Slayer. Both were great bikes. The last one was named Jeff as a tribute to Jeff Hanamen.
  • 2 0
 Slayer didn’t really become the 1 bike maniac machine it’s known to be until Rocky retired the original Pipeline and then the Switch/Switch SL. I had 2 Pipelines and a Switch SL over a 5 year span and rode them almost daily at Big Sky. They were bombproof. I always loved the name Slayer but the bikes didn’t live up to the name until the LC2R models... when the Slayer took over for the Switch and finally was the slay all whip it always should have been. I had 09 model then a ‘12 and finally a ‘13. The ‘09 was the last Rocky Mountain bike I drooled over. If you’ve never seen one, the craftsmanship of the frames is incredible. Then they moved the production overseas and the frames were just frames and nothing special. Those Taiwan Slayers still rode amazing but they just lost that drool worthy “I’m just going to drink some beer and stare at this amazing frame all night that some Canadian dude spilled his soul into designing and made sure the welds were absolutely perfect.” factor.
  • 3 0
 I rented the 2017 version in Squamish last year, and I really liked it. Hope the new one keeps the relaxed feeling, pedaling-friendly yet shred it all machine.
  • 5 0
 My old bike on the front page of Pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 The 2006 Rocky Mountain Slayer looks like the 2020 Specialized Enduro, and the 2020 Rocky Mountain Slayer looks like the 2010 Specialized Enduro, do I miss something in the history?
  • 1 0
 Didnt have the money to buy a new, high end mountain bike but picked up a used 2007 Slayer SXC 70 beginner of summer. After bringing it back to life the thing still rips and rides just as hard as anyone else's brand new enduros. That Fox DHX 4.0 Air is plush. And the article isn't wrong in saying "the 2007 Slayer frame wouldn't look all the out of place today". Certainly was ahead of its time. That said, I'd be okay with parting ways with it to get my hands on a lovely 2017 era Slayer.
  • 1 0
 Man, I remember drooling over the first gen Slayer back in the day. I was riding a Schwinn Moab 3 and was dying to upgrade to that sweet dual suspension bike with a badass metallic paintjob. Unfortunately, 15 year old me wasn't good enough at saving my Wendy's salary to make that dream come true...
  • 2 0
 The 2011 to 2014 model was way, way ahead of its time. I’d still ride one of these if I could find one in a large.
27.5 wheel in the front, offset bushings and a 1.5* angleset and it would rip!!
  • 1 0
 2001 does it for me always drooled at them never could afford them. Still have a perfectly good set of matching front and rear THE fenders. Had a 4in travel raleigh at the time looked like a kona of sorts. Then rm7 4 swingarms later got a kona broke seat tube. Had random bikes since. Now ragley mmmbop hardtail she rips!!!!
  • 1 0
 Love this article. Another terrifying thing about bikes of the turn of the millennium was that by 2002 or so we had them in the Bike Park and there was a feeling they were never designed for that kind of loading and you were just waiting for the entire front end to fall off. The reports in this thread about the screws unwinding on the Slayer are interesting as I don't recall that being a universal problem on other bikes at the time. The really exciting Rocky in 2001 of course was the RM6 as ridden by Wade and Richie et al which I think had 6" or 150mm of travel, a lot at that time. They were super cool but in the hands of the average punter they had problems with high stress joints due to the mechanical advantage of the suspension and resulting bearing failures. The Slayer geometry, which seems to have come along as the Element in earlier years must have been better, but too bad about the joints. People might be interested in this page: www.bikes.com/en/catalog-archive which has all the Rocky catalogs except unfortunately none from 2000-2008.
  • 4 0
 This needs to be a regular column! I propose do a throwback evolution of a different model once a month. Who's with me?
  • 1 0
 Yep old mountain bikes do look terrible, but I’ve only been into mountain bikes for about 7 years. Old motocross bikes from the 70s look awesome to me because my brothers and I used to race them, matter of perspective I guess
  • 1 0
 I don't get how old bikes were so odd. Looking back on it, my 2001 Norco Torrent ran single ring, short stem, DC forks, big brakes etc etc. Sure it cracked on every single weld, and was short but it was way more sorted than that original slayer. The 250cc frame that Norco replaced it with made a great dirtjumper hit everything beast.
  • 3 0
 Sweet to say that I have ridden 4 of these Slayer versions! Best bike ever!
  • 1 0
 eventually...
  • 2 0
 Something about the original just conveys a little more SLAYER to me. Maybe it's the funky looks, or increased chances or brutal mutilation?
  • 1 0
 I wanted a Slayer for my first FS bike. Ended up with a Trek Liquid 20 instead. I still have it and have been contemplating putting it back out on the trail. Just need to find some parts.
  • 1 0
 My 2011ish Slayer SS with 165mm and a RS Totem up front is still one of my all time favorites bikes and there's been alot over the decades, that frame was way ahead of its time
  • 2 0
 Ah man, the nostalgia thick. I had a 2006 Slayer, was sold to me by a LBS as the ideal Galby bike. Rad bike, but the pedal bob drove me insane.
  • 4 0
 That 2017 model is one of the nicest looking bikes ever.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. There is something about a straight line top tube/seatstay that just looks right aesthetically.
  • 1 0
 That SS in the article is not the 100mm bike. That came out later. The one photo is a 6" travel bike that was designed like a mini DH/Park bike. I still ride one today. Awesome bike if you don't have to pedal a lot.
  • 1 0
 "...despite coils not being cool until around 2017"

What? Air shocks have always been deeply uncool but prevailed once the manufacturers made them strong enough to deal with normal riding
  • 2 0
 I'd buy the 2020 slayer 29er if it was available.
@rockymountian
Size large in red please
  • 2 0
 It's available, I just bought my large C70 in red yesterday
  • 1 0
 @tattooedmillionaire: what?
Really? Both my local rocky dealers here in Portland Oregon say it wont be available till Sept. 20 and a frame isn't available till Feb 2020
  • 1 0
 Over time, the Slayer has been one of the best-looking full suspension bikes around. I only rode one once, though -- back at a demo in 2010. It was solid.
  • 2 2
 "the Slayer was manufactured using Easton's RAD aluminum tubing that was intended for more aggressive riding" tell that to the driveside chainstay on my buddies that I snapped riding off a curb in 2008
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez how can you put that on the brand when your friend was riding an older modal. How do you know he didnt crack it doing some dumb shit and it just finally snapped off the curb?
  • 1 0
 Model**
  • 2 3
 @mhoshal: I'm the one who broke it, when I was riding around the parking lot. It snapped at the weld, and you could see the weld was contaminated and just wasn't done properly. Cost me $200.
  • 1 0
 Those were recalled, I was working at a shop when it came out. So maybe it never got the updated unit? The bike also would have been 7 years old in 2008 ....
  • 1 0
 @DARKSTAR63: Probably past any recall expiration date then.
  • 2 1
 LOL How does the 2011-2014 (arguably the modern era, relatively speaking) frame look so much older and crappier than the previous iterations?
  • 2 0
 I like the black and yellow one. I'd rather have high antisquat than small bump compliance, but that's just me.
  • 3 0
 2017 model looks amazing still!!! Better looking than the new one
  • 1 0
 Nothing like a 68 degree head angle and a 120mm stem to keep your heart rate up. Having your hand almost over the front axle is pretty scary.
  • 1 0
 such good article! that 2001 slayer was a dream bike when i started riding in 2001, at the age of 12. used to pore over these catalogues
  • 1 0
 The original Slayer is like my first hammer it worked but only oh so well, this new Slayer is the same as my ax hammer it just slays everything in its path
  • 2 0
 My ride is still a 2012 slayer. Super fun, I would upgrade but I have two kids????
  • 1 0
 Eventually the kids should grow into our bikes, then we get new ones. That's how I am upgrading drivetrain and brakes on my bikes. Trickle down the older stuff and dad gets new xtr.......
  • 2 0
 These bike evolution articles are the best, they show just how far bikes have come.
  • 1 0
 I used to have a 2005 Flow FS, which was basically the Slayer, but with a dirt jump fork. They only made it one year and there were very few sold I guess.
  • 1 0
 2017 model Slayer was just ahead of its time design wise, plus people were probably just waiting on a 29er version to arrive. Pity really as it is a seriously rad bike.
  • 5 3
 We are so lucky these days, old bikes were absolute rubbish by comparison.
  • 3 1
 it's like some Pokemon shit.
  • 1 0
 The Reign from that era looked even more identical iirc.
  • 1 0
 @jasminov: Do your homework ! Looks like a Trek why not but not a Reign !
  • 2 0
 You should show the evolution of price as well.
  • 1 0
 I absolutely love the most recent slayer frame, I'd 100% buy that if I needed a bike
  • 1 0
 I had a 2006 slayer with the linkage speed-holes. Super capable awesome bike back in the day, loved it.
  • 1 0
 18 years of evolution between 2 pictures. Conclusion: the new one is way smaller.
  • 1 0
 Sell one
  • 1 0
 I remember when the Rocky pro DH bikes were 4" & 4" ... with a Mr T fork ... " I pitty the fool"
  • 2 0
 11-14 had style, those slayer ss were badass.
  • 6 7
 > "The single-pivot, linkage-driven suspension layout seems primitive now."

Doesn't the brand new bike also use a "single-pivot, linkage-driven suspension layout"?
  • 4 0
 Pretty sure its a horst link design
  • 1 4
 Correct! 2017 was proper Horst 4-bar whatever, but the newest iteration is a single pivot with linkage driven sock actuation.
  • 1 4
 @the-joe: not the newest one. 2017-2020 was however.
  • 4 0
 WAIT, we are wrong. the new 2020 is NOT linkage driven single pivot. Rocky has just done a really good job of hiding the rear pivot.

Check this:

theloamwolf.com/2019/08/13/2020-rocky-mountain-slayer-bringing-freeride-back
  • 4 0
 No the joint is on the chainstay
  • 1 0
 @neilbarkman02: yeah, totally tucked away. In the low res photos it almost looks like a weld, but in that loam wolf article, there is an exploded view of the frame that clearly shows pivot underneath and before the axle. Pretty cool.
  • 5 0
 orange 2001 222 global racing single pivot:
www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/download/file.php?id=156012

orange 2019 327 sign pivot
www.orangebikes.co.uk/images/2019_bikes/large/327_RS_SO_2019-1200.jpg

looks like orange have evolved a little less in the same time.
  • 1 0
 Not single pivot.
  • 1 0
 @biglev: same with Kona...
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: ha, true!
  • 1 0
 I still have an '03 slayer frame..lol
  • 1 0
 Seems like a good platform to slide a POWERPLAY option on! Smile
  • 1 0
 This bike is for someone who lives really close to a Bikepark or Shuttles a lot. Powerplays have a very different target.
  • 1 0
 @Antoncor: People who can't afford lift tickets?
  • 1 0
 Powerplay is the shuttle! I have an powerplay element, and love to see the skater go that way!
  • 1 0
 2007 - slack seat angle, steep fork angle!
  • 4 3
 Its amazing how bad bikes were just 5 years ago.
  • 3 1
 think of what you'll say ten years from now!
  • 4 1
 @JohanG Not sure what you're talkin about I was riding a Kona Process and it's still a rad bike even today. If you're complaining about a five year old bike I think it's your taste and choice. There were several quality options out there 5 years ago that are still just as rad today. Must be people with mush brains choosing stupid options 5 years ago because the Kona Process line totally changed the world 6 years ago.
  • 3 1
 @JohanG : Poor idiot, you`ll say exactly the same stupid sentence in 5 years, don`t you know?
  • 1 1
 @Franzzz: 5 years ago I was road and cx racing and was unimpressed with the mountain bike offerings. When geometry changed, I got one. Now I have five.
  • 1 0
 Where are the tire valves on the SS!!??
  • 1 0
 Am I'm old seeing all brand new?
  • 1 0
 3 X lol what shit we used to pedal.
  • 1 0
 Good design & ride feel........2006 Smile
  • 1 0
 What would todays RM6 or RM7 look like? Thats the real question.
  • 1 0
 How do you give it the same name with such different cushioning systems?
  • 1 0
 i miss JASON the whelder....
  • 1 2
 From the first and second modelsWink —it could be said that this year's model is the finest in sightSmile

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