Rocky's Prototype Carbon DH Bike - World Cup DH, Leogang

Jun 11, 2015 at 13:42
by Mike Levy  



Rocky Mountain's Carbon DH Bike

It's been four years since Rocky Mountain began working on a replacement for their Flatline, a downhill bike was certainly capable of going quick in a straight line over ground that looks more like a boulder field than a race track, but also one that was a bit chubby and didn't offer the agility of some of the competition. The prototype that will eventually replace the Flatline has been spotted a handful of times now, including at last year's Red Bull Rampage event, where some close-up photos showed much of the aluminum bike's details.

But then it all went quiet. The bike wasn't seen after Rampage, and Rocky Mountain wasn't too keen on telling anyone when the new machine would break cover, if it would be similar to Gully's 26'' wheeled bike, a completely new design, or something carbon. Turns out that it's something carbon, and that it might possibly fit both 26'' and 27.5'' wheels.


Rocky Mountain prototype carbon DH bike


The prototype shown here is being raced at the Leogang World Cup and sports very similar lines to the rig that Gulevich rode at Rampage, but the aluminum front triangle has been abandoned in favour of a carbon fiber version, no doubt to shave weight and increase strength. Rocky Mountain has also used carbon for the bike's entire rear end, including the massive rocker link that also appears to be carbon fiber.

Rocky divulged that there were over twenty different rideable prototypes that came out of their own machine shop in Vancouver, Canada, and that they have been experimenting with four distinct takes on everything from wheel paths, geometry, rate curves, pivot designs and other technical points: ''We've worked hard to improve pedalling and square-edge performance, among other things,'' they said last year about the aluminum bike that Gully was competing aboard. ''We've also been honing in on pretty progressive geometry, and working on some developments around braking - allowing you to brake less and later,'' which is something that's going to have the ears of any racer perking up for more info.

And what about some fresh information on the carbon bike? Rocky Mountain's Brian Park did admit that the carbon machine pictured here isn't quite what we'll see make production, and also that it's far from just a carbon version of what we saw last year. That's all he was willing to say, but comparing the two bikes does reveal some interesting differences. The massively tall lower headset cup that was on Gully's 26'' wheeled bike isn't present on the carbon bike that sports 27.5'' wheels, which makes it pretty obvious that Gully's rig was actually a geometry test mule to dial things in before Rocky committed to a new mould for the carbon fiber model. That tall headset spacer, along with the multiple axle positions and a variation of their Ride-9 geometry adjustment system, also points towards Rocky likely going with a design that would allow consumers to run 26'' or 27.5'' wheels on the production bike, which is something that will likely win over a lot of riders and racers.
Rocky Mountain prototype carbon DH bike

Another notable difference between Gully's bike and the carbon version is the pivot design, which appears to be much more refined than what we saw last year. ''The pivots are dramatically different from what was on Gully's bike at Rampage,'' said Park when questioned about the obvious changes, although he stopped short of saying if the latest version still employs their ABC bushing system.

Exact geometry, weight, and travel numbers are still a guess at this point, but stay tuned for an exclusive look at Rocky Mountain's new downhill bike in the near future where we'll be going behind the scenes to get the story on the new bike.


139 Comments

  • 384 29
 Looks like a session.
  • 25 126
flag kmayHD (Jun 11, 2015 at 13:46) (Below Threshold)
 looks more like an ugly Operator.
  • 102 21
 It looks better than a Session IMO
  • 205 9
 No like all jokes aside, that legit looks like a Session.
  • 40 2
 I saw that bike at the fort william world cup and was unsure about what it was so I asked my friend, and he said he was pretty sure it was a session. hahah
  • 14 0
 Kd, I wasn't joking either!
  • 18 0
 It does, but it also looks a lot like a lot of other four bar bikes, that's really how four bar suspension works; simple and elegant (most of the time) Wink
  • 13 2
 I have a session and I think it looks like a session!
  • 57 1
 Knew this was going to be the top comment before I even scrolled down.
  • 22 0
 finally a bike which actually is looking like a session
  • 5 1
 It blows my mind how much it looks like a session!
  • 23 2
 I think it looks like a norco, which looks like a session so yeah
  • 16 4
 Yeah, but it's not a Trek, so that's good.
  • 8 2
 Norco Aurum?
  • 6 0
 Yep, Aurum
  • 9 0
 Honestly though it was an operator.
  • 3 0
 Looks like a session that's had a few too many pies..
  • 3 2
 already have seen them in whistler
  • 3 1
 well, there are only so many ways to design a four bar bike.... so some of them are going to end looking alike, that doesn't mean it will ride anything like a Session or Operator.
  • 2 0
 looks more like an aurum to me
  • 5 1
 @Gweggy neither trek nor kona have four bar linkages though...the aurum does.
  • 4 5
 kona operator carbon copy
  • 1 1
 likes like a four bar bike
  • 7 10
 all dh bikes look the same.
  • 6 1
 With a name like "ilove29" and a comment like that, I can't help but think you're trying to provoke some sort of response from the PB majority.
  • 5 1
 Clearly said by someone unfamiliar with Ellsworth.
  • 1 0
 @Fufi7 in addition, trek has ABP concentric rear axle pivot Smile
  • 1 0
 and the only one with full floater lower shock mounting position
PS: not saying one is better than the other, just different Wink
  • 1 7
flag ilove29 (Jun 12, 2015 at 16:23) (Below Threshold)
 Idk ethier with the name codfather but that was the best name I can think of. P.S. 29ers are the future
  • 2 0
 @ilove29 wasn't 27,5+ the future or what? lol
  • 2 0
 If you're wondering about 650B plus and 29+ wait for events like the trans rockies or that mega-epic across costa rica whose name I forget... that's where you'll see the bikes being raced most, but I'm sure SOMEONE will do at least one enduro this year on one. All it'll take is one pro winning one big name event and poof, they'll all want them.
  • 84 1
 Things that went through my head:
1) Iron Horse
2) Kona Operator
3) Dang those seatstays are chunky
4) Antidote lifeline head tube area
5) Whoever put those tires should have made it look even better by lining the rim logo's up with the tire logo's
6) Dang this is sexy
7) Well done Rocky Mountain, It looks like a company has finally completely redesigned their bike instead of just making this 2 mm longer and that 3% stiffer.
  • 8 0
 Yeah looks fantastic!
  • 1 3
 Have to agree... but i think the rocker should be designen to conntect toptube and seatstay visually kind of an in-line-design ... with this rocker imo it looks a little cluttered or uncomposed in this specific area ...other than that good job Cheers
  • 1 0
 In theory it`s stiffer at those angles vs stays cross section vs weights , more "bone volume" at virtually same weight.it should be quality carbon, coming from RMB Wink
  • 1 0
 2mm longer and 3% stiffer... I'd buy it
  • 24 1
 "carbon fiver" I love carbon fiver...
  • 10 0
 And I thought carbon was expensive
  • 3 1
 Never heard of carbon fiver? It's all the rage like every other new MTB fad
  • 6 0
 It's a cross between fiber and fever
  • 14 1
 I've got carbon fever And the only cure is more cowbell.
  • 3 0
 But only if that cowbell is carbon.
  • 21 1
 The rear triangle looks a little outdated....must means it actually works good
  • 3 0
 Agree ! The over dimesionned pivot and mainly the "arch" at the back of the linkage reminds me Ellswoth bikes or old treks used by Mc Caul in NWD.
  • 14 1
 A company that is marketing a 26 Dh bike? #26willneverdie!!
  • 11 0
 Nice. RM has been missing a "big" bike from their website for far too long.

I was out last night enjoying a casual cruise with my kids on my RM9.
  • 2 0
 Awesome man I still ride an Rmx!!! Gotta love good ol thrust link!!
  • 2 0
 Yeah, I still have an RM7 too. Supermonsters on them both. I love the old-school huck machines...
  • 3 0
 Two set of Supermonsters thats awesome man I wish I could find a pair just to hang in my bike room. Im running 02 shivers. I love them but its getting super hard to find parts to rebuild them so I might have to downgrade to a newer fork lol
  • 12 1
 God or who/what ever the funk is on top/bottom, please Rocky come back in the Downhill world.
  • 13 1
 I like the fact that they are using Chromag furniture on it
  • 10 0
 Awesome looking bike... I'm selling my flatline
  • 6 0
 Im very interested to see how they implement their RIDE 9 system into this bike if they end up going ahead with doing that. Hopefully when it comes time for RM to roll this machine out for its first Press Release that we see both an Alloy and Carbon version for the consumer. Its a good looking bike.... but then again There really aren't many bad looking DH rigs anymore.
  • 3 2
 there are bad-looking DH bikes: Orange, Niner, the RM Flatline...
  • 3 0
 @vhdh666 Yes thank you. lol thats why I said there aren't "many" bad looking DH rigs...
  • 2 0
 No sir. That right there.... That's just FUBAR
  • 1 0
 @brockfisher05 Ghost, Solid, Propain, Nicolai ..... LOL
  • 11 1
 those pivots are MASSIVE
  • 9 0
 Who if anyone is riding it in the World Cup?
  • 1 2
 Remi Gauvin
  • 4 0
 Looks well made the rear end might be a little bigger than some other brands but in my opinion some downhill bikes these days don't look like they were made to last and a bit flimsy and if I was spending thousands on a carbon bike I would need it to last plus some new bikes bearings wear out pretty quickly so if its got hefty bearings in there its something else that might last longer
  • 4 1
 Bigger isn't necessarily better with bearings. They're just exposed to huge amount if dirt, mud, water etc. 3 truths in life - death, taxes, and bearings need replacing.
  • 2 0
 Well yes , mechanics show that geometry and position/type of bearings ( that should eat most of the "multi-axial" load) are proven more useful than beefy tubing. Well maybe it helps but up to a specific point; no wonders to be worked
  • 4 0
 Yeah I know they need replacing eventually but I've noticed a trend in the frames I have had that frames with smaller bearings seem to stop running as smooth quicker that's all
  • 6 1
 Who races rocky mountain? Seriously, other than gully, tippie, wade, the scandanavian sounding xc guy, and their other ambassadors does rocky have any WC racers?
I think it looks awesomely decent
  • 5 0
 thats Remi Gauvins bike...
  • 2 0
 ME, I'LL DO IT!? OOO, OOO, PICK ME!? PLEASEEEE? xD
  • 1 0
 thx neDHer
  • 3 2
 uuuuuuh.... what about the entire URGE BP RALLY TEAM?
  • 1 0
 Urge team is not wc
  • 2 0
 His first question was asking who raced for Rocky his second was if there were any world cup racers.
  • 1 0
 Remi races for them, in world cups. question = answered.
  • 10 3
 Thank fuck it's carbon, wouldn't have been any fun otherwise.
  • 4 0
 The aluminum version was ridden at redbull rampage last year so im pretty sure it still kicks ass too!!!
  • 7 2
 The test riders, the versions... the development, this is going to be way sicker than any Session. I want it already.
  • 6 1
 Just bring Cam Cole back on WC circuit and he will test it properly. His best performance was on RM bike
  • 5 0
 haah as soon as i saw that bike i already knew what the top comment was gonna be
  • 5 1
 I really love that thing. So burly to go with how clean & mean it looks. Very simple & elegant. Just need the Dorado up front & it'll be tits all around.
  • 6 1
 Looks like session and a operator had a baby.
  • 7 1
 Remi Gauvin FTW!!!
  • 5 0
 Burly frame .horst linkage. Good stuff. Rocky.
  • 2 0
 Everything looks the same but the suspension design is different. Aurum, Session, Operator Carbon, and now RM Flatline. Can't we make bikes look different from one another these days?
  • 5 0
 looks awesome !!!
  • 4 0
 It's like nothing I've ever seen before.
  • 4 0
 Said no one ever... Wink
  • 4 1
 Soooo...who races WC DH for Rocky Mountain? Who races DH for Rocky Mountain at all?
  • 1 1
 Remi Gauvin
  • 1 0
 so who does race WC's for rocky?
  • 3 0
 So, who is going to ride it?

And it needs the paintjob of Gully's prototype!
  • 2 2
 Rocky Mtb VP: " We need a new replacement for Flatline, Let's have a Session to discuss it"
Rocky Mtb design Team: " we got, we will design a Session but we will call it something else"
VP: "what is going cost us"
Design team: " nothing and we will only change few thing, then advertise the heck out it. A couple of months later everyone would have forgotten it looks like a Session"
VP: " do it "
  • 4 1
 Biggest rocker link… ever?
  • 20 1
 Surely biggest ever belongs to the Kona Stab?......or maybe even one of the Ellsworth's ?
  • 8 0
 For a brand new prototype bike, I would hope this means infinite hucking at least!
  • 2 0
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/1464
Ellsworth Dare, for sure. Bonus, first comment: "its more like a rear rectangle"
  • 3 0
 Hope its lighter than my flatline was
  • 3 0
 Great looking bike in my opinion
  • 1 0
 looks like this, looks like that -> looks good? i like it let´s see what the final outcome will be

already tested at fest series by vanderham, so it should work ;-)
  • 1 0
 Well you cant complain that the shock will get dirty from the back tire spray. Who cares how it looks in the stand, how does it ride?
  • 1 0
 It's not easy for me to read English, but I really don't understand what is bushing system. Any one helps me?
  • 2 0
 thanks a lot, now I understand.
  • 2 0
 Looks awesome. Eurobike presentation (hopefully)?
  • 2 2
 Ugly Ellsworth like seat stay bridge, other than that it's following suit with all other brands reasonably well - REALLY INNOVATIVE -_-
  • 2 0
 RM carbon frame equipped with BOS and Chromag? Yes, please!
  • 1 0
 thank goodness some sanity has come to RM, should be infinitely better than all of their previous dh efforts.
  • 2 0
 Dunno, I love my flatline...
  • 1 0
 Kona suspension from 1996.... looks like EVERY other bike, new rocky cube konas session and some more...
  • 2 0
 26 and 27.5 compatible? Why doesn't everyone do this?
  • 1 0
 hahahhaha i was looking the bike for a solid minute and damn.... i have to say its looks like a session..... hahahaha!!
  • 2 0
 Nice session that
  • 1 0
 Well..you all know what I'm going to say!!
  • 1 0
 you should make RM8 carbon.
  • 1 0
 Aurum, Session, Operator….
  • 2 0
 Looks like iron horse!
  • 2 0
 Session operator mix
  • 1 4
 Pretty sure this was developed in Seattle with UW's campus.... Saw some protos and they definitely went the wrong way by trying to take their aluminum design and transfer it to carbon.... Not confident that this flatline will stack up against other carbon bikes already on the market.
  • 5 1
 ktarr916: You are completely incorrect. Designed and developed in North Vancouver. And it is, in no way, a Flatline.
  • 1 0
 ^Yes Master... ouch.
  • 2 0
 Bushings? Ehhhhhhhhh!
  • 1 1
 yeah, i guess it would be cool if they made a universal-tunable kind of pivot system Smile
  • 2 0
 i like the chunky ones
  • 1 0
 I guess we have found the best suspension layout....
  • 1 0
 if a norco aurum and a trek session had a kid...
  • 1 0
 WTF boring. Almost every new bike looks the same….
  • 3 3
 And it doesn't look like a Session at all...
  • 3 3
 well that looks generic Frown
  • 1 0
 one more trek
  • 1 0
 Why pair it with Bos?
  • 1 0
 Want!
  • 1 0
 DIRT VADER.
  • 1 1
 Nice fucking chain length. Damn n00bs. Also...it's a fucking session.
  • 1 1
 Flatline ruined Frown
  • 1 2
 Norco?
  • 2 5
 am i the only one who thinks it looks really ugly?
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