BIKE TEST - ROCKY MOUNTAIN SLAYER 70
Where do you begin where Rocky Mountain are concerned? They are most definitely a company with some concrete history.
Bikes such as the Slayer that we see here, have been around since the early 2000’s. Back when Wade Simonds was aboard one. Back when freeride was king, the Rmx was a big hitter. The RM7 and RM9 also can’t go without a mention…. I could seriously go on all day here. So you get my point, the brand is very, very well established. When looking at the new Slayer you can see why.
Suspension and Chassis
Rocky Mountain have bolted together a quality looking piece of kit here. Upfront the Fox 36 EVOL GRIP performance fork keeps the stealth look going strong. With the black stanchion fork still performing to the usual Fox standards, it is a great start. The 170mm front fork is then complimented by the rear end, with more Fox gear on show.
The Fox Float X2 performance damper keeping the black on black look alive. This is then driven by a four bar linkage and Rocky Mountains RIDE-4 geometry adjustment system.
When looking at the overall size and fit that the Slayer has to offer, this Large bike was a decent shape. With the 444mm Reach not being that big, it does have just enough room for riders under the 6ft mark. The 64.7 degree head angle and 430mm rear stays also contributed to the fun feel of the bike.
SMOOTHWALL Carbon. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. RIDE-4 Adjustable Geometry. Fox Float X2 Performance
Fox 36 Float EVOL GRIP2 Performance Elite 170mm
Sram Code R - Sram Centerline 200mm rotors
Sram GX Eagle
Sram GX Eagle
Sram Descendent 7k Eagle 34T
Rocky Mountain Spirit Guide plus Bash
Race Face Atlas 820mm
Rocky Mountain 35 AM
Rocky Mountain Sealed Boost 15mm
Race Face AR 30
DT Swiss 370 Boost 148mm/Front Rocky Mountain sealed 15x110mm
Race Face Turbine R (by Fox) Dropper 30.9mm
WTB Volt Race
Maxxis Minion DHF, Aggressor WT EXO Tubeless Ready 27.5 x 2.5
Straight out of the box the Slayer is ready to go. The specification is pretty bomb proof, having nothing that would need changing in a rush. You may want to take a moment to take in the details on the Slayer here. The internal routing is superb. The paint finish is something to admire and the attention to detail where the aesthetics comes into play, is bang on.
Back to the ride of the bike. It is pretty clear after just a few runs, that Rocky Mountain have produced a very fun bike to ride. From its stiff and solid chassis, to the geometry on show, it points at play time. The size large that was supplied for this test came in with a 444mm Reach, -15 BB drop in the slack position (it never left this setting) and a 64.7 degree Head angle. These aren’t show stopping numbers, but they do make for a good combination. Having ridden the Instinct BC a year ago, it is almost like the Slayer pops in as a more sendy, park lapper that you can still go fast on. However the Instinct was a rocket ship designed to be aimed more towards racing.
With a mind set to suit the bike, smiles were always on show when taking in some laps over at Black Mountain cycle centre, in South Wales. If you know the place, then you will know why the Slayer feels at home there. Do not think of this as a one trick pony though, it can be pedalled uphill well enough that you can take it for a big day out. Don’t get me wrong, it's no Scott Genius going up, but it’s no slouch. The SRAM Eagle set up helps this no end.
When riding the Slayer, you do notice it is a stiff bike. This plays to its advantage on the smoother bike park terrain. Not all riding is like this, you will find the wide robust wheel set and the thick frame build will contribute to a harsher ride. It will slightly take its toll on your body when things are rough.
What can I say? It’s always tough trying to pick holes in something that is finished as well as the way that Rocky Mountain finish their bikes.
When looking at the bigger picture, the Slayer is not a massive bike. With the reach numbers of 444mm for the Large, in my opinion it would measure up as a solid medium. As for the 470mm for the XL being something that I would expect from a Large in other bikes. This brings me into the point that it not something that I feel is a race bike, but more a shuttle or park lapping machine. There is still room, but when things get out of hand it feels slightly cramped.
Solid, silent and gob-smackingly good to look at. Rocky Mountain have produced a bike that will stand up to the abuse that you throw at it and more. The detail in the linkage and hidden mounting hardware is next level.
If you are looking to go and hit some uplifts, jumping and smashing bike park turns, this thing is on the money. I would stop searching and get the Slayer. It is fun, playful and built to last. This bike would be at home on the lift in Whistler or Morzine, it will withstand the lot.
Words - Ieuan williams
Photos - Alex Hunter - Ieuan Williams