RM Slayer 70 2019 RRP £5499
To be honest with you, I wasn’t looking for a new bike. I had only had my Trek Slash 9.8 29er for around 8 months when I was speaking to Jen and Dan at Ride Bikes about what’s happening over the coming months. I love stopping in to the shop when I’m in Ulverston (Usually with my boys) for a brew and to talk about all things Bike. Jen and Dan mentioned to me about the possibility of them working with Rocky Mountain in the future and my ears pricked up! I was told to keep this strictly under wraps for the time being.
When Ride Bikes finally unveiled that they would be working with Rocky Mountain UK, I was excited to see what bikes they would have available. Now, I have been on a 29er for the last three seasons as I believe (and still do) that for out and out straight line speed, they are unrivaled but, one of my riding buddies had always proclaimed that because of my height (5ft 8) I would be more suited to a 27.5. I decided to take his advice, and opted for a Rocky Mountain Slayer 70.
I chose the Slayer 70 model due to the fact that it’s a thing of beauty and has the Fox X2 shock and all new Grip 2 fork damper in the black out 170mm Fox 36’s. Suspension set up is a real stickler of mine and I believe it’s the key to good grip in the corners, working in harmony with the Maxxis tyres. The Slayer has super sleek (hidden) frame linkage bearings and the Rocky Mountain Ride 4 adjustable geometry which will allow me to tune the bike to specific events.
Another great feature of the Slayer is the SRAM Eagle drivetrain. Even though this is coupled with a 34t chainring at the front, it makes for super easy climbs on the transitions between stages. This allows the legs to recover ready for laying the power down when it’s really needed.
I took delivery of my new steed at the end of October and after an initial shake down ride in Grizedale with Jack and Dan from Ride, I was convinced I’d made the right decision. The 170mm Fox 36’s meant that I could ‘get away’ with just as much as on my 29er in the rough stuff and in the corners it changed direction like Hare being chased by a Hound. There was tons of grip too on the front end which is important to me for reassurance when racing.
Within two weeks I was at the last race of 2018 in Kinlochleven. An all action big mountain Enduro in the picturesque Scottish Highlands. The first stage that the Slayer raced in anger was an ultra-rocky steep DH trail with some tight hairpin switchbacks. She took the stage win. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hold onto the lead after a couple of punctures on the stages that followed.
This is the only thing I’d change about the bike, DH tyres are a must for me. I’m heavy on my bikes, often hucking a gap but coming up short with a bang! Which leads me onto another great feature of the Slayer, the wheels. I’m a self-confessed wheel wrecker. The Raceface AR 30 rims on the Slayer seem reassuringly tough! I’ve had couple of cases that a lawyer would be proud of and they still run true.
An exciting 2019 season lays ahead and ones things for sure, I won’t be blaming the bike if I come up short.