The recently resurrected 2017 Rocky Mountain Slayer is in a category of bikes (6″+ travel and very slack) that I haven’t found to my liking lately since the 5″ bikes have been becoming so versatile. My first thoughts for this enduro/all mountain type of bike is that they don’t pedal well enough for my tastes (I prefer pedaling to shuttling), but obviously shine on the descents. Most feature slack headtube and seattube angles put so much weight over the rear wheel that pedalling up even short hills can be challenging. With recent designs in this category the tides are changing and this type of bike is becoming quite capable on the climbs, allowing riders to access remote backcountry trails under human power. Now, not only are they allowing amazing downhill rides, but you can actually pedal to the top too.
A quick look at the Slayer tells me that it might not be to my liking with a 64.7 degree ht angle, 165 rear/ 170 front travel, but the seattube angle and the emphasis on anti-squat designed into the rear suspension are different from most others in this category.
I took the Slayer straight up to the lift at Vail mountain to see. While pedaling up the fire road to my single track route back down, I was quite surprised with its pedaling, even while standing. Hitting a familiar trail going down into one of the first steep lines I was quite surprised how confident the Slayer felt. As I started to let the brakes go more and more, I was blown away how the bike plowed over everything so well yet railed through the tightest corners with easy.
The Slayer offers Ride-4 geometry adjustment via a turn geometry chip on the shock’s lower mount. This gives the rider the ability to change head-tube angle over a degree from 64.75 to 65.85 degrees while raising or lowering the bottom bracket by 7.5mm.
While doing this short test the travel seemed bottomless, stability was incredible, handling nimble and pedaling characteristics were incredible. This bike seems near perfect. Nothing negative really stood out. Anyone in the market for an enduro sled really needs to give this bike a hard look. It’s that incredible. I look forward to the opportunity to review this steed on some of the trails that test my limits. I am confident that it’ll lay its token “Slayer” name to the rowdiest of trails.