2012 Rocky Mountain Vertex Carbon 29er Hardtail Preview

29er Pro Reviews Video

In terms of geometry, Rocky tried to match top tube length sizes (see above graph), and wheelbase and chain stay length vis-a-vis 29er and the 2011 26″ RSL Vertex in the different frame sizes.

Geometry and specs for the 2012 Vertex RSL

MSRP and where to buy

Model Size kg lb USD CAD
Vertex 990 RSL Frame 18.5 (M) 0.997 2.19 $1,899 $1,899
Vertex 990 RSL 18.5 (M) 9.82 21.60 $5,549 $5,649
Vertex 970 RSL 18.5 (M) 10.41 22.90 $3,849 $3,999

About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.


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  • jim says:

    Very nice too bad the rear triangle looks anemic compared to the rest of the bike. Hope the 142mm rear will make up for some of that. Obviously they jumped on the bad bandwagon for flex rear triangle, with Scott, Orbea alma 29, Cannondale, etc.
    Too bad. I would have ordered a frame right away if it was a real hardtail.
    Such as the Niner Air9 carbon.

    • Phil says:

      I ordered this bike for my wife and it’s a good one for the price. It’s studry and easy to put together, however the front gear shift broke while I was adjusting it. I’ve ordered a new one and she can ride it in the meantime with just the rear gears, but even those are temperamental until I can adjust the front one. I put on a rear kickstand as the center stand seemed to get in the way a lot. Also, this frame is most suited for a taller female.

  • eric says:

    Good job on the review – especially on providing the boatload of specs. I now feel obliged to order a frameset.

    RM has made the right choice in terms of rear end as well – 142 x 12 really is the way to go, with the Shimano type of axle being (IMHO) the quickest of the systems out there.

  • PAmtbiker says:

    I like that they included the X12 rear on their HT too. Great for those who want to have a FS and a HT in their racing quiver. Now you don’t have to keep a million wheelsets around. Specialized (and everyone else), listen up…

  • Max says:

    I kind of get the impression that they are trying to stuff 29″ wheels into a 26″ish frame. I may be completely wrong about that though.(?)

  • Aaron says:

    Bike is great. I have one and Jim, there is no anemic rr triangle. The axle stiffens it up plenty. It’s lighter (or can be) than the niner and as stiff. My first foray into a 9 er and it is a great bike.

  • Andrew says:

    The guys at RMB headquarters let me in on a few facts about this frame. Two which I find are most interesting. Firstly that there are currently a grand total of ZERO breakages on any carbon Vertex frames. Secondly it is laterally much stiffer than ‘big name’ competitors, and has much better vertical compliance. Anaemic rear triangle? 5 seconds in the parking lot will remove that idea from your mind.
    Try this idea for some hardcore lightness: a Stans Crest 29r can be swapped straight out with the DT XR400 you save nearly half a pound (470g vs 380g) then you run the factory Ikons tubeless with no strips (since you have the Stan’s rim) and save another 340g… tapping under 20lb easy for a couple hundred bucks!

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