Right off the bat, I could tell that this bike has low rolling resistance because of the WTB tires. Whether on the road to the trail or on the trail, the WTB tires in conjunction with the bike’s geometry worked together to make this bike roll easily. Once I started the climb on the moderately steep grade, I can tell that this bike was made for climbing. Having the short chain stays and the Rocky Mountain’s steep 76 degree seat tube angle made this bike a very good climber. I would even say that this bike could compete with many of the XC racing mountain bikes for climbing. Having lockout in the front and rear shocks helped in this matter. No bobbing with this bike during the climb.
Shooting the Rocky Mountain down the mountain, the Fox shocks absorbed everything the mountain had to offer. It had a very smooth ride that felt planted to the ground. But having the steep head tube didn’t help this bike in the handling department when the trail became technical. The steering I would describe as very reactive to your input. It is too quick and jittery for my personal taste. I had difficulty negotiating the switchbacks and high speed turns with the Rocky Mountain. It is better suited as a long travel climber with straight-line downhill lines. Once the trail starts to bend, you really need to work to keep the Rocky Mountain carved correctly.
Shifting and braking were first-rate. The Formula brakes were very powerful and even the rear brake alone was strong enough to slow the bike significantly on descents. One thing I did notice over time was the dropout bolt, if not properly torqued, loosened up and made the rear derailleur bang against the rear chain stay to create a lot of noise on descents. Once torqued properly, the loud noise was gone.