Review: Rocky Mountain Slayer 70

26er Pro Reviews

Up Hill

So, does all the technology, the SmoothLink™ and StraightUP™ geometry, reduce the pain of a long up hill pedal? No, but the SmoothLink™ does actually reduce pedal bob and StraightUp™ geometry does make pedaling in the saddle much more comfortable. I almost never had the urge to get out of the saddle and I’m a get out of the saddle type of climber. Moving the RP23 into the “Climb” setting and running about 80 to 90% of the Fox 36 locked out, made long ascents much more tolerable while keeping the suspension slightly active for bump, root, and traction. Also, completely locking the fork out seemed to over emphasize the bob of the rear suspension and made for a very awkward feeling of riding a rigid fork on a suspension frame. None of this was notable though when only locking out the fork 80-90%. For more technical ascents leaving the RP23 in the more active “Trail” setting allowed for better traction of the rear wheel. The one complaint I did have was with very steep climbs, the front end wants to wheelie and a lot of leaning forward is required to keep the front wheel down. This might have been less intense if I had had the 20.5-inch frame because my body would have already been leaned over more, but it wouldn’t change the chainstay length and rear wheel placement, thus I’m not sure a larger frame would have actually made a difference.

Down Hill

On descents the Slayer 70 performs wonderfully. A neutral balance to the suspension and stable handling allowed for an extremely comfortable and assured feel right from the start. On my first ride I was hitting the local step-downs and mid-sized doubles without any hesitation. Due to the neutral body position and suspension, cornering was very easy and predictable. Compared to my old Canfield F1 where I needed to constantly remember to “GET UP OVER THE FRONT!”, on the Slayer 70, the body was already there.
The frame is without question, solid. Almost no flex was detectable, and the bike stayed on-line through rocky sections and off camber trail segments. When the trails really got gnarly, the Slayer held its own but it obviously wasn’t a DH bike with a DH fork. Thus, I wasn’t able to ride the DH trails with the same gusto as on a dedicated DH rig, but the Slayer 70 was nonetheless exciting and confidence inspiring. I just had to keep my pure DH mentality in check a bit.

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  • rob says:

    Nice review, very informative. I’m seriously considering buying one of these since there are some really good deals on them right now. I’m 6’2 and not sure if the 19′ or 20.5′ would fit me better. I know the top tubes tend to run a little shorter than on some bikes, plus the straight up geometry. I cant seem to find one near me to size up. Any slayer owners out there let me know what you think. Thanks

    • LeeL says:

      Rob – you should be on the 20.5 bike. No question that Chris Stenger is right (although a bit harsh) and the reviewer was on a bike that was a tad small for him

    • John says:

      rob,

      I am 6’2” with a 34 inch inseam average arm length and ride a 20.5. 19 would be to small

  • Ruder says:

    Chris nice review…. but at your height you s/be on an XL sized bike ! :-)
    I’m 6″2″ and I couldn’t imagine riding a 19″ bike. Did you bend the seatpost on that bike ? :-)

  • KB Janecek says:

    I just saw this site for the first time, I happened to be at Dealer Camp in Utah today and rode the Slayer 70, so this article caught my eye. I’m sure the reviewer is a great guy but having a SS guy review a Enduro/DH bike, mention that the front wheel comes up on steep climbs is sort of silly for obvious reasons, not to mention he picked a frame size at least one too small. I’m not a techno geek but the improvements in aggressive descending bikes in the last several years has been amazing. Lock out switches are great, ditto the adjusters on my hydraulic disc brakes, etc. Seriously dude, if you don’t get the downhill scene that’s okay but you probably shouldn’t review this bike and stick to single speeds. But thank you for the technical info it was very well written and don’t get mad at me :) everyone has their own opinion, just voicing mine. Peace.

  • adam says:

    Per the feed back I’ve adjusted some of the comments in the review and have moved my concerns about all the gadgetry into the final paragraph.

  • Mark says:

    I’m about 5′ 10″ tall and am wondering if the 18″ bike would be a good fit. I don’t have a dealer close by to get a good idea. Any suggestions??

  • dreggsy says:

    I’m thinking of putting a chain device on mine, as it seems to drop alot in 2 x 10 mode, what have people out there been using on theirs?

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