Review: Rocky Mountain Slayer 70

26er Pro Reviews

Rocky Mountain’s goal for the latest iteration of their famed Slayer bike line was to create a world class All-Mountain/Enduro/DH adventure cycle machine.  Easy to pedal, light weight, and fantastic on the downhills.  Did they meet these goals?

Pros:

  • Pedals surprisingly well for the amount of travel
  • Goes downhill like a rockstar
  • Component spec is fantastic for price but could use some personal tweeking
  • Fun to ride and immediately comfortable in the saddle and out
  • Neutral body position makes corners, jumps, handling, very easy
  • Traction up hill and down

Cons:

  • Front wheel comes up too easily on very steep climbs
  • (edit into final comments)

To achieve this, Rocky Mountain needed to design the latest Slayer from a clean slate. The engineers at Rocky Mountain chose a slightly modified four-bar platform for the suspension. The Slayer 70 uses Rocky Mountain’s SmoothLink™ suspension system, which is an extension of their ETS platform and is now used extensively throughout the Rocky Mountain bike lines.

The key features of the SmoothLink™ are minimal chain growth, for example a 140mm travel bike will have 9mm of chain growth, and a linear rising suspension rate. A benefit of this is that shock settings will be constant throughout the stroke and the suspension will have a limitless feel. The SmoothLink™ system puts the rear swing arm pivot 10mm above the rear axle, which allows the Average Chain Torque Line (ACTL) to follow more closely to the lower link of the system. Keeping these two lines closely in parallel allows the Instant Center of Rotation (ICR) of the suspension system to closely follow the ACTL, which means reduced pedal bob. But this isn’t the only design advancement that the new Slayer would receive. Rocky also noted that optimum pedaling power comes from having a correct seated position, so the StraightUp™ geometry was developed. This means that when the suspension is set to the correct sag, the seat tube angle will be around 73 degrees. At this angle you shouldn’t have to scoot up on the nose of your saddle when pedaling uphill. It will put your hips and legs in better alignment with cranks and pedals for optimal power. Obviously this geometry won’t make up for having weak legs, but it can make the chore of riding up hills more enjoyable and efficient.

Other cool tricks in the new frame include a two-piece bottom bracket that is hollowed out to save as much weight as possible, an e-type front derailleur that bolts onto the frame, tapered head tube for optimum strength to weight savings, and a pretty trick little chain device that helps keep your chain from completely dropping off the double rings up front. Oh yes, and that one guy, Wade Simmons, famous for doing stuff on bike or  something like that, had a lot of input into how the bike handles and rides.

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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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