Friday, 30 December 2016
The 2017 Rocky Mountain Pipeline test!
The Pipeline name has been used before by Rocky, It was a mid stroke freeride rig, maybe over looked by the RMX range that followed, But for 2017 the Pipelines back, but its an all new beast! First off its a + tyred bike, If you have not been on a + yet then try one, If you have been on a fat bike you know how well they roll for the size of the tyre, So the plus rolls even better than a fat bike, maybe as well as a large enduro style tyre, So Rocky have teamed up the new big tyres with a new bike, Its front section comes off the much loved Instinct trail bike, So its sexy carbon and for a Rocky it has a roomy top tube, its not crazy long like some magazines would like you to think is the way forward (more on this in a bit) but its not short either. The back of the bikes alloy and the frames built for a stealth dropper and has the Ride -9 chip so you can switch the angles from 67.2 all the way to 68.8 in seconds. Rocky are a cult brand and so its never going to be a low cost bike, but unlike some brands this bike has a parts list that needs no real upgrades thanks to Rockys long time links with fellow BC boys RaceFace along with Rockshox, maxxis, SunRingle etc..
So out on the trail you have a 150mm fork and 130mm in the rear, climbing the bike feels like im riding a 150mm trail/enduro bike, its no xc weapon but i can dig deep and keep up with the 120-130mm trail bikes on the climbs. Then we head down hill! + bikes give you so much grip!! you can brake later coming in to some turns while other turns you always brake at you dont have to hit them at all, it just never slides and lets go, It always grips and holds its lines, You soon find this bike giving you PB times on trails you had blasted on a 150mm enduro bike, What i loved was the sizing, the super long top tubes from the like of whyte just dont work for + bikes, they were never designed with plus in mind, we are now getting the grip and stable feel from the tyres, this means the top tube can return (not all the way back to the 90s) to a more standard size what gives the bike the pop and feel that had gone with the limo top tube sized bikes. So a bike with more grip than we have ever had and a geo that wants you to pop off stuff and ride the most badass lines makes this one fun bike that blurs the lines of a trail bike/enduro and even freeride! If you like your trails tight,steep, super tech with loads of roots and rocks then you need a Pipeline, Its that simple, This will let you hit tech lines that you feel should be done on a trials bike and you can see why this bikes on a must have list for a lot riders on the North Shore where this bike was developed as its perfect for this type of trails, At a xc trail centre i felt i did not get the best out the bike and it felt slow as it made the trail so easy (even if my times on strava were very fast), But if you like and ride a lot of natural trails and thinking of hitting the odd enduro or more trips to BikeParkWales then look at the pipeline, Also if you like mtn biking but have never mastered the wet roots and rock riding skills then try the Pipeline, it will make the best of the skills you have, The Pipeline gets the very best out of the + tyre size better than any other i have ragged yet. A very cool natural terrain weapon.