As a part of our 40th Anniversary celebration, we asked Rocky Mountain riders to submit their favourite bikes and the stories behind them. Whether it’s a brand new Altitude Powerplay or their retro Hammer from the 90's, we love them all. Here are some of the stories we've collected from riders around the world.
I bought my Rocky Mountain Equipe in 1991 and still have it. Over the past thirty years it's taken me on a bike tour of Germany, towed my son in a bike trailer, completed the Seattle-to-Portland (STP), toured all the Gulf Islands (several times over), and covered thousands of miles of roads and trails from Vancouver and Whistler. The bike has always been solid and has required only minimal maintenance over all those years. When I ride it on the trails now, I get lots of accolades, from "Cool bike!" to "You're my hero!", especially from people that weren't born when I bought it. The only problem is the bike is ageing better than I am!
- Herb Goergen
I bought this 92' Blizzard frame on eBay and have slowly built it up with a little bit of old and a little bit new, makes for a great ride on local trails!!
Found this this Equipe for sale, I loved the colour so much because it reminded me of back in the day when my dad was a full-time bike mechanic. He used to bring the coolest bikes home to ride! The 90's had some amazing looking bikes and I'm glad I have a piece of it to remember!
This is my dad’s 85' Tantalus deluxe he bought it brand new he always loved how amazing the fillet braze welding was done by Derek Bailey. A custom paint job added a little curb appeal. He always told me it was a unicorn.
Definitely a favourite!!
- Jacob Balzer
Both of my Rocky’s. The Pipeline was my first. I was still riding an old Van Dessel that I couldn't get parts for and stumbled on it in a LBS. I thought about it for a week and went back for it. It was the best decision I've made. I automatically loved the ride. I just recently upgraded to the new Altitude and can't believe how something that sends the downhill like this thing does, can still get me to the top. I'm Rocky forever! Love the Ride!
- Zeb McAllister
The bike that showed me how thrilling mountain biking could be. My dad acquired this bike in 2010 and when he wasn't getting much use out of it, I stepped in. As someone who hates the gym and running, I took up biking to try and stay active. I didn't know anything about mountain bikes at the time. Tire pressure? Suspension tuning? Maintenance? Nah, All I knew was how to ride one. I beat the hell out of this bike. Broken spokes, bald tires, and skipping gears never stopped me from sending it straight down a mountain. The Rocky held strong through it all like it was carved out of the very mountain it rode on.
The loyal companion refused to let me down. That is until my abuse and neglect had finally caught up and the Rocky Mountain became in need of serious repair.
It wasn't until I had no bike to ride that I started to realize all my mistakes, and just how much fun I had been having. For the first time last year I started researching for a new bike and my lord how far bikes have come! I didn't know how much of a dinosaur my Switch was!
Now the old Rocky hangs out in my garage in its own special corner, reminding me of the rides it endured to bring me joy. My love of mountain biking manifested through my 20-year-old Rocky Mountain Switch and for that I am forever thankful.
- Robert Tonne
I’ve ridden Rocky bikes since 97, from a custom Vertex TO to my current Slayer 90, all those bikes make me forget the day-to-day stressful life the time of a good ride in good company. Love the ride. Janis
- Janis Perron
2011 Slayer 30...my first real mountain bike.
I got into the game late as a fat guy in my late 20's that just wanted to get into shape, turned out I discovered a hobby I really love. The breathtaking moments, scenery, and sometimes solitude have done amazing things in my life. I faded away from the hobby for a couple years when I got married and had my daughter, but I've recently found a great resurgence, still on that same great Slayer chassis from a decade ago, with a few tweaks along the way. I love every minute on that bike, even when it kicks my ass, which happens somewhat frequently when you've been off it for a couple years. I may look into getting a new one soon...but then again. I may just be that guy on the old iron horse enjoying life!
- Richard Bodiford
I bought my Rocky Mountain Soul in 2011 from our local bike shop in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. At the time, I was overweight, out of shape, unhappy, and depressed. I rode a bit that summer but found it hard as I had not been very active for some time. The following summer, I got back on the bike. The more I rode, the more fun it became. And the better I felt! I started to tackle some of the local trails. And I started pulling my kids around in a bike trailer and then riding with them as they were on two wheels. As my fitness improved, I started hiking and backpacking again. Then I discovered bike packing! It was the perfect activity for me. Adventure and exploration over larger distances on my own power. My first trip was in Jasper with my son who was 11 at the time. The next trip was 300km of the BC Trail from Fernie to Nelson. I was hooked. Then I started exploring closer to home. Biking got me out of a serious slump and changed my life. Maybe even saved it.
- Ryan Jillard
Big fan of Wade, got super excited when his special edition was released. Bought the frame and built up my first bike! It took a while to afford the parts I wanted, but it was so worth it.
This bike will always be a center piece of my collection.
- Tim Edwards
This Element is my 3rd Rocky Mountain, I still have my 26" Hammer and Vertex RSL as well. The Element is the one that gets the most use though, nimble enough for the twisties in the woods and can take some trail centre hammering as well. I'd love to add an Instinct to the collection some time. I’d wanted a Rocky since I first saw one in MBUK magazine when I was 13. I managed to buy my first, the Hammer, when I was 30 something and it lived up to all the expectations I had.
- Richard Winder
Bought the Blizzard back in 1993 when working as a bike mechanic.
I had to pimp the bike straight away with Syncros stem, handlebar, barends and seatpost. The saddle was replaced with the Selle Italia Flite, the brakes where upgraded to Magura hydraulic rim brakes. Later on, when working in the UK I added the non-color matching Chris King headset together with the Manitou forks and a second hand built wheelset with Hope Titanium hubs and Salsa Flip-off quick releases.
In the UK I was racing the bike as Part of the incredible Team Splat! on the racing circuits, even at the legendary Malvern Classics.
Today the bike is still in pretty much its original state. I ride it on Sundays to get some pastry for breakfast.
The bike is a definite keeper.
- Sebastian Hampel
Growing up in Deep Cove on the North Shore you couldn't help but get caught up in the passion for mountain biking early on. Led by the notorious group working and/or hanging out at the Cove shop, and Mount Seymour being just around the corner, the quality of local riders and their bikes was high. In 1987, at the age of 18, I got the funds together to order a Tantalus with a custom paint job that reflected the local riding traditions nicely. 34 years later, I can remember my reaction seeing the frame and forks being lifted out of the shipping box. I still feel the same way about my Rocky Mountain every day I take it out.
- Mike Caines
My 2019 Altitude was the first new model (at the time) mountain bike I've purchased! I got it fresh off my trip from Whistler in 2018. This bike was the bike that really sold me on mountain biking. I don’t know why but it just gave me this confidence that I could ride anything and everything. My Altitude has been an excuse to travel and ride new places and through that has taken me all over the west coast. From local areas in my backyard, mountain ranges of the Sierras, loamy forests of Squamish & Pemberton, and iconic places in between. This bike has help take me to some of the most surreal places and given me a lifetime of memories!
- Matthew Reynolds
The bike that got me into mountain biking is my 1994 Rocky Mountain Hammer. It was a trusted main ride for many many years, was rebuilt into many different configurations. From its original XC guise to light freeride hard tail, to trials bike. This bike not only ignited my love of mountain biking, but also my love of tinkering with bike setup and build. Currently this bike resides in my shop built up as my dream retro bike, built up with all the components I wanted when I first got into the sport. Race Face turbine LP cranks, BB, rings, stem and XY seatpost. Amp research F3XC fork. Shimano XTR drivetrain. 1st gen XTR V-brakes with Avid SD 2.0 levers. Chris King Headset. Maxxis High Roller rubber. Ritchey Logic pedals. Easton Monkey Lite carbon bar. All built on my original beloved 1994 Hammer with its amazing Ritchey Logic tubing. I've put this bike through allot, and it's always been an excellent companion on the trails.
- Steve Paterson
Being in Florida with a RM Slayer, definitely get the sideways looks in the trails. People always say no way that could be a good bike for Fl. I say it's the best bike I've had in Fl, going from the BMX to dirt jumps to the flattest trails to the big 20ft drops this bike slays it all. While people watch from the sidelines the Slayer really pulls throw and gives a different perspective of what a good bike in Florida might be. #myrideordie
- Matt Montsdeoca
Like many of you, I've searched for a bike to get my 215lbs up the big climbs and back to the top of the runs without the van. I needed big NM power and enough watt hours to outlast my personal strength of the day. I want to be tired out before my bike gives out! I'm 60 next year and my wife 55 and we still love to do what 20s and 30s do and the Altitude C50 is the ticket!!!
- Tove Sorensen
I started mountain biking at age 39. I bought a cheap used bike off a friend of mine for $400. After about 6 months I knew I loved it and needed a bike that was going to match and exceed my abilities. My local bike shop carries Rocky Mountain bikes, which I had been looking at for some time. When the time came to pull the trigger on a mew bike the Thunderbolt A50 was my first choice. I have not once been dissatisfied with this bike. It handles everything I throw at it. Climbs like a champ and handles the gnarliest of downhills with ease. I've done a few upgrades to really make the bike feel like mine and I know I will enjoy this hike for years to come.
- Kristopher Beck
I got this bike for my 10th birthday. I ride it in Thunder Bay, Ontario daily. From the parks to the trails, it is a great bike. Like my Dad I'm hooked on Rocky Mountain.
(Dad approves of this message :)
- Madeleine Dagenais
This was me racing my RM 2012 ALTITUDE 70 back in the day at the You Yangs in western Victoria such good memories of tearing up the trails I was fortunate to discover the RM brand back in Canada in the 2000s whilst travelling through Whistler I purchased one of the early ETS frame sets from a Melbourne RM dealer and have proudly owned and ridden three RM bikes over the years due to worn out body parts I reluctantly don’t ride so much anymore but still have a collection of RM frames and completes to admire and reminisce I’m working on the misses to allow me a 2021 Growler never owned a 29er I think there a wicked looking bike Congrats RM on Forty of the best
- Michael Dening
I have long been a fan of Rocky Mountain bikes and am also a keen hardtail rider, so when a rare Blizzard LT (Long Travel) frame came up for sale in Canada, I knew I had to have it! It wasn't cheap or easy getting it back to here in Australia, but I am stoked with the end build. I ended up going a bit overboard with components (including a sweet FOX 36 and Industry Nine wheels!) but I love the bike and it's a definite keeper. I ride it regularly, both with my kids and on my trails back in my hometown. Would love to see Rocky do a limited-edition steel hardtail to celebrate this 40-year milestone!
- Justin Walker
It all started with a Rocky Stratos back in the 80s and I have been hooked ever since. I recall, walking passed my local bike shop in Hawkesbury ON and noticing this drool worthy raw aluminum Rocky. It was way out of my price point, but I decided to drop $500 on it and work off the balance using the proceeds from every odd job I could find (which included shoveling hazardous waste... that's another story). 1 month later I was rolling on my Stratos and I have been "Loving the Ride" ever since. Most of my teenage riding was in the Laurentian Mountains... challenging enough to improve my skills and offer up a few scars! To date I have owned:
- Rocky Stratos
- Rocky Altitude
- Rocky Thin Air
- Rocky ETSX-70
- Rocky Vertex TO
- Rock Thunderbolt C70
- Rocky Vertex C70
I am currently riding a dream build, the 2021 Instinct C99 and test its limits every day around Boler Mountain in London ON. There is a piece of me at 48 years old, when hopping on my Instinct, that feels exactly as I did at 16 when throwing a leg over the Stratos... Thanks Rocky for all the kms in the saddle (and out).
- John McNair
When I was 17 in 2007, I brought my bike into Cycle Path and Paddle to get fixed. I got a job there a month later. I had the coolest bike in Crosby, MN from that day forward. At that time there was no single-track trails only old mining roads. In 2010 there was 25 miles of single track with my boss looking for another bike to start selling at the shop. The Slayer just got rereleased in 2011 and I wanted one. In 2012 we started selling Rocky Mountain bicycles. I was able to order me a 2012 Slayer, being my main bike sense the day I put it together. It might not be the fanciest bike in Crosby anymore but it's the oldest. Long live 26"
- Ryan Anderson
It was 2003 and at the time I was riding a Gary Fisher Joshua. I rode that bike everywhere, in all terrain, including an epic trip to Moab Utah (where we almost died of heat stroke but that's for another story). So, I was pretty confident on that bike.
Then a friend living at the foot of Fromme invited me to experience the North Shore for the first time. I showed up with the Joshua and he was riding a brand-new RM-7. Well needless to say he had fun and I suffered. After that ride I literally went straight to West Point Cycles and bought the exact same ride. A total impulse buy.
I have been riding this bike ever since. I am 52 now and definitely no Wade Simmons but it has been a bomb-proof bike for me. Every single ride I get stopped on the trail by guys my age to reminisce about that era. I got stopped in traffic yesterday by another guy who just sold his.
Anyway, I will get a new bike eventually but will probably have a place for the RM-7 in my garage forever
Love this bike
- Dean Hildebrand
After all those years I’m still riding my 27 years old Rocky Mountain Stratos, in wet and cold winters as a cross-country bike and in [the] summers for bike packing. I had to buy at least six new wheel sets and a lot off new crank sets, chains and cassettes, but the stem, handlebar (with Rocky-inscription), shifters, brakes and seatpost (also with Rocky-inscription) are original, so it’s still a Stratos. Two years ago, I had to buy a new fork, because the old one was dangerously rusted from the inside (due to all those rainy and muddy Dutch winters). New 26-inch forks are rare, thin and cheap, but luckily I found on eBay in Minnesota, USA original 1992 Tange Super Big Fork (also used by Rocky Mountain in the Stratos), new fork decals in Great Britain and so I had my biggest friend complete again. I’m 64 years old, but I promise I’ll try to keep the bike on the road as long as possible, although it’s becoming difficult to find new spare parts. My other bikes are a Rocky Mountain Element Team Only Scandium and a De Rosa Titanio racebike. But King of the House is the vintage Stratos. Maybe the last ride will be to your factory to show you how it all began.
- Bert Felix
A custom built RM Maiden called the "Ronti Monti", hand painted from my 3 kids is my favorite ride in the Rocky Mountain Bikepark Samerberg. #lovetheride greez from Bavaria #RM40years
- Florian Lerche
Hey guys! I wanted to share our own family #rockymountain40 story with you...
We are a blended family with 4 kiddos - who all love the trails. My better half purchased his first Rocky Mountain bike - a 2014 Altitude, shortly after moving to the Okanagan. Little did he realize this purchase would spark a family obsession for these bikes, and the adventures they allow us to be able to go on.
Shortly after he found a vintage road bike that he has been lovingly restoring.
This has since been followed up by 2 Reapers for the groms, and a new Slayer he can hit the big drops on.
Not going to lie, I am the only one left without a Rocky! I have outgrown the abilities of my old Trek Lush SL... so hopefully with enough saving, hinting and nudging Mamma will get a new bike. The new Instinct looks perfect!
Thank you for creating amazing bikes that have allowed us to enjoy incredible bonding time and adventures in this sport together as a family. #rockymountainfamily
- Kathyn Fedoruk
This is my first full suspension bike I can afford. And it's the first brand bike I could buy. I couldn't afford a new one, so I traveled through Romania, 624 km from Brașov to Cluj-Napoca through Bucharest (to my father because I needed a car to transport it), to buy it from another young architect like me. It was love at first sight, extremely well maintained and in 3 minutes I bought it. Thus began my adventure through the Carpathian Mountains near Dracula's castle. I am waiting for you in Brașov, Transylvania, because we have some beautiful paths that can even lead to the castle. A region full of history, architecture, traditions (Romanian, Saxon, Hungarian), multiculturalism, and last but not least a history related to mountain sports both in summer and winter as in Canada. Is the most touristy region in Romania where most mountain sports are practiced and with the largest community of lovers of these sports. We are waiting for you.
- Mînecan Alexandru-Ioan
My first Rocky Mountain was a 1996 Altitude. I won my division in the Mt Hood Ski Bowl series in 1998 on it. It was a sweet bike and I still have it. I have had a couple different MTB since then, but my favourite bike of all time is what I currently ride, a 2017 Element BC Edition. I was on top of the podium at the 2017 ITU Multisport World Championships, winning my division in the Cross Triathlon on my Element. We are a Rocky family; my son has a Slayer 730 MSL and my wife has a Thunderbolt BC Edition
- Darren Smith
Bought new in Edmonton 1989-ish (maybe '88 or '90), this was my commuter for years, my single-track ride on trails both legal and not so legal, and my all-round transportation go-to. I rode it on a long section of the North Boundary Trail in Jasper National Park...the trail had to be seen to be believed, not to mention the constant presence of a grizzly bear on the trail ahead of us as evidenced by its frequent sign. I just recently tidied it up after replacing the Ritchie gum-wall tires, of which I went through several sets, took off the Scott-Matthauser brakes (they’re killers), the chopped titanium bar and the Flight seat and replaced them with parts that are a little friendlier to my more mature person. I still love it, still love to take it out for a scream, to the limits of my ability, and still refuse to give it to my kid. I moved up to a 930 Instinct I bought in Jasper in 2013.
- Jim Steele