Sneak Peak Of New Rock Racing Frames

The final production design in white.

Rock is not dead. While the Rock Racing Pro Cycling Team may have hit some snags in their season prep, the Rock Racing brand seems to be alive and well. You may recall that Rock unveiled a line of Rock Racing branded complete bikes at Interbike last year, but noted that the bikes were only prototypes and were unsure of when they would be available.

Now the Rock Racing R&D team has posted the first pictures of their full production frames, called the X-2, over on their blog. While there is still no availability date, it does show us that the brand is active and alive, despite some speculation that Rock Racing would be folding. The frames are visually very similar to the frames debuted at Interbike, but engineers have been working on structural and ride quality before launching production.

The X-2 will come in white or red color schemes, and while we cant vouch for the ride quite yet, the frames do have those signature Rock Racing aesthetics.

Rock says their bikes will be assembled right here in the USA in the interest of quality control, and engineers have promised to release numbers from strength and stiffness testing soon, so stay tuned to BikeRumor for updates. More pictures after the jump…

Rock Racing at Interbike 2009

Comments

Chris - 03/03/10 - 4:20pm

What exactly is their wording? (They’re blog you link to is open only to those “invited.” Typical unfounded Rock elitism) To say the bikes are “assembled in the US” merely means they put the parts on the bikes here, after it is made elsewhere. That’s long been a battle of verbage in the bike industry… made in, designed in, handmade in, handbuilt in… of domestic and foreign parts… blah blah blah.

That being said, I find it unlikely that Rock Racing is hand building carbon frames in the USA. Very few people are doing that these days (of the majors, pretty much only Trek and Cannondale on their highest end frames, and a handful of boutiques), and it has become accepted that high end quality product can come from the Asian market (Cervelo, Felt, Fuji, BH, etc.).

If they are making the frame here, and I’m wrong, then I would expect that they are having them manufactured *for them* by someone with frame building experience. Assuming their contract allows them to do so, it would benefit them to disclose that information (ex: Made for Rock Racing by XXXX), because to say that Rock Racing has a bad reputation in the industry is an understatement. And not the good, Joan Jett kind of bad reputation.

Chris - 03/03/10 - 4:23pm

I looked back at the picture after I clicked Submit Comment, and saw the frame sitting in front of a box stamped with TAIWAN, so I guess that answered my question. Whoops.

BradSohner - 03/03/10 - 5:41pm

Chris, you are correct, the frames are being manufactured in Taiwan and shipped here to be assembled. No word on which factory is producing them, but Rock actually mentioned their frames having to get through customs before getting to their office, so it’s no secret that they are being imported.

The frames are, however, designed specifically for Rock and are not simply re-branded Taiwanese frames. Shane Fedon, who designed some Fuji and Kestrel carbon bikes, was on board with Rock at Interbike last year to oversee their fame production, so we can be sure that the frames will not be duplicates of other carbon bikes on the market.

Yannig - 03/03/10 - 10:56pm

That’s an interesting diversification strategy for Micheal Ball… I think if it’s just about making money (of if that’s the impression that people get), he won’t likely succeed, what do you think ?
Beside that, his (and his team’s) image could be favorable for the launch of a brand of cycling stuff for bad boyz ;-)

Mick - 03/04/10 - 11:52am

Much like their clothing, it will hit the market already “on sale”

As an aside, imagine your dismay when you go to Interbike in 2008 and order up a 5K worth of RR clothing for your shop
…only to have it turn up on their site at 50% off before it was even slated for dealer delivery. Class act, nothing like supporting the dealers…

I question the true amount of R&D going into the frames. (in light of the dire situation of the team – [no pro license for '10] & struggling fashion end of the business.
I expect that regardless of their (Rock) press releases, these bike only exhibit the latest “Open Mold” technology…maybe with some “proprietary layup” to spice it up.
Buzz words, with very little substance to back it up. Real engineering costs money… Rock doesn’t have the capital to do that…period. I suspect most of their R& D was deciding on a paint scheme & color choices.

I wish them well, but it seems they’ve picked a very small & fickle niche…introduced a product that (so far) has no decernable merit, only tainted image…
If the pricing presented at InterBike is to believed (since it was cryptic at best), they may have (or probably) priced themselves into no man’s land.

I’m confident that this is a case of style (open mold at that) over substance.

[...] in getting and keeping attention, which is no small feat.  And let’s be honest, their new road bikes are pretty bad ass [...]

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