For the full suspension lovers, be sure to check out the new alloy Rocky Mountain Element. However, if you are a hardtail purist but are looking for a carbon 29er, then Rocky Mountain would like to introduce the new Vertex RSL Carbon 29er hardtail. For 2012, Rocky has fully eschewed the 26 inch hardtail, and is only offering their flagship XC hardtail race bike in a 29er.

Like the 29 inch wheeled version of the Element 29 Alloy, the Vertex RSL receives the new RTC 29 (Race Tuned Compact) geometry to try and take advantage of the 29 inch wheels, while still preserving Rocky’s agile ride quality that the 26 inch bikes were known for.

What makes the Vertex RSL a Rocky? Find out after the break!

On paper and computer screen, Rocky Mountain claims that the development of the Vertex RSL was one of the most involved design processes in the company’s history. Starting with a clean slate and the aid of FEA software, the final design was tweaked again and again, until the final product you see here was born.

In regards to the the carbon fiber used to build the Vertex RSL Rocky Mountain states, “Custom Rocky Mountain FORMTM C13 High Modulus SmoothWallTM construction. 100% designed, engineered and tested in house by our R&D team to ensure the lightest, stiffest frame and the best ride quality. In 2011, we unveiled SmoothWall construction to the world with the introduction of the Element RSL, and since then it has won unanimous praise for its incredibly light weight and superior stiffness. SmoothWallTM construction is achieved by sculpting the inner surface of the frame as carefully as the outer, with the help of an inner mold, as opposed to the traditional air bladder. This results in no excess resin, fibers or filler, meaning no stress risers or extra weight.”

Just like the new Elements, the Vertex RSL features just about ever selling point you have come to expect these days with the exception of a post mount rear brake. Rocky claims the IS mount is still the lightest and accepts all brakes in all sizes. Otherwise you will find a BB92 press fit bottom bracket, 142x12mm rear thru axle, chainstay and down tube chain drop protection plates, internal cable routing, plenty of mud clearance, and 2×10 and 3×10 compatibility.


  1. Yes, bigger surface area = greater risk of impact… That’s why we use specific carbon layers for impact resistance on the DT.

    I don’t think anyone would advocate shrinking the DT (and in the process making it more flexy) to reduce the likelihood of impact?

  2. “…only offering their flagship XC hardtail race bike in a 29er.”

    Does this really mean that next year there will be no Vertex RSL Team 26″?

    Is my local bike dealer right when he said 3 weeks ago that 26″ is so OUT and next year there will be only 29ers? Do I have to apologize to him because I just laughed to this comment?

  3. Hi DzeiDzei

    Yeah probably. everyone who has ever ridden a 29ner can confirm, that they might never will ride a 26er HT again. (exeptions: people who not race and people who race but are 165cm and shorter)

What do you think?