2012 Rocky Mountain Vertex 990 Rsl carbon fiber hardtail 29er mountain bike weights and photos

Rocky Mountain is rolling out a cadre of new XC racer 29ers, both hardtail and suspension. We’ve shown a good bit of the full suspension alloy Element 970/950/930 here, and they wouldn’t let us weigh the Interbike models because they weren’t quite production spec, so we’re just running down the Vertex 990 Rsl hardtail here.

The Vertex Rsl 29ers will come in two models, the 990 and 970, both with the same frame built using their SmoothWall construction that sculpts the inside tube walls via an inner mold. RM says this reduces excess resin, removes stress risers and lowers weight.

2012 Rocky Mountain Vertex 990 carbon fiber hardtail 29er mountain bike weights and photos

The frame gets a revised RTC (Race Tuned Compact) geometry with shorter chainstays and top tube with a slacker 70.25º head tube. At a glance, that seems like an odd combo, but RM says it’s very maneuverable and responsive.

2012 Rocky Mountain Vertex 990 carbon fiber hardtail 29er mountain bike weights and photos

A raised seat tube allows for a lower, flatter top tube-to-seatstay area for better standover clearance and perhaps a bit more rear end compliance. Combined with a slightly taller bottom bracket, it creates a very compact looking frame. Rocky Mountain is so convinced that this 29er creates the ultimate race bike that they’re no longer doing a high end carbon 26″ Vertex race bike.

2012 Rocky Mountain Vertex 990 carbon fiber hardtail 29er mountain bike weights and photos

The internal cable routing for both derailleurs is pretty clean looking with an exit point that should make maintenance fairly easy. The bike uses a 142×12 rear thru axle and BB92 bottom bracket with asymmetrical chainstays.

The 990 Rsl is available as a frame only or complete bike with SRAM X0, Rockshox SID 29, DT Swiss XR400 tubeless ready wheelset, Easton cockpit and Maxxis Ikon tires. All that and it comes in at 21lbs 4oz:

2012 Rocky Mountain Vertex 990 carbon fiber hardtail 29er mountain bike weights and photos


  1. “same carbon hardtail 29er everyone else has from the same factory in asia
    why couldn’t they be unique and make something them selves. Its a bang wagon bike
    slap anyones stick on it and it that brands bike”

    good job being unique rock mountain, bike looks rad

  2. Agreed with Fleche…. same carbon hong fu, deng fu or whatever frame that every other Manufacturer has right now.. Change the sticker and another cookie cutter frame.

    same weight as every other HT 29’er same everything. If you are in the market for 29 HT just buy some chinarello no name. It’s the same thing.

  3. i can’t find more smarmy posts on the internet than on cyclist sites. its sort of funny at first but after a while, sheesh! what a bunch of negative people. you ride bikes, you should be happy. but apparently all of these stupid frame and parts suppliers are just ruining the lives of cyclists.

  4. Regardless of whether it’s the same on Asian carbon frame that everyone else is using, IMO the fact that they are doing a X12 rear thru-axle on a carbon HT makes it much better. Props to Rocky Mountain for being awesome.

    Hint: Other manufacturers should follow suit…

  5. It may come from Asia, but it does like original in many areas and in some areas the details look similar to my Asian 29er. Nice spec, I wish mine had the thru axle.

  6. The Porsche Cayenne, the Audi Q7 and the Volkswagen Touareg all share the same platform. But there are intrinsic differences to each.

    Until someone can offer undeniable proof that frames from brand-x and brand-y are identical down to the last fiber strand, quit your belly-aching over it.

    It’s a double diamond carbon frame, they are going to LOOK alike.

  7. 1. BB92
    2. 142*12 rear axle
    3. Geometry is shorter & slacker
    It’s different enough to be relevant and potentially great. I wonder if back in the 90’s all the haters went around complaining about “just another steel 26er”.

    The question is what will Kabush ride now? He has been pretty anti 29 until now wonder if this bike/sponsor pressure will make him change his mind?

  8. Even if it were a Chinese hong fu whatever, let’s not forget that RM will offer you a warranty and continuing customer support in the future

  9. That is me in the photo holding the scale. The bike weighed is a Med but it includes the tubes. The bike we have in the office set-up tubeless is under 20lbs. Bike ships with the tubeless rim strip already installed so just add the valves/sealant and you are ready to go.

  10. Frame only, what does it weigh? And how much will it cost? Did they forget PM rear brake tabs? And will a XTR M980 chainset with 28/40 work well on this badboy?

  11. Official frame weight is 997g +/- 5% for the medium.
    Post mount brakes were considered but we chose IS so that all rotor sizes can be used.
    All current chainring configurations in double or triple are compatible. This took some serious effort to make happen without sacrificing tire clearance or BB stiffness.

  12. hate all you want, but if you met the designer(s) of the bike and the guys at rocky you’d know that they build fantastic bikes and do pay attention to what will make riders happy. they beat the shit out of their stuff too. I saw the designer race this thing in a pre production version and he was ripping on it. it looked like he was really trying to abuse it and it took everything he could throw at it. and it’s 1000 grams for the frame. rocky is on the up and up and are killing it in product, graphics, parts spec…..nice to see them do well and provide great bikes

What do you think?