Rocky Mountain Solo (2018)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Rocky Mountain Solo (2018)

    Rocky Mountain just released their newest offering in the gravel bike category, and I was wondering what you all thought of it. As soon as they teased at the bike's release I was very interested, but looking at the specs, it doesn't seem that good.
    So I will probably stick with my Trek Crossrip, although I want both of my bikes to be Rockys. (I have an upgraded 2016 Instinct 950 that I love).
    Dropping into a trail

    2019 Rocky Mountain Instinct A50 BC
    2019 Salsa Timberjack SLX
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    Rocky Mountain just released their newest offering in the gravel bike category, and I was wondering what you all thought of it. As soon as they teased at the bike's release I was very interested, but looking at the specs, it doesn't seem that good.
    So I will probably stick with my Trek Crossrip, although I want both of my bikes to be Rockys. (I have an upgraded 2016 Instinct 950 that I love).
    What part of the specs did not look good to you? For the money, I found the SOLO to be a great deal. Lots of tire clearance, good group, nice rear hub, I enjoy the wide bars with some flare, the geometry is nice with no toe overlap, can run 650B as well I think up to 2.1, can run a dropper post with internal routing, three water bottle mounts, triple cage mounts on either side of the carbon fork.... What's not to love?

    Is it just the Aluminum frame thats throwing you off? I'll admit I used to not like AL frames much but lately they have come a long way. I moved from a Carbon CX bike to a Steel Gravel bike and now I am on an AL gravel bike. Kinda the opposite of popular but I do what I think is best for my riding and wallet.

    The Solo has been fun so far with just a few mods I plan on doing to get it really dialed in. Would love to hear more about why you opted to not go toward the Solo.

    Cheers.

    Rocky Mountain Solo (2018)-rm1.jpg

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostmanifesto View Post
    What part of the specs did not look good to you? For the money, I found the SOLO to be a great deal. Lots of tire clearance, good group, nice rear hub, I enjoy the wide bars with some flare, the geometry is nice with no toe overlap, can run 650B as well I think up to 2.1, can run a dropper post with internal routing, three water bottle mounts, triple cage mounts on either side of the carbon fork.... What's not to love?

    Is it just the Aluminum frame thats throwing you off? I'll admit I used to not like AL frames much but lately they have come a long way. I moved from a Carbon CX bike to a Steel Gravel bike and now I am on an AL gravel bike. Kinda the opposite of popular but I do what I think is best for my riding and wallet.

    The Solo has been fun so far with just a few mods I plan on doing to get it really dialed in. Would love to hear more about why you opted to not go toward the Solo.

    Cheers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The frame looks amazing, I love the colour and it is super capable. I am glad it is Alloy too, I wouldn't be able to afford carbon. I was just at my LBS today and they have a few laying around, it really is a great looking bike. The only thing that's making me not like it is the fact that it uses SRAM components. I don't like SRAM brakes, and I prefer Shimano drivetrains as well, so I don't really want to buy a bike and then immediately want to change everything on it.
    If it came with Shimano brakes and drivetrain I would buy one in a heartbeat.
    Dropping into a trail

    2019 Rocky Mountain Instinct A50 BC
    2019 Salsa Timberjack SLX
    2014 Trek Crossrip Elite

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lostmanifesto View Post
    What part of the specs did not look good to you? For the money, I found the SOLO to be a great deal. Lots of tire clearance, good group, nice rear hub, I enjoy the wide bars with some flare, the geometry is nice with no toe overlap, can run 650B as well I think up to 2.1, can run a dropper post with internal routing, three water bottle mounts, triple cage mounts on either side of the carbon fork.... What's not to love?

    Is it just the Aluminum frame thats throwing you off? I'll admit I used to not like AL frames much but lately they have come a long way. I moved from a Carbon CX bike to a Steel Gravel bike and now I am on an AL gravel bike. Kinda the opposite of popular but I do what I think is best for my riding and wallet.

    The Solo has been fun so far with just a few mods I plan on doing to get it really dialed in. Would love to hear more about why you opted to not go toward the Solo.

    Cheers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hi there, what's you long-term review on the Solo? It checks all the boxes for me. But as you mentioned I have tiny bit of concern about AL dropbar bike. In fact, riding partner of mine that (who only rides Ti and Carbon mind you) - suggested I buy a used carbon CX bike rather than a new AL gravel bike. Of course most CX bikes will only clear 35-38mm tires.

    Have you done any extra long rides (4hr/50mile+) rides on it? Does the comfort hold up?

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    Hey man I just replied to your PM but I will share some of my thoughts here too so the masses can have my thoughts as well. Now, I will preface this by saying I know a few people who love this bike. To me, even though I was pretty stoked to have it at first, it failed me on several occasions and I ended up getting rid of it.

    Coming from a steel Kona Rove, this bike was much lighter but also much more rough in the dirt. The front fork bounced off of everything. I never felt in control of the bike when it got really rough. The brakes had constant problems so much so that my local bike shop had to grind down the frame to make the mounts level. The wheels came out of true several times within the short 3 months I had the bike. Maybe I just got a lemon but the bike sure wasn't for me. It spent more time in the shop than it did on the trails.

    Since then I have built an Ibis Hakka MX and couldn't be happier. I will never purchase another aluminum drop bar bike. The carbon Hakka glides over terrain much like you would expect a carbon XC bike would. I would spend the $700 difference between the two bikes any day of the week. I know not everyone can afford that but that's my two cents.

    If you plan on sticking with the SOLO, get the 50 so you are into it for less and spend whatever you can on a nice set of carbon wheels. I have the IBIS D30 700c wheels on my Hakka and they are great. I have over 500 dirt miles on the bike and they are still straight as an arrow.

    Cheers



    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    Hi there, what's you long-term review on the Solo? It checks all the boxes for me. But as you mentioned I have tiny bit of concern about AL dropbar bike. In fact, riding partner of mine that (who only rides Ti and Carbon mind you) - suggested I buy a used carbon CX bike rather than a new AL gravel bike. Of course most CX bikes will only clear 35-38mm tires.

    Have you done any extra long rides (4hr/50mile+) rides on it? Does the comfort hold up?
    ...

  6. #6
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    Only one ride in and sheís my first gravel bike so take this with a grain of salt, but I had a blast on this bike. Immediately set it up with 650s and 2.2 ardent race front and ikon rear. Just a brief test ride around the lot between the two wheels showed a big difference in the character of the bike. Iím a mountain biker at heart so cross racing and speed will never be my thing with this bike. I bought it to ride dry trails in the winter and go on adventure-y rides in the summer. Iím really enjoying the change of riding style and the versatility so far. Canít wait to bolt some bags and racks to it for some bikepacking.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    Only one ride in and sheís my first gravel bike so take this with a grain of salt, but I had a blast on this bike. Immediately set it up with 650s and 2.2 ardent race front and ikon rear. Just a brief test ride around the lot between the two wheels showed a big difference in the character of the bike. Iím a mountain biker at heart so cross racing and speed will never be my thing with this bike. I bought it to ride dry trails in the winter and go on adventure-y rides in the summer. Iím really enjoying the change of riding style and the versatility so far. Canít wait to bolt some bags and racks to it for some bikepacking.
    The thru-axles and wheel compatibility really make the Solo a capable bike, and I kind of want one, but I have an order in for a '19 BC Instinct A50, so there goes my bike budget for the year.

    I remember when I started out riding bikes frequently about 6 years ago, and I always had a road bike to compliment my mtb. For me before I had my license, being able to hop on a bike and ride around my town was great training, endurance, and a fun work out that could get me in shape for the trails. I settled on gravel bikes pretty quickly, and after a season of riding a flat bar Raleigh dirt-hybrid, I realized I wanted drop bars and a more road-ish feel to my bike.
    I bought a leftover 2014 Trek Crossrip Elite in 2015 and have been riding it ever since. I've upgraded the tires and made a few modifications since then, but for the two to four miles of pavement I ride mixed with miles upon miles of loose dirt roads, jeep trails, and rail trail, it is perfect.
    My town has three paved roads in it, so having a bike that can fly on the packed or paved descents, climb efficiently, and handle the rough or loose descents of backroads is important for non-mtb riding.
    But more importantly,
    Enjoy your Solo!
    Dropping into a trail

    2019 Rocky Mountain Instinct A50 BC
    2019 Salsa Timberjack SLX
    2014 Trek Crossrip Elite

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    I've gotten a bit more time on her and I'm sold on this whole gravel thing. This thing absolutely flies on the blue/green trails around the front range. I love it. Still getting used to the bone jarring of riding a rigid, but I managed to chase down a couple of mountain bikes on a downhill, and then blow by them on the climbs. I'll still always love my Instinct BC, but this gravel bike is getting ridden a lot!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaroCO View Post
    I've gotten a bit more time on her and I'm sold on this whole gravel thing. This thing absolutely flies on the blue/green trails around the front range. I love it. Still getting used to the bone jarring of riding a rigid, but I managed to chase down a couple of mountain bikes on a downhill, and then blow by them on the climbs. I'll still always love my Instinct BC, but this gravel bike is getting ridden a lot!
    How bone jarring is it? What are the longest rides you have taken your solo on? After Lostmanifesto's long term review above on the harshness of the Solo - I'm giving pause to ordering one sight unseen even though on paper it's exactly the bike I want.

    I have test ridden my friend's carbon Hakka MX and it is surprisingly compliant over bumps and roots. But carbon is out of my budget right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    How bone jarring is it? What are the longest rides you have taken your solo on? After Lostmanifesto's long term review above on the harshness of the Solo - I'm giving pause to ordering one sight unseen even though on paper it's exactly the bike I want.

    I have test ridden my friend's carbon Hakka MX and it is surprisingly compliant over bumps and roots. But carbon is out of my budget right now.
    I donít really have much to compare it to since this is my first gravel bike. Iím used to 160mm in front and 155mm our back so anything would feel harsh! Iíd say test ride them. My LBS was super helpful with this purchase so for me it made total sense. Carbon was also out of my budget and I liked that I could run XC Mtb tires on it. The thing is stupid fun on buffed single track. Minor gravel and rocks are great and it maintains a line really well. Brake bumps are another story though. But I imagine those suck on any rigid frame. I need to play with tire pressures still to see if I can get it a bit more cozy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    How bone jarring is it? What are the longest rides you have taken your solo on? After Lostmanifesto's long term review above on the harshness of the Solo - I'm giving pause to ordering one sight unseen even though on paper it's exactly the bike I want.

    I have test ridden my friend's carbon Hakka MX and it is surprisingly compliant over bumps and roots. But carbon is out of my budget right now.
    I reckon that any rigid alloy bike is bone jarring. You just can't engineer flex without compromising the frame's strength.
    Even with a carbon fork, my Crossrip is incredibly harsh on some of the rougher roads. Once, I hit a bunch of studder bumps on a backroad and it was so bad that I had to hover my hands over the bars and clamp down on the saddle with my thighs. Once my legs went numb I returned to the grips and my arms felt like they were stung by a dozen bees.
    If your bike has good brakes that actually slow you down (mine merely maintain my speed on the steep roads unless I lock them), you can just slow down when it gets rough and that's probably the best advice I can give.
    Find a bike that has a comfortable geometry for you on 95% of roads or surfaces you will ride it on. If carbon is out of your budget, find a bike with good brakes and gearing. The Solo has hydraulic brakes and a very relaxed road geometry. If you haven't yet, you should go check out what size you'd fit best on and see if it feels right for you.
    Dropping into a trail

    2019 Rocky Mountain Instinct A50 BC
    2019 Salsa Timberjack SLX
    2014 Trek Crossrip Elite

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    I reckon that any rigid alloy bike is bone jarring. You just can't engineer flex without compromising the frame's strength.
    Even with a carbon fork, my Crossrip is incredibly harsh on some of the rougher roads. Once, I hit a bunch of studder bumps on a backroad and it was so bad that I had to hover my hands over the bars and clamp down on the saddle with my thighs. Once my legs went numb I returned to the grips and my arms felt like they were stung by a dozen bees.
    If your bike has good brakes that actually slow you down (mine merely maintain my speed on the steep roads unless I lock them), you can just slow down when it gets rough and that's probably the best advice I can give.
    Find a bike that has a comfortable geometry for you on 95% of roads or surfaces you will ride it on. If carbon is out of your budget, find a bike with good brakes and gearing. The Solo has hydraulic brakes and a very relaxed road geometry. If you haven't yet, you should go check out what size you'd fit best on and see if it feels right for you.
    This was about what the stutter bumps felt like for me on the solo. I also hit them at 15+mph so probably not what the bike was built for. I had to ride it out because it was single track next to a ditch, but the brakes are very good on this bike so no problems slowing down there if you need to. Being light on the bars through bumpy bits is odd for me since usually I ride heavier on them to maintain traction but it does help maintain control on these drop bar bikes. Itís still a learning thing for me. And I like the learning so itís working out.

  13. #13
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    Tire pressure makes a HUGE difference. Play around...
    Director of Product
    Rocky Mountain Bicycles

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM View Post
    Tire pressure makes a HUGE difference. Play around...
    Very good point.

    I'd be curious to know what Lostmanifesto was running for tire pressures. I'm a relatively new Solo 70 owner and I can safely say you can radically change the character of the bike just varying the tire pressures. I've run 75 psi over rough ground and "bone jarring" is an apt description, however, drop down to 60 psi and the ride mellows considerably. re: the reliability of the bike, I've never a hint of problem with the brakes, or any other component. I literally can't wait for the next chance to ride my bike ;-)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chad M View Post
    Very good point.

    I'd be curious to know what Lostmanifesto was running for tire pressures. I'm a relatively new Solo 70 owner and I can safely say you can radically change the character of the bike just varying the tire pressures. I've run 75 psi over rough ground and "bone jarring" is an apt description, however, drop down to 60 psi and the ride mellows considerably. re: the reliability of the bike, I've never a hint of problem with the brakes, or any other component. I literally can't wait for the next chance to ride my bike ;-)
    That is true, tire pressure makes a huge difference.
    I run 37c tires on my Crossrip, and I run 50-65 psi in my tires depending on how much gravel I would ride compared to pavement.
    Dropping into a trail

    2019 Rocky Mountain Instinct A50 BC
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