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Break away from your day-to-day on new Rocky Mountain Solo gravel bike

Photo: Margus Riga Location: Missoula to Arizona, USA
27 Comments
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Somehow, it’s not that surprising to see exciting new gravel bikes popping up from brands that are probably better known for their mountain bikes. After all, the genre combines some of the best attributes of both road and mountain biking into a catch-all that is all about personal exploration of both terrain and your own physical limits. Adding a drop bar bike back to the Rocky Mountain line up is the all new Solo – an aluminum, 1x gravel bike.

Break away from your day-to-day on new Rocky Mountain Solo gravel bike

Rather than shooting for the moon with a multi-thousand dollar carbon frame, the Solo keeps things simple with a 6061 aluminum build. In spite of the use of aluminum, Rocky Mountain still managed to cram in clearance for massive tires with a chainstay yoke design that drops slightly on the driveside. Sold with 700c x 40mm tires, the frame will fit up to a 45mm, but it will also clear 650b x 2.2″ tires if you want to convert to road plus (and then some).

Break away from your day-to-day on new Rocky Mountain Solo gravel bike
Photo: Margus Riga
Location: Missoula to Arizona, USA

Other details include a 1x drivetrain only frame design with internal shift and brake routing. Up front is a tapered head tube, holding a carbon Gravel disc fork with flat mount brakes and a 15 x 100mm thru axle. Out back is a 12 x 142mm thru axle and more flat mount disc brakes. Proof that this bike was created by progressive minded folks who also like mountain bikes? The frame is compatible with full length dropper posts (30.9mm) as well.

Break away from your day-to-day on new Rocky Mountain Solo gravel bike
Photo: Margus Riga
Location: Missoula to Arizona, USA

Solo 70

Since this is still a gravel bike, there are a number of mounts included for extra gear. That mean three bottle cage mounts (two in the main triangle and one below), rear rack mounts, fender mounts, and three pack mounts on the fork legs.

Available in two builds, the higher end Solo 70 comes in at 20.9lb (9.5kg) for a medium, and includes a SRAM Force 1 drivetrain with a 10-42t cassette and 40t chainring. The 70 rolls on Sun Ringle Helix TR25 SL tubeless compatible rims and ships with tubeless tape, valves, and MAxxis Ravager EXO TR 700c x 40mm tires.

Break away from your day-to-day on new Rocky Mountain Solo gravel bike

Solo 50

The Solo 50 is the same frame and fork, but built with a SRAM Apex 1×11 drivetrain with a 10-42t cassette and 40t chainring. You’ll find the same tubeless wheel and tire set up on this bike as well. The changes in components add just over a pound in weight with complete bikes claimed to be 22lb (10kg) for a medium.

Rocky Mountain Solo Gravel bike geometry

Pricing and availability

Available now, the Solo 50 will go for $1,899, while the 70 sells for $2,549.

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27 Comments
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@MrRichardH
@MrRichardH
6 years ago

Want. Simple as that.

David
David
6 years ago

How long until they have to rename it to 5010?

HDManitoba
HDManitoba
6 years ago
Reply to  David

A really, really long time. Who do you think asked Santa Cruz to stop calling the 5010 the Solo?

David
David
6 years ago
Reply to  HDManitoba

You are correct! I always imagined it was a Lucasfilm litigation thing. Thanks!

M
M
6 years ago
Reply to  David

Rocky Mountain owns the rights to the name SOLO. Santa cruz was the one who stepped on Rockys toes

Tom in MN
Tom in MN
6 years ago

Looks like flat bar reach lengths as my usual drop bar reach is on the medium, which would usually be found on the largest size on most other gravel bikes. But can’t really tell without stack heights.

Heffe
Heffe
6 years ago

The reach looks way too long per size – so far I haven’t found that the long top tube/short stem concept actually works that well for drop bars.

Dinger
Dinger
6 years ago
Reply to  Heffe

This may be a regulatory thing. Bike manufacturers must deliver bikes with a certain amount of tire/toe clearance (sometimes it’s not enough, anyway). I’d be interested in seeing how much tire clearance it really has. There are many bikes claiming to fit more tire than they safely can (I’m looking at you, Specialized Diverge..).

Woody
Woody
6 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

Yep, for sure designed with a shorter stem in mind to offset the longer FC

Volsung
Volsung
6 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

If toe overlap is a regulated issue how is Surly still in business? Their pedals practically hit the front hubs.

Stephen
Stephen
6 years ago
Reply to  Volsung

It’s not regulated.

ascarlarkinyar
6 years ago

10 is such a fail for gravel and even some mtb bikes. You lose one gear at the bottom and 3-5 on the top. This is not acceptable. Manufacturers are dictating what kind of riding we can do and where. I will stick with a full range gear option.

Kenneth
Kenneth
6 years ago
Reply to  ascarlarkinyar

“Manufacturers are dictating what kind of riding we can do and where” Really?? You could not be further from reality. The only thing limiting your riding decisions is you. There is no logical way you can blame manufacturers for your lack of fitness, determination or desire.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  Kenneth

(deleted)

Dinger
Dinger
6 years ago
Reply to  Kenneth

I think that’s over dramatizing it, but he’s not really wrong. Unless you’re riding gravel 100% of the time, a 1x system has several shortcomings. If you have a low enough low-gear, you’re riding your 4-5 highest gears at road speeds with uncomfortably large gaps between them. The small cogs of tallest gears on a 1x are also pretty inefficient.

I wonder if we had clutch RD’s for road drivetrains if 1x would be as interesting because that’s the biggest reason I run it on CX bikes, the chain management (and the lack of need for road-tall gears).

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  Dinger

1x is well on it’s way to road as well. There’s a couple international pro road teams testing 1x since late last year, most likely the prototype versions of Sram R1. Maybe somebody here will again perceive that as the manufactures dictating our lives [rolleyes]

SAWTOOTH
SAWTOOTH
6 years ago

I really enjoy 1X and have for years…. On a road bike? It’s pretty dumb at the moment.

Why do people always bring up pro riders and their bikes? What the pros ride and what SRAM might be selling is irrelevant. SRAM can’t make a nice front derailleur so they just abandoned it when 1X started becoming a thing.

Spend some time on a 1X road bike. The gearing is just not good. You can get a narrow range with nice gradual gears until you suddenly can’t go any lower or you have great climbing gears but top out too easily.

You’ll say, “WIDE RANGE CASSETTE!” except that also sucks because most of the gears become useless on tarmac and the jumps between gears become awkwardly large, resulting in it feeling like you’re always in the wrong gear.

Let’s be clear, a lot of 1X is being sold because of demand for something new, not something better. Also, it’s an easy way for manufacturers to drop some weight, since many gravel bikes are more like CX bikes and drop bar mountain bikes. The new 47b tyres are 1.85in. and not far off from what was a normal mountain tyre a few years ago.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  SAWTOOTH

“Why do people always bring up pro riders and their bikes? What the pros ride and what SRAM might be selling is irrelevant. SRAM can’t make a nice front derailleur so they just abandoned it when 1X started becoming a thing.”

Agreed on their less than up to par front derailleurs, but Red, Force 1, and Red etap were all tested by road and cx pros before the public got it. So, um, irrelevant?… Hardly.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  ascarlarkinyar

“Manufacturers are dictating what kind of riding we can do and where.”

Wow, sparky! What’s this grand conspiracy you speak of? Do tell!

Riteallthetime
Riteallthetime
6 years ago
Reply to  ascarlarkinyar

Built my Niner RLT with a double and rode it that way for a year then switched to 1x and haven’t looked back. Did the same thing with my hardtail about 5 years ago. Guess what… no manufacturer told me to, I did it all on my own! And when I was running doubles I had all the parts I could ask for. If you think you have a lack of options in your choice of gearing then you have blinders on.

ascarlarkinyar
6 years ago

Sorry that 1x not “10”. Auto correct error….

luddite
luddite
6 years ago

The bikes look nice, but they really need a new photographer – or at least tell this one where the lighten shadows slider is in Lightroom.

Smale Rider
Smale Rider
6 years ago

1x only bikes for “road” use is junk. Sub-compact gearing is where its at. Just because the slate managed to do well dosen’t mean every other bike will do good. This looks like every other gravel bike out there, why would anyone want the limitation of just 1x. If you consider this bike, take a look at kinesis tripster.

KB
KB
6 years ago

Awesome video on the linked page. Almost as good as that Kona video from around 6 months back. Just makes you want to get out there and ride!

Joe
Joe
6 years ago

They should have called this the Bandwagon. Probably a catalog frame like most of Rocky’s previous road/cx offerings.

threeringcircus
threeringcircus
6 years ago

I’m not opposed at all to 1x, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for the terrain I ride. What’s really being dictated by the manufacturer in this case is that I would just find myself a different bike.

dat
dat
6 years ago

yet another Open U.P.

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