Remember the original Rocky Mountain SuziQ? No not the Creedence song, the super exclusive, elevated chainstay hardtail that Rocky Mountain produced in the mid '90s. While this new SuziQ isn't as much of a unicorn with its rarity, if the ride lives up to the hype it may be a unicorn in its own very special way.
Aggressive mountain bikers who demand responsive, precise and manoeuvrable machines have struggled to understand fat bikes and their unique characteristics. The idea behind the SuziQ is that fat bikes don't have to be slow, boring and feel like there's 4lbs of water in the wheels.
Rocky Mountain calls it fat XC, and they aim to accomplish these feats with lightweight frames featuring dialled geometry (meaning Rocky's classic low standover, short rear-end and long front-end), a narrow Q-factor, and a bit narrower and taller fat bike tire, clocking in at 27.5 x 3.8in.
Rocky Mountain SuziQ spec overview
- Wheel size: 27.5in
- Intended use: XC Fat Bike
- Forks: Rigid
- Tires: Maxxis Minion FBF 27.5 x 3.8in
A welcome change but not the first
Any bike that is built to erase boring and slow in any context is welcomed by most cyclists. Trek's Farley bikes have already laid tracks in the fat-bikes-can-be-fast segment, even offering a full suspension version, the Farley EX.
The promise is not of increased flotation or the ability to lumber over everything in your path, but rather to introduce some fun, speed, and agility back into fat bike riding and racing. To drive home how different the SuziQ's ride is, Rocky Mountain's US sales rep Joe Anderson jokingly says: "It's a big-wheeled bike that doesn't ride like a stupid fat bike."
A tiny first ride
I did get to take an extremely brief spin on the highest end alloy SuziQ 50 and within a few pedal strokes, a couple of cutties and lofting it up into a wheelie, it was easy to grasp that yes, indeed, this thing doesn't plod around like a normal fat bike.
Sure the big footprint is still there, and therefore loads of traction should be on tap, but the wonky handling and out-of-control bouncing often introduced by massive 4.0in and larger rubber seemed to absent. A longer test session is definitely needed to explore the advantages and disadvantages of this potential unicorn.
Rocky Mountain SuziQ pricing and availability
- SuziQ 90 RSL carbon: US$4,299, UK and Australian pricing not available
- SuziQ 70 RSL carbon: US$3,299, UK and Australian pricing not available
- SuziQ 50 alloy: US$2,599, UK and Australian pricing not available
- SuziQ 30 alloy: US$1,899, UK and Australian pricing not available