Rocky Mountain UK Special Project review

New UK-specific hardtail

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £1,195.00 RRP

Our review

A fun, simple and dependable bike to hammer the trail centres on, or just your local trails
Skip to view product specifications

The UK Special Project is Rocky Mountain’s take on a simple but effective UK trail bike. The trail scene is growing by the minute and the network expanding rapidly, so it’s good to see companies branch out and cater for people on tighter budgets. The big question is though, can this limited edition rig cut it out in the hills?

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Based around Rocky’s North Shore hardtail frame, the Reaper, the UK Special Project uses Rocky Mountain’s custom 6061 double-butted aluminium tubing. The hydroformed top tube and down tube are joined with one sleek weld before being attached to the head tube, creating loads of strength in one of the most stress-prone zones.

The rear triangle uses ultra-stiff box-section tubing to ensure as little flex as possible, and the compact frame design gives plenty of standover height and manoeuvrability.

With a mix of Shimano Deore and SLX taking care of transmission and braking duties, it’s fair to say you’re in safe, reliable hands. The Rock Shox Recon XC delivers 120mm (4.7in) of travel, with rebound and preload adjustment on tap. The bar and stem combo from RaceFace are well built, and offer their usual high standards, with stem length options ranging from 60 to 90mm.

The SDG Bel Air I-Beam saddle is super comfy and many bums will sing its praises after hours sat on it, churning out the miles.

The 22.5in top tube matched with the 70mm stem produced a comfortable cockpit, enabling good weight distribution to combat the ever-changing trail. It’s roomy enough to be climbed up some of the ugliest slopes, but compact enough that it can get up to speed and hammer the descents without a problem.

The Recon fork’s 120mm (4.7in) of trail-friendly travel is supple enough to keep the wheel gripping on the loose, flat turns commonly found at many trail centres, and handled the bigger hits well. We would prefer to see a through-axle fork on such a capable frame to give that extra bit of steering precision on choppier terrain, though.

Our pre-production model’s head angle measured in at 69°, but Silverfish have confirmed the production version will be 68°. This means improved stability on the descents, yet still snappy and sprightly on flatter, more technical singletrack.

The Maxxis High Roller tyres may not be the fastest-rolling, but they cope with a multitude of conditions extremely well, and proved their worth on the rougher terrain we tested the bike on. When the speed picks up, the 660mm RaceFace bars can get a little twitchy, but that’s easily solved with wider bars.

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At 13.15kg (29lb), it’s no featherweight race machine, but that’s not the point here. This bike is all about grin factor and versatility – and it delivers the goods in both areas.

Product Specifications

Product

Name UK Special project (10)
Brand Rocky Mountain

Available Sizes L S M
Headset Type FSA No. 10 1.5" Reducer
Weight (kg) 13.15
Stem Race Face Ride XC 31.8 x 6° 60-70-90mm
Shifters Shimano Deore Rapid Fire 9Spd
Seatpost SDG I Beam Original
Saddle SDG Bel Air SL I Beam
Rims WTB SX24
Rear Hub Wheeltech Disc Super Sealed with Alloy QR
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Head Angle 68
Bottom Bracket Race Face X Type
Handlebar Race Face Ride XC Low Rise 660mm x Ø31.8mm
Front Hub Wheeltech Disc Super Sealed with Alloy QR
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore 31.8mm
Frame Material RMB Custom 6061 Double Butted Alu
Fork Rock Shox Recon XC Coil 120mm. Rebound / Preload
Cranks Race Face Ride XC
Chain Shimano HG53
Cassette Shimano HG-50-9 11-32T
Brakes Shimano BR-M486 Hydraulic Disc 180mm
Weight (lb) 29