130mm trail bike with 2.8in Plus tyres - €5,600

Product Overview

Rocky Mountain Pipeline 770 MSL (2017)

Product:

Rocky Mountain Pipeline 770 MSL (2017) review

Manufacturer:

Dumbing down the Shore. That’s the bold claim behind the new Rocky Mountain Pipeline.

Those with long memories will recall the original 1998 Pipeline. A four inch travel freeride bike that was ridden down precipitous scree slopes and bucked off North Shore ladder bridges by Wade Simmons, Richie Schley and Brett Tippie.

The new bike aims to inspire similar carefree antics with the integration of the latest 2.8 Plus tyres to 130mm trail bike chassis.

A Plus tyre Instinct

Except that it’s not really a new bike at all, it’s Rocky’s 29er platform – the Instinct – adapted to take Plus tyres. To do this Rocky has adopted Boost hub spacing front and rear and given up any option to run a front mech. These factors allied to its slender stays means that the Pipeline will actually accommodate up to 3.25in tyres.

It gets a carbon main triangle mated to an alloy rear end and Rocky Mountain’s familiar four bar suspension platform with its Ride9 tuning system. This interlocking shock mount chip lets you choose between nine different settings so you can play with the geometry and progressively of the suspension depending on your preference.

Bushings not bearings

Love it or loathe it the Pipeline’s back end pivots on bushings instead of bearings. On the plus side this saves weight but friction can be a problem in the long run and in our experience the suspension just isn’t as supple as a result.

Fortunately for the Pipeline the big Maxxis Rekon tyres do such a good job of increasing grip and ironic out the bumps that you don’t notice this anymore.

Conservative sizing

What the big tyres can’t mask is the conservative sizing. Put it up against other newly introduced Plus bikes such as the Intense ACV and the Santa Cruz Hightower and it’s shorter int he reach.

The long seat tube makes it difficult to size up too. Indeed at a 180cm tall ideally we’d ride the XL frame but this would be impossible without running a short drop seat post.

Pricing

The top of the range 770 MSL ridden here gets Fox suspension front and rear and a Shimano XT 1×11 drivetrain for €5,600. While there’s a more affordable option at €4,000 with a RockShox Yari fork and a Monarch shock.

xPipeline_770-MSL

Details

Frame:SMOOTHWALL™ CARBON C13 FRONT TRIANGLE. FORM™ 7005 SERIES CUSTOM HYDROFORMED BOOST 148MM REAR TRIANGLE. BC2™ PIVOTS & GREASE PORTS. PRESS FIT BB. INTERNAL CABLE ROUTING. ISCG05 TABS. RIDE-9™ ADJUSTABLE GEOMETRY + SUSPENSION RATE.
Shock:FOX FLOAT DPS FACTORY 130MM
Fork:FOX 34 FLOAT FACTORY 150MM
Sizes:S - M - L - XL
Headset:FSA ORBIT C-40
Stem:ROCKY MOUNTAIN 35 AM
Handlebar:RACE FACE TURBINE 35 760MM
Grips:ROCKY MOUNTAIN LOCK ON XC
Brakes:SHIMANO XT 180MM
Shifters:SHIMANO XT
Rear mech:SHIMANO XT DIRECT M
Cranks and chainrings:RACE FACE TURBINE 28T
Bottom bracket:RACE FACE 30MM BB92 PRESS FIT
Cassette:SHIMANO XT 11-42T
Chain:SHIMANO HG-600
Front hub:ROCKY MOUNTAIN SEALED BOOST 15MM
Rear hub:SUNRINGLÉ SRC BOOST 148MM
Spokes:WTB 1.8-1.6 BUTTED
Rims:ALEX XM35 INCL TUBELESS KIT
Tyres:MAXXIS REKON EXO 27.5 X 2.8 TUBELESS READY
Seatpost:2016 ROCKSHOX REVERB STEALTH
Saddle:WTB SILVERADO RACE
Size tested:Large
Top tube:620mm
Head angle:67.2 - 68.8°
Head tube length:130mm
Seat angle:73.7° - 75.5°
Seat tube length:508mm
Chainstays:443mm
BB drop:25.1mm - 3.4mm
Reach:436mm - 454mm
Stack:626mm - 638mm
Standover:750mm
Wheelbase:1194mm