ASK MBA – Rocky Maiden’s & The One Ring


Q: I just wanted to follow up with you, well, just because. I ended up buying the Rocky Mountain Maiden Park. What a great choice. I understand now what a difference carbon makes. It took me a lit- tle while to get used to 27.5 on a DH bike after riding that 26er for the past several years, but now that I am used to it, the bike is brilliant. It just charges through gnar like it isn’t even there, and that makes for a smooth ride. It also seems faster on a straightaway and more sta- ble, though the stability part is probably more due to having gone from a small to a medium frame. It rails berms just as well as my 26er did, though not at first, as I was still adjusting to it. Now that I’ve found my place on it, I really like the 27.5. The cool thing about the Maiden is that it can run 27.5 or 26, though I have no desire to switch back to 26.

When I hit drops, the bike is like, “Did something just happen? I couldn’t tell.” It’s just as smooth as it can be, and jumps are effortless. An incredible suspension setup from my LBS certainly helped too. As you might say, the Rocky Mountain Maiden “inspires tons of confidence.” I have no regrets about buying this bike.

—Rick, who shreds the gnar

A: Right on, Rick. We loved the new stuff from Rocky in 2017 and can’t wait to see what they have coming down the pike for next year.


Q: My trusty three-ring circus has a low- est gear consisting of a 22 up front and 36 in the rear. It gets me up steep stuff. If I go with the SRAM Eagle 1x drivetrain with 50 teeth in the rear, what front ring would be needed to equal my current low?

—Michael, who wants to take it low

A: We ran the math on this one, but we’re not going to show our work as if this were a high school math test. Basically, a 30-tooth ring with a 50-tooth cassette cog will be almost identical, and even a touch lower than your current 22/36t setup. There are plenty of ring options in this size, and even some that are smaller than that if you want to really go crazy crawling up the steep stuff.

Q: Thanks for crunching the numbers for me. It looks like the closest Shimano setup would be their current XT with a 30 up front and 46 in the rear. Are there any reliable aftermarket rings in 26 or 28 that are XT compatible and will duplicate my three-ring granny? Thanks for steering me in the right direction.

A: There are several companies that sell rings with 28 teeth for your setup. The ones we’ve had luck with are from North Shore Billet and Wolf Tooth Components. Both of these ring options sell for about $65. Happy trails and happy climbing!

Have a question for the MBA crew? You can send your brain busters to [email protected].


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