Rocky Mountain Growler 50 Trail Bike
Most brands do not bother offering a hardtail with the kind of slack head-tube angle seen on a typical full suspension bike. To meet that need, the hard-riding Canadian crew at Rocky Mountain has developed the Growler, a progressive hardtail with an enduro-esque geometry. Rocky Mountain designed this model to be an incredibly capable hardtail that makes technical climbs manageable while still being able to rail corners or tackle uneven terrain. We handed the bike over to the MBA wrecking crew to put it to the test.
The Growler frame is made with 6061 alloy and has modern amenities, including internal cable routing, clearance for 29×2.6-inch tires, a tapered head tube, Boost 148 spacing and a 12mm rear thru-axle. The design of the Growler can also handle a 130mm- or 140mm-travel fork. All that is good, but the real reason this bike is interesting is the geometry.
To put it very simply, the frame’s geometry numbers are typically found on a full-suspension enduro or trail bike. The lengthy wheelbase of our size-large Growler sits at 1237mm, which is 36mm (1.4 inches) longer than the large full-suspension Specialized Stumpjumper 29. The Growler has a reach of 470mm, a head tube that is slacked to 64 degrees, and a 75-degree seat tube angle to place a rider in control of the bike.
Rocky Mountain currently offers three affordable variations of the Growler model. Each option uses the exact same frame and material; they just vary in components/color options. The base model Growler 20 starts right at $999. This base version includes an entry-level 130mm Suntour fork and a 9-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain. The build up, the Growler 40, has a…