Introduced back in 2001, the Slayer has long been Rocky's aggressive, freeride, and big mountain bike. Etched into the history of freeride by legendary riders like Wade Simmons, Richie Schley, and Brett Tippie, the latest version released in June maintains the same send-it mentality with an emphasis on durability, adjustability, and descending prowess.
To pay homage to the hard-charging lineage of the Slayer, we decided to test the lone downhill bike in the Slayer lineup. Retailing for $4,600, the Park 30 build is geared toward bike park riders looking for a bulletproof bike that'll withstand summers of abuse. So what better way to put the Slayer through its paces on a wide variety of proper trails than a week riding the Whistler Bike Park? A tall ask for any bike; find out how the Slayer held up and performed!
Slayer Park 30 Highlights
- FORM Alloy frame
- 180mm rear wheel travel // 200mm fork travel
- Mixed wheels (size S/M) // 29-inch wheels (size L/XL)
- Ride-4 Adjustable Geometry
- 440 or 450mm adjustable rear center
- RockShox Boxxer Select RC fork
- RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select shock
- SRAM Guide RE 4-piston brakes with 220/200mm rotors
- SRAM GX 7-speed drivetrain
- Maxxis DH casing tires
- Internal cable routing
- Water bottle mount
- Verified weight (size large): 39.3 lbs (17.8 kgs)
- MSRP: $4,600 USD
Overview of the Latest Slayer
The Slayer continues to use a similar frame and suspension layout as before but now features longer and slacker geometry, plus a bump up to 180mm of rear wheel travel. The four-bar layout with its defining cross brace between the top and downtube is now more linear with more anti-squat to improve pedaling.
Intended to increase the bikes stability at speed, the head tube angle has gone from 63.2 to 62.2 degrees in the slack position, and reach numbers have increased by around 10mm. The seat tube angle has also steepened by over a degree to help maintain the Slayer's climbing abilities.
Like before, riders have four geometry packages at their disposal via Rocky's Ride-4 adjustment system. Switching between each position will also change the progressivity of the suspension. Position-1, or slack, is the most progressive, while position-4, or steep, is more linear. New for this year is a two-position flip chip at the rear axle, giving riders the choice between a 440 or 450mm rear center. Before, riders were stuck with a 443mm rear center.
Wheel configuration is size-dependent on the Slayer. Size small and medium frames come with a mixed wheel setup, and large and X-large frames come with dual 29-inch wheels. All sizes can be set up with both wheel configurations via an aftermarket link.
At 6 feet tall, I tested a size large Slayer with 29-inch wheels front and rear and a 487.3mm reach in the neutral position. I rode the bike most in the slack position, which shortened the reach to 472.6mm, increased the bottom bracket drop to 28.1mm, and slackened the head angle to 62.3 degrees.
The Slayer is available as a carbon or aluminum frame, with the only difference being the addition of internal storage on carbon models. The Slayer lineup is made of three carbon and three aluminum builds ranging from $3,799 USD up to $10,299 USD.
Instead of being equipped with a dropper post, 12-speed drivetrain, and 180mm single crown fork, the Park 30 build features SRAM's GX 7-speed drivetrain, DH casing Maxxis tires, and a 200mm, dual crown RockShox Boxxer Select fork. A build purely focused on withstanding plenty of abusive descents, it was the perfect option for our testing parameters: a week in Whistler, access to insane trails, and multiple lifts to get black up to the top.
What's the Bottom Line?
The Slayer Park 30 is as capable as you'd expect a 180mm travel bike to be, with the added stability of a dual crown fork up front. Not a bike to bat an eye from any trail, its strong suit is ripping classic bike park trails with endless jumps and berms. An excellent option if you have access to a chair lift or make a few summer bike trips that warrant a downhill bike, the Slayer provides a ton of fun at a reasonable price with minimal immediate upgrades needed. Or, you could pick up a second fork, drivetrain, and dropper post, and the Slayer could be your daily driver outside of park season.
For more information on the Slayer, please visit bikes.com/collections/slayer
View key specs, compare bikes, and rate the Rocky Mountain Slayer in the Vital MTB Product Guide.
Let us know in the comments below if you've considered adding a bike park-specific bike to your quiver.