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The Ideal Galbraith Mt. Bike?
Rocky Mountain ETS X-70

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This is Tim McDermott's personal ETS X-70, which comes stock with the Marzocchi Marathon fork, Fox Float RL shock, Hayes Mag disc brakes, Easton Monkey Light carbon fiber handlebar, Ritchie Scuzzy Logic headset, Stelle Italia Custom XO seat, and the Race Face Prodigy Isis splined bottom bracket. Tim has upgraded the stock Shimano derailleurs to the SRAM X.O. 

Model: Rocky Mountain ETS X-70
Category: Light Weight Trail
Suspension: 4 inches front; 4.5 inches (or 4 inches or 3.5 inches, with quick release adjustment) rear 
Ideal for: The ETS feels totally native on Galbraith and ready to rip everything on the mountain. This homeboy feeling is at least slightly due to the fact that Rocky Mountain is located just across the Canadian line in nearby Delta, BC. 
Over all performance: Every one of's test riders, The Usual Suspects, loved this bike. They raved about its climbing ability, especially where traction is sketchy like at the top of Darrell's, and it's rip city spirit when coming down the Chicken or Supercross. The downsides of the bike are its somewhat flexy rear end, and longish feeling wheelbase which can makes it a bit of a handful on tight single track like the Rusty Can. Only time will tell whether the Rocky Mountain's X project design is as good as the Horst-link four-bar type designs, but make no mistake about it, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a serious contender.
Front end: The front end on the top-of-the-line ETS X-70 is the Marzocchi Marathon 100 S air fork with four inches of travel and Marzocchi's very useful ECC feature, which allows you to both lock the fork and compress the legs to steepen the head tube angle, thus noticeably improving the bike's already excellent climbing ability. At the same time, the Marathon has a good deep feel that lifts your spirits as you approach hard high drops, like the bottom of the first catwalk on the Chicken. It is flexier than other four inch travel forks, but it is also the lightest available, weighing just 3.3 pounds. 
Rear end: Rocky Mountain's X project makes an exceptionally impressive debut on the XTS. At first blush, the rear end on this bike appears to be as good or better than anything we've ever ridden. Even set at the deepest travel position, 4.5 inches (it can also be set for 4 and 3.5 inches of rear travel by means of a simple quick release), the bike climbs marvelously. Mongo The Climbing God ripped his best time ever on Darrell's Death Climb riding this bike. And on the descent, the ETS feels deep and true. Riding the ETS, we sometimes got in the habit of leading with the rear end -- you know, hopping into trenches or off drops and landing the rear end first -- just because it felt so good. Generally speaking, the ETS's virtual pivot point design (not the VPP design that Santa Cruz bought from Outland, though) delivers a very plush -- yet responsive -- fully active feel. It doesn't suffer from brake jack, and if you lock down the Marzocchi front end, it lets you hammer out of the saddle to your heart's content.
Brakes:  The XTS is equipped with Hayes Mag dual piston hydraulic disc brakes, which are excellent.
(The devil is in the) Details: The routing of the shifter and brake lines along the top of the top tube abrades the gorgeous silver finish and prevents quickly mounting the bike on a work stand. 
Durability:'s original review of the ETS used a late pre-production X-70. We're happy to report that Rocky has continued to improve and refine the ETS design, so that flex in the rear end is not so much an issue any more, as witnessed by these sequence shots of Brian ETS X-30 hucking on Lower Bob's.
Geometry and sizing: The ETS's geometry is pretty standard cross country fare, with a slightly steepish 71 degree head tube angle and 16.7 inch chain stays, which are elevated BTW (nice touch).
Weight: 27.25 pounds as pictured.
Reviewed: May 2002; updated September 2004

Mark Belles puts the Rocky Mountain ETS through its paces near the top of Arsenio.

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