Spot’s Rocker has always been niche but it's a definite contender in the best hardtail mountain bike segment with the ability to run single speed and accommodate Gate’s belt drive system.
The Golden, Colorado, bike brand has now evolved the Rocker frame from steel to carbon-fibre, delivering a purist trail bike for committed single speed aficionados.
Although the Rocker’s transition from Reynold 853 tubing to a composite structure has altered its appearance and proportions, all the features that made this Spot 29er hardtail revered, are still present.
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The modular rear dropout system allows for both geared and single speed riding options. Spot’s clever Kobe 3 sliding dropout enables one to remove the rear wheel for maintenance or in-car transport functions, without having to realign a brake calliper, something which is often the bane of less sophisticated single-speed systems.
To keep on theme with the clean aesthetic that is desirable amongst its single-speed target audience, Spot’s industrial designers have hidden the Rocker’s cables from view.
Unlike most internal cable routing configurations, which can be frustrating for amateur mechanics to deal with, the Rocker has a gutter system on its downtube, which allows ease of access, whilst keeping the bike’s side profile view elegantly clean.
One gear, but multi-purpose
Geometry is very much on trend for either long-distance racing or trail riding use, with a 67-degree head angle and roomy 470mm of reach on a size L frame. Like its steel predecessor, the new carbon-fibre Rocker is designed to be playful and responsive – two anchor riding characteristics valued by single speed mountain bikers.
Spot recommends a suspension fork travel range of 100- to 130mm, allowing riders to tailor their Rocker’s purpose from flat topography to shredding technical singletrack. The Rocker has adequate rear triangle clearance for 29x2.4in tyres, potentially boosting climbing traction on loose terrain.
Frame weight is a very competitive 1,270g and as you would expect from a single speed, the build options are terrifically light. Spot classifies its premium Rocker single speed build at only 8.9kg.
In a market where most progressive single speed offerings are made from heavier steel tubing, the new Rocker is effective without rival.
Pricing for the Rocker single speed, with a Gates belt drive, starts at $3,299. The geared option’s start point is $3,499.