They didn’t spend the year just celebrating the great success Rock Machine had in the past quarter century, the team got right down to work, and brought out a brand new collection of bikes for 2019. The Czech brand’s offering is worthy of their heritage, the anniversary bike collection will include a custom-painted series of the most successful models, a new enduro bike and several interesting models female-specific range of bikes. Conforming to the latest industry trend, a large selection of e-bikes will be available under the ever-green Rock Machine brand name.
During the presentation of the 2019 models, we received a lot of interesting information about the 25 year history of Rock Machine. The origins of the brand name was explained by the brand manager: as the reader might have guessed, there were two things the founders of the company loved… cycling and rock music! So when time came to name the brand in 1994, they did not hesitate for a moment: Rock Machine perfectly sums up the what was cool for them at the time.
As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, the four top-of-the-line RM models, 2 e-bikes and 2 traditional models were selected to receive a special black and silver design. The result is truly stunning: the BLIZZARD e90-27 Di2, the STORM e60-29, the BLIZZARD XCM 90-29 and the MANHATTAN 90-29 never looked better, the paint scheme looks really percussive.
By the way, the Rock Machine bikes have always bore unusual colors, quite unique to the brand, seldom seen on other bikes on the market. The design is part of the brand image, where the colors are chosen from nature to make the bikes to stand out in public, and assimilate them into the natural environment where they are most often ridden. We will see another color being introduced for 2019 — the so-called “factory purple” –, which will feature in several new bike models.
The Rock Machine is traditionally a strong contender on the more extreme segment of the MTB market, so this range will see significant expansion in 2019. The enduro bike lineup will see the most development, the new BLIZZARD TLR 90-29 has 140mm travel front and back, and will come with a complete SRAM Eagle GX group set. The most cutting-edge model is revamped for 2019: the BLIZZARD 90-27 will now come with a steel coil rear shock. There will be a lot of change in the external design of all the bikes, some breathtaking colors will be introduced, and even mid-range models will be equipped by SRAM’s most recent introduction, the 12-speed Eagle NX group set.
For the female-specific bike range, the CATHERINE will be available in carbon version for 2019, where essentially the only difference from the “male” version is the aesthetic design and of course the female-specific accessories. The popular aluminum frame models will remain in the lineup, with revamped designs to better cater for the growing number of women riders.
The BLIZZ CARBON model line will see a new 90-29 version, it will be available in addition to the previous models next season. The 70-29 we tested last year was certainly not a heavyweight by any standard, but 90-29 will be even lighter, one of the lightest in this bike category. In addition to the above-mentioned new sibling, all the models in the range will be redesigned for colors. As seen in the pictures, the 2019 “factory purple” BLIZZ CARBON with the SRAM Eagle NX will be an remarkably cool and up-to-date carbon MTB.
A GRAVELRIDE bikes introduced this year will have a newcomer for 2019. Rock Machine designed an intermediate model between the 300 and the 700 model we tested here in Bikemag, the new gravel bike will bear the “500” suffix, and will be fitted with a full Tiagra componet set and narrower than usual tires. The designers intend this version as a more road-oriented bike in the gravel range, but it could just as well be fitted with wider, burlier tires if the conditions require.
The RM Cross category will see some innovation as well for 2019. The frames have been redesigned by Rock Machine with trendy hidden cables, and the bikes will feature an integrated kickstand attached to the rear frame dropouts.
The ever-popular MANHATTAN, HEATWAVE, STORM, BLIZZ and BLACKOUT models will continue to be available, and we shouldn’t forget to mention the excellent children/youth models in the Rock Machine range. There will be more than two dozen different models in this essential category, so all age group will have plenty of options to choose from.
I have already mentioned in the introduction, the e-bike segment will also see a huge development at Rock Machine for 2019. No less than 40 models will be added to the brand’s electric assisted bicycle lineup. Essentially every “pushbike” model will have an e-bike equivalent version! Rock Machine predominantly employs the leading Shimano STEPS motor drive system, the exact configuration is chosen depending on the type bicycle in question.
In addition, some RM e-bike models are equipped with a so-called SPORT DRIVE system developed in-house by the Czech brand. One of the special characteristics of the SPORT DRIVE is that it can deliver more torque than any of the Shimano motors, and it will be available in both mid-engine and rear hub drive versions – either with or without a torque sensor. Models in the lower price segment will have the latter configuration, enabling Rock Machine to offer extremely low priced e-bikes for the ever-growing market. We were able to try out the SPORT DRIVE system, and a review will be published shortly.
New in the 2019 e-bike offering is an e-bike model aimed at children and adults of small statute. The brand-new model bears the name TORRENT JNR E30-27, it is only offered in a 15″ frame size, designed according to the needs of young riders. For example, there is a mechanism to stop handlebar from hitting, and possibly damaging the frame! No doubt the RM designers have experience with children riding delicate bikes!
For more pictures of e-bikes, please click below to see large images.
More information will soon be available on the Rock Machine distributor’s website.