Kids who enjoy a solid romp down the side of a mountain, complete with aggressive terrain, need a mountain bike that can handle every bump, rock, and other obstacles in their path. The 2020 Rocky Mountain Reaper definitely fits that bill. Coming in at three different sizes, although we tested out and will be reviewing the 27.5 model here. The MSRP for the Reaper 27.5 is $2,849.00 USD.
Available in a cool shade of brown with light blue accents on the front, the Rocky Mountain Reaper almost blends in with the terrain. After all, mountainside trails are known for being brown and surrounded by clear blue skies. However, what young riders are able to do with this bike certainly doesn’t blend in at all. With a bike that can handle enduro, downhill and all-mountain riding, it’s easy to see why.
The FORM™ Alloy frame features full sealed cartridge bearings and a press-fit bottom bracket. It comes with internal cable routing and 2-Bolt ISCG05 mountain tabs. Our demo weighed-in at around 31.5 lbs without pedals, meaning the Reaper is light enough for a young rider to handle, while while having the proper components and suspension to take on rough terrain.
Your kid’s Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 will include a RockShox Deluxe Select RT shock with 130mm of rear travel, a RockShox Sektor RL 130mm fork, and a Rocky Mountain Toonie dropper (100mm travel) attached to a WTB Volt Race 142 saddle. The 27.5-inch tires, Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3 in both the front and the back, can handle even the roughest terrain. The overall size of them and the frame makes it clear that this bike is designed for older kids, those who have outgrown other models in both height and ability. The tires are mounted on Shimano MT400 Boost 15mm hubs in the front, with Shimano MT400 Boost 148mm in the back. Stainless steel spokes and WTB ST i23 TCS tubeless rims complete the picture.
The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 At-A-Glance
1 x 12
27.5in or 26in
~31 lbs sans pedals
The brakes are Shimano M6000 2 piston stoppers with 180mm rotors and Shimano M6000 brake levers. Rocky Mountain Lock-On Light grips are attached to Rocky Mountain AM 760mm handlebars. The shifter is a SRAM SX Eagle.
What really gives the bike it’s power (besides your child’s feet, of course) is the drivetrain. It’s composed of a Sram SX Eagle chain, 30T chainring, and a 12-speed cassette. All can handle the speed and terrain of the mountainside while helping your young rider stay in control.
Speaking of control, the Rocky Mountain Reaper comes with the brand’s patented RIDE9 adjustment system. All that you – or your child – need is a set of hex keys to adjust the interlocking clips, customizing the bike to handle the given terrain. There are nine different possible settings (hence the name of the system), each of which changes the angle of the head tube and the seat tube. The reach and bottom bracket drop are adjusted as well. The three main angle settings, each broken down into several minute adjustments, are for neutral ground, high-speed stability, and proper traction when climbing. This makes the ride customizable, based on your child’s preferences and the mountainsides that they’re conquering.
Rocky Mountain Reaper Comparison Chart
The Reaper is available in 3 sizes. A couple of them can even accommodate different wheel sizes. Read our review featuring the Rocky Mountain Reaper 26 here.
|Reaper 24||Reaper 26||Reaper 27.5|
|MSRP||$1,949.00 USD||$2,349.00 USD||$2,849.00 USD|
|Wheel Sizes (in)* factory set up||24*, 26||26*, 24||27.5*, 27.5+|
|Standover Height (in)RIDE-9 settings, l-rSlack, Neutral, Steep||27.24, 27.32, 27.36||28.62, 28.70, 28.74||31.18, 31.29, 31.37|
Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 Build Specs
|Frame||FORM™ Alloy. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. 2-Bolt ISCG05 Tabs. RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate|
|Fork||RockShox Sektor RL 130mm|
|Shock||RockShox Deluxe RT|
|Headsete||FSA Orbit NO.57E|
|Stem||Rocky Mountain AM|
|Handlebar||Rocky Mountain AM 760mm|
|Grips||Rocky Mountain Lock On Light|
|Brakes||Shimano MT500 / Shimano RT64 180mm / Shimano RT64 180mm|
|Brake Levers||Shimano MT500|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano SLX|
|Cranks & Chainrings||Race Face Ride Cinch 30T Steel|
|Bottom Bracket||Race Face BB92 24mm|
|Cassette||Shimano SLX 11-46T|
|Front Hub||Shimano MT400 Boost 15mm|
|Tires||Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3 / R = Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3|
|Seatpost||XFusion Manic 30.9mm|
|Saddle||WTB Volt Race|
Who Is The Reaper Made For?
This full-suspension bike with 27.5 inch wheels is for kids who like the rough and beaten trails. It’s excellent for rock gardens and roots. The frame’s geometry is the perfect fit for steep descents, bike parks, and shuttle laps. Trail riders who don’t mind the bumps and young enduro racers will enjoy all the attributes of the Reaper 27.5. The bike’s suspension set up welcomes the jumps and drops that lie ahead. Even beginning mountain bikers who are advancing their skills on rugged rides will appreciate the bikes capabilities. Regarding size and fit, the Reaper 27.5 has a standover height of 31.18 inches and you can view the Rocky Mountain sizing chart here.
Angles And Measurements – Reaper 27.5
Click the image above to enlarge it
|TTH Top Tube Length - HORZ||547mm|
|HTA Head Tube Angle||66.4º|
|HTL Head Tube length||100mm|
|STA Seat Tube Angle - Effective||74.4º|
|STL Seat Tube length||365mm|
|RC Rear Centre||426mm|
|BBD Bottom bracket drop||28mm|
|SH Standover Height||792mm|
Riding The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5
Our kid is about 5’0 tall and weighs close to 90lbs with sopping wet gear and his pockets full of rocks. Over the last couple of years, his bike handling skills have improved dramatically. He’s always had a good sense of balance, but his confidence when riding technical features has risen. He’s not the fastest, but he knows how to roll the rocks and is comfy getting in the air.
Cornering on the Reaper 27.5 was pretty darn good. If you can do it properly and set your tire pressure correctly, the Maxxis tires aboard the Reaper hold true and track through loose dirt. You can’t execute correct body position when cornering on a bike that doesn’t fit, so be sure to get the right size Reaper for your kids. They’ll be able to loop through the berms a whole lot easier.
Shorter chainstays are now a common design feature a lot of mountain bikes for riders of all ages and the Reaper 27.5 is demonstrative of this. We compared its 426mm chainstay length to other bikes we’ve recently had (including a hardtail xc bike), and they’re all within a few millimeters. Shorter chainstays result in a more playful, quick-reacting frame. Longer chainstays are more stable at high speeds. With the Reaper 27.5, the rear end was stabilized by the RockShox shock. Of all things, something that our kid specifically spoke about was the saddle. He said it was super comfortable compared to other bikes he’s ridden. It allowed him to be a little more cozy and remain content on longer rides.
Having the suspension set up properly is paramount to ensuring your Reaper performs as intended. We do our best to keep a shock pump with us so we can add or release air depending on where and how we’re riding. The Reaper’s RockShox components are the right size because kids don’t need tons of travel and you can get the squish just right depending on your child’s weight and riding style.
Jumping with the Reaper 27.5 was always a good time. Getting up to speed on proper slopes is easy and the bike’s suspension assists with pre-loading for take-offs and smooths out the return to earth.
The Reaper performed very well on jagged trails. Even pedaling up the chunky stuff while clipped-in, a strong intermediate rider will be able to maximize her/his power. Pedal-bob wasn’t an issue and the dropper post worked very well when our kid was pedaling across rolling country.
Summing Up The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5
The Rocky Mountain Reaper 27.5 is going to be the choice for groms who like to chomp on rocks after they finish their vegetables. It has the right geometry and components for younger humans who appreciate earning their turns on trails with technical descents. The bike will really shine when the liftie removes it from the sled at the bike park and tells you to “have a good ride”. Rocky Mountain has been making award-winning bikes for decades and the Reaper 27.5 will prepare your kids for their first adult-sized mountain bike in the company’s line-up.