Bicycle review: Rockmachine Torrent 70 (2014)

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There are some bikes that work magic, and the Rockmachine Torrent 70 counts as one of them since it can make almost anyone, myself included, find again the pleasure of riding over the most difficult terrain, of pedalling until sunset, or just the plain satisfaction of going crazy on your mountain bike. With a background of 20 years, Rock Machine did its best and gifted the Torrent 70 with some sporty genes that one can notice from the moment they hop on the saddle. But that’s not all…

Frame/On the trail

Torrent relies on a classical geometry that involves a 450mm chainstay, 71 degree head tube angle and a 73 degree seat tube angle. So, the manufacturer didn’t experiment in this case, going with the standard configuration, but opted to mount a shorter stem that makes the bike more maneuverable. Further enhancing the handling is the wide handlebar (700mm), with its zero rise, and while these specification may not make the bike stand out, its capabilities in terms of tackling all kinds of tracks and paths will impress you. Yes, sir, this bike can handle anything you can throw at it, and it likes taking abuse like few others, thus passing the exam that any real mountain bike should take.

With a weight of 2,14 kilograms, the frame isn’t exactly light, but it makes up for this in terms of stiffness, with a value of 101,4 Nm/degree. Therefore, its good level of stiffness can serve even persons of over 90 kilograms. Other features worth mentioning are the tapered head tube, and the eliptic shape of the top and down tubes, which aid in terms of appearance and strength, and also the rear caliper mount, which is a part separatley CNC machined in order to be as stiff as possible. What you won’t find on the Torrent 70 are, however, rack and fender mounts, which is by no means any kind of loss.

Specifications

In terms of components, Torrent appears kind of dry, featuring the strict necessity in this respect, taking into account that you regularly go on real mountain rides or even amateur competitions. It employs exactly what you need and nothing more, emphasizing on functionality, and the strongest reason to upgrade the bike would be weight, if you’re not to excited by the 14-kilograms value it currently shows. There is, however, a small flaw in the component line-up, represented by the Schwalbe Smart Sam tires, which each tip the scale at 800 grams, and don’t even offer noticeable quality for this drawback.

The brakes don’t do extremely well either, despite the fact that they are hydraulic. They meet the basic requirement, that of stopping or slowing down the bike, but the Shimano M395 are not in line with the rest of the components, and don’t quite excel in other subtleties that made the Japanese brand famous.

Having a 3×10 drivetrain ensures enough gear ratios for any kind of terrain, and the Shimano SLX rear derailleur and Deore front one make a great, silent, and speedy couple that sends the chain across the cogs and chainrings. Completing the drivetrain are a Hollowtech I crankset, that along with the bottom bracket tips the scale at 900 grams, and a pair of Deore shifters.

Another part that puts on massive weight is the completely equipped wheelset, and its 5.38 kilograms, yet this figure is reached due to the tires we mentioned earlier, so there might be a slight chance the wheels themselves are better than they appear.

Last, but not least, the Rock Shox XC32 TK suspension fork contributes to the great off-road performance of the bike. With a lot of adjustments, such as rebound, air pressure or lock-out (by remote control), it only lacks the fine touch needed to respond when passing over small obstacles.

Conclusion

The Torrent 70 is a 29er like all others should be, having the handling, and skills to corner, jump, climb, descend and roll over any terrain possible. With a short stem that enhances control, and a frame constructed with a great deal of attention to details, the bike stands as a great option for begginers and experienced riders alike, even more so when they look for a good value model!

Purpose: XC
Uphill: 7/10
Downhill:
8.5/10

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