Is Rocky Mountain Growler 40 Your Perfect Companion? – [Rocky Mountain Growler 40 Review]

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Rocky Mountain Growler 40 Review

  • Price: $1,899
  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Tires: 29″Aluminum
  • Gear: 1×12

What we like about it: A simple and efficient hardtail trail bike, plus the right price for almost any rider.

What we don’t like about it: Only one water bottle holder, not good for carrying more stuff on long rides.

Rating: (4.9/5)

Rocky Mountain Growler 40
Rocky Mountain Growler 40

The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 is an efficient hardtail trail bike with a slack head tube angle and carefully selected components.

Below, we will analyze the riding experience, key features, components, and specifications as well as other versions of this bike.

Additionally, at the end of the review, we will also compare several best bike models. If you want to know more about bike reviews, don’t hesitate to follow us.

Cycling Experience

The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 has an aluminum internally routed frame and excellent frame geometry.

The feeling I got it was that it is a rugged and reliable trail bike. It responded to almost all of my requests.

For that reason I took the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 to Snowmass Bike Park and booked a hotel in advance on IHG in the neighborhood, which has flowing stretches of trails and rugged, exciting mountain roads.

There are also some complex sections covered in rocks and roots, the perfect venue to test this bike.


The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 is also lighter in overall body weight as a hardtail, aluminum framed mountain bike.

This allowed me to use less energy on these long uphill rides, and the more upright riding position better helped me to maintain my center of gravity.

My weight was evenly distributed between the front and rear ends of the bike, making the front wheel stays close to the ground and my pedaling more efficient.

As the angle of the uphill became greater, the pedaling was heavier and heavier. That’s when I went through the Rocky Mountain 40 with its stunning Microdrive 2PC | 30T crankset and SunRace CSMZ800 WA10 11-51T flywheel.

By simply adjusting the rear derailleur chainstay to a couple of the larger cogs, my pedaling instantly became lighter, allowing me to get over these uphill climbs without exerting too much effort.

At the end of the day, I was on board with the climbing performance of the Rocky Mountain Growler 40, with a hard-tailed frame construction and more than enough speeds to get me over every hill.


The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 performs well on descents, and is what I’m happy with. The Suntour Raidon 34 LOR Air Boost fork offered 140mm of dampening travel.

With excellent support and sensitivity, it reduced the feeling of impact when I landed from some small drops, but since there was no shock absorber at the rear end, still a strong feeling of impact at the rear end existed when I landed.

This process required some bike control skills, otherwise I wouldn’t recommend using a hardtail mountain bike, for flying maneuvers on drop-offs.

Then I came to the rocky, rooty section of the trail, where the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 showed great passing power and stability on the descent with its big 29-inch wheelset and front and rear 2.6-inch tires. It also allowed me to maintain a high speed descent.

To my delight, the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 remained consistent on the trails, with the hardtail mountain bike’s rear triangle providing nimble handling.

On top of that, the Shimano MT4100 brakes it carried coupled with 180mm discs front and rear showed strong, reliable stopping power, quickly bringing my bike down to speed.

All in all, the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 is a hardtail trail bike that I think is a no-brainer choice that meets my claims in every aspect of ability. It is also perfect for riders who love hardtail mountain biking.


The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 is available in 4 sizes (S-XL) with internally routed aluminum frames.

Supporting riders from 5’2″-6’6″ in height, the Growler 40 has a wide range of adaptability.

Next, the loose geometry and long wheelbase coupled with the 29-inch wheelset presents great stability on descents and excellent passing power to deal with potholes.

Apart from that, the bike’s self-contained dropper design allows you to switch the center of gravity of your ride at any time between climbing and descending, ensuring that the rider is always in the right position to increase the efficiency during ride.

Finally, the frame of this bike has been reinforced at the seat tube and top tube to give the overall frame more strength and sturdiness.


Other Version

The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 is an excellent all-round hardtail trail bike with an excellent geometry frame, decent climbing and riding ability.

But for some riders who want an even better riding experience, we offer a hardtail trail bike with the same geometry and aluminum frame under the same brand, but with higher grade components that will result in a more powerful ride.

Rocky Mountain Growler 50

Rocky Mountain Growler 50
Rocky Mountain Growler 50

The Rocky Mountain Growler 50 has the same internally routed aluminum frame as the Rocky Mountain Growler 40, ensuring that the bikes are sturdy and durable.

In terms of damping, the Rocky Mountain Growler 50’s RockShox 35 Gold RL fork has 150mm of damping travel and excellent initial sensitivity for smooth, stable trail riding.

When it comes to the drivetrain components, the Shimano XT hybrid Shimano SLX drivetrain has excellent braking ability.

It enjoys a smooth shifting feel, and the rear derailleur of the Shimano XT showcases a strong tension. This can better stabilize the chain from falling off during intense riding.

Next, the SHimano MT4120 four-piston brakes have a linear braking feel and powerful braking ability. With a light press on the brake, you can quickly brake the bike to a stop.

Below, we’ll list the specifics of the Rocky Mountain Growler 50 in specific detail and some other brands of hardtail trail bikes with similar prices for your reference.

What do we like about it?

  • Excellent loose geometry makes for more stability when riding down.
  • The internal cable routing makes the exterior look neater and easier to clean on a daily basis.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes maintain a stable braking capacity no matter how harsh the environment is.
  • The chain protector on the rear lower fork reduces the noise generated by chain slap during riding.
  • The dropper seatpost is designed to allow the rider to be in the right position at all times between climbing and descending transitions.
  • The 29×2.6-inch large grain tire option provides a fast and consistent descent.

What don’t we like about it?

  • Only one water bottle holder, not good for carrying more on long rides.


  • What kind of Wheelsets does it use?

Front wheelset: Rocky Mountain Sealed Boost 15mm.

Rear wheelset: Rocky Mountain Sealed Boost 15mm.

  • What kind of rider is it for?

It is a reliable hardtail trail bike with a sturdy frame plus the right components for every rider who loves mountain biking.

  • How to choose the right size?

Here we provide you with a size chart, but of course you do not have to follow this standard. The best way to find the most suitable size is to test ride.

Rider heightSIZE
5’2″ – 5’7″S
5’5″ – 5’10”M
5’8″ – 6’3″L
6’1″ – 6’6″XL

Rocky Mountain Growler 40 Specs


Frame Rocky Mountain 6061 Alloy | Threaded BB | Boost 148mm | Tapered Zerostack Headtube | Dropper Post Compatible. Rear Triangle
BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, Threaded
Colors: Green / Blue; Orange / Black
ForkSuntour Raidon 34 LOR Air Boost 140mm
Bottom BracketRocky Mountain Sealed – Shimano Compatible
HeadsetRocky Mountain | Loose Ball Bearings | 1.5″ Crown Race
StemRocky Mountain 31.8 XC | 7° Rise | All Sizes = 40mm
HandlebarRocky Mountain AM | 800mm Width | 25mm Rise | 9° Backsweep | 5° Upsweep | 31.8 Clamp
SaddleRocky Mountain 148 Steel
SeatpostRocky Mountain Toonie Drop Alloy 30.9mm | XS – SM = 125mm | MD = 150mm | LG – XL = 170mm
GripsRocky Mountain Lock On Light


Rear DerailleurShimano Deore 12spd
CrankRocky Mountain Microdrive 2PC | 30T |Direct Mount| 24mm Spindle | Crank Length: XS-SM-MD = 170-mm | LG – XL = 175mm
ShiftersShimano Deore 12spd
CassetteSunRace CSMZ800 WA10 11-51T
ChainShimano M6100
BrakesShimano MT4100 2 Piston | Resin Pads | F:Shimano RT30 180mm | R:Shimano RT30 180mm


RimsWTB ST i30 TCS 2.0 Tubeless | 32H | Tubeless Ready – Tape / Valves Incl
Spokes2.0 Stainless
Front HubRocky Mountain Sealed Boost 15mm
Rear HubRocky Mountain Sealed Boost 148mm
TiresF: Maxxis Minion DHF 2.6 EXO Tubeless Ready // R: Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.6 EXO Tubeless Ready

Comparison Table

BikesClick ViewTravelFrameBrakeDrivetrain
Cannondale Trail Women’s SE 3Click View120mm frontAluminumTektro M2751 × 11
Santa Cruz Chameleon R Plus / Carbon C / 27+Click View130mm frontCarbon SRAM Guide T1 × 12
Trek Roscoe 9Click View140mm frontAluminumShimano M61201 × 12
Giant Fathom 1Click View130mm frontAluminumShimano BR-MT4011 × 12

Rocky Mountain Growler 40 vs Cannondale Trail Women’s SE 3

Cannondale Trail Women's SE 3
Cannondale Trail Women’s SE 3

The Cannondale Trail Women’s SE 3 have longer damping travel compared to the former to better cope with riding on complex surfaces.

They both use Shimano Deore drivetrain components with a smooth shifting feel and this is a reliable drivetrain assembly.

As of braking components, the former’s Shimano MT4100 brakes will have more braking power than the latter’s Tektro M275 brakes, and the feel of the former brakes is also going to be lighter.

Finally, between these two hardtail trail bikes, the former uses more advanced components, making the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 more recommendable.

Rocky Mountain Growler 40 vs Santa Cruz Chameleon R Plus / Carbon C / 27+

Santa Cruz Chameleon R Plus Carbon C 27+
Santa Cruz Chameleon R Plus Carbon C 27+

The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 and Santa Cruz Chameleon R Plus / Carbon C / 27+ are both excellent hardtail trail bikes.

In terms of the damping system, the former’s Suntour Raidon 34 has longer damping travel and also has good damping sensitivity. The latter’s FOX Rhythm 34’s damped fork enjoys better support and is more reliable in long, aggressive riding conditions.

When making comparison in drivetrain components between these two bikes, Rocky Mountain’s Shimano drivetrain and shift are a bit smoother, while Santa Cruz’s SRAM NX drivetrain shows a bit drier and crisper feature.

Overall, if you are with a sufficient budget, I would recommend the Santa Cruz Chameleon R Plus / Carbon C / 27+ ,after all, a little bit more classy in every way.

But if you are on a limited budget, the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 is comfortable and more of a crowd pleaser.

Learn More: Is Santa Cruz CHAMELEON A Good Bike? [2022 Santa Cruz CHAMELEON Review]

Rocky Mountain Growler 40 vs Trek Roscoe 9

2023 Trek Roscoe 9
Trek Roscoe 9

Both the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 and the Trek Roscoe 9 have aluminum frames and both share the same 140mm-travel fork.

The latter’s Fox Rhythm Float 36 fork, however, has a thicker tube diameter and better support for more complex riding surfaces.

In terms of drivetrain components, the Shimano SLX together with Shimano XT drivetrain, which both belong to the latter, offers better drivetrain efficiency and shifting feel than the former’s Shimano Deore.

Finally, Trek Roscoe’s Shimano M6120 has a higher level of braking than Rocky Mountain’s Shimano M4100. It also owns more clamp pistons, so the braking power will be more powerful as well.

At the end of the day, between these two mountain bikes, again, it’s a matter of choice based on your budget.

While the Trek Roscoe 9 will really bring a better riding experience, the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 will suit more people.

Learn More: Is Trek Roscoe 9 A Good Bike? [Trek Roscoe 9 Review]

Rocky Mountain Growler 40 vs Giant Fathom 1

Giant Fathom 1
Giant Fathom 1

The Rocky Mountain Growler 40 and the Giant Fathom 1 are two similar hardtail trail bikes that are trustworthy.

Both bikes use a dropper design that ensures the rider can always keep the center of gravity stable between climbs and descents.

Also, in terms of component selection, both use components that correspond to a similar level, which is close in performance and reliability.

However, the Rocky Mountain Growler 40 enjoys a looser geometry and will be more stable on the descent, while the Giant Fathom 1’s geometry dictates that it will climb better.

So, between these two bikes, you can choose depending on which road surface you prefer to ride on.

Learn More: Is Giant Fathom 1 Worth Buying? – [Giant Fathom 1 Review]


Above is my riding review of the Rocky Mountain Growler 40. In our opinion, this is a hardtail trail bike with excellent ability to fulfill almost all my needs. That’s why we gave it a 4.9 rating.

Of course, if you’re interested in exploring other similar bikes, we have reviewed a variety of bikes at different price points that you might find interesting. Feel free to check out our other reviews as well.

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