Early Rocky Mountain Road frame.


Rocky Mountain Fan
I've been wanting to get/build myself a road bike lately, so I've been casually searching the country for something interesting. I've recently culled my collection down, so I didn't want just anything, it had to fit within the idea of the collection. So that narrowed it down to a Rocky Mountain or Kona. I originally wanted a 96 Turbo because I like the colour way, and I didn't think finding an 80's one would be easy. Turns out neither are easy- there's a 96 Turbo out west but the owner doesn't seem interested in selling because they don't answer their messages.

Anyway, this popped up closer to me for less than a tank of fuel, so I couldn't pass it up. It's getting picked up by a friend on Friday, so until then I only have these two pictures to go from... but something didn't seem right to me based on Derek Bailey made Rocky Turbo's and Giro's online. The lugs and the dropout's are off. The frame look bonded to me. Screen Shot 2023-09-12 at 7.47.17 AM.png Screen Shot 2023-09-12 at 7.47.25 AM.png

Huge thanks to @ViperZ who internet sluthed that it's an early early road frame made in Collaboration with Vitus. I'm seeing reference that theses were available 1981-1984? Rocky Mountain / Vitus 979 collaboration -- here's a red one. https://mylittlebikeshop.com/products/size-50cm-1980s-vitus-979-road-bike-shimano-600-like-new

I'm guessing this is basically a Rocky branded Vitus 979.

Does anyone here know anything about these? I'm really looking forward to building this one as it's a whole new world to me. I think I'm still looking for a Derek Bailey built one, and a 96.
Nice project start! Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about this one! And hopefully the future Turbo built by Bailey.
I still don't have it in my possession, but I've been doing a little bit of research on it. I think I'm wrong on the years for this- Based on the Vitus resouce on line, the seat cluster seen on this frame didn't come into play until 1985. https://on-the-drops.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-peugeot-px-10du-vitus-979.html?m=1 so that would put this in and around that time I'd imagine. This begs the question- by 85 Bailey was producing both Turbo's and Giro's- why rebrand someone else when you're making your own? street cred by teaming up with a well known?

These were polished lugs and anodized main tubes- anodize colour options were Black, Blue, Red, Blue/Grey (like m950), and Silver (mine is silver), and later purple.

I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this one, it's going to be a lot of fun learning from it.
According to this link https://groups.google.com/g/dc.biking/c/d0xs448zuIU?pli=1 RM made its first aluminum mountain bike in 89 - the Stratos. I remember my classmate getting one of the first generation Stratos bikes and the rest of us being very impressed. My understanding is that they road bike and mountain bike manufacturing lines were separate so maybe DB was interested in aluminum earlier and was looking for ways to advance the line. Glued and screwed was probably easier to build compared to welding.
Yes, it could be quite possible Rocky took raw Vitus 979 tube sets and assembled these frame themselves. It would not be unheard of, so maybe DB had a hand but I after all? 😇
Vitus did supply some of the tubing for the early Giros.
oh this is interesting. I've yet to find a name for this thing, so that would account as to why. do you have any source information for that by chance? From my research in that link above, these frames were difficult to jig up and required a special jig. So they eventually decided it was cheaper to supply the frames themselves, just stickered up as which ever brand was buying them, and shipped out. With some occasions of bars frames shipped out and they're stickered up in house. Rocky Mountain isn't listed as one of the brands supplied for, so I'd assume it's because it wasn't long enough of a partnership, or they were stickers in house, or maybe both?

Is it possible Rocky Mountain bought a bunch of Vitus frames to tie them over for the half year or so while Derek Bailey was getting his frames up and going?

If Bailey's frames were released in ~1985, and these frames appearing to be pre-1985 frames (based on the seat tube cluster). IF (I can't make this if any bigger) IF then it would kind make sense?
Vitus did supply some of the tubing for the early Giros.
do you have any source information for that by chance?
In the 88 catalog The Giro and Turbo are said to be build with a combination of tubes.

Giro - Super Vitus 983 Cro-Moly GTI
Turbo - Columbus SPX or Super Vitus 983 or Reynolds 531 ( I suppose the customer could select)

I know it's not the Aluminum tubes, but RM was using Vitus tubes. Your theory of rebranding already built frames is pretty strong.