Rocky Mountain Bicycles is excited to announce the new Sherpa overland bike.
Bikepacking has been around for a long time, but the Sherpa puts a Rocky Mountain
twist on the concept. We wanted a bike that could tackle more challenging terrain and
would let us get a little rowdy—even loaded down for multi day self-supported
adventures. The Sherpa will carry you and your gear to the ends of the earth, far from
the nearest Strava segment and through whatever ambitious backcountry route you
didn’t know you were planning.

Read the full Rocky Mountain Bicycles press release below.


The inspiration for the Sherpa came
from our lead product guy Alex
Cogger, whose own rides were
getting longer and weirder and more
rugged. Through strategic
cooperation with WTB we were the
first to experiment with 27.5+ tires and
rims, and over the last few years we
prototyped several bikes to test the
capabilities of the wheel size. It was
immediately clear that the increased
float and traction was a great match
for overland bikepacking.

Das Sherpa in seiner natürlichen Umgebung.
The Sherpa in its natural environment.

The Sherpa debuted as a concept bike at Sea Otter 2014—complete with a custom Tibetan Snow
Lion paint job. It generated an overwhelming response from riders wanting to expand their exploration
capabilities, and convinced us to bring it to production.

Price: $4499 USD. Available in stores mid-May

Ein Bike das dich überall hinbringt.
A bike to get lost.


Fully loaded overlanding requires an extended
gear range. We began with our proven Element
carbon front triangle and designed a wider rear
end to ensure that a front derailleur would clear
even the widest tires.

Herzstück ist der Carbon Rahmen des Rocky Mountain Element.
The Sperpa bases on the Rocky Mountain Element carbon frame.

The wide footprint of WTB’s 27.5+ x 2.8 Trailblazer
tires gives the Sherpa confidence and stability in
choppy sections—important when you’re loaded down with gear and going mach chicken over high
desert chunder. They also have surprisingly low rolling resistance and excellent roll-over characteristics.

We matched its 95mm of rear travel to an increased 120mm of front travel for more
capability and loaded stability. Rider position was adjusted to be more upright, making
long days in the saddle more comfortable.

Voll bepackt durch die Wildnis - so muss es sein!
Just going out and making it happen big time.

It is critical for suspension to
react in tandem with high
volume tires. We worked with
Manitou to spec supple
suspension for excellent
response off the top. The
Magnum fork has a wide
stance for better tire clearance,
and the Mcleod requires lower
air pressure, allowing a fully
loaded rider and bike to remain
in the shock’s “sweet spot.”

Why another new wheel size?

27.5+ is a super high volume tire mounted on a
wide 27.5 rim, providing an outer diameter that is
roughly equivalent to a 29er tire.

Overlanding means exploring the unknown, and
for the kind of varied terrain we wanted to explore
with the Sherpa we needed a low pressure, high
volume tire that didn’t exceed traditional 29er
outer diameters.

Das Sherpa rollt auf den neuen 27.5+ Reifen.
The new 27.5+ size means a lot of advantages for the designated use of the Sherpa.

The extra volume improves traction and allows
for low pressures even while carrying the weight
of bikepacking gear—because needing to
overinflate your tires is the worst. And, the outer diameter allowed us to design the
Sherpa with proper full suspension in a full range of sizes.

If massive volume is so great, why aren’t all your bikes 27.5+?

The Sherpa is the world’s first full suspension 27.5+ bike,
but we’re not using the new “skinny fat” wheel size to
jump on a bandwagon. 27.5+ wheels are not 27.5 and
they’re not 29—they’re not a replacement for any other
wheel size and our “regular” bikes aren’t going
anywhere. Everyone put their pitchforks down.

For all their advantages, they are slower and heavier than traditional 29er systems
on smoother terrain. So if you’re looking to win an XC World Cup then 27.5+
probably isn’t for you. Also, more volume means their sidewalls are taller than
traditional tires, limiting cornering stability. A Landcruiser isn’t great at the
racetrack, but hits its stride when things get rough.

Egal welches Bike - Gully lässt es fliegen.
No matter the bike – Gully let’s it fly.

The Rider

We designed the Sherpa for riders who want to get out and explore the world. From
bushwhacking in Idaho, to traversing military trails in the Dolomites, to racing the
Colorado Trail, to travelling long forgotten game trails in the Himalayas—the Sherpa is
made for anyone whose
adventures regularly require a
GPS beacon.

For more information visit

Words & Photos: Rocky Mountain Bicycles

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