It's got a lot of the features that the rare Summit RL had, and some features it didn't, so it's a best guess ultimately. Let's check it out.
And being a '91, it had headtube-mounted cable stops, like all steel Rockys had in '91, apart from the Thunderbolt and Fusion. We can't say for sure as the records have been lost, but, this was probably welded in Japan. One thing I read about determining where Rocky's frames were made was that the factory in Japan had a machine to stamp the serial number, so the stamping on the frame was nice and even. The frames welded in Canada were stamped by hand and are a little messy in some cases.
You may have noticed that the cable stops on this bike are not on the headtube, so is this a '91? Is it a Summit?
There is simply no other Rocky like this frame in 1991, so it has to be a Summit. And they didn't make the Summit in any other year - except for the elevated chainstay Summit so the most likely explanation is that this frame was redone, or probably repaired, in this more conventional arrangement. I've heard the headtube stops were problematic, so maybe they broke on this frame and it was repainted in green. You do see blue inside the frame.
The decals are the same colour as the Summit RL, but they're both from the same side. The drop shadow drops away from the front of the bike on stock bikes, but this one has a drop shadow dropping forward on the left side of the bike, so it has two right side decals on it.
We're getting really nerdy here now.
I've built this with very period-not-correct parts; SRAM 9.0 V-brakes, and composite levers, an XTR 3x10 drivetrain, RaceFace cranks, XT hubs on red anodized Mavic rims, Marzocchi Z.2 BAM fork, Syncros stem, and a Syncros headset.
It's a pretty upright riding position, but it's super comfortable. Far more enjoyable to ride than my Ritchey actually. That's probably more about the super narrow bar on the Ritchey though.
So, we may never know exactly what the deal is with this bike, but...... there is another.....
Is it a '92 Summit with the cable stops on the top tube representing an improvement over the '91?
Is it just another that had the stops moved and then got new paint and decals?
One other mystery is the serial numbers that we know of from the Summit RL/Max bikes. 4106, 5934, 7901, 8426. They didn't make very many of these, so these numbers don't make much sense. Was the first number the month of production? Can't be - there's no way they made 934 of them
We may never know since Rocky's records were lost.