Ranking Every RMC Pre-Lift Segment

Pre-lift: the section of track immediately after the station before reaching the first lift hill or launch track. On the majority of steel roller coasters, the pre-lift consists of a short straight track, a ninety-degrees turn, or a 180-degree turn.

Rocky Mountain Construction is known for incredibly dynamic yet ultra-smooth roller coasters thanks to their innovative Iron Horse steel track manufactured from planar steel sheets instead of tubes or pipes. But another hallmark of many RMC coasters is a twisted pre-lift track segment. They really do try to have as little straight track as possible, cramping as many safe accelerations into every inch of a ride.

We decided to rank all the best RMC pre-lifts. Note: this is a ranking of the pre-lift section ONLY and not a ranking of the entire ride experience. We only included pre-lifts that are unique – all the RMC’s with relatively simple flat turns or straight track into the lifts are not included. If you enjoy super niche roller coaster content, you’ve come to the right place! Onto the rankings…

9. Untamed – Walibi Holland

Admittedly, no one on our team has ridden Untamed, so this is based off watching the POV, but I think in this case it’s pretty safe to say it’s the weakest looking pre-lift out of the bunch. Yeah, an outward banked turn straight out of the station is unique and cool, but that’s all it is with no bunny hops, so last place it is.

8. Iron Gwazi – Busch Gardens Tampa

Iron Gwazi wasn’t going to make this list but @trentboring3426 on YouTube convinced us: “Row 12 pull on the pre-lift for Iron Gwazi!” There is a short drop and left hand turn with some good pull in the back row.

7. Steel Vengeance – Cedar Point

Steel Vengeance’s two pre-lift humpty-bumps are a nice teaser for the “bucking-bronco” airtime hill filled finale.

6. ArieForce One – Fun Spot America

We could swap ArieForce One and Steel Vengeance places and it wouldn’t really matter.

5. Twisted Cyclone – Six Flags Over Georgia

“The sleek train rolls out of the station and veers slightly to the left before entering the first pre-lift dip. It provides a small pop of air if you’re sitting in the back of the train. RMC’s flagship pre-lift shenanigans follow. A miniaturized ‘wave turn’ offers a very small taste of its larger sibling that lies ahead,” is how John perfectly described Twisted Cyclone’s pre-lift after his first rides on the coaster.

4. Hakugei – Nagashima Spa Land

We haven’t actually ridden this one so we’re judging by the POV. It looks similar but slightly longer version of Twisted Cyclone’s pre-lift, so we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and put it just ahead of Twisted Cyclone.


3. Twisted Colossus – Six Flags Magic Mountain

When it opened in 2015, Twisted Colossus was the first RMC coaster to get a crazy pre-lift section, as the path from the station to the lift hill is quite long so they had to do something to spice it up.  @danielwoloshin5337 on YouTube had a funny description: “Twisted Colossus’s makes me think of a runner doing a quick little warm-up stretch before the big race. That subtle tire launch as well is elite.”

2. The Joker – Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

As Eric said during Joker media day, “The first thing I noticed even while watching the other trains go was how quickly the train comes out of the station. It’s impressively fast for a regular start, and it makes the pre-lift section surprisingly fun. There’s quite a nice little pop of air on the first pre-lift hill, and it made it one of my favorite pre-lifts on any ride.”

1. Wildcat’s Revenge – HersheyPark

As Kyle and Evan said in their Wildcat’s Revenge review: “I really have to give a shout-out to the pre-lift section. I really enjoy unconventional elements on coasters and the very long (for a pre-lift) section is such a fun way to start off the ride. It’s crazy to say that the part of the ride before the lift hill was surprising even to me! I was shocked at how fast this part of the ride was and that it gave some nice pops of airtime when I sat in the back of the train. It truly felt like you were a wildcat chasing a creature down a mountain.”

What’s Next?
If RMC ever reads this, here’s a free idea from @Silacide for the next coaster: “They should make one where it goes through a barrel roll right before the lift!”

Watch every RMC pre-lift back to back in the video below!

What’s your favorite RMC pre-lift segment? Agree or disagree with our rankings? Let us know in the comments below!