Video: 'Earth, Air, Fire, Water' - Jesse Melamed, Felix Burke, & More Ride the New Rocky Mountain Element

Sep 28, 2021 at 10:18
by Rocky Mountain  

Climb fast. Descend even faster. Purpose-built to hit the precise sweet spot between lightweight cross country climbing prowess and technical precision, the Element is the best of both worlds and more.

Presented by: Rocky Mountain

Featuring: Andréane Lanthier Nadeau, Rémi Gauvin, Kevin Calhoun, Sam Schultz, Bradyn Lange, Jesse Melamed, Felix Burke
Direct / DP / Edit: Liam Mullany
Produced by: Liam Mullany, Stephen Matthews
Cinematography: Liam Mullany, Andre Nutini, Craig Grant
Motion Graphics: Imperial Post
Motion Designers: Blair Richmond, Kyle James
Colourist: Sam Gilling
Post-production sound: Keith White Audio
Photography: Margus Riga, Dane Perras, Craig Grant
Special Thanks: Zach Rampen
Music by: Dirty Art Club


  • 48 2
 riding the Earth
gasping for Air
legs feel like Fire
Water you mean it's over $10k?
  • 2 0
 All new models appear to have wireless brakes and Kashima sus. A fifth element loves your wallet
  • 40 1
 I was so hoping 'air' would show more jumps, maybe just me
  • 21 2
 Tricky one… this bike goes more for the ‘rare air’ than the big air.
They did put a ‘look it takes two water bottles in the main frame’ shot in that section for us though !
  • 6 0
 I saw 2 bottle mounts, they raised the bar.....
  • 4 0
 they make climbing seem fun
  • 1 0
 I was thinking fire would have some actual fire, especially this year.
  • 1 3
 Yeah. Great concept showing the elements and stuff but the actual riding bits were a a little underwhelming. I was waiting for a grueling technical climb but it never came.
  • 1 3
 Agreed kinda a let down given the supposed intentions of a downcountry type bike. Only ridden on fire roads and buff trails., No BC gnar.
  • 4 0
 I was fully expecting a Vanderham mega boosted whip during the air segment as well Frown
  • 18 0
 the thumbnail shot of the tyre in the water like that is amazing
  • 11 0
 Oh what a perfect new bike world we live in. Lighting a campfire, sitting in the rain watching the drops falling... My bikeride looks slightly different...
  • 1 0
 You should be part of commercials
  • 7 1
 I’m a little torn. This is a sweet looking bike, but I think it may be a step to far out of the race realm. I had planned on buying a new Element and returning to XCM racing next year, but I’m no longer sure it’s the right bike. I’ll wait and see what the reviews say about weight and pedalling efficiency before I place an order. Cool video though.
  • 8 0
 An understandable concern.

BikeRumor says: "The medium Element frame weighs 2300g/5.07 lbs including the rear shock, seat collar, axle and frame protection." Unfortunately, that's almost a pound-and-a-half more than the S-Works Epic EVO and more than a pound heavier than the regular Epic EVO.

If you run minimum volume in the shock (max. tokens), the rear is essentially 100 mm with a soft bottom-out. Set up the fork with 100 - 110 mm and it's a slightly overweight cross-country race bike with a modern XC head-tube angle, a little longer reach than average, and better tire clearance. Anti-squat it low, as usual for Rocky, so the pedaling feel in rough terrain will be smooth, at the expense of firmness when sprinting. It would be a viable XC race bike, just a little overweight.

The Element would have an amazing spec. sheet with this level of versatility if they could get the all-in frame weight under 2 kg. Personally, I'm interested in the weight of the aluminum version: if it's close to the carbon, the Al 50 could be a solid value for a short-travel trail bike.
  • 13 0
 @R-M-R: Whatever the RM model, the Al 50 is pretty much always the best value.
  • 23 1
 @R-M-R: "It would be a viable XC race bike, just a little overweight."

Sounds like an apt description of the racer-types this bike intended for.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: great point re/ aluminum.
  • 3 1
 @R-M-R: unfortunately that sounds like a lot of comprises to achieve what some other bikes will do out of the box.
  • 7 0
 @pensamtb: With a 130mm Fox 34 non step-cast fork, 65degree head-angle, and 2300g frame it's not an XC-bike but a light trail bike. Or an obese XC-bike.
  • 1 3
 @pensamtb: damn I almost cut myself on your edgy comment bruh
  • 3 0
 @martinaasa: This bike has almost the same geo as my Cotic Flare Max... which is, for my use purposes, just a proper trail bike. It's heavy but it's quick on the ups and the downs. It's not too much slower than my dedicated cross-country rig for the first hour of riding, but after that, I'm pedaling squares.
  • 1 0
Ouch, that hit right in the soft underbelly of my feeling. Smile
  • 1 0
 If you want to feel very confident on the downs, and have a bike that can ride more trail variety when you're not racing, this would be a great choice. If you just want a race bike that sits and waits in your garage for race day, that's fine too. And then have a trail bike for regular rides. With a bike like this, keep in mind Rocky maintained the CS pivot for sensitivity (added weight however), ride quality is prioritized over pure weight savings. It's going to feel more sure footed, provide great traction, and confidence.
  • 3 0
 @oldmanbucksaw: Compared to bikes with similar weight and travel, the Rocky beats many of them on geometry and most of them on features. How many bikes tick all the boxes for on-board water capacity, slack geometry, short travel, long dropper post capability, and tire clearance? Not every rider wants all those things, of course, but some do.

Compared to bikes with similar travel, some are lighter, some are heavier, most have more traditional XC geometry, and almost all lack the full suite of features. The only area where it's easily beaten is weight, but most of those that have a significant weight advantage have a significantly steeper head-tube angle, carry only one water bottle, and/or have clearance for narrow tires.

It's not a perfect bike, but it has advantages.
  • 2 0
 @R-M-R: Norco Optic?
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: I just don't quite the RMB product shelf strategy here tbh. They used to have the Element as their XC race bike and the Thunderbolt as their light trail bike. Now they chopped the Thunderbolt and the XC race bike and replace it with this new Element which, as we all agree, will make an awesome light trail bike, but sucks as a race bike. The Element, until this version, has always been the RMB xc race bike platform (I had the '18 Element - it was a hoot) so I don't quite get why they use this model to replace the Thunderbolt. Unless of course the Vertex returns as a Trek Supercaliber like "very short-travel" race bike. Or they pull a Yeti and just acknowledge that their core clientele doesn't really care about XC race bikes and leave it at that.

Problem with that is twofold. On the one hand, there are only so many that can follow the same strategy successfully. On the other hand, their pricing/spec strategy is just completely out of line with the rest of the market.

I am currently looking at getting exactly a bike like the Element, a very light, sensibly designed, modern trail bike to along a big, burly enduro sled. I've pretty much decided on a Transition Spur and if I compare the spec levels I'm interested in like for like (ie. the XO1 Spur vs the C70 Element), there is just no comparison. With Transition, for $6k, you get the full carbon frame, a full XO1, top level suspension (SID Ultimate) and name brand carbon pretty much everything apart from the wheels, but a great alloy wheelset (XM1700). With the C70, you get the carbon frame, second-tier suspension (not that there is much difference, but still), "house brand" mostly not carbon everything and a "meh" kinda wheelset. For 15% more ($6.8k)!!?? The Transition ticks most of the same boxes as this new Element with the key difference being that it already has a stellar track record out in the real world, whereas Rocky has quite frankly lost the plot on that over the last few years (quite publicly, actually).

I wish them luck. Always admired the brand (and owned quite a few), but right now there are quite a few brands out there that do it better than Rocky Mountain.
  • 2 0
 @njcbps: Yes, the Optic is similar. I don't think it can fit two bottles, though (the top-tube mount is for tools and it looks like bottles would interfere). With a triple screw mount at the rear, the Element should be safe to take a ⌀3.5" bottle cage, allowing over 2 L of water inside the front triangle. If the front mount also has room for a ⌀3.5" bottle, 2.5 L would be possible. Not many people would do this, of course, but I'm a big fan of riding without a pack and this kind of on-bike capacity would be very welcome.

@pensamtb: I agree, the product positioning is confusing, which is why it's best to ignore the names and look at the numbers.

The Pinkbike review of the Spur indicates the weight is 2500 g, even with the flex-pivot.

We don't all agree the Element "sucks as a race bike". Heavier than it ought to be, but otherwise not so different from the new Scott Spark. A slack head-tube angle won't reduce efficiency, and it's not even much slacker than that of a Spark if you were to use a 120 mm fork and the high BB position on the Element. Compared to the claimed weight of the Spark HMF (entry-level carbon) frame, the Element is 150 g heavier, which is getting pretty close.

Are you comparing the Spur in USD vs. the Element in CAD? I'm seeing CA$9099 for the Spur X01 and CA$7879 for the Element C70.

If we compare the Spur, Optic, and Element, all three have a model at CA$6300 - $6400. The Element loses some points for having Fox Performance level suspension (vs. Performance Elite and SID), while the Spur loses points for the Deore components (vs. XT). As I mentioned before, if the aluminum Element frame isn't overly heavy, the Element A50 at CA$4619 could be a great bike at a very competitive price.

It feels weird to be defending Rocky, as I'm normally the first to criticize their traditional geometry, low anti-squat kinematics, and terrible value, but here we are with a Rocky that has class-leading geometry and features, only slightly low anti-squat, and solid value.
  • 9 0
 They forgot about Milla Jovovich!
  • 13 0
  • 2 0
 @rosylea: chacha haamasss!
  • 3 0
 @conv3rt: Bada boom!!
  • 1 0
 I haven't forgotten.
  • 9 3
 Good job on building a campfire in those holes!? Pretty sure there are signs everywhere saying not to disturb them because they have shrimp living in them. Gotta get the shot though.
  • 2 0
 shrimp in the desert?
  • 1 0
 @mjlee2003: yes they can lay dormant for up to 50 years.
  • 2 0
 I thought the same thing. Not cool building a fire there. The pressure for epic shots often leads people to not think long-term about the impact their influence is having on others.
  • 7 0
 Nice work, really made the weather happen!
  • 7 0
 That underwater shot... Beautiful edit.
  • 3 0
 Hats off to Rocky for making a product video that actually shows a bike being ridden the way it is intended to be ridden. Sure fatbike backflips and riding gravel bikes at a skatepark is cool, I guess, but those videos are meant for attention grabbing.
  • 5 0
 How would that frame pair with a coil?
  • 5 0
 this one gets it
  • 3 0
 The two main things to consider:

1. Progressivity: Total.
It has enough for a coil.

2. Progressivity: Curve shape.
The curve doesn't flatten at the end, which is good for a coil.

I'm not sure a coil makes sense for a light(ish), short-travel bike, but if you want to run a coil, the kinematics work nicely.
  • 1 0
 where are you going to find a 190x45mm coil lol
  • 1 0
 @mjlee2003: Why 45mm? Cane Creek makes a 190 damper. Their 2" coil works on a rear 120mm travel frame.
  • 5 0
 Came looking for a solid Avatar reference. Left disappointed.
  • 1 0
 Same. All I could hear in my head was "I believe Aang can save the world!" on repeat. Too much of a generational gap here.
  • 1 0
 Sorry but not everybody has been watching cartoons the last 5yrs.
  • 1 0
 My Orange Five Evo has almost exactly the same geo as this (I run it with 29er wheels and 120 stepcast). I have my size large down to 23.5 lbs with pedals (no dropper).

It is my XC bike and I recently sold my 2021 S-Works Epic Evo that weighed 20 lbs. The Orange pedals more efficiently and has better geo than the Epic. Frame weight was about 3,200 grams with shock (Sidluxe).

I'd move to the Rocky Mountain to save the 1,000 grams but I have a feeling it wouldn't pedal as well due to the anti-squat values. But I sure do love the geo on it.
  • 3 0
 Are you worried about pedalling or climbing? In seated fire road climbing these bikes are still very efficient, but the bikes are designed to excel in technical climbs, where the bikes were created (makes sense). So if you want a vanilla bike, you can buy many other focussed on racing bikes, but if you want a bike that is XC sporty, can hop into a few races a year, but can hold the wheel of trail bikes in trail bike terrain (not super gnarly enduro oriented terrain) you have few bikes that can hang. This is one.
You can run a Step Cast 120, lighten the bike up, steepen up the geo, and it becomes a bit more racey, but that's not the focus.
  • 2 0
 Was this a press release for Fox factory? I see 12 pictures in this article and only 1 can you see the bike frame. I understand selling lifestyle, but why not at least show us what the bike frame looks like?
  • 1 0
 80% scenery 20% riding footage.The video surely made me wanna travel.Still curious about the bike there a part two?

ps: add a heart and here comes Captain Planet.
  • 1 0
 The 130mm front 120mm rear remind me of my old stumpjumper st which had the most whack geo I'd ever ridden. The geo on this looks decent, definitely would like to try one out.
  • 3 0
 Amazing scenery! National Geographic promo? Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Earth, Wind & Fire tribute act singing the hits…

- After the Loam has Gone
  • 2 0
 Looks like this bike is in it's right element
  • 1 0
 Wasnt the campagne for the PROPAIN Spindrift like exactly the same? Like it also had the four elements and everything...
  • 1 0
 Captain planet rides a rocky mountain.
  • 1 0
 Great work on this video. I really enjoyed it.
  • 1 0
 Reminds me of....! Wink ))
  • 1 0
 Anyone know name of song in air segment?
  • 1 0
 this is a great video, I really want an element.
  • 1 0
 Amazing filmmaking and photography! This was so fun to watch.
  • 1 0
 Element skateboards!!! yeahhhhh!
  • 1 0
 Me imagining myself riding like EWS pros if I buy said new bike.
  • 1 0
 looks like someone has discovered the dirty art club.
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah Felix
  • 1 0
 Awesome edit!
  • 1 0
 Do you remember...
  • 2 3
 Didn't know Kate Courtney's mechanic rides for Rocky Mountain

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