Field Test: 2022 Rocky Mountain Element - Radical Geometry Meets Low Weight

Nov 28, 2021 at 20:31
by Henry Quinney  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Rocky Mountain Element



Words by Henry Quinney, photography by Tom Richards


The Rocky Mountain Element is a very different bike to the outgoing model. It’s something of a copywriter’s golden ticket, and could have its whole description distilled to buzzwords, but does this exciting take on a modern short travel bike hold water? Or is it nothing more than a damp squib?

In short, it’s longer, lower, lighter, slacker, better looking, and more aggressive while also being steeper in the seat tube. Not only this, but it also features room for two water bottles, geometry adjustment that actually represents a useful amount of range, a SRAM universal hanger, a long drop seatpost and sized tuned shocks.
Element Carbon 90 Details

• Travel: 120mm rear / 130mm front
• Wheel size: 29"
• Head angle: 65 - 65.8°
• Seat tube angle: 76 - 76.8°
• Size tested: large
• Reach: 475 mm (low)
• Chainstay length: 435 mm
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 25lb 0oz (11.3 kg)
• Price: $9,589 USD
bikes.com

Writing about this bike is like writing an obituary for Brian Blessed. There’s just so much going on, it essentially just seems to write itself.

The bike delivers on many of these attributes in droves. Its headtube, which can be as slack as 65 degrees, is as much as 2.5 slacker than the Canyon Lux on test. It also manages to temper some of the shortcomings or quirks of other bikes by having well proportioned dimensions, even with the geometry measurements that don’t grab the headlines, such as a nice short seat tube and a good insertion depth. Our large came equipped with a 175mm dropper post, which was very welcome because what this bike lacks in travel it certainly doesn’t lack in capability.

Rocky have also adopted the idea of wheel-size specific frame sizing. For instance, there is an XS but it comes equipped with the smaller wheels. The rest of the range comes with 29” wheels. Similarly, each size has a damper tune to suit. This should mean that riders have usable adjustments and aren’t operating near the end of the range.


Unsurprisingly, Rocky’s flip-chip appears. However, we’re now down to merely 4 positions as opposed to the dizzy-days of the Ride-9 system. I’ve made my disdain for chips such as this very clear in the past, however the Element gives me a chance to clarify my position - on bikes as extreme as this, where it’s not trying to jump between conservative and very conservative, I think a degree of geometry adjustment is very appropriate. It’s one of the few bikes where I believe this to be the case.

The spec on the Rocky definitely leans towards lighter parts than burlier ones. It had some great parts, too. The Fox 34 was exceptional and did a great job of letting the bike's geometry fulfill its promise. The Fox DPS shock also worked well. The damping of this bike felt spot on, and struck a great balance between comfort, tracking and support. If the size specific tune on our large test bike is anything to go by, then it's a level that most riders across all sizes should be able to achieve.

Speccing this style of bike is a double-edged sword, and how you feel about how aggressive the parts should be will probably depend upon where you live. Every time we complained that the bike was a bit under-gunned compared to the burlier components of the Trek or the Niner, in the next breath we said how fantastically light it was. I can make my peace with the FIT4 damper and light two-pot XTR brakes, and never felt they lacked power or bite, but I would love to have seen some slightly wider rims than the 26mm models that came on our test bike.

Other nice touches include the either-way routing options for the rear brake and 2.6 inch tire clearance at the rear of the bike.




Climbing

The new Element, with its low weight, renewed kinematics and shock tune, as well as its steep seat tube angle, absolutely delivered on its promise on the climbs.

This bike is not only very efficient, by our reckoning it was the second most efficient and came within a second of taking top honours. It's also a very good technical climber. It’s perhaps not quite as firm under load as the Trek, but that comes back to you on technical climbs. It was also the second fastest on the timed climbing section of singletrack.

The new Element tracks the ground very well, and while it’s not quite as supple as the Santa Cruz it is one of the grippier bikes for seated climbing in the downcountry group test. Much like the Santa Cruz, it’s also very comfortable because of this.

The Rocky feels a little bit shorter in its seated position compared to the Trek due to the slightly taller front end. However, it’s not as high as the Niner, striking what I found to be a happy balance. How great the distance is between your contact points, or how stretched out you're feeling, does affect your fore and aft balance on climbs and really becomes apparent on steeper sections. The bars sit in very health range of movement, and let you move your weight around the bike, and exact it where you need to, very easily.

The Element is balanced and steady yet very adequately responsive. The riding position distributes your weight between the wheels very well and lets you focus your mind on the task at hand when the trail gets more technically demanding.



Descending

The Rocky gives a very trail-like feeling on the descents. It’s different to the Trek, despite them sharing many of similar dimensions. For a 25lb bike with 120mm of travel, it’s amazing how much it can plow through rough or choppy terrain. That’s not to say it’s anything like an unrefined brute, but rather it’s more suited to slightly more technical trails than the precise-feeling Trek. If you were to try and keep up with friends on bigger bikes, the Element, of all the downcountry bikes, could well be the best bet.

Through steeper turns or sections, it’s amazing the level of confidence this bike can inspire. The geometry keeps your weight very central on anything like demanding trails, however, that does come at the cost of precision on flatter turns.
Timed Testing

The downcountry bikes were all tested on a section of trail that included a mix of everything you'd expect to find on an aggressive XC loop. The first section included a rock slab into some braking chatter, before the track opened up into fast turns and some small drops and jumps.

Don't forget that timing is just one of many ways to judge a bike, and fast doesn't always mean it's the best for everyone.


Henry Quinney: "The Rocky Mountain Element is certainly a fast bike. Second fastest on the singletrack climb, the second most efficient and the fastest descender. It not only felt like the fastest downhill but manages to do so while providing the most confidence-inspiring ride and was very comfortable being pushed hard."

Everything is a compromise, and I think the Rocky gets it about right. It's perhaps not as trail feeling as the Niner Jet RDO or the Giant Trance, but that's the point, isn't it? It feels like the Rocky does a good job of picking its battles and striking a balance between making-flatter-trails-fun and getting your down more challenging trails. It also manages to keep the weight down which, to me at least, is a big bonus.

If the Trek is an XC bike with some trail dimensions, this is a trail bike with XC weight. Through fast-paced or rougher terrain, the suspension manages to provide ample tracking as well as a very suitable level of support. It's happy to go into the stroke, providing excellent small bump compliance, but without ever wallowing or falling through its travel.

I think the Rocky is probably one of the more versatile bikes on our test, and there's not much it can’t do. If you’re the kind of person who wants to downsize their trail or enduro bike, there are probably few bikes more suitable. If, however, you’re an XC rider that wants more travel but keep the more classic position you’ve come to know and love, maybe the Trek would be a better candidate.

If you were to have one mountain bike and you want it to do a little bit of everything, from technical trails to steep and fast ones, but you also have no interest in lugging around 150mm or more and travel, and want it to be fantastically light and efficient, then I can’t imagine this leaving you disappointed.

However, if you got this bike to really liven up flat trails, then this might just be a little too capable, if there can be such a thing.


Pros

+ Dialled geometry
+ Very capable descender
+ Comfortable and light
+ Versatile
Cons

- Not the best on flatter trails
- Downhill performance may leave riders wanting bigger brakes and wider rims.



The 2021 Fall Field Test is presented by Rapha and Bontrager. Thank you also to Maxxis, Schwalbe, and Garmin for control tires and equipment.



328 Comments

  • 212 4
 How is this compared to the Spur?
  • 83 0
 This is all we really care about.
  • 31 0
 The question on everyone's lips...
  • 28 0
 Please, pinkbike, give us the answer to what we really want to know here.
  • 20 10
 I did looked into this before getting a spur, it probably won't be available any time soon. Doesn't look as good and has pressed-in BB, kind of deal-breakers for me.
  • 3 5
 You demo both bikes and decide which one you like better???
  • 13 6
 Spur vs. Element vs. Tallboy
  • 68 2
 We go over a bunch of comparisons to the Spur in the podcast that just went up. You can check that out here: www.pinkbike.com/news/the-pinkbike-podcast-episode-95-field-test-down-country-bike-debrief.html
  • 1 0
 Element has up to one degree slacker HTA but less standover. Otherwise nearly identical
  • 28 4
 shootout with the Epic Evo too would be awesome.
  • 1 0
 Excellent question, not to say: THE question!
  • 26 1
 "BIKE OVERVIEW"
"CLIMBING"
"DESCENDING"
"COMPONENTS"
"MODELS"
"PROS"
CONS"
"HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO THE SPUR"
"VERDICT"

Feel free to rearrange the order of the last 4 or 5
  • 7 0
 has 5 bottle bosses on the downtube alone
  • 9 0
 @ceecee: Element also has 10mm more travel on the front
  • 18 0
 @swellhunter: you say this like it's really easy to demo bikes right now. Shops don't even have the bikes to sell. And when shops do get the bikes we want, they are almost always been paid for.
  • 8 0
 @wutamclan:
Yeah no shops are demoing bikes right now. If we have excess bikes they're going on the sales floor.
  • 18 0
 For those interested in this comparison: FFWD to 38:15 mark of ep95.
  • 6 0
 Both currently invisible at your lbs.
  • 2 0
 @islander: u da real mvp
  • 32 2
 @themanro: I find this statement pretty funny. People that decide they will not get a bike based on a press-fit BB often haven't ridden or owned a bike with a newer press-fit. The new press-fit BBs really don't have any more issues than a threaded BB.
  • 7 0
 It's longer, lower, and slacker. Isn't that what every iteration of just about every frame out there is? Each generation they move a few millimeters closer to the Grim Donut. Let's just cut to the chase.
  • 3 7
flag MillerReid (Dec 9, 2021 at 12:33) (Below Threshold)
 The spur can get you a wayyyyy better spec for the money… that’s the main difference I’d say.
  • 16 0
 @MillerReid: Does it? The Element C30 is $200 cheaper than the Spur Deore build, has nicer drivetrain, better suspension, slightly worse brakes and weighs a pound less.
  • 5 2
 @themanro: Enjoy missing out on a bunch of great bikes over a non-issue.
  • 15 0
 @ceecee:
"Element has up to one degree slacker HTA but less standover. Otherwise nearly identical"

Give the SID fork on a Spur a couple months, the bushings will provide an adjustment for variable geometry.
  • 3 0
 @Compositepro: you can fit 2.5 bottles
  • 2 2
 Only problem with the spur is that the cheapest version is $6300
  • 11 0
 There are a Spur and an Element at my local LBS that I can go test ride and then choose from a full variety of builds and sizes right from the showroom floor!!! - Nobody since 2019
  • 1 0
 Big difference between the Element and Spur for me is Rocky Mountains are readily available at any Sun and Ski Sports and Transitions are like vaporware around here. None of the local Transition dealers seem to ever get Spurs and I've never seen one on the trail, which is surprising because trails around here are full of other brands' 120mm offerings.
  • 6 0
 Killer bike by many accounts it seems, but with the aggressive geometry these bikes have and how good suspension is these days (for the most part), I have to wonder how well they will hold weighing in at ~25 lbs. I'm not even talking wheels, but the actual frame. I guess it depends what and how hard you're riding, but I'd have the warranty dept on speed dial (and personally I think the best warranty is the one you never have to use...like ever).
  • 6 0
 Spur, Element, Tallboy, 429Tr. Those are the bikes that matter in this segment. I’m sure they are all better than my OG Intense Primer. But none are enough better to justify the cost and availability hassle. Sweet bikes for sure though.
  • 3 1
 @dlford: I think this should be talked about a little more. reliability issues aside, a 34 is a worlds more capable fork than a SID, even in SC trim.
  • 2 0
 Sold out in 3-2-1
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: Some shops and bike manufacturers around my area are demoing bikes. Santa Cruz is but you have to be in Santa Cruz.
  • 2 1
 @swellhunter: either you haven't tried demoing a bike in the past couple years, or you live on another planet where they don't have a bike shortage and shops are actually offering demos
  • 2 0
 @rossluzz: Nicolai
  • 2 0
 @Jacquesdp: I find it nerve-wracking pressing them in and pounding them out. Raises my blood pressure with worry about my $3k frame. Bad for health!
  • 2 0
 @notthatfast: mo travel, mo better… lol
  • 2 0
 Original Primer owner and it’s still a total ripper @MonsterTruck:
  • 2 0
 Would love to see it compared to the Spur, Pivot Trail 429 (non-enduro build) and Tallboy -- including the Blur TR seemed odd
  • 2 0
 @themanro: I couldn't agree more on the BB. Though I found those guys here: www.bbinfinite.com. Neat solution to the pressfit disaster.. bit costly, but can service the bearings and they last forever... .

On the other hand.. i LOVE Transition =)
  • 4 0
 Spur spur spur spur spur spur... enough already! If u guys keep this up, Transition is goin to price that thing at $20k. And frankly I'm tired of hearing about it! :] That is all
  • 2 0
 @dlford: RIDE-0

@notthatfast: zing

@blaaaaaaaaaah: spoiler alert--Levy is 'blown away' by both. Kazimer isn't interested enough to swap in a handlebar, but he'll take your click
  • 1 0
 @Moonie2123: I bet the Spur is really nice.....What do you think?
  • 1 0
 @dcaf: Lol, it's clearly what every other bike with wheels should be measured against, forever.
  • 1 0
 Props to mentioning Brian Blessed.

"SLACKBLADDER!"
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Interesting, yet still inconclusive.
I think a head-to-head comparison between the Spur and the Element would be fun to see/watch/read. Same parts, different frame.
  • 1 0
 @Jacquesdp: 100% correct. I've had an instinct with a PF for about 3 years now. Never had any issues. I've even pushed it out to replace, only to clean / grease and reinstall. Still no issues. And I run the 30mm Raceface stuff.
  • 43 1
 Now presenting, the one review we've all been actually wanting to read!
  • 53 17
 26mm wide rims ain’t wide enough, huh? How in the world did we ever get down a mountain with those 19mm pizza-cutters?
While I accept that the better is the enemy of the good, I dare say that most people won’t ever be able to tell the difference (me included).
  • 36 1
 I feel like I flatted at least once a month if not more ridding those pizza cutters with tubes.
  • 25 2
 @rustiegrizwold: I think that had more to do with the tubes.
  • 42 1
 How do top level WC DH riders manage to win on 25mm rims? Impossibru
  • 8 0
 I feel like if you went from 19mm wheels to some of the new 30mm or wider, you would feel the difference.
  • 36 2
 26mm wide rims on a down-country bike seems perfect... I find that 26mm rims support 2.4in tires better than any other rim size in the market. 30mm is too wide and makes the tire contact patch too big, and 24mm is too narrow giving the tire a bubble-like shape. Henry has weird gripes when it comes to these bikes.
  • 3 0
 @rustiegrizwold: IDK im riding my 22.5mm rims on the back of my Enduro since 4 years, because I dont want to replace something that is still intact. Turns out these things are indistructible, they dont ding and just work.
  • 19 1
 @cgreaseman:

I love rim talk. But you can’t possibly be serious that you have a different riding experience when switching from 24 to 26 mm rims. But I detect no other satire so...?
  • 10 1
 @AckshunW: Ehhhh.... tbh I don't even know if I've ever owned 24mm internal rims. But, I've put 2.4in tires on 26mm rims 29mm rims, and 30mm rims and I much prefer the shape and efficiency of 2.4in tires on 26mm rims. I'm basing my presumptions of running 2.25in tires on 22mm rims, which is efficient and has a good shape as well.

Honestly, it doesn't really matter. Internal rim width is half marketing and half magic fairy dust.
  • 5 0
 Same bike on 19mm then 30mm rims-you’d be able to tell.
  • 2 1
 Just bumped up to 29mm mostly because the tire industries told me too, but seriously its getting harder to find tires narrower than 2.5 in certain tread patterns styles etc. Just like boost and other new specs once the industry decides on a standard we have to just roll with it.
  • 9 1
 @Zaeius: Exactly!!! I'm coming back to 25mm inner width rims (EX471) on my last build (Transition Smuggler).
I've ridden 30mm inner width rims (Velocity P35) for almost 6 years and I have absolutely no issue with the 25mm ones + I prefer the rounder shape of the tyre compared to the squarer shape I had before.
  • 4 0
 Yup. I put 27mm WAO Factions on my Stumpy. I run 2.4's and feels just fine.
  • 4 1
 @cgreaseman: This has been my findings. I have same tires on 2 bikes, one with 27mm internal, and the other is 30mm internal. I like the 27mm better. better grip, transition on turning, etc. tires are 2.4's.
  • 10 3
 @Tinshield: to you maybe. Says a lot about your expertise. 26mm is the way to go, no discussion needed. Came from 25.5 and was blown away by the difference 0.5mm makes.
  • 2 0
 @gmoss: haha, good one!
  • 5 0
 @Tinshield: I got the Factions on my Evil Offering. and run 2.5/2.3. Works great. I always told myself if I ever destroyed a rim, I would put a union up front and the faction out back. I think I might be waiting awhile. These seem pretty bomb proof.
  • 1 0
 @Mpblikes2ski: yes! My Devinci Troy has Unions. I run a 2.6 on the front but I think a Faction out back would be ideal.
  • 3 0
 @cgreaseman: I absolutely loved my 27mm internal rims -- i wanna say they were i9 Trail S rims. Fabulous feel and reliability
  • 1 0
 26mm - probably measured from the outside of the rim and more like 20mm on the inside. Big Grin
  • 34 0
 I see this as the reverse of the Blur - for where I live, rolling terrain and no sustained DH, the Blur is likely the better choice (plus I plan to race XC on it - a lot). If I lived in the mountains, I'd likely choose the Element. The hopped-up XC racer vs. the stripped-down trailbike, and they (almost) meet in the middle, sort-of.

The price on that Element is just effing crazy, though. I feel like Rocky Mountain and Kona both have premium pricing for what used to be a value brand. For comparison, the Blur with X01 AXS and Reserve wheels (28mm internal) is the same price and arguably better-spec'd. And SC has always commanded a price premium.

The Element sounds like what I'd hoped my Spur would be - a (competitively) raceable trailbike.

Lots of great bikes available these days, for sure.
  • 18 5
 I totally agree. Pricing with Rocky is always a problem. Like you said, premium pricing for not a premium brand in the public eyes.
  • 4 3
 wait are you saying that the Spur isn't a "raceable trailbike". please do elaborate, I have a Patrol and have an unused EP discount for Transition and was planning on getting either a newer spur or a scout.
  • 11 2
 Kona's pricing is indeed crazy. And their janky cable routing still screams "value brand".
  • 8 2
 @Caligula1620: You didn't ask me, but I found the Spur "too long" for any trail with tight or blind corners. The front also wanders on steep climbs or ascents with subtle turns.
  • 3 0
 @bikewriter: thanks! just out of curiosity, where about do you ride? I'm in SoCal so it's fairly hilly, loose and dry. I got a lot of that "wandering" on the sentinel and didn't like it, and the patrol climbs surprisingly well imo. I'm also pretty lanky so I have a pretty long torso, wonder if that's part of why I feel so well fit on my current transition.
  • 11 1
 @Caligula1620: I concur with @bikewriter as far as the overall length of the Spur. Too tight here in NC to thread the needle at race pace. Also, antisquat too low (I don't like a very high value, but the Spur was too spongey under power) and just overall felt like too much bike.

You could race it, for sure - and in the right terrain, maybe a good choice - but not suitable for the pointy end of Cat1 races here, despite local trails becoming rougher and rougher.
  • 2 0
 @tommyrod74: appreciate the insight, thanks!
  • 2 0
 @cblanc: price? Their frameset is $500 less than Treks.
  • 7 0
 @mm732: I'd also argue that Trek's prices are a bit aspirational when compared with what is on offer.
  • 4 6
 @Caligula1620: the first rule of fight club is....
  • 5 1
 @DetroitCity: don't post messages about the secret club on a public forum? idk what you're getting at here lol
  • 7 1
 @mm732: Almost everything is cheap if you compare with Trek. But it is easier to sell a used Trek than a used Rocky (at least, where I'm from). Rocky's frameset prices are ok but their complet bikes are expensive. They cut corners so much with cheap ''house brand'' parts on their high end bikes. For example, the Element C90 has a house brand aluminium stem, DT 350 hubs and generic Rocky carbon rim on a 9600 USD bike. Nothing wrong with DT350 and generic carbon rims, but if I pay that king of money, I expect premium components.
  • 2 0
 Whats the cheapest way into a full carbon Element, and what’s the weight on that bike?

Looks like Element 30 is $4200 with a Z2 and alloy rims, but I’d guess the weight is probably still under 28lbs.
  • 4 1
 @Caligula1620: Boise, Sun Valley, St. George, Bend, Tahoe, Hood River. FWIW, I'm a Cat 1 xc marathon type, and 10,000' climbing days are not abnormal.
  • 2 0
 @bikewriter: This could be a killer east coast bike.Good pedaling for our uppy-downy terrain, enough smash for short, rocky downs, enough go for flatter traverses between the downs.
  • 13 0
 @DetroitCity: Been reading your comments for a long time. You're building up quite the reputation on PB after solidifying it on MTBR. As a skills instructor, do your students hate you and/or that attitude or are you actually a nice guy away from the keyboard? You're a Cat 1, not an elite as you've stated, yet there are many pro-level guys on mtbr and PB who are much faster than you (tommyrod74, for one) in the real world yet their egos don't vomit all over the screen. Forum members actually look forward to reading their objective input and know they won't be attacked for having a different opinion.

You're now "that guy" who people enjoy downvoting. This was one of your few replies that didn't have 5x more downvotes and was hidden. I hope for the riders taking your skills classes, and your girlfriend, that you're really a nice person in the real world because online you're a thunderc*nt.
  • 2 0
 Are you leaning toward the x01 axs Reserve build on the Blur TR?
  • 2 19
flag DetroitCity (Dec 9, 2021 at 21:14) (Below Threshold)
 @bikewriter: imagine if I lived in a world where I actually cared about random people on the internet opinions of me. How would I function? I use these forums to pass time. When I'm not riding. Cat 1 is elite. Its called cat 1/elite/expert/men's open etc. It doesn't mean I'm fast, it just means those are the races i enter. So I care about the performance of my bike. Not my result. Imagine if I actually cared about winning a plastic award and a beer mug. Thats super motivating.
  • 5 1
 @DetroitCity: I love when people who are obviously looking for attention try to act like they don't care about what others think. it's so painfully transparent and false.
  • 1 0
 @bikewriter: were you asking me? Sorry, couldn’t tell.
  • 1 7
flag DetroitCity (Dec 10, 2021 at 7:23) (Below Threshold)
 @Caligula1620: they aren't mutually exclusive, bro. You can seek attention and not care what others think. Its actually pretty easy when you consider everyone lesser of a human than you. If that is your starting point you'll never worry about what lesser humans think. Its like dog food, waiting to be eaten, and pooped out. No emotional attachment. Its called entertainment. You should try detaching the emotions from your posts sometime. You won't make stupid comments like you have EP deals, or try and sound like a therapist. While seeking attention.
  • 2 0
 @tommyrod74, @bikewriter : hey just curious, from your experience would sizing down on the Spur have fixed (or helped) the issues you had with it? Or would that have created other problems?
  • 1 2
 @bkm303: I also had the spur, I had a large. Im 6'2. Wanted a 60 stem, and tight fit because they claim it can also race XC. For general fit I would have needed an XL with a 40. Have fun "racing" that. It would have been even longer, and I would have had the issue of no weight on the front end and it wandering all over even worse.
  • 1 1
 @DetroitCity: lol why is commenting about an EP deal a stupid comment? Are you jelly or that fragile?
and ya I'm just going to let your statement "you can seek attention and not care what others think" stand on its own as that highlights your stupidity more thank I could hope to. If you stopped to think for 2 seconds that argument makes no sense. You obviously care, because you need the engagement for your own egotistical entertainment. You say you don't care what lesser humans think but you're responding to every response, desperately trying to defend your ego and convince us all you don't care. again, painfully transparent.
  • 1 1
 @DetroitCity: responding to comments that nobody is directing to you, lol beg for attention harder baby it gets me so hot
  • 2 0
 @bkm303: Actually, I thought about sizing down to a medium on several different bikes I’ve had recently. At 5 feet 9.5 inches or thereabouts, I tend to fall right in the middle sizing wise. This is one thing I think Trek does really well, offering an in between size for people who are of statistically average height.

I think for racing, especially in my area of the country, a medium would’ve worked better. It probably would’ve put me on a 70 mm stem or so, and I would’ve been able to run a little more set back on the saddle – sacrilege, I know – which would’ve helped in the flatter to rolling terrain I ride normally. It would’ve taken a chunk off the wheel base, for sure, helping it be bit more agile.

Now that I think about it, the reason I have sized up to large frames for the last 10 years has been to get the front contact patch further in front of me - but it’s safe to say that even a small frame with modern geometry puts it at least as far out as a 10-year-old large did. Maybe it is time, at least on certain bikes, for me to try a medium.
  • 1 2
 @Caligula1620: because if you actually have ep deals you would know not to talk about them. The rest of what you said actually proves my point even more. You are playing amateur therapist to someone you have never met. Im making comments and laughing. I also don't personally attack people.

Answering a question about downsizing on the spur, as someone who downsized on the spur, is actually why the comments exist. I actually did exactly what the person asked. Not hypothetical. Thats called real world experience. You should try it some time.
  • 1 1
 @DetroitCity: ya you answered a question that wasn't directed to you though, I guess you missed my point. you realize the more you keep answering me the more you're negating your own argument, right? And ya I have an ep deal, oooooh no maybe they'll say "nobody named Caligula" can order our bikes, WHAT WILL I DO?!?!
nobody is playing a therapist, it's just called calling you on your bullshit. I don't need to be a therapist to recognize a troll that is projecting security while they have none, it's not like you're unique to the internet experience. but please do respond with how much you "don't care" and are "laughing at all the comments". We totally believe you bro, you're the coolest dude ever!
  • 1 3
 @Caligula1620: did he post the question on a public forum or did i hack into there emails? Has anyone ever answered a question that wasn't quoted to them on a forum? Its called passing time while it rains for the 1 day a month. Anytime you see me commenting, just google the weather in Tucson. Pretty self explanatory.
  • 1 2
 @DetroitCity: lol he directed the question! You see those little "@(Username)" at the beginning of the response? Your name not being in there is a subtle cue that nobody gives a shit about your input. holy cow you are dense bud. Sounds like you could use a break from the AZ heat cuz I think your brain is fried lmao.
  • 1 1
 @Caligula1620: or since I rarely comment on here or didn't mention the spur they didn't know to ask me. What would be the point of them asking the question if they didn't want to hear from someone who actually did what they are asking? Are you saying they just wanted attention, not feedback from someone who did the very thing they are inquiring about? That would be counter to the point you've been trying to cram down my throat while speaking for "we".
  • 1 1
 @DetroitCity: "i rarely comment on here". ok buddy lmao. you say that after responding to just about every post in this thread. "What would be the point of them asking the question if they didn't want to hear from someone who actually did what they are asking?" OH GEE IDK, MAYBE THEY WANTED TO HEAR FROM THE PEOPLE THEY DIRECTED THE QUESTION TO, HENCE THEY DIRECTED IT. lol have fun trying to unbury yourself from your own stupidity, I have better shit to do despite the rain.
  • 1 1
 @Caligula1620: so you think the person asking the question only wanted hypothetical answers? Not ones based on real world experience? I always assume the logical answer.
  • 1 1
 @DetroitCity: lol omg dude, are you intellectually challenged or something? for the last time, I'm saying nobody wanted your input or they would have asked for it directly. FFS. You're giving your personal/subjective insight, that nobody asked for. Hope you can finally get some awareness!
  • 1 3
 @Caligula1620: would that be like you speaking for someone else? No awareness. Tell me more
  • 2 0
 @bikewriter: I've owned a Spur for a little less than a year, and to get rid of the wondering front end, I just lowered the stem and it works great. It is a super long bike, which I favor as the stability provided in rough terrain is incredible for 120mm. It's tough not hucking it off everything as it feels like a trail bike on the downhills.
  • 1 1
 @DetroitCity: no, it wouldn't. lol, I was joking about it but I think you actually might be a bit slow. sorry for teasing you I wouldn't have done it had I known. take it easy lil guy.
  • 2 0
 @bikewriter: I did just that, it arrived last week. Here’s a link to an early review I did on it after about eight hours in the saddle so far. Short version – the review here on Pinkbike was pretty much spot on. For my use case, I’m extremely happy thus far.

www.mtbr.com/threads/new-2021-santa-cruz-blur.1176154/page-41#post-15497430
  • 1 0
 @tommyrod74: Excellent. Now if I could only find a large black TR with good spec or a frame (never happening, ha). Even called local shops in a major dealer area. Zilch, zip.
  • 1 0
 @bikewriter: there’s a frame here in the classifieds if you need a large…
  • 1 0
 @tommyrod74: Don't think it's the TR; emailed seller anyway to verify. Thanks, again.
  • 27 2
 I must be getting old, but the cheapest you could get that in Canada after tax would be $12,500.00.
One has to ask one's self if this is worth it at this price.
To each their own, but personally, I don't think so.
If there are people with enough disposable income to purchase this without much thought to having to scrimp in most other aspects of their life, then we have truly polarized our income demographic to haves and have nots.

Now get off my lawn!
  • 7 0
 The entry level model is like $2.4k in the US.
  • 20 1
 Rocky has really been killing it. I think for a one bike solution, this would be the 1. For a 2 bike solution I might prefer a bit more delineation from my AM bike however. Great job RM. I see a RM in my future.
  • 3 19
flag DetroitCity (Dec 9, 2021 at 9:22) (Below Threshold)
 They definitely killed the Element.
  • 17 0
 How does the Spur compare to the Spur?
  • 17 1
 The pricing on these models are just hilarious..... I still long for one
  • 7 6
 The element carbon 50 seems reasonably priced for a boutique maker.
  • 12 1
 @HB208: Are they really a boutique brand though? They are certainly pricing it that way but that is not their history.
  • 3 3
 @Zaeius: Arguably they are. They are nowhere near the size of a brand like Spec, Trek, Cannondale, etc. Probably because those other brands also produce a lot of road bikes, but nonetheless.
  • 11 1
 @HB208: boutique implies rarity to me, so I wouldn't put Rocky in that category. High end, yes, and desirable. But not rare or particularly unique.
  • 15 2
 Great review, but just want to say those pictures are mint! The yellow jacket and the fall colours. The cornering and drop picture side by side are A+. Hats off to everyone involved.
  • 8 0
 Tom killed it up there.
  • 15 0
 Would love to see this stacked up against Transition Spur
  • 12 0
 This is the bike I have been wanting for so long. Light, short travel but with proper geometry. Literally my dream bike. Top job Rocky Mountain.
  • 12 1
 I wonder what a modern 26er would weigh in bike like this..... I'm guessing nearing 21-22lb's? It's incredible that a bike this capable weighs less than my modern hardtail.
  • 2 0
 No one would risk the money to try it, but I wonder the same thing constantly.
  • 9 0
 Henry Quinney: "The Rocky Mountain Element is certainly a fast bike. Fastest on the singletrack climb, the second most efficient and the fastest descender. It not only felt like the fastest downhill but manages to do so while providing the most confidence-inspiring ride and was very comfortable being pushed hard."

as someone from Saskatchewan that rides in Alberta and wants to start getting into BC more. this sounds perfect. I could do the couple of races a year and still have fun.
  • 3 0
 hello fellow sask person
  • 4 0
 @solarplex: Ah man - you would love it. Great bike for doing the singletrack tech blues in Whistler, and you'd fly to the top too.

I did make a small error in the text, it was actually the second fastest single track climber which I've now amended. Hope that doesn't affect your plans too much Wink .
  • 12 1
 In 4 years I will be looking for a family car that costs around 9500€....
  • 7 0
 Suspension that isn’t rock hard and modern geometry work better, even on short travel bikes.

My only beef is that the weight will be a pound or more heavier running burlier tire casings and wider rims.

If I had the scratch (and Rocky wasn’t sold out for about a year right now) this would be my n+1.
  • 6 0
 Been noticing that the Rocky/raceface enduro team has been logging some hours on this bike. It would be cool to see how they set it up, my guess would be that their version(s) of the element would be pretty close to a BC edition and less focussed on cutting grams.
  • 5 0
 Remi has a 140mm 34 and a floatX
  • 5 0
 @heissescheisse: talking to our local shop apparently the lower headset cup has a pretty large stack and their shop guys are building it with a ZS cup and 140 to preserve the geo.
  • 1 0
 @heissescheisse:
Call that version the Hellement. Credit goes to one of the guys on the PB podcast.
  • 9 4
 I sold my Ripley V4 because the STA was not ideal for my local trails; either super steep climbs or flatt-ish rolling. As wrote about, I'm guessing the riding position feels super short in the TT. This Element sounds like the Rip's doppelganger with an extra water bottle. Feel free to downvote.
  • 9 1
 I love my V4 and I’m eyeballing the Element because of the extra bottle lol.
  • 9 0
 what's wrong with a 76 degree STA in steep terrain? sounds perfect to me
  • 7 2
 @vhdh666: Steep terrain good, flat/rolling terrain = ETT feels short, like the bar is in your lap.
  • 2 1
 @bikewriter: yep you're correct. on my Ripmo V2 the STA is 76 also. it's a bit annoying once you ride flat terrain for a longer time. But my upper body is relatively long (which gives me the feeling the bar's in my lap. Maybe an even longer frame would be THE solution

I went from a 35mm to a 40mm length stem
  • 6 0
 @vhdh666: In steep terrain, where you're usually going up or down, with little in between - it's great. Around here, rolling terrain and lots of flattish, constantly pedaling - not an ideal position for flat power output and tiring after a bit to have more weight on the hands. Mostly the power output issue, for me.
  • 4 2
 Slack seat angles are great…..for field biking.
  • 12 0
 @wyorider: No one is angling for a return to 73 degree STAs, just observing that 75-76 works better in flat to rolling terrain than 77-78 degrees, all other things equal. And it's not like most US population centers are right beside steep mountain ranges, so not everyone needs or wants fully progressive geometry on XC bikes with 120mm travel.

It's good that there are different geometries from different companies, everyone can find something that works for their terrain.
  • 2 3
 @bikewriter: If you honestly felt that the "bar was in your lap" then you were probably on too small of a frame.

Ibis is smart enough to use short seat tubes so it's really easy to fit a Ripley by reach preference.
  • 3 1
 @FrankS29: 5'10", large V4, 50mm stem. For my terrain, it was not an efficient geometry for me.
  • 3 7
flag FrankS29 (Dec 9, 2021 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 @bikewriter: Then you have a comically proportioned body.

5'11" here with a large Ripley V4, 50mm stem. My bar has never felt like it's in my lap and I'm on basically nothing but rolling terrain.

Something else was off and you're simply blaming the STA. In all reality, the 76* STA of the Ripley is not exactly aggressive, it's borderline conservative at this point.
  • 1 0
 @babathehutt: Same. Love DW link too much to really consider it, but those 2 bottles hnggggg
  • 1 1
 @FrankS29: I know exactly what he’s talking about. The key is to size up.

I’m 6 ft, 32” inseam with longer arms and the bar felt like it was IN MY LAP on a size large, 50mm stem. I absolutely hated it and sold it immediately.

I turned around and bought the XL and it fits like a glove (35-40mm stem). Certainly the best shot travel bike I’ve ever ridden. Even better with an angle set.

Definitely not a bike for actually tall people
  • 3 1
 @Brycelewis: so, going back to my first post to him, ride a larger frame with a longer reach…

Something as simple as someone having a large ape index can make a cookie cutter size chart worthless for someone.

Either way, tons of people have some other situation going on with the bike set up and they are jumping to “I can’t fit this bike” rather than take a closer look at your bike setup.

Bar rise/sweep, too many/few spacers under the stem, stem length, saddle too far forward/back on the rails…

Basically, I highly doubt a STA 1* steeper than another bike rendered the Ripley unrideable like is being claimed. There are far too many things going on dynamically with a bike for that to be the case.

You are an example that the STA alone is not the issue. Sometimes they just purchased the wrong size.
  • 2 0
 @FrankS29: Absolutely agree. I would love if Geometry Geeks had a user-submitted section that allows you submit very specific information (height, ape index, inseam, other bikes you've ridden) and just give some qualitative information on how a bike fits. In a world where you can't test ride a bike to save your life, I think that could save people some serious money.
  • 5 0
 Very compelling bike. As someone who is not racing XC much anymore, I no longer feel the need to reach for a lockout and would prefer more comfort on longer rides or rougher descents. Still appreciate the sharp handling of an XC bike, just want the less harsh suspension characteristic of a trial bike. I've found the longer travel XC bikes offer very little in improved comfort while weighing close to the same as their trail bike counterparts (minus the new blur, perhaps). It really seems to me the big difference then is pedaling performance between the xc/trail ends of the spectrum. If this bike manages to climb this well while being firmly in the XC weight class, it really does seem the best blend of the two I've seen to date.
  • 6 0
 I have a new Altitude C70 so I get what bikes cost....... But I also just bought 3 used snowmobiles for back country access for my family for less than the price of this one bike. Which is mind boggling to me still.
  • 5 0
 Personally, a version of mine would be
Fork: up fork 140mm (34 / Pike)
Rear: piggyback shock (or more capable damper than a DPS)
Brakes: XT 4 pot / Codes RSC 203mm/180mm
Wheels: DT Swiss 350/54t custom 30mm front / 25mm rear rims
Cockpit: 35mm reach / 780mm 30mm rise
wheels manufacturing “thread-in” pressfit BB / cane creek 40 headset
  • 1 2
 Then it would be 30lbs and what's the point of only having 120 if it weighs 30lbs? I have a stumpy that weighs less than that
  • 4 0
 If you're trying to find one, I have compiled a non exhaustive list of dealers in the Western US / BC that are expecting MY22 carbon Elements. I finally found one coming in January to compliment my G1 and should be about ... 13lbs lighter :o
  • 5 0
 This bike sounds amazing. Just the kind of shorter travel trail bike I want, good job RM. A 4pot spec with a Pike would have been nice though.
  • 9 1
 Cost should be a con
  • 3 0
 They tested what they got. I’ll bet the 5k version is as good and only a little heavier.
  • 3 1
 @wyorider: And yet still overpriced
  • 6 0
 @henryquinney I'm curious what position the Ride 4 chip was in when you tested it.
  • 3 0
 Did a bit of high, did a bit (alot) of low. I think in fairness to Rocky at least it offers real adjustment. For the trails I ride, I would love the position of the high for the seat angle and the head angle of the low, although I understand why they didn't do it. Apart from the active weighting of the front you have to do on super tech, steep climbs, the low position was great. Besides that head angle just feels fantastic when riding fast. Cheers
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney: Thanks for this bit of info. I don't particularly need geo adjust (just make it slack to begin with), but I LOVE LOVE that you can make this bike more progressive so it has a better chance of not ending up in warranty or with broken parts. Reasonably progressivity is something that most brands are still scared of.

Spur, Following and now this bike (in 2 of the settings), all super fun and some of the most progressive in the category.
  • 3 0
 Hmm... Quite a sweet ride, that wasn't on my radar at all.

Anyone have any thoughts on how this would stack up (assuming equal components spec) between Ibis Ripley, Epic Evo Pro, Scott Spark Tuned, and Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 0 (the white one without LiveValve)?
  • 1 0
 Sounds like you'd get a dope bike with all of the above! Hard to go wrong with those options.
  • 7 1
 Called my local bike shop to see what's the ETA on the Element frameset. They said 2024. RIP.
  • 5 0
 You guys mentioned that sometimes it felt a little too slack or even a little cumbersome. Did you try it with the flip chip in the high setting at all?
  • 3 0
 Comparo for Element should be against SC Tallboy, Ibis Ripley, and Transition Spur. Others on this test are not really the same intention. Personally, I think this bike is the underbike category. I wouldn't get a bike like this if I had a 150mm+ bike, too much overlap.
  • 4 0
 Spire 35lbs170/170 - such confidence inspiring bike
Element 25lbs 130 - such confidence inspiring bike
2021 Altitude max 64.5 angle not slack enough
2022 element 65 angle - RADICAL !
  • 4 0
 Levy, if you had to choose between this and an Epic Evo; each with whatever components you want, which one would you get?
@mikelevy
  • 1 1
 You could always upsize the Epic if you wanted extra reach / wheelbase.
  • 2 0
 Curious if @mikelevy would race it if it was in the steep setting with a SC34 at the front like Felix Burke is running? I have one being built up and plan on racing it locally this spring and then at Downieville where it seems like the perfect bike.

bikes.com/blogs/stories/felix-burke-2022-element
  • 3 0
 I've ridden this bike with the new 2022 34 SC and it definitely has a more over the front feel that you may want when looking for efficiency on the climbs. I ran a little less sag, and the bike was very responsive to pedalling inputs.

There's the options for 3 specs on this platform really, 120mm Sid or 34 SC, 2-piston brakes and 2.25/2.4 Aspen or Rekon Race, the way its spec'd now with 4-piston brakes, and a BC Edition with a 140mm Pike or 34, Float-X or Super Deluxe and 2.4 DHR II/Dissector.
  • 1 0
 @onestuntwonder: That's great feedback. Did you feel like it's still plenty raceable with the 34 SC on the front? Seems like a lot of our local racing in Oregon are long mellow, even gravel climbs followed by super fun descents so I don't mind the added length and my 2019 Blur was a handful outside of race courses and super buff flow trails.
  • 2 0
 It's crazy to think that bikes like this (and the spur) didn't really exist only a few short years ago. It seems like such an obvious sub-category of mountain biking that would suit a ton of riders, but really the industry didn't start making true "downcountry" bikes until around 2018 (I think the intense sniper might qualify as being the first).
  • 2 1
 Well, unless you count the evil following in 2015, and the intense primer in 2017 (both of which took anglesets to bring them to 65 degrees)
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: Good point, I guess the following was maybe the forerunner to "downcounty" stuff.
  • 4 1
 How does this get such a review but the similar geo, better priced and spec'd Whyte S120 get a mediocre review on Pinkbike? its half the price right now (if you can get one).
  • 2 0
 It looks interesting but.. but, what’s it like for heavier riders at 225 lbs 100kg) plus with the gear etc. All three of the testers are quite light and chucking it around on the downs with that travel and weight might be a bit scary. I always find DC bikes with HA like that are just a bit like whoa hang on, where is the 36.
  • 2 0
 Sounds like a bike that's a good fit for my local (very) flat trails. Would it be fair to call it the spiritual successor to the Thunderbolt? Or what, if anything, are RM going to do with the Thunderbolt? Also, think we'll see a BC edition down the road?
  • 2 0
 so. we have the fastest bike up and down. Levy, please explain this - "mikelevy MOD (Dec 6, 2021 at 10:31 am) Really? All these bikes have different shades of cool, but there is no chance that I will choose Rocky if I wanted to participate in sports races , or even if I was just a more cross-country oriented rider. " Isn't the fastest bike on the list the best for XC?
  • 1 0
 taking into account the editing of articles, the question is removed
  • 6 0
 You had me 'till "press-fit BB"...
  • 2 0
 Interesting specifications of the Element by Felix Burke. Particularly at the level of the 4 position 4 ride, the 120mm travel of the fork, the four piston calipers at the front and the rear and the assembly with a Minion in 2.5 at the front and a Recon at the rear.

ca.bikes.com/blogs/stories/felix-burke-2022-element
  • 2 0
 Second most efficient climber (and only missed out on the win by a second).
Where's the commenter who claims that the slack head angle/front wheel being a long way infront of you made a bike a slow slimber?
  • 3 19
flag DetroitCity (Dec 9, 2021 at 9:20) (Below Threshold)
 1 second is like 20 feet. Hardly a sprint finish.

All these bikes are slow climbers if you compare them to XC bikes, and fast climbers compared to enduro bikes. Whats your point?

Saying the bike climbs fast against these other bikes, does not mean the bike climbs fast period. I know it climbs well, Rocky Mountain has the climbing traction part dialed. The element used to be an XC bike, now its a 1 bike for all bike.
  • 10 3
 Only wankers say that.

Meow meow meow slack head angle doesn’t climb as well. Same people who say they prefer climbing-because they suck at both but suck at descending even more.
  • 12 0
 @DetroitCity: 20' in 1 second is 14mph.

Seems pretty fast for a climb...
  • 17 1
 @wyorider: I mean, in an attempt to be totally fair, many people who say they "prefer descending" lack fitness, and (according to Strava) really aren't fast on the DH, either. Trying to descend at pace after killing yourself up a climb (due to a lack of fitness) is pretty tough. And for most people who aren't shuttling everything (or riding chairlifts all the time), all that DH practice came after having to climb to earn it.

Most places I've ridden, the fastest climbers also are very competitive (if not at the top of the boards) on the DH segments.

I think it's way more common for poor, unfit riders to "prefer downhill" than the reverse.

All that said, I feel the big downside of a very slack HTA is flat cornering. Tight uphill switchbacks aren't bad once acclimated, especially with a steep STA.
  • 3 19
flag DetroitCity (Dec 9, 2021 at 10:21) (Below Threshold)
 @SunsPSD: well considering it was on a gravel road, thats actually slow. Do you even read the articles or just the comments?
  • 5 0
 @tommyrod74: fastest locals here are fast both ways. That’s the usual scenario.

Same with “roadie” vs “mountain biker”. Fast riders are fast. Slow riders are slow, and tend to describe themselves as a certain type of rider (instead of just a bike rider).
  • 4 1
 "Henry Quinney: "The Rocky Mountain Element is certainly a fast bike. Fastest on the singletrack climb" "Henry Quinney: "The Blur TR was the fastest singletrack climber"
  • 3 0
 I noticed that too, in the text of this review it says the Element was second fastest
  • 2 11
flag ilyamaksimov (Dec 9, 2021 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 @fastnissan: Personally, I am most offended by the fact that in an article on image blur, brianpark wrote to me that the blur was the fastest on one singletrack uphill.

that is, the editors are frankly lying
  • 17 1
 Hello there @ilyamaksimov

As you can imagine, in a heavy filming schedule sometimes details get confused, and this was one of those times.

I made an initial mistake in filming and then I wrote the article based on a lot of the talk in the video, which basically has made the error worse. I definitely made a mistake (which I'll correct in the article now but the video is sadly stuck that way). But just to clarify, that's because I'm a bit thick - not because I'm being deliberately disingenuous. It's also worth noting that I specified the correct results at another point in the article. I think "frankly lying" and "most offended" is a bit over the top, no?

We all make mistakes, or at least anyone I've ever met.

Thanks for reading all the same but, yeah, I think that lying is a pretty heavy thing to level and crosses a line for me. Cheers.
  • 1 2
 @henryquinney: thanks for the answer
  • 1 0
 I've got an Element on order (ETA: whenever), and it sounds like it'll be great on the "all up/all down" rides I do in CO, to include some of the endurance races in the area that have that sort of terrain profile. Can't wait to throw a leg over it!
  • 1 0
 What is the weight of the A50 in Large?
That is the best value I see. But, then the question becomes if it is trail bike how much does it weigh and is it then worth getting something w more burly frame if weight starts to get there. I am thinking Banshee or Canfield tilt at 128rear which an also be built to 30lbs with 34 fork.
  • 2 0
 that bike weight is for the Element C90, not many people going to be buying that model. The C70 is closer to 28lbs (or 12.5kg). My C70 instinct is 13kg so makes me wonder what is the point of an Element?
  • 4 0
 Thanks again for mentioning the uncompromised Moto brake routing. And thanks to Rocky for implementing it.
  • 4 0
 How about a section on financing options etc. some of these test bikes cost more than a year of tuition a state college…
  • 1 0
 I'm curious about how much better this new Element climbs than the new Stumpjumper, and if it is good enough downhill to skip the Stumpjumper altogether. Does it make a slightly heavier trail bike like the Stumpjumper redundant?
  • 1 0
 26mm rims make a lot of sense for 2,3 or narrower tires.
For the current crop of 2.4/2.5 enduro / DH tires I do struggle a bit to choose a tire that complements my 25mm rims.
I've found the Wild Enduros are spot on. They do square out too much on 30mm rims, preventing me from leaning into flat turns securely like I do on a WT DHF.
Conversely, riding the DHF on a 25mm rim is only suggested if you are an expert / pro and lean it hard enough. For me that is too scary. For Super Bruni, less so.
It is less of an issue with treads like the Magic mary, that thing works reasonably well with any rim width.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden the Spur a lot and it does horrible on techy ups and especially on switchbacks uphill. The Spur also has an issue with the rear triangle having side to side play in it. It's not really axle or hub, it's in the linkage of all the Spurs. Don't buy a Sput because they have these issues.
  • 1 0
 I’m wondering how would this bike compare to a Pivot Trail 429 V3 ? I currently own the Pivot and it looks pretty similar to the Rocky except for 4 piston brakes and 30 mm wide rims on the pivot.

What is pinkbike’s opinion on that ?
  • 3 0
 This is the one! Saw it in the flesh yesterday, it looks so good! Well done RM.
  • 5 1
 This versus the new stumpy would be a tough choice.
  • 10 3
 New stumpy gives you just a touch more squish without much more weight + you get a SWAT box. Go stumpy all the way - if you flip climb levers you'll never know the difference on climbs. Specialized really hit it out of the park with that bike. I think if you want something to race on, you'd be better served by Epic Evo or Blur, but the Stumpy is pretty much the perfect do-it-all bike.
  • 4 0
 @Lokirides: I sold my V4 Ripley for a '21 Stumpy. For my trails and riding it's a muuuuuch better choice. I'm an Ibis fanboy (even had a dog named Ibis), owned 8 of them. This is my first Specialized. As a fast trail bike it's near perfect....for me and my trails (gotta throw in that disclaimer).
  • 1 0
 @Lokirides: I'm curious about this too - how much more capable is the Stumpjumper down rough trails? How much faster does the Element climb? Are they close enough that it just comes down to how good the rider is?
  • 1 0
 @bikewriter: have you noticed a big difference in pedaling efficiency/ climbing? Are they built up with comparable parts?
  • 2 0
 @basic-ti-hardtail: NO difference on my mainly smooth loose over hardpack. Having said that, I think DW Link is superior to my Scott Spark RC and 2021 Stumpy's design overall especially when it gets rough and choppy as it pertains to forward momentum and traction, but for a vast majority it's not the suspension that is the weak link (it's me).
  • 1 0
 I'd love to know what the base aluminium version comes in at for weight. Guessing 30 lbs. Honestly, it seems like the spiritual successor to my 2004 Slayer. Same travel, just slacker and beefier w/ bigger wheels!
  • 2 0
 At minute 2:20 in the video, I cannot believe the tyre didn't get a puncture or even the rim didn't break. Are they running inserts? If so, damn, great things to have.
  • 1 0
 @henryquinney Rimpact pro in all the tyres or was @mikelevy lucky?
  • 2 0
 That was pretty sweet to watch frame by frame. Looks like the suspension was able to move the wheel up enough to lessen the impact. I don't think any insert there - just good tire pressure and good suspension tune. He's also not pushing heal down there - he's keeping himself (and the bike) nice and light so it can move under him. Good eye to spot that rock strike!
  • 4 0
 finally a review of a good bike
  • 2 0
 Any issues still present with Rocky frame reliability? If I recall, there were problems in the past? Good looking rig and solid write up!
  • 3 1
 This Element looks great and is efficient but is it a reliable bike? Its super light weight does not inspire me a lot confidence..
  • 1 0
 did they indicate which setting the bike was primarily tested in (steep/slack), and if it was run in the steep position, did that make the front end any more manageable on the flatter terrain?
  • 2 0
 "Damp squib"? I haven't heard the word "squib" since my now-retired boss from Belfast used to call me into his office...ah, good times!
  • 3 1
 What exactly is wider rims going to do as far as performamce? 26mm seems pretty close to ideal for a 2.4 xc tire. Seems pretty arbitrary?
  • 3 0
 "Balanced and steady, but adequately responsive" What we are all looking for in a partner.
  • 1 0
 How come the seatstays look beffier than the top tube? I'm probably completely off base, but I can't help but think that front end is going to be flexy. Other than that, bike looks sick! Geo is awesome!
  • 4 1
 SuperDownDuroCounty!! ...Or just a trail bike. Take your pick.
  • 1 0
 Nice review! You three lads look February pallid and it's barely December. My mirror looks the same, been a cloudy cloudy fall up here in the PNW ...
  • 1 0
 Transition Spur or Ibis Exie seem to be a miss in this Downcountry review sequence. Seems the Ibis is raved to be a do all bike.
  • 4 2
 sold - xl ripmo v2 frame for sale
  • 1 0
 Oh gosh, mid January can't come fast enough LOL. Comooooon Element.... Get here!!!!!
  • 2 3
 Pretty much the same bike/mfg as the Norco Optic, Nukeproof Reactor (own it), Vitus Escarpe, and Fezzari Delano Peak

with varying levels of rear wheel travel, but look at the frame, suspension design, wheelbase.
  • 2 0
 Compare this Rocky to the Tallboy, what would you pick and why?
  • 3 1
 Given equal parts spec (stock from manufacturer) there's a 3-4 pound weight difference in favour of the Element. While not the only factor, that would weigh heavily in my decision between those two bikes. These days more important factors would be price and availability.
  • 1 1
 this Element is a spaceship compared to the Tallboy
  • 2 0
 @dlford: not really, less than 2 lbs for sure
  • 1 0
 @tigen: SC claims 28+ lbs for CC w/ reserves, that’s >2
  • 1 0
 @Assclapp: talking frame weight. I leave it to you to find all the spec differences.

Tallboy frame is heavier but not that much
  • 1 0
 @tigen: Didn't dlford say stock parts from OEM tho? I was really keen on the Tallboy but got an SB100 when I realized I was never gonna get the TB under 30lbs on my budget.
  • 2 0
 @Assclapp: Ok you're right. I was thinking equal parts.

But even looking at the different builds I'm not even sure where the Tallboy weight is coming from. I think it has the Grip 2 damper and a heavier front tire, and wider rims. Anyway I retract my comments.
  • 1 0
 @tigen: my large tb4 cc with shock was ~2800g if memory serves. That’s 6.25lbs…

I’m not sure what rocky claims, but I’d be surprised if it’s much under 5lb with shock.

The rest of the weight savings come in the form of careful parts spec.



I think the bigger difference comes in the form pedaling efficiency- lower link vpp does not excel in this area… (but it serve up great traction) … holding 2 water bottles doesn’t hurt either.
  • 3 0
 great pictures.....
  • 1 0
 12:21 Kazimer is aghast then impressed as Quinney serves one up from out of nowhere.
  • 1 0
 So what is the difference between great trail bike and down country bike when we talk about Element?
  • 1 0
 Can't wait for mine to arrive. When they released it and I saw the geo I knew it would be a killer bike.
  • 2 0
 Cons: price!
Still like my yeti sb100.
  • 1 0
 I didn't see the nice little chain guide Rocky had been speccing, with geo this aggressive does it at least have iscg tabs?
  • 3 0
 You can run the one up guide, but you'll need the main pivot nut from the Altitude or Instinct
  • 2 1
 Another bike that isn't mentioned often but is comparable to these bikes, is the Transition Spur.
  • 3 0
 Is Kazimer always baked?
  • 1 0
 Definitely not for xc racing since it's a chopper on the flats, nor stage racing.
  • 1 0
 I would like to know how this compares to the Spur and Hei Hei, especially in terms of being able to jib, pop, and flick.
  • 1 0
 Ride nine or eye nine, eh
  • 2 0
 B-E-A-UTIFUL!!
  • 1 0
 Glad you wrote squib and not squid!
  • 2 0
 what a beauty of a bike!
  • 2 0
 Vs the tallboy V4??
  • 1 0
 how does it compare to the new pivot trail 429?
  • 1 0
 I would like to know this as well.
  • 1 0
 This just sold a shit ton of Elements and probably one to me.
  • 1 0
 Epic EVO, Spur and this. All awesome options. HM: to the Ripley.
  • 1 0
 So proof short travel doesnt have to equal crap geo
  • 3 2
 Spur climbs horribly. Tallboy and Element are almost the same bike.
  • 1 0
 This is my thought, would love to actually demo one to compare against my tallboy though I think the element might be a little too stretched out on techy backcountry trails.
  • 1 2
 IDK... if i can let these statements go unchallenged.

"The Spur climbs horribly"... Compared to what?

"Tallboy and Element are almost the same"... the Tallboy weighs 5lbs more!

The Spur and the Element are very close in geo, in travel, and in weight... the only differences are 10m in fork travel and 2 piston vs 4 piston brakes.
  • 2 1
 LOL the Spur doesn't climb horribly.
  • 1 0
 What shoes is levy wearing, I want them!
  • 1 0
 should create a "wicked will" bike's category
  • 1 0
 Enjoy the title music, what is it?
  • 1 0
 Wonder how this bike will fair on the Huck-To-Flat test?
  • 6 7
 I'd take an Evil Following over this or a Spur. Let the hate flow, I'll wait.
  • 3 2
 Same.
  • 7 2
 That poor bike came out w/ dated geo. It kind of never had a chance. The Spur, Tallboy or Element just seem like better options.
  • 4 1
 People still sleeping on the Revel Ranger too. HTA isn't the be all end all.
  • 3 3
 Evils are a party. Let 'em hate.
  • 1 1
 You had me at “good insertion depth”
  • 1 2
 Finally a bike I'd consider selling my V4 Tallboy for..
  • 1 1
 Yeah- when the Tb4 came out I was kinda hoping they would prioritize low weight and pedaling efficiency a bit more.
As evidenced by the Blur, Santa Cruz can still build a super lightweight carbon bike. But everything from the TB on up seems a bit overbuilt- either to increase durability and lower warranty claims, or just to make the bikes a bit more dh focused. On the plus side, the lower link VPP on a short travel bike is pretty impressive- it really is one of those bikes that punches up in terms of dh performance. Even more so with the cascade link. As an all around trail bike. It’s still a great choice, due to its versatility and descending prowess.

So… it’s a great bike (I had one and rode the heck out of it for about 18 months) but to me ultimately it felt like it wasn’t offering enough benefit over a longer travel bike of the same weight. The Rocky- and the trek with a 130mm fork- both seem to offer something special in terms of efficiency (and to a lesser extent lower weight) that feels bang on for the 120mm category. Too bad it’s so hard to demo bikes these days.
  • 1 4
 How does this and the trek compare to the Transition Spur? In terms of climbing and descending???
Below threshold threads are hidden





You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2022. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.036122
Mobile Version of Website