First Look: 2022 Rocky Mountain Element - When XC Gets Aggro

Sep 26, 2021 at 19:34
by Henry Quinney  

Rocky Mountain has today launched a new, far more aggressive version of its Element range. The Element, known for being a cross-country race bike, now has descending credentials that, on paper at least, could defy the XC tag.

This bike is a ground up redesign and features radically more aggressive geometry. In fact, not only does it see the reach increase by between 30 and 40mm depending on size, but it also reduces the head angle by around four degrees in its neutral mode.
Rocky Mountain Element

Frame material: Carbon or Alloy
Intentions: Trail/Downcountry?
Travel: 120mm (130mm fork)
Wheelsize: XS 27.5” - S / M / L / XL 29"
Head Tube Angle: 65.0 - 65.8°
Reach: 480 (large)
Price: $2,559 - $9,589 USD
More info: bikes.com

Speaking to some of the staff at Rocky, they make it clear that while this bike is aiming to be very adept at climbing and comfortable enough to ride all day, it is something of a departure from the idea of an all-out XC race rig. The way they put it is that it's tailor-made for stage races such as the BC Bike Race. In events like that, there is a huge amount of vertical elevation to conquer but people don't traditionally tackle it on all-out 100mm cross-country hardtails that prioritise weight over everything else. Instead, people ride it on bikes that can do everything the race bike can do, but also a whole lot more.

Realistically it's this style of XC bike, your downcountry build, that is probably best suited to your average Joe, myself included. Personally, I would have little interest in having an XC race-rig in my garage. A bike like the Element, however, is a different proposition entirely. I could enjoy riding it as my daily and, if I were to get dropped on the climbs on a group ride, I can assure you it wouldn't be the bike's fault.

Frame Details

The new Element features a whole host of frame features. Some you may well expect, such as Rocky’s loyalty to multiple position geometry chips, even if that has now been cut down to the mere four positions as opposed to the previous 9. The Ride-4 adjustment uses a single allen key to give four different ride positions that will affect the head and effective seat tube angle by nearly a degree.

The Element uses a svelt-looking four-bar system to deliver 120mm of rear wheel travel that's paired to a 130mm fork at the front.

Mounting options galore and slender tubes.

There is also smart sizing in terms of wheel size. Instead of trying to butcher a 29” wheel into all sizes, or even running a mixed wheeled setup, Rocky have decided to offer the extra-small in 27.5”. A consequence of the smaller wheels, as well as the increase in travel and more aggressive geometry for the Element, means that the Thunderbolt is being removed from Rocky’s range entirely. The new extra-small element features significantly more (33mm) standover clearance than Thunderbolt in the same size.

All 29” frames can be equipped with two water bottles. The extra small has to make do with one, but this is rectified somewhat by comfortably accepting a 750ml bottle.

The elegant tubing continues to the rear end of the bike to feature a rear axle sheltered within the contours of the carbon.

Both the carbon and alloy models feature more frame protection, a chain guide, internal moto-compatible gear and brake routing, a SRAM universal hanger as well as shielded bearings. The main pivot nut on all bikes is interchangeable with the one on the Instincts and Altitudes to accept Rocky’s Canadarm chain guide.

The bikes will happily accept anything from a 30 - 36t chainring and have clearance for a 2.6” tire. They also feature size-specific shock tunes.

The bike features the brand's four-position flip chip.

Geometry

The Element, straight from the off is drastically more progressive than its predecessor. Not only does it become around 4 degrees slacker in the head angle but the reach also grows by a substantial amount. In fact, the larger the size the more it grows and the extra-large, comparing both the new and outgoing bike in their neutral settings, increases its reach by 38mm. This is a huge change.

Unsurprisingly, the seat tube angle has also been steepened to keep tabs on the front end while climbing. The seat tube angle is now around 76.5 degrees, depending on size and chip position. The seat tube itself is short enough to put many a modern enduro bike to shame and will enable long-drop seatposts as standard. The large we were sent features a very healthy 175mm of drop.

In descending order: top tube, head tube angle, head tube length, seat tube angle, seat tube length, rear centre, bottom bracket drop, reach, stack, standover height and wheelbase.


Suspension

Rocky revised the kinematics of the new Element to increase anti-squat, which is at around 103% at sag. The increased anti-squat should ensure a good platform when the rider accelerates.


Rocky feels that riders will now not only be able to benefit from using a lower spring rate with less damping, and reap the grip benefits associated with that, but also access the entire range of the travel when needed because there is less progression in the end part of the shock's stroke.

Rocky certainly aren't short of local talent to test the bike.

Models

The bike is available in both alloy and carbon, with the higher end builds predictably coming on the non-metallic bikes. The Alloy 10, the base model, comes with a Deore level spec and that improves through the Alloy 30 to eventually reach a solid SLX and Fox Performance build kit on the Alloy 50 which sells for $4,049 USD.

The carbon models start with the $4,259 Carbon 30 which also features an SLX build, but differentiates from the Alloy 50 with a Marzocchi Z2 fork and some lower spec componentry including Shimano non-series brakes. They then progress through the 50 and 70 to the range-topping XTR laden Carbon 90 which retails for $9,589 USD.





Initial Impressions

The Rocky is an interesting bike to ride. I've been lucky enough to be riding it in Squamish, just up the road from Rocky Mountain's Vancouver offices and in a town the aforementioned BC Bike Race rolls through. If this bike is going to shine anywhere, this is the place.

Coming from a few months of riding longer travel bikes, namely those featured on our field test, the Element feels like a lot of the things I've become accustomed to but in a far lighter and livelier package, and it delivers on its promise to be XC for BC in droves. In the few days I've had it it's shown that it's fun, it's lively and it's actually a very comfortable bike to ride. Sometimes when the geometry of a bike outperforms the travel on offer it means that your body ends up paying the price, but that's not the case with the Element. It's not only a fun bike to ride, but it's a fun bike to ride all day.

My initial impressions have been generally very positive and hopefully we'll be able to feature this bike in our upcoming field test.


293 Comments

  • 133 13
 would love to see weights. I understand these bikes are more capable and need to handle bigger wheels and longer top tubes than 15 years ago, but we have 15 years of technology but it's funny that bikes are still getting heavier.
  • 113 6
 Yeah I shit myself when a buddy told me about his 2022 pivot firebird. Carbon everything.. 36lbs
  • 57 9
 Bikes are bigger and stronger now. They're gonna be heavier. Only so much they can do to shave weight without compromising structural integrity.
  • 97 0
 The medium Element frame weighs 2300g/5.07 lbs including the rear shock, seat collar, axle and frame protection. The complete bike I rode weighed 27.9 lbs with carbon cranks, carbon handlebars, alloy wheels, and no super expensive gram-shaving components.

- bikerumor
  • 33 2
 Longer reaches and slacked out head tubes are putting a lot more stress on the frames. So they have to add more material to keep them from breaking.
  • 11 2
 @stumphumper92: hard to say. My Enduro is pretty light and takes a beating. Trying to shop for a new bike but all the new ones weigh more for doing the same job.
  • 17 4
 People want stiffer frames, more gears, bigger brakes, thicker tires, tire inserts, and bigger shocks. Bikes are getting lighter just not aggressive down country bikes.
  • 15 23
flag seraph (Sep 28, 2021 at 9:03) (Below Threshold)
 My Top Fuel Evo, with full coil front and rear but 115mm/130mm travel, weighs just under 30 lbs. Carbon frame, cranks, bars, rims, AXS shifting and dropper, all parts chosen for durability over weight.
  • 19 8
 Weight is an important factor to consider when buying/building a bike towards your ideal performance but can I just pinch in here and say that lighter isn't always better. The overall weight of your bike will have an impact on how it feels on the trail, and sometimes weight shaving measures in areas for areas of riding uphill can impact your descents.

I once built an Alloy DH bike that was 35lbs and after a couple of rides I changed out some components to make it heavier as it was just too twitchy. Weight is Stability when descending, and I think instead of companies and riders focusing on getting the lightest gear possible they should consider the weight "sweet spot" - a theory of finding the balance between weight and compromise that I would like to just throw out there
  • 39 1
 Just going from a 26” wheel to 29” adds more than a pound for the same width rim and tire. Add in the longer travel suspension (15 years ago XC was an 80 mm hardtail, a big trail bike 120-125mm) and you are another 1-2 pounds. Don’t forget the extra 3/4 pound a dropper adds. Now add in larger rotors and the fact that rims and tires are wider and you are looking at 4+ pounds more off the bat.

If you look at the really lightweight cross country bikes, they are just as light as 15 years ago, but still more capable. The top of the line Ibis Exie is 22.5 pounds with a dropper. You are going to pay a lot for it, but is as light as any FS bike from 15 years ago, but far more capable.
  • 5 1
 @seraph: my XL 2021 Stumpy Expert is around the same weight, but no carbon parts aside from the frame
  • 13 4
 They're building heavier - justification for higher price since it require more materials to beef up their warranty handouts. I'm sure everyone wants to do the Red Bull stuff and jump off cliffs or huck to flat with the lightest bikes possible. Include the SRAM builds with their biggest dishes, wheels and tires all boosted up to 29" (or more) with wider rubbers - yeah you might as well go back to good old days when aluminum framed full suspension bikes weighed in around 21-24lbs with standard 26" wheels and tires that weighed half as much as current rubbers and without any carbon! There's a lot of those bikes still running on trails and without warranties!
  • 74 1
 @nofu: Weight is Stability when descending

that's what I tell myself when I look in the mirror after my morning shower.
  • 4 1
 @stumphumper92: I honestly believe that they are no longer trying as hard to dial on a balance between weight & performance/durability. The market has said it doesn't care about weight, so they can now target a heavier weight, being assured strength targets will be hit, and not have to iterate any further. Weight's being added, not in the name of strength really...but to speed time to market and reduce development costs.

This is their XC/Marathon race bike, so I'm also eagerly waiting for a frame weight report.
  • 11 0
 @nofu: The Element is an XC bike - it's meant for riders wanting to climb. So, having less weight for the weight weenies is different than DH stability.
  • 10 0
 @ShredKC: Cheers.
Frame weight is all I need to know, overall weight where they've specced underperforming tires or whatnot isn't really useful.
  • 9 2
 If the manufacturer doesn't want you to think about the weight, then you won't hear about it in a mainstream bike review
  • 5 0
 You can thank lifetime warranties for heavier layups. If we want lighter bikes then we have to accept 2 year warranties.
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: That's also what I tell my 40# Range.
  • 4 0
 @salespunk: This explanation makes sense until you look at Santa Cruz frame weights.
  • 10 5
 The trend will continue. The industry is just softening us up so that eventually you throw in the towel and buy an ebike!!!
Hmmmm.....38lb trail bike that I have to pedal to the top of the mountain or the 45lb bike with a motor?
The sadness in all this is that I read the other day Bosch is now sponsoring NICA. They're spinning it as support for the coaches who can't keep up with youngsters but you know the end goal is World ebike domination for all ages....lol!!
  • 10 1
 It is tough to compare weighs as we ride trails 1 or 2 categories higher than several years ago. XC includes pretty gnarly rock garden, jumps and drops (when they remove the ramps) these days.
However before dropping several thousand on a bike we deserve to know and decide the weight is acceptable, even if its not as important as a well designed bike
  • 2 0
 @makripper: jeeeeeesh! That's heavier than my polygon n7!!
  • 3 0
 @makripper:

Same here with my HD3. 30lbs with aluminum wheels and chain guide/ bash guard.
  • 15 0
 My 1999 Element TO in size 18": was made from Easton Ultralite HBO Taperwlall tubing and was listed at 4.7 lb. and was made right here in Canada and not another plastic bike made in Asia. At the time, the blue and white maple leaf paint job was more head turning than this..
  • 10 1
 @sofakingwetarded: I agree with everything you said, except the LOL :/ It's a slow... steady... and relentless march towards E- domination and it's not funny, it's tragic!!!! You can see the last scraps of the resistance crumbling, right here in the PB articles and comments, every day. So so sad.
  • 6 0
 @makripper: ride a 36lb bike from 2001 up and down a hill and tell me which one you like better
  • 2 7
flag bohns1 (Sep 28, 2021 at 16:45) (Below Threshold)
 @sofakingwetarded: I think your probably right...Plus I ain't getting any younger anyways..Hmmm could get more laps in as well ..Better start saving my pennies.
  • 3 1
 How long before a chainstay sheers apart and leaves you stranded on the whole enchilada or something? Asking for a friend.
  • 1 0
 Resin my friend, resin!
  • 9 0
 @nofu: for xc lighter weight is definitely better. I feel like brands need to be open with their weight at least of xc bikes because it really does make a difference, especially if you're spending 10k for a top model.
  • 8 0
 @50percentsure: Agree with you. A bike is the sum of its parts, the frame is actually not the majority the weight as some people seem to think based on the comments. The difference between an Enduro bike and a Downcountry bike frame is often only a pound or two; yet after you build them for their intended purpose they could be 8-10lbs apart. You can take a 4lb frame and build it like an Enduro bike an the thing will weigh over 30lbs easy if you start strapping on burly wheels, stout hubs, DD tires, 800mm bars, beefier fork, brakes and the list goes on. You can also take an enduro bike like the Ripmo for example and build it XC-light and end up with a 27lb bike.
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: I think you hit it exactly. A large from 10 years ago is comically small compared to a current large (from most manufacturers). It's one of the main reasons bikes are always getting so much better.
  • 1 3
 @Lemmyschild:

Your friend should of bought aluminum version.
  • 9 0
 @stumphumper92: @stumphumper92: So why bother with carbon? I appreciate the amount of material properties that carbon brings to the table, but is it now becoming a margin thing? Aluminium frames are a gnats nad heavier, cheaper and commonly easier to recycle.
  • 6 0
 Makes me happy with my bike. Orbea Oiz TR full xtr, fox factory dps and 34, 1740g frame paid $5900, threw on some 1200g carbon wheels, total out at $7100. Build is 21lbs!! 120mm front and rear and fast as hell, crush my prs up and down.
  • 1 0
 @turtletim3: Dayum!
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: and we are getting fatter!!
  • 4 1
 I would gladly have a kg heavier frame over a broken frame.
  • 2 0
 @plyawn: I am with you. Well not in the shower but I am with you
  • 2 0
 @CarbonShmarbon: ok so are you saying I should buy a 10yo bike in size XL . funny cause that's what I did
  • 2 1
 @nofu: Weight is stability and it is also predictability, especially in compressions/landings/cornering when the weight involves your tires/inserts. Moving to heavier tire casings has undoubtedly improved my bike handling generally on descents as well as specifically when jumping, riding drops, and cornering.

Weight in the form of a heavier rear shock = higher volume (or coil), better ability to take repeated hits, generally more composure, fewer bottom outs due to greater tuning ability around HSC, HSR
  • 6 5
 @makripper: Our buddy got a 2022 Pivot Trail 429 XT/XTR Carbon wheels. My 2020 Transition Patrol 170/170travel with coil shock, and 2.5 tires f&r is 2 1/2lbs lighter. Worst of both worlds, heavier and less travel. We call it the "Pigot"
  • 1 0
 @geemy: Absolutely!
  • 3 0
 @bowser07: and that bike lasted two years before cracking. I had several Elements back in the day and Easton actually recommended a two year lifespan because they knew it would break. How many Elements or Manitous do you see now that aren't cracked?
  • 3 0
 @bedell99: ha ha that was the alumn. version. He only had to push the last three miles. His second rear triangle on the same bike. He is not impressed with RMB.
  • 2 0
 @arrowheadrush: Ok. Air suspension, lightweight trail build. Makes sense. I built my Top Fuel with enduro parts basically.
  • 2 1
 @stumphumper92:
Hmmm I have a coil Stumpy and coil Wreckoning. Size Larges. Both are under or at 30lbs. Both cost less than $6k new.
Again coil front and rear, size large. Under $6k.
Integrity of my bikes seems fine. Of other bikes or the companies making them I cannot speak of
  • 2 0
 @Watersconstr: How is that even possible?
  • 2 0
 @yourrealdad: I'm calling bullshit on that. There's no way your fully coiled Wreckoning is under 30.
  • 2 0
 @Marc415: It's not. People think we are dumb.
  • 1 0
 @pb-kg: exactly. It’s not.
  • 2 0
 @pb-kg: Said at or under. Wreckoning is right around 30lbs. Just weighed it again and it was about 15kg (in the middle of replacing parts so chain weight isn't accurate). That is with pedals, water bottle cage, sealant, One up EDC stem tool w/ plugs, Specialized SWAT Mountain Bandit with Tube, C02, levers.
So yeah when I weigh it without that stuff its 30lbs.

It would be pretty easy to shed at least another 1/2-1lb too, but it is an enduro rig so the 31mm ID rims laced to 350 hubs, 35mm bar and stem, Ergon grips, XT RD, PNW Dropper they all stay as does the added e13 bash.

But hey keep going heavy, doesn't bother me
  • 3 0
 @yourrealdad: just to be picky…1kg=2.205lbs. So your 15 kg Wreckoning is just over 33lbs. Not a crazy weight, but not at or under 30
  • 1 0
 @plyawn: lol!! I need to learn to redirect my thoughts into this kind of positivity!
  • 2 0
 @jonchaney: just to be picky...I said ready to ride the bike is 15kg, however I stated if I weigh the bike as most companies do who state their weights then it is 30lbs.
  • 1 0
 @Lemmyschild: Rad answer. Smile Personally love both aluminum and carbon bikes but a part on a trail, enduro or DH bike that should never be made out of carbon that is the chain stay. That particular part just takes so much abuse.
  • 1 0
 @bedell99: whys that? My Enduro pro has a full carbon rear end and its never had an issue
  • 1 0
 @yourrealdad: I stand corrected. I tend to think of bike weights more practically, as in "what am I pedaling?" not "what am I weighing to get the lowest number?". 33-34 ready to ride sounds right.
  • 1 0
 @bowser07: I still ride my 1999 Element Race, it weighs 27 lbs including pedals.
  • 1 0
 @pb-kg: For sure, I was just pointing out that companies cant really give a ready to ride weight and as someone else pointed out frame weight with hardware and shock is the only important number as i can swing a bikes weight by multiple lbs by the tires I sell it with.

P.S.
The Wrecker is running Aggressor 2.3 EXO and DHF 2.5 EXO.
Smile
  • 1 0
 @yourrealdad: I figured you were on EXO. I can't look at an EXO tire without putting a hole in one. Giant rotors and heavy tires are my bike's Achilles heel.
  • 1 0
 @pb-kg: Knock on wood, but only flat I have gotten on Maxxis has been forgetting to check pressure and dented rim pinch flatted.
Just gave my buddy an emergency Aggessor cause his blew out. He bought me another one, but DD. Kinda pissed.

P.S.S.

Rotors are XT 8000 203/180 on the Wreck Smile
  • 1 0
 @makripper: See you just lost 2 pounds right there.
  • 1 1
 @yourrealdad: you’re not my real dad.
  • 1 1
 @extratalldirtrider: Do you want to do the DNA test in private or on Maury?
  • 1 0
 @makripper: Yeah thats HEAVY . My 2019 Instinct BC was 29.7 WITH stamp 11 pedals, carbon bars, wheels, 10-52 XO, bottle cage and front fender and a 100 gram lighter seat compared to stock. I am sure the Firebird has the 38 fork but thats maybe only 1/2 heavier than a 36
  • 5 0
 @stumphumper92: Nope, not really. Most high end carbon frames (see Santa Cruz CC and Pivot bikes) at one time were light because manufacturers took the time to remove the excess resin in production and used high grade carbon, this was labor intensive and expensive. It was easier and cheaper to get the media to keep telling the public that "weight doesn't matter" and it worked. Low quality carbon (Pivot, Yeti and Scott still make good carbon) selling at premium prices. Now all parts manufacturers have jumped on the "weight doesn't matter" bandwagon and you get $12,000 35lbs bikes that do nothing better than 28lb $6000 bikes from 5 years ago. Weight does matter.
  • 2 0
 @bedell99: it was a perfect break; 90 degrees from horizontal, clean as a whistle, looked like someone sawed straight through it. Never seen anything like it, personally.
  • 1 0
 @stumphumper92: gotta disagree man, bikes are definitely not stronger
  • 2 0
 @yourrealdad: I'm on a new Range with DD Assegai front, DH DHF rear, and dual 223x2.3mm TRP rotors. Luckily I have an Optic that's 31 (with all necessary bits attached) when I need to pedal more than 5k'.
  • 2 0
 Found some German sites with weights. For the top of the line C90 large without pedals they had 10.7,10.8 and 10.9 kg for a large on 3 different sites, so that is 23.5 to 24 pounds. One site weighted it with pedals, 2 bottles and cages, tubes in the tires and "heavier attachments" at 11.7kg or 25.8 pounds(doesn't say what size, but pics look like a large). Not sure what heavier attachments means, that is what Google translated from German.
  • 1 0
 @bcyr612828: If accurate, that's not bad, not bad at all.
  • 2 0
 @bcyr612828: That's pretty light, especially with pedals on. Now for the huck to flat test! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Nothing in physics is free.
  • 1 0
 @Tristanssid: "when they remove the ramps" lol, I'll always see MVP face planting in my mind when I think of drops in XC. Totally agree weight should be listed on XC and marathon bikes. I dont know what my Chromag Stylus weighs because that wasnt the point. However whatever bike I decide to race 50 mile marathon events this year with... well that's a different story. If the expectation is people who race this bike will wear lycra then of course you need to post the weight.
  • 96 7
 $11,550 CAD for house-brand stem, house brand front hub, 350 rear hub and 26mm house brand rims (albeit carbon). For $11,550, there should not be a single "house brand" component on a bike. This build makes a $14,000 Yeti look like a better value.

I have been a long-time RMB fan...on my 3rd one in 10 years. But there's no chance I will be going back to RMB for my next bike with their current pricing/value proposition.
  • 28 24
 I get your point, but I don’t think „house brand“ necessarily needs to be something bad. I haven’t heard many Specialized owners complain about their roval wheels ‍♂️
  • 40 1
 Exactly this. I looked at their spec on the $6800 USD carbon model and not a chance. Performance level Fox fork and shock? Not even a carbon bar? For $400 more one can get a Pivot Trail 429 with full factory Fox, DT Swiss 1700 wheels, a better group set, and even a carbon bar. Come on Rocky!
  • 47 2
 @extratalldirtrider: I never thought Pivot and budget would be in the same sentence. Kudos to RMB.
  • 14 17
 @lejake: The Roval wheels suck. The only good thing about them is the hubs are no longer proprietary trash like they were in the circa 2013 era, because they decided to be smart and use DT Swiss stuff. The rims themselves leave so much to be desired.
  • 24 1
 I think the issue of house brand parts is more around resale of said parts if you remove them, and the fact that you're essentially paying aftermarket prices (higher) for stuff you could go buy individually off the shelf.

Another issue with house brand parts is that of identifying specs. We don't know the weight, material, source of a lot of these house brand components. Sometimes these house brands parts are debranded Syntace which makes some really high end, German-engineered parts, other times they are just debranded Uno parts which are churned out of a Chinese factory. The Syntance is a gram counting $80 stem, the Uno is still a good stem, but can be found for $10. When you add up that selection set across an entire bike build, the difference can be hundreds of dollars. I've always felt like hubs in particular were worth being name brand because sourcing bearings, drivers, pawls etc for unbranded hubs can be a real PITA.

I think many brands have been hearing complaints about parts shortages and availability, and they are merely up-charging for the ease of selection the consumer now has. You might be able to build an Element for $2000 less than what Rocky is charging, but it would require using a few different sources for parts, where as Rocky is selling it complete.

Some brands still offer that great value of buying complete, but I'm not sure its as consistent across the industry as what it once was.
  • 6 0
 We are all going to start to feeling the impact of price increases pretty soon here. In a year or two, this will be the normal. Hold onto your stuff everybody!
  • 10 0
 @tetonsorbuttes: Unfortunately RMB has been on this "train" for about 2-3 years now with their high MSRP and low-spec.

Will other's follow? Maybe. But there are others that won't, and hopefully they design a bike good enough to justify the significant savings.
  • 3 1
 @PHeller: hit tha nail on the head re: my issue with house brand parts...especially for a $11,500 bike.

I don't care if the RMB CNC'd stem is as strong, as light as beautifully machined as a Turbine R (which its probably just a unbranded version of)...resale value on that RMB CNC stem as a brand new take-off would be 1/4 to 1/5 of a brand new Turbine R.
  • 18 1
 @extratalldirtrider:

Canyon Lux Trail: Full XTR, Full Fox Factory, DT XMC1200 wheelset (180 hubs front and rear, higher end rims, 30mm inner rims) = $7599 ($7720 after shipping/box). Vs. Element 90 for $11,550 with inferior wheels and no-name stem.

That's nearly $4,000 difference for an inferior build. Sure, the Rocky is 65 HA vs. the Canyon Trails 67.5. But 2.5 degrees aren't worth $4,000. How much of that is Bike STore margin, and how much of that is extra RMB profits. The RMB Element 90 is a 52.6% premium over the Canoy Lux Trail for a far superior build kit.

Buying the Canyon Lux Trail at full retail is most likely cheaper than getting an Element 90 at a pro-deal.

(comparing the Canyon Lux TR as it is also a recently released bike with a somewhat similar customer base in mind, with similar build kits).
  • 24 52
flag lmcfarlin (Sep 28, 2021 at 9:56) (Below Threshold)
 I've always felt like Rocky Mountain's build kits skimped on too much for the price. Most brands have similar top-dollar kits leaving almost nothing to be desired. Rocky Mountain's have always left me listing out in my mind the things I'd be swapping out. I'd love to get on board with the brand but it would have to be a frame-up build for me.
  • 7 5
 what is wrong with in house components? Trek and S have good record of producing quality in house components the fast that you paying a lot for non blink stuff? we'll yes, however frame option in that case represented as well;
  • 37 1
 Rocky Mountain used to have a different house brand, it was called Race Face.
  • 17 0
 I used to LOVE rocky. But their price points (relative to the builds) are just a joke these days. I'm really disappointed in them as a long time supporter.
  • 4 0
 @MisterChow: I had a 2011RM Flatline WC and it had all the RaceFace Atlas parts stock. It was such a sweet bike.
  • 12 0
 @extratalldirtrider:

Rocky is definitely one of the worst for value to price. My Dad recently got a Altitude C70 which retails for $9300cnd. When I compare the spec to my SC Megatower XO build which also retailed for $9300cnd.
For the same price with the SC you get DT350 hubs vs 370 and RMB, carbon cranks, SC carbon bar vs RMB alloy, and a reverb vs raceface dropper. You also get the lifetime warranty with the SC and free bearings.
Santacruz and Yeti might not always be thee best overall value but they look pretty good in comparison to rocky when you factor in the warranty, customer service and higher quality of the latter two brands.
  • 2 4
 @MisterChow: I'm fairly certain Race Face was never a RMB house brand. They were basically down the road from each other (head offices) and they supported each other. RMB spec'd many RF components on their bikes. But RF was not a spin-off house brand like Roval is to Specialized. Or Bontrager is to Trek.

RF was also OEM on many bikes in the 90's and early 2000's until many bike brands decided to take things in-house.
  • 5 2
 i am with you on that. Had an Instinct BC, and it was a really nice riding bike. I currently have a new blank Instinct BC recall frame hanging on my sons wall, needing to be built. Rocky will not even return my emails requesting whether they have the two parts i need. The rear triangle and rocker link. Their new bike above, jeez, you cant even get Deore level brakes on the basic build. Their build to value has been off for the last few years, added with a complete lack of response from them, and I am done with RM. My buddies that are a dealer from them can't even get a response for me. On the opposite side of things, Salsa answers right away, and would not even let me pay for the parts i needed. Just shipped them to me within 4 days. Same with Banshee. Answer right away, shipped what i needed for my sons Spitfire, got the parts in 4 days. I guess that Instinct frame will just be wall art on my sons wall. Thats about all its good for. Rocky bikes ride awesome, Ill give them that, but they have zero customer service.
  • 16 0
 @neons97: One part about Bontrager and Trek - Bontrager was it's own brand for many years making great frames, rims, bars, seatposts, saddles, etc before Trek bought it and turned into into a house brand.

And yes, RaceFace did start as the house brand at Rocky Mountain before being spun off. Some history freehubmag.com/articles/let-our-people-ride-rebirth-race-face
  • 7 0
 Ensure that promise is kept, because keeping your wallet in pocket is #1 method to drop prices.
  • 4 0
 @neons97: If *seems* that MFG's are careful to not flood the market with stock, lest the prices head down.

If @norcobicycles, for instance, made 3x the frames (and could find components for them) and had even 10% lower prices, I think folks would flock to their brand.
  • 2 0
 @bicycle019: l did not know that, very interesting!
  • 11 0
 @brycepiwek: That is amazing. I'm going to have to remember to replace SC and Yeti with RM in my dentist jokes.
  • 1 0
 @bicycle019: Thanks for that article. Really interesting read. As a long time RMB and RF loyal customer, I didn't know that history.
  • 1 0
 @lejake: in my experience roval wheels suck. I've had 2 oem sets on 2 different year enduros, both times the rims got destroyed on relatively tame trails. The most recent set dinged so bad that tubeless was impossible and not even a tube would hold - on the first damn ride!! The hubs seem fine, maybe the carbon rims are ok, but the alloy ones suck
  • 1 0
 @MisterChow: I thought race face was part of fox at some point? I've got some race face trousers that I bought from fox....
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: but not as much as Bontrager rims. *Shudder* those things really are trash
  • 2 0
 @nickfranko: For their aluminum I fully agree. However the carbon Roval are super solid.
  • 3 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: When RF went into bankrupt in 2011, they were bought up by one of their old employee and some investors.

In 2014, RF bought Easton Cycling. Later that year, Fox bought Race Face and Easton Cycling.
  • 2 0
 I agree here. At $11k, no corners should be cut. I honestly think that build specs at this price show the value of the We Are One Arrival builds, especially when you consider the effort into regional sourcing. Crazy to use the word "value" in that comparison.
  • 2 2
 @nickmalysh: I've built several Fuels, Top Fuels, and Staches from the frame up using Bontrager Line and Line Pro parts from clueless new riders/new bike buyers off of eBay. Been living off of a steady diet of Bontrager take offs via eBay for years.
  • 3 0
 It's not even a 350 rear hub it's a 370
  • 2 0
 Yet the alloy 30 actually seems like pretty good value.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: Just a clarification, UNO is the house brand of Kalloy and they are one of the world leaders of Near Net Forging on the planet. In fact that expensive Syntace or Ritchey stem is probably made by Kalloy. That UNO UL7 stem is one of the best pieces of engineering in the industry.
  • 1 0
 @neons97: I believe you are correct. Even more to the point I believe Fox owns RF and Easton now, at least they did purchase them some time ago, so they likely still do own those two brands.
  • 1 0
 @everythingscomingupmilhouse: You're right. Fox bought them around 2014.
  • 39 1
 I wonder how well it will stack up to the Transition Spur.
  • 15 1
 My first thought after looking at the geometry is that it's a close copy. Not a bad thing, the Spur is amazing.
  • 18 3
 @davec113: I enjoy my Spur but it has a few things I'd definitely change including:

The Spur needs more AS (only around 92%) as it bobs excessively.
Two bottles inside would be really nice but not a big deal.
The new Element fixes both of these issues.

The Chainstays are too short on the Spur on a 480 Reach and as a result the front end wanders a lot on technical climbs. Unfortunately the new Element did not correct this through chain stay length but likely offset this by having a very low stack height, which comes with it's own issues.

The suspension on the Spur just doesn't keep up with the rest of the bike. The shock performs poorly and the fork is unreliable. Manitou front & rear fixes this nicely.

The frame weights are nearly identical which is impressive given that the Element doesn't use Flexstays. Rocky Mountain has always built light frames though.
  • 4 1
 @davec113: Lastly I'd add that Transition sells the Spur as a frame only, which is a 'game, set, match' for me. Wouldn't buy a bike any other way.
  • 8 0
 I would love to see it compared to the Spur and the Optic.
  • 2 0
 @davec113: except the frame is thinner than the fork
  • 2 0
 @pedalhound: stumpy too, its more of a trail bike but similar geo and weight
  • 11 3
 Transition Spur has a threaded bottom bracket so that answers which frame I'd get.
  • 3 0
 i have my spur with stock sidluxe and i was prepared to replace it after i recieve my frame. but im happy with it. no harsh bottom outs, im almost alwys about 2mm from bottom out but its plenty comfortable considering its travel. i even bought bigger token for it but didnt bother to change it. im almost at max psi because of my weight
  • 1 0
 @mironfs: same I’m happy with suspension on my Spur (GX). Got my shock set at 240psi and my weight is 200lbs. It’s just a fast bike. Also added 2 tokens to the fork and bought the large volume spacer for the shock. I’ve attempted to open the shock but so far no success (not even with a strap wrench). It’s my only complaint about the Spur.
  • 3 0
 @SunsPSD: having a Fox DPS for the rear on my Spur is a game changer. Run it in trail (middle) position and it pedals great, eliminates the bob - great for flow trails. Not a fan of the Sidluxe open/closed positions.
  • 4 0
 @pedalhound: I see how the Optic might be included in that group based on travel and angles, but my Optic appears to have zero aspirations to be an XC machine.
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: Which tune did you go with? I’m interested in doing this myself.
  • 3 0
 @dresendsit: Good to hear. The SID and SIDLuxe are the least reliable components I've had in a long time. The SID has excessive bushing play even after being warrantied, and the SIDLuxe dumps all air can fluid within a handful of rides after being rebuilt (apparently Rockshox is just calling this 'normal' now, so they won't warranty it). I will say the shock rides okay with max volume spacers & 28% sag, but that shouldn't be necessary for my ~160 lb weight.
  • 1 0
 @Reno233: I can't see the tune code because fox moved to those QR codes, but this is what's on the box.

Part # 972-01-469
Tune info: 2022, Float DPS, F-S, K, 3pos-ADJ, Evol LV, FOX, AM, 190, 45, 0.4 Spacer, LCM, LRM, CFM, Orange

LCM = Linear Compression Light
LRM = Linear Rebound Medium
CFM = Firm Lockout

So far this tune seems to work well. I haven't mounted the shockwiz yet but I would say the linear light compression is good so far. I might need to go to a bigger VS but haven't noticed any harsh bottom out yet.
  • 2 0
 @DaneL: Yeah I ended up swapping both front and rear while my SID Ultimate was getting the warranty work done. Really disappointed the fork had serious bushing play out of the box but RS did fix it. Also had similar oil leakage on my SIDLuxe but doesn't sound as bad as yours. The Super Deluxe ultimate on my Slash also releases quite a bit of oil on the stanchion too.

If you got the cash I highly recommend going to the Fox 34 Grip 2 and DPS. Took a while to dial in the 34 (ended up using shockwiz) but I really like how it's setup now. Definitely increased the capability of the bike, i'm running at 130mm instead of 120mm, largely increase the BB height because it's very rocky here on the front range. I may go back to the 120mm config but for now I enjoy the 130mm and don't see much downside. Like I said earlier, trail position on the DPS is killer. I can leave it there the entire ride, pedals well and still feels great on descents too. Love not having to worry about a cheater-switch.
  • 1 0
 today someone in fb group added prohotos of spur with super deluxe, it hits frame without air and bouncing on the bike. says it shouldnt be problem with air inside
  • 2 0
 @mironfs: that’s on the Large frame. The Medium or Small frames might not be that lucky.
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: Very cool, thanks for the help. How did you decide to buy that particular tune? Any guidance you found?
  • 2 0
 @Reno233: It's the standard Fox tune for DPS if you buy aftermarket. Need to hookup the shockwiz but I doubt it needs a different tune based on riding so far.
  • 1 0
 @dresendsit: Appreciate the info. Think I’ll give it a try.
  • 33 0
 I want to see a comparison test between the $2500 model and the $9500 model
  • 1 1
 Given the difficulty they had getting a single bike from manufacturers for the Field Test, I doubt you're going to see this any time soon. I think it's a good idea for one or two articles, though. We'd probably get the jist of it it after one XC/DC bike and one enduro bike.
  • 7 0
 That would actually be an enlightening review. Test 3 though: Bottom spec, the mid spec & the top end.
  • 24 5
 It's funny how even though they painted parts of the frame to match the forks, it still clashes horribly with the base color.
  • 6 2
 What?? The head tube matches pretty well then transitions to a darker shade. I think it's sexy AF!
  • 20 5
 the longer Fox keeps these orange lowers the more displeasing it becomes to me. I've never liked the color orange but these forks only prove how the color almost never flows with any other color..besides Halloween colors
  • 1 0
 @GlassGuy: Yup. My bike is pink. There's zero way I'm putting the orange lowers on my bike. It would be downright silly looking.
  • 7 2
 @nickfranko: Pink, orange, and blue is very miami vice for what it's worth. It can certainly work.
  • 1 0
 @GlassGuy: It's a race thing. Look at any type of race where colors and decals are involved and you'll notice it's god-awful. Sort of the point, I guess. Pistachio didn't work, white is dumb, green is DVO's thing, RS probably has red and blue lowers trademarked... Orange is engrained in Fox's identity, I doubt it's going anywhere.
  • 1 0
 @pb-kg: I figure it is a marketing tool...they stand out no matter what, but the FOX giant decal certainly isn't subtle either, ha ha
I've always been a big fan of the old Marzocchi look....chrome/red...kind of classy I thought. The newer Lyric has that bright red with chrome lettering which I like too
  • 2 0
 @GlassGuy: Marketing tool for sure. Racing is basically advertising.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: red Marzocchi would go well!
  • 24 2
 Long live small tubes!
  • 23 1
 with many bikes pushing ebike-esque downtube diameters, the lithe silhouette is refreshing. i like it!
  • 2 0
 It’s so pretty!
  • 19 0
 XT mech and SLX shifter on the Alloy 50... That should be the other way around! I wouldn't mind a Deore mech paired with an XT shifter.
  • 3 6
 Correct, but I read that XT & XTR are prone to breaking - people even downgrade to Deore & SLX shifters after buying the XT groupset. Thus I am not in a hurry to upgrade my Deore shifter to XT one.
  • 7 0
 @Beskyd: The XT has the double up shift feature which I will say is amazing.
  • 1 0
 Logical or not, bike manufacturers almost always spec a higher-end derailleur than shifters. I agree, it seems like it would be the other way around, but maybe it's a good selling point for a minimally higher manufacturing cost.
  • 11 0
 Comment regarding the Ride9 to Ride4 change.

I dutifully tested out every Ride9 conformation on my 2021 Instinct (and took meticulous notes) and overall found myself liking positions 4 and 6 the most. It is less about slacking out the geo, I would spring for an angleset if that was my ultimate goal, the suspension dynamics really do perform differently once you get used to the bike.

Huge interest if this bike gets tested in more than 1 of the Ride9 settings. The Instinct was only tested in setting 1 (the lowest/slackest), was billed as an "ok" climber, but in reality, the bike is super capable both up and down in Ride9 settings 4-7.
  • 6 0
 I agree. Did some blind testing with my partner and set it differently s few times. Always got the „the bike feels quite different today somehow“. In the steep Position it’s amazing for peddling around flat stuff. Long and Slack it’s Great in the Alps. Doesn’t make mich sense to test the climbing when you set it in the „steep enduro tracks“ mode really.

„Ohh These MaxxGrip tires are so grippy but they don’t roll so well “
  • 12 2
 Meh. Been a long time fan of RMB, but this one isn't for me. Not an XC bike anymore, but seems kinda limited for a trail bike aswell. I mean why would I want this over let's say a Norco Optic or SC Tallboy? I could honestly not think of a reason. The price definitley isn't one.
  • 1 0
 Yes. For me, this bike is more trail than XC or even “Downcountry”. Sure it will be an excellent bike for a lot of people but not for racer anymore. I see it as a good bike if you want to participate at some race, but maybe less good if you want to race them.
  • 1 0
 @brunobourassa: It has hardcore Epic Evo vibes to me. If we are talking top end builds under 26lb, I'm guessing that's what they're shooting for.
  • 6 1
 The Optic is a bit of a slug (heavy and under-traveled for XC and rough stuff, depending on which end of the spectrum you want to use it) and the Tallboy is like 4 pounds heavier than this. Seems like this could be in the space that the SC Blur TR occupied for the two or 3 years it was out there. It was the ideal XC bike for the DH ripper. Advanced geo for the time and cheaply built to 27 lbs. So much fun and truly unique for the time.
  • 10 0
 I would consider a frame-up. The full builds are kinda odd. A 120mm step cast is lighter & perfectly fine for XCM/stage racing, and it would XC better being a bit steeper HTA. I can source my own Light Bicycle carbon wheels with 240's. I would finish off the build with a AXS GX groupset, carbon crank, lightweight dropper. and save a bundle and have a lighter bike.
  • 4 0
 @torontomtb
Being a longtime (1994?) Rocky owner with one of the current stable a '14 Element converted as a ~25lb version of their BC Edition I fully agree with you. I've been holding off buying a new ride for two reasons, a/ COVID pricing, and b/ waiting to see what the new Element looks like. Like you, I was expecting to see a steeper HA (67.5*, +/- 0.5* w/Ride9). Hopefully I can manage to demo ride one soon, along with a few other options.
If I did a frame-up Element build it'd consist of:
- 120mm fork, Fox SC or SID Ultimate, black, no remote
- rear shock w/remote, so useful for racing and general go fast riding, forget about fumbling under the toptube
- LB carbon hoops w/ DT240s
- XT 12spd, cables please
- RF Next crankset, upcycled from current bike
- 9point8 dropper, upcycled from current bike
  • 16 8
 Kinda ruined it's xc racing pedigree with the geometry....why does everyone seem to need long slack bikes. I bet this sucks as a pure xc racer which is what the point if this bike gas always been. If you want something more suited to rougher trails just get the instinct.
  • 9 4
 A bike that pedals really well but has a little more to give on the downhills? Yes please.
  • 17 1
 Because honestly this is probably the best trail bike for most people. Lightweight and pedalable, but still shreddy enough for the terrain 90% of us have access to.
  • 16 0
 @ShredKC: I would call this "relaXC".
  • 6 0
 There are a lot of XC races this bike would be great for. If it's lap based WC style, no, then you want the 100mm, lockout-on-the-bars, steep af race bred rippers, of which there are plenty. But if you've got a course with long climbs, technical descents, and high miles - this is a great option.

I have been racing an Epic Evo on the later style course, and I can tell you it's 100% the right tool for the job.
  • 9 2
 Well, since XC is finally moving away from being some beefed up CX toward something one can call MTB is seems only fair that XC bikes also move away from road bike geos to MTB geos don't you think ? I mean now you even have to ride doubles, gaps and rock gardens so 66HA seems pretty appropriate.
  • 3 0
 It's be great as a long distance racer though. The geometry would make it much less stressful to ride at the back end of a 24h race.
  • 4 0
 I think it definitely depends on your XC courses. I’ve raced plenty of XC races that I could have ridden on my CX bike. Also, depends on how much time you spent on a long slack bike of your comfort in it. With a steep enough SA, a slack front end doesn’t wander. When I got my Ripmo 3 years ago, I assumed I’d still ride my XC bike a ton. The Ripmo climbs the steep trails in my area so well, I rarely pull out my XC bike despite the 6lb weight penalty of the Ripmo. Now, I’d really love an XC bike with geometry like this. But, if the 27.9 lb weight from Bikerumor is true, I’d rather something like the new Scott Spark. Long and slack and 25-26 lbs with a GX build, and that’s also a WC race bike to handle the new courses, btw.
  • 11 0
 Gorgeous. Altitude for the burly days and this for the rest!
  • 7 0
 Ok. I have my opinions, and you have yours.

That said, I ride ultra endurance races all over the US southwest and wouldn’t want anything slacker than the 67.5 that I currently run, since, for me, that’s the threshold of a floppy front end on the steep climbs.

YMMV
  • 4 2
 Believing that a floppy front end in steep stuff is due to a slack HA just means you haven't been on any of the current crop of enduro bikes. Seat tube angle is the key for a precise front end while climbing and this combined with a 66HA would make a very precise climber. I had enduro bikes around that HA but with a slack seat tube which were terrible at climbing with front wheel lift at any occasions. Now with 63HA but a 70ish ST my current bike climbs like a champ on all the tech and steep stuff.
  • 4 0
 @Balgaroth:

Ok, but all of my bikes have the seat in the exact same position, relative to the bottom bracket, and I’m not interested in changing that. Also, I’m mainly speaking to a bike with 115mm of travel and 25% sag, so the rear end isn’t sinking into the travel like it would on a longer travel bike running more sag, which is where the steeper seat angles make sense.
  • 6 0
 @hllclmbr: I agree completely and this is what a lot of people pushing Enduro style geometry for XC bikes don’t understand. There is always a trade-off between power output and optimum handling. For cross country racing, power output hast to take priority, with handling being a close second. Being too far out over the bottom bracket, or even in front of it, severely compromises power output on flat to rolling to rain, which is what many people race on. Straight up winch-and-plummet riding? Steep side angles work just fine there. But most people don’t race primarily at ski resorts, and therefore this type of geometry gives up quite a bit in seated power output, until you were climbing up something steep. Not to mention the extra weight on the hands over the course of a race.

Enduro types don’t mind it because they don’t care as much about climbing quickly, and even if they did, they are probably climbing steep terrain in any case. A slacker seat angle, as is optimal for power output on rolling terrain, means a super-slack head angle will lead to understeer in the turns and wheel flop on climbs.

The sweet spot for me so far has been on my Sniper XC, 67.5° head angle and a reasonable seat angle. Works great everywhere.
  • 2 0
 @tommyrod74: Whats your definition of a reasonable STA? I noticed that the sniper is at 73* which is quite slack compared to other bikes in its class. Presumably to compensate it has a very short stack of 582mm (M). There arent many reviews out there but the main negative I've seen is the front end gets a bit wandery and lifts on steep climbs. I ride mostly XC but the trails include steep switchbacks. Curious of your experience and any comparisons you have. I am looking to upgrade from my 2012 Stumpy with 74.5 STA, 69* HTA, 423 stack, 624 reach, and chainstays that are too long :-)
  • 2 0
 @tommyrod74: This 100%!

Also, a lot of XC bikes have to much stack, I shouldn't have to put a -40 stem on the bike.
  • 2 0
 @dschneiderch: my sniper is the XC version, so with the 100mm fork the front end is a little lower and the seat tube angle a little steeper. I run a zero setback post with no problems.
  • 2 0
 @dschneiderch: I should also add that I have not noticed the stack to be noticeably short. It feels like other race bikes I’ve owned. With a 50 mm stem and a one up riser bar, bars are only slightly below saddle level. They could probably stand to be even lower, but I like the way it handles like this.
  • 2 0
 @dschneiderch: One last thing: a reasonable seat angle for me is one where I don’t have to ram the saddle back on the rails to be able to take the weight off my hands on rolling terrain. On this bike, the stock angle is fine. Good balance between pressure on hands, saddle, and pedals.
  • 8 0
 I don’t get why the stack measurement is as listed. HT lengths are ballpark, as is BB drop and A-C. Where is that 30mm coming from? Someone must have a number wrong.
  • 4 0
 Stack should be 645 on an XL with 540/44 fork dimensions.
  • 1 0
 @spry: more like 630ish I think, but still seems rocky are shortchanging themselves by measuring differently.
As a reference point he Ripley has a 10mm longer fork and 10mm shorter head tube, so should roughly cancel out, L is 622 and 631 for XL.

I don't usually care much for rocky, but this is a cool bike.
  • 2 0
 @KennyWatson: I get closer to 630 in the steep setting, but either way it’s off by an inch! I wonder what’s going on here…
  • 1 0
 Looks like they updated the stack heights.
  • 1 0
 They removed some commentary on adding a higher rise bar as well. Seemed like a fine idea to me but maybe that was too much of a fit issue to mention in the first look.

The geo table looks closer now. Reach and stack shouldn’t both be getting bigger as the head angle increases across the adjustment range, but really the slackest setting is the only one that anyone looks at anyway.
  • 1 0
 Looks like the article had an outdated table (or something else).

Rocky website has a Size L in slack (Pos. 1) with 475mm reach and 624mm stack and that makes a lot more sense overall.
  • 10 2
 28lbs is way too heavy for xc racing, not enough travel to cash the check for the geometry
  • 5 0
 Down country is kind of coming at what i call the holigans trail bike from the opposite direction to achieve a bit of similar but much more fragile aim. The holigans trail bike is something like a full sus 4x/DS/slope bike thats been given trail appropriate gearing a dropper a longer fork usually around 120-130mm and have had either offset bushings or angle adjust headset fitted to slack them out a tad. They arent the fastest up hill and not the fastest down but my good are you going to have fun ringing the neck of it on the way down. because these bikes were generally designed to take quite a pounding you could ride without fear of going to hard.

for example here is my meta 4x

i.imgur.com/rWww9kz.jpg
  • 9 2
 Knocked it outta the park. Might be my next bike. Love seeing alloy options.
  • 1 0
 Yep, I have been looking at Ripley AF's as a bike for my oldest son (and for me to ride CC) but this looks better and cheaper.
  • 5 0
 I have to say, it does look beaUtiful! Henry, where did you get your vocabulary? I had to watch it twice to catch all the metaphors and similes. And yes, it was worth it. "hells teeth"? haha. what?
  • 9 3
 Everybody bitching about the weight and waxing lyrical about the glory day's can keep their money and keep riding their shitty bike from 90's.
  • 4 0
 Cool to see an XS offered with 27.5" wheels. What are they doing for forks, though? Are all builds using 29er forks, or are they doing something different for the builds that are supposed to come with Fox forks?
  • 1 0
 Based on the geo charts, it looks like they're assuming a 27.5" fork for the XS. It would be cool if Fox would start producing the 34 in a 27.5" version again. If not, maybe the XS will only be offered in the cheaper builds (without a Fox fork)?
  • 1 0
 Holy shit the XS comes with a 150mm fork!!!
  • 11 7
 Disappointed with the updates, some of us still want a race bike that can do it all rather than a trail bike that can race. Looks like I'll be holding onto my '17 Element for a few more years...
  • 4 0
 I'm riding a '16 bike and just bought a used '17 of the same bike since I prefer the "outdated" geo to the updated version of the bike. I may not be the hippest guy with the race crowd but I like my bike!
  • 4 0
 I've taken my '18 element to a downhill park and raced a shit ton of xc on it. I don't really think more travel was the way to go for the new one, it's probably too much for racing in my opinion.
  • 3 0
 I have the first 29er Element, year 2012, sized up (17" instead frame of recommended 15"), with 2° angleset headset and 120mm forks. Does blue trails and rides xc very well, and its geometry is not much far from modern xc bikes.
  • 1 0
 I’m keeping my 2021 Element as my race bike, with super light 25mm rim wheels, low profile tires, light Divine sl dropper with only 8cm drop, and SID ultimate fork that’s super at speed but not very plush at slow speeds. But when I’m not racing but still want to climb easy, I could use a light fun trail bike with a little more travel, slacker hta, wider rims, slightly more tread, and more seat post drop. This new element looks like it could be perfect for that. But I agree it’d be nice if Rocky Mountain would also make a new pure XC race bike. But actually if you put the flip chip on this new frame in steep and use a light 120mm fork, the bb would still not be too low, and you’d have geometry pretty close to other brand’s latest xc race bikes, so might work well.
  • 2 0
 @GlassGuy: Curious to hear more about why you like the older geometry. I am still rocking my 2013 Element, which I love and is the right amount of bike for most of what I ride. Not an XC racer and not a gravity guy, so the Element has always been right for me.
  • 1 0
 @ncrescenti: It's just one of those personal preference things. I've owned a lot of bikes...a lot of 150/160 rear travel bikes and the first gen Scout just feels "at home" when I sit on it...was instant, and the shorter travel still felt as good(for most of my riding). I like how I feel sort of "in the bike", and it's just fun to ride...suits my style. The newer geo rode nice but it's a bigger bike, and the seat angle sets you more forward, which didn't please me.
  • 2 0
 @ncrescenti: try an 2° angleset, i found the bike rides much better with it. Im impressed how "modern" the 2012-2013 Element is, lots of features that took years to show up in other brands like internal cable routing, 142mm axle, tapered steer. The 2° less head angle make the bike more stable with no climbing compromisses, according to the geo chart it seats about 68° head angle with a 120mm fork.
  • 5 0
 RM drops agggro FS with deor for less than a 3k, while GG drops 3,5k HT NX ?
  • 2 0
 When i told my LBS i was looking for something along the lines of a Spur or an Epic EVO, he mentioned that Rocky had something sweet coming down the pipe. Maybe should've waited, although I'm not mad I managed to find somewhere getting an Epic EVO in my size.
  • 4 0
 Holy low stack height batman! The XL reach is 20 mm more than the previous XXL but the stack height is about 60mm less? That's a lot of spacers.
  • 3 0
 The stack height seems higher not lower -- what am i missing? Large stack is 627....that is higher than all other Down County bikes not lower. In size large the Ranger is 619, Blur TR is 606.5, Epic EVO is 611, etc
  • 1 0
 Looks like they updated the stack heights from this morning. This morning the XL stack height was under 600.
  • 4 2
 Just in case you're looking to keep yours protected we'll leave this here.

Rocky Mountain Element Tailored Protection Kit
  • 6 1
 Very similar to my two year old V4 ripley…..
  • 1 0
 Such an interesting bike. In my mind, a bike with a 130 mm fork is a trail bike, since there is no SID or SC fork in that travel. But, when a previous Element was released, it was also a big departure from the XC bikes at that time. It had 120 mm at the front and since no SC fork was available, that was considered a trail fork, it had a dropper ( 150 mm one, and not 60-80 XC dropper), which at that time was a rarety and it had 720 mm handlebar. I was surprised, but only a couple of years later, many other manufactures offered similar bikes.
Judging by that experience, Fox will release 130 mm SC soon.
I really like how they managed to make room for two water bottles.
  • 1 0
 The reach on these bikes isn't very "modern". It would be completely standard for a current enduro bike, but with these shorter stack heights from the smaller forks, I think I would have to move up a size, or use a longer stem, which is not optimal. Always remember that reach by itself means nothing!
  • 1 0
 In the video that RM created in support of the release of this bike, where are the respective locations for this video? More specifically, does anyone know where the location is for the "water"? See link below.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh_U7AswxiQ
  • 1 0
 I believe it is Squamish, specifically Jack's Trail, Fifty Shades of Green and possibly Brackentrail for the part in the Creek.
  • 3 0
 That's a great looking bike, which is suddenly very high on my shortlist for next purchase.
  • 5 2
 Its literally a 2018 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt …. Just with 120mm in the back
  • 3 0
 I don't think so? 29" vs 27.5" and the geometry in slackest setting for the new Element is materially slacker (hta) and longer (reach, wheelbase) than the T'bolt? Or am I off on the comparisons?

(I have a 2019 Thunderbolt, so was interested in the comparison)
  • 2 0
 Ooooh yes, thanks for the new term bike manufacturers. DOWNCOUNTRY. If it looks like a trailbike and rides like a trailbike.....
  • 2 0
 Blame @mikelevy then go ride down country trails and smile Smile
  • 1 1
 The aluminum 10 gets Deore shifter and derailuer . The brakes probably need replacing tecktro brakes . Mind you Shimano resin rotors are absolute garbage so could be worse. Judy fork probably isn't that bad of a fork for a beginner.
3000$ Canadian. Probably sold out already.
Rocky mountain and affordable. Something I thought I'd never catch myself saying.
  • 1 0
 My dad has them Tektros on the Ebike. You can definitely work with them I was positively surprised.
  • 1 0
 I wonder why RM didn't make an option that is more XCO, Eg. a bike with 120 mm fork, something like Element 70 XCO (100 mm fork) in the previous generation. I assume it would steepen up HTA by ~1.
  • 4 0
 Epic Evo >
  • 3 0
 Wonder how the stiffness is affected by those tiny tubes.
  • 2 0
 "cross-trail-o". Winner winner chicken dinner! Let's face it, the more categories we have, the better.
  • 4 1
 Holy crap someone stripped & painted my 2001 Santa Cruz Superlight
  • 1 0
 @RockyMountainBicycles can you confirm if the Alum model has a threaded BB and what style of headset the aluminum takes. ie, zs44 zs56 or IS?
  • 1 0
 More than likely BB92 with a ZS44/ZS56 headtube. This has been their standard for the last few generations of Rocky bikes.
  • 2 0
 Ripley numbers, "traction tune" and a lower stack. Not sure that's an improvement. Is it a lot lighter than the Ripley?
  • 2 1
 Reminds me of my Thunderbolt BC...the chainstay cracked at the pivot on a curb-sized jump. No warranty help or crash replacement love.
  • 2 0
 Sweet looking bike, but maybe RM should have just called this a Thunderbolt.
  • 2 0
 Isn't this just a Santa Cruz Tallboy? More light trail bike than anything. Essentially sort of the old Instinct.
  • 3 0
 Aggrocountry
  • 2 0
 47mm bottom bracket drop in slack mode, will need to run 130mm cranks
  • 2 0
 BCBR inspired bike for sure.
  • 1 0
 Propulsion from the other star plus early onset limit range equals -> Not every overtaking maneuver gets a 10.0
  • 2 0
 Lest we forget...

vimeo.com/40560345
  • 1 0
 Even though it has 10mm less travel, it seems to be very similar to the new Stumpy. Pretty much the exact same geo.
  • 2 0
 I like the look of it, but the pricing is insane.
  • 2 0
 While I'm not interested in this bike, I enjoy hearing Henry carry on.
  • 1 0
 "The bikes will happily accept anything from a 30 - 36t chainring" - so a 28t doesn't work somehow? why?
  • 1 0
 Chain would rub on chainstay probably
  • 1 0
 Love everything about this bike.-
  • 1 0
 Looks like RM is trying to out-Spur the Spur.
  • 1 0
 Very cool! Now, let me hear about the other rocky mountain!
  • 1 0
 Who is Sinead O'Connor? .....LOL ....millenials will don't know
  • 1 0
 Yes, but how does it perform in Penticton, BCBR's new venue....?
  • 1 0
 this bike is pretty badass. i like the idea.
  • 2 2
 Wait What? Negative 39% (-39%) leverage progressivity? I'm guessing it feels like a heavy flexy hardtail..?
  • 2 2
 That -29% regression seems insane. That really progressive rear suspension is a big part of the Spur's magic cause it can do things it shouldn't be able to do because of +30% progression. I bottom the Spur many times on an average trail ride but don't even feel it.
  • 1 2
 @SunsPSD: only because I am not totally sure what to use as the base…
I see it as (31-43)/31 = -38.7

But yeah, this bike is NOT gonna fare well against a Spur or Following.
  • 2 1
 @Ferd: I was told to calculate progression from sag to 95% travel, cause bottom out bumpers change the rate anyways.

So I get something like 34-40.5 = -6.5/ 40.5 = -16% progression/ 16% regression

I dunno, I'm not sure which one to use as a base either.
  • 7 0
 Curve is inverted, look at the scale on the left. It is progressive.
  • 5 0
 It's listed in suspension rate, which is the inverse of leverage rate. Suspension rate of ~0.315 (31.5/100) to ~0.425 (42.5/100) is the same as a leverage rate going from 3.17 (100/31.5) to 2.35 (42.5/100).

Progression is calculated as ((3.17-2.35)/3.17)*100% = 25.9%
  • 1 0
 @MegaMatt5000: Thanks for clarifying that.
  • 1 0
 @MegaMatt5000: thanks for pointing that out, I'd not come across suspension rate before. Any guesses as to why they show it this way when literally every other press release uses leverage rate?
  • 1 0
 Just give me the new Trek Top Fuel
  • 1 0
 65 degree head angle? xc?
sick bike tho
  • 1 0
 In this part of the world the 'XC' trails are pretty gnarly.
  • 1 1
 My 2021 giant trance custom weighs 25 lbs mostly carbon 160mm travel!
What's the deal with all of these bikes?!
  • 2 1
 Hi and welcome to Outbike Razz
  • 1 0
 The geo looks close to the 2019 Instinct
  • 1 0
 There the univers is balanced And stop ya whining....
  • 1 0
 To make an XC bike and not list a weight: must be ashamed of it.
  • 1 0
 so thin
  • 1 0
 looks like a slayer
  • 1 0
 This bike really rocks.
  • 1 0
 dammmnn
  • 1 0
 Is this for XC Racing?
  • 1 0
 I want it!
  • 2 1
 this is so hot
  • 1 0
 Yes I want one.
  • 1 0
 Fantastic intro!!
  • 5 6
 I’m a big fan of RM bikes but this bike to me isn’t a looker.
  • 1 4
 I used to love Feild tests and to be honest, now they happen a little to often.
  • 2 1
 I love field tests and we should have them more often
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