Rocky Mountain Announces Recall of Alloy 2018 - 2020 Instinct, Instinct BC, & Pipeline

Jun 18, 2020 at 14:59
by Mike Kazimer  

Press Release: Rocky Mountain Bicycles

Because the safety of our riders is our top priority, we have decided to initiate a voluntary safety recall of specific alloy only Instinct, Instinct BC and Pipeline bikes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 model years. Carbon models are not affected.

A few incidents in the field along with further testing has confirmed the possibility that affected front triangles could crack which could lead to a separation of the head tube from the top tube.

To date, there has been a very small number of incidents reported out of over 4,700 units produced.

Riders affected by this recall should stop using their bike immediately and contact a Rocky Mountain authorized dealer for instructions. Additional information is available on our website at, or you can reach Rocky Mountain directly using the toll free number, +1-877-744-1515.

Affected models include sizes small, medium and large with serial numbers starting with PRK17 and PRK18. Product sizes small, medium and large with serial numbers starting with PRK19 between PRK19-00001and PRK19-01275 are potentially affected and need replacement. The serial number is engraved under the bottom bracket.

This voluntary recall includes the free replacement of the alloy front triangle for model years 2018, 2019 and 2020 Instinct, Instinct BC and Pipeline trail bikes with 29” and 27.5+” wheels that share the same frame. Rocky Mountain is working closely with consumer product safety authorities worldwide about this issue and have already submitted a product recall plan to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Further communication will be sent in collaboration with these authorities in a joint effort to reach Rocky Mountain bike owners affected by this recall.

We are committed to making high quality bikes for riders and their safety is a top priority. We appreciate your help in communicating this voluntary safety recall message to owners of these affected bike frames. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and assure you that the new front triangle will meet the performance and quality expected from Rocky Mountain.


  • 212 4
 Recalls are better than shit service. Good job Rocky!
  • 11 0
 Yep! As someone with one of the impacted bikes (Pipeline I built into an Instinct) this is overall positive. Still going to ride mine this weekend probably, now that it's finally over 60 degrees and not raining, but this is good to see.
  • 62 12
 SRAM should take note. If your product is faulty, do a recall(guide stuck pistons, reverb, etc.) It sucks, but at least the safety of your customers is prioritized and you might actually come out with with some respect.
  • 21 3
 @Ron-C: Sram did this with Reverbs. If you had an older model that stopped working, you could send it in for service and they'd update the internals. Was considered warranty.
  • 37 7
 @Ron-C: I'd be interested to know how you believe a Reverb issue is a safety concern, as its a seat post. If anything the speed of a command post is more of a risk to customers sensitive areas..
  • 15 0
 @marshall1234: Surprising the amount of people who don't understand what a recall is.
  • 25 8
 @Ron-C: They did it back in 2014 when their road hydro brakes were failing in the cold. They announced the recall, then literally any person who showed up at cyclocross nationals in Boulder could go to the SRAM truck and get their brake levers swapped to the correct ones for free. Stan Day himself was there helping out. When SRAM knows they have a problem they step up and fix it.
  • 8 2
 But what if the recall involves shit service ?
  • 17 1
 @Ron-C: SRAM has done this on a number of occasions. They continue to warranty any lever with a master cylinder issue that we come up with at the shop. Never a complaint.
  • 1 0
 @DGWW: you're not wrong Beer
  • 6 1
 I guess, but I'd rather have a bike that didn't snap in half over one that was recalled.
  • 12 0
 Looks like most don’t understand what a “voluntary” recall actually is.

Unsafe by definition: Voluntary recall
Consumer Reports News: February 15, 2010 08:08 AM

What it is: Most recalls of defective products are characterized as "voluntary," a confusing term that can lead consumers to believe that the recall is optional. But voluntary recall is just government-speak for a deal that a manufacturer or retailer of a hazardous product has negotiated with the federal agency in charge of overseeing the safety of that product category.
  • 7 13
flag rcybak (Jun 18, 2020 at 19:18) (Below Threshold)
 @PAmtbiker: if SRAM stepped up and fixed every problem they saw with their stuff, their stuff would shift better.
  • 10 2
 @Hydrophobic: Gets recall notice, rides once more anyway because it's nice weather. This guy shreds.
  • 2 0
 @dodgerpuppy: and you can bet if the bad weld was in the rear end of the bike where failure is much less likely to cause serious injury or death there may not even be a recall. RM seems like a decent brand so definitely a bummer situation for them, but from a business standpoint it's foremost a liability thing.
  • 4 1
 @gnarnaimo: Its when you call the bike manufacture with issues and no answer; so you proceed to recall all day every day until someone answers the damn phone.
  • 3 12
flag sanchofula (Jun 18, 2020 at 20:38) (Below Threshold)
 @Ron-C: that would require a recall of everything SRAM makes!
  • 10 1
 @Ron-C: Race Face (Fox) should also take notice. When your $400 carbon crank pedal and bb inserts loosen and can fully separate while riding, that might be something you want to recall. But nah here I am on week four waiting for my warranty, not riding my MTB.
  • 2 1
 @Ron-C: The only reason they are recalling is because of a large safety concern. If it were just faulty, or minor, I'd bet they'd act just like SRAM.
  • 2 1
 @sherbet: its simply unfortunate that the updated internals werent any better
  • 1 0
 @nurseben: Cept their forks
  • 2 0
 @seraph: the problem with this is that there are enough of those brakes out there with the master cyclinder issue that it should be a recall overall .... brakes are critical. A friend of mine ended up with broken ribs thanks to the failed brakes.
  • 4 1
 If only Shimano would do the same with their glued cranks instead of trying to sweep the problem under the carpet...
  • 4 1
 @Jvhowube: time to buy SLX cranks for like $120 and keep riding.
  • 1 0
 @Hydrophobic: OH i wish it was that cool here... Southwestern U.S. get TOASTY!
  • 94 11
 Issuing recalls can lead to rocky times for a bike manufacurer, but my first instinct says they'll come through this ok if they have enough replacement frames in their pipeline.
  • 7 0
  • 9 0
 pun hog.
  • 2 0
 overachiever Wink
  • 1 0
 You slayed those puns.
  • 2 11
flag stumphumper92 (Jun 19, 2020 at 7:40) (Below Threshold)
 These puns are getting as old as the dentist jokes. Be original
  • 68 1
 New slayers for everyone!
  • 4 0
  • 29 2
 This couldn’t have been an easy discussion internally at Rocky Mountain. For what it’s worth coming from the Pinkbike comments gallery, I really appreciate seeing a bike company handle this in what seems to be an open, honest, and fair manner.

From experience I know how tempting it can be to sweep a product issue under the proverbial rug. Glad Rocky didn’t choose that option.
  • 4 1
 I think they may have to do this from a liability standpoint.
  • 6 0
 They’ve had a tough go of late. First entire container of bikes were stolen, then the cracked Slayer in the pinkbike test and now this. Good to see they are still putting the customer’s safety first and doing the right thing
  • 2 3
 If they were really awesome they’d give you a labour credit like Norco does.
Sadly bike companies are usually not that awesome about the real warranty costs.
  • 5 0
 @bigtard: Shops are being paid a labor credit on a per bike basis regardless of if it was purchased there or not.
  • 1 0
 @lastminutetech: this might end up with RM receiving few of those stolen frames back, eh?
  • 1 0
That is cool of them. Thankyou for correcting me. I just assumed they wouldn’t be that cool sorry. Since the bike business underground mandate seems to basically be to avoid legitimate warranties by any means necessary.
  • 21 2
 wait how come I never heard of Kona doing a recall for failing aluminum frames
  • 3 0
 EDITED: I'm a dumbass and didn't get the joke.
  • 13 66
flag blowmyfuse (Jun 18, 2020 at 18:18) (Below Threshold)
 Probably cause their version of warranty is telling me to glue a carbon bonded arch back together because obviously it's my fault and not some stupid defect.
@konabikes warranty is a lie. Bunch of skinny jeans wearing antifa clowns.
  • 6 0
 Because we were all tougher 10-15 years ago so snapping your frame on a huck to flat wasn't really that much of a problem.
  • 12 0
 Probably because most Stinkies only failed when their 3rd owner (after 2 other aspiring freeriders pumped from watching the latest NWD film) decided to huck it to flat off the roof of their parents' house for the n-th time.
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: hahahahaha
  • 11 0
 @blowmyfuse: Well, at least they're not baggy pants wearing fascist clowns, those are much worse.
  • 3 10
flag blowmyfuse (Jun 19, 2020 at 8:18) (Below Threshold)
 @shami: @shami: might wanna lick the boot a little harder.

I was slamming their warranty service for being absolute crap. Made the mistake of pointing out their political bias so I could get my post hidden.

I'll keep their political bias out of my posts about their very well documented horrible customer service and hope WalMart buys them out and turns their bikes into true garbage. Beer
  • 4 0
 @bananowy: Haha, oh those were great times! That made me feel very nostalgic, thanks
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: you're welcome dude Smile

My first real mtb was actually a Kona - a basic steel Hahanna, but I was still hyped to have anything to do with the brand that sponsored every other famous freerider. Can't count the times I watched the first few NWD and Kranked films.
  • 12 0
 "A few incidents in the field along with further testing has confirmed the possibility that affected front triangles could crack which could lead to a separation of the head tube from the top tube."

Sounds rad!
  • 3 0
 Or dental surgery.
  • 9 3
 @hllclmbr: Dentist got to pay for them Yeti's.
  • 10 2
 The serial number is easy to see as it is by the split across bb beacause pressfit bb. I Remember when rocky was made in Bc Now it is cambodia Why cant we make bikes here At 2500 a frame couldn't we make quality frames in BC You would think the shipping , quality control , warranty costs would even the score.. Maybe now the pipeline welders are are in limbo they could be stacking dimes on nice chunks of alcan Aluminium extruded tubes ... pipelines by pipeliners
  • 8 0
 Hello Everyone

We just want to acknowledge the inconvenience to many of your summer and daily ride plans, but it is truly in the interest of rider safety that we moved forward with this voluntary recall. We are doing everything within our power to get you all sorted out and riding again — Our priority is to get you back on your bikes as soon as humanly possible. Once again we want to apologise for the inconvenience, be safe, be kind and we’ll ride together again soon.

Please visit your nearest Rocky Mountain dealer, and they’ll be able to help you with the recall. You can find a list of our dealers

We’ve created an FAQ for the recall on our site that answers many of your questions:
  • 1 0
 @RockyMountainBicycles I, for one, commend you on being proactive and standing behind your products. Great to see!

Also - can you give us an update on the container theft? Any resolution of the case? Thanks.
  • 1 0
 You know my nearest RM dealer is 72 miles away? In the UK thats a huge distance. You might want to encourage your distributor here to explore Yorkshire and the midlands a little more. Currently arranging my recall through a company in Wales. So far so good though.
  • 2 0
 hopefully a few dinguses send their stolen Rm's back to you so you can find out who ripped you off
  • 1 0
 Would there be a Chance of upgrading to a Carbon frame during this recall?
  • 1 0
 What you should do is replace my frame with the same colour or at very least something that color matches! If I wanted a clown looking bike I would have bought a Intense bike. I spent thousands on your bike for what I thought looked good! You have now ruined my taste on your brand. Especially after hearing you do not compensate the shop for their labour.
  • 22 12
 Carbon sucks and cracks all the time!! Gotta keep it real with aluminum man!!! Hahaha
  • 14 7
 Well they say carbon has 8 times the warranty claim rate overall
  • 6 1
 I broke a carbon and I broke a aluminum bike. Both covered under warranty. Same same.
  • 18 0
 @HVrider: What's your source?
  • 3 7
flag RowdyAirTime (Jun 18, 2020 at 17:43) (Below Threshold)
 Aluminum ain't what everyone thinks, as it can bend & break more easily. If these Rocky Mountain bikes were carbon fiber, there would be "no" recall...The strength to weight ratio for carbon is so much higher than aluminum.

Good of Rocky Mountain, as they've always been a well respected company, so I'm not surprised they have done this, but this must cost them a lot of money to replace these. Will be a lot of happy RM customers getting new frames though. If RM had more INSTINCT, this would not have happened...
  • 2 0
 @HVrider: Carbon bikes are relatively new compared to aluminum. Early alum bikes had a pretty short wear life. I’m not sure there’s an intact PK Ripper from the early to mid 80s around these days. Everyone who had one seemed to break them, and it was mostly kids riding them.
  • 1 1
 @cedrico: there’s an interview with Knolly bikes owner who talked about it
  • 2 0
 @HVrider: maybe he's just referring to his bikes...
  • 2 0
 @RowdyAirTime: The way it is written kind of sounds like a manufacturing issue, so RM can charge back the costs to the factory
  • 1 0
 @Alvey72: Any relation to Smilin Sam I've always liked RM, as they make great bikes, so hopefully they can charge this back to the manufacturer.
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: no, he was specifically referring to when he was preparing to release carbon frames. That was the statistic he was working with in preparation. It’s out there somewhere if you care to look it up.
  • 1 0
 @flyin-ryan: same same but different
  • 2 0
 The #1 reason that carbon frames are more less likely to get recalled is because it is much more difficult to prove a carbon catastrophic failure was due to manufacturing errors. Couple that with aggressive companies that will sue any carbon repair shop that says a failure is manufacturing error and you have identified another reason why the industry likes carbon so much (higher markup, less warranties)

Both Calfee and Ruckus have told me that Dorel, Big S, and others have threatened litigation if they evaluate carbon for repair and conclude it was a manufacturing error.
  • 1 0
 @RowdyAirTime: No relation that I know of. I've been eyeing that new Slayer, it looks awesome.
  • 7 0
 Just sucks right now because the big rocky dealers are already probably booking a minimum 2 weeks out for service. Obviously you want to take care of these customers too but it'll be tough to balance this (possibly free) service with the long, long, lines of existing service bikes.

Moreover, does Rocky even have replacement bikes right now? Everyone is sold out of everything and they are no exception. I know if I had purchased a six grand Instinct Bc A70 not long ago I'd expect some fast turn around both for frames and service. This is possibly the worst year for this.

Still, much better than people hurting themselves.

And it's a good day to be an XL rider .
  • 4 1
 It would be cooler if Rocky sent the triangles to their customers and comped the bill for swapping it out. Would definitely be the most time efficient for the customers, and give some local shops something to do. Although I guess the bike business and shops are really humming along?
  • 1 0
 And yes, tall ***k's for the win!
  • 3 0
 I purposely sized down from the XL for a more playful ride. Bummer for me.
  • 4 0
 @cmuell89: they would need to be sure that you destroyed the original front triangle
  • 1 0
 In the press release on RM website is says they're ramping up production starting with 2020 frames first and they building and painting to spec on the other frames. This won't be a quick thing. The local dealer will do the swap free of charge and you can't pay an upgrade fee to go to carbon (called and asked haha!!!).
  • 13 3
 break an instinct and get a slayer. oh wait..............
  • 1 0
 Breaksick Instinct:

The leg crossing is hot but moreso when it's Sharon Stone than when it's your legs crossing due to a catastrophic frame failure.
  • 7 1
 Any word on WTF happened when that Slayer broke? Or is that recall coming after this. I'm a fat bastard and mines holding up, fingers crossed.
  • 3 0
 Dang it! Had a trip to Snowshoe planned for July. Was really looking forward to riding my Instinct BC. Guess that trip is out now lol Thank you RM for doing the recall. Glad you are putting our safety first! Well done!
Can 2020 be over already?
  • 4 0
 No shit. Worst year ever. My fiance lost her sister and then we cancelled our wedding. 2020 can stick it right up the shoot
  • 3 0
 Just back from my LBS , I have a 2018 Instinct A50 and they told me I drop bike off they take pictures of serial # then I wait 4-8 weeks for a replacement front triangle. I have the O.D. green frame and what he told me is they won't color match the new frame, going to do a neutral color. WHAT? This way LBS's will know the color of replaced frames. I am waiting this one our until Nov-Dec.
  • 3 0
 Rocky just posted the frame replacement material/color scheme. Here's what I sent them.

I’m really disappointed with the replacement colors. I mean color. In a time when bikes from major manufacturers at similar price points are essentially indistinguishable performance-wise, color options become a determining factor. Maybe not the primary factor, but when I’m spending several thousand dollars on something I want it to look good. Rocky Mountain has always had in my opinion, some great colorways. I love my ’19 Instinct BC in what I call the ’78 Trans Am color scheme – beautiful metallic brown, mustard highlights, so cool. Now I get Matte Gray. Blah. Might as well get a Stumpjumper. I’m also irritated that owners of ’20 bikes get a carbon frame, but not ’18 or ’19. I’ve had my bike for barely a year, probably not much longer than some of the ’20 bikes out there. If I can’t have the colorway I chose originally, I’d at least like my blah gray frame in carbon.

I get that this recall is a big problem for you guys. Kudos for attempting to make it right. But this is not my problem. I bought the bike I wanted, and now I won’t have it. Neither will a whole bunch of other unhappy customers. Why not have two color options? ’78 TA and blue? Or let the customer choose whether they want their blah gray replacement frame in carbon or alloy. Your customers, present and future, are watching.
  • 2 1
 So my instinct BC meets criteria to replace frame, does that mean I get a free front triangle *AND* have to pay for all labour/parts to install it? Happy about the honesty from Rocky but not happy to potentially lose my bike for ? how long plus pay for the swap...
  • 1 2
 Some bike makers would allow you to send them a pic of your BB cut out of the frame. Rendering it unrideable.
  • 2 0
 Recalls, unlike other types of warranty services, typically cover the labor. The shop is (usually) compensated a (unilaterally) agreed labor price per exchange.
For warranty for defects, replacement for known issues beyond warranty, etc, labor is typically not covered. As a general rule, and this varies from shop to shop, if you bought it from me and it's within a year or two, I'll cover the labor too.
  • 2 0
 @atestisthis: ill call my local rocky dealer tomorrow and see what's up. Kind of a kick in the shin, just got it this year and god knows when the replacement parts will be in. A lot of money to spend on something that can't be ridden.
  • 1 0
 @zombiejack33: hopefully it goes smoothly. I once had a recalled lefty and I was able to bring it into a shop and come back a few hours later without paying anything.
  • 1 0
 @Austink: same. I contacted the number with no return call. I also talked with the shop I bought it at and they had me send them pictures of the serial number and whole bike. Haven’t heard back from them either but it’s early I guess. I hope it’s a quick thing but we will see!
  • 1 0
 Saw this last night and checked my instinct BC, unfortunately it needs to go back. Gutting. I only got it a week before lockdown, it's been on a few local rides but I've not even been able to get to the hills yet! Fortunately I purchased from rocky mountain UK and they have been brilliant this morning, I emailed pics and they have started the claim already. Going to contact early next week about pick up. So a rubbish situation but they seem to be very helpful and communicative so far!
  • 1 0
 As much as they can be praised for foing thus, does this give confidence in their testing before going to production. Bet if thuscwas a Specialized or a Yeti the attitude here would be completely different. People are only respecting their decision which was probably swayed from a liability standpoint, because it's not common practice in the industry. If it was common practice to recall in the industry there would be nothing but a torrent of abuse here.
  • 1 0
 I got my new frame for a brown/orange 2019 Instinct BC on last Friday.
For weeks I was really not happy loosing the brown/orange main frame, but ... at the end I think the gray frame with black decals is ok... and the RF parts in orange are even looking better...

They took out 2 5mm spacer rings for the new frame. Seems to be some geometric change ...?

What shall I say, I enjoyed the first ride after 7 weeks riding my 93 steel hardtail...
  • 4 2
 What if you are not the original owner of the bike? I would hope this recall still covers that - website didn't indicate, haven't called the number yet.
  • 3 2
 I'd assume, no?..
  • 13 2
 it shouldn't matter on a recall, you should not be required to show proof of purchase. You just need to be in possession on the frame.
  • 2 6
flag Larkey1 (Jun 18, 2020 at 15:47) (Below Threshold)
 Warranty and recalls normally only work with the original owner in the bike game. Let us know what they say!
  • 12 1
 @Larkey1: If a recall is issued it doesnt matter if its second hand. Its been declared a defect, not caused by the owner or potential second/third owner, so thats not a factor.
  • 4 13
flag steviestokes (Jun 18, 2020 at 15:58) (Below Threshold)
 @marshall1234: true. However the person buying the frame 2nd or third hand, the purchase money isnt going to the manufacture. So you'd be getting a free frame with zero investment in the brand, difficult sell for the brand imho. Nice if they honour it, but wouldn't be surprised if they didn't. Has the bike industry ever honoured anyone bar the original owner in the past 10 or more years?
  • 26 1
 @steviestokes: RECALL IS NOT WARRANTY, its a legal requirement if its declared as a recall, that the item is removed from the market and the issue resolved, regardless of who owns it.. At that stage it is a liability issue. This is nothing to do with the bike industry at this stage, its business/legal requirements, and no matter the market/industry, no company can avoid that
  • 2 5
 @marshall1234: that still doesn't mean that most bike companies honor it. I know people who have been knocked back previously. The bike industry doesn't always follow through unlike the automotive industry.
  • 1 1
 Exactly. Having worked in shops I can vouch that not all companies would pass this along. Will be interested to see if they do.
  • 2 1
 @Larkey1: Me also, downvoted for speaking from experience, nice.
  • 5 1
 I've never considered buying a rocky mountain until now.
  • 1 0
 I just picked up at 2019 leftover from the shop. I wish I had more rides on it so I can feel like I'm getting a new bike, instead my new bike is being replaced with a new
  • 3 0
 Shit happens. Very cool for Rocky to step up to bat and do a recall. Respect.
  • 5 1
  • 2 0
 No company give a flying duck about your safety, what they care about us getting sued...
  • 1 0
 Definitely don't want this happening:
  • 1 0
 I mean yea good for them but damn I was going to buy that bike this summer lol
  • 3 1
 Buuuu :'(
  • 3 2
 Saw one of these in person last summer. Glad to see Rocky stepping up.
  • 1 2
 Just gave my local shop the heads up on this article. Bummer, but good on Rocky for doing this. Hopefully getting my Instinct sorted out won't be too painful...
  • 1 0
 Ahhhhh damnit. Hopefully, the recall is a swift process.
  • 4 3
 Man y'all salty tho
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