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  1. #1
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    2013 Instinct FAQs

    Cause I have a lot of them, questions that is.

    I was all set to order a Element 970 RSL BC Edition, and then the Altitude 790 MSL came along and I thought I knew exactly what I wanted, and then with no fanfare at all you guys tossed that Instinct 970 in the mix, and it really looks like a bike well suited to the more challenging XC trails on the coast here. Bike Magazine seems to like it a lot.

    Rocky Mountain Instinct 970 Trail Bike | Bicycling Magazine

    2013 Rocky Mountain Instinct 29er | Mountain Bike Review

    The only gripe I have about my Element 70 MSL is pedal strikes on some of the humpier and rootier trails here, and it looks like the Instinct with the Ride 9 feature has a lot of options for BB height adjustment, anywhere from 21-40mm of BB drop.

    So here's the first of my FAQ's for the Instinct bike

    1. What's the nominal zero reference height for the stock 29" wheels to calculate the BB drop?

    2. What's the weight for an Instinct 970 in a M or L?

    3. The review says chainstays are 452mm, the cut sheet says 445mm, it looks longer in the stays than the Element. Which one is right?

    4. When will the Instinct be shipping?

    5. From a product development point of view, where does Rocky place the Instinct in comparison to the new Altitude and the Element 970 RSL BC edition. What is the Instinct ideally suited to?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Instinct FAQs-instinct-970.jpg  

    2013 Instinct FAQs-instinct970_large.jpg  

    Last edited by rockyuphill; 09-27-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Beauty bike!

    Only part of the spec I question is the selection of Fox 32 instead of 34 for 130mm 29er fork. It would add a little weight to go 34, but well worth it IMO. I guess they are going for a lighter spec on the Instinct as it is placed in the "XC" category rather than "Trail"... differentiating this model from the Altitude by minimizing weight?

    I'm very happy with the 34 at 120mm on my 2012 Altitude 970. (once initial stiction was resolved) I may experiment with longer travel on it.

    sh0rty :P

  3. #3
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    Would be interested in the weight of the 950. Loving that paint scheme.

  4. #4
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    What are the prices? in US dollars if possible

  5. #5
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    Interesting... I wonder if the Instinct is going to be a short lived orphan at birth

    The Future of 27.5 and 650b Mountain Bike Wheels | Bicycling Magazine


    Peter Vallance, Rocky Mountain Bikes Brand Manager: Worldwide, 26 is already becoming a really tough sell. Our MSL killed it for two years in the States. And it’s still a great bike, a totally valid design, but anything under 120mm in 26-inch is moving to 29er sales. Moving forward we will still have a 26-inch-wheel Element, but anything in the 120mm to 150mm range is a 27.5 bike. How that 165mm/170mm bike looks, that’s an open question.
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  6. #6
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    I rallied the **** out of the Instinct at Outerbike, I demo'd the thing 3 times over the weekend because I could not believe what I was riding. This bike is Rocky's sleeper for 2013. The bike is a phenom. I will be racing it in the MSC and BME next season. Lively, active, airs very nicely, flickable, corners are wonderful, lively and set it and forget it ( it holds a line without having jazzercise fore/aft body movement ), responds to mid-turn, mid-apex steering input exceptionally well.

    The bike is stellar, hands down my favorite long travel 29er i've ridden. I demo'd the bike in low/slack mode, neutral, and one in between. I can't say enough nice things about the bike. Stiff, and though I did not have a scale, it is well under 30lbs if my 10 years of building bikes is serving me well.

    I highly recommend getting on one of these, they have killed it on this one.

  7. #7
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    It is certainly one solid looking bike and the part spec is perfect.

  8. #8
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    That's some great input, on paper that's exactly what the Instinct 970 looks like. Good build kit and good range of geometry.

    Quote Originally Posted by rodeoj View Post
    I rallied the **** out of the Instinct at Outerbike, I demo'd the thing 3 times over the weekend because I could not believe what I was riding. This bike is Rocky's sleeper for 2013. The bike is a phenom. I will be racing it in the MSC and BME next season. Lively, active, airs very nicely, flickable, corners are wonderful, lively and set it and forget it ( it holds a line without having jazzercise fore/aft body movement ), responds to mid-turn, mid-apex steering input exceptionally well.

    The bike is stellar, hands down my favorite long travel 29er i've ridden. I demo'd the bike in low/slack mode, neutral, and one in between. I can't say enough nice things about the bike. Stiff, and though I did not have a scale, it is well under 30lbs if my 10 years of building bikes is serving me well.

    I highly recommend getting on one of these, they have killed it on this one.
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  9. #9
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    THis one's now in my radar - demoed the Kona Satori, Yeti SB95 and trying to find a Giant Trance X demo

    I currently ride the Giant anthem 29 and its great but looking for the long travel/slack head alternative

    RodeoJ - what other bikes did you demo?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodeoj View Post
    I rallied the **** out of the Instinct at Outerbike, I demo'd the thing 3 times over the weekend because I could not believe what I was riding. This bike is Rocky's sleeper for 2013. The bike is a phenom. I will be racing it in the MSC and BME next season. Lively, active, airs very nicely, flickable, corners are wonderful, lively and set it and forget it ( it holds a line without having jazzercise fore/aft body movement ), responds to mid-turn, mid-apex steering input exceptionally well.

    The bike is stellar, hands down my favorite long travel 29er i've ridden. I demo'd the bike in low/slack mode, neutral, and one in between. I can't say enough nice things about the bike. Stiff, and though I did not have a scale, it is well under 30lbs if my 10 years of building bikes is serving me well.

    I highly recommend getting on one of these, they have killed it on this one.
    That's great new as I hadn't really heard much about the instinct from Outerbike. Nice you had it 3 times and different settings.

    There will be a new Instinct demo bike(s) available at the Oct. 28th NEMBA Wicked Ride Of the East in N. Andover MA.

    650B Altitude as well will be there and I will demo both.

    On paper Rocky has killed it with these new bikes and I can't wait to give em a spin
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by richulr View Post
    What are the prices? in US dollars if possible
    no one knows?

  12. #12
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    according to the Mountain Bike magazine review article

    Instinct 970 $4,399

    Instinct 950 $3,090
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    according to the Mountain Bike magazine review article

    Instinct 970 $4,399

    Instinct 950 $3,090

    Thanks!

    If that's US prices I may be in for the 950

  14. #14
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    US, Canada, matters not, the dollars are near par, about +/- 1% variation these days.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by richulr View Post
    Thanks!

    If that's US prices I may be in for the 950
    Same prices
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    This bike has me really excited as well. I think out of all the 2013 bikes from Rocky, this is the one I am most interested to test ride. I think that for the majority of the riding and racing that I do in BC, the 100mm of travel with the 29er Elements is not quite enough. 120mm on my 26er Element seems perfect, and the Instinct comes closest to that.

    I'm excited that the head angle is more relaxed than the Element, and the adjust ability just makes it easier to buy; if you find you don't like the relaxed head angle, easy enough to change it. I'd love to see a weight on it too. One concern, and this probably isn't fair as I haven't even seen one, let alone ride one, but the chainstays seem a bit long to me. And I'd prefer carbon!

    If the instinct were able to be built sub 25lbs without spending a ton of money, I think it would be the ultimate BC race and XC bike!

  17. #17
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    I'm guessing a carbon version in 2014

    I'd be surprised to see this come close to 25lbs without some crazy money invested. Closer to 30lbs is my guess but hopefully I'm wrong.

    9 days and counting till demo...
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetness View Post
    This bike has me really excited as well. I think out of all the 2013 bikes from Rocky, this is the one I am most interested to test ride. I think that for the majority of the riding and racing that I do in BC, the 100mm of travel with the 29er Elements is not quite enough. 120mm on my 26er Element seems perfect, and the Instinct comes closest to that.

    I'm excited that the head angle is more relaxed than the Element, and the adjust ability just makes it easier to buy; if you find you don't like the relaxed head angle, easy enough to change it. I'd love to see a weight on it too. One concern, and this probably isn't fair as I haven't even seen one, let alone ride one, but the chainstays seem a bit long to me. And I'd prefer carbon!

    If the instinct were able to be built sub 25lbs without spending a ton of money, I think it would be the ultimate BC race and XC bike!
    Long chainstays? I don't think you're going to find anything shorter on a 29er with 5+ inches of travel.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodeoj View Post
    I rallied the **** out of the Instinct at Outerbike, I demo'd the thing 3 times over the weekend because I could not believe what I was riding. This bike is Rocky's sleeper for 2013. The bike is a phenom. I will be racing it in the MSC and BME next season. Lively, active, airs very nicely, flickable, corners are wonderful, lively and set it and forget it ( it holds a line without having jazzercise fore/aft body movement ), responds to mid-turn, mid-apex steering input exceptionally well.

    The bike is stellar, hands down my favorite long travel 29er i've ridden. I demo'd the bike in low/slack mode, neutral, and one in between. I can't say enough nice things about the bike. Stiff, and though I did not have a scale, it is well under 30lbs if my 10 years of building bikes is serving me well.

    I highly recommend getting on one of these, they have killed it on this one.
    which version did you demo

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Long chainstays? I don't think you're going to find anything shorter on a 29er with 5+ inches of travel.
    The Element 29er has slightly shorter stays, and the Altitude has significantly shorter stays with 27.5inch wheels but also more travel and accommodating larger tires. I wonder if an altitude frame would actually accommodate a 29inch wheel with reduced travel?

    I'm sure it's possible to get sub 17 inch stays on a 29er full suspension bike, even if no one is making one yet. Both Chromag and Canfield Bros are building 29er hardtails with very short stays, by welding the seat tube to the down-tube. I'm sure we'll see this eventually with full suspension bikes.

    My desire for shorter chainstays is before actually riding one of the new Instincts, and I'm prepared to be wrong!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetness View Post
    The Element 29er has slightly shorter stays, and the Altitude has significantly shorter stays with 27.5inch wheels but also more travel and accommodating larger tires. I wonder if an altitude frame would actually accommodate a 29inch wheel with reduced travel?

    I'm sure it's possible to get sub 17 inch stays on a 29er full suspension bike, even if no one is making one yet. Both Chromag and Canfield Bros are building 29er hardtails with very short stays, by welding the seat tube to the down-tube. I'm sure we'll see this eventually with full suspension bikes.

    My desire for shorter chainstays is before actually riding one of the new Instincts, and I'm prepared to be wrong!
    27.5 wheels aren't really half way between 26 and 29. They're closer to 26 so I doubt the Altitude will fit a 29" rear wheel. The shortest stays I know of on a 29er FS is the Devinci Atlas, but it's only 4" rear travel. In the longer travel category, Lenz might have shorter stays than the Instinct but everyone else is longer.
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  22. #22
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    The Altitude 29 had 452mm (17.8") chainstays

    The Element 930/950/970 and 970/990/999 RSL have 445mm (17.5") chainstays

    The Instinct 950/970 have 452mm chainstays.

    Likely the only way you get 17" chainstays on a 29er bike with more than 80mm of travel would be if it was some kind of linkage suspension like DW/Maestro where the wheel can move up and back instead of in an arc from a pivot near the BB.

    The Vertex 950/970/990/999 RSL has a 433mm (17") chainstay and it needs a curved seat tube to clear the rear wheel.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Instinct FAQs-fullscreen-capture-10202012-15355-pm.jpg  

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    4. When will the Instinct be shipping?
    I pre-ordered one and wasn't expecting to see it until March, but my shop told me yesterday that it might be here in a couple of weeks!

    Apparently the frames are already in Vancouver getting assembled. This was for an XL 950 - other sizes might be a different story.
    Last edited by trevorwg; 10-26-2012 at 07:59 AM.

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    That would be great news indeed.

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    Skidad, I'm looking forward to your impressions of both the Instinct and Altitude.

  26. #26
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    I rode the Instinct 29'er briefly (20 minutes) after a 4 hour, very technical, rock and root infested NEMBA ride and on pretty spent legs and 1 nasty trip over the bars. Towards the end of the 4 hour ride it started raining and the trails got really sketchy and you had to be really careful getting on the front brake. The roots were like ice and it was really easy to spin out on the rocks in difficult climbs.

    The bad news for me...the new 650B Altitude never made it. I was totally bummed about that as that's the bike I really wanted to try since my current bike is a 650B Jamis Dakar. The Rocky guys said there's only a handful in the US and apparently out west someplace. The Instinct 29'er was there in my size which I rode once again on tired legs and slick wet trails. I think it was setup to stiff in the back but surprisingly the Fox fork felt pretty smooth and plush. Otherwise it really didn't do anything for me on this brief ride to make me go wow (Stealth Reverb was sweet though). Yup the wheel rolls over stuff a bit easier but it just felt like you were riding a big bike that plows over and through stuff. My Jamis 650B feels more lively which I like and honestly I preferred the Specialized Test FSR Stumpy Comp 29'er better (but I had it for 3 days and dialed in all the settings). Both have 130mm travel. Funny, I didn't really care for the Rocky Element 29'er I rode either at another event (not my style bike really). The Instinct also had this feeling of heaviness to it even if it might have been 30lbs like the Rocky guy thought. I was tired though and that very well could be part of it. Ride was to short for a real proper evaluation so take it with a bag of salt but that's my first impression. Also haven't ridden allot of 29'ers but I almost hate to say this but I did really like the 2012 Spec. Test bike...but that was coming off my 08 Prophet which I now realize sucks in so many ways compared to a new bike. My new Jamis Dakar is really nice but to many pedal hits in New England rocks is a bummer. Very tall new 650B Schwalbe NN tires en route from Germany now which may help that a bit.

    When my local Rocky dealer has the Instinct and Altitude for demo I will spend a day on each one for a proper test. Sadly it probably wont be until early next year and we could be buried under snow.
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  27. #27
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    I've read some describing this as a long travel Element, which sounds perfect. The wheelbase is much longer than the Element, though. I wonder if it will lose that magic touch the Element has.

    Wish I could find more info on this bike.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevorwg View Post
    I pre-ordered one and wasn't expecting to see it until March, but my shop told me yesterday that it might be here in a couple of weeks!

    Apparently the frames are already in Vancouver getting assembled. This was for an XL 950 - other sizes might be a different story.
    This turned out to be a mis-communication. The actual ETA is mid-February.

  29. #29
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    I saw an Instinct 950 and 970 in the LBS today. The 970 looks really good with the gloss black decals on matte black paint. I think a 970 is in my future. I wasn't able to see it on a scale, I'm curious what it weighs.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    I saw an Instinct 950 and 970 in the LBS today. The 970 looks really good with the gloss black decals on matte black paint. I think a 970 is in my future. I wasn't able to see it on a scale, I'm curious what it weighs.
    well hopefully someone gets on one of these soon and tells how it is

  31. #31
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    Part way there. I have an Instinct 970, now the snow and slush just needs to melt so the riding can begin. Interestingly, it came in setting 1 with 30mm of BB drop, so that's where I'll start, and we'll see if I need to switch it to setting 9 to get 25.34mm of BB drop.

    30.42 pounds with the saddle swapped to a Selle Italia Flite Ti (about 30gms lighter than stock and a very familiar perch for my butt) and with Eggbeater SL pedals. So it isn't as feathery light as my Element 70 MSL, that's about 8 pounds heavier. We'll see how all this translates to trail feel.

    The 725mm wide bars seem to get hung up on everything moving it in and out of the LBS and my house. That extra 25mm of bar width seems to throw off my estimate of how it fits through doors.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Instinct FAQs-2012_1220new0008.jpg  

    2013 Instinct FAQs-fullscreen-capture-12162012-60951-pm.jpg  

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    ^ How did you get one? I thought they don't hit shops till FEB?? I'm interested in this and the Altitude.. Let us know how it rides when you are able to test it out.
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    Can't wait to hear your impressions of it. I too am looking at this and the altitude (and the trance). Awesome bike.

  34. #34
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    I was surprised to see them in the showroom of the LBS as I had heard February as well.

    I do need to put some Conti MKII 2.2 RaceSport tires to get the Black Chili rubber on it before tackling wet roots and rocks.
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    When you ride it can you let us know how the pedal bob is without using the CTD remote? Too poor to afford the high dollar models.
    Last edited by richulr; 12-21-2012 at 05:41 PM.

  36. #36
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    I figured I'd start my 29er FS experience with an affordable version, in case 26" is more appealing. There'll likely be a carbon Instinct next year.

    I'm curious about the whole CTD setup thing as I have a setup on the ProPedal shock on the Element 70 MSL that I like in all conditions, I never tinker with the lever on the shock. It will be interesting if it turns out that I get a tune in the Trail mode and never tinker with it.
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  37. #37
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    Here's some photos of some of the details.

    The Instinct 970 ships with the Reverb seatpost with the internal remote hose routing. The hose enters the downtube at the head tube and then pops out under the BB and re-enters the seat tube just above the FD height. Having heard how many of the Reverbs had warranty issue in the first year that concerns me a bit since the Reverb is a remote hydraulic control so that could be a messy seatpost repair if the remote hose has to come off to get the seatpost out, but it sure makes things tidy. There are cable guides on the top tube for an external seatpost remote as well. The rear shock lockout cable is externally routed.

    The swingarm has two cable guide options, one for Shimano and one for SRAM FD's.

    It looks like the welds have been finished and smoothed before painting, maybe with a wire wheel or something, very nicely finished.

    Lots of nice details.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Instinct FAQs-2012_1222new0001.jpg  

    2013 Instinct FAQs-2012_1222new0015.jpg  

    2013 Instinct FAQs-2012_1222new0002.jpg  

    2013 Instinct FAQs-2012_1222new0008.jpg  

    2013 Instinct FAQs-2012_1222new0009.jpg  

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  38. #38
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    rockyuphill, am I right to assume the new Reverb post line now enters from the bottom of the seat post? If so, RM really has cleaned this up but I do share your concerns about servicing the post.

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    The Stealth remote hose enters at the very bottom of the post. I was just looking through the Stealth service manual to get an idea of what has to happen to get the post out for service. I haven't tried removing the post to see how much surplus hose is in there, but I'm crossing my fingers that I don't have to find out.
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    man I hope you get some good weather soon

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    Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the instinct. I am interested if it can be used as a genuine all mountain 29er, or if it is just a long legged xc bike, there seems to be a lot of mention of its xc talant in the rocky written material. The geo would suggest that it should be good. My local shop stocks transition and rocky so for me my main choice will be between a covert 29 and the instinct both with a 140mm fork. Can't wait to do some test riding on both. Covert just on looks seems a little more heavy duty but keen to hear your thoughts on the enduro / all mountain powers of the instinct.

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    The Instinct is on my wishlist as well. Hope you can give me more detailed info about how the bike behaves in long climbs. While traveling a lot I only can bring one bike with me. I love technical trails but once in a while I participate in a bikemarathon as well. So I need a bike which covers technical descents (not the real downhill stuff) and brings me to the top of a mountain as easy as possible.

  43. #43
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    All about the Reverb Stealth dropper post installation and hose routing

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  44. #44
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    Finally got some saddle time on the Instinct today, it was very wet out there.The very first time getting the bike moving I was thinking "Penny Farthing" looking over the bars at a 29" front wheel, I am always amazed how much bigger that looks. As soon as it's moving that extra wheel size stops being a peculiar feeling.

    The standard Conti tires are not confidence inspiring on wet roots, my RaceSport Black Chili versions of the Mountain King 2.2's should be here next week, and then I will feel better about tackling wet trail conditions.

    The 70mm stem length makes for a very speedy turn in, that's going to take some getting used to, but I sure can't complain about the handling being sluggish. This bar/stem setup is a 725mm wide bar and 70mm stem, and even though the HTT length is 5mm shorter than my 26" Element, this cockpit feels very comfortable.

    With the CTD suspension in the Trail setting the bike feels very plush but not spongy. Even in the D for Descent position, climbing short steep climbs you get a lot of rear suspension movement but it doesn't suck a lot of energy out of going forward, or slacken the bike out too much. I expect that just as with Pro Pedal I will find a Trail suspension setup I like and just leave it that way. It pedals very efficiently in Trail so that must be mostly like Pro Pedal.

    Right now it is setup in the default BB drop of 30mm, after I get some time at this setting, I will try it in setting 2 with 20.7mm of BB drop and then at setting 7 for 35mm of BB drop.

    2013 Instinct FAQs-2013_0106new0003.jpg
    Last edited by rockyuphill; 01-21-2013 at 07:35 AM.
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    Nice picture! Curious about your next bike experience. Have fun!

  46. #46
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    I picked up a pair of Conti Mountain King 29 x 2.2 ProTection tires today, the RaceSports weren't readily available. I was concerned about the weight but they came in under the spec weight of 750gms each. the pair of new Black Chili tires were only 1425gms and the OEM Mountain King/X-King combo was 1361gms, so not a huge weight penalty. I took the plastic spoke protector off which saved 23gms so a net weight increase of only 41gms for much better wet grip.

    I might end up going for some Race King 29x2.2 RaceSport tires in the summer if it looks like it will be a fairly dry riding season. They should be 285gms lighter for the pair.

    Now I just need to ride it (without freezing my brass cleats off).
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  47. #47
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    More saddle time and it's feeling more familiar. The Mountain King ProTection tires make all the difference on wet and muddy trails. And frankly they roll smoother and quieter on pavement too. The big wheels do tackle roots and rocks with less body English input than a 26" wheel bike.
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  48. #48
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    One crucial bit of info that I've been able to measure, the actual BB height on the Instinct 970 with the MK 29x2.2 tires is 13" with the Ride9 in the standard 30mm drop setting. That's 1/2" higher than the BB height on my Element 70 MSL with MK 26x2.4" tires. I'm looking forward to that increased BB height to eliminate pedal strikes.
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    I am still confused why they spec'd the 32 instead of a 34 on a longer travel 29r. Is it really a 32 on your instinct?
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  50. #50
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    Yep it is definitely a 32 on the Instinct 970. I expect that the extra weight wasn't considered justified at 130mm of travel where it might be on a 150mm travel fork. With a 15mm thru axle it feels pretty solid. I haven't really punished it yet but so far so good.
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  51. #51
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    It does climb very well on loose surfaces, and handles babyhead cobble nicely with less random deflection than 26" wheels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    It does climb very well on loose surfaces, and handles babyhead cobble nicely with less random deflection than 26" wheels.
    I just want to know how this thing descends.... How does it feel? Fun, lazy, etc etc
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  53. #53
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    It actually reminds me a lot of my Slayer SXC on descents. The long front centre dimension with the big wheels and speedy steering keeps it feeling pretty safe in the bumpy descents. I still haven't tinkered with the Ride9 settings, but there's enough range there to get quite a range of feel out of the bike.
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  54. #54
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    Good to know. I am so back and forth between this and the altitude..
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  55. #55
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    One thing I noticed on today's ride is that the front end of this bike is glued to the ground, there's no lofting the front wheel onto stuff, or wheelie-ing up onto stuff, so it's good that it rolls over most anything you point it at, riding up or downhill. I was riding some stuff today that I usually have to be mindful on the 26" bike to avoid catching a tire in a hole and I didn't even look at the trail surface today, just rolled over stuff.

    In the rain today the Avid brakes sounded like a bag of stone gerbils in a rock crusher. I think a set of XT brakes will be in the pipeline soon.
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    That is the trait(s) of the 29'ers I've ridden. The steamroller effect or point and shoot right over things. Personally it's one of the things I don't like about them even though it is another way to skin a cat. Also why newbies find 29'ers easier to ride. Another reason I'm on the 650B bandwagon and for me the best all around compromise....which everything is really. Pick you poison and enjoy!!
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  57. #57
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    I do notice the 48mm longer wheelbase than the Element 70 MSL on some tight and twisty trails, but it's also early in the season and my skills are at about 50% so that difference might go away in time. I do like the 1/2" extra BB height over the MSL, no pedal strikes on rooty trails. It does tackle this stuff really well, even when it was as wet as it was yesterday.

    I have noticed that annoying aspect of 2x10 drivetrains when you're in big ring and the two biggest cogs, if you backpedal even half a rotation, the chain drops down to the 3rd largest cog on the back so when you start pedaling forward again it takes a crunchy moment or two to get engaged and get moving. My 2x10 XTR drivetrain did the same thing when new, so maybe that will eventually go away too, but it's really annoying now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    I do notice the 48mm longer wheelbase than the Element 70 MSL on some tight and twisty trails, but it's also early in the season and my skills are at about 50% so that difference might go away in time. I do like the 1/2" extra BB height over the MSL, no pedal strikes on rooty trails. It does tackle this stuff really well, even when it was as wet as it was yesterday.

    I have noticed that annoying aspect of 2x10 drivetrains when you're in big ring and the two biggest cogs, if you backpedal even half a rotation, the chain drops down to the 3rd largest cog on the back so when you start pedaling forward again it takes a crunchy moment or two to get engaged and get moving. My 2x10 XTR drivetrain did the same thing when new, so maybe that will eventually go away too, but it's really annoying now.
    I'm liking the play by play review on the bike. Keep em coming
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  59. #59
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    Ok, on longer steep climbs, the CTD is showing it's value, the Climb setting does keep it from slacking out the front end and wandering about.
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  60. #60
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    German Bike magazine tested 6 29ers with around 130mm travel. The Instinct was rated last of the bunch (but still got very good marks). So, is it really not as good as the Giant Trance, Cannondale Trigger, Specialized Stumpjumper, Scott Genius and Kona Satori? They criticized the Instinct for too much bobbing and for the sub-par components. They also rated it the least capable on the downhill, but I guess that was due to the tires.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonoskar View Post
    German Bike magazine tested 6 29ers with around 130mm travel. The Instinct was rated last of the bunch (but still got very good marks). So, is it really not as good as the Giant Trance, Cannondale Trigger, Specialized Stumpjumper, Scott Genius and Kona Satori? They criticized the Instinct for too much bobbing and for the sub-par components. They also rated it the least capable on the downhill, but I guess that was due to the tires.
    Is there an on-line version available you can link to. I'd be interested to see the article. What was the rating of the bikes top to bottom?
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  62. #62
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    Generation Fahrspaß

    Here's the scores.
    Summary:
    Cannondale Trigger: 122 points
    Giant Trance: 120,5 points
    Scott Genius: 116,75 points
    Specialized Stumpjumper: 116,25 points
    Kona Satori: 115,5 points
    Rocky Mountain Instinct: 113 points

    They tested the Instinct 950, which they weighed in at 13,75 Kg

  63. #63
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    I think I would agree on the 950 spec, I went for the 970 just because it was such a well spec'd bike for the money and had a Shimano drive train. I am thinking it will need to get some XT brakes as the Avid have become gerbily shaky brakes in wet conditions.

    I think the only way they could accuse the Instinct of having a lot of pedal bob is if they were trying to use it in Descent mode.

    After signing in and looking at the scores, all the bikes were rated as Very Good. The Instinct lost points for weight w/o pedals, and suspension efficiency but had very good pedal efficiency ratings and very good handling/geometry. It also lost points for bottle holders, which is kinda specious since you're much more likely to wear a Camelback for AM rides, and only use a WB cage for lights/batteries. It also lost points for saddle adjustability, but the 970 has the dropper post and the 950 doesn't.

    It also got top marks for stiffness.
    Last edited by rockyuphill; 03-04-2013 at 02:09 PM.
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  64. #64
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    In the magazine, they bunched all those marks together under uphill, downhill and misc scores, while in the online PDF it is clear that the Instinct looses uphill points by not having bottle holders. Kinda weird, to say the least. They also test the bike stock, they don't even change the tires to their preferred ones, which is strange to me because I have never ever ridden a bike with the stock tires (except when they were any good).

  65. #65
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    The stock Conti's definitely don't cut it unless they get RaceSport or ProTection spec tires for the German market. The Black Chili rubber Conti's make it a completely different bike than with the standard rubber X-King/Mountain King combo.

    It's been years since I mounted a water bottle cage, or even used a water bottle lighting battery mount, when ever people complain about having no place to mount bottles on anything but an XC race bike, I always think they live someplace that is always dry and has no cows near trails.

    What's interesting and not well represented in their overall scoring system is the bikes that get wildly different scores for the uphill and downhill and the total still ends up high. The Cannondale and Kona get the lowest scores for uphill and the very highest scores for downhill. That gives them a high overall score without really indicating that they are not as well rounded for AM use, but maybe closer to a light duty freeride bike.
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  66. #66
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    rocky,

    how's the clearance with the 2.2's?
    Last edited by Buster; 03-07-2013 at 08:30 PM. Reason: question answered upthread

  67. #67
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    A couple of other views of the clearance with the MK 2.2 II's in the chainstay yoke. Lots of room for a 2.4" there.
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  68. #68
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    Do you agree with the magazine about the pedal efficiency and suspension efficiency scores? Does it really bob under power? I ask because they also say that the Element 970 bobs, bit I never noticed such a treat in my bike.

  69. #69
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    If you tried riding a steep uphill in Descent mode it does bob (it can wallow badly in that situation), but in Trail mode there is no significant noticeable pedal bob. I still think a lot of reviewers don't understand that "pedal bob" specifically refers to the chain tension under pedal pressure compressing the rear suspension, I think a lot of reviewers see the shock linkage moving while they are climbing and call that pedal bob. On that basis reviewers would be claiming forks have pedal bob. That is the suspension reacting the vertical component of rider weight shift while pedaling, and it's what keeps the rear tire driven into the ground while climbing rough surfaces.

    In Trail mode the Instinct 970 climbs as efficiently as my 26" Element as far as pedal input goes. I do feel the Instinct's 8 pounds of extra weight over my 26" carbon wheeled bike on a climb, and I have a wheel change coming to help fix that. :-)

    I haven't had a chance to try the bike on a fast rough descent or a long technical descent yet, on the shorter lower speed technical descents the Instinct feels really stable. But the 970 has a dropper post where the 950 doesn't so that wouldn't be an apples to apples comparison.
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  70. #70
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    I demoed the bike below a couple weekends ago at the SE Bike Expo and really liked it but in my haste to get another bike I forgot to check the tire clearance. Thanks for the info.



    We had a lot of rain leading up to that weekend so the trails were a mess. I'd also prefer an XL instead of the L that I rode but I was able to get a pretty good feel for the bike. I wish I'd had dry trails and the right size though.

  71. #71
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    Dry trails? Hmmmmmm. I can't quite remember that
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    So much for bare ground

    We were just about getting down to bare ground in the woods.....then this happened over the last 48 hours. No biggie, snowshoeing today and some XC skiing tomorrow before it starts melting next week.

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  73. #73
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    This is the first bike I've ridden with the CTD remote. I liked being able to quickly toggle between the suspension modes. It took some getting used to though...there's a lot going on with these handlebars:



    I never used the dropper post on this bike or any other that ridden. I know some people swear by them but I haven't found a need for one yet. It's nice that Rocky specs one though. This is a great spec for the price.

  74. #74
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    The sense I had that the length of the Instinct 970 felt like my 2007 SXC wasn't far off, the large Instinct has a 1158mm wheelbase, the large SXC has a 1160mm wheelbase.

    I just weighed the DT M1.6 wheels, with just the standard rim strips in place, no axles, rotors or cassettes, they are a chunky 2010 gms (930 F/1080 R).
    Last edited by rockyuphill; 03-29-2013 at 08:01 AM.
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    And now for something very different. Our team is supported unofficially by RM. This bike will be raced in the BME and half of the NAET. So it must be lightweight for pedally bits, but also be solid for jump lines....

    Build -
    2013 RM Instinct 970 in custom raw
    Enve AM rims w/biggest Hans Dampfs avail
    XTR Trails with magura storm sl rotor upfront, Kettle Cycles Ceramic/Carbon rotor in rear
    Point One stem 50mm in raw
    CK Headset
    SRAM BB
    Enve DH 31" bars
    XO DH crank
    North Shore Billet XO spider
    Straitline silent guide
    Wolf Tooth XX1 10 spd chainring ( 34T )
    XT rdrlr
    XX rear cassette
    Fox switch mounted inverted where front shifter would live on lesser bikes. : )
    Reverb left under throw switch taken from my Slayer and mounted on the left side.
    KMC gold chain to match ma' grill
    Twenty6 platforms w/Ti axles

    Weight without pedals is 27.5lbs Currrently riding in the second slackest setting and loving it.
    And don't hate on my happy face seat.

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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggilings View Post
    I just want to know how this thing descends.... How does it feel? Fun, lazy, etc etc
    I just plunked down a few months rent for one of these puppies. One of my first stops will be Seven Springs in western PA where there are some legit descents (for this part of the country). I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm expecting it to be killer. Can't wait to dial in the ride9 and float....pics coming this week.
    2013: RM Instinct 970

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  77. #77
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    That Raw one is bad-ass!

  78. #78
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    Is the raw frame one of the alloy bikes that were built in Canada for the press demos last fall? That is pretty spiffy. Nice wheels, BTW.

    I have broken my vow to avoid going weight weenie on the Instinct 970. Shaved 1.5 pounds off with wheels and a switch to XT brakes with XTR rotors.
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  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Is the raw frame one of the alloy bikes that were built in Canada for the press demos last fall?
    The bike is not a press bike. This bike will be competing in the BME, most of the NAET, and one of the EWS events. We'll see how she does... though last I heard the rider has something to do with the equation. : )

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    How's the clearance with the 2.2's?
    A hans 2.35 on the rear will rub if you are a masher at full throttle, by this I mean a Cat 1 masher running a 36T upfront single at full sprint or start practice. This is more the OEM wheelset than chassis though, a set of Enve's cured this immediately.

    If you run a 1x guide, you will put the rear shift cable in a precarious position to run a wider tire, zip ties to the rescue.

    Quote Originally Posted by zonoskar View Post
    Do you agree with the magazine about the pedal efficiency and suspension efficiency scores? Does it really bob under power? I ask because they also say that the Element 970 bobs, bit I never noticed such a treat in my bike.
    If you climb in descend mode in the rear, it will. If you have pressure set correctly in the rear, in trail and climb you're fine. I find the descend mode in the Fox CTD shocks to be lacking any progressiveness, and never use it. This bike excels in the trail and climb modes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    ... I have broken my vow to avoid going weight weenie on the Instinct 970. Shaved 1.5 pounds off with wheels and a switch to XT brakes with XTR rotors.
    Excellent choice, on both counts. I just cannot get over how good these wheels are... ( or expensive even with team deals . ) These wheels really finish off the chassis IMHO and riding with higher pressures at race speeds downhill make pumping a fun a lively pass time.

    ----

    Lastly, someone asked about descending. As a top 10 Super-D rider in the MSC for 2012 ( for whatever this is or isn't worth to you ), I can verify to you that this bike will jump, turn, pump, and descend really well if you are used to doing these things on a 29 chassis. Manuals... not so much, but hey... As with all things, this cannot be all things, but the usual compromises made in longer travel 29ers are handily dealt with via the Ride9 bit to a large extent. This will be the 3rd long travel 29er I have raced in Super-Ds and Enduros, and in training and practice so far, it is by far the best. Time will tell though...

    The ride9 will allow you tweak per stage/event, as well as find your own sweet spot for the trails in your back yard. The steering is classic dead nuts RM neutral, the chassis takes mid-corner line changes very well, and once its on line its a bit of auto-pilot.

    Once the regional race season begins here in CO, i'll update this thread with observations on the chassis and how I get on with her.

    Also, if you own this bike, post in this thread. Let RM know your feedback, they take it to heart. And given that they are pretty much sold out ( to dealers anyways ) on these I would hope they see it in their kind hearts to produce a carbon version sooner rather than later.

    rodeoj
    Last edited by rodeoj; 04-23-2013 at 08:36 AM.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    I have broken my vow to avoid going weight weenie on the Instinct 970. Shaved 1.5 pounds off with wheels and a switch to XT brakes with XTR rotors.
    agree with rodeoj...the enves complete the package. this bike could have been in zero dark thirty
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  81. #81
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    I've got the black ENVE decals too... stealthier
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  82. #82
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    I went to the local Rocky Mountain Demo event to ride an element 950 or 970 again to make sure it was true love before pulling the trigger. I rode an Instinct 970 while there, on a whim, and the bike felt “right” from the moment I threw a leg over it. It was one of the most fun & dialed feeling bikes I have ever ridden, right from the start.

    I have to say, the RM suspension does bob, this isn’t a new thing. If I were buying a bike for suspension performance alone, I would be looking at a DW bike or similar design. The RM will most likely be my next bike because their geometry and the ride that comes with the perfect geometry for the bikes purpose. I think RMs suspension is one that does need the shock platform, but that’s fine most do…and I was completely impressed with Fox’s CTD. Previous models of Fox shocks (as well as last years Monarch) on the Element seemed to have very little change when flipping the lever. Going between C & D on the CTD is like 2 completely different bikes!

    The bike I rode was in the factory setting (neutral) My first thought was the bar mounted control for the rear shock was overkill –nope, its awesome. This bike felt like a long travel, beast of a bike on the descents, stable and very neutral, yet didn’t feel sluggish or long. The Instinct felt like it begged to be pushed much harder on the descent than most first rides let you get accustomed to. Climbing felt surprisingly efficient. Usually a bike that feels really stable on the downhill tends to be a pig on the climbs, I did not experience this. This bike is a sleeper, I never gave it a lot of thought really, and I don’t hear much about it…but I may be in love….the black is just plain badass too! I can see how some people may not like the finish for the price of the bike, it looks like someone grabbed some black paint and sprayed right over the decals. I dig it and I get it.

    My only complaints would be the weight & the price. (these 2 are directly connected) For the price of the 970, I don’t think you should have to spend a sizeable chunk of coin getting the weight down.

    One thing for sure though, this bike put the fun factor through the roof IMO. It sounds really cliché, but this bike made me want to just keep riding.
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

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    I've been riding my instinct for 2 months now, and love the ride, but I'm a little annoyed to say that this is the noisiest bike I've ever owned.

    I think it developed its first pivot creak 10km into my first ride on it, and after the first week sounded as bad as my Reign X got after three years without service.

    I've since had the swing link changed out under warranty, all the pivots striped, cleaned, and carefully re-assembled twice, the plastic crown race changed to metal, and I'm on a loaner wheelset while mine is getting warrantied, but the creaking comes back first ride after every trip to the shop.

    The last time, after cleaning, carefully torquing and locktiting the pivot bolts it lasted all of 35km of trail riding before the creak came back - a new record, but painfully short.

    This is annoying me because in my experience, creaking means somethings about to fail.

    Does anybody else have this same complaint? Is dust getting into the ABC pivots? Is this a warranty issue? Or am I just too heavy for this pivot design?

    I'm about 215lb without gear, and I try to ride hard, but that isn't a rediculous weight for someone that will fit an XL frame.

    Trevor

  84. #84
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    Creaking is usually more about contact points not having enough grease at the metal to metal contact points, or the wrong type of grease that isn't staying where it needs to. So a white lithium grease isn't as good on pivots as a thicker grease like Phil Woods. The ABC bushings should be fine unless they are getting crud in them past the o-rings.

    You mentioned that the swing link was already replaced on warranty, what was the issue there?
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevorwg View Post
    I've been riding my instinct for 2 months now, and love the ride, but I'm a little annoyed to say that this is the noisiest bike I've ever owned.

    I think it developed its first pivot creak 10km into my first ride on it, and after the first week sounded as bad as my Reign X got after three years without service.

    I've since had the swing link changed out under warranty, all the pivots striped, cleaned, and carefully re-assembled twice, the plastic crown race changed to metal, and I'm on a loaner wheelset while mine is getting warrantied, but the creaking comes back first ride after every trip to the shop.

    The last time, after cleaning, carefully torquing and locktiting the pivot bolts it lasted all of 35km of trail riding before the creak came back - a new record, but painfully short.

    This is annoying me because in my experience, creaking means somethings about to fail.

    Does anybody else have this same complaint? Is dust getting into the ABC pivots? Is this a warranty issue? Or am I just too heavy for this pivot design?

    I'm about 215lb without gear, and I try to ride hard, but that isn't a rediculous weight for someone that will fit an XL frame.

    Trevor
    You know, I totally forgot to mention that, but the bike I demo'd creaked BAD. I was hoping it was a fluke and just a neglected demo bike, but now, that is a point of concern. Curious if there are more people having this issue with the Instinct?
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  86. #86
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    I guess it's the same problem that plagued the early Element 29ers: dry axles. I lubed them and the creaking was gone. Seeing as the Instinct uses the same basic layout as the Element, I would guess to lube the pivot axles (not the bushings).

    @Rockyuphill: What setting do you prefer on the ride-9? I'm currently torn between the (non-existing) Titus El Guapo 29er, the Specialized enduro 29 comp and the Rocky Mountain Instinct. Since I already have an Element, I'm biased towards the Instinct, but the Enduro seems a great platform too and has more travel. But comparing geometry numbers, the Instinct is specced with the same wheelbase as the Enduro eventhoug the Enduro has 430mm chainstays vs 452mm of the Instinct. So I guess this is all in the headangle.

  87. #87
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    So far I've stuck with the as shipped neutral setting as I have been riding in a more XC type trail. If I can avoid catching any more cold viruses and actually get back to riding and get it out on a wider variety of trails I will try some other Ride9 configurations.

    Quote Originally Posted by zonoskar View Post
    I guess it's the same problem that plagued the early Element 29ers: dry axles. I lubed them and the creaking was gone. Seeing as the Instinct uses the same basic layout as the Element, I would guess to lube the pivot axles (not the bushings).

    @Rockyuphill: What setting do you prefer on the ride-9? I'm currently torn between the (non-existing) Titus El Guapo 29er, the Specialized enduro 29 comp and the Rocky Mountain Instinct. Since I already have an Element, I'm biased towards the Instinct, but the Enduro seems a great platform too and has more travel. But comparing geometry numbers, the Instinct is specced with the same wheelbase as the Enduro eventhoug the Enduro has 430mm chainstays vs 452mm of the Instinct. So I guess this is all in the headangle.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Creaking is usually more about contact points not having enough grease at the metal to metal contact points, or the wrong type of grease that isn't staying where it needs to. So a white lithium grease isn't as good on pivots as a thicker grease like Phil Woods. The ABC bushings should be fine unless they are getting crud in them past the o-rings.

    You mentioned that the swing link was already replaced on warranty, what was the issue there?
    I haven't had the linkage apart myself yet, so I don't know what's getting past the o-rings. If I take it apart I'll look for any metal-metal contact.

    The pivot between the top tube and the swing link had an alignment issue, so it wouldn't turn freely. With the shock removed it took about 15 lb of force at the wheel to cycle the suspension. With the new link it takes less than a pound.

    Quote Originally Posted by zonoskar View Post
    I guess it's the same problem that plagued the early Element 29ers: dry axles. I lubed them and the creaking was gone. Seeing as the Instinct uses the same basic layout as the Element, I would guess to lube the pivot axles (not the bushings).
    So you're saying to add grease between the pivot bolts and anything they touch that's metal right? That kind of makes sense, and agrees with what rockyuphill said. I'll give that a shot and report back.

    Quote Originally Posted by zonoskar View Post
    @Rockyuphill: What setting do you prefer on the ride-9? I'm currently torn between the (non-existing) Titus El Guapo 29er, the Specialized enduro 29 comp and the Rocky Mountain Instinct. Since I already have an Element, I'm biased towards the Instinct, but the Enduro seems a great platform too and has more travel. But comparing geometry numbers, the Instinct is specced with the same wheelbase as the Enduro eventhoug the Enduro has 430mm chainstays vs 452mm of the Instinct. So I guess this is all in the headangle.
    This wasn't directed at me, but I've been riding mostly in setting 9:
    (heavy rider, steep angles). I was clipping pedals a lot in the neutral position, and I find the bike is more than slack enough for XC in the steep position. I've been meaning to try the steepest head angle position too but haven't gotten around to it yet.

    2013 Instinct FAQs-9.jpg

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    I think I figured out the creaking. The pivot bolt down by the bottom bracket was a little bit loose. I've had one quiet ride since tightening it, and I put locktite on, so hopefully this is the end of the noise.

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    I threw a fox 34 140 on the Instinct... fun++.

  91. #91
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    The not-at-all-well-kept-secret carbon Instinct 29 MSL was covered in the Bike magazine

    Rocky Mountain Launches Carbon Instinct MSl 29er

    And there will be a frame only option for the 999 MSL

    And an intro video

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Instinct FAQs-instinct-999-msl.jpg  

    Last edited by rockyuphill; 07-01-2013 at 09:01 AM.
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    Wow that bc edition could be a winner.

  93. #93
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    I've been drooling over that eye candy all day!

    So, did they change the geometry for 2014? because the Ride9 geo #s look different from the 2013 data..I thought it was the same bike other than the carbon build obviously.
    First Look: Rocky Mountain Instinct MSL ? 130mm Travel Carbon 29er Revealed | Mountain Bike Review
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  94. #94
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    That screen shot of the Ride 9 page in the Instinct preview are the Altitude as those are the 650B Altitude numbers.

    There'd be no real reason to tweak the geo numbers with the Ride 9 it can be tweaked just about any direction.
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  95. #95
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    Ahhh, Ok, that makes sense.
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    Anybody have an idea of the specs or reviews on the dt swiss m1.6 wheels?

    I can't find any info anywhere.

  97. #97
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    My DT Swiss M1.6 wheels weighed 2010gms and the hubs are about equal to a DT Swiss 350. They have the star ratchet system. I think all of DT's alloy rims are a bit softer than Mavic rims.
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    Hmm - so wheelset might be soft as well as relatively heavy and relatively narrow.

    So far that's been my biggest complaint with my 2013 970 - considering a wheelset upgrade

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    Hmm - another question about the m1.6 - was that 2050 g without brake rotors and cassette, or weight naked?

    If that includes rotors and cassettes, then the wheels aren't as heavy as I thought.

    I have been giving some thought to upgrading to a wider rim and at 2050 either the Stan's flow ex or arch would be lighter than the m1.6.

  100. #100
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    Bare wheels with hubs, spokes, rims and rim strips only. I replaced mine with Enve carbon wheels at 1415gms. Boy did that make a difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jr1978 View Post
    Hmm - another question about the m1.6 - was that 2050 g without brake rotors and cassette, or weight naked?

    If that includes rotors and cassettes, then the wheels aren't as heavy as I thought.

    I have been giving some thought to upgrading to a wider rim and at 2050 either the Stan's flow ex or arch would be lighter than the m1.6.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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