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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 itís 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, thatís 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
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  16. #16
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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.

  24. #24
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    That would be great news indeed.

  25. #25
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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 04:41 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.

  39. #39
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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 06:35 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).
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Instinct FAQs-2013_0125new0001.jpg  

    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  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.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  49. #49
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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?
    don't sweat the petty things, and pet the sweaty things

  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.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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