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  1. #1
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    Rocky Mountain Instinct MSL

    So I had my mind made up, I was getting the Element BC Edition. This seemed to suit my riding style and seemed like an excellent all rounder, up, down, all day fun, a bit of endurance racing with some sweet jumps thrown in for good measure!

    Then RM go and release the Instinct MSL, more travel and less weight, what's not to love about that!

    So I now find myself reconsidering a bike (Element BC Edition) that I'd already sold myself on.

    Will the new Instinct MSL be the quiver killer I've been seeking or are my roving eyes yet again going to get me into trouble?

    Cheers

    BA

  2. #2
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    Yes. I'm sure you already read through this thread 2013 Instinct FAQs

    I was doing the exact same thing, in fact, I had the chance to get a great deal on a Element BC edition, demo'd it and just didnt feel the same "connection" I got with the Instinct. I just bought a 2013 Instinct 950 with some upgrades, and Im loving it, but already thinking about getting the new carbon model this winter. The 950 spec is definitely the better bargain for 2013, though I do love the stealth look of the 970.

    I think the Instincts slacker HA along with the rest of the great geometry is what sold me. The Element felt a little twitchy IMO. The Instinct felt like I could pilot the thing through the most stupid line imaginable and pull it off. It still feels nimble too though. Quiver killer -yes!
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the the link Dirt Monkey, I hadn't seen that!

    I know exactly what you mean! I'd demoed the BC Edition, twice, and although I certainly loved the way it climbed and descended it seemed to be missing that little bit of something.

    Haven't demoed the Instinct yet, but it is definitely on the list

    Cheers

    BA

  4. #4
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    The new instinct looks very interesting. I love that Rocky has got the weight down, and now offer full carbon models. I'm considering switching to a 29 inch wheeled bike for next season. I currently have a 2010 Rocky Element MSL 70 and love the way it rides for my local BC trails.

    My one concern with the new Instinct is still the incredibly long chain-stay length. The rear axle seems to be in another time zone.

    29inch wheeled bikes are often reported to feel more sluggish than 26inch wheeled bikes. Many 29er hardtails (Chromag, Canfield and others) seem to be finding ways to shorten the chain-stays to less than 17 inches to combat this feeling. Then new instinct has some of the longest chain-stays around. I would think this would make it very hard to manual it, and this was mentioned in one of the early reviews (Bike mag review?) that I was reading about the new Instinct last night.

    One of the things I love about my 2010 Element MSL 70 is how easy it is to manual off things while ripping down the trail. I wouldn't want to lose this playful feeling if I bought an Instinct. I know there's an issue with the back wheel hitting the seat-tube when shortening the stays, but most people these days run a dropper post, so don't need a full seat tube anyways. Surely Rocky could manipulate the seat-tube to allow shorter stays? A lot of people would have a hard time buying a 26er bike with 17.7 inch chain-stays, and I'm not sure why the larger wheels would make this different. As far as I know, Specialized is the only company that I know of to make a 29er wheeled full-suspension bike with chain-stays less than 17inches (I think it's their 29er Enduro) so I know it can be done. Would have been great to see Rocky accomplish this with the new Instinct.

    All of my chatter is without actually having ridden an Instinct, and since I love the suspension platform of my 26er Element and the ease of maintenance of the bushings, I'll definitely be looking to demo an Instinct when they're available to see if my long chain stay concerns are warranted.

    I guess the point of this post was to see if others have this concern as well, and if Rocky reads these posts, what their thoughts were, and what people who currently have a 2013 Aluminum Instinct think.

  5. #5
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    The Instinct is definitely a longer bike than the 26" Element MSL, but then so is the 29" Element.

    The Instinct 970 I have is within 2mm of being the same wheelbase as my old 2007 Slayer SXC so it is a long bike on tight trails. It has a very similar front-centre dimension. So far I haven't managed to develop a technique to 100% compensate for that extra length. I love the Element 70 MSL I have for being light and maneuverable but I also love that monster truck ability of the 29" wheels to roll over stuff. If I could get the Instinct down to 25 pounds, that extra 6 pounds that the Instinct 970 carries over my Element 70 MSL would stop being such an issue.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  6. #6
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    Sweetness, you make some valid points, but I wouldnt call the 452mm CS length "incredibly long" It's probably middle of the pack *for full suspension 29" Bikes* IMO, its a shorter CS length that really makes a 29" bike feel "right" to me. This is where the RM Element got my attention to begin with -and the ride was believing! I cant explain it, but the Instinct feels shorter and more nimble than those numbers might suggest.

    I totally get what your saying, and I cant help but think the Instinct would be even better with shorter stays, keeping the rear end short. I havent rode the new Enduro 29 yet, so I dont have any input. Another bike that gets nothing but rave reviews and has CS just as short as the spec is the Devinci Atlas (16.9" I believe). I have yet to see one in person. That is a shorter travel bike with steeper geometry though...

    I rode a lot of popular suspension 29ers that get tons of fanfair and most of them felt like riding a bus...the Instinct did not. Honestly, if my home trails were less open & flow and more tight techy, I would still be riding 26". Sounds like you already have the right tool for the job, and its a Rocky Mountain too!
    Hey, is that a Huffy? That's a nice-lookin' bike, boy!

  7. #7
    North Van/Whistler
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    From a Bandit 29er review

    CS and wheelbase look about in-line with others. Referencing rockyuphill's comment

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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    From a Bandit 29er review

    CS and wheelbase look about in-line with others. Referencing rockyuphill's comment

    Could you post a link to that review? Couldn't seem to find it on the web...

  9. #9
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    I'm in Whistler right now and I've just rented a 2013 Aluminum 970 Instinct in order to decide if I liked the way the bike rides, in anticipation of a new 2014 carbon Instinct in the spring. The only size available was a size too small for me (a medium), and the seatpost wouldn't go high enough for proper leg extension. Also, I pretty much had to jump on the seatpost to get it to drop. These issues are what comes up when you ride a rental bike in Whistler at end of the season and they've been beat on all summer, and I expected to have some issues.

    I rode it today, after a lot of rain, on a ride I've done many times before on my Element that involves a bit of climbing, then part of Comfortably dumb, then down Jeff's trail, which I thought would give me a pretty good idea how the bike climbs, handles technical singletrack, and descends.

    My feelings about the long rear end were not really that accurate. I thought the rear end being about an inch longer than my 26 inch wheeled Element 70 MSL would make it feel sluggish. The instinct definitely rode differently than the Element, but I wouldn't call it sluggish. It feels more "planted" to the ground, and I'm sure the chainstay length and not just the 29 inch wheels contributed to this. Even with wet roots and some Conti tires that I really dislike, it felt like it had more traction than my Element with 2.35inch tubeless minions. I was very impressed. Both climbing and descending seemed more predictable. I was easily able to manual the bike off any raised root or rock along the trail. It feels playful, just in a different way than my Element. And the traction I have to mention again because I was really just blown away, and that's with a lot of rain, crappy tires and tubes. I think with a bike the correct size and real tires setup tubeless, the climbing would be incredible.

    I've head people criticize the lack of any bracing between the two seat stays on the Rocky frames, claiming it would cause significant frame flex. I couldn't detect any abnormal flex there, and I'm sure the carbon would be stiffer anyways.
    I can see an Instinct 999 in my future this spring.

    My one reserve is the water bottle cage. The aluminum model I rented only had one cage, and to put a bottle in the cage involved smashing the lockout switch on the rear Fox shock. I actually had to stop every time I wanted to get a drink. I'm sure if I owned the bike it would only be a matter of time before I broke the lockout lever off. It looks like Rocky has added a 2nd water bottle cage for 2014, but can anyone chime in if they've fixed the placement of the existing cage? I can't imagine they'd leave it the way it was on the 2013 models.

    Overall I was really impressed with the handling, climbing, and descending of the Instinct. I'm glad I was able to rent one to alleviate some of my concerns prior to dropping some significant cash on a new bike. My decision now will be whether to save for the 999 model, or build up a frame. That decision may hinge on what information Shimano releases over the next few months!

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