Any chance of XC/Trail version of Instinct in 2020?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Any chance of XC/Trail version of Instinct in 2020?

    A bit of a theoretical question but, with all the latest 'down-country' bikes (Yeti SB100, Pivot Trail 429, etc.) does anyone see Rocky producing either a 'beefier' version of the Element or 'lighter trail' version of the Instinct? I ride an Instinct A70 and love it for the mix of burly trails I ride but I still think I could get away with less travel and a lighter bike on most of what I ride. I have been tempted by an Element a few times now as I am moving more toward XC/Trail and stage race/marathon events, and if I did, i would look to perhaps throw a 130mm fork on front, just for a slightly slacker front end. The 'old "BC Element" used to distinguish itself from the regular model with a longer travel fork but not on the new ones.

  2. #2
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    No chance unless it comes as an early release 2021. Also, in 2017 Rocky Mountain made all of their bikes going forward "BC Editions". Old platform instincts got overforked and bigger wheels, all Elements except XCO (which wasn't around in '17 anyway) got bigger forks, altitude came out with 36es across the lineup.

    New BC editions seem to run longer travel now, which I'm not sure how that would go for an element.


    The Element is the original downcountry bike.


    So part of the reason I love rocky mountain is you can go down the "super not approved by rocky mountain" rabbit hole. The current Element runs a 6.5x1.5 shock, which is approximately 165x38 in metric. 165x40,42.5, and 45 are all sizes that exist. So, theoretically, you could use an OEM spec rear shock at let's say 165x42.5 and make your OWN BC edition element. You'd be looking at somewhere in the realm of a little over 110 rear travel. Exact number is unknown because you can't 100% math it out as the axle path is unpredictable outside the intended range. IF a big bottom out event didn't cause a reasonably sized tire to slam in to your seat tube, you could totally run a shock like this and not alter the stock geometry given the same eye to eye.

    Moveover, Elements run zero stack headsets, meaning that there's a press in cup. What that means for you is that you can totally run a angleset in the frame. Anglesets will slacken the head angle while lowering the BB, shortening reach, and steepening the STA. You can use this as a tool along side fork travel and ride-9 to create a super unique Element that is the epitome of 2019 downcountry.


    Given that they've played the longer shock size game with the Altitude, Thunderbolt, AND Instinct, they've probably tested it and maybe their product manager will come in here and tell me I'm an idiot. They do browse this forum.

  3. #3
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    The standard Element has a 120mm front and 100m rear travel, that with the Ride9 is all you need to slack it out without giving up the pedaling efficiency of a down-country bike. The BC Bike Race is chock-a-block full of Elements as it was developed as an ideal BC down-country bike. The thing with the Rocky Smooth Link suspension is that it does feel bottomless, so unless you're doing jumps and drops, that travel could be enough. Unless you're riding Enduro courses, the Element is likely the thing you want in a 29" bike.

    If you want more of a mini-Enduro bike (Enduro country? Cross-Enduro?), then go for the Thunderbolt with 130mm travel F/R.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks fellas and you're both spot-on re the Element. The BC Bike Race is (fingers crossed - had to cancel twice due to illness first time, then herniated disc?!) the end-game for this potential build so I might just look at that. And yep, rockyuphill, had also thought of the Thunderbolt, mainly due to my local training trails being full of small drop-offs, rock ledges, although nothing that would scare an Element, really.

  5. #5
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    Damn, this thread has got my cogs spinning re: a true "BC Edition" element. I already have a 165x42.5 non-trunion shock, now all I need is the other half of the bike...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by j-t-g View Post
    No chance unless it comes as an early release 2021. Also, in 2017 Rocky Mountain made all of their bikes going forward "BC Editions". Old platform instincts got overforked and bigger wheels, all Elements except XCO (which wasn't around in '17 anyway) got bigger forks, altitude came out with 36es across the lineup.

    New BC editions seem to run longer travel now, which I'm not sure how that would go for an element.


    The Element is the original downcountry bike.


    So part of the reason I love rocky mountain is you can go down the "super not approved by rocky mountain" rabbit hole. The current Element runs a 6.5x1.5 shock, which is approximately 165x38 in metric. 165x40,42.5, and 45 are all sizes that exist. So, theoretically, you could use an OEM spec rear shock at let's say 165x42.5 and make your OWN BC edition element. You'd be looking at somewhere in the realm of a little over 110 rear travel. Exact number is unknown because you can't 100% math it out as the axle path is unpredictable outside the intended range. IF a big bottom out event didn't cause a reasonably sized tire to slam in to your seat tube, you could totally run a shock like this and not alter the stock geometry given the same eye to eye.

    Moveover, Elements run zero stack headsets, meaning that there's a press in cup. What that means for you is that you can totally run a angleset in the frame. Anglesets will slacken the head angle while lowering the BB, shortening reach, and steepening the STA. You can use this as a tool along side fork travel and ride-9 to create a super unique Element that is the epitome of 2019 downcountry.


    Given that they've played the longer shock size game with the Altitude, Thunderbolt, AND Instinct, they've probably tested it and maybe their product manager will come in here and tell me I'm an idiot. They do browse this forum.
    thanks mate, that's great info!
    cheers,
    JW

  7. #7
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    I may have this totally wrong, but wouldn’t slackening the HTA with an angleset actually slacken the STA?
    Please ignore if I am off my rocker.
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  8. #8
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    No, slackening with ride-9 and a longer travel fork will both slacken STA AND HTA as well as a number of various other things (longer fork raises BB, ride-9 lowers it, etc).

    Anglesets are kinda odd because they actually pivot the fork in the frame, tilting the top of the handlebars and the top of the seat towards each other. Shortens reach and slightly steepens HTA. It helps to think of the entire front triangle as a single unit. If you had a diagram in front of you it would be pretty clear.

    If you combined ALL of these things together you'd end up with a crazy slack element with a tiny little reach. Haha!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    I may have this totally wrong, but wouldn’t slackening the HTA with an angleset actually slacken the STA?
    Please ignore if I am off my rocker.
    As j-t-g mentioned it doesnt, but also the STA on the Element is super steep anyway so even with a 130mm front fork rather than an Angleset the STA would still be close to 74 degrees in the slack setting. (74.2 degrees with a 120mm fork in Pos.1) while giving you close to a 68.2 degree HTA.

    The Element is pretty amazing. It rides like it has way more travel than it actually does. I havent tried it, but I reckon a 130mm front fork would make it s pretty awesome All Mountain bike. Potentially the front end could end up a little high, but nothing running a flat bar couldnt help mitigate. I run mine with the 10mm cup from an Instinct and the 100mm front fork (Basically as the XCO is spec'd) and think it rides miles better than with the 120mm fork, Just seems a lot more "planted" and balanced front/rear.

    It handles most of the double blacks at our bike park. the bigger drops stretch it a little, and you do have to be a little more conservative speed wis down steeper techy stuff without the slack HTA, but I enjoy riding it down techy stuff more than my Slayer, albeit slower (not much though) and with more concern over line choice.

  10. #10
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    Ah, got it.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  11. #11
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    The Instinct rides just as nice or nicer than 130mm bikes out there. I tried a bunch and ended up picking the Instinct. The instinct climbs great and handles the descends a lot better.

    RM already has a XC bike. I'm not sure what people are looking for when they say they want a Trail Instinct. It is a trail bike.

    I could see a 120mm version, but the more I think about it, the less sense it makes with how well the Instinct already covers that and more with 140mm.

  12. #12
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    I think it's pretty inevitable that the next gen instinct will be quite a bit more aggressive than it is now because that's the way things are. At that point the 120mm bike makes more sense.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, I agree with Boston_29 re the Instinct being a trail bike already but my question really was a result of all the new 'down-country/aggressive XC bikes coming from other brands and whether RM would follow this trend as well. Santa Cruz is probably the most obvious example re Tallboy, Hightower and Megatower. Not saying Rocky has to 'follow' - its bikes are already great (why I own one I guess) but I reckon j-t-g has it nailed re the Instinct moving to a more aggressive offering - as seen in that since removed social post from our Aussie distributor down here, that showed what looked like the BC Edition being available in a number of model specs - thus maybe (and still a big maybe) making room for a Tallboy/SB100/Trail 429 competitor. Anyway, will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months - a good time to be a mountain biker regardless!

  14. #14
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    i currently own an element c70 and just recently used it on the BCBR. I also own a Ripley LS and have owned every Tallboy version to date. The element may be my fave bike, and of course this comes down to the type of trails i ride and fit. The Ripley LS is an awesome bike but i feel like the element fits me better etc. Having said all that i am looking at my next bike and it may be an instinct ( unless they go with more travel on the 2020) but if they do introduce a 120mm travel Element i would be all over it. Rocky makes a great bike and the element has approx 2500km on it with no issues or hickups. I also appreciate the way Rocky supports events like the BCBR. The problem i have with some of the newer bikes is the super long reach which does make it tougher on the tight switchbacks where i ride......I rode the SB100 and SB 130 and they just felt a bit new too new school for my liking. I would be super excited to see Rocky make a longer travel element or slightly shorter travel Instinct. if they dont ill keep my element and add an instinct - on sale at my local LBS right now

  15. #15
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    Well... I was more discussing what's going to happen for 2022, which is when I'm guessing the instinct platform will get an update. 2021 if we're lucky. Given how updates seem to go I'd guess that there's no "BC Edition" and the regular instinct becomes somewhere in between the current BC edition and the regular one. This would give a lot of room for a bike in the 120-130mm realm.


    There's a few more options for BC editions in 2020, yes, but it doesn't come at the expense of regular instincts. There's a slight expansion there too.

    I'm guessing we'll have to see an element replacement either mid year 2020 or officially 2021, likewise Altitude given the age of these platforms. It's not that there's anything particularly wrong or outdated with either, but you know how people are. I'm sure their sales are declining in these models given their age.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by j-t-g View Post
    Well... I was more discussing what's going to happen for 2022, which is when I'm guessing the instinct platform will get an update. 2021 if we're lucky. Given how updates seem to go I'd guess that there's no "BC Edition" and the regular instinct becomes somewhere in between the current BC edition and the regular one. This would give a lot of room for a bike in the 120-130mm realm.


    There's a few more options for BC editions in 2020, yes, but it doesn't come at the expense of regular instincts. There's a slight expansion there too.

    I'm guessing we'll have to see an element replacement either mid year 2020 or officially 2021, likewise Altitude given the age of these platforms. It's not that there's anything particularly wrong or outdated with either, but you know how people are. I'm sure their sales are declining in these models given their age.
    Yep, sorry mate I was agreeing with your comment with that in mind regarding the next round of updates for 2020/21. And you're spot-on: there's nothing wrong with either/any of the bikes we've been chatting about (I love my beefy Instinct A70) but I am also - sometimes - subject to the 'want' factor. Well, at least until i see the pricing!

  17. #17
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    Longtime and multiple Rocky owner (1996 Blizzard to 2014 Element), first time caller.

    I'm getting the itch for a new ride and think a combo of the two MTB's I currently own would be the sweet spot. I have a 2014 Element 999 that I converted to a BC edition (120mm fork, dropper, 1x11 w/45t OneUp'd XTR cassette) for BCBR. The other ride is a 2014 SC 5010 (27.5", 130r/140f RS Pike, 1x11). If those two made a baby now featuring 29" wheels, 130r/140f, 34-35mm stanchions, 67-68.5* HA (w/Ride9), 75* SA, and 12spd Shimano drivetrain it would sell. Oh, and a red/white maple leaf paint job please. Call it an updated version of a 2017 Instinct BC Edition, an Element on steroids, or a 29er Thunderbolt.

    Right now it looks like the new Pivot 429Trail hits closest to that mark. Do any others come to mind?

  18. #18
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    Yeti Sb 130 hits a lot of those points.
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  19. #19
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    honestly that sounds stupid close to the current instinct minus the colour scheme.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by j-t-g View Post
    honestly that sounds stupid close to the current instinct minus the colour scheme.
    In it's steepest Ride9 setting the HA is 67*, too slack for my liking. If the Ride9 offered 67*-68.5* I'd be on one. The red/white on the 2020 model does look sweet.

  21. #21
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    I've experimented on my 2017 Thunderbolt with a longer shock.

    The C-C distance between the XC and Enduro is approximately 15mm.
    That means that you could stick a shock that is overall 15mm longer.
    The caveat is that you have to have it in the enduro position.
    This is how RM do their BC bikes, most of them usually just have 1 position instead of 9.

    On a 2017 thunderbolt I tried a 200x56 MacLeod, it gave me roughly ~12-13% more travel (~135mm).

    My MacLeod did some horrible bottom out noises, probably because I didn't put enough air in it, and developed a longitudinal groove in the damper body.

    YMMV

    Explanation of the image.
    The three lines to the left represents where the 190x51 lower eye let ends up ( without any load = 0% sag).

    The three middle lines represent where the edge of the aircan ends up.

    The three right lines is where the upper eye let is attached in the three positions, XC, Balanced, Enduro.

    The most important is this.
    The edge of a shock's aircan, must not pass the most right of the middle lines.
    This will likely result in a comically fast deaccelaration of the rear wheel, as the tire binds to the seat tube.

    If you take sag in to account in this example, you could possibly run the 216x63 and get loads of travel, as the lower eyelet will end up inside of the intended range.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Any chance of XC/Trail version of Instinct in 2020?-shocks_thunderbolt_proper_190.png  


  22. #22
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    So the answer is yes.

    You can under shock an Intinct, consequence may be unpleasant.
    You can over shock an Element, if not balanced with a longer fork, it will become steeper.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juz1970 View Post
    A bit of a theoretical question but, with all the latest 'down-country' bikes (Yeti SB100, Pivot Trail 429, etc.) does anyone see Rocky producing either a 'beefier' version of the Element or 'lighter trail' version of the Instinct? I ride an Instinct A70 and love it for the mix of burly trails I ride but I still think I could get away with less travel and a lighter bike on most of what I ride. I have been tempted by an Element a few times now as I am moving more toward XC/Trail and stage race/marathon events, and if I did, i would look to perhaps throw a 130mm fork on front, just for a slightly slacker front end. The 'old "BC Element" used to distinguish itself from the regular model with a longer travel fork but not on the new ones.
    I'm doing my own version of the 'trail' version with the next sl crank, a fox factory 34 fork, some lighter carbon wheels, an ikon 2.35 on the back and ardent 2.4 on the front. Will still be 140mm, but should shave 2 lbs off of the stock setup. Will be less of a park bike, but more of a pedal bike.

  24. #24
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    If you want to turn an Instinct into more of a "downcountry" bike, just run it in the slackest mode, but put a 130mm fork on it. You end up with 66.5deg HA and a back end that has approx 130mm of very progressive travel with a low bb. If you're lightweight, you'll probably not use more than 120mm of travel.

  25. #25
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    Bought the 2019 Element Carbon 70, which was RM's "downcountry" bike. I compared it to the Yeti SB100 and the RM Element won in my analysis. Been riding/racing it for 9 months now, it's definitely a quiver killer/swiss army knife MTB bike. Looked at the 2020's and I'm surprised they didn't spec out an Element that had more aggressive trail specs like the 2019 Carbon 70 edition. Also, I'm partial to SRAM now...really impressed with GX Eagle durability and shifting performance. As XC courses continue to be more aggressive, I think the lines between XC, Trail and Enduro bikes will get blurred...

  26. #26
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    thanks for the bump on this thread flyregionaljets Maybe Rocky is reading this and actively looking at this type of bike, fingers crossed....
    I love my element but would prefer it to have a bit more travel than it currently does for everyday riding ( SE BC). I would love a version of the Element with 110 or 120 rear and 130 front. I raced mine quite a bit last year and while i loved it on the climbs i could use a bit more meat on the downs on the techy courses. I am currently looking at a Trail 429 or new Ripley as an alternate but would love to stay with Rocky!

  27. #27
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    Me too re all your comments. Am also looking at the Trail 429 but would love to stick to RM if possible.

  28. #28
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    A thought occurred to me last night for all of you folks that don't think that the Instinct is already a trail bike.


    Order the spacer that's used to turn a 210x55 bike in to a 210x50 bike. Then you'll run roughly 127mm of travel. Add a volume token or two, put your ride-9 in full steep and away you go. You could even drop your fork by 10mm if you really want to commit.

    I'd bet you'd have a really nice "trail" instinct

  29. #29
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    Hi,

    Riding a 2020 Instinct since 2 months now. Not a lot, about 10 times for now. But it is a trail bike, for me at least. Very versatile and ready to shred, but a real trail bike !

    Before modifying the suspensions, I would suggest to swap the wheels and tires for something lighter and narrower and, as j-t-g suggested just before, adding some tokens/spacers in the suspensions.

  30. #30
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    Hey Juz-- A little late to this thread but interesting. I ride an '18 A70 and have thought the same thing. I love the bike but find myself on 90% XC/trail terrain and keep thinking about my sweet spot being in the 130mm front fork area. It's certainly more comfortable than my '14 Fuel was but I can get the same HA with a 120/130 fork via many great options. I don't want to start collecting forks so I won't be swapping anything out soon. I guess that's what draws us all to our next bike...

  31. #31
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by BigSki View Post
    Hey Juz-- A little late to this thread but interesting. I ride an '18 A70 and have thought the same thing. I love the bike but find myself on 90% XC/trail terrain and keep thinking about my sweet spot being in the 130mm front fork area. It's certainly more comfortable than my '14 Fuel was but I can get the same HA with a 120/130 fork via many great options. I don't want to start collecting forks so I won't be swapping anything out soon. I guess that's what draws us all to our next bike...
    yeah, I agree on the 120/130 fork options - and on that 'next-bike draw'. Be interesting to see if Rocky decides to chase that market segment for the 2021 models. I actually just bought a Pivot Trail 429 (I know - a traitor!) but have found it to be brilliant. Still a part of the RM family, though, as i have two Blizzard hardtail (a 2010 and 2011 LT) that I won't ever sell.

  32. #32
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    I think Samos and j-t-g nailed it with the new lighter hoops and spacers. Keep the same great Rocky and certainly cheaper than a new Tallboy, 429, or Fuel. What direction did you go?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigSki View Post
    I think Samos and j-t-g nailed it with the new lighter hoops and spacers. Keep the same great Rocky and certainly cheaper than a new Tallboy, 429, or Fuel. What direction did you go?
    Went with a Pivot. Two reasons in the end: it was for a killer price, plus I sold the Instinct to a mate of mine for a great price too. I will be definitely keeping an eye on what RM comes up with for 2021, though.

  34. #34
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    Congrats, a new bike is always a '10 yr. old on Christmas morning feeling'! And great choice, the PIVOT is on my short list of 'wish bikes' along with the Tallboy & Ripley. I sometimes wonder if my Instinct 'accommodates' me really well and thus makes me a better RIDER as opposed to one of the other three pushing me to be a better BIKER? Regardless, we've both got great bikes...and I may be over that age hump of, "your older now so just shut up and enjoy RIDING!" Must be a cool feeling to see the smile on your mate's face riding your old bike--good friend you are.

  35. #35
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    Yep, it's pretty awesome. And yep, he's stoked and so am I re seeing my Instinct still railing the local trails. I looked at the Tallboy as well but I am a funny size (in-between L and XL depending on brand; short legs/long torso and arms) and it gets real long in the wheelbase in an XL. There are so many good bikes out there now, it's hard to go wrong.

  36. #36
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    I don't follow RM too closely, so take my opinion with many grains of salt. The current Element is probably an awesome bike, no offense needs to be taken; but I would have to assume its on the top of RM list to re-design. The geo numbers aren't really in-line with what would be considered standard now for a "short travel" 29er. The reach is too short unless you run it in the steepest setting (still somewhat short) and then your at almost 70* HTA which is basically unheard of in 2020. I would say basically take the Instinct's geo but make it .5* steeper overall as a 100/120 bike and that should be the new Element with a nice light frame layup.

    Again, don't take offense and hey, my short travel bike is a 4 year old Mach 429 Trail that I love. But it needed to be redesigned to keep up with the times. Doesn't make me love it any less. It's fantastic.

  37. #37
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    Interesting take. The element will get a refresher but remember it is an xc race bike. It was never supposed to be a short travel enduro bike. If you think it looks outdated compared to say the new tallboy or optic then thats not really the same category of bike. i expect a new slighly slacker HA (around 67.5) and maybe slight reach increase and maybe 110mm out back.
    FWIW i own the current element and its way more capable than the numbers suggest

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by beardi View Post
    Interesting take. The element will get a refresher but remember it is an xc race bike. It was never supposed to be a short travel enduro bike. If you think it looks outdated compared to say the new tallboy or optic then thats not really the same category of bike. i expect a new slighly slacker HA (around 67.5) and maybe slight reach increase and maybe 110mm out back.
    FWIW i own the current element and its way more capable than the numbers suggest
    Right, I'm thinking 2 versions (100mm and 120mm), neither of which should be a short travel enduro bike. I'm more thinking Scott Spark, Pivot Mach 429SL, Yeti SB100. The XCO edition maybe 68* HTA, trail version 67* (in neutral). All the while keeping reach for a Large around 460ish. The STA was already pretty steep for the bikes intentions, so not much change needed there. Meanwhile, as opposed to things like the Tallboy or Optic you mention, the hope should be mid-level build kits could still be 27-28lbs with the high end stuff under 25. No need to burly up the frame on something like this. That was one of my disappointments with the new Trail 429 from Pivot. My friend has an $8500 build and its 30lbs with carbon wheels.

  39. #39
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    I've always felt there was a huge gap in the RM lineup between the element and the instinct. A 115R/120F Element LT and a 120R/130F SL Instinct would really tie the RM lineup together nicely

  40. #40
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    You can make both of those without too much hassle.

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