School me on the ~98 Rocky Mountain Element Race-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DeoreDX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    School me on the ~98 Rocky Mountain Element Race

    Saw a Rocky Mountain Element Race pop up for sale cheap. Needs a few bits to get her riding but the frame, wheels, and fork looks to be in good condition and it has some nice aftermarket bits on her. I'm considering giving the guy a call to go take a look at it but it's a good hour drive away from here. Since it's not in rideable condition I'd love to hear some feedback on the Element Race. How's the ride? Good points? Bad points? Things to look out for when taking a look at it? I mainly do XC riding would the Element Race be a good setup for XC work? I think it's a 98 because the paint matches this listing perfectly and from the pictures looks to have the same Fox coil over rear shock.

  2. #2
    ups and downs
    Reputation: rockyuphill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    It was a classic pre-millennium XC race geometry, a steep 71deg head angle and 73.5 seat tube angle with 80mm of suspension travel, and it pedaled pretty well. The issue will be with servicing suspension pivots and bushings, and finding a decent 1.125" straight steer tube fork with just 80mm of travel when it needs replacing. It also only had V-brake fittings and no disc tabs on the rear suspension if I remember correctly. Those early Elements did have a tendency to crack the swingarm near the pivot yoke weld (that's a terminal failure - no new parts available). If it's not rideable now, expect to spend some time and money getting it back into riding trim.

    The bushing kits are still available
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
    ccm is offline
    aka Taprider
    Reputation: ccm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    might cost you 5 times more (assuming you are paying ~$200) to get it back into good enough shape for real/hilly off-road XC riding, but maybe only $200 extra to get it into shape for flat gravel path riding
    I have used that year of Element with the Fox Alps and Float air shocks, and with the coil.
    The coil was horrible. It needed a heavy spring or tonnes of preload (effectively locking it out for all but the biggest hits).
    Based on the age of the bike, I suspect that either the shock damper is now gummed up and highly damped or not at all effective and undamped.
    I would rather have a hardtail in that case.

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