2012 Rocky Mountain Element 29er Preview

Pro Reviews Video

Highlights

  • 95m rear travel full-suspension bicycle with 29er wheels
  • Race Tuned Compact 29er geometry; to the extent there is a norm for full-suspension 29er the Element will have relatively short chain stays, a short wheelbase, and a short top tube – all to maximize agility in technical terrain
  • Sizing; the bikes go from 15.5 to 21.5.  It’s well-known that 29ers fit larger people well.  However, the smaller sized 29ers fit smaller riders also – the video I shot featured Lindsey who is a 5′ 2″ competitive woman’s downhill racer on the BC Cup circuit and she looked very comfortable on the bike
  • Smoothlink suspension; a variation of the ETS suspension results in an initial linear spring rate at the beginning of the travel stroke and a ramped progressive spring rate at the bottom of the travel stroke
  • Continuing with the acronym jargon, the Element uses ABC (Angular Bushing Concept) pivot technology; this saves weight yet increases pivot stiffness
  • Other features that add stiffness to the Element frame includes a BB92 bottom bracket shell, tapered head tube, an E-thru 142x12mm rear end
  • Nice touches that show RMB’s attention to detail include internal cable routing, an E-type direct mount front derailleur (eliminating clearance issues), cable guides for dropper posts, an anti chain drop plate to help prevent chain jam and an integrated sag indicator (markings on the upper rocker pivot)

Rocky Mountain Element 29er at RMB World Domination HQ in Vancouver, BC. The depicted Element 29er 950 has a RockShox front (Revelation 90 – 120 adjustable travel, 20mm thru-axle) and rear (RockShox Monarch -size 7.5 x 2.5).

BB92 bracket and direct mount front derailleur. When RMB re-designed the Element they kept the rear shock position essentially the same so that riders could make adjustments on the fly. In keeping with the Element’s xc bias and desire to go fast, Rocky specs Maxxis Ikons in the front and Maxxis Aspens in the rear.

Close up of the bottom bracket shows the beefiness of this assembly & how tight the front derailleur is to the frame.

Even RMB’s XC bikes are getting tapered headtubes – reflecting the industries’s recognition that tapered headtubes add stiffness without adding significant weight.  Note the zero-stack headset.  You could run an angleset if you desire

About the author: Lee Lau

Lee Lau calls North Vancouver and Whistler BC home. He's had over 15 years experience riding bikes mainly in western North America and in Europe. Unlike many people who learned to ride bikes on North Shore trails, he actually enjoys riding (and sometimes bushwhacking) uphill.


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  • Grinder says:

    Thanks for the preview. It looked very agile but I think the way Andreas Hestler rides he could make any bike look like fun ! Love the idea of a U-turn on a 29er on the 950, at full travel that puts in competition with the Altitude 29er.

    Any guess on when they will be in the shops? Also MSRPs same in Canada as US except for the 970 ? Just want to confirm that is not a typo.

  • LeeL says:

    Grinder.

    Sorry for the late response. According to RMB it’ll be October timeframe or later. My bet is later

  • leel says:

    and Grinder – I just confirmed that the MSRPs are the same and that its not a typo

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