2012 Rocky Mountain Element 29er Preview

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Custom for RMB is a travel adjustable (90 to 120mm) RockShox Revelation with (hallelujah) a 20mm Maxle lite through-axle. Chalk me up as one of those who think the 15mm front axle is a useless standard. This 20mm Revelation is a blow for function over (empty) form

Another nice touch is not only internal cable routing (for aesthetics and to help prevent cable contamination) but ease of cable change by way of a port on the BB

E thru 142 x 12 rear end on the Element 29er. RMB’s reasoning is that 29er wheels flex more and generate more torque and hence, require the increased rear end stiffness.  Rocky maintains that the rear end is so stiff that a seat stay bridge isn’t required – this has the side effect that there is enough clearance for a 2.25 rear tire


Speaking of rear – end flex, Rocky uses angular bushings in place of regular bearings to increase rear-end stiffness while reducing weight. The end-result is a not insignificant 120g of weight-savings in the Element frame (20g saved per pivot – ABC bushings are used in six pivots. Apparently this ABC concept is patent pending for applications in bicycles. I must admit to some confusion about patentability as I could have sworn that such bushings have been used in other mechanical applications but this is an article generally overviewing the Element and not angular bushings so I let the matter lie. I will note that a cursory search of the US patent application database did not yield any results. If I do obtain the patent application I’ll update this story with a link

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:


    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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