Rocky Mountain’s new Instinct serves as the platform for three different bikes. In the stock setting, the Instinct is an 140mm 29er that’s 27.5+ compatible with a headset insert. By another name, the frame ships with plus wheels. In another configuration, the bike gains 15mm of rear travel (up to 155mm), more progressive suspension, and a 160mm fork. One bike, three different personalities. Read on to learn more.
The previous Instinct was a hard hitting trail bike with 130mm of travel front and rear. For 2018, it’s received a slew updates. Travel increases to 140mm, the headtube is slacker, it has a longer reach, and now uses bearings instead of bushings. It’s a similar formula to what we’ve seen across Rocky’s entire lineup, including the recently redesigned Element, Altitude, and Slayer.
Like the previous version, the new Instinct retains Rocky’s flip chip system, which enables riders to custom tune geometry and suspension. However, the new bike uses boost spacing, a metric shock, and features an integrated chain guide. The rear end is also significantly stiffer due to a new one-piece stay and updated layup.
Rocky offers the Instinct in five trim levels, two alloy and three carbon. The alloy builds start at $3200 and go up to $4200. The carbon bikes start at $3650. A frame only is also available for $2800. Claimed weight for a medium frame (with shock) is 5.1 pounds (2310g).
The Instinct BC edition builds on the Instinct platform, but uses a different rear linkage. Instead of the stock link with the adjustable flip chips, this link has been set permanently in “full send” mode. That allowed Rocky to bump rear travel to 155mm, which is complimented by a 160mm fork.
Compared to the stock Instinct, the headtube angle on the B.C. edition is .7 degrees slacker. The other numbers stay roughly the same. The entire package compares favorably with other big hitting 29ers like the Evil Following. Both bikes share roughly the same headtube angle, reach, and chainstay numbers.
At launch, the BC edition will be available as either a $2800 frameset or $5900 complete bike. Claimed weight for the carbon frame finished with Fox suspension, SRAM GX Eagle, and Stan’s wheels weighs 29.5 pounds for a size medium. Claimed frame weight is 5.6 pounds (2550g) for a medium. That’s a touch heavier than the standard Instinct, but that weight difference is due primarily to the burlier shock.
The Instinct and Instinct BC are sold as 29ers, but are plus compatible with the addition of a headset spacer. In plus guise, Rocky sells the bike as the Pipeline.
The previous Pipeline used an Instinct front triangle and a custom rear end. This allowed Rocky to trim the chainstays, but prevented the bike from being compatible with both wheel sizes. The new bike doesn’t have this issue. In the box, Rocky includes a slim lower headset cup, which allows you to convert the bike for use with 29er wheels.
Read our review of the previous Rocky Mountain Pipeline here.
The Pipeline will be available in four different trims, two alloy and two carbon. The alloy builds start at $2600. The carbon bikes start at $4470 and top out at $5300.
- Instinct/Pipeline frame and shock weight: 5.1 lbs/2310g, size medium
- Instinct BC frame and shock weight: 5.6 lbs/2550g, size medium
- Instinct Carbon 70 complete: 27.4 lbs/12.4kg, size medium
- Instinct BC edition complete: 29.5 lbs/13.4kg, size medium
- Sizes: S-XL
- 29×2.6 or 27.5×2.8 tire clearance
- Water bottle fits inside the frame
- Integrated top guide
- 1x only
- All builds ship with second headset cup for wheel size conversion
- 47% laterally stiffer due to one-piece stays, new layup
- Boost spacing
- Metric shock
- Post-mount 180mm brakes
- Improved cable management system
- Compatible with Di2 and Fox Live valve
For more info, visit www.bikes.com.