ROCK MOUNTAIN Instinct – a new 130 mm 29″er- by c_g

Sometimes companies use the opportunity of a big show like Eurobike to not only show a new product at the both throughout, but do an official product release for the media. Today on the first day of the show we were invited to two such events – the BIANCHI Methanol 29 FS (which we will report about tomorrow) and the ROCKY MOUNTAIN Instinct.

Rocky Mountain Instinct 970, eurobike

Rocky Mountain Instinct 29 as shown at 2012 Eurobike

At first glance the bike looks a lot like their Element 29″er, and that resemblance has its reasons, for the Instinct shares many of the Element´s technologies. First of all there is ROCKY MOUNTAIN´s own RTC 29″er geometry (the recently introduced Altitude 27.5″er- bike is based on their Straight-Up geometry), that has been developed for the Element and now is being modified for the Instinct´s 130 mm of travel. For the key features of that geometry see the chart on the right. The there is the Smoothlink suspension found on all newly released RMB bikes (Element RTC – here, and Altitude – here). And then there are the ABC pivots („Angular Bushing Concept“) for more stiffness, decreased weight and less maintenance requirements. Other standards, like the tapered head tube (of course), 142/12 rear axle, the PF92 bottom bracket, and the internal cable routing are also carried over.

So far the Instinct would be little less than a long legged Element, but the trickery starts with having the new RIDE-9 chip on board – two offset rectangular alloy chips, that allow the rider to tune the geometry and the suspension characteristics by 9 positions (in reality it is three as RMB splits the bunch into groups of 3 positions per rider weight range, but ultimately you get to choose how you like it.) With that technology you get to change the geometry from 67.7° to 69.3° in steering angle and 73.7° to 75.3° in seating angle. It also changes the BB height by up to 20 mm giving you a BB drop between 21 and 40 mm. What may seem small on paper has a huge effect on how the bike handles and does lead to an incredibly wide range of usage – at leas that is what we found out when riding the RMB Altitude, and I have no reason not to believe it will do the same on the Instinct.

Rocky Mountain Instinct 950 as shown at 2012 Eurobike

Other features pointing towards the trail genes of the Instinct are the provision for stealth dropper posts (the port is just above the bottom bracket on the seat tube), ISG-05 Mounts on the bottom bracket.

For starters there will be only two models – both sharing the identical FORM 7005 Hydroformed alloy frame – the stealthy Instinct 970 and the red´n white Instinct 950.

The „blacker than black“ color scheme (how do you like it?) of the higher end Instinct 970 is completed by a SHIMANO XT drive train, Avid Elixir 90 XM brakes, and cranks, bar & stem coming from RACE FACE´s Tubine range. Wheels will be DT-SWISS with CONTINENTAL X-Kings rear, Trail King front, mounted. Furthermore this model will have a ROCK SHOX Reverb Stealth post and the new direct mount rear derailleur. Suspension duties are handled by a F34 FIT fork and a Float shock – both with CTD, of course and in this case with the simultaneous remote on the bar. Euro pricing is a reasonable € 4599.-.

The „brighter“ looking Instinct 950 is slightly lower spec’ed with SRAM X.7 (with X.9 rear der.), Elixir 50 brakes, Wheeltech wheels and RACE FACE pieces from the Evolve series. It will sell for € 3299.-.

All Instincts will come with short 60 to 90 mm stems (depending on size), with 5 sizes being available from S all the way to a XXL – good news for those really tall riders .


To me having ridden several ROCKY MOUNTAIN bikes and looking at this bike, it looks like a bike to have a whole lot of trail eating fun with – if it can keep the typical Rocky Ride feel I have come to love from the Element 29″er. But that will need to be confirmed by real world riding, which we hope to get an opportunity to do sometimes in the future.

Tomorrow we will introduce to you the brand new BINACHI Methanol 29 FS which also has just been revealed her during Eurobike. Meanwhile we will roam the fairgrounds while you best stay tuned for more from EUROBIKE 2013.


ps: Congatulations for winning a EUROBIKE DESIGN AWARD with their Element RSL 999!