See all of our Project 24.2 posts here!
By the time that this post goes live, we’ll be well on our way to Tucson to compete in the Kona 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo.  Under the guidance of Tom Jones from JBV Coaching, our training has gone well- the intensity-focused workouts had me feeling a bit ragged, but the way in which we completed a 93mi training ride put my mind to rest: if we can keep eating, this 24-hour duo thing will be do-able.

Hit the jump for more pictures and equipment updates…

With pedals, 4 scoops of Stan’s sealant, a Cateye wireless computer, one Lezyne Flow bottle cage, a bell, and Exposure Lights mount, our Project 24.2 race bike weighs in at a very competitive 23lb.  Is it possible to build a lighter bike?  Sure- but there aren’t many areas to shave weight without making some increasingly difficult performance or budget compromises.  Given our abusive local geology and flora, ultimate light weight was never the goal-the goal was a bike that I could train and race on comfortably and without drama.  Mission accomplished.

The Rocky Mountain Element 70 MSL is now in it’s race configuration.  The lightweight carbon wheels and fast tires are back on.  Since our build post, a 3×10 Shimano XT drivetrain (with XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur) has been racking up the miles without complaint.  The Shadow Plus rear derailleur adds a bit of solidity to the shifter feel and is doing a great job at keeping chain rattle down.  After riding other brands’ chainrings, it’s awfully nice to come home to Shimano: very few companies can compete in terms of front shifting.

On big rides, the Rocky Mountain Element is in its… element.  The active suspension- even with the Fox shock’s ProPedal engaged- may put short trackers off, but for long days, it makes sitting and spinning a pleasure and the little bumps just don’t add up like they can on bikes that are trying too hard to be hardtails.  The suspension initially felt unbalanced due to the 120mm SID’s racy tune- dumping the fork’s 5wt oil and replacing it with 2.5wt has brought the front end much closer to the rear’s small bump performance.  On tight singletrack, the bike is a joy to toss around.  The geometry is responsive without being twitchy and there’s a playful character just below the surface that encourages boosting the bike off of rollers.  All that and a sub-5lb weight make the Rocky Mountain an easy bike to want to ride.

After 8 hours on the bike, the Ergon GA1 Leichtbau grips are playing well with with my hands, especially when combined with the company’s HA2 gloves.  Similarly, Specialized’s Henge Expert saddle has made friends with my backside- despite its 243g weight and my own lack of posterior padding.

We’ve been working through GU’s vast array of flavors- look for an in-depth review soon.  In the meantime, my recommendation would be to seek out the Peach Tea and Watermelon GU Chomps and Blueberry Pomegranate GU Brew.  They taste awesome, are easy to get down for hours on end, and have done a great job at keeping the bonk away.  Given my performance on the trail, the carbs, protein, and glutamines in their Revovery Brew are doing their thing as well.

Now it’s time to do some riding.

See all of our Project 24.2 posts here!


  1. Nick on

    “there aren’t many areas to shave weight without making some increasingly difficult performance or budget compromises”

    Except wheels, drivetrain, finishing kit and grips 🙂

    Nice bike though!

  2. PisgahShawnE on

    U could save a few more grams by going with the raceface turbine crank 2×10 or 1×10….nice setup.

    Also, those camelback wearable water jerseys doohickey things might make it more efficient for you to quench your thirst.

    Good Luck!

  3. anon on

    sick bike, looks like a fun build and its cool you can build non-top end mountain bikes almost entirely out of carbon these days. Hope your race its meant for goes well

    I am really tired of seeing all this hating on bikerumor lately, about things people had happen to them (i.e. a disk brake failure and saying it was all their set up) to things about bike builders ideals (gaulzetti tattoo) and people not understanding what the project bikes are( this post). all this hating is really annoy, its almost as bad as velonews since they started that facebook comment thing.
    I understand everybody has an opinion but you can keep it to your selves sometimes, if you have more to say and you think these guys are idiots start your own blog and quit whining.


COMMENT HERE: (For best results, log in through Wordpress or your social media account. Anonymous/fake email comments may be unapproved or deleted. ALL first-time commenter's posts are held for moderation. Check our Comment Policy for full details.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.