Rocky Mountain has taken their popular Element full suspension XC race bike and completely redesigned it in carbon fiber…and given it new legs with two travel options.
The new model uses their Smoothlink Suspension from the Altitude line, but without normal bearings. Rocky Mountain said they wanted to build one of the lightest bikes for world cup racing, so they basically removed all metal from the frame.
See how they did it after the break…
The new Element uses an E-Type front derailleur, which let them shape the bottom bracket and seat tube however they wanted to maximize stiffness and efficiency. Weight savings start to come in with the pressfit BB92 bottom bracket.
Rather than use “heavy” cartridge bearings, the new Element uses angular contact bushings. The bushings save 100g over the bike, but they also provide more contact area, which allows for more torque acceptance. The only bearings in the links are the large main bearings at the bottom pivot.
The only aluminum on the frame is a small bolt mount for the front of the shock. This gives them a frame weight of just 2.06kg with shock.
You may remember from our review of the Altitude 29er that Rocky Mountain uses something called Straight Up Geometry on their longer travel bikes to maintain climbing performance even with travel exceeding 120mm to 150mm.
The Element doesn’t get Straight Up Geometry because it’s meant for racing, and racers are running the suspension tighter (meaning less sag), so compensating for big travel sag to maintain the proper geometry isn’t as much of an issue for a race bike.
The RSL is 98mm travel and MSL is 120mm (acronyms stand for Race/Marathon Super Light). Available before the holidays, pricing is:
$4,599 – Element 70 (both RSL and MSL)
$6,999 – Element RSL Team (above)
And not shown are the:
$2,999 – Element 30MSL
$3,799 – Element 50MSL