Riders have been enjoying the mid travel Instinct trail 29er for years as a do it all mountain bike. But Rocky Mountain had some good ideas how to update the Instinct to make it a more capable trail ride. A complete overhaul of the bike, sees improved suspension performance with a bump up to 140mm of travel, an update of their Ride-9 multi-position suspension flip chips, and more modern trail bike geometry.
On top of that, Rocky Mountain put together a special BC Edition of the trail 29er that gets its own dedicated link with fixed geometry & longer travel to take on some North Shore trail riding…
Rocky Mountain Instinct trail 29er
The all new Instinct defines itself more as a proper trail bike, stretching out to 140mm of travel at both ends of the 29er. At the same time as it gets more travel, Rocky Mountain says they made the Boost spaced bike even stiffer(claimed at 47.7% more lateral stiffness).
The Instinct’s revamp also see some small tweaks to the Horst-link suspension design & kinematics, promising smoother more responsive travel and at the same time more efficient pedaling. They also updated the Ride-9 flip chip at the lower shock mount to give riders a wider ability to tune the feel of the bike to suit their own riding style & trails.
Stable, but aggressive with modern longer reach, slackened headangle & lower bottom bracket geometry. The Instinct still keeps shortish chainstays and a steep seattube for what Rocky sees as their most versatile mountain bike. It’ll even fit in 27.5+ tires if you feel the need to go that way.
Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition enduro bike
The special BC Edition shares the same frame as the other instincts, but like in the past with the MSL versions, gets longer travel for more aggressive trail riding capabilities. With its own special rocker link and longer travel shock, the BC frame takes away the Ride-9 geometry adjustability in favor of longer travel and aggressive geometry.
The BC Edition bike bumps travel up to 155mm in the rear. Rocky Mountain pairs that on the complete BC Edition bike with a 160mm fork, making the Instinct BC one of the most capable trail 29er bikes available (into enduro even). Rocky calls it an aggressive trail monster – ready to shred techy all mountain lines, blast through the corners, and plow those big wheels over anything in its path. All the while it keeps the Instinct’s efficient climbing, and ability to fit in 27.5+ tires (in its Pipeline guise.)
The suspension redesign mostly focused on a more progressive feel to support the longer travel and give good support at the ideal sag. More positive anti-squat results in better pedaling, which somehow also improves small bump movement.
What Rocky calls next gen updates are all of the smaller details that show a more refined bike overall. Those include thru-axles with tooled interfaces instead of QRs, single-side access bearings at the pivots for more protection/durability & to improve heel clearance, Boost spacing, 180mm post mount, metric shocks, and the integrated chaingiuide on the chainstay.
There is also a next gen of their Ride-9 flip chip lower shock mount. The new design is built lighter & more narrow, while still giving you nine different positions to fine tune geometry and suspension feel.
Max tire clearance is 2.6″ on 29″ wheels or up to 2.8″ on 27.5″, even 3″ apparently on tires without tall blocky knobs. All Instinct bikes get FSA’s extend-O-matic headset, and include a second, taller lower headset cup so if you switch to 27.5+ wheels you can do it without negatively affecting handling.
The bike also gets updated cable routing, with large internal ports & full length shift housing. The Instinct will work with mechanical or electronic setups, even the upcoming Fox Live and a dropper post at the same time (even longer travel droppers). It is however optimized for 1x drivetrains, letting Rocky go for a wider, stiffer main pivot. Oh and all of the four sizes S-XL will fit a full size water bottle in the main triangle.
As to the frame’s weight, a medium Instinct frame & shock should be 2310g (5.09lb), up to just 2550g (5.62lb) for the longer travel BC bike.
Carbon bike options & builds
The 29″ Instincts come in both carbon and aluminum frame options. The longer travel Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition is available as a frameset for $2800 or in a $5900 complete bike that is the most expensive build on offer.
That Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition complete weighs in at 13.4kg/29.5lb with a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain & Code R brakes, Fox Performance Elite suspension & Stan’s Flow wheels.
Sticking with the top level Smoothwall carbon frame with the Ride-9 flip chips are the three Instinct Carbon bikes. The top level $5300 Instinct Carbon 70 weighs in at just 12.4kg/27.4lb with a similar GX Eagle build Guide R brakes, shorter Fox Performance Elite suspension & this time Stan’s Arch wheels.
The $4300 Instinct Carbon 50 gets the alloy rear end with the Smoothwall front triangle. It keeps GX Eagle, but swaps to Level TL brakes, Performance suspension, and cheaper Sun wheels. The $3650 Instinct Carbon 30 has the same frame but gets an NX drivetrain and RockShox suspension.
Aluminum bike builds
A couple of aluminum framed bikes are also on offer as well. The $4200 Instinct Alloy 70 gets GX Eagle & Fox Performance Elite suspension. And the $3200 Instinct Alloy 50 goes for a regular SRAM GX 1×11 and Fox Performance suspension.
(All $ pricing in US dollars.)
All of the trail 29er Instincts are slated for official availability towards the second half of October 2017. But Rocky tells us that a smaller number of bikes in limited sizes are actually already available today. Get in touch with your local Rocky Mountain dealer ASAP to see if the bike you are searching for is ready now, or to pre-order for October delivery.