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Rocky Mountain’s New Instinct is a Highly Adjustable Quiver Killer

RMB 2024 Instinct, on cabin
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Rocky Mountain Bikes’ Instinct has always been an ideal choice for a do-it-all trail bike, but for 2024 the bike has gained more adjustability to suit varied terrain or riding styles. RMB sees the Instinct as their ‘holy grail’ bike, so it was built to climb and pedal well, but of course, handle technical descents capably too.

Rocky Mountain has refined the new Instinct’s frame geometry and suspension kinematics, but perhaps the most notable addition to the new bike is a reach adjust headset. The headset, combined with a Ride 4 chip and chainstay flip-chip, makes the new Instinct RMB’s most adjustable MTB yet.

Rocky Mountain Instinct – Key Specs:

RMB 2024 Instinct, angle

The new Instinct will be available in both SMOOTHWALL carbon and FORM alloy frame options. The bike’s rear travel is 140mm, and 150mm forks are stocked on all models. Rocky Mountain does provide size-specific suspension tuning for their MTBs. RMB dials in custom shock tunes for each frame size, aiming to ensure ideal small bump compliance, mid-stroke support and end-stroke progressiveness for riders big and small.

The Instinct carries on with RMB’s wheel size split. XS frames run 27.5” wheels, small frames offer the choice of 27.5” or 29”, and medium-XL frames run 29” wheels. While it’s not the most likely candidate for mixed wheels, I did inquire and Rocky Mountain does not recommend an MX setup for the Instinct. This bike’s geometry and ride characteristics were designed around 29” wheels, and RMB has not tested or approved any modifications to that configuration.

Like the previous Instinct, the new XS and small size frames feature lowered top tubes to reduce their standover height for shorter riders.

Frame Features:

RMB 2024 Instinct, Ride 4 chip

RMB made slight refinements to the suspension tune for the new Instinct, but there are no major changes to its Smoothlink four-bar suspension platform. Basically, they re-tuned the bike around the Ride 4 chip instead of the previous model’s Ride 9 chip. The Ride 4 chip has been updated itself; the version on the new Instinct only requires one 5mm allen key to make adjustments. One other small update is that all models of the new Instinct run rear shocks with sealed bearing eyelets.

RMB 2024 Instinct, reach adjust headset in action

The most obvious addition to the 2024 Instinct frame is the new reach adjust headset, which offers neutral or +/- 5mm settings. Rocky has stocked FSA headsets on the Instincts, which are adjusted by swapping out the headset cups. The bikes ship with the neutral headset cups installed, but the other cups are included.   

RMB 2024 Instinct, PenaltyBox storage

On all carbon frame models, the Instinct includes Rocky’s PenaltyBox 2.0 downtube storage compartment. The storage door has mounts so you can add a water bottle cage, but it has another clever feature too; they’ve included a spot to hide an AirTag or Tile beacon inside. All bikes with the PenaltyBox come with a tool wrap.  

Fitments and Frame Protection:

For fitments, the frame has a press fit BB92 bottom bracket with 2-bolt ISCG-05 tabs. Mounted to the tabs is RMB’s Canadarm mount, which holds a OneUp top chain guide. Rear axles are Boost 148mm, and the frames accept 30.9mm seat posts.

RMB 2024 Instinct, UDH derailleur

RMB’s flippable rear brake mount fits 180mm rotors, and the frame is UDH compatible in its long setting only. The aluminum and carbon Instinct frames also feature fully enclosed internal cable routing, which is moto-compatible.

RMB 2024 Instinct, frame protectors

To keep the Instinct protected chainstay, seatstay and lower down tube protectors all come pre-installed. Two additional shuttle guards are also included so you can add them to the down tube or leave them off.


RMB 2024 Instinct, geometry chart

As the new Instinct is RMB’s most adjustable platform, there are several variations to check out in the geometry chart. You’ll notice the Ride 4 chip offers range of geometry settings, and rear end lengths are shown for the chainstay flip-chip’s short and long positions. Rocky Mountain did not include all the possible reach numbers, so please note all reach figures are listed with the neutral headset cups installed.

The new Instinct is slacker up front, with the slackest possible head tube angle now 63.5°, and the steepest at 64.3°. RMB made the Instinct’s seat tubes slightly steeper, but given that the previous Instinct had a Ride 9 chip and the new model has a Ride 4 chip, the steepest seat tube angles are nearly identical to the previous frame at 77.3°. The slackest possible seat tube angles have bumped up slightly.

RMB 2024 Instinct, front end

While some brands are pushing the envelope with longer and longer front ends, RMB kept the Instinct somewhat conservative in this regard. A medium frame ranges from 449-458mm (depending on the Ride 4 chip settings), and a large comes in at 474-483mm. Remember, the new adjustable headsets can add or subtract 5mm from those numbers.

Rear center measurements have not changed from the previous frame. If your keen eye spots the 1-2mm variations versus the previous frames’ specs, RMB told me that’s simply due to rounding numbers.

Model Lineup:

Check out the Instinct’s launch video, starring photographer Margus Riga and athlete Sam Schultz. On their second photo/video mission together, they explore Invermere, B.C.’s Toby Creek area.

There are eight models of the new Instinct to choose from. RMB’s five carbon and three aluminum frame options cover a broad price range. One build highlight for the top-tier 99 model is RockShox’s Flight Attendant suspension front and rear! Check out all the various build specs and color options on RMB’s website. Model names and USD prices are listed below.

RMB 2024 Instinct C99, side
Instinct Carbon 99
  • Instinct Carbon 99 – $10,499 
  • Instinct Carbon 90 – $8,999
  • Instinct Carbon 70 AXS – $7,899 
  • Instinct Carbon 70 – $6,499 
  • Instinct Carbon 50 – $5,499 
  • Instinct Carbon 30 – $4,699
RMB 2024 Instinct, A50, side
Instinct A50
  • Instinct Alloy 50 – $4,599 
  • Instinct Alloy 30 – $3,399 
  • Instinct Alloy 10 – $2,899
RMB 2024 Instinct, frameset

In addition to complete builds a carbon Instinct frameset is also available for $3899. The frameset includes the Fox Float X Factory rear shock, FSA Orbit reach adjust headset with zero and 5mm offset cups, seat clamp, axle, brake mount, derailleur hanger, and upper chain guide.

RMB 2024 Instinct, rider, sunburst
*Studio photos c. Rocky Mountain Bikes. Action and lifestyle photos c. Margus Riga


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1 month ago

From the photo, it looks like the 99 version has a SRAM Transmission RD. But “… the frame is UDH compatible in its long setting only.” This implies that you can’t run the stock derailleur if you want to run the frame in the other setting. This seems sub-optimal for an $11k bike.

Johan John Jon
Johan John Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim

Pretty sure any bike priced at $11k is suboptimal for what it is….

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
1 month ago

Nobody will buy this bike, as it does not have thru-headset cable routing. 🙂


1 month ago

RM stuff is almost impossible to get hold of in Europe.

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