After 20 years in their lineup, the Rocky Mountain Element is getting a complete refresh that promises to provide race-ability of an XC rig, with the confidence of a trail bike. Setting the new Element apart is a revamped geometry, integration of their Ride-9 technology, and more. Rock past the break to get the scoop…
Today’s XC terrain is moving towards more extreme descents…and climbs. Rocky Mountain claims to have made the right tool for them. Built around 29″ wheels, and a 1x drivetrain (on mid to high end models), and 100mm rear whee travel, the Element fits the bill of a modern XC rig. Where it differentiates itself from other recent XC introductions like the Scalpel and RKT9 is the 120mm fork that provides the cushion of a trail bike.
Inspired by today’s trail bikes, the Element’s geometry provides slacker head and seat tube angles. Even with the slacked out angles the top tube is slightly longer than its predecessors, allowing for more room in the cockpit.
The frame includes oversized head and down tubes allowing for easier installation of the rear lockout, brake, dropper post and shift cables/hoses. Using Rocky Mountain’s Smoothwall technology, the Element shaves weight and utilizes different composites around the frame. Additionally, the Element will provide enough room in the front triangle for 2 water bottle cages.
The Ride-9 is a modular system that allows for slight geometry adjustments. Rocky Mountain also provides a Ride-9 webpage to see exactly how the changes will impact the ride quality. Rather than being located in the forward shock mount like on the Altitude we reviewed, the plates are now installed into the link itself. This change in position reduces both weight and bulk.
The Element will come in 6 different variations, including a frame only option. The top of the line Element 999 RSL will come stock with SRAM’s XX1 Eagle drivetrain, front and rear Fox suspension, RockShox’s Reverb Stealth seat post, and Stan’s Valor carbon tubeless ready wheels.
Sizes for all options will range from S – XXL. The frameset weight, including shock and hardware, is 2250g. Prices will be available closer to the bikes release.
Stay tuned for our first ride impressions coming soon…