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  1. #1
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    My personal review of my Rocky Mountain Instinct

    I purchased this bike yesterday and brought it out for a quick 2 hour ride today because I am still quite busy with tests and assignments :'( The weather was very chilly with strong wind, and it started raining halfway through the ride, but that did not hamper my spirit any bit.

    First of all, this bike was not setup properly from the bike store at all, I swapped my Times pedals over, tightened the cable on my rear derailurer, and adjusted the brakes to the way I liked them. This is my first bike with suspension, and due to the fact I do not have my shock pump yet, I did not play with the suspension settings at all.

    I am very new to writing these reviews, but I will try my best and break it into sections:

    Shifting
    We started the ride today with some long, and steep climbs. The shifting of the bike was very precise, however, the 9-speed derailure is difficult to setup properly, and my chain was skipping a little while climbing. From the short time I had in the saddle, I can see the shifting will be very very nice once everything has been broken in properly. It is definitely a step up from my STX setup on my old bike.

    Handling
    I have trouble finding words to describe the handling characteristics of this bike. The best I can come up with is agile, light, and extremely responsive.Across the singletrack, this bike turns on a dime, and does exactly what I want it to do. Once I have more saddle time, I can see myself being much faster over the tight and technical sections.

    Pedal Bobbing and Climbing
    This bike has EXTREMELY little pedal bobing while climbing both in and out of the saddle. Up the technical hills, this bike felt much lighter than my rigid Douglas, but overall, the climbing performance was about the same because my front fork was fairly soft. Also, the front end of the bike wants to pop up, but I guess that was because the rear was putting the power down to the ground too efficiently. Later on during the ride, I simply leaned more towards the front, and the problem did not come back.

    Suspension Performance
    Again, this is my first bike with suspension, but the bike absorbed all the small and medium bumps while climbing and riding across the single tracks. Overall, I feel much more confident due to the plushy ride, and the fact that my wheels are always on the ground. I will update this section once I learn more about suspension and have them setup perfectly to suit my riding style.

    Braking
    These V-brakes are AMAZINGLY strong. Going down a few technical downhills that I've tried before, this bike feels very stable and I felt I was totally in control. Most likely, the new found confidence is a combination of better frame geometry, good suspension and stronger brakes. Currently, I feel I have all the braking power I need, and will not upgrade to disc brakes anytime soon.


    Stock Tires
    The tires gripped very well in dry, and packed down trails. However, as soon as rain started to fall, I had very little grip. Once I tried to take off by pedalling very hard, I spun the tire around the entire pedal stroke. Not very good for my first time out on wet trails today.


    Overall, I am extremely happy with my new purchase. I believe this bike will serve my purpose of XC racing much better than the Kona Kula Deluxe I was intending of acquring. I just need more seat time, and I think I will be ready for a few races next season.

    Feel free to leave comments and ask any more questions you have regarding the bike. For a high resolution photo gallery, please go to Rocky Mountain Instinct

    Cheers

    Ming

  2. #2
    Digs technical steeps
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    Thanks for the review, Ming! Sounds like you've got the right bike for you. I think it's cool you feel so comfortable on the bike right on your first good ride. A new bike always feels sketchy to me until I get it figured out (and it figures out me?).
    'My other bike is a bike.'

  3. #3
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper
    Thanks for the review, Ming! Sounds like you've got the right bike for you. I think it's cool you feel so comfortable on the bike right on your first good ride. A new bike always feels sketchy to me until I get it figured out (and it figures out me?).
    Oh no problems. Thank you for the review of the Kula I definitely took it easy today because I really don't know the limits of this bike yet. However, I may store the bike for the winter now because it was soo cold today. However, I'll still be around during the winter

    Ming

  4. #4
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    Rocky Mountains are some pricy bikes. I don't know anything about it but it sounds like it would be an awesome bike when set up right. After about 10 hours off road or 50 hours on road and shifting starts getting worse, its time for a tune up. Cable stretch, you know?

  5. #5
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooligan
    Rocky Mountains are some pricy bikes. I don't know anything about it but it sounds like it would be an awesome bike when set up right. After about 10 hours off road or 50 hours on road and shifting starts getting worse, its time for a tune up. Cable stretch, you know?
    This bike was last year's stock, so it must been sitting around the shop for a while. The rear deraileur cable was soo loose that it easily pops out of the retention cups on the frame!! I had to change a few other little things to ensure the bike is safe to ride.

    I realize everything include bikes will need to be broken in, therefore, I will do another tune-up after a couple of rides.

    Yes, the MRSP on the bike was very expensive at $3500 Canadian. Fortunately, I went to the bike show and picked it up for significantly cheaper. Nonetheless, this bike was very expensive in the end. I definitely hope I will be happy with it for a few years. I've read some horror stories about both the Rockshox SID Race and the Fox Float RL

    Ming

  6. #6
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    You were at the show?! Me too! When were ya there?

  7. #7
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooligan
    You were at the show?! Me too! When were ya there?
    I showed up the very last minute, around 3pm or so....A lot of the good stuff have been sold apparently, but most people were buying the cheap low end bikes from what I've seen. So I wasn't too worried about not finding the right product.

    I plan on going to the show in Februray to pick up some accessories like a Camel pack, a pump, new Times pedals, shoes...etc Hopefully I'll see ya there!!!

    Ming

  8. #8
    mmm babaghanouj. rasheed's Avatar
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    your first spin on the bike wouldn't have happened to be in the don would it?

    if so, about the slippage in the wet, i don't find that surprising... a lot of the don's single track is mostly made up of hardpacked clay... that stuff is super fast when dry and equally super slick when wet.

    current ride: 2003 norco vps fluid 3.0 (custom build).



  9. #9
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasheed
    your first spin on the bike wouldn't have happened to be in the don would it?

    if so, about the slippage in the wet, i don't find that surprising... a lot of the don's single track is mostly made up of hardpacked clay... that stuff is super fast when dry and equally super slick when wet.

    Naaa...I live in Hamilton, so I usually stay around my local trails

    I rode w/ Cam and his friends in the Don, and my first time there was super fun! I can't wait to take my Rocky there for a spin

    Too bad I may have to wait for next year though

  10. #10
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    Awsome bike!!!! I had to restrain myself from buying the same bike last year at an end of season clearout at The Bike Shop in Calgary. My wife even said that bike was the nicest bike she's ever seen. The paint work on it is what blows my mind, the bike looks like gold! I've spoken with many Element/Instinct riders and all have loved the bike, seems to strike the perfect ballance between efficiency and plush travel for XC and XC racing. My next bike will likely be an Element, but my Rocky hardtail has wayyy to much life left in it to move up now... maybe in another 5 years.

    As far as the SID goes, if your light it should be fine. Ride it till it dies (if it does) then upgrade to a Fox F80X or Marzocchi Marathon Race. That white Marathon Race would look ace on that bike though.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisA
    Awsome bike!!!! I had to restrain myself from buying the same bike last year at an end of season clearout at The Bike Shop in Calgary. My wife even said that bike was the nicest bike she's ever seen. The paint work on it is what blows my mind, the bike looks like gold! I've spoken with many Element/Instinct riders and all have loved the bike, seems to strike the perfect ballance between efficiency and plush travel for XC and XC racing.
    Thanks for the kind complements. I love the bike because all the details that were put into the manufacturing process. This bike really doesn't stand out very much from far away, as it is not nearly as flashy as some others, but the paint job is absolutely perfect when you do get up close. After test riding many full suspension bikes at the show, I found this one to have to best suspension design, for XC at least



    Quote Originally Posted by KrisA
    My next bike will likely be an Element, but my Rocky hardtail has wayyy to much life left in it to move up now... maybe in another 5 years.
    Awesome choice! I was absolutely hooked after riding my friend's Element Team Sc. The bike just float over all the obstacles! However, I didn't know I could get so close to his bike with my budget. I guess I really got lucky this time.


    Quote Originally Posted by KrisA
    As far as the SID goes, if your light it should be fine. Ride it till it dies (if it does) then upgrade to a Fox F80X or Marzocchi Marathon Race. That white Marathon Race would look ace on that bike though.
    I weigh at 190lbs, which is quite a bit over the 160lb limit like most people recommands. However, I do still pick the smoothest line and I wont be doing the crazy drop offs, so hopefully I will be fine with the SID. If it does break, I will most like go to FOX F80X because I loved how that fork feels. However, as of now, I cannot justfiy the price difference right after purchasing a brand new bike...

    Cheers

    Ming

  12. #12
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, how much was the Instinct going for when you were looking at it?

    Just curious :0

    Ming

  13. #13
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    3K for the Disc, 2800 for the V's. I think I could have got another couple of hundred off, plus it was in alberta so no PST.

    The 2005 Element70 looks very nice this year, it has the F100X fork, RF Deus cranks, full xt and a sweet polish/black paint scheme. If my finances start looking up I just might see if I can get a local sponsorship deal on that bike...

  14. #14
    Senior Member sparks_219's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KrisA
    3K for the Disc, 2800 for the V's. I think I could have got another couple of hundred off, plus it was in alberta so no PST.

    The 2005 Element70 looks very nice this year, it has the F100X fork, RF Deus cranks, full xt and a sweet polish/black paint scheme. If my finances start looking up I just might see if I can get a local sponsorship deal on that bike...
    That's a fair bit more than what I paid, but again, I bought the bike a year later. Good luck with the Element 70

    How does local sponsorship work in Alberta? My friend used to race at the national level, and his sponsorship depended on his placing at races. If he came first, he usually got a $1000, but again, a large portion of that money went towards paying for his equipment.

    Ming

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