Back in 2001, my first full-suspension mountain bike was the original Rocky Mountain Element. It was beautiful and checked all the right boxes. I’ve since ridden a few other incarnations of the Element, but this one is certainly the most radical departure from the mold.
For 2022, the new Rocky Mountain Element takes over as the only XC platform in the lineup. Gone is the Thunderbolt and, instead, the Element grows to a 120/130mm trail-friendly XC bike. With that, it now goes head-on with the Santa Cruz Tallboy, Niner Jet 9 RDO and others as a near-XC bike. The goal is to deliver the best climbing ability with enough rowdiness to get into and out of sketchy situations.
The frame profiles look minuscule compared to what you’d expect for a bike out of the North Shore. But, weights are about the same as competitive bikes. Of course, Rocky includes built-in frame protection ahead of and under the bottom bracket and on the rear chainstay (always nice). In addition, the Element now has a Ride-4 adjustment system that enables fine-tuning of the bike’s handling to the terrain or rider tastes. As with most new XC bikes, the 2022 Element can carry two water bottles, but in a configuration I’ve not seen before — double downtube mounts inside the front triangle. On a long ride, you can haul more water without going to a hydration or fanny pack.
Pricing will range from $4259 to $9589 for Element Carbon models and $2559 to $4049 for alloy. Availability will likely be tight for awhile, but this one looks like a great platform for just about all riders and terrain.
More Info: Visit Bikes.com