Looking at the Rocky Mountain Instinct, I was very interested in what it had to offer given its travel, geometry and aggressive spec (BC Edition) with wide bars, shorter stem and a Rock Shox Pike. I like to think of this bike as a reverse mullet, party in the front, business in the back.
I immediately noticed the aggressive nature of this “party mode” in the front that I have grown to like considering the terrain that sits outside my door in Sedona, AZ. This setup feels much more confidence inspiring, as I get to those sections of trail that stretch my limits.
The efficiency of the bike is immediately noticeable as well. This is definitely a bike that I would’t have to worry about flipping the shock pedal platform knob on/off. The bike has great acceleration due to its firm rear suspension and pedals more like a 100mm bike and not a bike with 130mm of rear travel.
Who should look at this bike?
The big wheel loving rider looking for an efficient peddler and build that will inspire confidence as the terrain gets steeper and rougher. Additionally, the shorter 22.7” top tube length (size medium) could be just right for those who prefer OR those who have a shorter torso/reach.
Key Specs: 2015 Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition – size medium
SRAM XO1/Race Face Turbine 1x drivetrain, Stan’s Flow Wheelset, XT brakes
130mm rear/140mm front travel, 29” wheels, $6199 MSRP
What I liked
- BC Edition Setup — “Party mode”
- Ride 9 adjustable geometry. This changes the shock leverage ratio, head tube angle from 66.7-68.3 degrees along with lowering and raising the bottom bracket. The change is simply made by rotating inserts at the front shock mounting bolt.
- Great pedaling efficiency.
- The cable routing was one of the cleanest I have seen.
What I didn’t like
The bike was not as plush as I would like as the rear shock damping ramped up quickly through its mid stroke. I tried increasing the sag and couldn’t quite get the bike to eat up the larger bumps as well as I would like. What I later found out after this review is just how much the Ride 9 adjustable geometry effects the shocks leverage ratio. Playing with the geometry could get that plusher feel that I wanted.
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
The Instinct is a great riding bike that I could easily see myself owning due to the steamroller feeling of being able to roll over cars like monster trucks yet high efficiency under power. The value of this bike is awesome given that I really wouldn’t change a single thing in its spec unless I lived were the terrain was a bit milder.