2013 Element 970 BC Edition 29er Bikes
The Element 29 RSL is a purebred cross-country race machine. But the lines are blurred a bit between what looks like just a fun bike to ride for the 970 BC Edition. The BC edition uses the same carbon front triangle as the 999 RSL mated attached to an aluminum rear triangle. It features a different group though with an adjustable length FOX 32 TALAS 29 120 FIT CTD fork in front, giving more travel and making the geometry more slack, and a RockShox Reverb seat post with a triple Race Face Turbine crank. The complete bike is clearly going to be heavier than the other models in the Element 29 RSL bloodline, but the $5,199 USD 970 BC Edition might be key for riders who like to explore the possibilities of their cross country bikes a bit more.
Details for 2013 Element 29 RSL 29er Bikes
• C13 Hi Mod Carbon Smoothwall monocoque frame (aluminum stays on BC Edition and 950 RSL)
• Rear wheel travel: 95mm
• Uses Rocky Mountain’s Smoothlink rear suspension design
• ABC (Angular Bushing Concept ) pivots
• Tapered head tube
• E-Thru 12 x 142mm rear axle
• Sealing rubber seat collar sleeve
• Internal cable routing for brake, shifting, and dropper post
• BB-92 bottom bracket shell
• Sizing: S – 2XL
• Frame weight: 4.38lbs (medium 999 RSL, including rear shock and hardware)
The Evolution of the Rocky Mountain Element
The entire evolution of Rocky Mountain’s Element chassis has been putting singletrack under its tires since 1996 – that’s an awesome seventeen years. There has been a ton of progression in design over these years, with everything from materials, geometry and suspension designs being transformed. But if you compare the basic first model to this version and you might see some similar lines. This isn’t to say that the current bikes ride like those dinosaurs from the bygone era, but that the Element has seemed to evolve to meet the demands of the time only as needed. The Element’s simple name is quite suiting given the mountain bikes intentions as a cross-country platform that has been designed to be no more and no less than what is required on the mountain.
Element 29 RSL Rapid Prototype 3D printing
Rocky Mountain uses a rapid prototyping 3D printer that allows them to manufacture the life size plastic models of their product. The details that are possible with these 3D machines are impressive. Look at the faux chainstay guard in the above right photo that closely matches the profile of the stainless steel version found on the production bike. The plastic model also allows them to check tolerances and to be sure that things like cable anchor points, are all in the correct position. All important things to do before giving the go to build an expensive mold for the production carbon MTB frames.
2013 Element 999 RSL 29er Bikes
Assembled around their 4.38lbs, C13 Hi Mod Carbon monocoque frame, this is Rocky Mountain’s flagship Element 999 RSL. It has a build kit that states the bike’s podium intentions. These 29er mountain bikes sport a full SRAM XX kit, with matching XX World Cup brakes, and spec’d with 180mm rotors to slow down the 29er wheels. There is more carbon found on the RockShox XX World Cup 29in fork, having a one-piece carbon crown and steerer assembly making it one of the lightest 29in forks on the market. Rocky Mountain claims the weight of the 999 RSL is just 22.4lbs, and that is a figure that we would hope for given the bike’s $7,999 999 USD asking price.
2013 Element 29 970 RSL & Element 950 RSL
Element 29 950 RSL
2013 Element 29 970 RSL
The 970 is one step down from the high-end 999 RSL, but it still has the same frame. With Shimano and Race Face as the parts build, with a mostly XT drivetrain and used with some Race Face Turbine cranks. FOX has the suspension department with their new CTD suspension. MSRP $4,999 USD.
The 2012 Element’s are still available discounted from ($ 4089.00) to $3271.00 here>>View Now!
12 x 142mm Thru-Axle and Internal Dropper Post Cable Routing
The rear of the Element 29 RSL frame has a 12 x 142mm rear thru axle in an effort to minimize flex from the rear of the bike. Cable entry points after the head tube are designed for both the rear shock lock-out cable and the dropper post line to be routed internal. The lock-out cable exits from the underside of the down tube and near the forward shock mount, making for a clean setup that goes a long way to eliminate mud pockets.
ABC Pivots and Sag Meter
Rocky Mountain has been using their Angular Bushing Concept pivots for several seasons without trouble, proving that bushing-type pivots can be be very durable. This system uses angular contact polymer bushings that rotate on a tapered alloy piece, creating a bigger contact area than standard sealed bearings. Rocky Mountain says, the rear end is 105% stiffer than if the bike was equipped with cartridge bearings. The key to the system’s success is the tight tolerances in the design that allows the pivots to rotate smoothly when tightened to the correct torque. While the pivots improve chassis rigidity, their main objective is by saving about 120 grams when compared to cartridge bearings.
Having the right sag is key to utilizing the most out of any full suspension design, but that fact is especially important when dealing with a shorter travel mountain bike like the Element 29 RSL. Three simple red lines on the bike’s rocker link let the Element rider sit in the saddle and look down to see if their rear shock’s spring rate needs tuning.
BB-92 and Cable Exit Ports
On the bottom of the Element 29 RSL frame you’ll find a BB-92 bottom bracket shell that sees the bottom bracket bearings slid directly in. This setup, also used by other manufacturers, allows standard integrated spindle cranks to be used without fuss.
>Being a mechanic you will greatly appreciate the removable cable entry port insert, it is almost hidden from view. This insert can be taken out to make for easy cable changes that don’t require huge patience as you try and feed the cable through a small hole, making easy work of a tough job on some mountain bikes these days.