Rocky join the big wheeling fun

New longer travel 29er enduro race machine: the 2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition. An almighty all-mountain plow.

It’s 27.5+ capable too.

Sure, Rocky Mountain have also announced the new 140mm travel Pipelines 27.5+ and non-BC versions of the Instinct but come on, the star of the show here is surely the new Instinct BC. So we’re focussing on that here…

rocky mountain instinct bc

Rocky Mountain Instinct BC need to know

  • BC version ie. an ‘Evo‘ style extra-GRRR version
  • Carbon only
  • 155mm rear travel via new link and longer stroke shock
  • 160mm Fox 36 suspension fork up front
  • Slacker, longer, lower
  • Shorter chain stays
  • Wider handlebars
  • Bigger tyres
  • Stiffer wheels
  • 29 inch wheels (can also be run 27.5+ with a different lower headset cup, supplied)
rocky mountain instinct bc

The Ride-9 system now in the linkage

Rocky Mountain have also moved the location of their geometry-adjusting Ride-9 system; it’s now all done in the linkage as opposed to the front shock mount on the frame. (Does anyone NOT just run their Rocky in the lowest/slackest setting and leave it there?)

Seat tube lengths have dropped, enabling the new wave of longer drop dropper posts to fit in no problem. Obviously this also increases standover generally.

Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition geometry table

rocky mountain instinct bc

Stiffer you say? Yep. New one piece seat stay, a new laterally stiffer (+47.7%) layup and something Rocky Mountain call a “new envelope” make for a “significantly stiffer” frame.

The rear shocks have been specially tuned depending on the frame size. So small frames get lighter tunes and larger frames get heavier tunes. It makes sense. Well, unless you’re a super-stocky short person or a beanpole six-footer.

As with everything MY18 that’s gone so already, the new Instinct BC Edition is now Boost axle and Metric shock-ed. You can also fit a water bottle in the front triangle at the same time as a piggyback reservoir-ed rear shock.

rocky mountain instinct bc

Spirit Guide chain device

There’s also a neat ‘Spirit Guide’ chain stay-mounted chain guide (à la the Rocky Mountain Slayer) for those who still drop chains with narrow-wide drivetrain, or those suspension-geeks who run de-clutched rear mechs.

There are bearings at all pivots, including in the lower shock mount. No more bushings in the frame anywhere.

As for future-proofing and tech-embracing, the Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition is Shimano Di2 friendly. Ditto stealth dropper posts. Ditto Fox’s Live Valve stuff. You can run them all at once without any cable routing issues apparently.

As for the suspension characteristics, all the new Instincts and Pipelines are designed to run with more sag and offer up more progression and increased pedalling anti-squat. Which *should* improve pedal response whilst retaining suppleness for bumps.

rocky mountain instinct bc

Two lower headset cups supplied to swap between 29 and 27.5+

And yes, the new Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition can be run with either 29in or 27.5+ tyres. It’ll come complete as a 29er but will also have an optional lower headset cup supplied for running 27.5+ hoops.

Max tyre size is 29 x 2.6in or 27.5 x 2.8in (or 3.0in with shallow knobblies).

rocky mountain instinct bc

If you don’t like orange

The jury’s still out on how many folk actually swap between wheel sizes on these new 2-for-1 bikes but choice is good and Rocky Mountain’s two-headset-cups method is arguably the best solution we’ve seen so far.

The new Rocky Mountains are expected to be available in September.