Rocky Mountian Element Carbon 90 Review
- Price: $9699
- Frame: Carbon
- Tires: Maxxis Rekon WT 3C MaxxTerra EXO Tubeless Ready 2.4
- Gear: 1×12
What We Like About It: Geometry and suspension rates are adjustable via a RIDE-4 flip chip on the rear shock mount, so the rider can adjust it themselves to suit their situation.
What we don’t like about it: the expensive price tag may deter some riders.
Compared to riding on grass or sand, riding in the woods feels more serene and many people enjoy that sensation. So, I got my hands on the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90. It’s an outstanding full-suspension trail bike, and I was excited to see how it performs.
Now, let’s dive into the riding experience, main features, components, specifications, and other versions of the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90. Towards the end of this article, we will also compare it with several other top bike models. For more bike reviews, feel free to follow us.
To test this full-suspension trail bike to its fullest, I booked a flight and hotel at Bikepark Bad Wildbad.
I chose the Enduro Trail / DH 2 route at Bikepark Bad Wildbad. It’s 4961ft long, mostly downhill, with a vertical drop of 779ft, featuring some gentle uphills and steeper downhills. The trail is narrow, surrounded by trees, and scattered with protruding rocks, branches of varying thickness, and loose gravel, all of which can challenge my ride.
In the tranquility of the forest, my journey began. I adjusted the Shimano XTR rear Derailleur to find the right gear ratio for different slopes. My legs provided a consistent and powerful drive, and I took off.
During downhill sections, I held onto the Race Face Next handlebar with the help of ODI Elite Pro Lock-On grips, ensuring a secure grip and absorbing the vibrations from bumps and rocks. The bike is equipped with Maxxis Rekon WT 3C MaxxTerra EXO Tubeless Ready 2.4 tires, which are lightweight and allowed me to glide over the gravel and branches effortlessly, making the ride a breeze.
When I faced an uphill, I adjusted the Shimano XTR rear Derailleur to its smallest gear, using the momentum from the downhill to charge up the slope and take a leap in the air. While airborne, I adjusted my posture, preparing for the impact upon landing. With its 120mm rear travel and 130mm front travel, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 provided excellent suspension, and I didn’t feel much bumpiness. Instead, the excitement of soaring through the air filled me with joy.
In the turns, the trail’s angles were quite sharp. I skillfully maneuvered the Race Face Next handlebar, making agile turns. With my extensive experience, I accelerated at the best entry point for each corner. The Maxxis Rekon WT 3C MaxxTerra EXO Tubeless Ready 2.4 tires delivered strong friction, allowing me to handle each turn with ease. The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 gave me the confidence to take on every corner with finesse.
Is that all?
The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 is equipped with the WTB Silverado Carbon 142 saddle. Despite its slim design, it offers incredible comfort even during high-speed rides. Notably, its flat shape allows me to tilt my pelvis to different degrees in various riding positions, providing both speed and comfort.
Additionally, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 comes with ODI Elite Pro Lock-On grips. Designed ergonomically, they feel neither bulky nor too smooth, providing just the right amount of friction. I can smoothly control the handlebar and, consequently, the entire bike—truly fantastic.
The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 is an exceptional full-suspension trail bike. It features a SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon frame and a Fox 34 Float Factory fork. Moreover, it comes in two wheel sizes, 27.5″ and 29″, providing riders with more options.
Additionally, it is equipped with a Shimano XTR Rear Derailleur, offering a smooth 1×12 drivetrain for convenient speed changes to adapt to various terrains. It also comes with Maxxis Rekon WT 3C MaxxTerra EXO Tubeless Ready 2.4 tires, known for their impressive traction and grip. Made with 3C MaxxTerra compound and offering EXO puncture protection, these tires effectively prevent flats and potential hazards.
After numerous tests, we have gained a deeper understanding of this bike, which is an outstanding hardtail mountain bike.
However, as riders have varying performance and component preferences, we conducted further investigations with bikes of similar type.
Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 10
Both bikes have the same geometry, but the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 has a carbon frame and carbon wheels. Compared to the aluminum frame and wheels of the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 10, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 is lighter, providing faster riding. However, the aluminum frame and wheels offer greater durability.
Moreover, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 features a 1×12 drivetrain with a wider gear range and smoother shifting, catering to a broader range of rider needs. The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 10 is $7000 cheaper than the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90, making it an excellent choice for beginners. On the other hand, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 is more suitable for experienced riders with higher demands.
What do we like about it?
- The geometry and suspension rates can be adjusted using the RIDE-4 chip on the rear shock, allowing riders to customize it to their liking.
- Internal cable routing makes the bike look sleek.
- The SMOOTHLINK four-bar Horst-Link rear suspension design provides excellent suspension performance.
- Impressive capabilities for both uphill and downhill rides.
What don’t we like about it?
- The expensive price tag might deter some riders.
- Is this bike suitable for beginners?
Both beginners and experienced riders can enjoy this bike.
- What’s the braking system of this bike?
It has a Shimano XTR 2 Piston braking system.
- What wheel sizes does this bike come in?
It comes in 29 inches and 27.5 inches wheel sizes.
- How do I choose the right size?
The size chart is below:
These sizes are general guidelines, and the right size may vary for each individual. The best way to find the perfect fit is to try it out.
|4’8″ – 5’3″
|5’1″ – 5’7″
|5’5″ – 5’10”
|5’8″ – 6’3″
|6’1″ – 6’6″
Rocky Mountian Element Carbon 90 Specs
|SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon | Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings | Press Fit BB | Internal Cable Routing | RIDE-4™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate | 120mm Travel . SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon Rear Triangle
BB Standard: BB86/BB92, Press Fit
Color: Green / Blue
|Fox 34 Float Factory 130mm | 44mm Offset
|Fox Float DPS Factory | Sealed Bearing Eyelet | 20x8mm F Hardware | All Sizes = 190x45mm | Size-Specific tune in FAQ
|Race Face BB92 30mm
|FSA Orbit NO.57E | Sealed Stainless 36°x45° Bearings | 30.2mm x 41mm x 7.1mm Upper | 40mm x 51.8mm x 7.5mm Lower | 1.5″ Crown Race
|Rocky Mountain 35 CNC | 0° Rise | All Sizes = 50m
|Race Face Next | XS = 760mm | SM – XL = 780mm Width | 20mm Rise | 8° Backsweep | 4° Upsweep | 35mm Clamp
|WTB Silverado Carbon 142 | Carbon Rails
|Fox Transfer Factory Series 30.9mm | XS – SM = 125mm | MD = 150mm | LG = 175mm | XL = 200mm
|ODI Elite Pro Lock On
|Race Face Next SL G5 Cinch | 32T | 30mm Spindle | Crankarm Length: All Sizes = 170mm
|Shimano XTR 12s 10-51T
|Shimano XTR 12s
|Shimano XTR 2 Piston | Metal Pads | F:Shimano RT86 180mm | R:Shimano RT86 180mm
|Rocky Mountain 26XC Carbon | Tubeless Ready – Tape / Valves Incl
|DT Swiss Revolution 2.0/1.5/2.0
|Rocky Mountain Sealed Boost 15mm
|DT Swiss 350 Boost 148mm | 36T Star-Ratchet
|F: Maxxis Rekon WT 3C MaxxTerra EXO Tubeless Ready 2.4 // R: Maxxis Rekon WT 3C MaxxTerra EXO Tubeless Ready 2.4
|Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR
|Bontrager XR4 Team Issue
|1 x 12
|Shimano XTR, e*thirteen TRS Race
|Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS
|Schwalbe Wicked Will 29×2.4″
|SRAM X01 Eagle AXS, GX Eagle AXS
|Yeti SB130 TLR T2
|MAXXIS ASSEGAI 2.5 EXO+
|1 x 12
|SRAM X01 Eagle,X1
|Santa Cruz 5010 GX AXS RSV / Carbon C
|Maxxis Minion DHR II 29 “x2.4”
|SRAM GX Eagle AXS
Rocky Mountian Element Carbon 90 vs Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR
The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 comes in two wheel sizes, 27.5″ and 29″, offering riders more options. The 27.5″ wheel size provides excellent agility, while the 29″ wheel size offers better traction. The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 provides riders with a variety of wheel sizes.
Moreover, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 can reach a speed of 28mph, whereas the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR can only go up to 26mph. However, the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR has a more aggressive geometry.
So, if you seek a more aggressive riding experience, the Trek Top Fuel 9.9 XTR is a great fit for you. If you desire more size options for the wheel, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 will better suit your needs.
Rocky Mountian Element Carbon 90 vs Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS
The Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS is equipped with a 1×12 Electronic drivetrain, providing highly precise and consistent shifting, reducing the chances of shifting errors due to cable stretch, deformation, or friction.
Additionally, its maintenance is simpler and requires less effort compared to the traditional 1×12 drivetrain of the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90. However, it comes with a higher cost, needs regular charging, and may not be as durable.
Furthermore, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 offers two size options for the wheel, providing riders with more choices.
So, if you prefer an electronic drivetrain, the Scott Spark 900 Tuned AXS will better suit your needs. The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 would be your better choice otherwise.
Rocky Mountian Element Carbon 90 vs Yeti SB130 TLR T2
The Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 is equipped with carbon wheels, which are lighter compared to the aluminum wheels of the Yeti SB130 TLR T2. However, carbon wheels are more susceptible to breakage from side impacts, while aluminum wheels are sturdier. Nevertheless, the carbon wheels come in two size options, providing riders with more choices.
Additionally, the Yeti SB130 TLR T2 has 160mm front travel and 137mm rear travel, offering a more powerful suspension effect.
In summary, if you prioritize a stronger suspension performance, I would recommend the Yeti SB130 TLR T2. If you prefer a lighter bike with more size options, the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 would be your best choice.
Rocky Mountian Element Carbon 90 vs Santa Cruz 5010 GX AXS RSV / Carbon C
The Santa Cruz 5010 GX AXS RSV / Carbon C is equipped with a 1×12 Electronic drivetrain, which is very user-friendly and automatically adjusts gear ratios based on riding intensity and speed. However, it comes at a higher cost and has higher maintenance complexity.
Additionally, the Santa Cruz 5010 GX AXS RSV / Carbon C has 140mm front travel and 130mm rear travel, providing a stronger suspension effect. Moreover, its stack/reach ratio is 1.36, offering a more comfortable riding experience. The smaller 65.2° head tube angle also contributes to a more stable ride.
So, if you prefer an electronic drivetrain, the Santa Cruz 5010 GX AXS RSV / Carbon C is well-suited for you. On the other hand, if you frequently ride in challenging terrains where the drivetrain may be prone to damage, then the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90 would be a better choice for you.
Above is our review of the Rocky Mountain Element Carbon 90. This exceptional full-suspension trail bike performs remarkably well on the trails. Considering all aspects, we rate it 4.9 out of 5. If you want to explore more about bikes, feel free to check out our other reviews.
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