Meet Rocky Mountain's new Instincts

Longer, stiffer and updated throughout

Rocky Mountain's Instinct bikes have always been the British Columbia company's go-to trail bikes, ready for almost any ride and any trail up or down. The latest version is claimed to marry more travel (140mm) with improved stiffness, pedaling response and better small bump sensitivity.

The new bikes come with 29in wheels but are capable of rolling 27.5+ wheels and tires as well. A whole range is offered with four carbon models including a longer travel BC version and two alloy versions.

The ride is said to be improved with higher anti-squat numbers for more efficiency. Additionally, Rocky Mountain claims to have added support and increased the overall progression. 

Regarding the updated suspension kinematics, Rocky Mountain pro rider Thomas Vanderham said: "I was blown away by how effortless the bike carries speed..."

As has become the norm, the reach is longer, the bottom bracket lower, and the head tube slacker. For better longevity and smooth suspension action, bearings can be found at all pivots, as well as the lower shock mount. 

Rocky Mountain Instinct features

  • 29-inch wide trail and 27.5-inch plus tire capable
  • Travel: 140/140mm; BC Edition: 160mm front/155mm rear 
  • Includes FSA Extend-O-matic lower headset cup for 27.5+ geometry
  • 2-bolt ISCG05 tabs
  • Compatible with Shimano Di2 and Fox Live Wire
  • Single-ring only
  • Room for full-size water bottle in the main triangle
  • Small – X-Large sizing
  • Frame and shock weight (medium): 2,310 grams / 5.09lbs; BC Edition: 2,550 grams / 5.62lbs

Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition

The Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition in Tank Girl/Fox Racing Orange/Back in Black
The Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition in Tank Girl/Fox Racing Orange/Back in Black

The top-of-the-line Instinct is the Carbon 90 BC Edition with a full carbon SmoothWall frame. Like all BC Edition bikes Rocky Mountain makes, this one comes with wider rims and tires, a wider bar and shorter stem and more suspension travel, in this case 155mm out back and 160mm up front. 

A Fox 36 Float Evol leads the way, a Fox DPX2 Float shock is in the middle, and SRAM's GX Eagle spins 12 gears. SRAM Code R discs haul down Stan's Flow MK3 rims surrounded by Maxxis DHF and DHRII tires. 

Instinct Carbon 70

The Instinct Carbon 70 has a Fox 34 fork, Stan's Arch wheels and a SRAM GX Eagle transmission
The Instinct Carbon 70 has a Fox 34 fork, Stan's Arch wheels and a SRAM GX Eagle transmission

The 70 shares the same carbon frame but trims the travel down to 140mm but gains Rocky Mountain's Ride-9 system. Ride-9 provides both geometry and suspension ratio adjustments.

As for specs, Fox is on board with a 34 Float 140mm fork, Float DPS Evol shock, and Transfer dropper post. SRAM's Guide R discs and GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain are there for the stop and go. The wheels are Stan's Arch wrapped with Maxxis DHRII and Forekaster with EXO casings.  

Instinct Carbon 50

The Instinct Carbon 50 bumps down in spec with an alloy rear end as opposed to carbon on the two higher level builds
The Instinct Carbon 50 bumps down in spec with an alloy rear end as opposed to carbon on the two higher level builds

The 50 uses the same main frame crafted from SmoothWall carbon as the pricier models, but differs with a Form alloy rear end. Travel is 140mm front and rear and all the Ride-9 adjustability is present.

The parts include a Fox 34 Float 140mm fork, Float DPS Evol shock, and Race Face dropper post. SRAM's Level TL discs and GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain are there for the stop and go. The wheels are Sun Duroc 30s wrapped with Maxxis DHRII and Forekaster with EXO casings.  

Instinct Carbon 30

RockShox suspension front and rear is on board the base-model carbon Instinct
RockShox suspension front and rear is on board the base-model carbon Instinct

30 marks the start of the carbon-framed Instincts. It shares the same frame as the 50 with a carbon/alloy mullet package, 140mm of squish, and Ride-9 adjustability.

Even as a base model, the parts appear singletrack ready with a RockShox Reba RL fork and Deluxe Debonair RT shock, SRAM Level discs, SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain, Sun Helix 27 rims, and Maxxis DHRII and Forekaster tires with EXO casings.  

Instinct Alloy 70

The Instinct Alloy 70 carries the kooky color name of Smoke on the Water/Flaming Lips/Billy Ocean/
The Instinct Alloy 70 carries the kooky color name of Smoke on the Water/Flaming Lips/Billy Ocean/

Rocky Mountain's Instinct Alloy 70 is made from the brand's Form aluminum tubing and features the same 140mm travel, Ride-9 system, and internal cable routing.

The parts include a Fox 34 Float 140mm fork, Float DPS Evol shock, and Transfer dropper post. SRAM's Guide R discs and GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain deliver the control and gear ratios. The wheels are Sun Duroc 30 rims wrapped with Maxxis DHRII and Forekaster tires with EXO casings.  

Instinct Alloy 50

Rocky Mountain's new Instinct platform starts the Alloy 50
Rocky Mountain's new Instinct platform starts the Alloy 50

The starting point for the new Instincts is the Alloy 50. The frame is Form alloy front and rear and sports the same tech as the 70 version.

The components don't come off as entry level with Fox suspension, a Race Face dropper post, SRAM Level T discs and GX 11-speed drivetrain, and Sun Duroc 30 rims wrapped with Maxxis DHRII and Forekaster tires with EXO casings. 

Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition frameset

The BC Edition includes Fox's Float DPX2 Evol Factory shock for 155mm of travel
The BC Edition includes Fox's Float DPX2 Evol Factory shock for 155mm of travel

For those that want to build their own bikes, the longer-travel BC version is available as a frame with Fox Float DPX2 Factory rear shock.

Rocky Mountain Instinct pricing and availability

Rocky Mountain states it'll have limited models and sizes available as soon as August 24th. The full range is projected to land at Rocky Mountain dealers in mid to late October. 
  • Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition: $5,899 USD, $7,499 CAD
  • Instinct Carbon 90 BC Edition Frameset: $2,799 USD, $3,699 CAD
  • Instinct Carbon 70: $5,299 USD, $6,699 CAD
  • Instinct Carbon 50: $4,299 USD, $5,449 CAD
  • Instinct Carbon 30: $3,649 USD, $4,649 CAD
  • Instinct Alloy 70: $4,199 USD, $5,399 CAD
  • Instinct Alloy 50: $3,199 USD, $3,999 CAD

UK and Australian pricing was not available. 

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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