Source: Rocky Mountain Bicycles
When we first launched Element to the world in 1996 it showed people that lightweight, efficient suspension was possible. It showed that full suspension had a place in cross-country racing. It would go on to be the most enduring suspension platform of all-time, winning races all over the globe and simply make riding more fun for anyone that rode one. When we set about to re-design Element for 2011, we knew we had to do justice to the Element name and break molds once again.
Racing has evolved considerably over the years. While some racers want pure World Cup performance, some want a bike that can tackle gnarly all-day epic racing. While Element RSL (98mm) and Element MSL (120mm) share DNA , their geometry and spec reflect their intended use: RSL has more aggressive race oriented geometry and MSL has slightly relaxed angles for those all-day epic adventures.
We took our proven geometry and tweaked it to reflect the modern World Cup racer’s standards, giving it a longer top tube and a slightly relaxed head tube angle. Extensive testing with World Cup winners Geoff Kabush and Marie-Hélène Prémont helped us achieve the perfect balance while still maintaining Rocky Mountain’s legendary ride quality.
The real story behind Element RSL and MSL is the technologies we’ve employed. Our industry leading carbon manufacturing process has allowed us to make a frame that is 99% carbon for ultimate stiffness and weight savings. For these new platforms we are using an all-new frame building technique: a Smooth Wall monocoque frame. By using a high-density polyurethane inner core (rather than inflatable bladders), we can achieve a glasslike, perfectly uniform inner wall. No extra resin, no extra fibers, no extra weight. How much weight did we save? We carved 678 grams off its predecessor for a total frame weight of 1,960 grams (4.3 lbs) including shock, while increasing stiffness by 13%.
Our patent pending ABCTM (Angular Bushing ConceptTM) pivots are more durable, 80% lighter, and 105% stiffer than sealed cartridge bearings. Element also features our patented and proven SmoothLinkTM suspension system, which sets the standard for pedaling efficiency. No detail was spared with Element and it’s evident with features like titanium hardware, two anti-chainsuck plates, a built in anti-chaindrop plate and an integrated seat collar sleeve. Shimano’s BB-92 press fit bottom bracket and E-Type front derailleur systems allow us to optimize the outer shape of the frame by freeing us from typical design constraints.
Element RSL and MSL. Coming to a race course near you.