The Element 70 MSL isThe culmination of over a decade of cross-country evolution. Featuring a full carbon frame, 120mm ofTravel and innovative suspension bushing designs,The Element 70 isThe next generation of cross-country super bike. Light onThe climb, and confident onThe decent,The Element 70 combines all mountain capabilities and marathon efficiency in orderTo create a versatile, high performance mountain machine. Rocky Mountain's patent pending Angular Bushing Concept™ (ABC) pivots re
Strengths: solid and competent. drivetrain, shocks, frame, brakes
for 19 years i rode a bridgestone mb0. i bought it my junior year in HS. Handbuilt steel frame, solid suntour components. what more could i need? well, an upgrade to shimano trigger shifters and v brakes in 1997. that held me over until last month.
in that month that i have been riding the element msl 70, i have fallen in love with riding all over again. i have also had to learn how to ride all over again..
this bike, now that i am starting to figure it out, is amazing. i bought it used for us$1800 and it is more bike than i ever thought i would own.
the drivetrain is super smooth and solid, the brakes strong as funk. while i have nothing to compare it to, the suspension is incredible. climbing took a bit getting used to, but now i can easily get up switchbacks and steps that i would never even have considered trying with my old bridgestone. dialed in and headed downhill, it allows the most insane lines and forgives some of the mightiest fail.
that being said, this bike has 120mm, so it's no insane freeride machine, but it does take reasonable drops and rocks with ease. for xc or just plain hauling ass through the woods for fun, this bike is where it's at.
while i was a bit hesitant to go to carbon, this frame is burly. when i was cleaning out the headset, the head and top tubes felt surprisingly thick and smooth. after installing some clear protective film, i feel unworried.
well, at least for the safety of my bike. the increase in speed this bike engenders makes me think full face a bit more frequently lately...
my only complaint is the pathetic clearcoat that is just peeling off. no es bueno. at some point i'll have to take it apart and paint it. but really, the bike rides so amazingly well, i couldn't give less intercourses.
Similar Products Used: bridgestone mb0, giant trance x2
Bike Setup: stock 2011
a Cross Country Rider
from Reston, VA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 16, 2012
Strengths: Light, stiff, fast, efficient, strong like bull
Weaknesses: No more excuses
The 2012 Rocky Mountain Element 70 MSL is fast, very fast. The bike is light, yet it holds a line like a tank – not much rattles it. With regards to parts selection, everybody has their preferences so buying a complete bike entails some level of compromise. With that said, however, the parts spec is solid. The new Shimano XT drivetrain and brakes work flawlessly and the Fox 15mm through axle fork effectively compliments the Fox RP23 shock.
As intended, this bike is very stiff, yet responsive. It climbs and descends admirably and pedals on the flats with inspiring efficiency. At 120mm of travel it is a classic quality vs. quantity scenario. Roots, rocks, jumps, drops – indulge with confidence my friend.
The bike looks killer too. Matte black is dead-sexy and the details are spot on – internal cable routing; built-in anti-chain-suck and anti-chain-drop devices; idiot-proof sag indicator; unsupported seat mast; all equate to a smooth, utilitarian affair.
The Element MSL truly is a special ride. If you are in the market for a do-it-all trail bike, take note. It’s no Cadillac, or free ride beast, but an efficient, balanced, elegant machine. With a little finesse and fitness, this bike will take you where you want to go….faster.