Rocky Mountain Element Bike 1998 or Older

4.92/5 (65 Reviews)
MSRP : $3999.00


Product Description

Rocky Mountain Element


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Reviews 1 - 15 (65 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jas a Cross Country Rider from Scottsdale, AZ, USA

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2005

Strengths:    I have had this bike since 1998 and I have had no desire at all to replace it. This bike just feels right and thats the only way I can explain it, it just works. It X-Countrys like a rigid bike.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
You'll have to pry this bike from my cold dead hands.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Similar Products Used:   Proflex 857

Bike Setup:   XTR, Raceface, Chris King, Mavic

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Tom a Cross Country Rider from SF Bay Area

Date Reviewed: October 8, 2005

Strengths:    Here I am, 8 yrs later, still using the bike to push my limits and have my fun. By now only two thins are still orginal stock: the front triangle, and the rear LX V-brake. Fork, wheels, suspension shock, drivetrain have all been evolved once or more than once. Still the basic personality of the bike remains.

Climbing: lightweight, No bobbing if you're seated and have even cadence. Weaves through singletrack crisply.


Weaknesses:    My biggest beef if rear suspension lockout with hard braking.

Bottom Line:   
Tough, tough, tough! Awesome light (depending on component specs) sled for XC and light All-Mountain rides. Newer suspension on some bikes performs better on downhill braking and in the pedal bob department, but those are only minor changes when you put them into perspective on the whole ride. I've been able to hang with or surpass riders on much newer, techier bikes; so the new technology probably only adds 5-10% to your overall riding experience. If you can get a good deal on a Rocky, GO FOR IT. Then just get out and RIDE, and don't look back. This is one excellent rig.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rollye Whiskerson

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Purchased At:   1800

Bike Setup:   1997 Element Race (black/yellow), NUKE PROOF ATOM BOMB hubs (no trouble at all), ceramic mavic rims,Manitou Black Elite 80-100, Cane Creek AD-10 rear shock, AVID 50 rim brake, new rear triangle from Rocky (bushings wore out), SRAM twisters, XT deraiileurs, 8-speed.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Wayne H a Cross Country Rider from Portland, Oregon, USA

Date Reviewed: July 31, 2003

Strengths:    the whole bike

Weaknesses:    My only wish is that ALL the pivots were sealed cartridge bearings.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this bike brand new in 1996. My biggest delima this year (2003) was weither to buy a new frame or upgrade my front shock. I upgraded the shock. The bike still rides strong. the smoothest bike ever made. My only gripe is that they didnt put rear disk mounts on the frame, and the pivots are all bushings. (but hey... that was 1996) I have replaced all the bushings only once, the bottom bracket bushing twice, and purchased another set for the future. All bushings will eventually wear out, but I relube all of then every 3 (winter) to 6 (summer) months and the frame is still tight like new. The bike handles big jumps and drop offs well, and the toughest DH trails, although I prob wouldnt take it to the North Shore. I'm just saying it holds up to alot of abuse for an XC bike. I dont go easy on it just because it is a true XC bike. The bike climbs so well, I never use the rear lockout. I could go on for hours how great this bike is. If I had to buy a new bike today, i would get the same bike, I just cant wear this one out to justify the new purchase. if you get a chance to buy a used Rocky element do not pass it up, just be shure to order a complete bushing kit for it. If you specifically ride XC and want a fast, light, strong, quick handling, responsive, indestructable bike, this one is for you.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tarbelle

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   fat tire farm

Similar Products Used:   nothing else compares, dont waste your time

Bike Setup:   Been upgrading the bike over the years....
4 inch travel 2003 Marzocchi MX pro, Race face turbine LP cranks, 2002 fox float rl rear shock, Avid speed dial levers W/ XTR vee brakes, Cris King front hub, w/ Mavic x517 front wheel. Real bottom bracket, white industrys rear hub w/ mavic D521 rim (I'm a little rough on rims) WTB velociraptor tires, FSA orbit xl2 headset, XT der front and rear w/ gripshift plasma shifters.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steve Hood a Cross Country Rider from Goiose Creek, SC, USA

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2003

Strengths:    Overall suspension design has held up over time, very light, unique on the trail, durable.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
I own a 1998 model Element T.O. I purchased this bike quite some time ago when full-suspension bikes were a bit more rare than they are today. During this time I have done quite a bit of riding (3-4 times weekly and weekend trips), and have to say the Rocky has served me well. While it is true that full-suspension bikes have come down in price, I don-t see that any revelations have happened in design. For the money the lightness of the Rocky frames coupled with the durability makes them a real bargain. Early on I had an issue with the bolts backing out where the chainstays attach behind the bottom bracket. Every interaction I've had with contacting Rocky Mountain for support has been timely and a positive experience. I'm sure this would make a great race bike, but admittedly my riding has been recreational. The suspension adjustments make a huge difference in ride characteristics, especially in the mountains. When you first get the bike it pays to tinker quite a bit in the beginning with the settings. Having taken quite some time to finally post a review, I have to say the bike is everything and more than I expected.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tsali

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   various

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Z2 Bomber, Race Face cranks, seatpost, stem, bars, Chris King headset, SRAM, XTR, Mavic, Mythos, Serfas ARC.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Muddy Mudguts a Weekend Warrior from Toronto, ON

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2003

Weaknesses:    damn ugly colour. that blue on the rear triangle has to go.

Bottom Line:   
Not a bad ride, handles like a charm. you'd never know that it was a f/s. no bob at all.. no bounce. just glides over small bumps, logs etc. etc. I'm not too keen on the colour but it can always be painted I guess.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any!!

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   used off some guy who lived in his van

Bike Setup:   http://www.CanadianCycle.com/rocky/

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jonathan stackhouse a Downhiller from mission,BC,Canada

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2001

Strengths:    the rear suspension is definatly the strength of this bike
I have been off 6.5-7 footers and the rear is just fine it feels like it has a good 1-2 more inches in the back then it actualy does


Weaknesses:    the only weakness that could pose a problem is that the head tube welds could be a bit weak for the more nutty riders but it hasnt been a problem for me yet so i would have to say that the bike hase no weakness

Bottom Line:   
this bike is good for anyone if you like the xc riding keep
it stock and go nuts or put some longer travel forks on some
fat rims and tires and some dh bars and go race downhill with you friends on their rm9's either way you go this is a great bike and rides super smoooth and thats the bottom line.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   bear mt down hill

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   from my brother

Similar Products Used:   trek y 3, giant warp,gti drive

Bike Setup:   club roost dh bars,short high stem,marzocchi z1 drop off,alexrims dx32 downhill,avid mechanical disc brake,avid 20's in the back,surface downhill tire,irc cujo,thats it

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bert van den Hil a Cross Country Rider from Sliedrecht, The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: March 20, 2000

Strengths:    See my description right under this one

Weaknesses:    The way of cable guiding to the rear derailleur, the chance for gost-shifting is to big.

Bottom Line:   
With all these new components the bike is a lot faster then it used to be.
It weighs less then 24 lbs! Maybe you don't think that's very special, allright. But this weight is realized with a coil over shock rear suspension and an suspension fork which also work with a coil. When I use a sid I will have less performance. But it cost me now 1.4 lbs. unfortunately but performance is more important then weight.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Courchevel, French

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Bike Setup:   This is the reason for my second description on this page, I have replaced all the components except the frame and the headset, it was a kind of freerider. But the way I set it up this time it's more like a crosscountry racer.
Here it comes ; a syncros headset, a carbonfibre raceface flatbar, a pace stem, a pace rc 36 evoII suspensionfork, x-lite alto proseries bar-ends, tune hubs with sapim CX-Ray spokes and mavic X-517 rims, tune titanium bottombracket, tune crankset>big foot design, giro fizik flowers sattle, speedplay pedals>the frog, maxxis minotaur 380 tires with flyweight tubes, tune AC 16/17 QR, tune seatpost.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Bert a Cross-Country Rider from The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: October 17, 1999

Strengths:    
Where do I have to start? This bike is just a dream! Everything is alright, its plushy its efficient despite the coil-over-schock its still very light and just beautiful! The fully active design give you advantages in the downhill and a more consistent ride. Even the bearings are an advantage in my opinion, just because there are much lighter than other kind of bearings on similar bikes. Yes, I know, you can´t guarantee them for a lifetime but when you take care of them so now and then and clean them regularly they will not let you down.
The bike is very good on bumpy tracks and even excellent on climbs.


Weaknesses:    
I´m still looking for them....


Bottom Line:   
A highly recommendable bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
Courchevel,French

Duration Product Used:   
3 months

Similar Products Used:   
Cannondale SuperV, Trek VRX, Cycle Craft CSX05.


Bike Setup:   
Its an ´98 model that I have bought as frame and build it up with a Syncros headset a Roox stem Syncros handlebar(the downhill version) a RS Judy XL(Yes I know its forbidden by the manufacturer) a Roox seatpost a Flite gel sattel, Magura Bartman brakes, XTR transmission, Rond wheels( cultproducts from Holland, you should look for them when you are on holiday in Europe some time), IRC mythos tire´s, and 747 pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by L. Myers a Cross-Country Rider from Sacramento, CA

Date Reviewed: July 7, 1999

Strengths:    
Great all around XC bike


Weaknesses:    
No replaceable derrailleur hanger


Bottom Line:   
Just a great all around bike. It climbs great, never having a problem on a climb. It descends quickly and fits my riding style all-around. I weigh about 180lbs and am 5'10 with a 32 inseam. I ride an 18 bike and the geometry fits me great. The only thing I would change is to have a longer travel fork only because it's soo fun to descend on. That said, the A-Bomb is still a great fork and complements the bike well.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   
1 Year

Similar Products Used:   
Performance M-205, Cannondael SuperV 1000


Bike Setup:   
98 Element Race frome with Marzocci Atom Bomb fork & Fox Alps 5 rear shock. Race Face, XTR, & Chris King components

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Mojo a Cross-Country Rider from Victoria, BC

Date Reviewed: May 16, 1999

Strengths:    
Very cool design, with almost zero body-flex.
True F/S with the linkage and not a URT.
Impeccable welding throughout.
Excellent geometry.


Weaknesses:    
'97 Element Race: poor forks (RShx XC long), LX V's were a bit weak.


Bottom Line:   
The bike costed around CAN$2G, and was the best feeling bike out of many that I tried. I didn't care about price too much, I wanted that perfect groove and it has it. It's arrow straight, doesn't get nervous when wailing down the big stuff, and has been faithful even under severe jumping and drops with a rider of 210lbs! I can't say enough about how pleased I am... The frame is immaculate, upgrade as necessary. And a note for pending buyers, some of the welders for RM also do work for Boeing (Ti/Al welding); I think that speaks for itself :) Buy it...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   
BC - Anywhere!!

Duration Product Used:   
2 Years

Similar Products Used:   
C'Dale F/S, Kona F/S, Brodie F/S, Trek F/S.


Bike Setup:   
Upgrades: Manitou X-Vert, full XT drive/brakes, Rhyno-Lite with Ritchey/XT hubs, Panaracer FireXC-Pro rubber, riser bar, better saddle.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Scott Ross a weekend warrior from Vancouver

Date Reviewed: February 12, 1999

Bottom Line:   


I purchased a DHRace version of the Element in November for some $2000 Cdn brand spankin' new! I wasn't aware of how good a deal it was, but suffice it to say, it seems in retrospect that I saved enough to buy a set of disk brakes for the front and rear.This is my first full suspension bike. I bought it specifically for bombing the Vancouver North Shore Trails, but perhaps for long recreational cruises and some novice DH Kamikaze racing. That said, this bike has fit my needs perfectly. I am 6'4, so I appreciate the tougher Easton DH-specific tubing, plus the huge head tube gusset (for dual crown forks, I presume?). The rear end reportedly has 6 of travel and the bike came stock with a Z1 and a 2.25x660 spring/Vanilla R shock - plush plush plush - like a sofa! Rocky also spec'd it with nearly 1 longer chain stays, and you can really appreciate that on when sliding the corners during high-speed descents.It is a little disappointing that Rocky neglected to weld a rear disk brake caliper mount, but I'm having one machined, so it's not a big problem. (BTW, Rocky sells disk brake-mount equipped replacement stays and they retail for about $275 Cdn.) Another OEM problem is the Kalloy(Ritchey) seat post - entirely inadequate for tall riders as I bent mine a month ago.After I bought the bike, I worried that the DH geometry and suspension would interfere with my riding style, as I am used to XC riding/racing. I thought I had made a mistake and should have tried harder to find a regular Element or other XC-oriented FS bike. Fortunately, after moving to Vancouver I soon discovered how outrageously technical the legendary 'Shore trails are and the bike has made things a LOT easier to handle. I use every inch of travel, front and rear on the huge drops (though I haven't mastered the 3'+ wheelie-drop technique, yet), and I absolutely LOVE how fast I can bomb some really rough shit. I sometimes find myself getting impatient with guys on hard tails and 3 travel bikes who have to be pickier about their line to stay in control.The plush fully active suspension does bob when you are out of the saddle, but there isn't as much loss of momentum as I feared at first. You can't XC race this bike, but it would be awesome in Kamikaze downhills! Hey, just look at all the pros who rode RMB ElementDHs to podium finishes last year on the World Cup and Canadian Championships!!(One side note, I sure wish Rocky could figure out how Klein - I've got one of those, too - gets such a good paint job on their Aluminum - RMBs powder-coating looks great, but scratches pretty easily. Not that it scratches any easier than all the other makes, just that Klein has THE BEST paint and it's a shame the others haven't replicated it yet.)Good price, good performance, good looks, good durability, good, good, good!Satan, take 5 steps forward, ol' buddy ...

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by kt a cross-country rider from CA

Date Reviewed: February 2, 1999

Bottom Line:   


I have had my 97 Element TO for 14 months now and it has been a fantastic bike. Decked it out with XTR/Raceface/Cane Creek wheels/etc. and this thing ROCKS!!!!! Climbs great, descends great, and is just an all around comfortable bike to ride. Great bike for epic, long day rides and takes all the abuse you can dish out. I would recommend this bike to anyone.... The frame is very stiff and suspension works great. Buy one if you can find one........kt

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Gromit a cross-country rider from Mission Viejo, CA

Date Reviewed: December 14, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I have had my Element Team Only for a year now and cannot say enough great things about this bike. It is light, the rear suspension works great - I got mine from Irvine Bike Source and had them switch out the rear ALPS air shot for a Vannila R (this was recommended to me by some of the guys in the shop). While this added a little weight the VR is a great shock. The new frame has the Fox Vannila Float air shock with a lockout lever - I am going to try and upgrade my VR to this shock (save weight). This bike handles great, very neutral and true. It climbs great for a full suspension, goes down great. Again, I cannot recommend it enough.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by R32 a cross-country rider from Singapore

Date Reviewed: December 2, 1998

Bottom Line:   


My love affair with my 97 Element Race is fast approaching it's 1st anniversary, and it's not about to end soon. Over the course of the year, a 96 Speed-Sprung Judy XC, Syncros stem and handlebar, XT wheelset with 517 rims with IRC Mythos XC 1.9 tires, and SDG Ventura Comp saddle found its way onto the bike. Now the front suspension matches the rear end in plushness, though I could use a bit more than just 2.5 inches travel. It is however a very plush 2.5 inches. I am not very happy with the traction from the Mythos XCs, and will change them soon, but that is no fault of the bike. The rest of the components I have added has given this bike more cred, while losing a bit of weight (the Judy XC is heavier compared with the Indy XC, though) overall. For what I paid for everything, it is remarkably light at around 25 or so pounds, and is great for all round cross country riding, climbing is good despite having only 1.9 inchers front and rear, and descending is a breeze, though I have to unweigh the front end a bit to help prevent the front fork running out of travel on rocky terrain. The only niggle has to do with the drive train, which chainsucks occasionally, has a habit of falling off from the smallest chainring and thus scratching up the chainstay quite a bit. Rocky Mountain should have specced a chainsuck protector on this bike. Fortunately, this problem does not manifest itself too often for me to give it anything less than 5 chillis, still.

Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Kirk a cross-country rider from Delta, BC, Canada

Date Reviewed: October 10, 1998

Bottom Line:   


I've had my new Element Race for only a couple weeks now, and I love it! I was somewhat forced into buying another new bike this year after my '98 Rocky Oxygen Race was stolen (another great bike but now sold out in 19.5.) The guys at the bike shop let me use one of their demo Spice full suspension models for a weekend, and I didn't want another hard tail!As for the Element, the full suspension is a real treat. I upgraded the cranks/rings to Race Face, and changed the GripShift to ESP 9.0SL Shifters/Derailleur. This bike rocks, and it looks real cool too, especially with the RaceFace/ESP add-ons. Glad I got a 98 model, the 99's paint job doesn't look quite as nice in my opinion ;)

Reviews 1 - 15 (65 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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