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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello folks. I am going through some mountain bike shopping. I like bikes with steep steering and sharp handling. My last bike was a Brodie Libido with a 71.2 head angle. I made the mistake of buying a Kona Four Deluxe on impulse, without researching. I had no idea modern xc mtb's were made with such slack head angles. The Four has a 68.8 degree head angle. I haven't the best luck. Don't get me wrong, the bike is good and since it's aluminum, it's not the slowest handling in the world, but it's just not the type of handling I like. Certainly stable on the fast crazy descents...but anyhow....The bike is now up for sale. I cannot even find a xc bike with a slacker head angle. And yes, I know that All Mountain, Freeride, Jumping and DH bikes have even slacker head angles than 68.8.

So, among the options I am looking for to replace the Four, is a Brodie Mettle, Trek Top Fuel, Fuji Outland, Specialized Epic Comp...or, a Rocky Mountain Element. Probably a 50 or 70 if I find the extra cash. The specs show the Element bikes with 71 and even 71.5 degree head angle specs. This would indicate to me that they are quick handling, sharp steering bikes, and this should be felt in the tight single-track.

If you own an Element 30/50/70 or 90, or if you have ridden one for a good length of time through some tight single-track, can you comment on the bikes handling? Does it in fact feel like a sharp handling bike, steering nicely in the tight single-track? How does it handle on the fast hairy descents?

Also would like feedback on pedaling and the rear shock. Bobbing? Pedaling efficiency? Ideally I like the rear shock to remain less active until I hit something worth absorbing...for the most part.

Also, does anybody have a weight and a price for the Element 70 in Canada?

thanks in advance for any info,

:)
 

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The Element has the same feel and handling as the Vertex hardtail as it has a matching head angle. It sprints much like a hardtail and climbs out of the saddle like a hardtail.

If you want fast handling you'd really want to run an 80mm front fork which would be better matched to the Team frame with 3" of rear travel rather than 4".
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback.

Why would I want an 80 mm fork? If you setup your suspension properly, travel shouldn't affect the handling unless you are deliberately fitting a lower travel fork to get a shorter fork, which can steepen head angles, depending on what fork the head angle spec of a given frame was derived from. But, all other things being equal, when looking at bike specs, 71 degrees should be 71 degrees....one would hope. The only reason I'd switch to an 80 or 90 mm fork would be if I'm stuck with my Four Deluxe and want to lower the front end to steepen the steering. I was actually reading the reviews on the Element 50 and 70 and there are comments to reflect the quicker handling 71 degree head angle. I'm sure it's fine as is. I can't afford the Team frame. The only way I could afford the 70 would be if I got a bit of a deal on it. The Team frame would blow my budget. It's possible I may have to "settle" for the Element 50 or a Brodie Mettle. The more I think about this, it's quite frustrating. I may just brake-down and fit a shorter fork on my Kona Four. The Recon SL I have has a 479 axle to crown. A Fox F100 RLC would knock off 8 mm, and a Recon XC or Reba SL would be a similar drop. Not night and day, but at least a step in the right direction.

Anyways, if anybody else has feedback about the Element 50 and 70, and thoughts regarding the weight of these bikes, and the going prices, please feel free to comment :)

Also, to add, how is the pedaling and rear shock action? Bobbing or not? Pedaling efficiency? I like a rear shock to stay mostly inactive until a big enough bump comes along...for the most part.
 

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The Elements 50/70/90 are spec'd with a 100mm Fox fork, but the Element Team has the same frame geometry but a very short A2C 80mm fork and oddly the spec also says 71deg, but it's actually closer to 71.5deg with an 80mm fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
rockyuphill said:
The Elements 50/70/90 are spec'd with a 100mm Fox fork, but the Element Team has the same frame geometry but a very short A2C 80mm fork and oddly the spec also says 71deg, but it's actually closer to 71.5deg with an 80mm fork.
That would make sense. I tell you, varying length forks play havoc with head angle geometry specs. It's interesting though, if you look at their specs, some bikes show two head angles for a given size, like the Element 10 and 30 show 71 / 71.5. No indication why.
 

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They're still some issues with accuracy with the new website (I think the French language version may have been checked more thoroughly for accuracy as the web developer is in Montreal).

The Element 30/10 are the older <2006 frame geometries and tubing and they had shorter chainstays, 427mm instead of 432, along with steeper head angles.

The Element is not a plush sort of FS bike, it is designed as a race bike so it is quite stiff in the first half of travel (see leverage ratio chart below). I used to have an Instinct (same design, different decals) and spent some a bit of time on a 2007 Element last summer, and it is a very speedy bike but definitely not plush. There's just enough small bump compliance to help stick the rear tire down on climbs and to soak up bigger hits, but it feels almost like a hardtail when you're on the bike. I replaced my Instinct with an ETSX because I was after a cushier trail bike.
 

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If you leave the element rear shock in the full prop-pedal position, then I agree with Rocky's statements. However if you turn off the propedal the element feels very different than a hardtail and much plusher. On tech downhill I'll turn it off and can feel the element soak it up more. Handling on my 70 is spot on and I highly recommend it.

If you're price sensitive (ie don't want pay $3800 for the 70), your best bet is to:
a) be an size other than 18 or 19"
b) be ok with a used
c) be content to wait until November


Last season the Element 70's sold out fast and the bike is in demand. Dealers won't be keen to haggle in prime season and you don't see Rocky's with heavy discounts for the current model year.

Some ideas:
a) Check Vancouver's craigslist for used team bikes. There are several local teams that sell their lightly used elements
b) go talk to Differentbikes.ca for new element availability and top service

Best of luck!
 

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It was 07 bike of the year, that's why lots of riders rushed out and bought one but you may have better luck this year:

1 - The colour sucks compared to last years blue IMO.
2 - Rocky isn't as heavily advertising them.
3 - if they're a clever manufacturer they will have a larger production run this year because demand was so high on the 70 last year.

The Element is definitely the best on your list, the Trek is old and crappy and there should be a new one soon and and smae goes for the Epic which i've just seen 09 pics of so unless you want to wait for 09 it's definitely the best.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow. I could possibly go for the 50, but it's not very light. The 70 is the light one. I can't afford $3800.00. I am clue-less as to the pricing of these beasts.
 

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morkys said:
Wow. I could possibly go for the 50, but it's not very light. The 70 is the light one. I can't afford $3800.00. I am clue-less as to the pricing of these beasts.
buy a frame and self build? I saved a fortune on ebay and a etsx team frame!

price it up man!
 

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The Element 70/90 get the skinnier/lighter carbon seatstays, that's where the frame weight difference is between the 50/70. The rest is just the build kit.

There are definitely quite a few of last year's Element Team bikes in the www.canadiancyclist.com classifieds in around November/December. The only ones you might avoid buying used are the ones that have been run in the La Ruta race. :D
 

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Owner of the E50 for 1 month and loving it

I just traded up from my Gary Fisher HardTail with 80mm SID race to the Element 50 and I must say that I am very impressed. I love to climb and really didn't want a super plush ride - I like the functional and stiff feel of a hard tail, but needed some relief from the constant battering on roots, rocks and bomber downhills out here in Maryland.

This bike has delivered - when the pro pedal is active, it climbs just like my hardtail did, but it gives me a tad better traction from the microbumps going up - it accelerates fast out of the gates and I flip her off for the downhill and it really give a stiff, very stearable ride without rattling your teeth out. Even with propedal off, she climbs quite nicely with very little bob.

She turns very nice in the singletrack, almost to the same degree as my HT with 80mm.

Solid bike for the $$ - I am so much faster now, highly recommended.
 

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A correction there Rocky! CRC are in Ireland, Northern Ireland to be exact! (but your right technically UK)

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=...5.85434&spn=0.562883,1.203003&z=10&iwloc=addr

ebay has loads of bargain and you can build a bike with new and second hand parts!

@ morkys if you read around mtbr you'll see what I mean! often shops on ebay strip previous season bikes and a bargain can be had! also there is loads of shops on ebay too!

@ rocky where is the best place on the net to get RM bits and bobs?
 

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Well ya' learn something new everyday, I never bothered to look at their street address. Sonofagun.

CRC is a Rocky dealer, they don't list parts, but Rocky is pretty strict about enforcing the "no internet sales" thing, but you might be able to contact them about getting parts. I've never seen an online source of things like bearing and parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I emailed Rocky Mountain regarding some geometry details that were messed up on the website and it looks like it has been corrected. I also got this info...

The Element 50 weighs approx 27.5lbs and retails for $2,999.00 Cdn
The Element 70 weighs approx 26 lbs and retails for $3,899.00 Cdn

The 50 doesn't seem all that heavy. If it was available at a discount of at least a few hundred dollars, it would be a good choice. I'd much prefer going for the RLC fork though.
 

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Usually you won't get more than 10-15% off of the retail and it's usually about the same amount they take off to clear the stock for 09. I'd go for the kit on the 70 but there's also some better (and worse) bits on the 50, the Formula Oro brakes are a lot better than the XT on the 70 and I'd prefer the simpler RL fork on the 50 because it's lighter and there's less things to go wrong but the rest looks a lot nicer on the 70 so just decide what things you want and post it up when you get it.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
EGF168 said:
Usually you won't get more than 10-15% off of the retail and it's usually about the same amount they take off to clear the stock for 09. I'd go for the kit on the 70 but there's also some better (and worse) bits on the 50, the Formula Oro brakes are a lot better than the XT on the 70 and I'd prefer the simpler RL fork on the 50 because it's lighter and there's less things to go wrong but the rest looks a lot nicer on the 70 so just decide what things you want and post it up when you get it.:thumbsup:
10-15% sounds about right. The RLC is really that much heavier? The Fox specs don't even describe any difference. I can't imagine compression dampening adding that much more weight and complexity.

The bikes I am deciding between at the moment are:

Brodie Mettle (would uprgade/swap fork for Reba Race or Fox RL/C)
Rocky Mountain Element 50/70
Santa Cruz Blur XC
Norco Faze 2

I am considering a whole bunch actually...Iron Horse Azure Expert, Diamond Back Sortie 3, Specialized Epic Comp, Giant Trance Advanced, Trek Top Fuel, etc etc....but the above list are my top choices.
 

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Weight weenies will notice the difference and I'd personally ditch anything apart from the Element and Trance Advanced, they're the only ones I would even consider from your list and I'd actually prefer the aluminium Trance because of the improvements from 07 which is what the carbon is and Giant's carbon is pretty heavy.:thumbsup:
 
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