Eurobike 2017: Rocky Mountain’s New Instinct & Pipeline

by
September 1, 2017

In the week leading up to Eurobike, Rocky Mountain announced the arrival of the brand new 2018 Instinct and Pipeline models. So naturally the Canadian crew chucked a few freshly painted bikes into the container to bring along with them to Friedrichshafen to unveil them to the public for the first time.

Both the Instinct and Pipeline are brand new for 2018. They encompass many of the design features built into the new Altitude, including a reworked SmoothLink suspension design that features sealed cartridge bearings at every pivot, a 1x specific frame, and revitalised geometry that’s stretched out the reach measurements significantly.

The Instinct 29er stretches its suspension travel out to 140mm front and rear, while the Pipeline utilises exactly the same frame and fork but swaps in 27.5+ wheels with 2.8in wide Maxxis tyres. The Pipeline features an additional lower headset spacer to help keep the ride height the same between the two, and this spacer is included with every frame and complete bike, meaning you can swap between 29in and 27.5+ setups regardless of which bike you buy. Clever!

rocky mountain instinct pipeline
The 2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct is a brand new 140mm travel 29er.

2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct Features

  • Carbon and alloy frame options
  • 29in wheels
  • 140mm rear travel
  • 140mm travel fork
  • Head angle: 66° – 67°
  • Seat angle: 74.5° – 75.5°
  • 435mm chainstay length
  • Clearance for up to 29×2.6in or 27.5×3.0in tyres
  • SmoothLink rear suspension design
  • Ride-9 geometry adjustment system
  • 148x12mm rear thru-axle
  • PF92 bottom bracket w/ISCG 05 gabs & integrated ‘Spirit Guide’
  • 1x only frame design
  • Internal cable routing w/Di2 and Fox Live Valve compatibility
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
This is the Instinct Carbon model, though alloy versions are available too.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Rear suspension travel is 140mm, which is controlled by a Fox Float DPS EVOL rear shock on each model. This one is the Performance Elite version.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Fox 34 fork up front with 140mm of travel to match the back.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Rocky’s 2018 models are all stepping up with more aggressive Maxxis rubber. Shown here is a 2.3in wide Minion DHR II for the Instinct.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Rocky Mountain head badge.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Nice internal routing on the Smoothwall carbon frame.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
780mm wide Race Face riser bars.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
1×12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain doing the shifty-shifty.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Under the downtube lies the cable exit port.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
An accelerometer mounting point for the upcoming Fox Live Valve suspension system.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
There’s room for a bottle cage inside the mainframe (FTW!) plus a third bolt lower down that may be the other piece of the Fox Live Valve system…
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
With the new frame, new suspension design and reworked geometry, the Instinct 29er is a big step up from the previous model.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Same same, but different. It’s the BC Edition of the Instinct platform. More travel, more gnar.

2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition Features

  • Carbon and alloy frame options
  • 29in wheels
  • 155mm rear travel
  • 160mm travel fork
  • Head angle: 65.9°
  • Seat angle: 74.4°
  • 436mm chainstay length
  • Clearance for up to 29×2.6in or 27.5×3.0in tyres
  • SmoothLink rear suspension design
  • Ride-9 geometry adjustment system
  • 148x12mm rear thru-axle
  • PF92 bottom bracket w/ISCG 05 gabs & integrated ‘Spirit Guide’
  • 1x only frame design
  • Internal cable routing w/Di2 and Fox Live Valve compatibility
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Rocky boosts the front travel up to 160mm with a blacked-out Fox 36 .
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Wider alloy rims and more aggressive Maxxis Wide Trail tyres adorn the BC Edition Instinct 29er.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Like the rest of the new Instinct and Pipeline models, the BC Edition is 1x only.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Rear travel has also been increased to 155mm, by way of a longer stroke Fox Float DPX2 rear shock.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
To achieve this, Rocky has used a custom link that eschews the Ride-9 geometry chip. That means head angle is fixed at 65.9°.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
The ‘blind’ pivot on the rear of the chainstay is single-sided for an incredibly clean look.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Chainstay length grows by 1mm over the regular Instinct, but it’s still reasonably short at 436mm.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Another frame that’s Fox Live Valve ready.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
While there are ISCG 05 chainguide mounts, Rocky includes its own ‘Spirit Guide’ with each Instinct and Pipeline model.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
A simple upper guide to keep watch over the chain.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
It’s all very snug-as-a-bug in there.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
The BC Edition features Rocky’s own CNC machined alloy stem locking down the Race Face TurbineR handlebar.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Word on the street is that some of Rocky Mountain’s EWS riders are testing out the BC Edition Instinct as a potential race whip.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
And possibly the best looking bike of the bunch: the 2018 Rocky Mountain Pipeline Carbon 70.

2018 Rocky Mountain Pipeline Features

  • Carbon and alloy frame options
  • 29in wheels
  • 155mm rear travel
  • 160mm travel fork
  • Head angle: 65.6° –  66.6°
  • Seat angle: 74.1° – 75.1°
  • 434mm chainstay length
  • Clearance for up to 29×2.6in or 27.5×3.0in tyres
  • SmoothLink rear suspension design
  • Ride-9 geometry adjustment system
  • 148x12mm rear thru-axle
  • PF92 bottom bracket w/ISCG 05 gabs & integrated ‘Spirit Guide’
  • 1x only frame design
  • Internal cable routing w/Di2 and Fox Live Valve compatibility
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Like the Instinct, the Pipeline runs 140mm travel front and rear. In fact, the frame is identical between the two bikes.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
With the Pipeline being the 27.5+ bike though, the wheels and tyres are different. Chunky Maxxis Minion DHF 2.8in front tyre.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Also different is this lower headset cup spacer, which accounts for the different ride height between the 29in and 27.5+ wheels. This cup can be removed, allowing you to change between wheelsizes with the same frame and fork.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Just in case you were wondering, it’s a Rocky Mountain ok?
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Big fans of the ability to run a bottle cage inside the mainframe.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
The SmoothLink suspension design is a four-bar arrangement that uses a horst link style pivot just forward of the rear axle.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Rocky Mountain has a close working relationship with Fox, with each rear shock being custom tuned for the Pipeline’s back end.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Ride-9 geometry chip allows for nine different adjustments between slack and steep geometry, and progressive and linear suspension feel.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
The one-piece seatstays wrap around the seat tube.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Masses of mud clearance through the rear stays, even with those 2.8in wide tyres.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
We’re seeing a lot more proper plus tyre rubber for 2018, which should be a lot lot more suitable for our local riding conditions.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
We’re digging the paint job, but is it all a bit Burnley FC?
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
SRAM Descendent cranks are modelled on the new GX Eagle alloy cranks – they’re exactly the same.
rocky mountain instinct pipeline
Rocky Mountain was getting a load of attention at Eurobike with this Pipeline. Quite the looker no?

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