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!
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 This is the Instinct Carbon model, though alloy versions are available too. 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. Fox 34 fork up front with 140mm of travel to match the back. 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 head badge. Nice internal routing on the Smoothwall carbon frame. 780mm wide Race Face riser bars. 1×12 SRAM Eagle drivetrain doing the shifty-shifty. Under the downtube lies the cable exit port. An accelerometer mounting point for the upcoming Fox Live Valve suspension system. 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… With the new frame, new suspension design and reworked geometry, the Instinct 29er is a big step up from the previous model. 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 boosts the front travel up to 160mm with a blacked-out Fox 36 . Wider alloy rims and more aggressive Maxxis Wide Trail tyres adorn the BC Edition Instinct 29er. Like the rest of the new Instinct and Pipeline models, the BC Edition is 1x only. Rear travel has also been increased to 155mm, by way of a longer stroke Fox Float DPX2 rear shock. 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°. The ‘blind’ pivot on the rear of the chainstay is single-sided for an incredibly clean look. Chainstay length grows by 1mm over the regular Instinct, but it’s still reasonably short at 436mm. Another frame that’s Fox Live Valve ready. While there are ISCG 05 chainguide mounts, Rocky includes its own ‘Spirit Guide’ with each Instinct and Pipeline model. A simple upper guide to keep watch over the chain. It’s all very snug-as-a-bug in there. The BC Edition features Rocky’s own CNC machined alloy stem locking down the Race Face TurbineR handlebar. 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. 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 Like the Instinct, the Pipeline runs 140mm travel front and rear. In fact, the frame is identical between the two bikes. With the Pipeline being the 27.5+ bike though, the wheels and tyres are different. Chunky Maxxis Minion DHF 2.8in front tyre. 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. Just in case you were wondering, it’s a Rocky Mountain ok? Big fans of the ability to run a bottle cage inside the mainframe. The SmoothLink suspension design is a four-bar arrangement that uses a horst link style pivot just forward of the rear axle. Rocky Mountain has a close working relationship with Fox, with each rear shock being custom tuned for the Pipeline’s back end. Ride-9 geometry chip allows for nine different adjustments between slack and steep geometry, and progressive and linear suspension feel. The one-piece seatstays wrap around the seat tube. Masses of mud clearance through the rear stays, even with those 2.8in wide tyres. 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. We’re digging the paint job, but is it all a bit Burnley FC? SRAM Descendent cranks are modelled on the new GX Eagle alloy cranks – they’re exactly the same. Rocky Mountain was getting a load of attention at Eurobike with this Pipeline. Quite the looker no?