experienced plenty of confidence and felt comfortable leaning the
Element over a little more in built corners or switchbacks.
Climbing: Races have often been won on the climbs, and the
Element has the ability to be the first to the top. The remote lockout allowed our testers to stiffen up the suspension quickly. The
rear suspension felt practically locked out and didn’t give us any
unwanted bob or feedback during hard efforts out of the saddle.
With the suspension locked out, the Element rolled as fast as we
could push it, showing its cross-country roots as a more-than-ef-ficient climber.
Descending: The Element is flat-out fast; there is no doubt
about it. Our testers were amazed by how well this XC bike handled technical terrain. The combination of the burly fork and active
rear suspension gave our testers plenty of confidence when the
trail got steep or rocky.
We were surprised at how well the Element handled with the
Ride 9 in the steepest setting. The short stem and wide bars gave
us plenty of leverage and allowed testers to let go of the brakes a
little more and flow with the trail.
TRICKS, TIPS OR UPGRADES?
The Element has plenty of potential as an XC race bike or lightweight trailbike. If you’re leaning more towards trail, the Element
has the clearance to fit up to 2.3-inch-wide tires. A more aggressive tread will suit the trail rider’s need to get rowdy. Some of our
testers would have preferred a larger front chainring, but didn’t feel
too hindered when riding steep singletrack.
Adjust it how you want it: Rocky Mountain uses their Ride9
chips on all of their full suspensions and allows riders to adjust
the geometry. The Ride9 will adjust the head angle between