Colton Lock here checking in from Outerbike in Moab, UT with Joe from Rocky Mountain. We are taking a look at the 2017 Element which has been redesigned to appeal to those looking for a full suspension XC/marathon rig rather than the popular AM/trail rigs.
The Element 970 frame is made of Rocky Mountain’s smoothwall carbon. This rig is set up with a Fox 34 Float 120 in the front, Fox Float DPS 100 in the rear, and comes with a RockShox Reverb stealth dropper. It has Shimano XT brakes and comes set up 1×11 with a XT/XTR groupset.
Although this rig is specced to focus on a more XC-style ride, I was extremely impressed by how playful it was. The Element was quick, nimble, and light, which made it super fun to pop off of every little bump in the trail. The suspension may be on the smaller side of FS bikes, but it felt like a longer travel bike when I put it through the motions. I definitely felt like I was pushing the suspension to the limits with a few drops and rough sections, but it felt just right. This is one bike I would really like to spend a lot of time on.