Just Landed: 2021 Rocky Mountain Instinct

A Trail Bike for Your Biggest Adventures

The Instinct has been designed for epic rides and wide-open singletrack. As our most versatile platform, the Instinct thrives on all types of trails, tackling features with the utmost efficiency and responsiveness.

The Instinct has been the go-to bike for riders looking for a bike that does it all, and our most recent design takes that philosophy to the next level. The desire to ride faster and harder than ever is universal amongst riders, and the changes we've made to our Instinct take that to heart while maintaining peak efficiency. Updated geometry and frame features mean that the Instinct is versatile and can adapted to meet any demands that
you or the trail may have.


The 2020 Thunderbolt and Instinct platforms both offered 140mm of rear travel but differed in their wheelsize and ride characteristics. The natural evolution of these platforms within the Trail category was to combine them into one platform designed for efficient riding for all-day adventures.

Looking at the needs of shorter vs. taller riders, we’ve introduced a wheelsize split with our small Instinct frame. Our extra small frame is offered with 27.5" wheels while the small frame is available in either 27.5" or 29" wheels. For riders that are tall enough to ride medium, large, or extra-large frames, the Instinct is available with 29" wheel only. In order to accommodate the shorter riders, our size extra small and small frames have an adjusted frame silhouette to give riders a comfortable amount of standover height.

The Instinct is designed around efficient and versatile trail riding, which is why we’ve offered six frame sizes including size small available in two distinct frames to accommodate either 27.5" or 29" wheels.


With a suspension curve that provides a supple beginning-stroke, supportive mid-stroke, and progressive end-stroke, our engineers designed these bikes for hard riding on technical trails. Our product team goes above and beyond by creating custom shock tunes for every frame size to ensure riders of all heights experience how we intended the Instinct to feel.


Our size extra-small and small frames have a visibly different frame silhouette than our medium through extra-large frames. The two smallest sizes use a 190x45mm shock to achieve 140mm of travel which creates a lightweight kinematic, making it easier for small riders to properly set up their suspension and use all of the travel. The medium through extra-large frames use a 210x52.5mm shock to achieve 140mm of travel, so no matter what size of rider you are our bikes are designed to perform at their best.

The pursuit of true versatility

We’re always looking for ways to take our bikes to the next level, which leads our engineers to incorporate thoughtful ideas through flawless integration. Added benefits like the ability to control thebalance between stability and playfulness, ease of maintenance, and frame durability are just the beginning for these bikes.

10mm Chainstay Adjustment

  • Long = high speed stability
  • Short = playfulness
  • Dedicated Rocky Mountain 180mm brake mount supplies, no extra parts needed
  • New Rocky Mountain hanger
  • SRAM UDH compatible in Long mode

RIDE-9 Adjustment System

  • The RIDE-9 adjustment system allows riders to quickly fine-tune their geometry and suspension with a pair of Allen keys. Nine configurations are possible thanks to two interlocking chips.

Internal guides (Carbon models) and large ports (Alloy models)

  • Full guided internally for easy cable and hose management
  • Moto style compatible
  • Secured for a rattle-free setup

Added protection, guards, and chainguide

  • Downtube protection, noise canceling chainstay protection, “Canadian Shield” yoke protection, and downtube shuttle guard
  • New Rocky Mountain “Canadarm” mount with OneUp Components V2 Top Guide

Modular Shock Mount

  • Allows for future suspension kinematic updates
  • Only available on carbon models

Updated Tube Profile

  • Modern look with a focus on front triangle stiffness for steering precision

Dual Bearings at the Chainstay and Seatstay

  • Increased stiffness and durability. Shielded bearings featured on all pivots including at the lower shock mount (compatible with aftermarket shocks as well)


While the all-new Instinct shares many of the same technologies and frame details as our redesigned Altitude, the bikes are starkly different in their intended use and ride characteristics. The Instinct is meant for long days in the saddle and efficiently tackling all types of trails, while the Altitude was designed for aggressive riding and enduro racing.

The Instinct is for the rider who’s looking to embrace the challenge of a technical climb, maintain a steady cadence on flowing singletrack, and push it on the descents.

Shop: Altitude  |  Instinct  |  All Rocky Mountain

Instinct 29 Tech Details 
Fork 150mm, 44mm (FOX) or 42mm (RockShox) offset fork
Max Tire Clearance 29 x 2.6
Max Chainring Size 34t
Min. Chainring Size 30t
Sizes SM - XL
Frame & Fox DPX2 Shock 3.14 kg / 6.90 lbs
Carbon 99 Build 13.08 kg / 28.8lbs
Carbon 90 Build 13.65 kg / 30.0 lbs
Carbon 70 Build 14.24 kg / 31.3 lbs
Carbon 70 Coil Build 14.56 kg / 32.0 lbs
Carbon 50 Build 14.15 kg / 31.1 lbs
Carbon 30 Build 14.4 kg / 31.7 lbs
Alloy 50 Build 15.3 kg / 33.7 lbs
Alloy 30 Build 15.76 kg / 34.7 lbs
Note* Weights for complete bikes and frameset are for size medium and includes protectors, seatcollar, and rear axle: 94.5g / 0.2lbs

Instinct 27.5 Tech Details 
Fork 150mm, 37mm offset fork
Max Tire Clearance 27.5 x 2.6
Max Chainring Size 34t
Min. Chainring Size 30t
Sizes XS - SM
Frame & Fox DPX2 Shock 2.95 kg / 6.50 lbs
Carbon 99 Build 12.89 kg / 28.4lbs
Carbon 90 Build 13.25 kg / 29.2 lbs
Carbon 70 Build 13.98 kg / 30.8 lbs
Carbon 70 Coil Build 14.27 kg / 31.4 lbs
Carbon 50 Build 13.99 kg / 30.8 lbs
Carbon 30 Build 14.05 kg / 30.9 lbs
Alloy 50 Build 15.10 kg / 33.2 lbs
Alloy 30 Build 15.40 kg / 33.9 lbs
Note* Weights for complete bikes and frameset are for size small and includes protectors, seatcollar, and rear axle: 94.5g / 0.2lbs



The RIDE-9 adjustment system allows riders to quickly fine-tune their geometry and suspension with a pair of Allen keys. Nine configurations are possible thanks to two interlocking chips.


Smoothwall™ Carbon
Smoothwall carbon uses one of the world’s most sophisticated carbon processes to deliver industry leading stiffness-toweight, ride quality, and durability. We eliminate excess resin and fibers by using rigid internal molds instead of traditional air bladders. We then utilize different types of carbon in specific frame areas to maximize stiffness and impact resistance while minimizing overall weight.


FORM™ Alloy
FORM tubesets utilize premium materials to meet our strict requirements. Each FORM tube that we create is engineered for its specific purpose within the frame, ensuring optimized strength, weight, and ride quality.


Smoothlink suspension is efficient yet supple when you’re on the pedals and across a wide range of gears. It features a controlled end-stroke and a rate-curve that feels more capable than the travel would suggest. This four-bar suspension design philosophy is centred on ride characteristics; each bike platform we develop balances variables like anti-squat, axle path, chain growth, rate curve, anti-rise, etc. to achieve the legendary Rocky Mountain ride feel.


Size Specific
Size Specific Tune ensures that riders of all sizes get the right balance of small-bump compliance, mid-stroke support, and end-stroke progressiveness. Our design team does custom shock tunes based on real world field testing, and adjusts each tune for specific frame sizes.

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