2021 Rocky Mountain Instinct C30

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews' started by redwoods, Aug 8, 2021.



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  1. redwoods

    redwoods Member

    Location:
    Rialto Heights, CA
    Name:
    Pat
    Current Bike:
    2021 RM Instinct
    First, yes, I am biased in this review - I already own the bike.

    So what's to know about this bike? If you watch all the pro and "independent" YouTubers describe this bike, you'll get some mixed messages. Pinkbike was a little disappointed in its descending, but thought it climbed well. The Beta Tests were a little disappointed in its climbing, complaining for half the video about having to use the climb switch. Well, what the hell do any of them know??? :Roflmao

    Here's my biased, unscientific, non-professional review, based on narrow knowledge and cliched, vague platitudes. Sorta like cable news. Remember, "I'm just some fuckin guy."

    My experience on the Instinct C30 so far:
    3 rides
    54 miles
    9200' of climbing
    Trails: Marshall Canyon (La Verne), Exploration (Running Springs), Lower Merrill/Mt. Lowe Railway/Middle Merrill/Sunset (Altadena), plus a few miles climbing and descending pavement.

    Bike Setup:
    Ride-9 Setting: Position 9 (slackest)
    Chainstay Flip Chip: short

    Climbing: 9/10
    It climbs very well. Maybe older RM's had a lot of pedal bob, maybe Ryan Palmer is a pussy. I have yet to want to use the climb switch on the shock. It may be that the basic Rockshox Delux shock has enough inherent damping to cause this, but the descending makes me think otherwise. On steep sections, the front did not wander noticeably, and I feel balanced/centered enough to keep the front on the ground easily. Power seems to get delivered to the ground without noticeable issue. Standing while climbing is for single-speeders, so don't.

    Descending: 9/10
    This thing fuckin rips. Part of that is what I'll call "handling" (see below). It has 140 mm of rear travel. and there's no "over-damped" feel to it either. It just eats up the chunk without issue. Normally, I would say I prefer more travel, but I haven't hit anything yet that makes me think, "I wish it had more travel."(Funny about that - more travel is on the way.) The weight of the bike is extremely well balanced front-to-back. Lifting the front to help get over something, or to avoid stuffing it into a hole, or to course-correct, is very easy. Sending it off drops and small jumps - I MEAN JUST RIDING ALONG, it is very easy to control the bike.

    Handling: 9.5/10
    Like any bike, this one will get off course when you hit those baseball-sized loose rocks, but correcting course seems more intuitive and requires less energy than just about any bike I've ever ridden. Even more impressive (to me anyway) is the way the bike can be moved around under me with such ease. Specifically, switching between successive left- and right-hand turns seems effortless compared to other bikes I've ridden.

    So, would I change anything?
    #1 - Increased front rotor to 203 mm. (Already done.)
    #2 - Better brake levers, or a completely upgraded set of brakes. (Someday.)
    #3 - The funny thing...I'll be experimenting with a longer fork and longer shock, essentially making it into an Altitude. I'm really hoping this doesn't negatively affect the handling...this bike's handling is so sweet as-is that I don't want to mess it up. But, I do anticipate occasionally finding myself in places where more travel would be nice, so time will tell.

    After saving up for 2 years, I placed the order and waited about 8 months for this bike, and then shelled out a fair chunk of change, so OF COURSE I want it to be awesome. So far, it is probably the best bike I've ever ridden. Bias confirmed! :thumbsup:

    Anyway, that's all I've got for today. Go away now.
     
    OTHRider, dssgaffler, Stkx66 and 18 others like this.
  2. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Great write up. Thanks for taking the time. Sounds like you really like it.

    I call this the honeymoon period. It's still exciting and new. I'd really like to hear your thoughts after 15-20 rides. :Roflmao
     
    OTHRider, redwoods, scan and 7 others like this.
  3. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    Moxie Mx3, SC Lizard & a Sutra
    Usually when I ride behind full suspension bikes on a climb, my first thought is "Damn, that looks painful..." I rode behind Pat for some of the climb to Eaton Saddle the other day, and this bike is impressive... I did not see any of the monkey motion that steals so much energy. It looked effortless, and quite similar to the way that @mike 's Revel felt when I pedaled that bike in front of the house. Bikes are getting too damn nice.

    I wish I didn't have to bail, so I could have seen the downhill portion...
     
  4. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Great run down, Pat. I’m glad it has fulfilled your wants and needs so far. :thumbsup:

    A pic would be awesome.
     
    OTHRider, Faust29, redwoods and 3 others like this.
  5. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Good review from some freakin dude who is unbiased!! Post some pics ( I did see some on strava). @mtnbikej I like your "honeymoon period" phrase, so true.
     
  6. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Front Range, San Gabes
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Trek FEX
    Well, I got to see him roll down the aforementioned Front Range trails. Pat is a talented technical rider. Mostly, he was just pulling away from me rapidly but there was a few particularly techy sections that I saw him roll down/through, seemingly without even slowing down. This bike is perfect for him and he becomes one with it. That's what I saw when I was close enough to see him, lol.
     
    OTHRider, Faust29, redwoods and 2 others like this.
  7. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    I will – after I see a photo. :cool: I'm not looking it up!
     
  8. redwoods

    redwoods Member

    Location:
    Rialto Heights, CA
    Name:
    Pat
    Current Bike:
    2021 RM Instinct
    :Roflmao

    @mtnbikej No doubt about it - I've seen it before with other new bikes I've had. I'll definitely report after some time passes.
    @Faust29 Good to ride with you again! I'm still impressed you caught up to us like that!
    @SnakeCharmer You're too generous. It was arm pump - I couldn't slow down. :laugh:

    And for my fellow knuckle-draggers, some visual aids...

    Clean as she'll ever be:
    IMG_5398.JPG
    About to go fast...IMG_5401.JPG

    Elbow and knee pads strapped to the bar for the 13-ish mile climb to Wilson.IMG_5408.JPG
    This last one looks deceptive - it makes the front end seem much steeper than it really is.IMG_5416.JPG
     
    HBkites, OTHRider, scan and 13 others like this.
  9. mike

    mike iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    HT, FS
    Ford Light Jade!!!!!!!!!!!!! Looks killer. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
    redwoods and mtnbikej like this.
  10. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Lemme know next time you plan to ride Marshall Cyn; I’d like to squeeze her brakes and maybe measure the tires.
     
    redwoods and mike like this.
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Hey - our bikes are half twinsies!!!!

    Pretty bike. Glad you are stoked on it! :thumbsup:
     
    redwoods, mike and mtnbikej like this.
  12. Titus

    Titus Member

    Location:
    OC
    Name:
    Titus
    Current Bike:
    SC Hightower LT
    Great looking bike! Congrats.
     
    herzalot and redwoods like this.
  13. redwoods

    redwoods Member

    Location:
    Rialto Heights, CA
    Name:
    Pat
    Current Bike:
    2021 RM Instinct
    Tomorrow (Wed. 8/11) at roughly 3:30 pm. :thumbsup:
     
    DangerDirtyD likes this.
  14. redwoods

    redwoods Member

    Location:
    Rialto Heights, CA
    Name:
    Pat
    Current Bike:
    2021 RM Instinct
    Those are remarkably close in color!
     
    herzalot likes this.
  15. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Doood! Unless something shitty happens at work, I'm in! Want to start from my place or meet at Oak Mesa Park? I don't remember if you partake, but I have myriad IPAs for post-ride libations.
     
    redwoods and herzalot like this.
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