“When we first launched Element in 1996, we couldn’t have predicted that it would go on to become one of the most enduring suspension platforms in mountain bike history. While remaining relatively unchanged, it won races and put smiles on the faces of mountain bikers all over the world for the next fourteen years. In 2011, we unveiled the ground-up redesign of our beloved Element with the carbon fiber Element RSL and MSL. We knew we had to create the most technologically advanced cross-country race bike available while maintaining Element’s legendary ride quality, and by all accounts, we succeeded.
It was only natural to follow up Element RSL and MSL with a new aluminum Element in both 26” and 29” wheels for 2012. The 2012 Element 26” (120mm rear travel) and Element 29” (95mm rear travel) share many of the same technologies of Element RSL and MSL and the result is two bikes that change the alloy cross country mountain bike game.
With Element RSL and MSL, we took our proven Element geometry and adjusted it to answer the modern racer’s needs. Extensive testing with World Cup winners Geoff Kabush and Marie-Hélène Prémont helped us pinpoint the perfect race geometry, which meant a slightly longer top tubes and a more relaxed head angle. 2012 Element 26” shares the same geometry as Element MSL.
For Element 29”, we developed brand new RTC (Race Tuned Compact) 29 Geometry. RTC-29 features super short chain stays and wheelbase for maximum agility in tight, technical terrain. In addition, we shortened our 29er top tubes to give a more 26” wheel bike cockpit feel. RTC-29 proves that a 29er can thrive in the trickiest conditions.
Although 2012 Element comes from a strong racing pedigree, its Vancouver roots are immediately apparent in its rugged descending capability. Both bikes simply beg to be railed through technical terrain. With its super efficient SmoothLink™ suspension system, 2012 Element climbs like a race bike should and descends so well that Wade Simmons won’t put his down.
2012 Element and Element 29 – More Element than ever in two wheel sizes.”
Andreas Hestler and Jamie Biluk show what the new Rocky can do in this video by Matt Dennison.
Ever been the owner of an Element? Do any of those frames from the 90’s bring back memories? Reminisce here…