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  • Andrew Howieson

New Bike Day! Howies custom Rocky Mountain Instinct BC

Is there a better day than new bike day? Absolutely not. I had a fairly complete build kit kicking around so decided I'd be better off building a second bike for trail/all mountain use, however I got a little carried away and ended up putting together a pretty close to my dream build, Instinct BC.

My original plan was to set up either a regular instinct (140mm) with a 140mm or 150mm fork, or, a thunderbolt BC. The way it all worked in the end though however, meant it was a little easier just to get an instinct frame, which is only available as a BC edition (155mm rear travel via a slightly different link set up) and build it from there.

Instead of changing out the linkage and the standard 8.5x2.5 shock I ended up just keeping the bike at 155mm rear travel.

The way the instinct/instinct BC works is it uses the same frame, yet a different stroke shock. The regular instinct runs with 140mm travel delivered by a metric 210x55 shock. This model also has rocky's ride-9 adjustment which works as geometric offset bushing, giving you 9 different geometry settings. The slacker the position, the more progressive the leverage rate of the suspension curve becomes.

To get the 155mm BC edition, the bike uses a longer 8.5 x 2.5 shock and a fixed link ie. no geometry adjustment. The link is essentially the same as the regular link set to position 1. Ride-9 isn't available due to clearance issues with the long stroked shock.

It's pretty damn rad that RMB offer this is as a model, as most brands will void a customers warranty right off the bat should they want to long shock their bike and eke a little more travel out.

I've ended up on a medium frame with a pretty solid departure from the regular off the shelf bike.

Frame: Instinct BC edition, medium

Suspension: Fox Grip2 160mm with a 51mm offset and a 8.5 x 2.5 stroked DPX2 factory out back

Cockpit: Renthal 40mm rise fatbar35 lite carbon cut to 760mm with a 50mm renthal apex stem, inverted to -5 rise - this gives the bar an effective 35mm rise.

Wheels: Raceface turbine assymetrical 30mm internal 28 hole with a race face vault straight pull rear hub and a bontrager 28h straight pull front hub

tires: Assegai 3c EXO 2.5WT up front with a DHR II 2.4WT EXO+ in the rear, Cush core rear

Drivetrain: Odds and ends of what I had in the shed, XO1 derailleur with a GX shifter and some 170mm truvativ X0 carbon cranks (the older double ring model with the DM eagle ring fitted up)

Brakes: Guide Ultimate with 203mm rotors front and back, organic pads

Contacts: Deity knuckle duster grips, DMR brendog pedals and an SDG saddle

I roll my bars fairly forward - I can't stand too much roll so that the bars feel like they've almost got down sweep. I find the renthal rolled up a bit puts you in a strong position and stops your elbows and wrists collapsing - plus it encourages you to not sit on the back wheel but actually attack the front of the bike. I run roughly 20PSI up front and 21-24PSI out back, depending on where I'm riding and the weather. I run 70PSI in my fork with 2 tokens and roughly 180-190PSI out back with a 0.4" volume reducer. In the past I've had a bad habit of setting up my rebound a little slow, so on this bike I've been experimenting with running it a little faster. I haven't counted how many clicks etc. however I by memory I'm around 3/4 open on both high and low speed on the fork, with back set up ever so slightly slower. The idea behind this is to help the fork respond quickly and keep it up in it's travel slightly more so than the rear of the bike to keep the geo feeling nice. Essentially I got it pretty well balanced and then slowed the rear a click or two. I'll keep toying with it, but after the first couple days the bike feels extremely dialled.

At 170cm I'm on the shorter side and I haven't yet had any issues with the rear wheel buzzing my backside, however setting it up with a 27.5 wheel out back is definitely something I'll experiment with!

Any questions don't hesitate to ask. A big thanks to Rocky Mountain Australia and Adventure brands for their help on getting this rolling!

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