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Pro bike: Geoff Kabush's Maxxis-Rocky Mountain Element Team RSL

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Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) raced a brand-new Rocky Mountain Element Team RSL carbon full-suspension bike at this year's Sea Otter Classic.

Geoff Kabush (Maxxis-Rocky Mountain) raced a brand-new Rocky Mountain Element Team RSL carbon full-suspension bike at this year's Sea Otter Classic.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sea Otter's non-technical course afforded use of a fast, narrow and light tire.

Sea Otter's non-technical course afforded use of a fast, narrow and light tire.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush is running a base-level R-spec Fox fork? Nope, it's just a camouflaged Terralogic model with terrain-sensitive lockout.

Kabush is running a base-level R-spec Fox fork? Nope, it's just a camouflaged Terralogic model with terrain-sensitive lockout.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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ODI Ruffian Lock-On grips are etched with Kabush's name on the collars.

ODI Ruffian Lock-On grips are etched with Kabush's name on the collars.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The installed Fox fork has a straight 1 1/8" steerer but the head tube looks sized for a tapered unit.

The installed Fox fork has a straight 1 1/8" steerer but the head tube looks sized for a tapered unit.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush's front wheel is built around a 15mm thru-axle compatible Shimano XTR hub.

Kabush's front wheel is built around a 15mm thru-axle compatible Shimano XTR hub.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The low-slung frame offers heaps of standover clearance but comes up high to support the seatpost.

The low-slung frame offers heaps of standover clearance but comes up high to support the seatpost.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush is running Crank Brothers' latest Egg Beater 11 pedals.

Kabush is running Crank Brothers' latest Egg Beater 11 pedals.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rocky Mountain's SmoothLink suspension system apparently gets around the Specialized FSR patent by moving the dropout pivot above the rear axle.

Rocky Mountain's SmoothLink suspension system apparently gets around the Specialized FSR patent by moving the dropout pivot above the rear axle.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush has been a long-time user of Stan Koziatek's NoTubes ZTR rims.

Kabush has been a long-time user of Stan Koziatek's NoTubes ZTR rims.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Mounting the front derailleur directly to the swingarm allows for a bigger and more curvaceous seat tube.

Mounting the front derailleur directly to the swingarm allows for a bigger and more curvaceous seat tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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An aluminum linkage drives the Fox Racing Shox RP23 rear shock.

An aluminum linkage drives the Fox Racing Shox RP23 rear shock.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Rebound is adjusted up top but down below is a threshold adjuster for the auto-lockout.

Rebound is adjusted up top but down below is a threshold adjuster for the auto-lockout.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush is running a prototype Fox Racing Shox 32 F100 FIT Terralogic fork.

Kabush is running a prototype Fox Racing Shox 32 F100 FIT Terralogic fork.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Travel on Kabush's new bike looks to be adjustable but via a separate link given that the multiple mounting positions and the fact that the link shown won't fit as is in the rearmost position.

Travel on Kabush's new bike looks to be adjustable but via a separate link given that the multiple mounting positions and the fact that the link shown won't fit as is in the rearmost position.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush's carbon Race Face Next 3/4 Riser bars are full-width at 685mm.

Kabush's carbon Race Face Next 3/4 Riser bars are full-width at 685mm.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Press-fit bottom bracket cups allow for a wider and stiffer down tube.

Press-fit bottom bracket cups allow for a wider and stiffer down tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Main pivot bearings are widely set to prevent lateral and torsional flex. Mud clearance looks quite good, too, and the front derailleur cable stop is integrated into the chain stay on its way up to the swingarm-mounted front derailleur.

Main pivot bearings are widely set to prevent lateral and torsional flex. Mud clearance looks quite good, too, and the front derailleur cable stop is integrated into the chain stay on its way up to the swingarm-mounted front derailleur.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The XTR disc brake caliper is attached with titanium bolts from Wheels Manufacturing.

The XTR disc brake caliper is attached with titanium bolts from Wheels Manufacturing.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lezyne's Alloy Cage is fitted to the down tube.

Lezyne's Alloy Cage is fitted to the down tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A bit of personalization comes with the team-colored Cateye Strada Wireless computer and custom-etched headset top cap.

A bit of personalization comes with the team-colored Cateye Strada Wireless computer and custom-etched headset top cap.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush's bike was fitted with a single MRP 36T chainring and 1.X chain guide when we shot it on Saturday but team mechanic Gary Wolff swapped it to a double prior to Sunday's fast cross-country race.

Kabush's bike was fitted with a single MRP 36T chainring and 1.X chain guide when we shot it on Saturday but team mechanic Gary Wolff swapped it to a double prior to Sunday's fast cross-country race.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush has long championed clean racing.

Kabush has long championed clean racing.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A mid-cage Shimano XTR Shadow rear derailleur is fitted to the replaceable derailleur hanger.

A mid-cage Shimano XTR Shadow rear derailleur is fitted to the replaceable derailleur hanger.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The new frame uses Rocky Mountain's SmoothLink pivot placement at the dropout.

The new frame uses Rocky Mountain's SmoothLink pivot placement at the dropout.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Kabush says he and team mechanic Gary Wolff are experimenting with 'NASCAR-style' wheel changes using a custom 15mm thru-axle.

Kabush says he and team mechanic Gary Wolff are experimenting with 'NASCAR-style' wheel changes using a custom 15mm thru-axle.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Maxxis-Rocky Mountain team rider Geoff Kabush raced a brand-new full-suspension machine at this year's Sea Otter Classic and while Rocky Mountain sports and product marketing manager Peter Vallance was still mum on key technical details prior to the bike's official launch in two weeks, it's clearly a big step forward from the current Element Team.

Kabush will now have not one but two carbon bikes at his disposal at he heads into the meat of the racing season as this new Element Team RSL looks to be a nearly 100 percent composite structure – even at the hard points where no aluminum or other metal is visible and including the moulded-in housing guides, disc brake tabs, and dropouts.

The swoopy front triangle boasts giant cross-sections throughout, what looks to be a tapered head tube (though a straight 1 1/8" steerer was installed when these images were shot), and a shapely seat tube that all anchors to an 86mm-wide bottom bracket with press-fit cups. In addition, the front derailleur mounts directly to the swingarm and the housing stop is moulded right into the chain stay yoke.

Out back is Rocky Mountain's SmoothLink four-bar suspension system driving a Fox Racing Shox RP23 shock via a top tube-mounted link. Two positions at the top of the seat stays suggest adjustable travel, too – we're guessing between 100mm and a longer-travel setting.

"He likes this one way, way, way more," said team mechanic Gary Wolff. "It's a lot lighter and stiffer and the suspension is more the way he wants it. The old one was good on small stuff but apparently had a rising then falling rate whereas this one has a straight rising rate. He'll probably use the dually in nearly every race except maybe Houffalize."

Sea Otter's highly non-technical course allowed for a particularly lightweight build. While we don't have an official frame weight to report, it's likely right around the 1.8kg (4.0lb) range as the complete bike weighs in at just 9.50kg (20.94lb) – especially impressive given Kabush's 1.9m (6' 2") height and preference for function over gram-shaving.

Wheels are built using Stan's NoTubes ZTR 355 rims laced with DT Swiss Revolution spokes to Shimano XTR hubs, and wrapped around it all are a pair of barely-there Maxxis Maxxlite 285 tires for fast rolling on Sea Otter's smooth – and pavement-laden – course.

Shimano's XTR badge is found on the shifters, rear derailleur, crankarms and brakes while the cockpit is filled out with a range of components from Race Face, fi'zi:k and ODI. Fitted to the ends of the crankarms are Crank Brothers' latest Egg Beater 11 pedals.

Bolted to the front end of the bike is what looks to be a base-level Fox Racing 32 F100 R fork but in reality, it's a camouflaged 32 F100 FIT Terralogic model with the company's recently reintroduced terrain-sensitive auto-lockout feature. Like an increasing number of riders on the pro circuit, Kabush has opted for the stiffer 15mm dropouts for better steering precision but with a custom hex-head thru-axle.

According to Kabush, he and Wolff are taking full advantage of the new technical assistance zones with "NASCAR-style" wheel changes to reduce down time.

Kabush didn't have a chance to try out the wheel change procedure at Sea Otter but the bike enjoyed a successful debut nonetheless, finishing second at this year's cross-country event.

Complete bike specifications: