First Look: Rocky Mountain Altitude 770 MSL Rally Edition

Jul 15, 2013
by Matt Wragg  

Rocky Mountain aren't necessarily a name that everyone associates with enduro. For most people they are better known for their deep roots in freeriding. Simmons, Tippie and Schley hucking their RM7s in afro wigs is one of the most iconic mountain bike images of the late 90s, more recently they have had Vanderham going huge and sideways on his Flatline. Yet, it is that history that also links them to enduro.


Fred Glo, the man who founded the French Enduro Series and held the first ever enduro race back in 2003, is their long-time distributor in France. He was one of the first Frenchmen to travel over to the North Shore to experience the original-style of freeriding and became involved with the brand precisely because of those ties. As enduro grew and spread in Europe he began suggesting how Rocky Mountain could tailor their bikes to suit this emerging market.


This Rally edition of the Altitude is a product of that relationship - taking a well-established trail bike and sticking a hand down the front of its trousers to make what Rocky Mountain describe as a race-ready enduro bike. Calling it the Rally Edition is another recognition of enduro history. In France rally races were being held as far back as the 1980s, it is one of the formats that enduro grew out of and the Superenduro-style of enduro racing owes even more to it. What's more, Fred's own Urge enduro race team, who include former World Cup star Alex Balaud and up-and-coming enduro pinner Maurian Marnay, use the Altitude to race the French Enduro Series and the Enduro World Series.


The Bike

• Intended use: All-mountain/enduro race
• Toughened spec for enduro racing
• MSRP $5599
• Available now


The frame is unchanged from the carbon Altitude 790 we tested earlier this year, it is in the spec where the bikes has been toughened up. Out front, the travel of the Fox 34 CTD fork has been pushed out to 160mm, which also reduces the head angle from 66.6 degrees to 66.2 degrees in the frames slackest setting. The new Fox Float X keeps the rear under control and is mounted with the same chip that allows you nine positions of geometry adjustment. Up front the handlebar is a full-fat 785mm and the stem shortened to 50/60mm (depending frame size), both come from the Raceface Turbine range. It is at the cranks where you really see this bikes intentions - gone is the double ring of the regular Altitude and in comes a single 34t ring and an eThirteen TRS+ guide. Sure, for some people that may seem like an intimidating prospect if they've never pushed a single ring that big before, but that's what the fast guys in mainland Europe are running to race.


After that the build is pretty much what you would expect from a bike at this pricepoint, and it's a SRAM full-house except for the Race Face Turbine cranks. Their X9 group makes the bike go with a Type 2 clutch rear derailleur and running gear, beefy four-piston Trail brakes are there to stop it again, an internally-routed Reverb holds the saddle in place and the Stans Flow EX rims are laced to X9 hubs. We are pleased to see them speccing an excellent WTB saddle, which is nice and light, but comfortable enough to ride on all day.


The carbon-framed 770 MSL Rally Edition also has a more affordable younger brother, the aluminium-framed 750 Rally Edition. X-Fusion take over on the suspension and dropper post duties, X9 is replaced by X7 in the drivetrain and the controls are from Race Faces Evolve line, rather than Turbine. It shares the same, aggressive race-ready spec, but comes home at a more wallet-friendly $3299.


First impressions:
We got to spend an afternoon with the Rally Edition in the trails above Val D'Allos after the second round of the Enduro World Series this year. When RC tested the Altitude 790 he placed it firmly towards the easier going side of things, stating that "it doesn’t exude confidence like a super-slack all-mountain bike." So how does this transfer into a race bike? Based on our first impressions, we would say that it depends on what you are looking for from a race bike, the beefier build doesn't change the nature of the bike greatly. If what you are looking for is a something forgiving and comfortable, then maybe this isn't the right bike for you. However, if you are a more aggressive, active rider who wants a bike that will respond, then the appeal of this bike is obvious, even from the first ride. It also reflects the current trend in many enduro race bikes, where they are moving away from the burlier freeride bikes they were born from, towards lightweight race weapons. At the moment the word "enduro" is being attached to many things, both rightly and wrongly, so it's great to see a company really understand what racers need and spec a bike accordingly. What's more, although this still isn't what we'd describe as a budget bike, it's great to see this kind of spec being offered at a more reasonable pricepoint and not just at the top end of the range. - Matt Wragg




For more info, visit Rocky Mountain. To find out about the Top Of The World trail, check out Whistler Mountain Bike Park.





126 Comments

  • 74 1
 More bikes should come with RaceFace.
  • 14 0
 I concur.
  • 31 1
 I concur with your concurrance
  • 7 1
 Clearly every one can concur with your concurrence.
  • 6 1
 I concur that we can cleary concur with his concurrence of this good mans concurrence
  • 36 0
 Yo dog i heard you like concurrences
  • 3 1
 i concur
  • 13 0
 The amount of concurrences is TOO DAM HIGH
  • 4 1
 *DAMN
  • 4 1
 I concur with Tr011
  • 2 1
 once again i concur with your concurrence of his concurrence of the concurrence rate being to high
  • 16 0
 if there was a concurrency we would be rich enough to buy that bike
  • 3 0
 Hell yeah. If we got a dollar every time we said concur we might as well buy the company while were at it
  • 13 1
 concurring is for fools... I CONQUER
  • 4 0
 I concur but only on this occurrence
  • 6 0
 Do you even concur bro?
  • 4 1
 Keep Calm and Concur On
  • 2 1
 After 20 days I concur with the first concurrence
  • 34 1
 not often the first look comes with a photo epic, thanks PB! Smile

that bike is so HOTTT. 10/10 would bang (and win as well). really diggin the blue on the frame, looks so fresh!
  • 1 0
 Margus Riga FTW!!!
  • 13 0
 Digging the west coast colours. Rocky Mountain makes another sick bike!
  • 5 0
 I'm digging the Maple Leaf! Sooo cool.
  • 12 0
 Looks like an incredible bike, but seriously, the next time I read the word 'enduro' my brain is going to explode.
  • 5 0
 enduro
  • 3 0
 Ka-boom
  • 2 0
 i concur
  • 1 1
 i ride an enduro- fun bike
  • 29 23
 Hey pinkbike, can you please start putting on more affordable bikes please? I'm probably never going to get a $6k bike. Please do bikes like a GT Force or something!
  • 16 1
 At least this is better then the 10,000$ santacruz and there is at least a 3300$
  • 10 0
 They mention the affordable model here. The aluminum frame one.
  • 15 6
 You must dream bigger lilshredman!! Why not own a $6k bike? Rocky has done a great job here speccing a race ready bike for $6k, Santa Cruz, Specialized, and the likes have "race ready" bikes for almost double that!! And they do have a $3300 aluminum option if only you had scrolled down slower before your rant
  • 32 5
 Hey Pinkbike users: Can you please stop complaining about the price of equipment? I want to read about the top of the line gear, not three year old trickle down products.
  • 3 0
 I do too and i'm broke, i buy almost everything used, the last frame i bought was an 05, but i still love to read about whats new because yeah i can't afford it now but how often are people buying new bikes? Maybe i'm odd at one every other year tops...
  • 1 0
 Lol. For real tho.
  • 3 16
flag nouser (Jul 14, 2013 at 14:36) (Below Threshold)
 If you won't buy an expensive bike... don't come to this site. its life.
  • 5 11
flag chunkymcpot (Jul 14, 2013 at 14:44) (Below Threshold)
 Never sure if a push bike is worth nearly as much as a cheap car at times, however not sure if pinkbike have ever done a budget bike under 1k for it's readers. For me, riding isn't about the bike, it's getting out there and riding. Although rest assured, i'm 100% sure i shred harder than anyone does on my cheap full susser than someone with a 6k bike.
  • 2 0
 Brandon Semenuk comes to mind...and so do the Athertons, and Martin Soderstrom, Aggy, Peaty, Yannick, Brett Rheeder, the list goes on and on!
  • 2 0
 boys and girls, most starting prices for a full suspension bike are high 2000's or low 3000's. so get on with it, the bikes base feel will be the same across the price board, if you can't afford what they test, then go online to the site and find on in your price range, take the knowledge the have provided for you here and go ride a bike.
  • 1 1
 www.giant-bicycles.com/en-ca/bikes/model/yukon.fx/9804/49418

Cheap. Shouldn't bother with it, but there you go. The rest of us will enjoy looking at this bike and review.
  • 1 0
 @dynamatt....I'm gonna dream even bigger...A Project One Trek Fuel Ex 9.9 for me!
  • 1 0
 if you don't want to pay in full wait a while and buy used or get a good relationship with your shop....
  • 2 0
 You get what you pay for. I wouldn't trust a $1,000 bike if they made one....specially the way I ride!
  • 1 0
 did He say Under 1000$ ??? what Sport do you do there bud? biking costs money.
  • 6 0
 Remember when "enduro" meant racing the bike you already have?
Now "enduro" means $3299 is wallet-friendly. Marketing FTW!
  • 1 1
 Considering that Rocky Mountain was the first brand to use the word to describe a type of mountain bike (twenty plus years ago) I think they know what it means and how its supposed to be applied. And yes, $3300 is wallet friendly when there's sweet little that'll do this sort of job for much less than doesn't involve internet direct marketing brands.
  • 6 0
 That is one good looking bike. Sounds like it will perform well too.
  • 4 2
 Do people just skim, HELLO!! there's too price options wads, stop beyotching and read the article properly, also if 36t is too much then change it to a 32t or whatever its not a deal breaker, don't worry its not the end of the world guys, geezus, people are so dam lazy! Maybe Enduro isn't for most pinkbikers, stick to tricycles guys they're cheap and easy to pedal and still good for those that still live at home with mom and dad which is probably most here!
  • 3 0
 It's a 34t ring, i have no clue why everyone thinks it's a 36...
  • 2 0
 New bikes are awesome, not necessarily that one, or a $3300 one, just a new one. Heck, why not a new $2000 one and a new $1300 one? Hmm, I like the sound of that actually. Anyway, if you have an old one, you need a new one. Seriously.
  • 3 2
 sure a fit person can do some pretty big 10% road climbs with a 36T and get to some great descents, but they are going to miss out on a lot of good ones accessed by some steep singletrack climbs. I guess that is the way euro racing has evolved
  • 11 0
 Or you could change the chain ring and be happy...
  • 1 0
 or just get the standard altitude.
  • 5 0
 34T* (sorry it was bugging me) I assume the cassette is 11-36, can't be that bad to climb in the 34-36 combo can it? motivation to push yourself more if not
  • 4 0
 I ride with a 33t front and a 36 cassette and I climb quicker and easier now than when I had the double as your forced to go faster the bike has more momentum when you come to that tricky section.
  • 8 6
 I want to like this bike. I really do... And I am sure it rides great, but for some reason I just don't have an "emotional" reaction to it.
  • 6 0
 I see what you are saying. could be because it look too much like its XC stable mates. I wonder if this is last year of the slayer? I thought that would have been the name plate to push as RM,s AM/Enduro.
  • 2 0
 I thought the same thing.
  • 4 0
 I tried a slayer last summer, rental and loved it. Hope they dont get rid of it.
  • 1 0
 I own a slayer 70 2012, great bike, climbs well and descends well. Only issue I have is with there suspension linkage. Cracked it at the mid pivot point. seems like most companies are engineering away from that design and trending towards the altitude suspension format. I hope they adopt the suspension format of the altitude, then i will buy another slayer.
  • 2 0
 no issues with my 2012 slayer 70... you probably just got a bad egg and hopefully warranty helped you there, but I honestly hope they never get rid of the slayer, if they make it carbon then fine (would be nice for a more solid stiff dh bike feel) but other then that there's no good reason to get rid of it, it climbs amazing for its travel and it descends very well to
  • 1 0
 Everytime I read a new bike offering from Rocky I get a little confused. I just have to keep telling myself they are making bikes for the 1%, basically the specialized race riders. Whether it be XC racers, or enduro racers. The reason I am confused is because the 2012 slayer honestly is the best all around bike I have ever ridden, and for every day joe's that want to go and ride anything whether it be XC, Enduro, or even bike parks, it is perfect.

But really, is Rocky going to be making lots of money off all of these specialized bikes?
  • 1 0
 I love the look of these bikes, but have heard rumors about bushing issues in the suspension. Not what I was hoping to hear during the new bike's first year out. (Full disclosure: Riding a Scott Genius set up as a 1x10 Wink )
  • 2 0
 Did anyone else notice the clutch equipped x7 mech on the back of the cheaper edition?
  • 1 0
 it is an x9 in the picture if you zoom in. X7 type 2 would be sick tho!!!
  • 3 0
 It should have X01 and taco bash for the price.
  • 2 0
 Those are some amazing shots! Great work Margus. The bike is damn sexy as well.
  • 1 0
 Props to Margus Riga. Stunning pics. All done with natural light! The moody clouds gave these pics extra dimension. Would like to try the X fusion equipped bike.
  • 1 0
 I'm loving all the new rocky mountain bikes. might pick up a lesser model one if i can justify it.
  • 2 0
 that trail looks like the "Top Of The World" trail in Whistler, BC
  • 3 0
 It is
  • 1 3
 If you are looking for a cheap race ready bike go on the buy/sell if your biking to race spend that $$ but if you are a baller on a budget then get a used bike or something, specialized status is super cheap and it's specd up great, I ride a gt sensor and have taken it to a local bike park and shred the local trails, so what are you waiting for, go ride.
  • 3 5
 Wow a 36 on the front.... ok lets change that to a 32 for regular humans.... Might as well take the weight penalty and put on a hammerschmidt at least you can still have the bail out to the 24 or 22 and you still get better clearance and a chainguide built in. Kudos to RockyMountain for putting these bikes out, they are in the lead but I'm not really a single pivot fan.
  • 5 0
 Luck for you it's Horst and not single pivot?
  • 4 2
 It's a 34 CTD, not a 36.
  • 1 2
 Also its not a horst-link, it IS a virtual pivot 4-bar but the smoothlink is the evolution of rocky's previous ETS patented 4-bar link. The dropout pivot is above the axle line, not below it as with horst-links.
  • 2 1
 I meant a 36 tooth ring, I think the fox 34 would be fine. I just can't imagine climbing any sort of long climb on a 36x36 gear. Back in the day when mountain bikes only weighed 24-26 lbs maybe, and were all xc based. but now with longer trails and older legs I'll take a 24x36 any day. But it is a race machine so it should have race gears.... Is this a horst link? I thought that was only Norco and Specialized...., I compare it to the remedy I had and didn't get along with the suspension action of it and I went back to Maestro (DW link style or VPP) based. That was just my experience.
  • 2 1
 How many times must I say... its NOT a horst-link. There are dozens of brands which use horst-links all over the world and easily a dozen alone in the USA, but Rocky Mtn isn't one of them as they developed their own patented design.
  • 1 0
 Not really much of a Rocky Mountain fan myself, but that is a really really good looking bike!
Love the photography too Smile
  • 1 0
 amazing, no 650b whining. but this bike does ride awesome, the 750 anyway, the carbon ones are just a pipe dream.
  • 1 0
 When I read the title before I even looked at the bike, I was saying to myself, "I bet it's not a 26er".
  • 1 0
 if I had a nickel for each time they put the word "enduro" in this article, I could buy the whole bike!
  • 1 0
 Not to be an informative a*shole but the trs+ is a double ring guide that looks more like an lg1+
  • 1 0
 Don't really get the 1x thing but other than that the bike looks amazing! Their color schemes are on-point as of late
  • 1 0
 like the ride, that loop!!
  • 1 0
 Rocky Mountain website seems to be down right now..
  • 1 0
 alright its back up now
  • 1 0
 36t? what do they eat at breakfast??
  • 3 0
 Wheaties
  • 7 1
 topped with cocaine maybe
  • 2 0
 The breakfast of champions!
  • 1 0
 Those are the "frosted" wheaties!
  • 1 0
 frosted with what?
  • 1 0
 Cocaine. Always cocaine.
  • 1 0
 hhhhhmmmmm....whats so bad about sugar?
  • 1 1
 Cocaine is a helluva drug. Sprinkle some on your Wheaties, you'll go faster. Sugar helps, but not as much.
  • 3 0
 "The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it is the opposition." Nick Seitz (some golfer, anyway, it is a cool quote).
  • 1 1
 What would brandon semenuk say?
  • 1 0
 margus riga made this article
  • 1 0
 take my money too bad i don't have any Frown )
  • 1 0
 It is not the ride you ride that defines you but how you ride the ride.
  • 1 0
 Is the rear triangle carbon or aluminium?
  • 1 0
 So it looks like the rear triangle is aluminium. I know I'm nit picking, but the line from the article where it says "The frame is unchanged from the carbon Altitude 790 we tested earlier this year" is not exactly accurate. The 790 has a carbon rear triangle. I'm sure the author was referring to the geometry, but it should be noted that this is not the exact same frame as the 790.
  • 1 0
 What is the weight of the MSL?
  • 1 0
 I'd throw a Fox 36 up front
  • 1 0
 Holy shit 3300$ all mountain machine ?!??!?! Great news and it's a RMB.
  • 1 0
 Where is the weight on this beauty?
  • 1 0
 29.1 lbs for the 770 MSL according to a few other sources.
  • 1 0
 Bike looks nice but no likely blue and green colour scheme
  • 1 0
 So this is just a 160f/150r and single ring option?
  • 1 0
 Every picture is a winner. 100 PODs in here and one rad bike!
  • 1 0
 looks like wade rides a 26" 55 Marzo with 27,5/650B wheel! Tight!
  • 1 0
 No kidding. I wanna try that out.
  • 1 0
 Does the Float X reservoir impede water bottle clearance at all?
  • 2 0
 Canada rules!
  • 1 3
 Rocky no doubt chose the parts spec before raceface announced production of the narrow-wide singlespeed rings otherwise they would have left off the chainguide.
  • 3 0
 At the mega today a lot of guys who 'didn't need chain guides' have learned a harsh lesson, narrow wide chain ring or not, clutch mech be damned, you still need a chain guide. Speaking of which, nice to see Rocky Mountain speccing to reality rather than hype, the Al frame in particular looks lovely.
  • 1 0
 I love this bike
  • 1 0
 nice bike
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