First Look: Rocky Mountain Updates Altitude & Instinct Powerplay Models with Dyname 4.0 motor

Oct 28, 2021
by Seb Stott  

Rocky Mountain made their e-bike debut four years ago with the Altitude Powerplay. Not content with the off-the-shelf motors from Shimano and Bosch, Rocky developed their own motor system which made a name for itself as one of the most powerful on the market.

Now they have developed a new and improved motor, the Dyname 4.0, and they've put it in all-new versions of the Altitude and Instinct Powerplay e-bikes. The new motor boasts the same impressive power, but with more refinement, less drag and less weight, plus there's a bigger battery, faster charging and a higher chainline allowing for a more rearward axle path.

The Instinct and Altitude Powerplay bikes have been completely redesigned around the new motor, with mid-high pivot suspension working hand in hand with the higher chainline, 29" wheels, more travel and a host of other updates.







The Dyname 4.0 motor

The Dyname 4.0 motor packs a punch. It offers up to 108Nm of torque at the crank and peak power of 700W - that compares to 85Nm and 500W for Shimano's EP8 system. In the most powerful mode, it can add 350% on top of your pedalling power; it's very much about shunting you to the top of the hill as fast as possible.

And although the power is the same as the previous version, the motor is claimed to be more refined.
Dyname 4.0 Details

• 108 Nm torque
• 700 W peak output
• Up to 350% rider power amplification
• 720 Wh internal battery capacity
• Optional range extender
• Integrated idler
bikes.com
It's 18.5% lighter, all while squeezing in larger bearings for improved reliability. It's quieter too, thanks to a lower RPM motor that's said to reduce motor whine, and Rocky have removed the upper chain slider found on previous versions to reduce both noise and drag.

One advantage of both motors over other systems is the use of a conventional bottom bracket which isn't part of the motor, making replacement as simple as with a conventional bike. The system uses conventional RaceFace crankarms, with either a DH-width 149mm x 30mm or a 156mm x 24mm spindle. The BB92 bottom bracket is offset to the non-drive side to accommodate a custom spider that houses a sprag clutch (like a freewheel). This is needed to allow the cranks to back-pedal without turning the motor.

Both the old motor (left) and the new one (right) use a spring-loaded pulley (circled) to sense the tension in the chain, which corresponds to the torque applied by the rider and motor. The position of the pulley wheel is detected by a Hall sensor for rapid response. The new motor pulley uses a steel spring which is less sensitive to temperature changes.

Rocky say their fast-acting torque sensor "removes unwanted lag time to give an instantaneous and natural response when the power is applied." The motor's assistance is designed to peak at a cadence of 85rpm while providing plenty of support at lower and higher cadences. Meanwhile, the overrun - the time taken for the motor to stop after you stop pedalling - has been reduced for a more natural feel.

Rocky has integrated the display screen into the top-tube, where it shows information like the assistance mode, battery level and speed. This should make it harder to damage than bar-mounted displays like those from Bosch or Shimano. A small remote to change the power modes is located by the grip. Rocky calls the four assistance modes Ludicrous, Trail Plus, Trail, and Eco.

The top-tube mounted display is a neater solution than most.

Battery capacity has been increased from 672Wh to 720Wh (about a 7% improvement), putting it in touch with Bosch's biggest 750Wh battery. The battery is still removable for off-bike charging by releasing the cover and retention bolt. The new Powerplay bikes are compatible with Rocky's Overtimepack, an external range extender that gives an extra 314Wh of battery capacity on top of the 720Wh internal pack, for a total of 1,034Wh of energy. That's among the biggest total battery capacities of any e-MTB.

There are two chargers: a two amp and a four-amp version. The slower one is good for a 0-100% charge in 7 hours 35 minutes, while the four amp can do it in 3 hours 55 minutes.



The Altitude (left) and Instinct Powerplay

Updated Instinct and Altitude Powerplay

The Altitude is designed for enduro-style riding with a 170mm fork and 160mm rear travel (10mm more than the previous version), while the Instinct is designed for trail riding with 150/140mm travel. Both use 29" wheels front and rear in all sizes (the previous Altitude Powerplay was 27.5"). Both bikes are available with carbon and alloy frames and share the same motor and design updates.

"The Altitude was designed for aggressive, high-speed riding," says Rocky's PR, "while the Instinct is meant for long days of exploration and efficient riding." My view is that if you have a motor you may as well have more travel for climbing and descending.




Suspension design

The new motor has a higher idler position than the previous version, and no guide ring lowering the chain back down towards the chainring. This creates a higher chain line, which Rocky have taken advantage of to raise the main pivot for a more rearward axle path. It's not as high as some high-pivot bikes, so Rocky are calling it a mid-high pivot design. The axle path has about as much rearward as forwards movement throughout the travel, similar to Trek's "high-ish-pivot" Session.


In addition to the more rearward axle path, the suspension has been made a touch more progressive compared to previous designs for more bottom-out resistance. Note the graphic above shows the shock rate, which is the inverse of the leverage ratio that we're more used to seeing. The Altitude has around 31% progression in the leverage ratio throughout the travel when calculated in the more common way.

The Altitude and Instinct Powerplay offer four geometry settings using the rotating chip (left) plus two chainstay settings, 10 mm apart.

Frame details

The new Powerplay bikes get Rocky's RIDE-4 geometry adjustment system, which offers four geometry configurations via one rotating flip chip on the shock link. There's also a 10mm chainstay adjustment chip at the rear axle to further tweak the geometry, bringing the total geometry configurations to eight. The chainstay length is around 437mm in the short setting or 447mm in the long setting. Compared to the outgoing models, there's also added downtube and chainstay protection, shuttle guard and a chain guide; plus updated tube profiles for greater front-end stiffness, as well as improved rattle-free cable routing and dual bearings at the chainstay and seatstay for increased stiffness and durability. Size-specific shock tunes are a nice touch, too.

Claimed weight for the Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 is 23.53 kg (51.9 lbs) for a size large. Claimed weights for the other models are TBC. According to Rocky, this weight includes DoubleDown tires and CushCore inserts, which are fitted to the Carbon 90, Carbon 70, and Alloy 70 models. A pair of CushCore inserts weigh around 520g (1.15 lbs).


Geometry

Altitude Powerplay Geometry
Instinct Powerplay Geometry

The geometry of both bikes closely mirrors their non-motorized equivalents. Part of the reason Rocky wanted to develop their own motor was to allow room to design the pivot locations and motor together, rather than fitting them around an exiting motor housing. One implication of this is the chainstay length is no longer than the human-powered bikes, and among the shortest for a 29er eMTB. This should make it a bit easier to lift the front wheel compared to some of the e-bikes out there.

Compared to the outgoing bikes, the reach and wheelbase have been lengthened considerably. Roughly speaking, the reach numbers have moved up one size.


Pricing and Availability

The Altitude Powerplay and Instinct Powerplay will be available this winter from Rocky Mountain dealers. Regional availability may vary.

Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition: $13,129 CAD / $10,649 USD
Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70: $11,339 CAD / $9,059 USD
Altitude Powerplay Alloy 70: $9,239 CAD / $7,779 USD
Altitude Powerplay Alloy 50: $8,399 CAD / $6,999 USD
Altitude Powerplay Alloy 30 Coil: $7,349 CAD / $5,749 USD

Instinct Powerplay Carbon 90: $14,699 CAD / $12,039 USD
Instinct Powerplay Carbon 70: $11,549 CAD / $9,159 USD
Instinct Powerplay Alloy 70: $8,819 CAD / $7,459 USD
Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50: $7,769 CAD / $6,499 USD
Instinct Powerplay Alloy 30: $6,929 CAD / $5,599 USD






138 Comments

  • 55 2
 Definitely two different directions on e-MTBs developing, the super assistive, super heavy sleds and the lighter, less assisting ones. Still don't see the point of carbon in the heavy ones, it's not as if you are going to notice the difference between 23 and 23,6kg if that's non rotating weight.
  • 25 2
 23.5kg with a 720wh battery, DD tyres and cushcore front and rear is pretty light compared to other bikes. I bet you'd be looking at 26kg+ for an equivalent alloy bike.
  • 62 2
 @bacondoublechee: waiting for Dangerholm 13kg e-bike...
  • 10 0
 Agreed. Might be fair to classify the choice of carbon over alloy as a marketing decision.
  • 9 4
 Carbon isn’t just about weight saving. It changes the feeling as well and I can tell your it makes a huge difference in the frameset. Can’t say the same about a crank though
  • 9 1
 @benny2039: There is a vibration dampening and stiffness component to carbon frames. That is the first thing I noticed when I made the move from aluminum to carbon. Also yes superficial, carbon bikes just look sick with smooth lines. Lol.
  • 5 2
 I think with some designs it isn't feasible to make an alloy version. It is easier to make carbon in the shape you need it to be.
  • 3 0
 @tacklingdummy: feels gourmet af don’t it?
  • 9 0
 As someone with both aluminum and carbon ebike‘s, you do notice the difference in weight but only when directly switching between the two. After a ride or two it just feels like a bike. Given that fact, probably does make since to go aluminum unless it starts to cost more than carbon due to current economic forces. On a sidenote, the other day I had been looking at Rocky Mountains ebike offerings thinking how behind the times they were with spec, geometry, price etc. and I really think they’ve nailed it with redesign. Well done Rocky Mountain.
  • 7 0
 I haven't taken a close enough look at this thing to be sure, but from what I can see, this system is on the lighter side of "full fat" and it's the weight of the extra batteries that puts it back to par with other similar bikes. I suspect RMB could (and probably should) make a lightweight version with smaller battery.

As for making it carbon, with a home-grown motor the bike isn't going to be cheap, so at some point the decision to go carbon is only a couple percent of total price. For the customer buying a $12K eMTB it may as well be carbon. Plus better tolerances, less QC issues, etc.
  • 4 0
 @bacondoublechee: A kg is 2.2 lbs. If everything else is equal other than the frame you are saying that the alu frame would be 5.5+ lbs heavier then the carbon frame, and this is not realistic. At most, a couple of lbs, so maybe 23.5 vs 24.5 kgs.
  • 5 2
 Because carbon fiber has different chassis characteristics than alloys. Also, it's significantly easier to create an ultra-strong, hollow frame using carbon fiber compared to attempting the same with metal.

With the metal, you have to worry about it being too thin and bending/breaking. Which means you either need to make the battery structural or you need to add more weight to compensate. It's the reason that carbon fiber monocoques are so amazing for cars.
  • 4 0
 WAKI???
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: you know a thing or two about Rocky eh! ? ^^
  • 1 0
 @shawndashf1: I was just responding to the heavyweight ebike comment at the top, this one is quite light i'd say by comparison from a few weights of similar travel alloy ebikes out there at the moment with smaller batteries and no inserts, lighter forks etc. Focus SAM is >26Kg, Marin Alpine Trail >25Kg. You could add at least 1kg on to these for the bigger battery etc that this bike already has.
  • 2 0
 @dancingwithmyself: Alloy appears to be a $1300 cost savings. Not sure about others, but that's definitely not pocket change and will buy a lot of other necessities with room to spare.
  • 1 0
 @JWadd: I just took a C70 out for a couple of quick rides. The motor is seriously impressive - so much quieter than the Shimano units I’ve tried. That said, count me very interested in that Alloy 30 for my +1 bike. My sense is I’ll have 99% of the fun at about 40% of the cost. Super smart spec - ain’t NOTHING wrong with 11sp Deore, and I don’t mind one iota having to install my own CushCore. I only want/need one out back. The big question is when are the cheapest models going to be available??
  • 31 0
 Sold - It has Ludicrous Speed!
#Spaceballs
  • 9 0
 What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz?

Chicken?...
  • 6 0
 Does it come with a Schwartz
  • 5 0
 Hope the motor doesn’t get Jammed.
  • 2 0
 @SterlingArcher: I hate it when I get my schwartz twisted!!
  • 4 0
 They should make a Plaid frame color and complete the Tesla spinoff.
  • 26 1
 Even though I'm not in the market for pedal assist, I appreciate how RM develops these systems themselves (or so it seems) and utilizes the potential this offers them. Motor pulley serves as a idler for "high pivot" suspension, no-little additional drag when the cranks spin and the motor doesn't... One worry I'd have though is how to clean that crank/motor area after a muddy ride. The cover may help against front wheel spray but once the chain gets dirty it is getting everywhere. If they're going to do a review, it would be worthwhile to ride it in a bit more nasty conditions.

Other than that, I'm curious whether you could install an oval chainring (and install it "wrong", so 90deg rotated) or would that upset the guide pulley?
  • 5 0
 it really doesnt get to bad behind there if you keep ontop of it. you can clean behind the cover no problem, i do so every few rides & a good spray out with brake cleaner.

oval isnt necessary on a ebike.
  • 1 0
 @dilz000: Good to know about the cleaning. I've never ridden a bike with pedal assist (only got scared shitless when I tried to lube someones chain and backpedaled with the motor still engaged...) but I thought the power output is proportional to the power you apply on the pedals. So the steadier your own output, the steadier the total (multiplied) output so the easier it is to maintain traction on slippery climbs. And for me it feels easier to be steady with an oval chainring, especially as I usually stand up and ride with flat pedals. Or isn't the motor management system that responsive and does it actually even things out? That'd be a positive and a negative. A positive obviously as that would help avoid spin-outs on a climb. A negative in a way as you'd lose the beautiful challenge of modulating your pedal force on the climb. Or well, at least for someone who loves a bit of a challenge on the climb (other than just the strength and endurance challenge).

Either way, cool bike!
  • 3 0
 in the Review on E-Mountainbike Mag, there is a picture of the motor without a cover. Shows what to expect in case of dirty ebike-mtb.com/en/rocky-mountain-altitude-powerplay-c70-2022-first-ride-review
  • 1 0
 Why would you want to install the oval chainring "wrong"? Part of their benefit is they smooth out the stroke by reducing some of the cranks-vertical 'dead spot' where you have minimal torque, and maximising the time spent in the cranks-horizontal position where you have most torque.

I'd never thought of it before, but I would have thought this would be a benefit on ebikes - having a smoother cadence on technical climbs. Especially if the motor is applying more torque in response to more pedalling torque, I'd think the benefit would be multiplied.

I'm pretty sure it wouldn't work on this bike though as it would interfere with the pulley wheel that senses the torque inputs. Other e bikes should be fine.
  • 1 0
 @mattg95: I would install the oval ring "wrong" because now it pulls the chain down instead of forwards.
  • 1 1
 You'd also get the advantage of more human generated power with the oval chainring, and could rely less on the motor (saving battery life)
  • 5 0
 @vinay: you'd still need the chainring to be in the same position. It needs to be aligned in relation to the cranks, not the chainline
  • 14 0
 Not much point in oval chainrings here... Because the spider spins on the sprag clutch, you can't clock the ring. It is constantly moving...
  • 15 0
 @vinay I was working for RMB (in marketing) through the development of their first eMTB motor and it's definitely them developing the system on their own. They have a whole division for the motor. It drove me nuts at the time because it was a way harder path than putting on a Bosch or Shimano like every other brand, but now that I'm on the media side I absolutely love that they're doing something different.
  • 2 0
 @mattg95: Let's agree to disagree there.
@RMB-PM: Ah, I always thought that the bike just takes a regular crankset and bottom bracket and the motor just works in series. If they can spin independently, it is not going to work indeed.
@brianpark: Yeah, indeed it is super cool and brave to take on the likes of Shimano, Bosch and Yamaha with a product that only works in your own system (so you can't make money selling/licencing it to competitors). A bit like Cannondale has done too. Unique and wild ideas make this scene exiting.
  • 1 0
 You can't install -and there is no need to- an oval chainring on an ebike. All of them have a clutch mechanism on the spider and so the "Angle" of the ring to the cranks would never be the same. If you spin the cranks backwards the chainring will not spin.... so it is Pointless....
  • 11 0
 Can confirm it was all developed in house. Which means we can design our frames and motors together to create an overall better package. For instance, it allows us to have a normal looking headtube area across all sizes, whereas on most other bikes the L and XL bikes get a gooseneck look. It also means that the remote was designed with all brakes in mind and I can fit it in between the clamp and brace of my Shimano brakes! That was a pleasant surprise. As for the clean-up. It isn't any worse than the pulley wheels on your derailleur. The guide into the cover does a good job of scraping off most dirt.
  • 1 0
 I appreciate the super clever design that RM have a "high pivot" that's integrated into the motor pulley. I'm also not looking for an E-bike but since they have different characteristics (heavy AF) and their popularity is exploding, I think regular mountain bikes will get the benefits of the R&D for suspension kinematics, suspension, brakes, drivetrains, frame and wheel strength, etc. Maybe I'll even get one in a few years!
  • 19 1
 This thing will eat chains like Joey Chestnut eats hotdogs.
  • 14 2
 My 21 RM aluminum instinct probably weighs 65lbs with coil shock and battery boost. It's the heaviest bike ever.The thing has so much damn torque that it feels like a motorcycle. And a 65lb motorcycle feels super light. I know people complain about the 21 not having a modern geometry but I've realized how much I love a shorter reach. Not having to travel to another zip code to weight the front tire is pretty awesome. Looking forward to trying a 22 though and hope it has the same amazing ride characteristics as the 21.
  • 30 7
 An ebike that feels like a motorcycle? You can't write this stuff folks. Thanks for the laugh
  • 2 2
 @Bro-LanDog: But they literally just did write this stuff... Looking forward to the next technology that people will complain about
  • 2 0
 @stumphumper92: gravity weapons
  • 9 1
 @Bro-LanDog: it essentially is a motorcycle. i'm not pretending in any way that its a bicycle. its got a super powerful motor. i honestly cant believe they are legal on MTB and hiking trails. i'm guessing this is what phenethylamines were like in the 60s. how can something this fun be allowed??
  • 3 0
 @AlexBreck: Props for admitting it. So many people get sweatier in the comments section about whether or not their bike with a motor on it is a motorbike than they do riding I swear. I have nothing against ebikes, I'd own one if funds allowed.
  • 2 0
 I would say it has even better characteristics! I loved the first version so I was happy to find out it was just an overall improvement in every area rather a complete change.
  • 10 1
 I find after riding a bunch of brands of ebikes I think that this weight issue is just a non issue when I ride ebikes. I just go fast and plow. Jump and pop on the things I can do easily. focus less on trying to get the bike to be playful. I still ride my regular bike and when I do it’s so fun. It’s like riding a kids bmx. Then I get more into the mindset of having a more playful riding experience. Both have amazing qualities
  • 1 0
 Do you guys not have obstacles on your trails? Logs to jump over, ledges to get onto? The difference between Levo and Levo SL in these scenarios is massive! Not just the weight, but also the chainstay. These bikes having the shorter chainstay option might hit a good middle ground.
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: hmm. Not really. Sounds like slow speed maneuvers. Definitely would suck on an ebike. I live in the PNW so we have everything. I just chose where I ride when on the ebike. Something chunky and fast!!
  • 4 0
 @vanman: yeah, here on the east coast we (mostly) don't have climbing trails or fire roads. Gotta go up the same chunky shit you're going down. So being able to pull slow speed move and bunny hops/logovers is pretty important!
  • 7 1
 Ya, I'm the opposite... demo'd a bunch... obviously loved them on the climbs as long as they weren't too technical where I needed to balance, hop, hold positions etc (because then it kind of sucked). But I didn't like it on the downs... my long travel enduro bike handles the straight and plow just as well as any of the e-bikes, but then it also does everything else so much better, cornering, shralping, weight shifting, pushing the bike up and around things, little pops, tight and/or slow jank... tried to ride really fast through through varied rough terrain that necessitated lots of fast direction and line changes and it was just so much more work... I had to slow down to get it to do what I wanted.

I don't mean to sound like a dick here or think I'm some kind of godly rider but it feels like to me that ebikes get worse the more varied the terrain and the more skilled rider you are. If you're able to ride a bike fast through difficult terrain and use a lot of body english to get the bike to do what you need it to... ebikes make that harder, worse and slower.

I liken it to riding a modern DH bike on my local trail/enduro trails... it'll shine of the steep straight plow stuff and the fast flow bermed stuff (bike park stuff essentially)... but anything beyond that and it's the enduro bike that wins out.

So, to spend that amount of money on a bike that does most things worse, just doesn't make sense to me. Never mind the hugely depreciating value of a battery filled bike. I can sell my enduro bike after two or three years for a pretty good amount... but who wants an ebike with a clapped out battery that might only have another good year or two or three with reduced range left in it.

But... who knows, in ten years when I slow down, and I'm not trying to descend as fast as I possibly can anymore, I'm not racing anymore, the weights drop more, the battery tech gets better, and prices come down... I could see myself on one.
  • 1 0
 @islandforlife: This is why I think Kenevo SL is such a sick bike. By all accounts it rides like the regular enduro, but takes the sting out of climbs. Hope they come out with some less expensive models next year.
  • 2 0
 @islandforlife: Interesting comment about E-bikes being too heavy and a pain in the ass to whip around. Did you ever try one of the "light" e-bikes like Kenevo SL? The lighter ~40 pound e-bikes seem like a nice happy medium to me. I'm like you (and probably lots on the fence) in that I'll probably pedal unassisted for quite a few more years and wait for the ebikes to evolve more and prices to come down!
  • 9 0
 What good is all of this extra torque when ebike drivetrains can't even handle the lower torque levels? Drivetrains on ebikes seriously need to be beefed up. These bikes eat up cassettes and chains. I can't imagine how much slipping and popping you would have with 108 nm of torque.

Where is Shimano Link Glide? They have been talking about this drivetrain for a year and I still haven't seen it for sale anywhere.
  • 5 0
 I think brands were on the right track with 7 speed eMTB specific drivetrains and then they just dropped it? Why?!
  • 3 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: wouldn’t be surprised if it was as simple as a marketing issue
  • 1 0
 I have one of the first Altitudes (one of the old ones) never broke a chain. Mine currently runs X01 AXS
  • 2 0
 I’ve got hundreds of miles on 12 speed XT/ XTR on 2 Bosch power E bikes. Zero broken drivetrain. You can’t just shift like an idiot in turbo mode, if you ride it right you won’t have any issues.
  • 1 0
 Ebike motor power is much more smooth without the high peaks of our leg pistons, so it's not as bad for breakage as one would think. On a side note, does this design (with it's super small driving chainring) cause a lot faster chain wear? Any powerplay owners want to chime in?
  • 4 0
 @txcx166: 4000+ miles on my decoy. Only a few broken chains, but I have to replace them often due to stretch. Also, lots of wear on the teeth of the cassette and chainring. Teeth shark fin fairly rapidly and then you get slippage on the small cogs. Not just in boost.
In any case, I went through a lot of Shimano 11 speed chains and cassettes and then switched to 12 speed Shimano. It's held up better than the 11 speed, but still wears fast. I'm moving to Link Glide as soon as it's available.
  • 4 0
 @djpaulyd: I had an Altitude Powerplay and rode it on the Shore 2 winters in wet and muddy conditions. The small drive cogs hold up quite well, but do have to be replaced eventually just like a drive train would be. They don't wear out easily or often, bottom line. Presumably the rings on the new design aren't that far off the tested and true rings on old models.
  • 8 1
 Wait it doesn’t backpedal? No more dropped chains while ratcheting up climbs in the lowest gear? And this comes stock? Maybe ebikes aren’t so bad after all
  • 8 0
 You do realise pretty much all ebikes have a freewheel system built into the motor? I'm considering cable tieing my cassette to my spokes so I can change gear when coasting
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: Intend Rocksteady. Magics sound like your kind of product
  • 1 0
 @Jules15: yup, if I still had a normal bike I'd be all over them. I once got a stick stuck in my cassette/spokes and loved it haha
  • 1 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: I'm intrigued as to when someone will make a hub specifically to do this in conjunction with a freewheel in the crank. A rear hub that's constantly locked in place, but has a freewheeling 'break away' point if you get a stick stuck in the chain.

There's probably some benefits that could be engineered into it as well as the ability to shift whilst coasting- like instant rear hub engagement and less load on the rear hub if you had something like a sprag clutch instead of pawls and ratchets.
  • 1 0
 This sounds great until you go to oil your chain on your 60lbs pound bike.
  • 1 2
 @Poachninja: that's what the walk mode and a helping hand is for haha, just front brake on, push it into an endo while holding walk mode, get someone else to drip oil on as you go up and down the cassette
  • 1 1
 @Poachninja: and mines only 52lbs ish.
  • 1 0
 @mattg95: HXR Components make the Easyshift front chainring spider and rear hub that does this already.
  • 5 1
 I really like a lot of the thing that RM is doing here, especially the integration of the display and the continued refinement of their motor/battery systems. The geo looks pretty spot on too, especially the shorter chainstay. To me, the real fly in the ointment is the design of the motor. It's just so bulky and overbuilt compared to the other brands on the market. Compare to the Levo or Kenevo SL, where you can barely tell it's an eMTB.
  • 1 0
 Would you rather have a bulky motor that works well or a slim one that doesn't...
  • 2 0
 @haen: I'd like a slim one that works well, ideally Smile
  • 3 0
 That's because those are the SL versions. If we were to make an SL version we could make it look a lot closer to a regular bike as well. But then you would lose the extra power and battery life this bike provides.
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: Just curious, as a pro, which would you rather use as a training tool- a full fat eMTB with big batteries and big power, but more weight or something like the SL concept with somewhat shorter battery life and less power, but a more "natural" feel on the way down?
  • 2 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: I'm not sure! I've never ridden an SL version so I don't know how close to my regular bike it would feel. I don't think I would consider the E-bike a specific training tool as it rides a lot more planted than my race bike, it's just a fun bike to have.
  • 7 0
 My car (Skoda Fabia) has engine with 112 Nm torque.
  • 10 0
 Your car produces 112nm 2000-6000x per Minute ;-)
The bike like 60 times?

Still its frigging insane 112nm for a Bike..
  • 3 0
 All new products (within reason) are a boon to technology and development. We only arrive at good design after many years of building and failing / breaking.

But I'm paying full price to be their beta testing crew. It's a sweet deal for MFG's charging full MSPR and then have users find flaws.
  • 6 0
 So much torque , I’ll be able to tow a trailer, next year a caravan.
  • 4 1
 It's amazing! I did an e-bike event this past weekend and I was pedalling circles around others on their Bosch and Shimano motors and the only one to make a few of the steeper climbs.
  • 2 0
 Really cool to see an ebike that actually multiplies power rather than just letting to spin a low gear and get pulled up the hill. Interested to see if the chain tension sensor lets you get started on a hill easier than the current offerings out there.
  • 1 0
 Question: do you have to add or remove chain links with adjustable chainstay length or is there enough slack for the derailleur to make up the difference? If not, do you use the long or short seeing when initially setting up your bike? Please don't slaughter me, I'm asking for a friend!
  • 2 0
 The chain comes in at 124 links, no need to add or take links off the chain for the 2 position axle. The b-tension screw will take up that slack no problem. Cheers !
  • 1 0
 I like the battery capacity with the add-on. However I rode one of the early generation Rocky mountain e-bikes and found the motor felt pretty underpowered compared to other bikes at the time. This may be the wrong place to ask for actual information but has anyone ridden the current generation motor and can compare it to Shimano or Brose?
  • 3 0
 I have! I just did an event with a group of people and I was able to out-pace Shimano and Bosch motors on the fire road climbs. I was also the only one with enough power to make a particularly steep section of trail.
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: By group of people do you mean others of your ability or "mortals"? :-)
And were the bike specs similar? Enduro geo, weight, etc?
  • 1 0
 @AB805: Yes! A few were, but on a fire road climb anyone can put out max power on an e-bike. Most were comparable Enduro bikes and specs.
  • 1 0
 "Rocky say their fast-acting torque sensor "removes unwanted lag time to give an instantaneous and natural response when the power is applied." The motor's assistance is designed to peak at a cadence of 85rpm while providing plenty of support at lower and higher cadences. Meanwhile, the overrun - the time taken for the motor to stop after you stop pedalling - has been reduced for a more natural feel."

While this is super cool. I'd like to see this type of stuff to be adjustable. Maybe I do want my motor to keep going after I stop pedalling? Maybe I'm a grinder, not a spinner and would prefer the motor to assist at low RPM's?

Why not make motors and batteries modular? Say if for a certain "zone" I don't need a huge motor or battery, can I swap them out quickly for that weekend to save weight/time/efficiency? What if I don't want to a motor or battery at all? Can I do that?

Just a thought. Cool bike, love what they're doing.
  • 1 0
 My $0.02... I've ridden a few bikes w. overrun, and I personally found it scary, coming into corners, you stop pedalling but the motor keeps pushing for that split second... reminds me of

youtu.be/-hIsWx5qbQs?t=35

While I'm sure you eventually adapt, not something we liked.
  • 1 0
 @RMB-PM: Nice vid link, Pikes Peak. That's SRAM territory! LOL

I think you just helped my suggestion. Make it customizable. If I want to run more/less overrun, let me! The software has to be at least half way there. Need to add an interface to adjust the algorithm.

For me, on super steep and tech climbs I need a bit of overrun for when I need to time my pedal strokes due to rock/pedal strikes. And these heavy ass ebikes run out of momentum quickly! So a little overrun is nice Smile

Dear Rocky Mtn - I'll be your IT Product Owner anyday (for free). That's what I do, but for a way less cool company Smile
  • 2 0
 @sylentk: Ok, you make a point about adjustability. What's tough though is the difference between our bike and terrifying overrun is something like 1/4 second. The massaging of intentional delays is measured in 1/10th of seconds, and it's what makes or breaks the ride feel. But thanks for bringing it up, we can put it on the whiteboard!
  • 2 0
 Wow, First time I see RM eBike, and I definitely like the concept of what they are doing, their motor and display looks super dope!

It would be awesome in case they will make lighter version to compete with Spesh;
  • 1 0
 It looks like they improved it quite a bit. Looking forward to a test drive. IMO quieter motors are worth any weight penalty, and batteries should be small, modular and stackable. SLs are the worst of both designs not the best, seems RMC is pointed in the right direction. Ebikes are for smesh!
  • 6 2
 Throw away your ebikes. There's a new ebike out!
  • 3 0
 Well it looks better. However that motor area is still pretty massive and unsightly compared to other options out there.
  • 3 0
 All this tech and Carson Storch is riding an old jacked up looking DH bike by them
  • 2 0
 Looks really nice. Slack seat angles would stop me buying it due to my long legged proportions. Shame as otherwise perfect.
  • 5 0
 Note that the actual seat angel and the virtual seat angle are almost the same, so the seat travels less backwards as you rais it than a lot of other designs: Many bikes have a slack actual seat angle, but achieves a steep virtual seat angle by offseting the crank reawards from the seat tube. (Most seats will be further back when seat is above stack hight...)
  • 1 0
 @trygvesande:

Yea fully aware of this and much prefer it not only because it doesn’t throw you backwards further, but also you can usually fit a really long dropper slammed into the seat tube.

But its still on the slack side for me unfortunately.
  • 2 0
 According to Rocky, this weight includes DoubleDown tires and CushCore inserts, so that adds a little weight
  • 1 0
 I wonder if shops get to install them for each bike or the misery is done at the factory?

I have a guess, if anyone is interested.
  • 4 0
 @j-t-g: they come installed from factory
  • 2 0
 @patcox: praise Simmons!
  • 2 0
 I have never ridden a Rocky but they keep that same link design forever, is it good?
  • 1 0
 I've had rides on my mates slayer, and my other mates instinct. Both are great feeling bikes. Would I buy one? Probably not based on price.
  • 4 0
 Rockies ride awesome
  • 2 0
 My Slayer is the best bike I've ridden. I'm Rocky for life.
  • 2 0
 My 21 Altitude is awesome.
  • 2 0
 Don’t like the look of that motor with the uk winter conditions . Mud mud and more mud
  • 3 5
 I don't understand why ebikes need to be so heavy...I've got rc cars that weigh only a few kg and pump out 9kw at peak power, the lipo's weigh a few hundred grams each... They need to get rid of this archaic motor and battery tech in these e bikes, you could add a battery and motor with only a 2-3 kg weight cost at most that would outperform any of these drivetrains.
  • 3 1
 comes down to torque and rpm's involved. High power in RC cars comes from high RPM, high amps, when running high voltage systems a very low KV motor is needed, or a mega gearbox which would have to be too small to work or have too much play in. Also our cars run for like 20 mins max (for something like a 5.5t motor).
I also suspect they aren't charging the cells to the same voltage we are to ensure long term management.

I agree they should be able to get more out of less, I wish they would make an agreement that trail bikes should have a max assistance of much less if they are to be used on traditional trails without causing much more maintenance.
Specialized Levo SL does a pretty good job or enabling a rider to ride further and easier without turning into motorbiking.
  • 1 2
 @Tristanssid: My 1/8 Xray with tp4070 pumps out 9000 watt from a motot that weighs a few hundred grams...granted it's high rpm..that's why I said 2-3 kg for the ebike...a Lehner 3080 you can use im 1/5 and model boats weighs about a kg or so and pumps out up to 40hp and there is an even bigger one that pumps out around 80hp both have motor shafts that could be transferred through a gearbox for torque and would only need to be run at a few % power and RPM to achieve the same power output as the ebikes. My point is not to use a high rpm rc motor but that there must be a weight to produce a slower rpm high torque motor and battery combo that doesn't add a a whopping 10kg to the bike.
  • 1 0
 @Danzzz88: For batteries we could stop using those 18650 cells, but the cost would go up. And I'm fairly certain most of the weight in an ebike motor is the casing and reduction gearing. It's certainly worth a try adapting one of those motors to a bicycle.
  • 4 0
 Build one and revolutionise the market.
  • 1 0
 @CustardCountry: If I owned a multimillion pound corporation I would.
  • 5 3
 There are more attractive looking vacuum cleaners on the market.
  • 2 0
 Does anyone know if you can mullet this bike?
  • 1 1
 Could Ebikes have breaks that function like a dynamo and recharge the battery?
  • 5 0
 Nope, unless it’s a hub motor (i know it’s possible with crank motor, but it’s a pain in the a$$)
  • 6 0
 Yes, but it would considerably up weight and complicacy of the bike for a minimum recharge
  • 2 0
 For mountainbiking it probably wouldn't make sense as it is hard to modulate. After all you don't want to drag your brakes all the way down, just let it roll and dab the brakes when you should. For commuting it makes much more sense, especially as people would otherwise have drag their regular brakes all the way down. That would be a waste (of both energy as well as brake pads). Hub motors are capable of doing regenerative braking but I'm not sure how many of these bikes actually use that option. Both driving as well as recharging efficiency of such motors is super high so yeah, for people who have a couple of hills on their commute, regenerative braking makes a huge lot of sense.
  • 2 1
 Yes, but it would take a little redesign to move the freehub to the motor side. Regen braking isn't uncommon in high end brushless motors. I stopped design in that field 8 years ago, but e-bike design doesnt look like it is near where we were development wise yet.
  • 1 0
 @betsie: Yeah, but are the state of the art developments in the field relevant for e-bikes anyway? Back early this century we already had motors with 98%/97% (drive/regenerative) efficiency. Whatever things have improved, it wouldn't matter much for bikes. We'd just always want them smaller and lighter, for our demanded power delivery which implies powerful magnets. These are rare-earth metals that come from China (and the mining is typically destructive to nature and water quality) who are toning down their export of raw materials. And we want to store a lot of energy in a lightweight battery, which currently implies lithium (from often questionable sources too). People are happy with the assisted commuter bikes as they are now (the types of bikes where regenerative braking makes sense). They no longer look weird, they're fairly reliable, balanced and they're probably not even heavier than my unassisted heavy steel commuter bike. You probably know more about the recent developments in the field but I think it adds little to this market. The biggest challenge actually is to make these products with more readily available materials, to make production more sustainable. I understand aluminium based batteries had a lot of potential but haven't heard anything recently. As for neodymium, I don't really know if there is a good alternative (and cobalt isn't necessarily pretty either, of course).
  • 1 0
 hands down the best, wish id held off for the 22 model
  • 3 1
 Game changer!
  • 2 1
 Nope..ebikes have about 5 years still to get dialed..
  • 1 0
 It makes about 20nm less torque than my car. Okay.
  • 1 0
 @seb-stott any chance you're going to have one in for review?
  • 1 0
 Yeah, but who can afford it?
  • 1 0
 Game changer being able to use regular BB
  • 1 0
 Why is ebike content in my feed when I already opted out
  • 1 0
 CYC X1 Stealth motor?
  • 6 6
 BUt tHIS isNt a mOtoRbiKe weBSite
  • 10 7
 So happy there are more e bike articles in this site! Keep it up pinkbike! Smile
  • 1 0
 Why a press in BB
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