Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay 70 - eMTB Review

Oct 19, 2017
by Paul Aston  



Rocky Mountain took the bold step of launching their own eMTB earlier this year. The Canadian brand developed their own motor and drive system, and set the new bike loose in Europe (in other words, it's not currently for sale in North America). We attended the press camp back in May and presented a First Ride article. We held onto that Rocky, while we came to grips with the machine, rode it against its competitors and saw how it stacked up.

You can learn more about the details of the Powerplay in our First Ride, but the basics of this bike are that it has a whopping 632wh battery (for the 70 and 90 models), Rocky's own motor, which boasts instant engagement and torque sensing, and some quite short chainstays. We tested the mid-tier bike (there are three build options), which came specced with Fox E-Optimized Performance suspension, SRAM EX1 drivetrain, RaceFace and SunRinglé parts. The price, €7,345.


Rocky Mountain PowerPlay
Altitude Powerplay 70 Details

• Intended use: all-mountain / enduro
• Travel: 150mm rear / 160mm front
• PowerPlay drive system
• 500 or 632-Watt/Hr battery
• 27.5" wheels
• Ride-9 suspension/geo adjustment
• Smoothlink suspension
• Weight: 22.21 kgs (Carbon 70, size large, actual)
• Sizes: XS, S, M, L
• MSRP: €7,345 (slight variations between terrritories)
Rocky Mountain



Build

The build kit is heavy duty, with plenty of eMTB specific branding, like SRAM Guide RE brakes, SRAM EX1 drivetrain, and Fox's E-Optimized 36 fork. Other chunky components come from Raceface with their 35mm-diameter bar/stem combo, Sun Ringle 40mm wide rims, and 2.5" Minion Wide Trail tires from Maxxis.

The Guide RE is aimed at eMTB s. Using a Guide lever mixed with the larger old-style Code calliper.
The Guide RE is aimed at eMTB's. Using a Guide lever, mixed with the large, old-style Code caliper.
The Sun Ringle Duroc 40 rims were matched with 2.5 Wide Trail tires from Maxxis.
The Sun Ringle Duroc 40 rims were matched with 2.5" Wide Trail tires from Maxxis.

The 35mm RaceFace bar and stem setup is a sturdy choice.
The 35mm Raceface handlebar and stem setup is a sturdy choice.



Carbon, Aluminum and Battery Options

There are three models of Powerplay to choose from, starting at €5700 and heading skywards to €9700. The top of the range Carbon 90 is the only model with a full carbon frame. The 70 and 50 models feature the same carbon mainframe, but use an alloy chainstay and seatstay. The higher-end 90 and 70 models will come with the 632-Watt/Hr battery, the 50 will have a smaller–but equal to its competitors–500-Watt/Hr unit. Currently, aftermarket batteries are not available. The Powerplay drive unit, geometry, wheel size and travel numbers are consistent throughout the range.


Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay launch Valberg 2017. April 2017. Photo by Matt Wragg
The integrated battery can only be charged on the bike, bad luck if your bike storage doesn't have a power outlet within reach.
Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay charger
Considering an eMTB? Consider the fact you will need more stuff, including a proprietary charger for each different system on the market.

Rocky have gone with a 48v system, which allows quicker charging times than is generally the case with lower voltage systems. You can't remove the integrated battery to charge it, but if you are in a pinch for an electrical source, you should be able to get 80% of power topped up in two hours – 80% of the 632wh battery is 505wh, so compared to a 500wh battery from other brands that can take four hours to recharge, the Powerplay is way ahead on charging times.



Powerplay Drive

By designing and building their own motor system, instead of working with an existing product, Rocky was able to create space for a water bottle mount, integrate a 632wh battery into the downtube (claiming to save 250 grams of weight), and build the back of the bike with super short, 426mm chainstays to duplicate the geometry of their existing, naturally-aspirated Altitude.

Woohoo water bottle mounts for eMTB s.
Woohoo, water bottle mounts for eMTB's.
The charging port for the PowerPlay is easy to access though the battery cannot be removed for charging.
The charging port is easy to access, but the battery isn't removable.


The Powerplay drives from an axle in front of the chainring, with a torque sensor between the two. As the cranks are pressured, the tension on the lever will tell the motor how much power is needed – harder pedal strokes mean more power assist. This is said to give a much quicker motor response than anything else on the market. Some systems use torque sensors that only read a few times per pedal stroke. Rocky says that this quick response should help to make the ride more intuitive and learning to ride an eMTB won't be necessary.

A standard Raceface crankset is used with a PF92 bottom bracket. The only difference being the Spragg clutch bearing in the chainring spider, which allows backpedaling without turning against the drive of the motor. Rocky say that this will help with ease of maintenance, as you won't be forced to open the motor casing in order to change bottom bracket bearings.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay control
There is no display unit on the Powerplay. The button control is simple to use and LED's indicate mode and power levels.
Rocky Mountain s system uses a standard RaceFace crankset
Rocky Mountain's system uses a standard Raceface crankset


The Powerplay doesn't use a computer screen display on the bars. Rocky decided to keep things simple with a thumb button remote on the left side of the handlebar. Here, riders can turn the bike on and off, change power modes and see battery life displayed by LED's. Three power modes are set as standard: Eco, Trail and Ludacris, which deliver 40, 60 or 100% of available power. Riders can also use the remote to activate walk mode and navigate the app if your phone is connected, instead of using grubby mitts to scrape the touchscreen.


The proprietary motor and bike is assembled in Quebec.


The Powerplay is also backed by a mobile app called Ebikemotion that works with Android and iPhone systems. The program allows riders to easily change the power modes as a percentage of complete output using sliders, use GPS maps to plan rides and determine how far they can ride (judging by current power level and elevation). You can even plug your device into the USB port to keep it charged from the main battery.



Geometry

RMB Altitude Powerplay Geometry
RMB Altitude Powerplay Geometry


One of the main driving forces behind Rocky creating their own Powerplay system was to achieve the geometry and kinematics they wanted. The Altitude Powerplay's geometry is identical to the conventional Altitude. Using the Ride-9 system, you can adjust the head angle from 65º - 66.1º, which also changes the seat angle by +/-1º and the bottom bracket height +/- 14mm. Creating the Powerplay system also allowed Rocky to make the chainstays a super short 426mm – the shortest by far of any current eMTB.



Specifications
Specifications
Price $7345
Travel 150 R - 160 F
Rear Shock Fox Float DPS EVOL Performance Elite
Fork Fox 36 Float EVOL Grip Performance 160mm
Headset FSA Orbit NO.57 Steerer Stop
Cassette Sram XG-899 11-48T
Crankarms Race Face Turbine Cinch 34T
Bottom Bracket Race Face BB92
Rear Derailleur Sram EX1
Chain Sram EX1
Shifter Pods Sram EX1
Handlebar Race Face Chester 780mm
Stem Rocky Mountain 35 AM
Grips Rocky Mountain Lock On Light
Brakes Sram Guide RE 200mm.
Hubs Rocky Mountain Sealed Boost / DT Swiss 350
Spokes WTB 2.0-1.8
Rim Sun Düroc 40
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF WT EXO 27.5 x 2.5
Seat WTB Silverado Race
Seatpost Fox Transfer Performance Elite






Rocky Mountain PowerPlay




Rocky Mountain PowerPlay








Climbing

The Altitude Powerplay is a trail riding conundrum. On the positive side, the instant engagement of the motor, combined with a little extra rotation from the chainring after you have stopped pedaling, makes technical climbing very easy and intuitive. Momentary pauses to avoid rock or terrain strikes with the pedals and using little quarter cranks here and there to pop over things and to maintain momentum feel very similar to a normal MTB (with the added power, of course). Also, the quick engagement of the torque sensor means that the Powerplay is the easiest system I have found so far to feed the power in at the right time to keep the back wheel gripping on loose or slippery surfaces. Rocky's advantage may be short-lived, however, because Bosch and Shimano are also tackling this feature with their latest power modes via free software updates.

The downsides of the Powerplay's trail bike geometry are its very short, 426mm chainstays and the slack, by modern standards, seat angle. Both make for a wheelie machine when ascending, which leads to extra fatigue on climbs as the rider must constantly battle to keep the front end down. Luckily I have good hip flexibility, but many riders suffer here and will struggle to keep the front wheel on track and the bike on-line. It is easy to float the front wheel over obstacles, but much more easy to start to loop out or simply stray off the track. The light front wheel can be remedied slightly by using the Ride-9 adjustment chip on the shock linkage, but there are some disadvantages, namely, lifting the rear of the bike and steepening the steering geometry. The difficulty found in climbing this bike is trail based, if you want to shuttle yourself up a road to pin the downhills, then what I'm describing here is almost a moot point, but climbing and descending challenging trails is where the eMTB fun begins.

The huge, 632wh battery is currently the biggest available, with Shimano and Bosch maxing out at 500wh. But, things are changing rapidly. BH just launched their Atom-X with a 720wh battery, and some bikes like the Focus Jam are starting to appear with secondary battery options to boost power up to, and over 800wh. Some serious eMTB riders may be interested in an extra battery (for an eye-watering price) so they could swap out the battery and double their ride times, but that's not an option on the Powerplay, as the integrated battery cannot be removed (which can also be a problem if you don't have a power connection in your bike storage or hotel garage on a weekend away). That said, if you can find an outlet, its 48-volt charger is claimed to be able to restore power up to 80% in only two hours.

Riding the Rocky Mountain PowerPlay


Using the 632wh battery, I squeezed out six runs on a track that descends 300m vertical over three minutes, in around a kilometer's distance. That's 30km of riding in total, 1800m of climbing, two hours of riding time, and back home before you could say "Bob's your obese e-bike riding uncle." That was in full power mode up a steep and loose climb. You can expect more range if your "shuttle route" is a gentle road climb. Are eMTB's for lazy people? That was my morning warm up, more than some people ride in a week.

The continuous rumble from the multi-sprocket setup of the Powerplay drive does get frustrating. A generous slathering of wet lube helps to quiet things down, but then you are left with a filth-attracting chain in dry conditions. Dry lubes seemed to last only minutes, due to the extra torque on the chain and the fact that you'll be coasting far less on an eMTB. The chain entering into the enclosed multi-wheel system can also drag grass and foliage inside, and if you are unlucky enough to drag a really tough weed in there, you could find yourself having to remove the guard whilst trail-side in order to clear things out.


Descending

The build kit is just what an aggressive bike deserves. The Guide RE stoppers took some time to bed in, but combined with the 200mm rotors, they have ample power. The tire and wheelset is a good choice for aggressive riding in most conditions, leaning towards the dry end of the spectrum. Steep and muddy can overwhelm the Maxxis Minion tread pattern.

After finally getting to the top of a trail (with a couple of wheelies into the foliage), the Rocky took charge on the downhill. The suspension did a great job of planting the bike into the ground, the EVOL-based Fox Suspension was superb, and there was plenty of sensitivity and support available to charge into the rough.

I found the rear end of the bike made it hard to find traction on rough and uneven corners, but driving it into smooth hardpack turns generated great grip. I ended up using more sag than I wanted in the shock (nearly 40% seated) to get more grip, but this left me with an excessively low bottom bracket height (meaning, plenty of pedal strikes). The Ride 9 chip is useful to fine-tune the ride characteristic including the shock progression, but in reality does not offer a massive range of adjustment.

Riding the Rocky Mountain PowerPlay


Thoughts

Would I buy a Powerplay? Well, there's only a handful of bikes I would spend my cash on, and no, I wouldn't spend it on a brand's first eMTB. One reason I wouldn't buy one is that I am currently based in Finale Ligure, one of the most popular riding spots in Europe – and the nearest dealer, according to Rocky's dealer locator, is one and a half hour's drive away in Nice. Go away on holiday and break the control unit (as I did), and you will lose your hard-earned riding time. Stick with a Bosch or Shimano system, and there will be a good chance that at least one of the bike shops in town could help out with repairs or parts. Of course, this is location dependent.

The Rocky does have some advantages over existing systems, but nothing that blew me away, or would make me think it's the Powerplay or nothing. If the performance was mind-blowing, I might take a punt on the unique system.

If you want your eMTB as a fashion statement, the Rocky could be for you; there was no other bike that had so many people stop me on the street since I was riding the Canyon Sender. Sure, the bike looks pretty (for an eMTB), but the feel of the Altitude Powerplay doesn't reflect its price tag. The cheap feeling iWok control unit, the noisy drivetrain, the FSA Head Block headset that spins in the head tube when hitting the stops, and finally, the gloss finish paint was soft and was showing plenty of scuffs and scratches after a few month's riding.

I think that making the geometry identical to an equivalent mountain bike is not the direction for eMTB to move towards. Without starting a comment-war "an eMTB is not an MTB," and as such, it requires different characteristics. On an eMTB, you will spend more time climbing and challenging steep terrain that you would simply push with a normal bike. Combine that with the additional power from the motor, and the chassis requires a more climb-focused configuration. If you want a Powerplay purely to replace a car-shuttle, then it could be a good choice.


Technical Report


FSA Head Block: The FSA Head Block works along the same lines as the Acros Block Lock headset. Inside the headset are bump stops that prevent the handlebars turning too far and potentially damaging cables, controls or the top tube. A good idea, but, our headset could be easily rotated inside the carbon head tube after reaching the stops.
The FSA Head Block works along the same lines as the Acros Block Lock. Inside the headset are bump stops that stop the handlebars turning too far and potentially damaging cables and controls. a good ides but our headset just rotated inside the carbon headtube.


PowerPlay iWok Control Unit: The iWok control unit feels cheap, the opposite of this bike's price tag. On my second ride, I snagged my glove on the fascia of the iWok and ejected it into the undergrowth. No worries, it should function without the fascia, I thought. Nope. I had to traipse through brambles for 20 minutes to find it. On the third ride, it just gave up working. Rocky nicely sent one from Canada, after which, my girlfriend rode it downhill a few km's to the beach and it gave up again, that was a tough ride back up the mountain for her. The third one has been working for months now and appears is going strong.
The iWok control unit feels cheap the opposite of this bikes price tag.


Fox E-Bike Optimized Fork: The E-Bike optimized Fox 36 features a thicker gauge steerer tube and stanchions, along with a solid instead of hollow crown. This is to handle the extra weight of an eMTB, especially under braking. The 36 performed great, but developed a nasty sounding clunk that is currently under investigation.
The E-Bike optimized Fox 36 features a thicker gauge steerer tube and stanchions along with a solid instead of hollow crown. This is to handle the extra weight of an eMTB especially under braking.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay is a conundrum. It is loaded with fantastic performance features, which are diluted by some glaring shortcomings. As a result, it doesn't feel like a bike that matches its massive price tag. I also have long-term concerns about after-sales, service, and parts from a smaller bike maker going solo with a proprietary motor and battery system, instead of pairing up with one of the big players. Paul Aston








About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 31 • Height: 6'1” • Ape Index: +4" • Weight: 75kg • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None • Instagram: astonator
Paul Aston is a racer and dirt-jumper at heart. Previously adding to the list of non-qualifiers at World Cup DH events, he attacked enduro before it was fashionable, then realized he was old and achy. From the UK, but often found residing in mainland Europe.


Posted In:
eMTB



118 Comments

  • 110 13
 I don't want an E-Bike, I wanna work less in order to be fit to ride a normal bike. That's the revolution guys, not a new bike, but less time doing stupid (or less stupid) jobs to earn a living. Who decided that we have to work all least 8 hours a day and not let's sayin, 4? F*****g capitalism! More free time FTW!
  • 10 2
 Amen!
  • 13 2
 Yep 4 day working week is the way to go!!! Oh I wish!
  • 6 1
 you got it nailed man.
  • 10 4
 Is capitalism preventing you from finding a part time job or a job with flexible working hours?

Btw working for one of the biggest international corporations, I work 4 days x 10 hours. The best thing about it is that I work Wednesday to Saturday, thus I can ride on Mondays and Tuesdays when there are no people in the forest.
  • 5 0
 @Extremmist: Eh, I also have a relaxed holiday plan. But that's not the norm. And a lot of the time it's not as simple as you make it seem - go find a nice job and work from the chairlift.
Are the rest of your friends and family also working only 4 days a week at big international corporations? No need to answer.

Anyway, that's a discussion for another e-bike review.
  • 1 0
 Amen
  • 1 0
 For President!
  • 5 0
 8hrs? Wish I could manage that. Don't forget to include your commute time.
  • 3 0
 8 what? Im 13 a day 5 days a week, and then a couple hours on a Saturday morning. I still somehow manage to train often and ride my bike a lot, sure I'm never gonna compete with someone with more free time, but just quit your moaning and get on with it
  • 6 0
 @Extremmist: if no-one else is in the forest, do you make a noise when you crash?
  • 2 0
 Best Comment Ever
  • 93 5
 Water bottles are important equipment on an ebike. You can spill water on your chest to look exhausted.
  • 26 0
 We need to start giving awards for comments.
  • 1 1
 But be careful, you can shock yourself and people around.
  • 2 0
 While we are buiding bikes that pedal themselves and taking the fun out of things could someone please invent a beer that drinks itself for after my e-bike rides?
  • 1 0
 @Murph86: chairlifts, truck drops and bike parks destroyed mountain biking years ago.try again
  • 27 3
 I actually read a lot more of that review then usual as it wasn't just glowing praise and marketing bullshit... so I kept reading to find the pitch, and there was none.


wow.

also, its the least ugly ebike i've seen yet so I guess thats good?
  • 6 0
 I read the whole thing, there's plenty of criticism that seemed fair.
Way more than usually found in normal bike reviews.

Would be great to raise the level of scrutiny for 8000€ bikes!
  • 3 0
 @Milko3D: agreed. It’s interesting to read a different tone found in some ebike reviews. I’d like to see reviewers take the standpoint that all bikes are flawed and focus more on their weaknesses instead of just telling us how awesome something is. Maybe not everyone would be down with that but I’d much prefer to read more critical reviews.
  • 2 1
 I think you are under the incorrect impression that there are a host of bikes out there that suck. The fact is, when you buy a pro brand like RM or the rest reviewed on PB, they all have been making bikes for years, have pro riders to test them and they all pretty much rule. When was the last time a friend bought a new bike and said it sucked? Most people say their new bike is perfect, way better than their old bike, and then in two years claim the same thing about their next bike.
  • 2 1
 @Rubberelli: some people think their kids are the best too.

If someone's new bike is perfect, how could the next one be even more perfect? Of course they'd say so, after having spent 3-5k on it!

Th fact is, there are poorly designed bikes! The fact is some bikes are a lot more durable than others. Some ride way better than others.

There was a thread with broken Kona frames some time ago. An older version of the Enduro had weak chainstays, Google it. Plenty of them broken.

Some cars are made better quality than others. Some suck at the crash tests. Cars have been around for some time, and have plenty of smart engineers working on them.

A friend of mine works on wind turbines. There's this brand that has shitty gearbox design that breaks every couple of months. Costs more to maintain then purchase over a few years.

I happen to be a skier. I test more skis than bikes. Some skies are shit! Even if they are a top model from a reputable brand. They don't suck on their own, they are skiable, they suck compared to other brand's top models. Which means there are better designs, material and manufacturing processes.

Why should bikes be an exception?

I like my current bike, but it's flawed. It developed play because of stupidly designed rocker link.

I did demo bikes I didn't like. GT Force for example and I had high hopes for it.
  • 3 0
 @Rubberelli: holy shit, I was typing on the phone, didn't realize this turned into an essay! Sorry!
  • 11 1
 Ouch, this might have hurt. A very honest review. I also think that going for a full proprietary design was a crap idea. Shimano, Bosch and Yamaha have such solid options. And yeah this IWok thingy looks like a bicycle bell.
  • 9 1
 The review eviscerated this thing. And for good reason. What was RMB thinking?

You start with the proposition that this is a bike industry which adopts disparate micro-parsed standards like many change socks then has little compunction in orphaning those standards.

Couple that with a small company producing a new first-gen ebike using proprietary standards (not just for bike but for a battery). Throw all those "firsts" together, mix in a dose of proprietary and wonder why consumers would have lack of confidence in long - term support for the bike
  • 12 2
 Just came here to onload some shit on ebikes. A little bit disappointed nobody has already done this righteous work!
  • 11 1
 Just give me an upvote/downvote button on the front page so I don't have to open the article.
  • 8 0
 They won't because RM is considered a 'cool' company and Wade Simmons rides for them. If this was a review of a Yamaha bike it would be a complete shit show again, even though it will probably have less issues than this one as Yamaha has been building motorised vehicles for ages.
  • 6 0
 ".....glaring shortcomings...."

Not furtively peeking out from behind the curtains, but "glaring".

Glaring. Like "staring" only with more malevolence.

If Paul Aston can find 'glaring' shortcomings from an e-bike, there is a very important takeaway from this:

"Don't jump on the bandwagon in the (supposed) name of progress without first asking yourself if you want to end up where it is heading".

The wise man knows to think about long and hard before taking the decision to jump on board.
  • 1 0
 Thing is gents and ladies, e-mtb's are in their infancy in the development stage. Like its 1997 all over again, just for e-mtb's. In a few short years , as has already been pointed out here and elsewhere, they will look like a normal mtb as the 1000mwh battery and motor will fit in a standard seat tube and bottom bracket... most people on your trails will be mechanically doping and you'll only know when they blast past you on the climbs...
  • 2 0
 @kiwikonadude:
Thing is, if there are "glaring shortcomings", how are we, the lambs to the marketing slaughter, meant to deal with statements like this from the RM website, and I quote:

"The result is an e-MTB that actually rides like a proper mountain bike—perfect for everything from self-shuttling all mountain trails, finding flow between the descents, and squeezing in power lunch rides."

There is a reviewer here who begs to differ apparently. "Glaring shortcomings" was the phrase. That doesn't square with "rides like a proper mountain bike" no matter which way you cut it.

And let's not even get into the semantics of the choice, by RM themselves, of the word "proper". Can. Of. Worms.

Since, as you say, e-bikes are in their infancy in their developmental stage, can the marketing gurus and "get with the future grandpa" commentators spare us all the bullshit marketing please. It may well be that in 5 to 10 years time everyone wants one. Fine. But that time is not now, so stop telling us it is. Now is not the time to jump aboard the bandwagon.

For that is what it is, a bandwagon, as are all new developments until something really sticks, and as ever, the illusion of consumer choice will remain ever that, an illusion that we choose to believe.

What happened to consumer choice about wheel size? Matt Wragg had his opinion on the matter back in 2013:

www.pinkbike.com/news/26-vs-275-vs-29-Wheels.html

...where he said, and I quote:

"Yet this is all personal - the truth is that what I want from my bike and a ride might be very different from what you want or enjoy. I can't sit here and honestly say 27.5-inch bikes are bad, just that I prefer 26 and 29-inch bikes. Maybe a 27.5-inch bike would mean you can have more fun out on the trail, or maybe the stopwatch says it's faster for you in a race. If I'm going to make big statements about what I think mountain biking should be I can't deny you whatever you think is fun (unless it involves braking through corners, in which case - stop it). What I don't like, and what I think we should be wary of, are the suggestions you hear from time-to-time that 27.5-inch wheels will replace 26-inch wheels. As another option I can live with 27.5-inch wheels, even if I don't want to ride them myself. But, if we get down to nut-cutting time, if we were forced to make a decision between 26 and 27.5, that's when I could not accept them. That's when I think they should be rolled back into the ocean."

....and I couldn't agree more. It is personal choice. And you may well be unlucky in the future if your preference is not available.

All of us will experience that at some point.

It would be a wise person who remembers that, and acts accordingly.
  • 4 0
 Fear not: The race for product differentiation will see eMTBs quickly diverge so far from MTBs, they'll be all together a different animal.

I'm sure we'll see in the future as standard for all e-bikes: Fully auto electric shifting, traction control, wheelly control, ABS, built in computers with infotainment, connectivity, and navi, run-flat tyres, adaptive dampers, integrated lights, fenders and fairings. No reason why eMTB buyers wouldn't want all that cra... ...stuff.

...and i'll still be happy grinding to the top on my pedal bike Smile
  • 3 0
 I've got most of that already. On my moto.
  • 1 1
 That's a pretty good point @Mojo348 ! And I'm with you on that one.

Just for the sake of argument, has F1 become less exciting and less fun since the adoption of high tech?
It's just a question, I know nothing about car racing but it seems like a fair analogy.
  • 2 0
 @CanBLine: target audience for e-bikes finds motos dangerous. For good reasons. Otherwise they wouldn’t exist.
  • 2 0
 @Milko3D: well, to me F1 is the absolute pinnacle in boring motorsports. I'm not sure if that has always been like that to me. Basically your car wins the start and you try not to screw up in the pits and you're the winner. That could all be trimmed down to 2, maybe three laps.
Wait, Formula E is even worse since it lacks the engine sound.
  • 1 0
 Awesome! I want a button you can push to make me manual. Yeehaw-ing past the sweaty pedal pack as I go for my 10th lap... Hmmm not
  • 12 9
 Bike honestly looks fine, and you can see how accessible everything becomes. Ebikes aren't for me just yet but give it 5 years when the weight comes down and the battery life increases and I could see these becoming mainstream in many riding locations - because at the end of the day riding more kilometres and doing more actual riding is what everyone wants to do right?
  • 14 2
 It's a religious thing, you either get it or you don't. Rational arguments aren't going to work on those of us who think it's a separate sport and warrants a separate website. You can be pro e-bike and still think they don't belong on PB. Obviously the market and some PBers think differently, so we're stuck with these articles. Just don't click on them, kids (the compulsion to read the comments is strong though).
  • 3 1
 @BenPea: agreed. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. There’s plenty of content on here that I’ve no interest in and just scroll past. I don’t go in there claiming that it has no place on ‘my PB’ like some crazy nimby.
  • 1 1
 Suddenly you don't need lifts to have a dh park. That's something interesting to consider.
  • 17 13
 Why don’t we review Honda fireblades while we are at it.
I don’t get this whole busting out runs ideology it’s all about the chase. Everyone needs to eat slowly chew their food.
  • 4 2
 Didnt somebody fom pb staff said he will ride goldwing down the trail? For me that would be only acceptable motorbike article worth this site...
  • 6 4
 Because it's an eMTB of course! A Honda Fireblade is a motorbike that cannot be pedalled. You can try and pedal it, mind.
  • 1 0
 @winko: That has to be Mike Levy. haha
  • 3 0
 I'm not an ebike fanboy, but acceptance here in Southern Germany is way high. If you are not riding an off-the-grid uphill you will be one of the few non-ebikers here. At least they will take the gravel road back down.
  • 1 0
 Luckily they are mostly old people going for a pint and cake at the hut.

The young guys at the trail/bike parks however are a weird bunch!
  • 2 0
 @Milko3D: yeah, it’s the same for you guys. I just saw a family with two kids around 10ish years old, all equipped with ebikes. And what a weirdo family it was :-D
  • 2 0
 I got a compliment from hikers who saw that I wasn't riding an Ebike up the hillWink

Minde you: I like Ebikes, but for now I stick to my "normal" bike.
  • 8 2
 I thought ebike week was over a long time ago.
  • 14 7
 its a motor cycle.
  • 1 0
 A bi-powered bi-cycle,if you will.
  • 3 1
 @paulaston pretty fun review, even for someone not interested in emtb but just curious. "Bob's your obese e-bike riding uncle" Haha!

Speaking of Finale, will you be there this weekend?

Just a thought on the "is emtb for lazy people ". Sure you did 30km, more than some people's weekly riding. But that's distance, not effort. Like you said this was your morning warmup, I bet 2 laps on a normal bike would require same effort as the 6 on the E.
So yeah, e-bikes are indeed for lazy people! Razz
  • 2 0
 I'm a little confused by the battery - when you say it cannot be removed is that true, or is it just a major job that involves removing the motor first for example?

With the rate that battery capacity deteriorates over time I'd be a little concerned if it was the first. Also, how much is a replacement? I keep my bikes a long time and that could majorly destroy any resale value when that time comes...

I'll be staying away from electric cars for a good few more years for the same reason.
  • 2 1
 Rode an ebike for 5 minutes the other day. It was a Carreras Vulcan about a £1k bike in the U.K. And a mate who's has just been diagnosed with some heart problems had bought it.
Id never ridden an ebike before after 5 minutes was grinning like a Cheshire Cat, it was major fun.
No way am I likely to go and buy one any time soon but I won't be knocking anyone for getting one, especially if it keeps them in the game.

Unless of course I'm riding with them under my own power.
  • 11 6
 I love motorbike forums
  • 4 0
 Its got it's own app ffs. shoot me.
  • 5 1
 They told us e-week was over Frown
I'm sad now...
  • 5 1
 Lost me after no 26" option
  • 6 1
 No cantilever brakes,no sale for me.
  • 3 0
 They can beg, they can cry, they can fall down and die but, ...I ain't go to buy
  • 6 3
 Please make a separate website for ebike. You'll be better off in the long run.
  • 6 4
 How can we downvote and/or remove all ebike articles from the PB homepage? We don't want this.

Create ePB and move it all there.
  • 2 1
 The readers voted here with a majority for the eMTB coverage: www.pinkbike.com/news/why-pinkbike-is-covering-emtbs-this-week.html
  • 1 1
 @paulaston: Hey Paul, one question:
Why we still haven`t seen a review on the E-Go kit?! It`s probably the best e- around thing outthere, it`s Martyn Ashton`s pick, it packs 2500-3000W motor, replaceable battery, etc, etc..An extremely high end bike on the outside with crappy parts like the Iwok system does not make sense!
Great and honest review !
  • 1 1
 @seboto:

To me, the E-Go kit crosses the line of the law into the motorcycle* world – a throttle, no speed restriction and it moves without pedaling. It doesn't meet EU laws and others for cycling use.

I'm sure they are a blast though, in the right place!

*awaits "eMTB's are motorcycles" comments*
  • 1 0
 Someone finally pointed out the flaws of pedal assist acceleration. It's like driving a turbocharged automatic car having to wait on the torque converter and turbo to spool up. Fuck waiting give me a throttle.
  • 2 2
 I find the whole eMTB "debate" interesting. Personally I have no interest in one. but I also don't see what the big hate-on is for them either. As long as people are out enjoying the trails in a respectful manner does it really matter whether they're on an eMTB or pedal MTB? Would you tell a friend they can't ride with you just because they're on an eMTB? I've been through the spin cycle of reasons as to why they are so evil and none of them really stand up to any sort of scrutiny.

RE the bike in question, I'm surprised Rocky would go to he trouble and expense of developing a proprietary system when there are already viable systems available off the shelf. Maybe they are betting big on the high end markets where people with tons of cash are willing to buy the latest cool toy on the block. One thing I've heard though is that pretty much anyone who throws a leg over one of these things comes away with a smile on their face. At the end of the day that will be the deciding factor that dictates whether eMTB's will gain a foothold in N.A.
  • 1 0
 It will be the price and regulations that dictate if these things fly. Manufacturers are already having wattage wars so in 10 years these things will have almost moto power which won't be good.
  • 1 0
 @jaydawg69: I think it's safe to assume as the tech advances the price will come down just like any other advances in bike related tech whether it brakes, suspension or drivetrain. In terms of wattage wars, at least in NA, the mfg'ers are going to be limited by the current regs that already exist in most places. Emtb's are limited to a certain power on the motor (not the same as the amp-hour rating of the battery) and they're also limited to pedal assist where the rider has to pedal in order for the motor to work. Anything outside of those two conditions is no longer an ebike - at least in BC anyways.

Where regs will matter is on trail use. A number of local jurisdictions have by-laws banning the use of motorized vehicles on parkland, but they where written long before ebikes were even on the radar and obstensibly geared to gas powered and throttle operated dirt bikes - a distinctly different machine than a pedal assiste eMTB. I think it would help the conversation a lot if the local land managers came out with clear regs that stipulated if and where eMTB's are allowed. Squamish is a good example, where they have trails that are designated ok for eMTB's.
  • 4 1
 Well.. get your keyborads ready. Sh!!t is about to get real
  • 3 1
 ... So its pretty e bike, I'll give it that. But the integrated battery seems like a hassle to deal with.
  • 5 3
 Though i have to admit this looks quite nice for what it is, i still like the Honda CR250 more for a moto.
  • 4 1
 Just waiting for the 'Mericans and Cancuks to wake up...
  • 4 1
 They're not going to see this, mate. Remember the "Wyn rides up Leogang" article? I made a similar comment and you know how many riders from the US or Canada posted? Zero. That's a fact. Check it out: www.pinkbike.com/news/wyn-masters-rides-leogang-up-and-down-video.html
That's right everyone, the focus group has deemed those of us outside North America to be worthy marketing targets for this type of article, but our Yank and Canadian friends will never see it.
(Cue comments from the US hitting the screen arriving as I type this!)
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: Holy crap. You seem to be right. Well played, PB.
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: One American replied already Smile But yeah, not many more.
  • 1 0
 @zonoskar: Dang it!! Good thing I threw in my disclaimer... Weird about the Wyn one though eh?
  • 1 0
 @BenPea: Could still be a region block for the USA, but that one guy (gal?) is using a VPN.
  • 1 0
 @zonoskar: just had that very thought
  • 3 1
 I want to ride an e-bike in Alaska. Helicopter will carry batteries for me. Screw that, I want fly a helicopter, biking sucks
  • 1 0
 @zonoskar: I have the Finnish flag but based in France, I see articles that are just visible to French lectors.

So it's likely that one supposed American is not based there and thus sees this
  • 5 2
 @BenPea we're holding off on running most eMTB content in North America for now. Here's our current stance on eMTBs:

1. We’re going to cover some eMTB tech and eMTB stories on Pinkbike, but not everything—only the best content and most significant news

2. We celebrate the diverse opinions of our staff and the Pinkbike community—we won’t shy from criticism

3. We’ll start by focusing most of our eMTB coverage on regions where they’re most popular

4. We are considering several ways to minimize eMTB coverage for people who aren’t interested

5. We acknowledge the potential for eMTBs to cause trail access issues, and will monitor those developments closely—we won’t hesitate to hold eMTBs or eMTB riders accountable

6. Mountain biking continues to evolve, so we will regularly re-evaluate our positions on issues like eMTBs
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: yeah yeah, just cos they have guns and we don't ;-)
  • 3 0
 That's not fun then... After the citizens of England, Yanks are my favorite nation to screw with...
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Is there North American material that's not being published in Europe too? I agree that it is probably best not to publish this material over there as that audience has been vocal about not wanting to see it and as the bike won't be sold there anyway. But I can't think of anything that'd be published over there that I wouldn't want to have the option to see in Europe.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: i’m sure there is and they call us a land that is a slaughterhouse filled with Putin sucking Cheese eating surrender monkeys, where all the dodgy porn comes from
  • 6 5
 eMTBs - built for a lazy society defined by cutting corners to get somewhere without putting in the hard work or earning the right.
  • 2 1
 Didn't some Brit mag rave about this bike like it was the absolute dogs bollocks? Nice to read a review that applies a properly critical eye to the thing.
  • 2 3
 eMTBs are a new option for the trails. @ all the haters - what were your first thoughts about full-suspension or hydraulic disc brakes? Let me guess - you hated them.

I´ll will still prefer cranking even in the Alps. But for the fast sundowner on my home trails and for commuting the eMTB ist perfect.

But wait. Maybe for the next trip to the Alps I´ll have to prepare two bikes :-)
  • 1 0
 Opposition to eBikes is like opposition to marriage equality. The loudest and most adamantly opposed are affected about two-tenths of five-eighths of bugger all nothing.
  • 1 0
 For a split second I thought RM had gone and done a gearbox bike. Man, those water bottles can totally mess with first impressions.
  • 1 0
 That would be such a cool bike if that was a storage compartment instead of an electric motor .... hmmm, maybe it can be pulled out for storage space.
  • 2 0
 Came for the moronic, brain rottingly predictable comments. -Wasn't disappointed.
  • 6 5
 That's one sexy looking bike, but what's that shit above the bottom bracket?
  • 3 1
 It's a water bottle, cuz. A rare thing these days, but some brave bike brands are doing their darned best to bring them back. #dontletthewaterbottledie
  • 3 1
 I would like it to be a water and/or Tools storage. But it's not.
  • 6 4
 Is it e-pinkbike or pink-e-bike?
  • 3 1
 I'll go get the popcorn....
  • 1 0
 @paulaston
You say there's only a handful of bikes you'd spend your own money on, I'd be interested to know what they are?
  • 9 2
 In the last year, I bought a Nicolai frame with a Pinion box, used, from Mojo. A new custom S+M Holmes BMX frame for $500. A Sunn XCHOX, which was the same as my first ever full suspension bike 19 years ago – £150 on ebay. I also bought an Inspired trials bike that was a used by the company as a demo rig - £600

They are the only bikes I have bought in the last four years. The most expensive bike I ever bought was a Specialized E29 when they came out, £2400 at trade price from the local bike shop, I nearly made my money back on it after two years. I don't think I could ever spend over £3K on any bike, and would only buy alloy or steel again.
  • 1 0
 @paulaston: Sunn XShox! Oh man,that bike brings the memories...props for having a piece of history in your garage.
  • 4 3
 Can I remove the motor and put something useful in the space? A cooler or sslt.....
  • 1 1
 I love to read the reviews on Pinkbike. So I was excited but just for a split second until I realised it’s a Bike with the really bad E who must not be named.
  • 2 0
 I'm old school, i do crank, not E.
  • 3 0
 rockymountain got robbed
  • 1 0
 In a time where reviews are mainly positive, this must be destroying for Rocky Mountain.
  • 1 0
 "If you want your eMTB as a fashion statement,..." haha who does something like that? haah f#ck
  • 3 0
 Stop, just stop it now.
  • 1 0
 Hello! iWok? Yeah, I’d like to get some Kung Pao chicken, and some Egg Foo Young!
  • 2 0
 *sees E-Bike review*

*goes straight to comments*
  • 4 3
 they gonna feed us this shit, till we start to like them i am sure. ggwp
  • 3 2
 Who's next they're all at it .
  • 1 0
 Last ever Rocky Mountain review on PB?
  • 3 2
 "Let the hate flooow through you..."
  • 2 1
 Good and very detailed review, Paul!
  • 2 0
 electro dildo

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