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Rocky Mountain Recalls 2018 Altitude, Instinct, and Pipeline Models for Brake Issue

Dec 29, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
Rocky Mountain Altitude
2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude
Rocky Mountain Instinct
2018 Rocky Mountain Instinct
Rocky Mountain Pipeline
2018 Rocky Mountain Pipeline

Rocky Mountain has announced that it will be recalling all 2018 Altitude, Instinct and Pipeline models due to a potential brake housing issue. Owners are asked to stop riding their bikes and contact Rocky Mountain and click on the "recall" link for instructions to have the brakes repaired at one of their dealers. Reportedly, no riders have been injured as a result, but Rocky Mountain insists upon this recall for precaution and safety concerns. The following information is taken from the official CPSC recall notice:

Rocky Mountain Bicycles Recall Mountain Bicycles Due to Crash Hazard

Rocky Mountain Altitude
2018 Altitude Alloy 30

Name of product: Mountain bicycles
Hazard: The brake cable housing was not secured properly during manufacturing, which can cause brake failure, posing a crash hazard to the rider.
Remedy: Repair
Recall date: December 27, 2017
Units: About 1,300 (in addition, 1,800 were sold in Canada)

Consumer Contact:

Rocky Mountain at 866-522-2803 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, via email at info@bikes.com or online at www.bikes.com and click on Safety/Recall at the bottom of the page.


This recall involves all model year 2018 Altitude, Instinct and Pipeline mountain bicycles. The carbon fiber and aluminum bicycles were sold in different colors. The model name is printed on a sticker on the top tube of the bicycles. Rocky Mountain is printed on the down tube. The Rocky Mountain logo is also printed on the headbadge on the headtube. The specified platform family is also printed on the rear triangle of the bicycle at the seatstay.

Remedy: Consumers should stop using the recalled bicycles immediately and contact an authorized Rocky Mountain dealer for free inspection and free repair.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Rocky Mountain bicycle dealers nationwide from June 2017 through November 2017 for between $2,600 and $7,300.

Manufacturer(s): Rocky Mountain Bicycles, of Canada

Importer(s): Rocky Mountain Bicycles, of Canada

Distributor(s): Rocky Mountain Bicycles, of Canada

Manufactured In: Taiwan and Canada

Recall number: 18-069

Contact Rocky Mountain Bikes here, and contact the CPSC agency here

Author Info:
RichardCunningham avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2011
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  • 144 2
 Hi Everyone,
While performing an internal test, we discovered an issue with the cable routing on our 2018 Altitude, Pipeline, and Instinct. There have not been any accidents, incidents, or complaints, and we’ve taken action with this preventative recall to ensure that every rider enjoys their bike in a safe manner.
This issue can be repaired at any Rocky Mountain Bicycles dealer by following the steps in the memo on our website.


For further questions, please call 1 (866) 522-2803 or email info@bikes.com.
  • 33 1
 Thanks for being proactive on the recall. My 2018 Altitude has the recommended cable setup, tiedowns and cable slack. I will continue to "love the ride". Regards.
  • 16 2
 Don’t hate it’s 2017 and they are already on the job. Get em canada
  • 6 0
 Won't somebody please think of the sprocket stalls?
  • 55 4
 I like how @RockyMountainBicycles anticipated that many will just go straight to the comments
  • 12 6
 @WAKIdesigns: of course they would.. One of the best companies in the world.. Located in probably the best riding area in the world... Its Rocky brah! They no what's up!
  • 5 1
 I have to say, @RockyMountainBicycles, I appreciate you coming out like this. I've just put in the order for my first Rocky Mountain bike ever (one of the Pipeline models affected with this call) and even before it's delivered I'm impressed with the communication from you guys. Keep up the good work, looking forward to riding my new bike come next week!
  • 6 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Is it a good time to tell them to put threaded bb's on their bikes? Now that they have bearings, it is the only thing that keeps me from getting one! Long live threads
  • 5 1
 On another note, please make the alloy pipeline frame you made for Wade in the purple available soon :-) drool. Wibble. Mmmmmmmm.
  • 81 3
 Braking news!
  • 3 1
 Made my day. Cheers
  • 8 0
 Put a stop to that issue.
  • 4 0
 It may cause friction, it might not, so there's some concern.
  • 1 2
 These recalls are gonna bleed RM dry.
  • 73 2
 Sounds like they got hosed.
  • 7 3
 We need to give the puns a break.
  • 11 0
 RM have been unstoppable lately
  • 4 0
 Nothing too DISConcerting here.
  • 3 1
 Whoa, slow down now...
  • 2 1
 @LindLTaylor: We indeed need to give puns a brake.
  • 19 0
 It more mellow than phrased here. Basically just make sure you have a good loop of slack in the cables under the bb so they don't rub at full compression. And make sure they are routed on the correct side.
  • 28 1
 Or better yet, how about you route the cables above the bottom bracket similar to the Slayer. No extra slack needed, no chance of busted hose from stretch or impacts.
  • 6 2
 I've seen this on a bike that was less than a month old IIRC. Wore a huge groove in the frame under the BB because the mechanic hadn't unhooked the shock to check for chain growth and any issues with housing / hoses. It's the sort of stuff that should be correct from the factory but seldom is.
  • 21 0
 @dirtworks911: No arguing that under the BB is a shit place to have to route cables.
  • 2 1
 If the cable/hose loops are sticking out below the chaining, it's going to look wack
  • 4 0
 @RoboDuck: And somehow, the manufacturers love this route.
  • 1 0
 @pioterski: looks as clean as internal but easier to deal with.

I actually like it, just needs to be done accurately.
  • 1 0
 Additionally use some cable spiral hose. Safer and a cleaner look.
  • 18 1
 They should have blamed it on "pre-production". It's nice to see a bike company own up to an issue instead of doing everything in their power to deny an issue exists.
  • 9 16
flag frix182 (Dec 29, 2017 at 19:46) (Below Threshold)
 The hell are you saying?? If a company sells a product with a potential dangerous issue, it's obvious they MUST do everything to avoid accident takin their responsabilities and recall it before someone get hurts or worse
  • 5 0
 @frix182: you're right but in reality most companies don't give a sh*t
  • 3 0
 @colincolin: Yes, that is often true. I remember the bright red specialized bikes having a sticker that said that paint fade was intentional and that the bike will develop "rich splashes of color change." It looks like somebody pointed it out, and to prevent issues with customers they could just say, "didn't ya read that little sticker on your new bike? Splashes!"
  • 11 0
 I’m only speculating because I’ve seen it happen on Speculized bikes but there two things that can happen:

First, you may not have a big enough loop under the bb which causes the hose to get tugged when the suspension compresses.

Second, if you have a big enough loop but don’t secure the hose with a cable tie it can get pushed against the chainring when the suspension compresses.

So make sure you have a nice loop AND don’t forget that cable tie!
  • 18 4
 reading the headline my first thought was: did they install AVID?
  • 12 34
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 29, 2017 at 23:45) (Below Threshold)
 You are not up with the times, it is almost the entire line of Shimano that poses actual danger to the rider.
  • 14 9
 @WAKIdesigns: waki must be smoking some sticky icky. Shimano fanboi for life right here. f*ck your XD drivers and eagles
  • 4 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Dafuq is in ur crack pipe today wacko??
  • 4 10
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 30, 2017 at 9:45) (Below Threshold)
 @bohns1: uhm no, their brakes suck arse. I had some super sketchy moments due to the lever stiffening up as hell. Yes I know aaaaall those people don’t know how to bleed them properly. Sorry, Waiting for Shimano to fix their sht with 7010, 8010 and 9010, asap please
  • 6 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Remember Avid brakes? Neither does sram
  • 1 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Personally nothing but good experiences long haul on she-man-ohs. It is likely I don't put my brakes through as much as you, but I am over 91 kilos and took my xts down long Utah mountains without issue on the regular. Now I have some older xt's and they aren't as crisp and sensitive, but the more recent model years on my remedy were the best I've ever had. And my boss went to those great new guides when they came out and said she couldn't tell the difference and she was a pretty decent rider (at least as good as I am).

Wow. Suddenly I'm homesick for Utah.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Funny! Never had that experience in my life.. I'm rolling slx right now and they stop on a dime.. If I have any complaints it's lack of modulation... But reliability has been second to none!
  • 2 0
 @taletotell: I'm on slx and hammer them on the north shore... Never had an issue!
  • 3 1
 @bohns1: the xt's modulate pretty well, I'd say.
  • 1 0
 @taletotell: Not bad.. Just not as good as magura modulation for example.. Other than that shimano is a win...
  • 1 1
 @bohns1: I'll have to try Magura.
  • 3 0
 @WAKIdesigns: gotta agree. Always loved shimano but the strange bite point anomaly is too much to take. It’s nothing to do with bleeding and more to do with the master cylinder or caliper. The brake feels solid with no spongyness what so ever. Just the bite point moves far out or close,you never know what it’ll be. Changed to hope v4 and OMG game changer for both quality and performance. Never going back.
  • 2 0
 @taletotell: Don't be homesick, all of the trails are covered in snow or muddy at the moment.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Ive noticed that on mine too and gone after it. On my saints i figured that the pistons do not retract fast enough and if you squeeze the lever before full retraction it pumps more fluid down the line which causes the bite point change. Its temperature dependant if you ride in cold you notice it more. The ceramic pistons themselves are sealed really tight therefore the stiction. Ive tried a non servo wave lever bl595 and it was a good remedy if you dont mind the pads closer to the rotor and rubbing sometimes after you pull the brake hard. Another good remedy is a harder pad spring, but i prefer to switch to non servowave xtr levers.
  • 1 0
 @BentonRidesBikes: I am thinking of coming out to snowboard/ski this winter if I can swing it. I think I might hit saint George around easter if nothing else. Utah has amazing everything except I kind of prefer the people of rural NY. Of course I am related to most of them. . .
  • 12 2
 Crazy. Hopefully that doesn’t brake the bank.
  • 25 1
 If it does, I hope they don't lose their housing
  • 15 16
 discgusting, really.
  • 5 0
 @rrolly: this could bleed their bank account
  • 10 5

you could not have internal housing anymore, go back to external and solve the problem ever happening again. Bad enough to have internal shifter line runes, but rear brake hoses also ? Yeah lets make it harder for anyone to replace the brake without having to disconnect the hose and likely re-bleed the brake after.
  • 3 0
 Plenty of externaly routed bikes still go under the BB......
  • 6 4
 If your replacing your brakes, chances are your cutting the lines to length anyway. This statement of not having internal routing just screams of incompetence. Internal routing just looks so much tidier. Some manufacturers do it well, others need to go back to the drawing board.
  • 2 0
 What's the chance of an internal housing failure vs. what's the chance of an external cable getting damaged?
  • 2 0
 Not sure about 2018 but 2016 Thunderbolt had both options and I was very pleased. Cable dropper and shifting internal and rear brake external for me, thank you.
  • 1 0
 You’re CRAZY! Internally run cables are the tits! I quite literally can’t believe someone exists who dislikes them.
  • 8 1
 @MoDobbs: "Internally run cables are the tits!"
Not true; I tried licking them and they don't even compare...
  • 2 0
 @Extremmist: ok, sorry I was unclear. Aesthetically speaking internally run cables are the tits.
  • 7 4
 About time it became officially a bad place to route a hose through. Saves a lot of PB "discussion" about its wisdom.

I was actually preparing to ask why other manufacturers aren't offering to swap out Guides for free, but apparently its nothing to do with that model of brake being poo.
  • 5 0
 "About 1,300 (in addition, 1,800 were sold in Canada)" Excuse me?
  • 2 0
 Isn’t CPSC American? @richierocket:
  • 2 0
 @richierocket: don't bite the hand that feeds you, rocky
  • 1 0
 @nouseforaname: You mean the Consumer Product Safety Commission? I assume there is something comparable there, right?
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: I still don't get it..
  • 1 0
 @taletotell: the only thing that's different is the accent
  • 1 0
 @richierocket: so 3100 units?
  • 2 1
 @richierocket: the bulk of their sales are in Canada vs the US, so stating their Canadian sales as an afterthought is probably not a good idea.
  • 1 0
 @rrolly: I see where you are coming from. I assumed the manufacturing defect was specific to the fleet sold in the USA, but now knowing it is a cable routing issue and is therefore general to all the bikes that does seem like an odd choice to make the PSA US focused.
  • 7 0
 That explains why Jesse Melamed and Remi Gauvin were so fast this year...
  • 2 0
 I had this problem with my Element, but luckily it was the rear der. housing and not the brake. Cut too short, bike would shift when pedaling while hitting a bump... Noob mechanics didn't cycle the suspension without the shock on to check the length...
  • 2 0
 Same here but on a slayer, got it home riding around it the street and the suspension would stop instantly mid stroke... somehow the brake line didn’t snap
  • 4 1
 Looks like they got off to a "Rocky" start with the 2018's.
Solid way to take care of your customers though. They owned it, which is commendable.
  • 1 0
 Imagine if Niner ever recalled a bike due to cable rub/routing? There would be none left to ride! Specificialy, when they released the 1st RDO, I had to keep using their in-house “fix” which was a piece of clear tubing and a rubber grommet.
  • 1 0
 Under the bottom bracket cables is for road bikes and vintage mountain bikes. RM is a great company, but the last bike I had with cables under the BB was my 1987 Stumpjumper and I will never buy another with the cables in such a dumb place. My 1997 Element TO had great cable routing.
  • 1 0
 Thanks Rocky Mountain for fixing this issue before a customer got hurt! Looking after your customers like this gives you a great reputation and that`s why I own a Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt! Keep up the great work
  • 1 0
 I've been riding a Specialized Enduro for 6 years in Italy and Mallorca. Allways thought it was a dumb place to route the cables ( under the down tube and BB). Any ideas why they do it? That said I've only smashed them once.
  • 2 0
 Ouch. What exactly does “not secured properly mean? Any shops/dealers care to comment?
  • 1 0
 It just means they didn't give enough slack in the cables when routing from the front to rear triangle. It's a super-simple fix that takes less than a minute. Basically you can either take out all the air in the shock and check to make sure the housing does not contact the frame at any point in the rear suspension's travel or stick a socket with an outer diameter of 30-45mm between the BB and the housing and adjust the loop of housing when the suspension is at rest. Lots of bikes have an issue like this. If you own a Pivot Firebird, you might want to check that you have enough slack in your lines as well.
  • 3 0
 Thanks PB for bringing us this braking news
  • 3 0
 Outside cable routing for life
  • 4 2
 Expected more from a company of this caliper
  • 1 0
 Lol, I had other more important fabrication issues with their bikes. but still very good bikes overall
  • 1 0
 How did Shimano get away with not doing a recall for their exploding freehubs a few years back, good on you, Rocky.
  • 1 0
 I still can't believe guide brakes wern't recalled..
  • 2 1
 Glad I stopped by this post
  • 2 1
 Bypassing the risk. Thank you for alert.
  • 1 0
 So only the bikes sold in north america?
  • 4 2
 26 Ain’t dead
  • 1 0
 Damn that Altitude is sexy!
  • 1 0
 Formula or hope duh!
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