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Spotted: New Rocky Mountain Enduro Bike - Crankworx Summer Series

Jul 29, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  
Pixellated podium protohype.

Crankworx is normally a hotbed for new kit. In Rotorua, you have the first big event of the season where brands are able to furtively show off what they've been working on all summer and then later in the year Whistler provides a great base for testing and tweaking new frames that are in development. Without a Whistler round of the series this year, we can't just scout around the lift queue for new bits but instead we have to see what racers are piloting between the tape in the hunt for new tech.

Andreane Lanthier Nadeau ALN

It has been teased on social media for most of the past week but we think that a new Rocky Mountain enduro race bike has now broken cover at the first Clif Crankworx Summer Series race at Silver Star, with Vaea Verbeeck piloting it to a 2nd place finish in the enduro race. There's no doubt it looks very similar to Rocky's current trail/enduro bike offerings but when we see maple leaf camo wraps on a frame it draws our attention like a moth to a wool sweater.

We haven't been able to get a clear, side-on photo of the bike yet but given that Jesse Melamed, Remi Gauvin and Andreanne Lanthier Nadeau have historically ridden the Altitude and Instinct in the EWS, we're expecting this bike to be an update to one of those models.

Jesse Melamed

We can definitely be sure of some tweaks and speculate wildly at some others. The most obvious external differences look to be at the shock mount. The bike uses the same four bar suspension layout as pretty much all of Rocky Mountain's full suspension bikes, but material has definitely been taken out of the mount and we'd be surprised if Rocky haven't taken the opportunity to tweak the kinematic while they're having a fiddle around too. The toptube is noticeably thinner, a trend we've seen across several other brands of late.

Remi Gauvin riding Rocky Mountain

It looks like some sort of flip-chip is retained in the link (possibly still their Ride-9 system), and they've kept the pregnant downtube shape for bottle access. Downtube protection looks updated, and the cable routing no longer appears to run out below the bottom bracket. Geometry-wise it doesn't look dramatically different, but we'd be shocked if it wasn't longer, lower, and slacker. We'd struggle to name a bike that hasn't undergone that treatment in the past 5 years.

We reached out to Rocky Mountain for more details and they politely declined to comment. And no, just to get it out of the way, there's no full review tomorrow.

Ainhoa Ijurco
There are actually 2 new bikes in this shot, hopefully we'll see more of that new Sender in the coming days too.

Author Info:
jamessmurthwaite avatar

Member since Nov 14, 2018
1,770 articles

  • 180 13
 Just remember to tighten the rear axle this time when you test it there pinky and the brain
  • 15 2
 Epic... lol. Couldn’t ask for a better comment
  • 14 6
 So this is why my RMX and Flatline both suffered cracked dropouts. This information would have been great to have years ago!
  • 67 0
 I don't recall seeing that bike before.
  • 7 40
flag jonesy-1 FL (Jul 29, 2020 at 16:57) (Below Threshold)
 Did you read the headline bro?
  • 9 0
 @jonesy-1: did you check your head, bro?
  • 15 0
 You don’t “recall”
  • 5 0
 I see what you did there lol
  • 1 0
 Lol, i saw it in line the other day and i legitimately had to look at it 8 times to realize there was something different, the best part? The thing i noticed was a different link not the different shock position...
  • 9 1
 @jonesy-1: it’s a joke because some of the Rocky Mountain frames got recalled because they might crack. So he said recall to quote that. It’s a very clever joke that only a a intellectual would get. Smile
  • 1 2
 @Ooofff: yeah i understood the joke, i was just pointing out that i hadn't even noticed that the ENTIRE fram mounting system was different yet i noticed a custom link, i think i was straight up thinking in the wrong box
  • 24 7
 Looks like an Instinct.

Back on Jan. 13, 2020, in the before times, the long long ago there was this
At this point, you guys might just want to post something like "it didn't work out", assuming that's what happened
  • 2 0
 Not so fast, that's only one possible reason. I think the real reason is that sponsorship negotiations between @mikelevy and Tim Hortons are taking so long because we are talking billions of dollars.
  • 10 0
 Please do a well priced alu version with goo components. this is what people want, keep your carbon..
  • 11 0
 Yeah. SLX affordable builds, alum and carbon. No SX/NX/GX at all.... They really need to compete with the Ibis Ripmo AF Deore/DVO 3199$ build. That has to be the target. Anything less is BS. These dont have a highend DWLink suspension premium either.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: When the 2018 Altitudes came out they had pretty decent SLX builds (A50) and a good XT build (A70) both had Fox suspension, Transfer posts and RF parts. Real good value imo apart from the rims, those were shite. But I agree that something like the Ripmo AF is the way to go, kinda like the Norco Sight A2. Here's to hoping.
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: Another rime example is the new Fezzari Delano Peak base build- carbon frame, slx drivetrain, dvo suspension, $3,500 bucks. Killer value for a no-compromise build.
  • 7 0
 I’d ride that in the Rocky Mountains!
  • 7 0
 Looks like it’s a mullet?
  • 1 1
 I think its just the angle...If you look at the picture of Remy, the back wheel looks full 29er
  • 1 0
 Yeah I thought about it too at first but in the action pictures you can clearly see they are full 29er.
  • 2 0
 I think its not a mullet. if you go to the "What Bikes Do DH Racers Ride For An Enduro Race?" Video to 8:29 and set the quality of the video up, you can read the 650B on the front tire.
  • 3 1
 wish they made one!
  • 2 0
 @TheGru: that's some good sleuthing
  • 3 0
 It looks like slacker instinct bc. That and the sta were most of what needed a slight redesign. Maybe they will steer away from two bikes with the same name and call it something new (like santa cruz did with the hightower and hightower lt.)
  • 1 0
 New bikes needs to add *steeper to the longer lower slacker nomenclature.
  • 1 0
 Seat angle looks like 77-78 ballpark..
  • 1 0
 Honestly how can you tell its an instinct bc? All RM bikes have just about the exact same linkage/shock location and orientation except for the element. I can never tell wheel size from a picture without knowing frame size.
  • 1 0
 @rustiegrizwold: I am more inferring it based on most enduro riders are on 29ers, and many people were on slightly smaller enduro bikes at that race.
  • 3 1
 This was my hypothesis for why they’re replacing all our recalled alloy frames with a single stupid gray color option and not with a new frame of the current year color. Because the current year has been redesigned. Hey Rocky, a replacement redesigned frame might help me forget your manufacturing flaw in the last one.
  • 3 0
 Apparently people who have a 2020 frame are being given new C70 carbon frames, which is cool. But everyone is getting a non-color matched rear triangle...which is not freaking cool. Owning up to an issue and doing the recall is awesome, I worry most manufacturers just pass on that. However, giving people an ugly rear triangle sucks when it was their fault.
  • 5 3
 I like all the rockies. The only thing that has kept me from getting one is their lack of standover. Looks like theyve addressed that. Most people after short rear center bikes probably want standover too. Werent they the og sloping tt bike co? Bike looks great
  • 2 0
 Kona's predecessor, The Bicycle Group's Cascade brand, was the original sloping top tube MTB back in 1988. But you could argue some of the small boutique brands like Cook Brothers and SE were before them.
  • 11 1
 @Geochemistry: I don't know about OG, but RMB was pretty well known for their dropped toptubes back in the day.
  • 6 0
 @brianpark: I think Brodie was one of the innovators there too. I think BG actually sold Brodie’s back in the day, but not sure who sold dropped the top tubes first. Paul definitely built a dropped top tube frame as far back as 83 tho.

  • 4 0
 @Geochemistry: the bicycle group, thats taking it back. Forgot about that.
I think it was onre of those guys, rocky kona brodie. Didnt Paul build some rockys anyway, after Tom Ritchey did? Maybe it was Paul that deserves the credit. After that you needed to have it though and thats been a long time running so we shouldnt hVe poor SO at this point in the game. All my favorite and most playful bikes have had a lot of standover. I favor it , by a margin, over short playful CS'
  • 1 0
 @enki: More research and Rocky was the first sloped top tube. Brodie was a designer who went out on his own. Amazing what you can find with a quick search. We stocked Brodie in 89. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brodie_Bicycles
  • 2 0
 @enki: Interesting, Jacob Heilbron started both Rocky and TBG/Cascade/Kona.
  • 1 0
 @enki: Yep, The Bicycle Group was who we purchased Brodies from. Hooked up with TBG from Joe Murray and David Turner. After that first year Joe went to Marin, which we started carrying, then on his own with Voo Doo. And nobody knows anything about David Turner, do they? Wink
  • 3 0
 I rented an altitude at a lift access park and it was fantastic.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Derek Bailey was doing the drop top tube for shorter people by 1982.
  • 1 3
 Their newest frame has an 806mm standover. There's a big recall banner at the top of their homepage. There was a soft recall a couple of years ago for excessively short housing under bb, around the time a container of bikes was stolen. In addition to the Field Test failure, NSMB reports premature bearing play. Their suspension layout lends itself to higher side-loading along the seatstay axis. But it looks great, and they can still afford to pay Melamed. I'd like to see the service history of Jason Lucas' Altitude.
  • 2 0
 In the early 00s I worked at a Rocky dealer. Amongst the many acronyms and abbreviations in its catalog (like NE3, RAD tubing, “T.O.” for “Team Only”) was “ST3”, for - I shit you not - Sloping Top Tube Technology.

You’d think the gang at Transition made that up.
  • 2 0
 @sngltrkmnd: transition may have taken notes. They have great standover on their bikes. Miss my scout. Super fun bike
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: They measure standover 200mm in front of the center of the BB where the rider actually stands over the bike..
  • 3 0
 The Instinct hasn't had a refit since 2017. Reach, sta, hta and trail and standover need a tweak. If this is the new Instinct you want one.
  • 3 0
 Looks to me like vaea is on the altitude (or at least 27.5) and the RF Enduro team is on the instinct (or 29).
  • 1 0
 Its gotta be the updated Instinct. I bet the geo and amount of suspension is very similar to the Ripmo v2. I wonder if they will do the Ride9 setup/different link for more rear travel.
  • 2 0
 Updated Altitude, but I'm more curious about an updated 120/120 Element. Lots of great bikes out there, good time to be alive.
  • 3 0
 The cool thing about Rocky Mountain's linkage and frame design is they never try anything new. Ever, like 24 years at least.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a slayer without the extra brace. Slayer is a better looking frame imho. Thank goodness the cables are all internal now unlike the older instinct and altitude. Those cables hanging down below the bb so ugly
  • 1 0
 In a good summary, it might not be the instinct (either that or it's a custom colored bike). The rumor is that the 2021 instinct is supposed to either be green and black or purple and beige color scheme.
  • 1 0
 The maple leaf camo is a ride wrap frame protector so could be any colour underneath.
  • 2 0
 why don't companies ever do a production run of the prototype colorways they always look pretty sick
  • 2 0
 True that. I still want to see them do that purple/yellow Pipeline redux that they did a while back for Wade. It looked so sick. I know the new Slayer was supposed to fill that gap, which it does BUT it just doesn't look like that sick Pipeline. They'd sell a million of those. The marketing commercials would be the best too.
  • 6 4
 Hopefully this one won't break in the hands of PB's staff.
  • 29 0
 A new Rocky enduro bike in the hand is worth two halves of a Slayer in the bush.
  • 1 0
 How did purple upstage checkerboard?
And where are my vans and Jimmy z's shorts!?
  • 2 0
 Full review coming tomorrow
  • 2 0
 The new Altitude and Instinct are gonna be sick.
  • 1 0
 should name the new bike the silverstar
  • 2 0
 Rocky gonna rock
  • 1 0
 so the Slayer is chopped liver?
  • 8 0
 This looks to be a smaller, lighter bike than the Slayer. With Finn riding a Stumpjumper it looks like the course favoured smaller bikes anyway.
  • 22 3
 Slayer - Super Enduro
This bike (Altitude) - Regular Enduro
Instinct - Trail Enduro

You just need to know which slice of the Enduro pie you would like.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: the fork travel screams im a slayer
  • 13 0
 @brianpark: to be fair, Finn also said he doesn’t know anything about enduro....
  • 3 0
 @wda1wustl: So you think the new Altitude would also be a 29er??? That would be weird....Altitude, Instinct and Slayer, all three in 29er.... nahhh!! That's the new instinct.
  • 1 0
 @Waldon83: Makes you wonder what would of happened if he did
  • 2 0
 Slayer will never be chopped liver.
  • 6 0
 @wda1wustl: Correction,

Slayer - Freeride
This bike (Altitude) - Enduro
Instinct - Trail (i.e, a mountain bike)
  • 1 0
 Lovely looking bike..looking forward to the long term review
  • 1 0
 call me crazy but I think this is a mullet bike.
  • 2 1
 Umm...didn't you just bike check her?
  • 1 0
 New bike release incoming . 4, 3, 2, 1
  • 2 2
 The best part of the new RM is it doesn’t look like a RM.
Please no more bushings and ride nine garbage.
  • 1 0
 No more tapered head shock hardware that creaks endlessly and can’t be changed out to a real bolt.
  • 1 0
 This and the new Slayer look like carbon versions of the Pipedream to me.
  • 1 0
 Looks like the main pivot has been moved forward similar to spesh enduro
  • 1 0
 I love how the paintjob is also kinda 'spotted'. So, perfect title!
  • 1 0
 No mention of that new Trek? You guys are not really on it today.
  • 1 0
 Isn't the new Slayer their enduro bike?
  • 3 2
 Remarkable redesign.
  • 1 1
 It Looks like it has the grim donut’s geometry lol
  • 1 1
 Looks like it took its cues from the Grim Donut
  • 1 0
  • 1 1
 New Altitude
  • 7 9
 Well that clearly looks like a session
  • 2 3
 Looks creaky.
  • 1 4
 Stoked to buy one and spend the whole season waiting for a frame replacement!! Siiiiiick
  • 1 2
 Average look indeed
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