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.
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
in the EWS, we're expecting this bike to be an update to one of those models.
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.
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.