4 Facts About Rocky Mountain's Prototype Altitude

Mar 28, 2017 at 13:19
by Mike Levy  
The Rocky Mountain Urge bp Rally Team has been spotted riding a new bike rather than the Slayer over the past few weekends, a bike that looks a lot like a revamped version of the all-around Altitude platform. The current production Altitude sports 150mm out back, but isn't in the same league as some other enduro race-capable bikes in the same travel bracket - Rocky even refers to its intended use as "aggressive trail." The unbadged prototype that the team racers have been aboard appears to have a longer, slacker stance to it, however, and that should bump up its capabilities.

Rocky Mountain reached out to me with some facts about the upcoming bike, which you can read below with some guesswork.


4 Facts About Rocky Mountain s Prototype Altitude


Rocky says that it's not a pint-sized Slayer

A downsized Slayer would be a fun rig but, according to Rocky Mountain, that isn't the case with the new bike. Then again, the 165mm-travel Slayer pedals so well that a mini version of it probably wouldn't be any better under power, so why bother? Instead, it's a safe bet that the new Altitude will be a much quicker handling, more nimble machine. ''It's not an enduro-specific bike; it occupies a different space in the lineup to the Slayer,'' Rocky Mountain's Brian Park said of the upcoming bike's designation. I think that 'enduro-lite' might be appropriate. Rocky hasn't hinted as to how much travel the new bike will have, but it'd make sense for it to stay somewhere around the 150mm that the current Altitude offers.


It's not a 29er

Big-wheeled all-mountain bikes like the Slash and the new Enduro 29 go through nasty terrain quicker than I go through a box of donuts, so I thought the prototype Altitude might sport 29'' wheels and a bit less travel than the Slayer. That combo would probably offer equal-ish capabilities with a different personality, but it isn't the case. ''The bike that’s being raced at the moment is not a 29er,'' Park explained, cutting my theory to shreds with a short sentence. Then again, he did say ''at the moment,'' didn't he? I don't own a crystal ball, so who knows if we'll see big wheels under Jesse and Remi in the future, but the new Altitude won't be rolling on them.


2017 French Enduro Series Rd 1 Levens. Day One
Something new from Rocky perhaps


Ignore the coil-sprung shock - it's made for air

Coil-sprung suspension is making a comeback in the pro ranks, but air still makes the most sense for a lot of riders simply because it's easier to get the correct spring rate. So it's no surprise that the new Altitude is made for an air shock: ''The coil shock is something we’ve been playing with, but this bike is designed around air suspension,'' Park said of the Altitude. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't mount a coil-sprung shock, with Rocky's EWS team doing exactly that while at the first round of the French Enduro Series. Just don't expect the bike to come from Rocky with anything but an air shock.



It'll use Rocky's revamped Smoothlink suspension

The current production Altitude (pictured to the right with Jesse Melamed) features Rocky's last generation Smoothlink suspension where the axle pivot sits just slightly above the dropout but, much like the updated Smoothlink on the new Slayer, the new Altitude will see that arrangement flipped. Again, Rocky won't comment on suspension travel (although it's surely somewhere around 150mm) but if it's anything like the Slayer, it'll be a demon when the rider is on the gas. Rocky has also moved their Ride-9 geometry and suspension adjustment system from the forward shock mount to the rocker link, much like they've done with the new Element.
Jesse Melamed bike check



115 Comments

  • + 116
 Enduro-lite?! Really?
  • + 103
 Fewer calories.
  • + 17
 That was the name of a race category in the Scottish Enduro Series for the last couple of seasons. They only raced 3/4 stages instead of 5/6. Sugar-free racing.
  • + 213
 Perhaps the MTB world needs a scale where a tissue-paper-weight carbon XC hardtail is a 1 and a monster truck, massive travel, nigh-indestructible DH rig is a 100. Then they can say "We're aiming for 63-64 on the dirt continuum with this bike." Then they'll come up with a metric version that goes to 160.934....
  • + 113
 next year: the specialized e-enduro-lite fatty. Complete with a fanny pack and a boost specific 200mm dropper post and a 60.5 degree head angle.
  • + 2
 @thedriftisreal: up vote this to the stratosphere
  • + 12
 @seraph: same great taste
  • + 0
 @number44: I support this idea, 10/10 but it has it flaws, you have a xc rocket as 1, then these monster crosses becomes mainstream and becomes like -12 DC
  • + 5
 @number44: It should be a bigger scale like scoville units, used with chile peppers, so manufacturers can really distinguish the new standard befits. From bell pepper to Carolina Reaper!
  • + 16
 they wanted to call it "rad-dad" but the marketing guys refused
  • + 9
 So it is an enduro bike for people who live in flat places?
  • + 7
 @number44: While we're at it, different races will assign handicaps based upon equipment and its suitability to the course. Then figuring out who won a mountain bike race can be just as complicated as sailing.
  • + 5
 @number44: kind of sounds like the ibu scale...
  • + 3
 @HerrDoctorSloth: Florida specific Enduro bike
  • + 2
 Don't take such statements too seriously! Wink
  • + 5
 But is it gluten free?
  • + 1
 @number44: Actually makes some sense.
  • + 1
 @adrennan: less filling
  • + 6
 @number44: I will just correct something :p : 0-100 is probably the SI scale, 0 beign a 2015 cannondale carbon scalpel and 100 being a 2003 Armagedon with a marzo super monster. Then Imperial arrives with a scale from -7 to 78. Extremum are based on how stoke they were on the bike on an arbitrary scale. Categories are split by 12 but with sub category of 1/3 the value of the higher number of that category (based on the temparature it was outside when the first bike of that category was made into production). After that, depending if you're in the U.k. or the U.s. you can factor the volume of the bike differently. So you get the UK dirt continuum and the US one. After a few hundred years, that system will have lost all it's reference and will get a conversion formula to get a number based on the SI system.
No grudge, from love up north in a half SI, half imperial country
  • + 1
 @CaptainBLT: Contrary to popular belief, sailing isn't hard to work out scoring for. You just take the time and correct it with a known handicap value.
  • + 3
 @HardtailsAreGnarly: Yes, but bike racing is even easier. You take the time, then find the lowest one. Easier still for mass starts - first one across the line wins, no equipment necessary.

Sailing is fun, but the race results are not nearly so satisfying when the winner can cross the line hours after the first to finish.
  • + 14
 Hah, you can thank Levy for 'enduro lite'. We heard he likes lite beer. It's always tough to categorize bikes, but think our categories make things pretty clear. Cheers!
  • + 3
 @RockyMountainBicycles: you should have just called the slayer a freeride bike and keep calling the altitude an enduro bike.
  • + 1
 @RockyMountainBicycles: We heard he likes lite beer! Ha! That reminds me of that joke about people who listen to Coldplay...
  • + 0
 But damn, those Bravos look fire on that rig, eh!
  • + 2
 I'm trying to keep track of all this nomenclature. Help me out, in order of gnar:

XC
XXC (Cannondale)
aggressive XC
trail
all mountain
enduro lite
enduro
super enduro
light freeride
freeride
extreme freeride
  • + 1
 @thedriftisreal: sounds like a Giant Reign with fat tires. That thing felt like a chopper to me. Not necessarily a bad thing... but slaaaaaack as hell
  • + 1
 @vinay: Trace -trail race bike. Read it somewhere.
  • + 1
 @thedriftisreal: this kept me truly lolling almost a full minute
  • + 70
 I'm guessing , lower ,slacker, longer, more expensive
  • + 18
 your forgetting boost and e-bike
  • + 2
 @thedriftisreal: oooh what if it were optional e-drive? Adjustable geometry, choose your wheel size, now choose if you want to pedal or not!
  • + 0
 But what we're dying to know is whether or not it's Metric!
  • + 1
 Right about everything except the more expensive.
  • + 2
 Maybe a reduction in travel to 140mm. It seems like there is some overlap in the current line-up between the slayer and altitude. T-bolt is at 120mm, Slayer is 160mm, a 140mm bike may even out the line up. I would think metric shock sizing would be in the redesign as well. And maybe boosted.
  • + 34
 slow day
  • + 71
 Yeah
  • + 15
 @mikelevy: you save me from going really negative and the post disappearing. Smile lol
  • + 19
 Perfect bike for the dude who goes and rides with his buddies most of the time, but come summer time does a few local Enduro races. Steepen the head tube slightly, adjust seat tube angle and whatever else to help the bike be a little more snappy and nimble so that it's a little more capable and quick on flatter trails and all the generally great blue runs where there's a mix of everything on the trail but just not as steep as black runs kinda things. Still gonna be able to charge all the black runs you want but just given a little more of a balance between capable on all trails and capable on the steepest scariest shit you can find. Makes sense they had em at Rotorua as many athletes were commenting on how they brought shorter travel bikes due to the trails not requiring bikes with more travel and wanting to have a bit more of a snappy and responsive bike.
  • + 5
 From how this is presented it's supposed to be scaled back from the Slayer, not scaled back from the current Altitude. And the guys I ride with regularly ride their Altitudes on black runs on the Shore. The current Altitude is much more than built for flatter trails and blue runs.
  • + 2
 @rrolly: Yeah I think you slightly missed my point. I was extrapolating from the article what RM was trying to say about this bike, and based on their comments it's a bike that can ride everything in a more balanced way then the slayer. I never once said it is going to be built for just blue runs what I said is it will have a poppier feel and what not on blue runs.

If you have spent some time in Whistler think about runs like Del boca vista. You can ride it on a 7" enduro race rig and 200mm DH sleds, but that trail is a f*cking riot on a bike that is a little shorter travel, poppier and a little steeper and to be honest I have seen faster times on bikes with less travel then big enduro bikes or DH bikes on that trail.

I highly doubt that RM would make this new Altitude lesser than the current model.
  • + 4
 Plus @aydinr

Set aside the "lite" and any other suspected marketing nonsense for a moment. This really is an interesting development in their line up. I had a completely custom Altitude MSL (non-Rally though) with top shelf parts including a 160mm Pike RCT3. It was so light and responsive and such a climber. On the other hand, it wasn't quite stiff enough and kind of got overwhelmed on the rocky steeps here. So I got a Nomad and went up to 170mm on the front. Immediately, the descents were much easier to handle, but that snap and responsiveness is not quite there.

I sort of regret my decision having spent a net of $4000 to basically get a few mm of travel. If the Rocky had been just... a little longer, slacker, and maybe stiffer... as described here, I would have the perfect bike (in my opinion).

Note: The Rally edition is stiffer, but uses aluminum in the rear triangle. I wanted full carbon.

In any case, I really miss that bike even among the beautiful Nomad and 29" Stumpy EVO bikes sitting prominently in my garage. If this bike pans out, my others may be replaced. Highly likely.
  • + 16
 I love how all the other racers are standing around and watching curiously in the first picture. Reminds me of kids on a playground.
  • + 6
 Yeah man, the dude on the spesh is the jelly guy
  • + 11
 Designed for air but you can run a coil? Given that they work very differently I'm interested in how they achieve that without blowing through the later travel of the coil...

I was hoping for a new generation of low maintenance, super supple coil sprung trail bikes with the advent of the Dbcoil inline and Fox equivalent... I know there's some bikes that suit coil (Santa Cruz and Intense being the obvious candidates to my knowledge) but not as many as I'd like...
  • + 2
 Well they could have easily been using a custom swing link. RM have some good friends not to far from their headquarters who know a thing or two about making parts out of aluminum.
  • + 1
 Actually, SC pros running coils typically run a custom link..
  • - 1
 capra
  • + 8
 @trauty:

Capra is a genus of mammals, the goats or wild goats, composed of up to nine species, including the wild goat, the markhor, and several species known as ibex.

Is that what you were looking for?
  • + 2
 @2bigwheels: RM can make their own links, just can't anodize them in-house. Me thinks it has something to do with custom shock tuning available just around the corner, as opposed to a custom link.
  • + 1
 @j-t-g: That's pretty interesting if they do - do you know how it differs from the standard link or just that it exists?

I'm sure there's a shed based business in there for someone who knows what they're doing!
  • + 1
 @2bigwheels: i replied to main post of this thread! he asked waht other bikes are suitable for coil shock
YT capra is good choice.
  • + 1
 @trauty: weird doesnt show you in the reply block haha thats why I posted it haha
  • + 12
 How annoying is that, just dropped everything I had last season on a 2016 Altitude Rally MSL and then this comes out. Instantly outdated Lol.
  • + 38
 that's how bikes work.
  • + 3
 @BoneDog How do you like your 2016 Altitude Rally? My shop might sell them on clearance and I was curious about how they descend.
  • + 4
 what were you expecting when the bike has been around for 3 or 4 years when you bought yours ?
bikes ten to have a 3-5 year life cycle
  • + 1
 @BoneDog Totally outdated...the new one fits a water bottle in the front triangle!
  • + 6
 Instantly outdated only if you think it's outdated.
  • + 11
 @AydinR: #1 ranked team in EWS last year...riding the "old" version.
  • + 1
 @tiagomano: That's what I kept in mind when I bought my 16 trek fuel ex 9.9 ..Then Boom,2017 complete redesign..lol
  • + 3
 Better list it for sale while you still have a chance at keeping money.... or you could just ride it
  • + 4
 @AydinR: its been incredible. I've had a lot of fun on it with zero complaints. The bike is really capable and its climbs extremely well, especially with the float X CTD. I've also brought it to highland and used it as a park bike for multiple days. I've practically retired the DH now and use this as my all around bike.
  • + 1
 @dancingwhale: wouldn't mind selling it and getting the new one, but the lead time is mid season. plus i couldn't transfer over my "non" boost parts... so instead of new frame would essentially have to build up a new bike and take a loss on the custom built which i've done to my likings.
  • + 3
 Buy a bike from companies who refuse to participate in model years.
  • + 2
 Well, that frame hasn't changed since the 2013 model year, so yeah it's outdated. The only thing that changed in that time was the parts spec, BC2 link, bushing materials and tougher main pivot bushings. They know damn well that you can't expect to sell the same thing for more than 4 years.
  • + 13
 its no longer called trail riding... There's DH, Enduro and Enduro-lite.
  • + 11
 Can there be an Enduro-fat category too?

No dummy, not fat bikes, fat dudes riding enduro. I'm all in.
  • + 6
 what happened to all mountain ? oh i see... enduro light is cooler. heh. the magic word enduro.
  • + 6
 would be interesting, if it wasnt going to cost 8k. but looks like a good bike for team riders.
  • + 4
 Why cant we design our own bike on an app straight to a chinese engineers computer.......wait skip the engineer, just choose variables, hit the app, sends it to 3d printer in taiwan, boom, done, ship to door. 900 dollars.
  • + 1
 Good business model.
  • + 1
 @cuban-b: so close to being able to do that i bet.............
  • + 11
 Then who would you complain too?
  • + 3
 Its like: downhill, freeride, enduro, all-mountain, trail, cx, ccx, commuter, road....and now enduro-lite- What's next? downhill-lite and downhill-boost? Wink The biking industry is just pretty ridiculuous sometimes...
  • + 1
 And then there's the clothing lines....wowzas
  • + 4
 You are missing agressive Cross country
  • + 1
 Power-XC, Gnarmac.....
  • + 3
 What's ccx?

Next is downduro and endurocross (iPhone didnt even autocorrect this so you KNOW it's legit)
  • + 2
 you missed "gravel"
  • + 1
 @cuban-b: Sorry, ccx was a typo. Damn iPhone...
  • + 4
 I was at a Rocky dealer on the weekend and he said they're expecting shipments in before mid-summer. I just hope it doesn't have the 70s line graphics of the Pipeline...
  • + 1
 So the EWS highlight video shows a fully painted new altitude. I'm sure you guys could have gotten a shot for tech shots if you actually wanted to. What do you get from Rocky in exchange for a media embargo and this half baked "leak"?
  • + 4
 Looks like it's a carbon mold so it should on it's way to the production line and out for the public next year! Pumped.
  • + 1
 Might not be the case anymore the new norco DH race bike probably won't hit the public anytime soon
  • + 0
 @j12j: It sounds like Norco has it's own problems.
  • + 2
 @n3sta: I haven't heard of any, care to elaborate?
  • + 1
 @j12j: They've been scaling back their production on a few models, and aren't offering other models for their dealers. The impression I've gotten is they bit off more than they can chew and are now scaling back. But maybe I'm speculating more than I should.
  • + 1
 @n3sta: hadn't heard that, good to know though. My shop is a pretty major norco dealer so I guess they get some preferential treatment
  • + 1
 Look at Rocky's site, the altitude for 2018 is confirmed. You can select a 2018 model but you won't have access to the site. And I think the new model won't be an Enduro model, bc. a poppier, agile bike in my eyes would be an all mountain.
  • + 1
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uzc-36se5-8 @ 10:45min, that could be it without all the white tape shown in the first picture.
Hope there will an alloy version right from the start and not just carbon like the Slayer...
  • + 2
 all these new trail bikes look the same. except that new ellsworth rogue bike. That was the ugliest bike I've ever seen.
  • + 1
 Personally I love the way the attitude rides. If they mess that up I will have to get a thunderbolt and build it into a bc edition.
  • + 2
 The bike they shot the "UP CLOSE" waterbottle on is much more refined and looks production other than shock and fork...
  • + 3
 Fact number 5: it won't be in a completely sh;t color.

One can hope...
  • + 1
 Get your f'n hand out of the way! I want to see if the new rig has dual flip chips. Ride9 is so 2016. Ride18 is the new standard. Wink
  • + 8
 RIDE-81™, coming April 1st.
  • + 3
 C'mon that's stingy! At least an offical release date - please!
  • + 0
 Sounds neat and all, but I feel myself being drawn in the opposite direction--I'm waiting for a review of the newest Element.
  • + 2
 i weigh 215lbs. So, ... would I be a fat-lite in an endur-lite?
  • + 3
 Such a tease
  • + 1
 How'd Jessie do the other day?
  • + 1
 The girl in the yoga pants....sorry,had to.
  • + 2
 Way to build the hype!
  • + 1
 Facts, as opposed to Fake News?
  • + 0
 Bring back free ride. Bring back dh. Wtf trail bixe. Enduro light.
  • + 4
 RMB has a new Maiden and new Slayer. What are you complaining about?
  • + 2
 @vtbert: RM is the only on heavily leaning that way. Too bad both the maiden and the slayer are at boutique price points
  • + 1
 Nice! Everything.
  • + 0
 Will it be available anywhere other then North America?
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