Photo by Tyler Frasca.
A Little Upright in the Corners
With the word “rally” in its name, one would envision the Altitude 770 railing through the turns with abandon. But our test riders had to work a little harder than expected to get the bike to come around.
“It could have been because I carried so much extra speed into turns,” noted one rider. “But I really had to push down hard on the inside handgrip to get the bike leaned and turning. It wasn’t a big deal, but some of the 29ers in the test were easier to flick side-to-side, which seemed weird to me.”
Another rider echoed similar feelings and chalked it up to experience and bike time.
“I wasn’t super confident when coming up on the turns,” he said. “But think I’d overcome it with more time to learn the geometry.”
Speaking of geometry, as we mentioned in our First Look at the Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition, the bike employs a chip system called Ride-9 that allows riders nine shock mounting options to tune the geometry, and change the shock rate. Due to its complication, we didn’t play with the options much, but like the settings on any bike, some trial-and-error would likely lead to a better, more personalized ride experience.
Rocky Mountain’s Ride-9 chip system allows you to change both the bike’s geometry and shock rate to suit your riding style and the terrain.
Go Fast, Take Glances
Despite being one of the heavier bikes in our test, the Altitude also has the highest gearing, further supporting its go-fast-or-go-home ethos. Factor in the e-thirteen TRS+ chainguide as stock spec, and it’s clear the company expects you’ll be pushing speed boundaries with the Altitude.
“I rode the Rocky slightly out of my comfort one, really putting the hammer down and trying to pedal everything,” notes one reviewer. “The faster I went, the better it floated over stuff. I can really see this being an advantage on rocky courses where you want to stay on top of things and not let the bike wallow and feel every bump. It’s definitely got some big mountain enduro genes.”
Cheers and Jeers
We really like the thinking that went into the Altitude’s part spec. The product managers at Rocky clearly knew what they were looking for and spec’d it accordingly.
The one thing—and it might be the only thing—that had us bummed was accessing the rebound adjustor on the Fox Float X. It’s minimal dial is sheathed by the shock’s bell end to begin with, but when combined with the cowl-like shrouding of the Altitude’s shock mount it’s very difficult to access. Many of us like to play with the rebound to get the suspension feeling good. On this bike it required tools—a bummer to be sure, but not a deal-breaker
Who is This Bike For?
Clearly Rocky Mountain has their crosshairs pointed at the aggressive all-mountain rider and enduro racer. We would love to get the Altitude MSL 770 down to Santa Barbara where this mini DH bike would thrive—rough-and-tumble trails that are easier to ride the faster you go. If you like an all-day, ride everywhere up-and-down bike, look elsewhere. You can do it on this bike, but with its weight and gearing you’d better be in shape.
The Last Word
The 2014 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition is big and fun. If you have an aggro attitude and riding style—and maybe some buddies to shuttle with—the Altitude will not disappoint.
- Excellent heavy-duty build spec
- Great descending chops
- Innovative Ride-9 adjustable geometry and shock rate system
- Handsome graphics package
- Requires hard steering inputs
- Shock rebound adjustor not very accessible
Price and Trickle Down Versions
Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition: $5,599 (as tested)
Altitude 750 Rally Edition: $3,299 (aluminum)
2014 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL 770 Rally Edition
- MRSP: $5,599
- Weight: 29.76 pounds (sizelarge, without pedals)
- Wheel size: 27.5 inches
- Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
- Color: Black with green/blue accents
- Frame Material: Carbon front triangle, alloy rear triangle
- Fork: Fox 34 Float CTD Kashima FIT, 160mm travel
- Rear Travel: 150mm
- Rear Shock: FOX Float X Remote Kashima CTD
- Headset: Cane Creek Forty Series
- Handlebar: Race Face Turbine, 785mm
- Stem: Race Face Turbine, 31.8mm, 60mm
- Grips: Rocky Mountai Lock-on
- Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
- Brakes: Avid Elixer 9 Trail, 180mm front and rear
- Brake Levers: Avid Elixer 9 Trail
- Shifters: SRAM X9
- Front Derailleur: N/A
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM X9 Type-2
- Cassette: Shimano HG81 11-36t 10-speed
- Crankset: Race Face Turbine 1x
- Rims: Stan’s ZTR Flow EX Tubeless Ready
- Hubs: SRAM X9
- Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
- Tires: Continental Mountain King 27.5 X 2.4 inches folding
- Bottom Bracket Type: Race Face Press Fit Team XC
- ISCG Tabs: Yes
- Chainguide: e*13 TRS+
- Saddle: WTB Silverado SL
- Head Tube Angle: 66.2-67.8 degrees, adjustable
- Seat Tube Angle: 73.2-74.8 degrees, adjustable
- Chainstay length: 16.85 inches
- Bottom Bracket Height: n/a
For more information visit http://www.bikes.com.
This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.