The last time Rocky Mountain gave the Altitude a thorough once over was back in 2013. That was right around the time when the mountain bike industry adopted 27.5 wheels and became obsessed with the word enduro. Now, they’ve unveiled a new version. It still has 27.5 wheels, 150mm of rear travel, and Ride 9 system, but that’s about all that stayed the same.
The bike is now significantly slacker, longer, and easier to work on. Rocky has improved the internal routing system by making the ports larger and replaced the pivot bushings with bearings. That’s all good news, although we’re not so sure about the internally routed rear brake line. As you’d expect in 2017, the frame is 1x specific, has boost spacing, and a metric shock.
The Altitude uses Rocky’s Smoothlink suspension, which is essentially a four-bar set-up. Each frame size receives a custom shock tune, but you further dial in suspension feel via the integrated Ride 9 system. This set of interlocking chips allows you to adjust how progressive or linear the bike feels, as well as make adjustments to the geometry.
The new Altitude is roughly two degrees slacker than the previous model. On paper, it looks like a more pedal friendly version of the Slayer. It’s designed around the new generation of wide tires (2.5-2.6), but will also work with 26+ tires.
New Naming Convention
In the past, Rocky mountain used a perplexing combination of numbers and letters to denote different trim levels. This year, they’re simplifying things. Instead of using a name like “Altitude 790 MSL,” it’s “Altitude Carbon 90” or “Altitude Alloy 50.” The higher the number, the better the spec — and price of course.
The new Altitude will be available in both carbon and alloy trims. The entry level Alloy 30 build starts at $2899. That nets you a SRAM 1×11 drivetrain, RockShox Yari fork, Monarch shock, Race Face dropper, and SRAM Level brakes. That’s pretty damn impressive. The top tier alloy build, the 70, retails for $4000. It comes with a full XT group (including hubs), Fox 36 upfront, a piggyback shock (that has yet to be announced), and a Fox Transfer post.
For roughly the same price as the fanciest alloy model, Rocky also offers a carbon bike with an aluminum rear triangle. It comes with mostly Shimano SLX level components, a GRIP damper equipped Fox 36 (instead of the fancier FIT4 damper on the alloy bike), and a regular Fox Float shock.
If you have the money, our favorite build is the Carbon 70. Retail is just over $5000, but you get a carbon front and rear triangle, Shimano XT groupset, and the Fox 36 with the FIT4 Damper. Want to go even higher end? The Carbon 90 will set you back $7000 and comes with an X01 Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Guide RSC brakes, and Kashima coated suspension. Hate all of the builds offered? There’s also a frame only option for $2749.
- Increased anti-squat for better pedaling efficiency
- 27.5 Wide Trail and 26+ compatible
- Bearings at all pivots, including at lower shock mount (compatible with aftermarket shocks as well)
- Blind pivots maximize heel clearance
- Lighter, tooled rear axle
- Improved cable management: large headtube ports, full shift housing, large downtube access port, and internal shift and brake housing within the front triangle
- Future-proofed to be compatible with Di2, Fox Live, and a dropper post simultaneously
- Seat-tube lengths have been adjusted to accommodate longer dropper posts at maximum insertion.
- Chainstay and downtube protectors. *Due to production delays, the initial shipment of 2018 Altitudes will not include downtube protectors. They will be shipped to shops as soon as they’re ready.
- Integrated “Spirit Guide” chain guide, with 2-bolt ISCG05
- 1x only
- Lower standover height
- Significantly stiffer thanks to one-piece seat stay, new envelope, and updated layup (25% more lateral stiffness)
- Modern parts compatibility (boost spacing, metric shock lengths, post-mount 180mm brakes, etc.)
- All sizes fit a water bottle in front triangle, even with a reservoir shock
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Weight: Frame & shock: 5.45lb (2470g), size Medium. Protectors, chainguide, & axle: 0.57lb (260g). Altitude Carbon 90 & Carbon 70 complete: 28.4lb (12.88kg), size Medium
For more info, visit Rocky Mountain Bikes