First Look: 2013 Rocky Mountain 650B Altitude Trail Bike
The correct number of bikes to own is N+1 where N is the current number of bikes owned. In a perfect world, a cyclist would own a bike for every application from downhill to road, but even in this alternate reality, one bike would always reign supreme.
For the avid mountain biker, the queen of the harem will always be the trail bike. From sweltering climbs to treacherous descents her ability to tackle any obstacle is unparalleled.
The all new Rocky Mountain Altitude is this kind of bike. The new 150mm travel rig is well thought out and introduces a really unique tuning mechanism. There’s only one caveat, it only available with 27.5″ wheels. Rocky Mountain made the decision to design their quiver killer around the newly popular tweener wheels because they claim its just right for the application.
UPDATE: Ride video added at bottom of post.
The standout feature of the new Rocky Mountain 650B Altitude is their new Ride 9 system which allows the bike to be tuned for an individuals riding style and weight.
Slight adjustments in the shock location can dramatically alter a bike’s handling. The dual rotating inserts allow you to completely personalize your bike. The idea is to flirt with different options, find the one you love, and proceed to settle down and start a life together.
The two interlocking inserts provide nine possible geometry and suspension configurations. Rotating the pieces maniuplates the position of the rear shock and alters the head angle (66.6°- 68.3°), seat angle (73.6°-75.3°), and bottom bracket drop (-10mm to +10mm), as well as the force required to bottom out the suspension.
Lost? Don’t worry. There is a web app. Simply rotate the dial on the right and the simple chart below will provide easy to understand feedback on what each setting accomplishes.
The short and skinny can be understood from staring at this diagram intently for the next few minutes.
Essentially, the front and back adjustments steepen and slacken the geometry and the up and down fine tune the progressiveness of the suspension. When the shock is mounted in the “heavier rider, lower starting pressure” position, Rocky Mountain claims heavier riders can run between 20-30 lower PSI in the custom tuned Fox CTD shock than when the bike is set in its stock configuration.
We weren’t allowed to weigh these bikes because they’re all first production carbon and prototype aluminum frames. As a result, they’re a little heavier than the final production bikes.
All of Rocky Mountains bikes are produced overseas but their aluminum and first run carbon prototypes are all manufactured at their facility in Vancouver.
The Altitude cockpit has more controls than your average Cessna. In addition to your usual trail bike essentials such as a dropper post, the bike is outfitted with a handlebar mounted shock adjustment.
The bikes clean lines are accentuated by the internal cable routing. Everything but the rear brake hose is tucked away cleanly. Carbon frames will have internal rear shock remote cable routing while aluminum versions will only offer external routing.
The seat post clamp is covered by a rubber sheath in order to protect the frame interior from the elements.
Since the Altitude is spec’d with a BB92 press fit bottom bracket, Rocky Mountain includes ISCG-05 mounts for those who prefer to run 1x drivetrains.
Stainless steel anti chain-drop plates are molded into the chainstays to prevent damage to the carbon fiber frames in the event of a dropped chain.
The wheel is locked and loaded via a Shimano QR E-Thru axle. Unlike the Syntace or DT systems which have a tendency to come loose, this QR method threads into the frame and clamps into place.
The fixture which the thru axle is threaded into is held by a small Allen which is just visible above the dropout. All Shimano equipped Altitudes will ship with their recently introduced direct mount derailleur hanger.
Rocky Mountain expects frames and completes to be available in late winter.
The entry level Altitude 730 is constructed of 7005 series hydro formed alloy. Drive train and brakes are a combination of X3/X5/and X7. MSRP $2,849.99
The Altitude 750 is constructed of 7005 series hydro formed alloy. It features a SLX/XT drive train and Avid stoppers. MSRP $3,399.99
The Altitude 750 MSL features a carbon a front triangle and a 7005 series custom hydro formed rear triangle. Bike is finished with SRAM X7/X9 drivetrain and Avid Elixir brakes. MSRP $4,499.99
The Altitude 770 MSL also features a carbon front triangle and a 7005 series custom hydro formed rear triangle. Bike is adorned with full Shimano XT drivetrain and Avid brakes. MSRP $5,399.99
The Altitude 790 MSL is the full carbon top of the line option. It will also be available as a frame only. Full SRAM XO kit. MSRP $ 6,899.99. Frame and shock will retail for $2,799.99
Love it? Rumor has it a 130mm 29r version is also in the works. Unfortunately, there are no plans to build a 26″ version at the moment, but we’re already looking forward to their 2014 lineup!
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