ROCKY MOUNTAIN ALTITUDE POWERPLAY E-BIKE - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine

Share

e-Bikes

ROCKY MOUNTAIN ALTITUDE POWERPLAY E-BIKE

An E-bike with true mountain bike feeling.

The first of two Rocky Mountains in the space of a week. Must be contagious. First up, in the way of the electricity assisted, is the Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay 70.

With most of the e-bikes in the marketplace today having large scale motor companies powering things, this is different. No Bosch or Shimano power plants on this bike. Similar to Specialized, Rocky Mountain have their own motor and system to drive the bike and this could very well be the one to watch.

Suspension

Fox Dampers have been deployed for the job. The extra weight involved on the assisted bikes makes this part of our job much easier – poorly damped or tuned bikes will show even more.

However, with a Fox 36 Float EVOL GRIP Performance 160mm up front, there seems to be nothing to fault. Tested and proven on other e-bikes this setup has a stiff enough chassis to take the abuse.

The Altitude design is the same basic principle as the non assisted bike. Geometry adjustments via flip chip design and a Fox Float DPS EVOL Performance Elite damper round up this bike’s 150mm rear end.

Components

In addition to the Fox damping there are an array of great components on show. The DT Swiss Sun Duroc 40 wheelset gives enough hold and strength where needed. A SRAM EX1 groupset with the 8 speed setup just for E-bikes works a treat. SRAM also provide the superb Guide RE stoppers.

A Race Face cockpit added into the mix brings 780mm construction and comfy shape and aFox transfer seat post with 150mm drop keeps things reliable.

Best of all is the tyre choice. Maxxis 2.5 wide trail rubber gives a premium feel of grip.

Shape and fit

Rocky Mountain have really worked on the sizing of bikes in recent times and it shows here with the size Large being more and ample when it came to the 6ft riders.

The L comes in with a 452 reach, 65 degree head angle and 1206 wheelbase. These aren’t Geometron numbers by any means but plenty large enough when matched with the correct shape and width bar.

A low bottom bracket and low centre of gravity makes for a fun and stable ride. The shape of the Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay is superb.

Feeling

The Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay really is stunning.

It’s no mean feat to excite this much. The most impressive things is the way in which the stable and endless power is delivered though – so smooth it makes climbing up technical ascents easy, even when difficult on other assisted bikes. This matched up with the wide rim construction and Maxxis 2.5 WT tyres give great grip. When there is power and grip things just get better. It’s a beautiful combination.

I really could go on about how good the Powerplay is on the climbs but more important when thinking of these bikes. How does it descend? Is it clumsy? Well in no uncertain terms the answer is NO! This really is one of the first e-bikes that I have ridden that feels like a mountain bike when descending. Poise and grip come into play again here. A stable feel comes from correct component choices and sorted geometry. This mated up to the suspension design that works and a bob-on shock tune it’s a great recipe, one the creators should be proud of.

Limitations

Very little to say here but the little to say comes at a cost. The bike that was ridden did cut out a few times. Now, this was due to a twisted torque arm and has since been sorted and looked into. With a new bike on its way after having to return the old one I will keep things updated on the reliability side of things.

There was also some slight noise from the chain where it goes on its journey around the motor. I found that the chain needed a lot more attention than other bikes with the oil coming out every time then noise occurred. No chain slap though so that’s a plus.

Verdict

With a great feel and killer looks it really begs the question, why not?! There is a cheaper model than the £6,999 one tested and a more pricey one if willy waving is your thing.

For me though Rocky Mountain had totally nailed what I feel a pedal assisted bike should ride and feel like: it is not in your face, clean dials on the bars, not a great deal to go wrong, good support when something does, and sorted geo and components to suit the job in hand. There are only a few other bikes coming close to this and it is by far the bike that I would spend my money on, just topping the likes of the Pivot Shuttle.

www.bikes.com

Price: £6999.99

Share

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.

production