Trail and Enduro Bikes

First Look – Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 50

A trail bike chock full of North Shore pedigree

Rocky Mountain Bicycles has been at the heart of the Canadian mountain bike scene since 1981. With technical terrain right on their doorstep they should have no reason not to dish up a truly capable trail bike. We take a look at the Altitude Carbon 50.

Back in the heady days of ‘Freeride’, high bottom brackets and triple chainsets, Rocky Mountain was a brand name that sat alongside Kona and Cove as mainstays of the hardcore Canadian riding scene. With Vancouver’s North Shore terrain as their testing grounds, and Wade Simmons, Richie Schley and Brett Tippie riding as the ‘Fro-riders’, Rocky Mountain soon developed a cult following. In the now increasingly competitive and almost over-hyped world of enduro racing, does this revamped 2018 version of their 150/160mm travel Altitude cut it when put up against favourites such as the Transition Patrol, Evil Insurgent and Trek Remedy or indeed any of our favourite enduro bikes from 2017?


It’s an all-new frame design for this 2018 Rocky Mountain. The Altitude range is available with both aluminium or carbon frame options, as a built bike or a carbon ‘frame only’ option if you fancy a full custom build. This Altitude Carbon 50 model splits the difference, with a full carbon main triangle but an aluminium swingarm. It’s a consistent frame design regardless of which model you pick and a low stand-over height features along with a relatively short seat tower and Rocky’s RIDE-9™ adjustable geometry system.

The ‘Four bar’ style suspension layout runs on cartridge bearings (including the lower shock mount) and uses the now almost default Boost 148mm axle spacing. This frame dishes out 150mm of rear travel, runs a 160mm travel fork and rolls on 27.5″ wheels. The Altitude is built around mid width 2.4”/2.5” rubber and as such has plenty of clearance for muddy conditions. The finish and detailing, as always with Rocky Mountain, is first class. It’s up there with the Californian brands for sure.

Five frame sizes are available, XS to XL, in two stunning colour options.


The geometry is fined tuned with the nine position chip system, adjusted with a pair of allen keys. The Altitude’s head angle can move between 65 and 66.1 deg and the bottom bracket drop moves through a -1mm (steep setting) to 13mm (slack). The chainstays, at 426mm, are only a mm more than the Whyte G-160, one of our bench mark bikes when it comes to trail/enduro bike sizing. Reach numbers are up to date although the head tube lengths look a touch tall (130mm on a size large).


With Race Face originally being the ‘in house’ component arm of Rocky Mountain Bicycles, it’s good to see this Canadian brand being spec’d on the Altitude, even though both companies now have different owners. Rocky Mountain’s own chain guide works alongside the RF Aeffect cranks and Shimano gearing on this single chainring specific frame. Wide rims, high volume tyres and a cockpit with decent dimensions show that this brand is up to speed and have an eye on the details.

FRAME: 150mm travel, SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon. FORM™ Alloy Rear Triangle.                          RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate

FORK: Fox 36 Float EVOL Grip Performance 160mm

REAR SHOCK: Fox Float DPS EVOL Performance


CRANKSET:  Race Face Aeffect Cinch 32T

BRAKES: Shimano SLX (180mm F/R)

WHEELSET: Sun Düroc 30 rims on RM/DT hubs

TYRES: Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR WT 2.5/2.4″

HANDLEBAR: Race Face Chester 780mm

STEM: Rocky Mountain 35 AM


SEATPOST: Fox Transfer Performance Elite 30.9mm

PRICE: £3999.99

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