By Vernon Felton
Photos by Margus Riga
Today, Rocky Mountain announced the debut of two enduro-oriented Altitude Rally Edition models, both of which sport “race-tuned” suspension, 1×10 drivetrains, DH-width bars and burlier 650b wheels. Though the bikes are termed “2014 models,” you can expect to see them at your local Rocky dealer any day now.
ALTITUDE 770 MSL RALLY EDITION
The 770 MSL is the upper-tier version and, as such, bears a carbon front-triangle mated to a 7005-aluminum rear end. Rocky claims a fighting weight of 29.1 pounds for this bike, which is competitive, though not exactly jaw-dropping.
*Fox 34 Float 160 fork and Fox Float X rear shock
*E-Thirteen TRS+ Guide
*Avid Elixir 9 brakes
*SRAM X9 1×10 Drivetrain (34-tooth RaceFace chainring mated to a 11×36 Shimano cassette)
*RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post
*Stans ZTR Flow EX wheelset
ALTITUDE 750 RALLY EDITION
For those of you who don’t demand carbon everything, there’s also the less-pricey, all-aluminum 750 model, which sports the same basic design in a more wallet-friendly package.
*X Fusion Sweep RL2 Air 27.5 fork & X Fusion 02 RL rear shock
*E-Thirteen LG1 Guide
*Avid Elixir 7 brakes
*SRAM X7/X9 1×10 Drivetrain (34-tooth RaceFace chainring mated to a 11×36 SRAM cassette)
*Wheeltech Inferno 25 by SUNringlé wheels
We’ve tested Rocky Mountain’s Altitude in several trims to date–including the aluminum 750 model and the all-carbon 790 MSL version–and came away impressed by the bike, but only after fiddling with the RIDE-9 shock-mount system (which enables you to alter both the bike’s geometry and suspension traits). While RIDE-9 is, admittedly, not the most intuitive system out there, it provides you an unrivaled ability to fine tune the bike’s handling. Simple? No. Ingenious? Yes.
We’re looking forward to getting a chance to spending some time aboard the latest version and seeing if the tweaks make the bike that much better on balls-to-the-wall descending. We’ll see…and we’ll let you know.