Two brands from the same geographic region making bikes with the same wheel size and same travel. The Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 70 and Kona Process CR DL 153 27.5 have got to be the same on the trail, right?
Yep, we thought so too, but these bikes couldn't be more different. The Altitude is a decidedly spryer climber. Despite having so much travel, its light weight and especially supple suspension combine quickness with softness better than most of the bikes we rode this year. The Kona, on the other hand, isn't especially light, but it relies on its firm mid-stroke and its trend-leading 76-degree seat angle to get it up the hill.
And the Kona relies on its especially stout build and aggressive geometry to get it back down. The iconic Process geometry offers an especially stable front end but backs it up with a playful 425-millimeter rear center. And paired with its burly weight, it offers a burly ride. As you might expect from Kona, the Process likes to be ridden rough. The Altitude, on the other hand, likes to be finessed. It's not a bike aimed at the clumsy, but at the precise. The relatively short cockpit, light weight, and light suspension feel make it perfect for micro-managers and tricksters alike.
It doesn't end there, but you'll have to check out their individual roundtable videos and write-ups to get all the sweet deets.