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  1. #1
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    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL preview

    As a confirmed Rocky fanboy, I'm privileged to have reviewed or ridden every version of the Altitude from the first elevated chainstay hardtail to the racing steel hardtail to the 26, 29 and now 27.5/650b version. I had a hard time keeping a poker face while rockuphill asked me questions but now the article can go live.

    Prices and review here- 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL 650b Preview | Mountain Bike Review




    Another fine article on the bike by Mike Levy
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude 27.5 - First Ride - Pinkbike

    and morgan

    Rocky Mountain Altitude 650B | NSMB.e.MAGAZINE - Freeride, Extreme and North Shore style Mountain Biking
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  2. #2
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    Nice write up. Well done Lee.

    Wow. I thought for sure the next bike I wanted would be a Norco Sight. Now I'm not so sure. Plus the fact that I can get a RM online or maybe even locally might just seal the deal.

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    Well look at this. It's my bike but more sexy and more bad ass. Damn!
    Main bike : Altitude RSL 70 '11
    DH bike : Aurum 2 '12

  4. #4
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    yeah its a bit of a kick in the nuts to current Altitude owners. Didn't mean it to sound so much like that but couldn't really hide that fact
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    yeah its a bit of a kick in the nuts to current Altitude owners. Didn't mean it to sound so much like that but couldn't really hide that fact
    It's ok Still love my bike. One day I'll make the switch. When I have a job and out of school haha.

    I also recently started DH so the Altitude is not my only passion now
    Main bike : Altitude RSL 70 '11
    DH bike : Aurum 2 '12

  6. #6
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    Video embed - sorry for earlier wrong code

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/47819239" width="720" height="405" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  7. #7
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    Great review/preview Lee - thanks!

    I see that if you go to the ride9.bikes.com site now, there is mention of another bike called the "Instinct". I assume that is the 29er with less travel version of the same concept?

  8. #8
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    Where did you find another bike option? I only see the CHOOSE BIKE: ALTITUDE. I had assumed it would be the Element that was getting the Ride 9. It would be great to see the return of an Instinct.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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    This bike looks phenomenal! I am not one to care much about wheel sizes and I currently ride a 2011 Stumpy Evo 26 which I love. However, this bike has really caught my attention. I am super excited for it to come out.

    Lee- I thought the write up was great and the overall thoughts are consistent with all of the other write ups (nsmb, pinkbike, bikerader, bike rumor..). If everyone is saying that many good things, it must be top notch. I only wish they had the black and blue frame with the fox 34 and shimano build.. plus the bushings thing has me a little concerned, but I do think this may have to be my next ride.

    Thanks for the review
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Where did you find another bike option? I only see the CHOOSE BIKE: ALTITUDE. I had assumed it would be the Element that was getting the Ride 9. It would be great to see the return of an Instinct.
    I see "Choose Bike: Altitude | Instinct", and the picture of a white bike with the numbers "29" visible on the tires...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KCOgar View Post
    Wow. I thought for sure the next bike I wanted would be a Norco Sight. Now I'm not so sure. Plus the fact that I can get a RM online or maybe even locally might just seal the deal.
    I am in the exact same boat. Both of these bikes are tempting, and so far are the most "trailbike" oriented of the new 650b's. And both are quality. Thank you canucks! Well done!

    Now for a northeastern USA resident to find dealers....availability might choose for me.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentyyc View Post
    I see "Choose Bike: Altitude | Instinct", and the picture of a white bike with the numbers "29" visible on the tires...
    Interesting the Ride9 widget just changed to offer no bike choices, perhaps an unintended cat escaped from the bag.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL preview-ride9.jpg  

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Interesting the Ride9 widget just changed to offer no bike choices, perhaps an unintended cat escaped from the bag.
    Huh! I don't see what you're seeing rockyuphill. Here's what I see:


  14. #14
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    The Ride9 minisite displays completely differently in IE8, it has the Altitude/Instinct choice but the interactive dial is missing. "rotate the dial to optimize your ride" is missing a dial. Must be an HTML 5 thing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL preview-ride9-2.jpg  

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  15. #15
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    Read your review, could you please elaborate on the difference between the new Element 29 which you reviewed a month ago and this new new Altitude? Which one would you choose if it was an alternative to your Tallboy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by flipjhl View Post
    Read your review, could you please elaborate on the difference between the new Element 29 which you reviewed a month ago and this new new Altitude? Which one would you choose if it was an alternative to your Tallboy?
    The Element is more uphill oriented than the Altitude. The Element is by no means a bad downhill bike but I'd be reluctant to ride a shorter-travel bike aggressively all the time; one would tend to wear things out. I suspect that one could get very aggressive on this Altitude.

    I'd choose the Element29er to replace the Tallboy - that's an easy question to answer

    To expand, the Element is a quiver bike to be complemented with another more downhill'ish bike. It could be a one bike to do everything if you're an extraordinarily aggressive, technically competent rider who lives in a place where technical trails are the exception and not the norm. Where I ride that isn't the case. IMO the Altitude is more of the one-bike-to-rule-it-all
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Interesting the Ride9 widget just changed to offer no bike choices, perhaps an unintended cat escaped from the bag.
    I see exactly what you posted rockyuphill if I check out the Ride9 site/app on an iPad, but on everything else I see what I posted. Weird...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    yeah its a bit of a kick in the nuts to current Altitude owners. Didn't mean it to sound so much like that but couldn't really hide that fact
    To be honest I didn't get that impression from your review. I mean you obviously really liked this bike in your review. But in your comparison you said that they both climb well and the new one descends better, but its not as though the previous one was a terrible descender. In your own words from the 2005 review:

    "...the [2009] Altitude is an extremely capable bike on downhills. Its geometry (exceptional standover, relatively slack head angle) is suited for technical downhills of the more moderate xc, all-mountain variety."

    Or maybe more likely, I'm trying to justify in my head not being able to have the new one because I have yet to build/try my 2011 Altitude 70 frame.


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilikefire View Post
    To be honest I didn't get that impression from your review. I mean you obviously really liked this bike in your review. But in your comparison you said that they both climb well and the new one descends better, but its not as though the previous one was a terrible descender. In your own words from the 2005 review:

    "...the [2009] Altitude is an extremely capable bike on downhills. Its geometry (exceptional standover, relatively slack head angle) is suited for technical downhills of the more moderate xc, all-mountain variety."

    Or maybe more likely, I'm trying to justify in my head not being able to have the new one because I have yet to build/try my 2011 Altitude 70 frame.

    Apologies as it was a rather milquetoast comment. The observation about it being for more "moderate xc" contradicted RMB's boast that the Altitude 29er was designed for local trails and/or on North Vancouver There is almost no moderate xc locally!

    If you live someplace where the trails are not as aggressively in your face as North Van then the Altitude 70 will probably be fine. Where are you located?
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    IMO the Altitude is more of the one-bike-to-rule-it-all
    ...or would that be the Instinct 970?! Hmmm..

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    ...or would that be the Instinct 970?! Hmmm..
    I'm head over heels for the Element 29er carbon
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  22. #22
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    Can a carbon Instinct RSL be far behind? The first Rocky FS bike I owned was a 2000 Instinct. That new Instinct looks like it would be even more BC Edition friendly than the 970 BC edition if it were in carbon.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Can a carbon Instinct RSL be far behind? The first Rocky FS bike I owned was a 2000 Instinct. That new Instinct looks like it would be even more BC Edition friendly than the 970 BC edition if it were in carbon.
    I can beat the snot out of the BC edition and ride it on anything short of 5th Horseman. The 26" MSL is already so gnar I can't wait to see how far I can chuck the Element 29er and the Altitude for that matter.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    Apologies as it was a rather milquetoast comment. The observation about it being for more "moderate xc" contradicted RMB's boast that the Altitude 29er was designed for local trails and/or on North Vancouver There is almost no moderate xc locally!

    If you live someplace where the trails are not as aggressively in your face as North Van then the Altitude 70 will probably be fine. Where are you located?
    Ya, the 70 will be more than enough for most of our trails... I'm out in Manitoba - where most of our trails don't look anything like my local trail below. But when I finally get the nerve to do the steep on that picture - then I'll reward myself with the new Altitude - hah!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL preview-dsc02921.jpg  


  25. #25
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    I've never ridden in MB. Closest were some races in SK around Blackstrap but that looks nice and burly but with a nice smooth runout. In Pemberton (for example) that'd be a intermediate trail but they breed them different out there.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    I'm head over heels for the Element 29er carbon
    Enough to sell TB?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by islander View Post
    Enough to sell TB?
    Perhaps
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

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    I'm amped for the 29er Element RSL as a race bike for next year. But back to the Altitude 650b...

    LeeL: In your review you suggest the new Altitude might be pushing pretty far into the range of the Slayer. Care to say more about that? The standard 'trail bike' for much of the riding around here is a Giant Reign, with Nomads also common. Is the 650 Altitude covering the same bases as those bikes? Geometry makes it looks like that is the case -- but the Altitude is pretty darn light.

  29. #29
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    650b altitude imo is so capable it can run well into what a 160^170mm travel bike can do,

    It will be at least if not better dh than the Reign. It might match a Nomad although that depends on build.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    650b altitude imo is so capable it can run well into what a 160^170mm travel bike can do,

    It will be at least if not better dh than the Reign. It might match a Nomad although that depends on build.
    Where would the Sight B1 fall in that spectrum? A bit more of an XC feel than the others? Or would you choose the new Altitude for a day with 1000+ meters of climbing?
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  31. #31
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    Just did "Severed D**k" on North Shore yesterday, LeeL Missed the turn off to "Shorn Scrotum", but since I was going UP the trail, I think I remember the turn off. Sigh, will get it next time, hopefully.

    So, the past few months I've had my heart set on getting a Element 50. But after seeing a Slayer 70 at Big Tree Bikes (no affiliation) this week and doing severed d. yesterday, I think I want a Slayer instead, or at the minimum a Altitude 750. That trail is one wild beast...
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  32. #32
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    Were there any of the new Instinct 970/950 at the demo for comparison. I'm still thinking the Instinct might be the best step up from the Element 70 MSL to bigger wheels for me.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    650b altitude imo is so capable it can run well into what a 160^170mm travel bike can do,

    It will be at least if not better dh than the Reign. It might match a Nomad although that depends on build.
    Thanks for the assessment. I may need to consider a complete change of my 2 bike arsenal then.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Where would the Sight B1 fall in that spectrum? A bit more of an XC feel than the others? Or would you choose the new Altitude for a day with 1000+ meters of climbing?
    I think the SIght is comparable to the Altitude but thats,s off the cuff without much time and I hate making that big a deal about it till I,ve had time as i dont want to mislead. Id have to look at the price lists. That,d be more of a fair comparison otherwise one would be doing apples to oranges comparison

    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    Just did "Severed D**k" on North Shore yesterday, LeeL Missed the turn off to "Shorn Scrotum", but since I was going UP the trail, I think I remember the turn off. Sigh, will get it next time, hopefully.

    So, the past few months I've had my heart set on getting a Element 50. But after seeing a Slayer 70 at Big Tree Bikes (no affiliation) this week and doing severed d. yesterday, I think I want a Slayer instead, or at the minimum a Altitude 750. That trail is one wild beast...
    Can,t help you there but keep in mind that Severed and Shorn Scrotum are among the easiest Shore trails so it kind of depends on what you want to to ride. Most of us would ride the Altitude on Severed. I,d do the Element myself on Severed (not bragging - just saying).

    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    Were there any of the new Instinct 970/950 at the demo for comparison. I'm still thinking the Instinct might be the best step up from the Element 70 MSL to bigger wheels for me.
    No. To be honest i wonder why one would pick the Instinct when the Altitude kicks so much ass and prob be built as light But thats not fair to say when I havent ridden the Instinct. But Ive really drunk the Altitude koolaid
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  35. #35
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    Lee - I have the 2011 stumpy evo. How would this compare? I am really liking what I see...
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by ggilings View Post
    Lee - I have the 2011 stumpy evo. How would this compare? I am really liking what I see...
    No idea
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  37. #37
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    Has MSRP on the 750 gone up? Seeing $4k here: Rocky Mountain Altitude 750: 27.5 Mountain Bikes | Bicycling Magazine

  38. #38
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    I'd expect it's more likely that Bike Magazine has a typo because $4,499 was too complicated to type.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeL View Post
    The 26" MSL is already so gnar...
    Okay, so given that and your comment that the Altitude is getting into 160-170 mm x 26" territory in terms of capability... do you think I should be skipping the Altitude and heading straight for a Slayer to add to my Element MSL?

    I ask as I suspect my Element probably isn't the best choice for the enduro racing I'll be doing....

    Thanks!
    Eric

  40. #40
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    The Altitude would be much lighter and racier than a Slayer, especially with the Ride9 adjustability
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  41. #41
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    Check. Thanks for that reminder :-)

    There are a couple of other issues with the Slayer, as well. The 70 frameset is already sold out over here (gotta check on a complete bike) and the TT is so short that it would be a chore to get up the hill. My back's a mess and I need a relatively long bike to be able to ride for hours.

    Thing is, I'm a bit worried an Altitude would still be too much overlap with the Element to justify another bike in the shed. I'm a pretty capable descender on the Element (nowhere near the regular enduro circuit guys obviously, but that's me, not the bike...). I'm just afraid I'll trash the poor thing.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    I'd expect it's more likely that Bike Magazine has a typo because $4,499 was too complicated to type.
    Hoping that is the case

    750 and 750MSL are at the top of my list for a new trail bike this year.

  43. #43
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    I still haven't had a chance to wring out the Instinct 970 yet, but the Altitude looks like an ideal all mountain bike.

    The Element 70 MSL looks like a pretty sturdy bike, par example

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    Does anyone know if you can run the Fox rear on the carbon versions without that massive handlebar lockout and cable... similar to the propedal switch?

    I am looking at the 750 or 750msl and REALLY don't want that thing, so I am leaning more towards the 750 with the Shimano bits..
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    The remote kit on the rear shock is retrofitable to be non-remote, by Fox or any authorized Fox dealer with the knowledge of the repair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMB-PM2 View Post
    The remote kit on the rear shock is retrofitable to be non-remote, by Fox or any authorized Fox dealer with the knowledge of the repair.
    Thanks!
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  47. #47
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    this bike is hawt
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL - kperras's Bike Check - Vital MTB

    25.9 lbs w/o pedals. Do you think it's superlight version of the frame?

    Also Rocky Mountain offer this 790 bike or frame in raw carbon version! I'd buy one otherwise it's a 770 or 730. Oh yeah or an Intense Carbine.

  48. #48
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    Been debating hard between the element 970/BC edition, altitude 770, and the intense carbine. so many good choices!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydoug View Post
    this bike is hawt
    2013 Rocky Mountain Altitude MSL - kperras's Bike Check - Vital MTB

    25.9 lbs w/o pedals. Do you think it's superlight version of the frame?

    Also Rocky Mountain offer this 790 bike or frame in raw carbon version! I'd buy one otherwise it's a 770 or 730. Oh yeah or an Intense Carbine.
    Raw Carbon version of the 790? Where have you seen or read that. All I can find is the black/yellow one.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
    Raw Carbon version of the 790? Where have you seen or read that. All I can find is the black/yellow one.
    I haven't just not a fan of rocky mountain two tone paint schemes- generally like raw or black. Seeing this rocky mountain employees 790 in raw carbon...I was hoping that rocky may have set aside some frames and not sent to paint yet. I had my LBS contact and they said nope only painted ones available.

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