2019 Altitude vs. T-Bolt BC- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2019 Altitude vs. T-Bolt BC

    Trying to decide between these two.

    For those who have ridden both, would you say the difference is mostly the modest difference in travel? Or, will they have noticeably different personalities?

    I'd say that the 140 travel on the T-bolt is perfect for where I mostly ride, but the cost of the BC is an issue. I'm more comfortable with the price point of the C50, so probably lean Altitude, unless it's significantly less playful and efficient. Concerned that 130 T-bolt C50 might be a bit short.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hi there,
    I'll try to help you with what I've experienced.

    TB
    The TB, in general, is pretty playful and capable. You can quickly throw it around and, on the other hand, do a lot of rough stuff. The 130 mm (rear) don't feel like straight 130 mm, bc of the progression of the Smoothlink. Via Ride9 and shock-tuning you get a lot out of the rear. For a "short" trail bike, this geometry is very aggressive and drop-sucking.
    The 130 mm (fron) match the geometry, but you simply cannot expect the performance of a 150 mm Fox 36. Especially high-speed root rocking will bring the front to it's limits. But it just depends - what do you want / need?
    The BC edition is pretty aggressive, the +10 mm in the rear will give you AM feeling and also with the 140 mm upfront you can hit tough drops. But again, the rear is way more capable than the front (that's why I run 150 mm 36 in the front and 135 mm in the back).
    Basically, the TB is a shorter Altitude, and by swapping fork and tuning / exchanging shock you can get close.

    Altitude
    The Altitude is half-enduro and extremely capable and aggressive. You can ride so many rough and technical sections with enormous speed - setting up fork and shock correctly, as a precondition. You can hit high drops hard and more. It's just an AM shredder.

    In the end, you have to decide what you want. Depending on the shock (DPX2 or X2), the Altitude climbs well, but the TB is a step ahead when you point the bike uphill.
    Descending, you just have to decide if you are really gonna need that 15 / 25 mm extra travel in the rear. Once you've ridden a 130 mm TB, you'll notice the rear does not feel like "only" 130 mm, thanks to tuning and progression.
    You may also want to consider, if going for a C50 (Altitude), you'd be happy with the components. Brakes e.g. are SLX, which do not really match the travel. However, also on the TB I'd not go with the SLX brakes.
    If you don't mind, opting for an Alloy version with better components is an option? Again, you have to decide if the weight penalty is what hits you or if you just don't care and have fun anyway.

    cheers
    ​Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 2016 Custom Built

  3. #3
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    From all that I read the Altitude is pretty damn effecient, but Iím not sure if these people are using the middle setting on the shock when going up long hills or for general easy riding? For me, I wanted a trail bike that I could leave the shock OPEN for 100% of my trail riding and have it be efficient; and the BC T-Bolt is that. I know this YouTuber called MTBYumYum has a 2019 Altitude and he says it efficient, but he uses the middle shock setting frequently it seems. Amd also, the regular 130mm T-bolt can be upgraded to a 140mm travel with just a different shock and increase in fork travel. The 130mm Thunderbolt uses a 210x50 shock, whereas the BC Edition uses a 210x55, making it 140mm in travel.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, very helpful input. Leaning toward building a T-bolt BC frame up.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by crissvaughn View Post
    You may also want to consider, if going for a C50 (Altitude), you'd be happy with the components. Brakes e.g. are SLX, which do not really match the travel. However, also on the TB I'd not go with the SLX brakes.
    You know, the C50 is a pretty decent spec for the $$, beside the SLX brakes and Sun wheels. Can easily upgrade those.

  6. #6
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    My wife rides a last gen Thunderbolt that I occasionally ride, I have a current Pipeline with both stock 27.5+ and second 29 wheelset....

    The Thunderbolt is a very good all-around bike. I scored a significant downhill strava pr the first time I rode it. However, the wheel interchangeability of the Instinct/Pipeline won me over. Out of the three set-ups, I really prefer the 29er wheels 90% of the time, and that other 10% I can swap in my 27.5+ setup.
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debaser View Post
    My wife rides a last gen Thunderbolt that I occasionally ride, I have a current Pipeline with both stock 27.5+ and second 29 wheelset....

    The Thunderbolt is a very good all-around bike. I scored a significant downhill strava pr the first time I rode it. However, the wheel interchangeability of the Instinct/Pipeline won me over. Out of the three set-ups, I really prefer the 29er wheels 90% of the time, and that other 10% I can swap in my 27.5+ setup.
    Funny you mention that. I've been on a Scott Spark 29er for two seasons. I've ridden a few 27.5s lately that I really had fun on, so was all set to go that way. But, I just had some second thoughts about it, and am thinking I might stick with 29er. If so, the Instinct will probably be at the top of the list. Ripley is cool, too.

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