Altitude geometry: used carbon 2014-16 or new alloy 2018/19?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Altitude geometry: used carbon 2014-16 or new alloy 2018/19?

    Hello,

    I hope this is the right place to ask but I am wondering if buying a used RM Altitude carbon bike is still a good choice in 2018 for a recreational rider.

    Coming from many years of bike riding but no particular "real" MTB experience I want to ride more challenging routes in the future.

    Where I live there are quite a few former high end carbon bikes (799MSL and 770MSL) available for more or less the same or even less than the introductory aluminium 2019 model.

    After having read quite a bit on MTB tech I can now somewhat identify the components and but I am having a hard time figuring out if those former high end carbon frames are still worth it over a new alloy frame with up to date but lower end components.
    Is the 2018/2019 geometry that much better or are those nuances that an inexperienced rider like me will not really notice?
    What about suspension and going uphill, did the bikes improve a lot in that regard?

    I am not set on carbon over aluminium but if I can get an older model in good to great condition I am not against carbon.


    Thanks in advance for your advice!
    Last edited by El_Topo; 08-18-2018 at 12:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Once you get back to 2014 to 2016 models, they had the Fox 34 fork at 150mm travel, so a bit lighter duty than the newer 36 forks at 160mm, but they switched up to the 36 fork on the Rally Edition in 2015/2016.

    Those older models used the ABC bushings on the rear pivots, so if you're buying used make sure they've been regularly serviced and there's no play or slop in the rear suspension linkage.

    The 2018 and later have the relocated Ride9 adjustment and the head tube angles are overall slacker, so it will be more confident feeling on fast downhills. These also have the new bearing arrangement in the rear pivots so they are less maintenance intensive.

    If you can find a used 2014-2016 that is in good shape, you'll likely find it a fun and capable ride, and if you start to get into Enduro racing and fast downhillling you might want to upgrade to the 2018+ geometry.

    9 times out of 10, when people are selling a bike that is 3-4 years old it's because the total of all the small service/maintenance items is adding to make it seem like a better deal to buy a new bike, so a major fork and shock service, maybe bushings, are likely going to be needed (immediately to soon), unless the bike belonged to a sponsored rider and he gets a new bike every year. So if the deal looks too good, expect to spend $300-$500 on service on the used bike.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the swift reply, rockyuphill.

    This pretty much confirms what I expected to be the difference, though I wasn't aware of the switch from Fox 34 to Fox 36 forks.
    Thanks for making me aware to check the suspension linkage and bushings, in hindsight it seems to obvious to look out for them but I wouldn't have thought of it when checking a used bike.

    Overall, I don't expect to want a more aggressive geometry anytime soon, as I am more after a recreational ride than serious enduro racing let alone downhill or similar, so the older geometry might be even better suited for me.
    Basically I want to enjoy nature while pedaling and getting better with the technical aspect of mountain biking but also be able to go a bit faster on terrain where the suspension of a XC bike might limit someone with less technical abilities.

    I read they improved anti-squat on the new frames, is this something an inexperienced rider like me will notice? Unfortunately I was only able to run demo bikes in the city (flat tarmac) so I am not sure how climbing is affected by older vs newer geometry.
    Do all rear shocks in the 2014-2017 models have a 3-way setting for locked, trail and open?

  4. #4
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    You might notice the difference in suspension kinematics if you rode the 2014-2016 bikes, and the 2018 models back to back, as the new models have a much more active feeling suspension, but still don't have pedal bob. 2016 is when Fox introduced DPS shocks, and that was a game changer for feeling like you had a supple suspension without blowing through travel.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks again for your valuable reply, rockyuphill.

    So, aside from colours, the frame didn't change from 2014-2017 but the suspension did, right?
    Sounds like I should try to find a 2016(+) model due to the DPS shock if possible.

    Also, according to my research, the frames have five years of warranty, is that correct? That would make a used bike an even better deal if I can get the original papers. :-)

  6. #6
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    I would always go new over used if money isn't coming into equation.

    Definitely go the alloy over used carbon.

  7. #7
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    Rocky's warranty only applies to the original owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by El_Topo View Post
    Thanks again for your valuable reply, rockyuphill.

    So, aside from colours, the frame didn't change from 2014-2017 but the suspension did, right?
    Sounds like I should try to find a 2016(+) model due to the DPS shock if possible.

    Also, according to my research, the frames have five years of warranty, is that correct? That would make a used bike an even better deal if I can get the original papers. :-)
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

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