Expert Review: Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 50 Mountain Bike
This review is my honest opinion of the mountain bike, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the mountain bike, which I purchased with my own money in April of 2022.
The Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 50 is a true enduro machine that is exceptionally capable in any and all realms of mountain biking. Any rider looking to go as fast as possible on the way down in the gnarliest of terrain, while being able to zip back to the top for more laps, should consider the Altitude.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 50
- Build Kit: C50 SLX/XT
- Wheel Size: 27.5”/29”
- Frame Size: Medium 27.5”, Large 29”
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 170lbs
- Experience 20+ years of biking
- When I bought it: April 2022
- Number of rides: 50+ rides
- Total Mileage: 500 miles
- Approximate Time Ridden: One season
- Type of trail conditions ridden: Moab Desert to BC Loam
- Where I’ve used it: Moab, UT, Fruita, CO, Jackson/Driggs, Vancouver, Squamish, BC
How it performs
What I was looking for
I wanted a bike that was slightly more comfortable on bigger, gnarlier terrain and would still be efficient on the way back up. The modern mid-travel bike seems to lack on both ends while an enduro and XC bike can excel up or down well while absolutely destroying their intended field.
Why I chose this gear
I chose it because it was available. There are not many 27.5-inch options left with short chainstays. I looked at some mullet options like the Evil Insurgent and YT Capra but I prefer the full 27.5”. I also get good deals with Rocky Mountain through my bike shop.
What I love about it
- Frame/Geometry: The full-carbon front and rear triangle on this bike is extremely stout, yet compliant and never felt harsh. The geometry may have been the most mind blowing thing on this bike. With super short adjustable chainstays and the adjustable Ride9 flip chip, riders can dial in the bike exactly to their preference. I kept it short and playful and it was without a doubt the best performing cornerer of any bike I have ever ridden. It was glued to the ground when needed but could pop off any and every side hit imaginable.
- Suspension: The suspension on this bike is top notch and simple to tune. The Fox 38 fork upfront is absolutely incredible. The stability and plushness from the extra thick stanchions makes riders feel unstoppable. The rear in this build comes with a Float X which is a massive upgrade from the DPX2 from the past. It is very plush yet very responsive and supportive, and the lock out really shines during climbs.
- Wheels: The bike is stocked with WTB 30mm internal wheelset and is everything that is expected from a quality all-mountain wheel. They are surprisingly light as well. I put carbon wheels on every bike I ride, but that costs plenty of money.
- Drivetrain: The new XT/SLX 12 speed drivetrain is excellent especially with its new Hyperglide+ technology which allows smoother shifting under load.
- Cockpit: I thought the reach was perfect for me in a size M, and the ODI grips and Rocky Mountain’s own bars/stem combo were comfortable and performed well.
- Seatpost/Saddle: The WTB saddle has been comfortable and durable so far.
- Tires: The Assegai/DHR combo is a fast-rolling and very grippy duo. This is pretty much the standard enduro set up from Maxxis these days.
- Brakes: The 4-piston XT brakes are incredibly powerful and have a great feel in the lever.
- Durability: Nothing on the bike has had to be replaced so far after a full season of riding.
- Adjustability: The Ride9 and adjustable chainstays make this bike incredibly customizable. Geo numbers are pretty standard with most friends size-wise.
- Weight: For how capable this bike is on the descents, it is surprisingly lightweight. Many other brands with bikes in this category push the 34lb mark while this build weighs 32lbs.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Suspension: Float X is lacking in DH performance compared with the X2 that comes with the C70 and higher builds.
- Cockpit: I didn’t necessarily prefer having flanges on both ends of grips. It gave me a slight blister in the first week of riding.
- Seatpost/Saddle: The saddle is comfortable but has a very squeaky, glossy finish on top which is a tad annoying when pedaling. The seatpost will be quite small for riders on the taller end of each size's height range. I upgraded from a 150 to a 210mm dropper post.
- Tires: I prefer having a tire like the Assegai with intermediate cornering knobs on the rear as well as the front. Sometimes the DHR/DHF can have a loose point in between the center knobs and the corner knobs where all traction is lost.
- Brakes: The XT 4-piston brakes are plenty powerful. Sometimes they need to be bled out of the box though as my rear lever was coming down to the bar for the first few rides.
Favorite moment with this gear
Taking this beast to its home in the North Shore of North Vancouver’s mountain bike paradise was a favorite. This bike can handle even the steepest of tech!
Value for the money vs. other options
I think this bike is fairly similar to most other retail brands out there, pushing slightly to the more expensive side. With the full-carbon frame and the amount of adjustability, it seems that it's worth the extra dime. Big brands, like Scott and Trek, can offer similar builds for a lower price because of the parts they build and own in-house and don’t have to source elsewhere.
The Altitude is the most capable bike I’ve ever ridden, hands down. The front wheel stays glued to the ground on steep climbs while it feels like you are on a playful rocketship on the way back down.