It's next year already.
Pixelated press release pics hint at the new Rocky Mountain Altitude using Fox Live electronically damped auto-adjusting suspension shocks and forks.
Oh, and the bike looks pretty darn cool too. More of that shortly.
You may have seen “e:i” electronic suspension on Lapierre bikes for a couple of years now, such as the Lapierre Zesty XM 527 we tested back in 2015. Fox Live is Fox’s version of this sort of stuff. The key difference being that Fox Live appears to use sensors on the chainstays (and fork lowers) to send info to the auto-adjusting electronic suspension units.
Fox Live is a ‘clever’ sort of suspension damping that senses what’s going on and adjust itself accordingly. A computerised brain in the shock receives information from sensors (most likely accelerometers like the one in your smartphone) and the shock’s damping circuits are adjusted to best deal with terrain currently being ridden on.
‘Intelligent’ suspension is nothing new. Remember the Brain technology used on Specialized bikes in the early Noughties? That design used physical weights sitting in damping fluid to do the magic unlocking-and-locking of the suspension fork and rear shock. This Fox Live stuff is much more high tech it seems.
It remains to be seen whether Fox Live will have more than a couple of settings ie. not just ‘pedalling’ and ‘downhilling’, some mid-way auto-settings for the inbetweeny stuff. That would make things really interesting and offer something that nothing else has done before.
Enough pontificating about the what-if lecky shocks, what about the bike?
2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude
The Altitude has remained unchanged for the past four years so a change is overdue and unsurprising but most welcome al the same. Especially seeing as it looks so darned fine and appears to be taking some design cues from the recent Slayer.
- 150mm travel 27.7in trail-enduro bike
- Long, low, slack
- 160mm suspension fork
- Metric rear shock
- Carbon or aluminium versions
- Ride-9 flip-chip geometry adjustment
- Sealed bearings (no more bushings)
- Clearance for 27.5in WT tyres (2.4-2.6in rubber)
- 1x only
- 150-180mm dropper post friendly
- Full size water bottle will fit in front triangle (even with piggyback shock)
The suspension has been tweaked. More anti-squat for improved pedalling feel but with increased initial sensitivity. More support in the mid-stroke and more progression toward bottom-out.
Press release stuff…
“The Altitude has always been my go-to, do-everything bike, from technical climbs here on the North Shore to burly descents in the Italian Alps. This new one improves everything I love about the bike—it’s smoother, stiffer, lower, slacker, quieter, and nails all the little details. Just like this old freerider, the Altitude gets better with age!” — Wade Simmons
Improved suspension performance
We’ve increased overall progression and support at sag, while making small-bump performance even more sensitive. Higher anti-squat values dramatically improve pedaling efficiency.
Next generation features
Comprehensive evolutionary updates across the platform include features like tooled axles, single-sided bearing pivots, integrated “spirit guide” chainguide, boost spacing, and metric shock compatibility.
Our Ride-9™ system provides a wide range of geometry and suspension adjustability; it has been moved into the link for lighter, narrower packaging.
To add control and descending capability, we’ve increased reach, slackened the headtube angle, and lowered the bottom bracket. We’ve retained short chainstays to keep the bike agile, and used a moderately steep seattube for efficient climbing performance.
- Increased anti-squat for better pedaling efficiency
- 27.5” Wide Trail and 26+ compatible
- Bearings at all pivots, including at lower shock mount (compatible with aftermarket shocks as well)
- Blind pivots maximize heel clearance
- Lighter, tooled rear axle
- Improved cable management: large headtube ports, full shift housing, large downtube access port, and internal shift and brake housing within the front triangle
- Future-proofed to be compatible with Di2, Fox Live, and a dropper post simultaneously
- Seat-tube lengths have been adjusted to accommodate longer dropper posts at maximum insertion.
- Chainstay and downtube protectors. *Due to production delays, the initial shipment of 2018 Altitudes will not include downtube protectors. They will be shipped to shops as soon as they’re ready.
- Integrated “Spirit Guide” chainguide, with 2-bolt ISCG05
- 1x only
- Lower standover height
- Significantly stiffer thanks to one-piece seatstay, new envelope, and updated layup (25% more lateral stiffness)
- Modern parts compatibility (boost spacing, metric shock lengths, post-mount 180mm brakes, etc.)
- All sizes fit a water bottle in front triangle, even with a reservoir shock
- Sizes: XS-XL
- Weight: Altitude Carbon 90 & Carbon 70 complete: 28.4lb (12.88kg), size Medium