The latest iteration of Rocky Mountain's iconic enduro bike takes a dramatic, if not unique, change of course for this redesign.


The Rocky Mountain Altitude is back, with the goal of enduro glory in the EDR series, and a spot among the best enduro bikes on the market. To aid in this endeavour, Rocky has employed an ‘all-new’ suspension design, described by the Canadian brand as a Low Centre Counter Rotating (LC2R). But trademark infringement aside, we all know it better as a counter-rotating, twin-link, virtual pivot point system, similar in layout to Santa Cruz’s VPP and Intense’s JS-Tuned design. In fact the new 160mm travel Altitude is a doppleganger for Intense’s Tracer enduro bike, right down to the concentric BB lower pivot.

Rocky Mountain Altitude

The new Rocky Mountain Altitude in its natural habitat.

Rocky Mountain Instinct need to know

  • Enduro bike with 170mm travel front and 160mm rear
  • Lower-link driven virtual pivot suspension design
  • Full 29 or MX wheels on size M-XL, and 27.5in front and rear on the small
  • Size-specific swingarms to tune weight balance
  • Reach adjust headset cups and Ride 4 chip allows further size/geo tuning
  • Internal frame storage
  • Alloy and carbon frame options
Intense Tracer 279

Want a VPP-style enduro bike with a lower link concentric to the BB, and internal storage? Well now you have two options; the Intense Tracer or the Rocky Mountain Altitude.

Tracing Intense’s homework?

At first glance, it looks suspiciously like the Intense Tracer that we reviewed earlier this year, and on closer inspection it looks even more similar. Obviously that doesn’t mean that they will ride the same, as there are numerous small changes to geometry, frame lay-up, and kinematics that will have implications on the handling and suspension performance. But to claim that this Low Centre Counter Rotating (LC2R) suspension design is something it used back in the mid-noughties on the Flatline and Slayer is stretching things. The counter-rotating links only acted on the shock – the bikes were actually single-pivot designs and different to virtual pivot systems as the axle path was fixed.

Rocky Mountain Altitude

Remi Gauvin’s Rocky Mountain Altitude at the recent launch of Fox’s new forks and dampers.

So, what are the advantages (and disadvantages) of this system? Well, Rocky Mountain claims its LC2R has ‘several key advantages’, namely small bump control, predictable support, increased bottom-out resistance, and low centre of gravity. The first three of those are hardly unique to LC2R, as any number of suspension designs could claim the same things. A low centre of gravity is certainly something the Altitude can boast over designs where the shock is placed higher up on the frame, but lowering 700g or so by around 300mm is going to have a minimal effect on the centre of gravity of a system weight of 80kg upwards.

Rocky Mountain Altitude

Anyone remember this location from the Collective film?

In contrast, the lower link being concentric to the BB means the link itself is usually a heavy, chunky forged lump of alloy with large diameter, heavy bearings. The Intense Tracer is not a light bike, despite the carbon frame, and although Rocky Mountain makes no mention of the bike or frame weight in the press release, we’d be surprised if it was light. Then you’ve got the issues regarding servicing and replacing such massive bearings when the time comes. So moving to this design is not a bed of roses.

Rocky Mountain Altitude

Rocky Mountain Altitude details including the adjustable headset cups and PenaltyBox internal frame storage.

Highly adjustable

Rocky has made a big effort to ensure the Altitude is adaptable as possible for different preferences and situations. While the small size uses 27.5in wheels front and rear, the medium through to XL can be run as full 29ers or with mixed wheels. The conversion can be made with the built-in flip chip, although Rocky doesn’t specify whether this has any impact on the geometry. If you do want to change the geo, there is the Ride-4 chip at the forward shock mount. Essentially a square flip clip, changing the orientation of the insert gives four different shock positions, with corresponding changes to geometry (and kinematics). There are also two offset headset cups offering +/-5mm of reach adjustment either side of a neutral position. Full details on the claimed geometry can be found in the chart below. Finally, Rocky Mountain says is uses three different swingarms across the size range to tune the weight balance. Checking the geo chart these appear to give a 427mm rear centre on the small, 440mm on the medium, and 450mm on the large and XL.

Rocky Mountain Altitude

Rocky Mountain Altitude geometry and sizing chart

Pricing and models

Here’s the full list of bikes and prices (although we haven’t got GBP pricing just yet):

Rocky Mountain Altitude

Rocky Mountain Altitude Carbon 99 with RockShox Flight Attendant

  • Altitude Carbon 99 / $10,999 USD / $15,499 CAD
  • Altitude Carbon 90 Rally Edition / $9,999 USD / $12,299 CAD
  • Altitude Carbon 70 / $6,899 USD / $8,899 CAD
  • Altitude Carbon 70 Coil / $7,199 USD / $9,299 CAD
  • Altitude Carbon 50 / $5,699 USD / $7,299 CAD
  • Altitude Alloy 70 Coil / $5,699 USD / $6,999 CAD
  • Altitude Alloy 50 / $4,799 USD / $5,599 CAD
  • Altitude Alloy 30 / $3,999 USD / $4,799 CAD
  • Altitude Carbon Frameset / $4,099 USD / $4,999 CAD