The All-New Rocky Mountain Altitude - First Ride 9

A drastic departure from designs of the past and packed to the brim with adjustability.

The Rocky Mountain Altitude carries a track record that needs no introduction, with a handful of EWS wins and an overall title in 2022. The new Altitude has been spotted in the wild under the Rocky Mountain Gravity Team over the past year and appears to be working quite well for the team already. Taking a look at the finer details of the new bike, it seems that year was time well spent as the attention to detail throughout the frame checks all the boxes for what you would want or expect from a race-ready enduro bike. 


  • 63.5degree head tube angle (neutral setting)
  • 76.9-degree seat tube angle (neutral setting)
  • 160mm (6.3-inches) of rear wheel travel // 170mm (6.7-inches) fork travel
  • LC2R suspension platform
  • Size-specific shock tunes
  • Internal downtube storage
  • 4-way adjustable flip chip
  • Adjustable reach headset cups
  • 29-inch/mixed wheel compatible
  • Full-length downtube protection
  • Fully enclosed internal cable routing
  • Molded chainstay protection
  • Threaded bottom bracket
  • 148x12mm boost spacing
  • Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH)
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • MSRP: $3,999 - $10,999 USD ($6,899 as tested)

Frame Details

Looking at the frame, the most obvious change is the lower link-driven suspension platform, new to the Altitude but not to Rocky Mountain. The LC2R platform has been revived from the past, first introduced in 2006 on the Slayer and last seen in 2014 on the Flatline downhill bike, the Altitude now utilizes the design to shift weight as low as possible within the frame, minimize pedal kickback, and provide additional stiffness to the frame. The new frame is as adjustable as ever, everything from geometry angles, dimensions, and wheel sizes can be changed, although the Ride9 system has been ditched in favor of the more straightforward Ride4 geometry adjustment. A reach-adjustable headset allows for 10mm of overall adjustment to personalize fit, and wheel sizes can be swapped between full 29-inch or mixed via a flip chip found in the lower link. The carbon frame now features a downtube storage compartment with an easy-to-use latch to open and close the door, which houses a super smart AirTag placeholder on the underside. The large opening provides enough room to stuff the two provided storage bags inside and any other items you might need for an enduro race or all-day adventure.



One of the coolest integrated features I have seen on a bike.
One of the coolest integrated features I've seen on a frame.
One of the coolest integrated features I've seen on a frame.

LC2R Suspension

The 2006 Slayer was the first time LC2R was used.



The 2014 Flatline was the last iteration of LC2R.



If fine tuning is your thing, the Altitude is a great option to look at. The bike comes shipped in the most neutral setting, but the more aggressive end could be useful for more park-focused riders, while the steeper setting will likely pair best with more technical terrain and pedal-focused riders. 


Build Kits

The Altitude is offered in eight different configurations in both carbon and aluminum. The five carbon configurations range from $10,999 to $5,699, while the three aluminum options range from $5,699 down to $3,999. I received an Altitude 70 test bike, which retails for $6,899 USD and comes with a very well-thought-out build kit for that price. Suspension is handled by a RockShox ZEB Select+ fork up front and a SuperDeluxe Ultimate out back, which both feature high and low-speed compression adjustments with low-speed rebound. The brakes and drivetrain are a complete Shimano Deore XT package with 4 piston brakes paired to 200mm rotors and a 12-speed XT drivetrain including cranks. The wheelset is built around RaceFace Arc30 aluminum rims with an in-house branded front hub and DT Swiss 370 ratchet hub out back. WTB provides the saddle with a 200mm RaceFace dropper post to make it go up and down, a Raceface Turbine bar and stem round out the build kit. 


While it is not the top-of-the-line build kit, the 70-level kit on my test bike leaves little to be desired regarding performance. Rocky Mountain seems to have put the money where it matters with this build kit. I appreciated the small details, like a 370 hub out back over a matching in-house branded one and an Ultimate level shock to maintain the same adjustments as the fork. Other notable details are the pre-installed CushCore inserts right out of the box, which is pretty sweet for an enduro race bike or even just protecting your investment. It may not have the bling factor of top-of-the-line components, but the stealth colorway looks even better in person, and it feels like nothing is lost when it comes to on-trail performance. 



  • 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 
Altitude Carbon 99


First Ride Roundup

My time aboard the new Altitude was limited to only a handful of rides, but I had enough time to get the bike to a comfortable configuration for some off-the-top initial impressions. From the first run, the front of the bike felt roomy and required a forward riding position that resulted in an unsettled rear wheel. I rolled the bars back slightly to counteract the long reach and put better pressure on the rear wheel, but the front wheel still felt distant. Thanks to the reach-adjust headset cups, I could go 5mm shorter in just a few minutes to shift my weight back slightly and put myself in a more upright position. This helped with settling the rear of the bike more and got me further into the rear-wheel travel. With my weight more central in the bike, pressure at both wheels felt much more balanced, and I could focus on riding comfortably. With everything in the right place, my second set of runs was awesome, and the handling was far more predictable than before. 


Early on, a noticeable level of lateral compliance out of the frame had me questioning if it would wind up in turns and spit me out the wrong way under heavy loading. It took a few laps to trust, but I began pushing harder into turns and found that the frame's torsional flex ramps up heavily to create a solid foundation once loaded. The off-the-top flex proved to be especially beneficial in off-camber sections, where it felt effortless to hold a line through choppy undulations and across roots. I felt like the bike really shined in these scenarios and increased confidence when choosing lines.


After a bit of adjustment and a basic understanding of what the bike is about, the Altitude seems read for consecutive days across varied terrain thanks to the comfort built into the frame and the suspension. The forgiving level of frame compliance paired with the light off-the-top feeling of the suspension seems beneficial when riding fatigued, where mistakes are more likely to happen. On the flip side, the way the frame and suspension built support with higher levels of rider input would be equally as beneficial when charging. The only hiccup I ran into was the main link around the bottom bracket coming loose after about eight laps. This could be an issue that is fixed once and won't come back up after re-torquing, or potentially reoccurring and require a close eye to maintain compression. Thankfully Rocky Mountain provides a tool for tightening the main pivot interface to avoid a trip to the bike shop when it needs attention. Overall, my first impression of the bike was primarily positive and it appears to be a step in the right direction for the evolution of the Altitude and for their race program.

For more information on the new Altitude, visit the Rocky Mountain website.

View key specs, compare bikes, and rate the new Rocky Mountain Altitude in the Vital MTB Product Guide.

About The Tester

Jonathon Simonetti - Age: 30 // Years Riding MTB: 21 // Height: 6’4” (1.93m) // Weight: 230-pounds (97.5kg)

Jonny started mountain biking in 2003 after a trip to Northstar showed him how much more could be ridden on 26” wheels than on a BMX bike. He began racing downhill in 2004 and raced for 12 years until ultimately deciding having fun on a bike was more important than race results. After working as a mechanic in the industry for a few years and developing a deeper understanding of bikes inside and out, he has an aptitude for pairing his riding ability with the analysis of bikes and breaking down what makes them work well. He spends most of his time between trail rides and skatepark sessions, with occasional days on the downhill bike.


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