Rocky Mountain Goes Electric With Altitude Powerplay

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Big news today from Rocky Mountain – the Canadian company is releasing its first ever e-MTB called the Altitude Powerplay. Based on the existing 2018 Altitude that we recently reviewed, the Powerplay version adds a 250W pedal-assist motor to help you get up more climbs, and to ride further and faster.

What’s particularly intriguing about the Altitude Powerplay is that it doesn’t use a Bosch, Shimano or Yamaha motor system, but Rocky Mountain’s own system. The reason Rocky did this? To achieve a more compact drive unit that sits forward of its conventional PF92 bottom bracket and crankset, allowing the bike to have super-short chainstays. 425mm to be exact. In fact, it shares exactly the same geometry as the non-assisted Altitude, along with the same 150mm Smoothlink rear suspension design, 160mm travel Fox 36 fork, and 27.5×2.5in Wide Trail Maxxis tyres.

rocky mountain powerplay ebike emtb
Rocky Mountain has built its own motor and battery system into the 150mm travel Altitude chassis.

The Altitude Powerplay™ brings cutting-edge power to an aggressive trail bike, and opens the door to amazing terrain for all. Introducing a fully integrated, electric-assist mountain bike that takes our Altitude’s legendary handling and ride quality and adds a compact, powerful drive system. The new Powerplay™ drive system was designed in parallel with the frame, delivering ultrashort chainstays, optimised suspension kinematics, super-low centre of gravity, and class-leading torque. The result is an e-MTB that actually rides like a proper mountain bike—perfect for everything from self-shuttling all mountain trails, finding flow between the descents, and squeezing in power lunch rides” – Rocky Mountain.

rocky mountain powerplay ebike emtb
There will be three Altitude Powerplay models based around the same carbon fibre mainframe and 250W motor system.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Features

  • Pedal-Assist Technical Trail Bike
  • Same geometry as the regular Altitude
  • Compatible with 27.5in and 26+ wheels
  • 150mm Rear Travel
  • Smoothlink Four-Bar Suspension Design
  • Powerplay 250W Motor
  • 500Wh or 632 Wh Battery
  • Designed For 160mm Travel Fork
  • 65.6- Head Angle
  • 74.6 Seat Angle
  • Ride9 Adjustable Geometry
  • Boost 148x12mm Rear Dropouts
  • 425mm chainstay length
  • 1x Specific
  • All sizes compatible with water bottle mount
  • Claimed Weight: 21.6kg (Altitude Carbon 90), 22.3kg (Altitude Carbon 70 & 50)
  • RRP: £5499 – £8499
rocky mountain powerplay ebike emtb
The unique Powerplay system sits forward of the conventional PF92 bottom bracket and crankset.

The result of a three year development project, the Altitude Powerplay produces some special technologies to make all of the above happen. The motor features an in-built torque sensor that is spring-loaded via a jockey wheel that sits forward of the chainring. Pedal harder, the chain goes tighter, and the motor delivers more assist – simple.

Rather than bolt on a bulky off-the-shelf system, we struck out on our own to redefine the category. The Powerplay system is the result of designing an electric drive for the suspension and geometry needs of proper mountain bikes; in fact, the geometry and pivot points of the Altitude Powerplay are identical to those of the new Altitude. In our opinion this is the first electric bike that actually rides like a mountain bike should.” — Alex Cogger, Rocky Mountain Product Line Director.

rocky mountain powerplay ebike emtb
Definitely one of the best-looking e-MTBs we’ve ever seen.

If you want to know more about this unique e-MTB from Rocky Mountain, make sure you check out Wil’s first ride review of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay, after he travelled over to Valberg in France to see how the bike rode on proper EWS trails. Otherwise for further info about delivery dates and to find your nearest dealer, get in touch with Rocky Mountain UK distributor, Greenover Sports.

Comments (3)

    Ohhh, haters are going to hate that, it looks passably pinion gearbox like so they’d struggle to know if they should be getting frothy about it or not on the trails

    Nice Vlog, but how did it ride / compare to other ebikes out there?

    Proprietary system from a non electrical specialist brand (presumably with a 3rd party helping hand)…..Whilst I like the look I think I’d be waiting a generation or two of refinements rather than be the test bed gofer.

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