Rocky Mountain Electrifies Two New Mountain Bikes

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Having dived into the e-MTB market last year with the all-singing, all-dancing carbon fibre Altitude Powerplay, Canadian brand Rocky Mountain is looking to expand its power-assisted mountain bike range with some more wallet-friendly metal versions too.

And so today, Rocky is actually unveiling two new e-MTB models. One of those is an alloy version of the existing Altitude Powerplay, which shares the same frame geometry, the same 160/150mm travel and 27.5in wheelsize as the carbon version.

The other model is the Instinct Powerplay Alloy. Based on the naturally aspirated Instinct, this new e-MTB version also features 29in wheels and 140mm of suspension travel front & rear. With a little less focus on the gnar, the Instinct is pitched as a more trail-oriented bike, which Rocky is calling “our most versatile e-MTB yet“.

rocky mountain instinct e-mtb powerplay
For 2019, Rocky Mountain is expanding its e-MTB range with new alloy Instinct and Altitude models.

Like the acoustic Instinct (and other Rocky Mountain full suspension bikes), the e-MTB version features the four-bar SmoothLink suspension design and the Ride9 adjustable geometry chip, which allows the rider to choose between slack/neutral/steep geometry positions, as well as tweaking the suspension rate between linear and progressive settings.

There will be two spec levels: the Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50, and the Instinct Powerplay Alloy 70. Both will share the same hydroformed alloy frame and the same Dyname 3.0 motor system.

Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay Alloy Features

  • Trail e-MTB
  • FORM Alloy frameset
  • 140mm travel front & rear
  • Compatible with 29in & 27.5+ wheels
  • 29×2.6in Maxxis Rekon tyres as standard
  • Dyname 3.0 drive system system
  • 500Wh Battery (50) or 632 Wh battery (70)
  • 66-67° head angle
  • 74.6-75.6° seat angle
  • Ride9 adjustable geometry
  • 441-443mm chainstay length
  • Claimed Weight: 23.6kg / 52.2lb (medium)
  • RRP: £4,799 – £5,799
rocky mountain instinct powerplay motor e-mtb
The Dyname 3.0 motor sits in front of a regular PF92 bottom bracket shell and DH-width cranks.

Whereas most bike brands are making use of drive systems from Bosch, Shimano, Yamaha or Brose, Rocky Mountain is utilising the Dyname 3.0 motor system that’s been designed and engineered by fellow Canadian company, Propulsion PowerCycle.

The Dyname 3.0 system predominantly differs from other drive units in that it sits forward and independent of the frame’s bottom bracket shell. That means Rocky is able to use a conventional PF92 bottom bracket, along with standard DH-width Race Face cranks.

There are several reasons for this. One is geometry, as the forward motor placement allows for more flexibility in placing the chainstays and main pivot where Rocky’s engineers would prefer. As such, the chainstay length remains relatively compact at 442mm on the Instinct Powerplay Alloy. Another purported benefit is durability, since the rider’s weight is pushed down through the cranks and into the BB, rather than through the motor and mounting bolts. And when it comes time to servicing, things like the chainring and drive sprocket are easily replaceable using standard shop tools.

The Dyname 3.0 motor also differs from others in its execution of the torque sensor – a spring-loaded jockey wheel that runs along the short length of chain between the main drive sprocket, and the chainring. By pedalling harder, the chain tightens and pushes on the spring-loaded jockey wheel. As we found during our first ride on the Altitude Powerplay power delivery is designed to be both smooth and responsive to your pedalling inputs.

rocky mountain instinct powerplay e-mtb
New iWoc remote is much lower profile.

Compared to the original Altitude Powerplay, the new 2019 bikes will get an updated handlebar remote for adjusting the motor’s four power settings. This is good news, since the previous remote was bulky, plasticky and just generally not nice to use.

For further customisability, there’s of course a smartphone app that connects via Bluetooth, and allows you to see things like range estimates and provide ride tracking.

On a slightly separate note, one interesting thing we discovered when researching the Dyname 3.0 drive system is that while it has been limited to the legal peak power output of 250W for Rocky Mountain, Propulsion PowerCycle actually listed as having a peak power output of 1200W and a max torque of 121Nm. That’s way higher than Shimano’s E8000 motor for example, which puts out 250W and 70Nm respectively.

rocky mountain altitude powerplay emtb
Based on the carbon version, the Altitude Powerplay Alloy will be offered at two price points for 2019.

Alongside the new Instinct Powerplay Alloy, Rocky has also added an alloy version of the existing Altitude Powerplay. This bike gets the same Dyname 3.0 drive system along with the revised handlebar remote, but pumps up the travel and spec to better suit more aggro terrain.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Alloy Features

  • Aggressive Trail e-MTB
  • FORM Alloy Frameset
  • 160mm travel front & 150mm travel rear
  • Compatible with 27.5in & 26+ wheels
  • Dyname 3.0 drive system
  • 500Wh Battery (50) or 632 Wh battery (70)
  • 64.5-66.1° head angle
  • 74-75.1° seat angle
  • Ride9 adjustable geometry
  • 423-426mm chainstay length
  • 27.5×2.5in Maxxis Minion DHF/Aggressor Tyres
  • Claimed Weight: 24.1kg / 53.2lb (medium Altitude Powerplay Alloy 50)
  • RRP: £4,999 – £5,799
rocky mountain altitude powerplay emtb
The alloy Altitude brings down the price of entry for a Rocky Mountain e-MTB.
rocky mountain altitude powerplay emtb
The forward-mounted motor allows for compact chainstays.
rocky mountain altitude powerplay emtb
With a 623Wh battery and 160/150mm of travel, the Altitude Powerplay is pitched at big-mountain riders.

Like the Instinct, the Altitude Powerplay Alloy will also be available in two different spec levels; the 70 and 50. Though the two bikes share an identical frameset and the Dyname 3.0 motor, the 70 will come with a larger 632Wh battery, compared to 500Wh on the cheaper 50.

For more information, jump to the Rocky Mountain website, or head to UK distributor Greenover Sports.

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