Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay

knut7

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Apr 10, 2018
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#1
I just rode the C50, the cheapest 2018 with a Yari fork.
vlcsnap-2018-06-28-15h50m30s450_fix-png.2487


Not exceptionally light, guess it was a bit below 23kg with pedals. But it felt light riding it! This is an ebike with proper bike geometry. The Altitude Powerplay has the same geometry as the analogue Altitude. 425mm chainstays! 12mm shorter than Pivot Shuttle It comes with Maxxis 2.5" tyres. 2.8" definitely won't fit. Not sure about 2.6. The Shuttle takes 3.0" tyres, which I think is great for winter riding. The geometry and the motor made this bike feel quite different from most other emtbs. Will be making a first ride review soon.

Price isn't too bad where I live. And aluminium frame bikes are supposed to come for 2019.
 

Rob Hancill

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#2
I just rode the C50, the cheapest 2018 with a Yari fork. View attachment 2487

Not exceptionally light, guess it was a bit below 23kg with pedals. But it felt light riding it! This is an ebike with proper bike geometry. The Altitude Powerplay has the same geometry as the analogue Altitude. 425mm chainstays! 12mm shorter than Pivot Shuttle It comes with Maxxis 2.5" tyres. 2.8" definitely won't fit. Not sure about 2.6. The Shuttle takes 3.0" tyres, which I think is great for winter riding. The geometry and the motor made this bike feel quite different from most other emtbs. Will be making a first ride review soon.

Price isn't too bad where I live. And aluminium frame bikes are supposed to come for 2019.
Cool!

The motor has about 4 jockey wheels at the front running around the motor - I guess that helps provide a short chain stay too?
 

Ryder

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Apr 24, 2018
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#3
How is the noise? That seems to be the main complaint from reviews. The motor is quiet but the drivetrain is noisy
 

Kiwi in Wales

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#4
That looks well tasty, I heard they have immense torque. Really interested to read your ride report when it is ready.
 

knut7

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Apr 10, 2018
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#5
Rocky-Mountain_Altitude-Powerplay_eMTB_e-bike-trail-full-suspension-carbon-all-mountain-bike_Powerplay-motor-detail.jpg


Yeah, putting a regular crankset behind the motor should help a lot for chainstay length.

I heard the motor noise immediately. It was a very unusual noise and I assumed it was just this demo bike having lived a rough life. But no. That's how they sound. It's a ticking sound, there was no motor sound/noise. So the electromotor is quiet. This sound allegedly comes from one of these jockey wheels. Possibly the black one on the torque sensor arm. For 2019 they're making the jockeywheel from a different material that is supposed to dampen/deaden the noise a bit. Hoping to test one this fall.

I recorded a bit with a Gopro 5hd blck and I just played the footage. I couldn't hear the noise at all. It definitely is there, and you're bound to notice it. But it isn't loud. It's different. And I don't think it's worse than the usual motor whining noise. I forgot about it once I had to focus on where I was going..
 

Rob Hancill

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#6
Had a couple of rides on it. Hear the clicking noise here (press play, have automatically set it to the right spot).

 

knut7

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Apr 10, 2018
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#7
Yeah, you got it there. I wasn't expecting a motor to sound like that. But I guess I can forgive that since the motor is so responsive and easy to control.
 

Ryder

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Apr 24, 2018
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#8
So both...enquiring wallets want to know. Initial impressions? Pivot or RM
 

knut7

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#9
I've been asking my self that question today. It's a difficult one. I need more time on the Powerplay to answer with any kind of certainty.

The Shuttle feels more capable despite 10mm less travel. It could be down to Fox Factory vs RS Yari + Monarch RT on the C50. The longer wheelbase on the Pivot should aid stability at speed, and climbing. RM C50 has got 500Wh battery, the two more expensive models' got 600+Wh. Also 48V allows for 80% charge in 100mins (500Wh)

Powerplay can't go over 2.6" studded tyres, making it less useable in snow. Probably doesn't matter to most of you. Motor and geometry makes the Powerplay feel even more like a regular bike I think.

Pricing is a factor. Where I live, the Shuttle and C70 cost the same, making Pivot better equipped for the price. The C50 is cheaper, but considerably lower spec. But I think that's not the case for the rest of Europe. For all I know Powerplay could be the better value where you live. Powerplay aluminium in 2019 should be a bit cheaper, possibly putting it in contetion with Merida e160-800 and Spesh Levo Comp. At that price point the Powerplay looks very, very interesting. Unless the alloy version weighs a whole lot more or performs considerably worse. July 16. we'll know more about the 2019s.

(Edit) Had to take a short ride on the Shuttle again. Dialing back the rebound a bit after DH riding, the Pivot sure is a fun and playful bike too. I won't be swapping it out anytime soon.
 
Last edited:

galaga187

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Apr 15, 2018
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#10
The demo bikes at a UK event that was slightly rainy totally failed the mechanism looks way too complicated to cope in the long term.
 

Dax

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May 25, 2018
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#11
A buddy had a RM for a couple of weeks, he really rated it, by far the most powerful of the current range of motors. Said it rode really well, but struggled to justify the price over a kenevo. If I lived somewhere where it wasnt a LOT more, I would be tempted, I've always wanted a Rocky but theres basically no dealer support in the UK and the motors have a reputation for being more CA spec than Wales spec.
 

Blackbird

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#12
That exposed arm for the torque sensor looks like something that will get clogged with grass and mud and fail. What i do like is the bottom bracket that seems to be seperate from the motor.
 

Ryder

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Apr 24, 2018
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#13
Any more thoughts on this Knut? I need to make a decision or I am going to go mad!!!!
 

knut7

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#14
I only rode the bike for like 40 minutes, and haven't seen it since, so I'm not sure I've got too much more info to give. But tell me a bit about your situation and I'll try. Are you looking at any particular Altitude pwrplay model? How does the price compare to the Shuttle in the UK?

I guess I would wait and see what RM presents july 16th. That's when they announce the 2019 models, allegedly. We should expect to see alloy models and a less noisy motor.
 

Ryder

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Apr 24, 2018
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#15
Ahh OK, I thought you had it on a longer term test! My main concerns are reliability of the Motor and getting service if something does go wrong. I would be buying locally so service is not an issue unless away from home.
 

knut7

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#16
Difficult to say anything about reliability. The small cog on the motor could wear out a bit sooner than the bigger steel chainring on a Shimano. I've read people recommending to swap the chainring on the Bosch motor for every, or every other time you swap the chain. Could be the same for this motor. The motor cover on the drive side seems to be easily removed, so maintainance/cleaning should be fairly simple.

If you got a Shimano, or even a Bosch motor, chances are you can get help with spare parts or borrowing a charger when you're travelling. That's probably not as easy with the Rocky Mountain.

The Altitude Powerplay is a fun and natural bike, but the geometry does make it a less capable climber. This bike isn't as versatile as the Shuttle. But if this bike suits your riding style and terrain then who cares about versatility? :)
 
Sep 14, 2018
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#17
Bit behind the topic, but the 2019 models have been improved to reduce jockey wheels irritating noise, ive rode the powerplay 70 several times and it is insane, one thing that was annoying was the motor would cut out, and this is confirmed in a review on mbr, I contacted RM about that and was told it was a 3 seconds safety feature to protect motor, something to do with cadence levels ?, I almost purchased the 2019 merida 900e other day, but since been told the new RM will arrive in a week or two so im going to try the new models to see if changes have made a dif
 
Sep 24, 2018
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Ibis mojo3
#18
Bit behind the topic, but the 2019 models have been improved to reduce jockey wheels irritating noise, ive rode the powerplay 70 several times and it is insane, one thing that was annoying was the motor would cut out, and this is confirmed in a review on mbr, I contacted RM about that and was told it was a 3 seconds safety feature to protect motor, something to do with cadence levels ?, I almost purchased the 2019 merida 900e other day, but since been told the new RM will arrive in a week or two so im going to try the new models to see if changes have made a dif

Any update on this? Did you get a chance to ride the 2019?
 

knut7

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Apr 10, 2018
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#19
Bit behind the topic, but the 2019 models have been improved to reduce jockey wheels irritating noise, ive rode the powerplay 70 several times and it is insane, one thing that was annoying was the motor would cut out, and this is confirmed in a review on mbr, I contacted RM about that and was told it was a 3 seconds safety feature to protect motor, something to do with cadence levels ?, I almost purchased the 2019 merida 900e other day, but since been told the new RM will arrive in a week or two so im going to try the new models to see if changes have made a dif
The RM motor system isn't as complicated as i might seem.

2018RockyMountainPwrplayC50_02.jpg


The little wheel on the top is just a guide. The second small wheel is the motor. The 3rd one is the "throttle". And then it's the chainring on regular cranks. When pushing the pedales, the chain between the shiny motor cog and the big chainring is being stretched and straightened out. The chain then pushes the little black jockey wheel and the arm it's attached to. That arm is the throttle, it activates and adjusts power by moving that arm very slightly. Where other motors have sensors to measure force and pedal rotation, the RM just has a throttle lever that's physically pushed to activate. If you push the pedals and apply the brakes, the motor will activate, but it won't turn. That will fry the motor. To avoid damage, the motor will cut after 3 seconds of applying power without moving.
 
Sep 24, 2018
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Ibis mojo3
#20
The RM motor system isn't as complicated as i might seem.

2018RockyMountainPwrplayC50_02.jpg


The little wheel on the top is just a guide. The second small wheel is the motor. The 3rd one is the "throttle". And then it's the chainring on regular cranks. When pushing the pedales, the chain between the shiny motor cog and the big chainring is being stretched and straightened out. The chain then pushes the little black jockey wheel and the arm it's attached to. That arm is the throttle, it activates and adjusts power by moving that arm very slightly. Where other motors have sensors to measure force and pedal rotation, the RM just has a throttle lever that's physically pushed to activate. If you push the pedals and apply the brakes, the motor will activate, but it won't turn. That will fry the motor. To avoid damage, the motor will cut after 3 seconds of applying power without moving.
Great explanation!!! Thanks for that.
 
Sep 14, 2018
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Waiting
#21
Any update on this? Did you get a chance to ride the 2019?
here is a reply I received after I questioned the noise from pulleys etc, as for trying the new model, nowt available at moment. I'm no expert by any means but ive tried the lot and the powerplay is a monster.

Hi Jim,

There has been some changes, the chain guide pulleys were replaced by sliders to reduce the chain noise. The torque arm design has been altered to be stiffer to help with the accuracy. There has also been a change to the IWok remote, it is now smaller and more durable



Cheers,


Matt
 
Last edited:
Oct 7, 2018
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#22
I would like to hear anybody's opinion on this bike and motor system after some mileage. Any problems, performance etc.
 
Feb 3, 2019
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#23
I’ll second that. Keeping my options open if they show up in the US.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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Altitude Powerplay
#24
Just got my new Altitude Powerplay. Not sure, how much they are selling, but mine has serial number XL001 :) Will post some feedback after few drives. So far it feels crazy fast. Engine is much more quieter in compare to 2018 model.
img_2290-jpg.12055

img_2292-jpg.12056

img_2293-jpg.12057
 
Sep 14, 2018
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Bradford
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Waiting
#25
My personal opinion, this is the best looking bike out there ATM, unfortunately my hopes of getting the above have changed at the moment, all be it I want to have a stab on the FLYON
even though I cant get over the feel of the RM.
 
Mar 12, 2019
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Altitude Powerplay
#26
My personal opinion, this is the best looking bike out there ATM, unfortunately my hopes of getting the above have changed at the moment, all be it I want to have a stab on the FLYON
even though I cant get over the feel of the RM.
I was testing Flyon bit, but my issue with all these ebikes is ebike geometry. I thought there is no chance to get ebike with same drive characteristics like normal bikes, because they have geometry adapted for engine, battery and etc.. This one is totally different league. Flyon is long, big and feels like monster truck. Sure, you can choose line and you go no matter what is in the front of you, but in more technical terrain Altitude will eat any ebike you can buy today.
 
Sep 14, 2018
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Bradford
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Waiting
#28
I was testing Flyon bit, but my issue with all these ebikes is ebike geometry. I thought there is no chance to get ebike with same drive characteristics like normal bikes, because they have geometry adapted for engine, battery and etc.. This one is totally different league. Flyon is long, big and feels like monster truck. Sure, you can choose line and you go no matter what is in the front of you, but in more technical terrain Altitude will eat any ebike you can buy today.
Which of the flyons was it you tried mate, im waiting to try the xduro nduro 8
 
Last edited:
Sep 2, 2018
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Québec,Canada
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None
#29
How is the noise? That seems to be the main complaint from reviews. The motor is quiet but the drivetrain is noisy
I tried the 70 version last summer. I had a good ride, feel like a tank able to go thru anything but the noise of the pulley/drivetrain was not sustainable for me. A big big turn off. Feel like I built it in my garage by myself. For a bike of this price I can’t deal with that much annoying noise! One good point instead, no need for a bear bell 🤪
 

R120

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#30
Haven't they changed something for this model year to deal with the noise, sure I read about it somewhere
 

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