By Luke Wronski, employee of The Path Bike Shop
When I began the search for a new bike I was looking for an aggressive and snappy handling 6" travel 26er. When I found the Altitude, I found it to be just as snappy and fun as any 26", with improved pedal-ability due to the slightly larger wheels.
Due to Rocky Mountain's "Straight up Geometry", which pertains to the straight up seat-tube angle, the Altitude climbs even the steepest ascents with comfort and ease. I've managed to climb comfortably with the bike in its slackest setting, but if climbs are a struggle the adjustable geometry chip is there to help. In addition to the geometry, the 27.5" wheels also help this bike maintain traction on technical climbs, and help the rider stay planted in the center to preserve energy.
In rough stuff the Altitude easily plows through the roughest rock gardens and feels confident on steep chutes and drops. Although the bike is stable and confidence inspiring, this is not at the cost of playfulness and flick-ability. The rear suspension of the Altitude is progressive, which favors a rider who tends to push hard into obstacles and needs the suspension to refrain from bottoming out too much.
In corners the Altitude stays planted and tracks well. The wheel size is noticeable in long sweeping turns in the way the tires maintain traction. However, in tight switchbacks the Altitude also manages to get leaned over quickly and rocket out of the apex.
Fitting with its name, this bike is comfortable at high altitude. The suspension is predictable, and easily pops or scrubs off any type of take-off. When it's time to re-enter the atmosphere, the Altitude soaks up the harshest landings with a seemingly bottomless feel.
I would recommend this bike to anyone who needs an enduro race rig, a confidence-inspiring aggressive trail bike, or one bike to shred everything from DH shuttle runs to 50-mile XC rides.