Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 first ride review. Rocky mountain e bike

ROCKY MOUNTAIN Altitude Powerplay Carbon R.Ed. 90

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Designed alongside our Dyname 4.0 drive system, the Altitude Powerplay has everything you need for aggressive enduro e-biking.

The Altitude Powerplay shares the many of the same attributes as our race proven Altitude—geometry, kinematics, and adjustability. So go ahead and smash down chutes, rail through corners, and then turn it up to ”Ludicrous” to get back up to the top faster than you ever thought possible.

From the outset, our goal was to create an electric mountain bike that felt as natural as possible. Building on the success of our previous Powerplay models, we’ve completely re-designed our new lineup and continue to push the envelope of high performance e-bikes. With our next generation Dyname 4.0 drive system, we’ve thoughtfully integrated new features with a rider-focused design. Our Powerplay bikes are firmly positioned at the forefront of e-bike innovation.

Enduro design meets Dyname power

Enduro, electrified. The Altitude Powerplay shares the same attributes as our race proven Altitude—geometry, kinematics, and adjustability. With Powerplay, there are no compromises.

The new standard in E-bike power

The Dyname 4.0 motor is powerful, delivers big torque, and is long-lasting. That means faster climbs, punchier accelerations, and a longer lasting battery than, well, anyone. Ride further than ever, and drop every other e-bike out there. With the Dyname 4.0 drive, the power is always yours.

Slim and simple E-bike controls

A simple and low-key top-tube display mount keeps you in the know at all times. Battery, assistance level, adjustability. It’s right where you need it, and it’s outta harm’s way.


POS.1 Slack sm md LG xl
Top Tube Horizontal (mm) 587 612 639 673
Head Tube Angle (deg) 63.5 63.5 63.5 63.5
Head Tube Length (mm) 100 100 110 125
Seat Tube Angle (deg) 75.5 75.5 75.5 75.5
Seat Tube Length (mm) 380 420 445 480
Rear Centre (mm) 439 439 439 439
Bottom Bracket Drop (mm) 34 34 34 34
Reach (mm) 425 450 475 508
Stack (mm) 629 628 638 652
Standover Height (mm) 834 832 831 831
Wheelbase (mm) 1210 1237 1264 1301
POS.2 sm md LG xl
Top Tube Horizontal (mm) 587 612 639 672
Head Tube Angle (deg) 63.7 63.7 63.7 63.7
Head Tube Length (mm) 100 100 110 125
Seat Tube Angle (deg) 75.7 75.7 75.7 75.7
Seat Tube Length (mm) 380 420 445 480
Rear Centre (mm) 438 438 438 438
Bottom Bracket Drop (mm) 31 31 31 31
Reach (mm) 427 452 477 507
Stack (mm) 627 627 636 650
Standover Height (mm) 835 833 833 833
Wheelbase (mm) 1209 1234 1263 1300
POS.3 sm md LG xl
Top Tube Horizontal (mm) 586 611 638 671
Head Tube Angle (deg) 64 64 64 64
Head Tube Length (mm) 100 100 110 125
Seat Tube Angle (deg) 76 76 76 76
Seat Tube Length (mm) 380 420 445 480
Rear Centre (mm) 437 437 437 437
Bottom Bracket Drop (mm) 27 27 27 27
Reach (mm) 430 455 480 510
Stack (mm) 625 625 634 647
Standover Height (mm) 836 835 835 835
Wheelbase (mm) 1208 1233 1262 1299
POS.4 Steep sm md LG xl
Top Tube Horizontal (mm) 585 610 637 671
Head Tube Angle (deg) 64.3 64.3 64.3 64.3
Head Tube Length (mm) 100 100 110 125
Seat Tube Angle (deg) 76.3 76.3 76.3 76.3
Seat Tube Length (mm) 380 420 445 480
Rear Centre (mm) 436 436 436 436
Bottom Bracket Drop (mm) 24 24 24 24
Reach (mm) 433 458 483 513
Stack (mm) 623 623 632 645
Standover Height (mm) 838 836 836 836
Wheelbase (mm) 1207 1232 1261 1298


Need more power? This external battery reserve serves up an additional 314Wh of grin-inducing good times. Easily mounts to the water bottle bosses on your Rocky Mountain Powerplay bike, and can even serve as an emergency charger.

Weight: 2000g (incl hardware)

Compatible with any Dyname 4.0 equipped Rocky Mountain Powerplay bike, and backwards compatible (with kit) to most Dyname 3.0 equipped bikes.


Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 first ride review

Rocky Mountain is one of the few companies using its own motor and battery system for its electric bikes — a brave move with emerging technology, but one that can pay dividends if you get it right.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 frame

The drive system is packed into a carbon front triangle, with the 632Wh battery hidden neatly in the down tube, above the motor. This sits just ahead of the bottom bracket and is hidden behind a pair of plastic plates, which are removable to access the driveside sprockets and pulleys, or take out the battery and motor for maintenance.

Out back, the Powerplay is identical to the ‘analogue’ Altitude. It has the same pivot points, chainstay lengths and suspension kinematics. As on the standard bike, Rocky Mountain’s ‘RIDE-9’ adjustment chip gives you nine geometry and suspension configurations to experiment with.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 kit

Rocky Mountain’s proprietary motor gives instant power delivery with plenty of torque Steve Behr

This is the middle model in the Powerplay range and it gets Fox suspension front and rear, in the form of an ‘E-bike Optimized’ (basically, it has a stiffer chassis), 160mm-travel 36 FIT4 Performance Elite fork and matching Float DPS shock.

Shimano provides the XT drivetrain and brakes, while the motor uses Race Face Turbine cranks with a regular 34t chainring. The jockey wheels are also standard parts, for ease of maintenance. Race Face’s 30mm-wide ARC rims support 2.5in ‘Wide Trail’ Maxxis tyres: a Minion DHF up front and Aggressor at the back.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 ride impressions

The Powerplay has extra battery capacity over most of its electric-assist rivals (632Wh vs around 500Wh), but what really impresses here is the torque delivered by the motor, and the speed with which it’s applied. Changes in chain tension physically move a sensor, making power delivery as reactive as any I’ve experienced.

That extra torque, coupled with the grippy Wide Trail tyres, makes Rocky Mountain’s e-MTB arguably the best technical climber we’ve tested, full stop. Adding a little length to the chainstays and steepening the seat angle would improve this even further.

The power delivery isn’t quite as smooth as with a Shimano motor though, and the Powerplay’s torquey nature means you can feel some pulsing when pedalling up smooth fireroads. Those extra jockey wheels make it a touch noisy too.

With geometry identical to that of its non-powered sibling, it’s no surprise the Powerplay rides very naturally. It’s relatively nimble between the turns and the 65-degree head angle, 426mm chainstays and 452mm reach of the large size mean it’s not some super-long sled of a bike.

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Because the weight of the motor and battery is located centrally and low down, the bike is fairly stable and confident at speed, despite being a little short by modern standards. The big tyres on wide rims back this up, providing ample grip when needed.

Like all e-bikes, on flatter trails the Altitude Powerplay can feel a bit dead, but it livens up considerably the steeper things get. I’d add a volume spacer to the shock for more end-stroke progression and ended up riding it with a touch less sag than usual to reduce a bit of mid-stroke wallow.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 early verdict

A mountain goat on the ups and more than capable back down too — a great all-rounder.

Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70 specifications

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Rocky Mountain Bikes For Sale

Born on Vancouver’s North Shore, Rocky Mountain Bikes have been designing and innovating some of the best mountain bikes since 1981. Rocky Mountain builds bikes for everyone and anyone, whether a seasoned pro or a grom just learning to ride, because they believe in progressing the sport with equal access for all. From its humble beginnings of just three friends looking to build bikes able to handle the off-road riding in Vancouver, Rocky Mountain has progressed to be one of the top bike manufacturers today with over 40 years of experience doing so. Commonly seen in bike parks, ripping backcountry trails, and hucking massive lines in Rampage, Rocky Mountain’s bikes are designed to be durable and accessible all while feeling great. These are just a few of the design principles Rocky Mountain has embraced when creating their mountain bikes.

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A bike’s durability is crucial for longevity and trust. Rocky Mountain builds their mountain bikes to last forever. Rocky Mountain’s durability is why you see fleets of their bikes available for demos in the bike park and in bike shops everywhere. They are strong and will outlast other brands. Period.

Rocky Mountain Mountain Bikes

From EWS races around the world to hucking canyons in the Utah desert, Rocky Mountain mountain bikes are purpose-built machines engineered to put a grin on your face. Rocky Mountain has a stacked catalog of full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes, ranging from the freeride destroying Rocky Mountain Slayer, to the cross-country race machine, the Element. Kids are not left out as well, Rocky Mountain has a full MTB kids line ranging from striders to the full-suspension Rocky Mountain Reaper.

Rocky Mountain Altitude

The Rocky Mountain Altitude is an enduro race weapon that can also tackle epic high-alpine rides and cruise in the bike park with no problem. With 160mm rear and 170mm front suspension travel, this bike is ideal for steep trails with fast chunder. However, if climbing podiums is not your thing, nothing is more fun than ripping up your local trails at speed and finding new lines to hit with confidence. Things the Altitude enjoys most.

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Rocky Mountain Instinct

Looking for the ultimate quiver killer mountain bike? This is it. With 140mm rear and 150mm front suspension travel, this bike is just as happy pedaling to the top as it is descending techy trails. Available in both aluminum and carbon frame options, the Rocky Mountain Instinct is offered in a wide range of price points to suit your style and component preferences.

Rocky Mountain Element

A fast climbing bike should not always have to sacrifice its downhill capabilities in the name of pedaling efficiency, enter the Rocky Mountain Element. With 120mm rear and 130mm front suspension travel, the Element finds itself in the elusive down-country category. While being able to crush times on your favorite XC loop, the Rocky Mountain Element is also a very capable descender. With its 65 degree HT angle and 130mm fork, the Element would be classified way beyond the XC category not long ago.

Rocky Mountain Bikes

Rocky Mountain raises the bar yet again for 2021 by increasing the spec of their current models as well as introducing an all new Altitude. Their ever popular line of E-Bikes, the Rocky Mountain Powerplay, feature spec upgrades on many models along with an expanded Instinct BC line. The all new Altitude is now rolling on 29” wheels and is sure to be one of the best Enduro bikes on the market. Top it off with the best kids bike line on the planet, led by the Rocky Mountain Reaper, and you have one dam good line of bikes. Wouldn’t ya say, eh?


The Rocky Mountain Reaper lineup might just be the best thing this small North Shore brand has developed yet. The Reaper lineup is a purpose built youth bike that offers more than a few advantages to both groms and parents. The reaper 24 and 26 sport an identical frame with interchangeable wheel sizes, while the reaper 27.5 is the next step up offering youth riders a proper bike for their size. From laps at your local mountain bike park to playing in the big leagues at Whistler, Rocky Mountain hit a home run with the Reaper. Shop Rocky Mountain Reaper


The Rocky Mountain Slayer is one of the most iconic mountain bikes of the last 20 years. With an appetite for big hits and gnarly terrain, the Slayer is an easy choice for those who want to hit it all. Over the years, the Slayer has taken many forms but has always maintained is burly big mountain attitude. Currently, the Slayer rolls with 170mm of travel and is dual crown compatible. Looking to go big? Your search ends here. Shop Rocky Mountain Slayer

Rocky Mountain Altitude

The Rocky Mountain Altitude has long been the bike of choice for many of us here at the shop. It has an incredible balance of pedaling efficiency with an enough of the big hit capability to be your everyday bike. We firmly place this bike into our All-Mountain category, while some will even use it for an enduro race bike. New for 2021, Rocky Mountain has introduced size specific wheel sizing with the MD – XL available in a 29” option, while smaller frames run 27.5”. The Altitude comes in both Aluminum and Carbon models with many build kits to choose from. Shop Rocky Mountain Altitude

Mountain Bikes

Shopping for a new Mountain Bike can be a daunting task. With some many options, marketing slogans, and brands it can make your head spin. The biggest thing we recommend is to take an overall look on what a majority of your riding is. We like to break down the categories into three segments, and explore the bikes in those categories to find the best overall package. Below are a few of the most common categories, what they offer, and hopefully can help guide you to the right direction for your bike purchase.

XC/Cross Country – The cross-country category generally gets overlooked the most. With so many reviews pointing riders to bikes with more travel, it is easy to overlook some of the best bikes on the market. Generally Cross Country mountain bikes will be anything from a hardtail up to a full suspension bike with 120mm rear travel range. While hardtails are an excellent option for newer riders getting into the sport, a 120mm full suspension bike can offer some distinct advantages over its competitors. You often find reports of these bikes riding “bigger” than their numbers suggest and they can be an absolute blast on everything you throw at them.

Trail / All-Mountain – Easily the biggest overall category for mountain bike sales is that of All Mountain bikes. While this terms definition has floated throughout the years, we feel it has settled on bikes in the 130-150 rear travel range. These bikes are the Swiss army knives of the mountain bike market and leave very little room for complaints. They balance good pedaling efficiency with superior descending capabilities to cross country bikes. If you have plans to do everything from your local trail rides to some bike park laps, an All Mountain bike will provide everything you need.

Enduro/Downhill – Enduro bikes get a lot of press, and for good reasons. Modern day Enduro bikes are as capable as later years downhill bikes, but they sport pedaling characteristics that can comfortably get you up the hill. Enduro bikes will sport the most aggressive geometry, biggest travel numbers, and most heavy duty parts kits. These bikes love to go downhill fast and have superior stability than any other category. The Enduro mountain bike category keeps getting pushed bigger and bigger that most riders have ditched their dual crown downhill bikes in favor of an Enduro mountain bike. If you are a gravity oriented rider and love sending big hits, and Enduro bike will be right up your alley.

Northwest Bicycle has an elite selection of Mountain Bikes that match the above categories. We offer bikes from Rocky Mountain, Specialized, Pivot Cycles, Transition, and Giant Bicycles. If you need some guidance in any part of your buying process, please reach out to a member of our team to help narrow your search.

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