Ride and handling: Agile, and a surprise climbing champ, but short cockpit won't suit all
Initial impressions of the Altitude are dominated by
Once you’ve stood up for the descent, at which stage the seat position is irrelevant, it’s all about the relationship between pedals and bars, which is perfectly conventional. The four-bar rear suspension is supple and lets the back wheel happily chug over rocks and steps, but it's a little soft under aggressive pedalling.
Frame: Distinctive swoopy looks and neutral suspension
The Altitude has a fairly distinctive look, with a markedly pot-bellied down tube and swooping top tube. Lots of bikes have curvy tubes these days, but the Rocky is more exaggerated than most.
To accommodate the super-steep seat angle there’s a direct-mount front mech, but Rocky haven’t adopted other currently in-vogue frame features – both bottom bracket and head tube are conventional rather than oversized or tapered.
At the back is the company’s SmoothLink four-bar linkage suspension layout, with a chainstay pivot in an FSR patent-dodging position slightly higher than the rear axle.
Equipment: Lowly specification for the price, but it's all reliable stuff
Suspension parts are from Fox, but the fork is a basic Float R with a conventional quick-release skewer rather than a stiffer through-axle. Transmission mixes SRAM X-5 shifters and X-9 rear mech, while Avid Juicy 3 brakes do the stopping.
Shimano Deore hubs are another obvious cost-saver, but you do get a bunch of kit from fellow Canadians Race Face, including the chainset, bar, stem and seatpost.