Rocky Mountain bicycles is pushing the envelope with their all-new trail bikes, many of which feature 27.5-inch wheel formats. The bikes also feature Rocky's new and innovative Ride 9 System, which uses offset shock mounting hardware to allow the rider 9 different tuning options that affect geometry and shock rates. We caught up with Andres Hestler of Rocky to chat about the up-and-coming things for 2013.
Altitude 770 MSL: The 27.5-inch wheel format will be available in the Altitude series trail bikes, which sport 5.9 inches of travel. The Altitude models also use the Ride-9 system.
Altitude 790 MSL
Ride-9: This system has 9 possible geometry and suspension rate configurations thanks to two interlocking inserts. By having two nested shock mounts, the Altitudes have a much greater range of adjustability. Rotating these pieces manipulates the position of the rear shock affecting the head angle (66.6°-68.3°), seat angle (73.6°-75.3° ), and bottom bracket drop (-10mm to +10mm) of the bike, as well as the force required to bottom out the suspension.
The dual rotating inserts allow for 9 different positions. By moving the shock forward, the geometry slackens and the suspension rate becomes more progressive, giving greater bottom out resistance for aggressive downhill trail riding. When you move the shock backwards, the geometry becomes quicker and the suspension more supple, for ripping around on technical singletrack and better climbing traction.
When you move the shock upwards, it requires a higher air pressure to support the rider at sag. This is beneficial to lighter riders, allowing them to run “in the sweet spot” of the shock, and not wind up with an under pressurized shock, which feels overly harsh. Conversely, when you move the shock downwards, a heavier rider won’t need as much air pressure, increasing shock and seal durability, and keeps the damping range usable.