In addition to the first look of the Pivot Shuttle we fea- tured in our coverage of new pedal-assist mountain bikes that broke ground at the Eurobike show (EBA, December
2017), we also highlighted the impressive entry into the mar-
ket by longtime Canadian bike brand Rocky Mountain with
their Altitude Powerplay e-bike.
At the time that issue went to the printer, we were unable
to track down Rocky Mountain product manager Alex Cogger
to get some technical information on the bike. However, we
recently had that opportunity, so here are some of the more
salient facts about another exciting e-MTB that could be
headed to America in 2018.
EBA: The spec sheet says this
is the third generation of the motor
since it begun in 2010; did it originate
Alex: Yes, 100 percent in-house. We
say it’s third generation, but really all
it shares with the original versions are
base concepts. We’ve almost completely
reworked the system.
EBA: What are any key differences
between the Gen 1 and 3 models?
Alex: The original G1 was a belt
drive on the non-drive side with no
reduction. This system was developed
for urban bikes, and we adapted some
of the base concepts to our Powerplay
drive. Specifically, the high voltage of
the system, which reduces charge time,
and the high torque output. The G2
system was skipped right over when we
unlocked a few key design features and
moved straight to G3 to build it around
our suspension platform.
The Powerplay bikes are completely
different in that they feature internal
reduction on the non-drive system with
output at the drive pinion.
EBA: Owing to the strong legacy
that Rocky Mountain has in mountain
biking, was there much push-back
internally and externally about
developing an e-bike?
Alex: For sure initially there were
internal reservations about the project,
but they were quickly dispelled.
Essentially, once anyone rides the bike,
they realize A) how much fun it is and B)
they don’t behave like motorcycles. After
a short while we had 100 percent buy-in from all the haters. That isn’t to say
that we all want to run out and replace
our traditional bikes with them, but
the blinders are off. I think the biggest
difference was that the Powerplay didn’t
ride like all the competitors’ bikes that
we had tested.
EBA: What actual structural and
geometry changes had to be made
to the frame to accommodate the
Alex: Beyond the obvious like motor
mounts and battery housing? We had to
alter the head angle slightly on the small-size frame to accommodate the battery.
Otherwise, the geometry is exactly the
same as our Altitudes.
EBA: What is the bike’s weight?
And compared to the standard
Alex: Medium-sized versions of the
Altitude Powerplay range from 47. 6
pounds for the high-end Carbon 90
model to 49. 2 pounds for the Carbon 70
and 49.1 pounds for the Carbon 50.
That’s compared to a range of just
28 pounds for the Carbon 90 to just
under 30 pounds for the Carbon 50. So,
roughly 20 pounds has been added to
the e-assist bikes.
EBA: What should consumers know
Alex: While designing our own system
about servicing the motor?
seems daunting, we’ve boiled it down to
five major components—drive, battery,
i Wok, speed sensor and torque sensor.
Alex: Yes, there are, but they are a
We had diagnostic flowcharts that
will pinpoint any issue to one of these
five components. At which point, if
there is a fault, it’s simply a straight-
up replacement (by an authorized
dealer). Also, the mobile app has some
diagnostic ability as well, which a dealer
can use to help guide troubleshooting.
Wear parts are simple, traditional
mountain bike components and can be
easily serviced by any bike shop. For
example, thanks to our design, there is
no need to pull the whole drive and send
it away to replace a worn-out bottom
bracket. Otherwise, the rule of thumb
is to simply keep the bike and system
clean and lubricated.
EBA: Are there any other motor
specifics beyond the spec sheet?
EBA: What do you call the three
Alex: Eco, Trail and Ludicrous!
EBA: What is the source of the
Alex: The cells are sourced from
EBA: Right now the bike is only
available in Europe. Will it eventually
be coming to America later this year?
Alex: It depends on a few things,
mainly: Are our customers asking for it?
Is the market ready? And, can we supply
the so-far-overwhelming demand from
our established e-MTB markets! ■