The four horsemen. 4x4s. Four leafed clovers. Four letter words. Fourtified. Wade Simmons, Remi Gauvin, Vaea Verbeeck, and Carson Storch take their new Altitudes to the four corners of the earth.
Los Angeles, CaliforniaWords & riding: Wade Simmons Photos: Brian Vernor
We've had a winter for the record books up in BC this year. Great for skiing, not so much for riding. I'm twitchier than a cornered housecat when I can't ride, so I jumped at the opportunity to do some warm-weather shredding down in the Los Angeles area on the new Altitude.
Pro tip: 4am is a good time to head out the door if you want to beat LA traffic.
LA, I reckon, wouldn't be on most peoples hit-list for a great riding destination. Myself included. Being the largest city on the western US seaboard, and having the nation's worst traffic, I was starting to wonder why the hell we were going to LA in the first place. Could we escape the city and do the new bike justice? Our photographer and man-on-the-scene Brian Vernor picked us up from the airport, and within the hour he was easing my concerns over mindblowing tacos and coffee-infused horchata. He promised the riding would be as good as the food.
Just in case Vernor was full of shit, I had some ideas up my sleeve too. I've been in the area a few times in my 20 years of hunting around for lines to film, and I've left a few nugs untouched. I was looking forward to possibly hitting them up on this trip.
To be honest, my fears were 100% unfounded. The riding in the LA area proved to be plentiful and diverse. We rode flowy urban singletrack, loose subalpine trails, freshly built jumps and berms, and a few big mountain lines. Pretty much a mountain bike smorgasbord, all within an hours drive from the Hollywood Hotel where we stayed. Maybe the riding is even better than the food...
Derby, TasmaniaWords & riding: Remi Gauvin Photos: Dave Trumpore
The second round of the Enduro World Series brought the Rally Team to Derby, Tazmania. Built only three years ago, we were racing on 7 wildly varying stages across 57 kilometers with 1700 meters of climbing.
Mild sunny weather during practice gave way to rain on race day, throwing many challenging trails into pure chaos. Stage two held the much-feared meter-wide crack on Detonate, with multiple riders being chewed up inside and spit out into the rocks below, but the real challenge of the race was at the top of stage 4 where rain washed the supporting dirt out of a high speed rock garden filled with holes.
I'd been working hard to adjust to the changing conditions over the race, and as the day wore on I started feeling stronger—bagging a 4th place finish on stage six, it was pretty fast and constant high speeds, which suit my style. Stage 7 was a short woods section with a sprint to the finish. It was kind of like riding the trails of the North Shore, which helped. It was kinda cold and miserable, and you didn’t want to be that dirty but you just keep going.
At the end of it all I fought my way up to 9th overall—finally achieving my goal of cracking the top 10 at an EWS. The Rally Team took the team win, with the whole crew putting up strong results. This puts us all in a place where we're happy, but getting fired up for the next round!
Sunshine Coast, British ColumbiaWords & riding: Vaea Verbeeck Photos: Margus Riga
With the snowline down to sea level in Vancouver, I wanted to be able to get on the gas and see how the new bike would respond. The obvious choice was the Sunshine Coast. It has unreal riding conditions almost year-round, and the Coast Gravity park has some of my favourite trails ever.
I love it there. The people, the ambiance, beautiful Sechelt, they all make it a destination of choice. [although for some reason all of Sechelt uses Papyrus font... what gives? -Ed.] CGP is one of the places that helps me feel good about going fast on the bike again during the off season. The guys work tirelessly to keep their trails impeccable, and it offers a perfect variation from the tech of the North Shore.
We had a tight weather window to shoot before a major system moved in, we were excited to get a few clear days. It was beautiful and dry, but oh so cold! With the cold came trails like glass covered in pine needles—always trying to throw me on my head! The perfectly sculpted corners had this incredible layer of hoarfrost that made for eerie noises and a surreal ride feel. I'm not sure if I had too much grip or not enough.
Despite being intimidated to send it into some of the natural terrain with challenging conditions, I quickly got used to the new whip and started opening up the throttle. Bluebird days, CGP's keys in my hand, untouched berms to myself, and sending it on my new favourite bike—this was definitely the highlight of my off season, and I quickly forgot about the sub-zero temperatures.
I'm thankful for those few days of shredding, and I'm going to keep the good times rolling through the season!
Queenstown, New ZealandWords & riding: Carson Storch Photos: Tyler Roemer
Riding the Fernhill Loop above Queenstown was epic every time. It has a little bit of everything. Climbing up through a mix of alpine terrain, going into native forest with quick descents here and there. You end up at the McGazza memorial, pay your respects to the big man, then drop into salmon run- which is a mix of steep techy trail, and loam. I would say this bike was made for that loop.
I also rode Skyline bike park in Queenstown quite a bit, so I had it set up in the slackest RIDE-9 position. The suspension was set up fairly stiff with slow rebound. When I 450'ed that hip in the bike park, it was completely comfortable! It felt like I was on a slopestyle bike. Then when I got back to ripping trail, it was snappy and responsive, while taking some pretty big impacts with ease. All around ripping bike.
New Zealand is my favourite place in the world, so having the chance to go my favourite place and test out the new Altitude was a dream come true.
Presented by Rocky Mountain Bicycles
Featuring the new Altitude
Directed by Liam Mullany
Produced by Brian Park
Featuring Wade Simmons, Rémi Gauvin, Vaea Verbeeck & Carson Storch
Filmed by Liam Mullany, Harrison Mendel & John Parkin
Edited by Liam Mullany
Colour by Sam Gilling
Post Production Sound by Keith White Audio
Original Music by Thinnen
Das neue Altitude
Bringt Trail biken in eine neue Dimension. Oft kopiert, doch nie erreicht, das komplett neue Altitude übertrifft alles, was ein modernes Trail Bike leisten soll.
Für 2018 haben wir einen komplett neuen Rahmen designet um die Steifigkeit zu erhöhen, Treteffzienz und Stoßempfindlichkeit zu verbessern und viele moderne Features zu erhalten. Jetzt verfügbar als Carbon- und Aluminiummodell, erlaubt das Altitude mit dem RIDE-9™ System ungeahnte Einstellmöglichkeiten für jedes Terrain – vom Lehm in British Columbia, über abgenutzte EWS Pfade und flowige Sprünge in Neuseeland bis hin zu Moab's Slickrock Singletracks.
„Das Altitude war schon immer mein wahrer Alleskönner, von den technisch anspruchsvollen Anstiegen an der North Shore bis hin zu steilen Abhängen in den italienischen Alpen. Das Neue verbessert alles, was ich an diesem Bike liebe – es ist leichtgängiger, steifer, tiefer und trifft alle kleinen Details auf den Punkt. Genauso, wie ich als alter Freerider, wird das Altitude mit den Jahren besser!“ — Wade SimmonsEinsatzgebiet: Aggressive Trail Laufradgröße: 27.5 Zoll „Wide Trail“ Vorderradfederung: 160 mm Hinterradfederung: 150 mm
Wir haben die allgemeine Progression und die Unterstützung des Negativfederweges („Sag“) erhöht und zugleich die Stoßempfindlichkeit verbessert. Höhere „Anti-Squat“-Werte verbessern die Treteffizienz erheblich.
Umfassende evolutionäre plattformübergreifende Updates enthalten Features wie geschraubte Achsen, einseitige Kugellagerzapfen, integrierte „Spirit Guide“-Kettenführung, Boost-Naben und Kompatibilität für Dämpfer mit metrischen Einbaulängen.
Überarbeitetes RIDE-9™ System
Unser RIDE-9™ System bietet ein großes Spektrum an Rahmengeometrie- und Federungseinstellmöglichkeiten; es ist vom Rahmen in die Federungsverbindung umgezogen, um ein leichteres und schmaleres Design zu ermöglichen.
Um Kontrolle und Abfahrtsfähigkeiten hinzuzufügen, haben wir die Länge erhöht, den Steuerwinkel verringert und das Tretlager abgesenkt. Wir haben die kurzen Kettenstreben bewahrt, um das Bike agil zu halten und einen moderat steilen Sitzwinkel eingesetzt, um eine bessere Anstiegsleistung zu gewährleisten.
- Höhere „Anit-Squat“-Werte für bessere Treteffizienz
- 27.5” Wide Trail und 26+ kompatibel
- Lager in allen Gelenken, untere Stoßdämpferbrücke eingeschlossen (auch kompatibel mit Sekundärmarkt-Dämpfern)
- Blinddrehpunkte maximieren die Bodenfreiheit
- Leichtere, gepunzte Hinterachse
- Verbesserte Kabelführung: Große Steuerrohröffnungen, durchgängige Schaltzughülle, große Unterrohr-Zugangsöffnung, innenliegende Schalt- und Bremszüge im vorderen Rahmendreieck
- Zukunftssichere Kompatibilität mit Di2, Fox Live und Vario-Sattelstützen gleichzeitig
- Sattelstützenlänge wurde angepasst um längere Vario-Stützen aufnehmen zu können.
- Kettenstreben- und Unterrohrschutz. *Aufgrund von Produktionsverspätungen wird der Unterrohrschutz nicht in den ersten Lieferungen des Altitude 2018 enthalten sein. Er wird an die Händler versandt, sobald er verfügbar ist.
- Integrierte “Spirit Guide” Kettenführung, mit 2-Bolzen ISCG05
- 1x spezifisch
- Tiefere Schritthöhe
- Deutlich steifer, dank einteiliger Sattelstrebe, neue Ummantelung und überarbeiteter Carbonlagen (25% höhere seitliche Steifigkeit)
- Kompatibel mit modernen Parts (Boost Naben, metrische Dämpferlängen, 180mm Bremsscheibenaufnahme, etc.)
- Alle Rahmengrößen bieten Platz für eine Trinkflasche im vorderen Rahmendreieck, auch mit Dämpfern mit Ausgleichsbehälter
- Rahmengrößen: XS bis XL
- Rahmen & Dämpfer: 2470 g, bei Größe M
- Schutz, Kettenführung & Achse: 206 g
- Altitude Carbon 90 & Altitude Carbon 70 komplett: 12,88 kg, bei Größe M
Namensgebung: Um unsere Produktpalette klarer zu beschreiben, haben wir die Namensgebung unserer Bikes geändert. Was einst Altitude 790 MSL war, heißt jetzt Altitude Carbon 90 und was Altitude 750 war, ist jetzt Altitude Alloy 50. Der Altitude Rahmen besteht weiterhin aus hochwertigem Smoothwall™ Carbon und FORM™ Aluminium und höhere Spezifikationsnummern bedeuten weiterhin bessere Teile.
Welcome to the Family Vaea Verbeeck
Vaea has been part of the Rocky Mountain family for a while now. We filmed this little shredit with her last year, but ran into some computer issues before we could share it. She's currently on the mend from a collarbone injury in Lourdes, but she's chomping at the bit to get racing in Lenzerheide next month.
Who are you and what are you all about?
My name is Vaea Verbeeck. I was born in Tahiti, French Polynesia, and raised in Granby, Quebec. Growing up with my mom and older sister didn't stop me from being a total tomboy. I’ve always wanted to be the best at every sport: gymnastics, dancing, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, volleyball, soccer, you name it. But after progressing and learning, I’d stall in my motivation. They just weren’t for me.
At 16 I borrowed a downhill bike at Bromont, and I was hooked. The following year I got myself a bike and it didn't take me long to register for a downhill race. A few years later I was entering World Cups and knew that I’d found my sport. After finishing school in 2012, I rushed straight to North Vancouver and have been living the mountain life dream ever since.
I’m currently working at the Lululemon Athletica head office during the off-season and pulling the plug every summer to race the World Cup circuit.
Not scared, strong, calm, bike park tracks (lame I know), rocks, jumps.
PEDALLINNNNNNG uphill. That shit is hard on the body and mind. I'm also pretty good at breaking bones, not gonna lie. I got my fair share over the years, it's a fine line.
What's your favourite race?
I think my favourite race was World Champs at Hafjell, Norway in 2014. I’d gone a couple of days early and just enjoyed the park there. I loved the track; good jumps, good high-speed technical woods, and good corners. Seemed to suit me well too, I got 6th—my best result so far.
Tell us about what you do off the bike. What are your off-the-bike goals?
Life without bikes exists?
I spend a lot of time working out, indoors in the winter. Plus I take full advantage of the West Coast outdoor lifestyle: hiking, snowboarding, camping, bouldering, and food. Love food. #activities
I'm happiest at races. Over the years I’ve developed a sort of second family at the races, and rolling through the pits with your mates on the way to practice is perfect. It maybe doesn't feel that exciting when you're out there, but when I’m out with an injury I have major FOMO.
What bikes are you riding right now?
- Rocky Mountain Maiden
- Rocky Mountain Altitude Rally Edition
- Rocky Mountain Flow
How do you set your bikes up? Anything unique?
Slack and low to plough through the rough stuff. Otherwise pretty standard.
Who's your favourite rider?
I'm scared to watch sometimes, but Brook MacDonald. Wild lad. Open throttle!
What is on your playlist right now?
Right now: ODESZA, Jupe, some Rihanna, Kilter, Tim Legend, Møme. It's all over the place.
- Vital MTB
- Youtube (gotta watch them Supercross replays somehow)
If you were the boss of mountain biking, how would you change things?
Easy. I started racing because I loved discovering new tracks and challenges. If logistics and finances could allow it, I would love to see new race tracks every year! New places and new experiences.
Goals for 2016-2017?
I've been on the mend getting back from different serious injuries over the last few years. The goal is to stay on the bike more. Being off the bike is the last place I want to be. Setting my limits and be in the game for the next few years would be the best.
I am eyeing up another National Champion title. I always want to better myself and my results. So technically, improving on a 6th place would be a World Cup podium. However, I am going for my best performance, not a result. I'll be happy to get back to races and give it my best. It's worked for me in the past.
A bunch of rad people! Rocky Mountain and Hope Tech make it happen for me. Also, Troy Lee Designs, FiveTen, Oakley, Atlas Brace, Rockwell Watches, Crankbrothers, and JFG Nutrition for making me sweat a ton.
Go out and play!
Video by Brian Park, Music by Sonny Parmar. Photos by Sam Needham courtesy Hope Tech. Additional photos by Brian Park and Margus Riga.