It always gets us juiced up when a major brand announces not one but two new E-MTB’s! For 2019, Rocky Mountain Bikes has expanded their electric offerings by creating aluminum versions of the Altitude Powerplay and an all-new Instinct Powerplay Alloy. Both new alloy models launch today, and are available for purchase now.
Adding the Instinct to the electric lineup means RMB now offers both 27.5” and 29” wheeled E-MTB’s. The Altitude Powerplay Alloy and the Instinct Powerplay Alloy will come with two different build specs, and the mid-range models dip into an introductory price range for E-MTB’s.
The Dyname™ 3.0 drivesystem
Both of Rocky Mountain’s new E-MTB’s use the Dyname™ 3.0 drive system. RMB designed this system in collaboration with Propulsion Powercycle, and did so alongside the frames themselves. The compact motor allowed RMB to achieve the geometry and pivot placements they wanted, so their E-bikes maintain similar ride characteristics to their non-assisted bikes. The E-MTB frames are designed with optimized suspension, short chainstays, and a low center of gravity.
The bottom brackets on Rocky Mountain’s Powerplay bikes are part of the frame itself, not the motor assembly. This not only keeps things stiff at the BB, but your pedalling forces won’t produce creaking or undue wear and tear on the motor. The drive system works with standard Race Face cranks and bottom brackets, and an idler pulley helps keep the chainline straight to minimize drivetrain wear. For protection, the motor’s casing is reinforced and the bikes include integrated motor-brace bashguards.
The Dyname™ 3.0 system’s high efficiency, three-phase brushless motor offers impressive torque and instant power response. An in-line torque sensor ensures power is brought on smoothly to provide a natural feel – RMB says their system allows riders to ‘soft-pedal’ through corners or highly technical sections. The motor produces minimal drag when you’re riding above its top speed or when the drive system is disengaged.
An iWoc TRIO handlebar-mounted remote controls the motor with just three buttons and no display screen. The remote does use an LED to indicate your assist level, battery life, and diagnostic information. Riders can select from three assist levels plus a walk mode.
The Powerplay bikes carry their 48v batteries inside the down tubes. The 632Wh battery found on the 70 models will charge up to 80% in 2 hours. The smaller 500Wh battery on the 50 models reaches 80% in 1:40. If you’re into customizing your setup, an optional ebikemotion app allows riders to tune the motor configurations, track rides, and more.
Shared features between the alloy frames include: They’re 1x specific, use PF92 bottom brackets (with ISCG 05 mounts), Boost spaced rear axles, and metric 210x55mm rear shocks. They include Enduro MAX cartridge bearing pivots, and bearings in the shock eyelets to improve small-bump sensitivity.
RMB’s single-sided chainstay and seatstay pivots keep the rear triangle narrow and reduce heel rub. The frames offer internal cable routing for the rear brake, derailleur and stealth dropper posts, and the rear end employs a bolt-on axle to keep the motor-driven wheel extra secure. Now let’s look at the builds…
2019 Instinct Powerplay Alloy
The Instinct Powerplay Alloy is an all-new bike for 2019. An ideal choice for epic long distance rides, the electric Instinct rides on 29” wheels (but is 27.5+ ready). RMB’s Smoothlink four-bar suspension provides 140mm of rear travel, and their Ride 9 chip allows riders to fine-tune their frame geometry and shock rate.
The Instinct Powerplay Alloy will come in 70 and 50 models. The higher-spec 70 model (above) is built up with a 140mm Fox 34 Float Performance E-Bike specific fork, and a Fox Float DPS EVOL Performance Elite rear shock. Other key components include a SRAM Eagle 12 speed drivetrain with a GX-1E shifter and GX derailleur, SRAM Guide RE brakes on 200mm rotors, Race Face Aeffect Cranks, Race Face’s AR 30 rims with Maxxis Rekon 29×2.6” tires, and a Fox Transfer Performance Elite dropper post. The Instinct Powerplay Alloy 70 retails for $6,399 USD and comes in ‘The Man in Black’ (Gloss or Matte) and ‘Flaming Lips’ color schemes.
The 50 model comes with a Rockshox suspension package, comprised of a 140mm Reba RL fork and a Deluxe Debonair RT rear shock. The 50 still offers a 12 speed SRAM drivetrain, but steps down to an NX rear derailleur. SRAM’s Guide T brakes grab 200mm rotors, and the 50 comes with 2.6” Rekon tires mounted to Sun Duroc SD37 rims. Race Face supplies their Ride crankset and Aeffect dropper post. The Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50 model costs $5,299. Both the 70 and 50 models weigh 52.2lbs (size medium).
2019 Altitude Powerplay Alloy
The original Altitude Powerplay was either full carbon or carbon up front, but for 2019 RMB built new versions entirely from their FORM aluminum to entice e-curious buyers with lower price points. With 160/150mm travel and 27.5” wheels, the Altitude Powerplay is built for aggressively riding rough terrain. Again, there will be a 70 and a 50 model of the Altitude Powerplay Alloy, with similar component specs to the Instincts.
The 70 model is equipped with Fox suspension front and rear. The fork is a 36 E-MTB Float EVOL Grip Performance with 160mm of travel, and the rear shock is a Float DPS EVOL Performance. The drivetrain includes SRAM’s GX-1E 12 speed shifter and GX derailleur, and Guide RE brakes with 200mm rotors. Race Face steps in with their Aeffect cranks and Turbine dropper post. The 70 also features Race Face AR35 rims wrapped with Maxxis’ Minion DHF front and Aggressor rear tires (both 2.5”wide). The Altitude Powerplay Alloy 70 sells for $6,399.
The Altitude Powerplay Alloy 50 features Rockshox’s 160mm Yari RC fork and Deluxe RT rear shock. The 50’s SRAM drivetrain maintains the GX-1E shifter and the GX derailleur, but its Maxxis Minion/Aggressor tires come on Sun Duroc SD42 rims. Race Face’s Ride crank and Aeffect dropper post complete this build, which come at an MSRP of $5,499.
Claimed weight for a size medium (50 or 70 model) is 53.4lbs. Color choices include ‘Gloss Billy Ocean’, ‘Gloss Back in Black’ and ‘Gloss Fox Racing Orange’.
The Instinct and Altitude Powerplay Alloy bikes are available now. Check out Rocky Mountain’s website for more details or to find a dealer near you.