I almost don’t want to jinx us by talking about it, but good golly we’ve been having a nice fall, weather-wise. Best summer in recent memory too. What better way to enjoy it than a ride in the woods on a new test bike?

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I’ve been excited to try the Altitude 29 since it was unveiled in prototype form at Sea Otter in April. Fast forward to Outdoor Demo and Rocky Mountain had a small fleet of demo Altitude 29′s ready for test rides. I picked out the only large size available, and some guy named Wade decided he wanted to tag along, maybe he would learn a thing or two (yeah, right).

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A month or so later, what I suspect was the same bike I rode at Outdoor Demo showed up at the office. I had some great rides on it already.

In the photo below, we’ve got the Race Face cranks, direct mount SLX derailleur, Fox Float RP23 shock, and the upper linkage.

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I set the sag at 25 percent, and I’m still experimenting with rebound and ProPedal settings. the Boost valve seems to be working well, no noticeable bottoming, even after some harsh landings.

Hard to see from the following picture, but that is the new Shimano 12-36 Deore cassette, mated to a new, stronger Shimano hub to handle the increased torque generated with the big rear cog.

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Easton flat bars, 27″ wide. Perfect width for the spacing of our local trees.

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Formula R-1 brakes. I think the front pads are a bit contaminated with something, they ran very hot on the first ride. Whatever it was seems to have burned off. I might try some replacement pads anyway, these are still a bit noisy.

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My favorite spec so far? Continental Mountain King 2.4 tire. They look a little narrow for 2.4′s to me, but hands down, the best late season east coast 29″ tire I’ve ridden to date.  We’ve been riding some muddy and wet moto trails, full of deep ruts and deep leaves. These tires instill confidence rather than fear in these conditions.The handbuilt wheels with Stan’s Arch rims are not at all shabby either.

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Full specs on Rocky Mountain’s website.

Too soon to talk about the ride, but I will say I had one of those zen moments out on the trail yesterday. Feeling the flow is a great thing.

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