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Rocky Mountain unleashes next generation Powerplay Altitude and Instinct

New drive system and adjustable geometry are just the start with overhauled eMTB line

Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay 2022 Photo by: Margus Riga

Rocky Mountain introduced its first Powerplay eMTB four years ago. For 2022, the Canadian brand has completely overhauled its two main electric bikes, the trail-friendly Instinct and eEnduro focused Altitude Powerplay.

While the names remain, there are sweeping upgrades to both models. These include the next generation Dyname 4.0 drive system, a new integrated display, and completely redesigned frames for both bikes that reflect the entirely human powered versions. Both bikes are now available in carbon fibre or alloy frames.

Two 2022 Powerplays: Instinct versus Altitude

Both Powerplay models are overhauled, with most features crossing over both platforms. This includes most of the frame details, like chainstay adjustments, modular shock mount and Ride-4 system. Both Instinct and Altitude also get the new Dyname 4.0 drive unit and a boost in battery power to 720Wh. The battery is also now removable, unlike previous versions of the Powerplay.

Both models borrow heavily from the analogue versions of the same bikes, including improved frame protection, on the downtube and noise-cancelling chainstay guards, an an updated sleeker tube profile.

2022 Altitude Powerplay

The Altitude gains 10-mm of travel, front and rear, pushing it further into eEnduro territory. That brings it to 170mm front and 160mm out back. More significantly, the Altitude Powerplay moves to 29″ wheels across all sizes. It is generally slacker an more aggressive, reflecting Rocky’s changes to the analog enduro race bike.

2022 Instinct Powerplay

The Instinct rides on 15omm forks and 140mm travel out back, and sticks with 29″ wheels. There’s now carbon fibre and aluminum frames, with both versions using ally rear triangles. Compared to the all-out aggressive, high-speed Altitude, the Instinct is, like its pedal bike sibling, an all-rounder meant for longer, more balanced days on trail and efficient riding.

RELATED: First Impressions: Rocky Mountain’s Altitude Powerplay C70

Adjustable geometry: Ride-4 and Chainstay chip

Instead of making the Altitude a simplified version of the human powered model, Rocky brings all the bells and whistles of their recently released pedal bikes over to the Powerplay models. Or, most of them. The 10-mm chainstay adjustment makes its way over, letting you choose between a long setting for stability and a short setting for a more nimble and playful ride. Rocky opts for the Ride-4 geometry adjustment chip, a simplified version of Rocky’s longstanding Ride-9 design. Ride-4 lets you choose between a slack, neutral and steep setting option. Finally, there’s a modular shock mount on the carbon fibre models which will let users update suspension kinematics in the future.

New kinematics

Rocky Mountain moves both bikes to what it is calling a Mid-High Pivot suspension design. The new kinematics aim to give the eMTB’s better support in leverage rate and higher anti-squat, making pedalling more efficient. The new pivot design also gives both models more rearward wheel paths than previous years.

As with all other Rocky models, each size has its own specific suspension tune so every rider gets a similar experience on the bike.

Dyname 4.0 boosts power and performance

Rocky continues to design its own drive units, releasing its next generation Dyname 4.0 for 2022. Keeping the motor design in house gives more design freedom. Like making the bottom bracket part of the bike, not the motor, making both parts much easier to service.

The new Dyname 4.0 motor is smaller and lighter (by 18.5 per cent) than the 3.0 model. It still has a 700 Watt peak power and delivers 108Nm toque. To make the motor quieter, Rocky’s removed the upper chain slider that was found on the 3.0 system. The torque curve has also been updated to gradually apply power, hitting max wattage (700W) at 85 rpm.

Rocky Mountain increased the battery capacity, to 720Wh, and made the battery removable. There’s also a new high-speed 4-amp charger which will get the battery to 100 per cent charge in under four hours. There’s also a 2-amp charger option, which will fully charge the battery in 7h35m.

With the new 4.0 system, there are sweeping changes to controls and operation, including a new Jumbotron display and redesigned remote.


New for 2022, Rocky Mountain uses an in-frame display on all Powerplay models. Continuing the brand’s Canadian theme (“Canadarm” chain guide, “Canadian Shield” linkage guard, Powerplay, ect), the display is named in tribute to that most Canadian of sports, hockey. Instead of an app, and infinite options, you control the Jumbotron and settings using the remote.

Power settings are one of several screen options, easy to thumb through using the remote, are readily displayed on the Jumbotron.

Also new for 2022 is the addition of a fourth power setting and adjustable Boost – or torque sensitivity. The power modes are now Off (which displays as “You’re on your own”), Eco, Trail, a new Trail+ and a full-power mode simply labelled Ludicrous. The names are fun, but the added Trail+ mode is quite functional. Most eMTB come with three power settings, which leaves big gaps between support levels. The fourth gives you three functional settings for on singletrack (Eco, Trail, Trail+) without losing the high-power setting to get up roads, steep double track or FSR’s.

You can also now adjust torque sensitivity, or Boost level, anywhere from -2 (more effort required to get to max power) to +2 (more support for less effort). Boost and power level are independently adjustable, too. You can set three different bike profiles in the Jumbotron with different settings. One Factory settings and two of your choice. So you can tune different profiles for different rides: one for shuttling or wide open trails, and one for when your ride is all singletrack. Within each bike profile, you can set the power output in each of four settings and the Boost level.

Smaller remote

Rocky Mountain also redesigned it’s Powerplay remote. It’s smaller, so it fits in with more brake options and blends in with the rest of the handlebar controls. It also does away with the LED indicators in the 3.0 remote, since the Jumbotron clearly displays battery and support level in easy-to-read percentages and graphics.

Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay
Wade Simmons riding the Instinct Powerplay in Golden, B.C. Photo: Margus Riga

2022 Rocky Mountain Powerplay: pricing and availability

There are five versions each of the Altitude Powerplay and Instinct Powerplay. Both models have two Carbon options and three Alloy models to choose from, all of which are available in four sizes from Small to XL. The Altitude gets two coil-sprung options for more aggressive riding: the Carbon 90 Rally Edition and Alloy 30 Coil.

Pricing for all 2022 Powerplay models is below, with Rocky Mountain expecting availability sometime this winter.

2022 Rocky Mountain Altitude Powerplay

Altitude Powerplay Carbon 90 Rally Edition: $13,130.00
Altitude Powerplay Carbon 70: $11,340.00
Altitude Powerplay Alloy 70: $9,240.00
Altitude Powerplay Alloy 50: $8,400.00
Altitude Powerplay Alloy 30 Coil: $7,350.00

2022 Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay

Instinct Powerplay Carbon 90: $14,700.00
Instinct Powerplay Carbon 70: $11,550.00
Instinct Powerplay Alloy 70: $8,820.00
Instinct Powerplay Alloy 50: $7,770.00
Instinct Powerplay Alloy 30: $6,930.00