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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening! I have been doing a little bit of 650b shopping and thought I had it figured out... then I started checking out what rocky mountain has to offer... I'm coming from a 29er hardtail and wasn't really digging the limo feel not to mention I had suspension envy when ever it came time to get back down the hill. What I want is a fun do it all bike that I don't hate climbing/pedaling on. Both bikes have peaked my interest I guess I just have it stuck in my head that more travel will mean less fun headed to the top and less travel will mean less fun coming down... can anyone offer me some insight?

Thanks!
 

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Where do you ride and what's the terrain like? Suspension, for the most part, is for rough terrain and chunder.

You could think of the Altitude as an All Mountain bike and the Thunderbolt as a Trail bike. The labels are kind of arbitrary, but Trail would be a burly XC bike and the AM would be like a light freeride bike when pointed downhill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have a pretty good mix, long fire road climbs, technical rocky climbs, flowing downhills, sometimes sandy, with lava rock poking out and about and sometimes its in between trees in tighter sections. Generally there wont be a lot of "flat riding"...

Where do you ride and what's the terrain like? Suspension, for the most part, is for rough terrain and chunder.

You could think of the Altitude as an All Mountain bike and the Thunderbolt as a Trail bike. The labels are kind of arbitrary, but Trail would be a burly XC bike and the AM would be like a light freeride bike when pointed downhill.
 

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I use my Altitude for XC and light technical DH and love it. I would reverse the order that RUH stated.
 

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nice! go shred that thing.
 

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My next bike will probably be either t/bolt or altitude. Cant decide and can't demo till next April either to answer this question for myself.

Has anyone rode both of these bikes back to back and has any comment on climbing and agility compared to each other? The only weight diff between the models (of the same spec) seems to be the alti's 34 fork.
Does the Alti feel like an AM bike compared to jT-bolt when climbing?
Obviously the descending ability subject has been well covered....
thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ive never found myself saying boy I wish I had less travel but I'd be curious to see how the ride 9 works out on the thunderbolt...
 

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Love my Altitude. Fling it down all sorts of rocks, over table tops, climbs like a goat - love the seat tube angle - (even better now I've got the gearing sorted out - 42t Oneup and a 30t NW chainring). It seems to be able to deal with anything I throw at it.

Not to sure about the Mountain King tyres.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Love my Maxxis HR2/Ardent combo... Mtn kings weren't doin it.

Love my Altitude. Fling it down all sorts of rocks, over table tops, climbs like a goat - love the seat tube angle - (even better now I've got the gearing sorted out - 42t Oneup and a 30t NW chainring). It seems to be able to deal with anything I throw at it.

Not to sure about the Mountain King tyres.

View attachment 949159
 

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I've had an Altitude for 2 riding seasons and I can't say enough good things about it. I've ridden the Thunderbolt as well. I like them both. The Altitude is a little slower on the grinding uphill climbs-but all the 6" bikes are a little bit slower on the long climbs. For smooth climbs and dirt roads I use the shock platform (it helps a lot). For the really chunky, ledgey climbs, the Altitude seems to shine. It just eats bumps. I think the Altitude is better when going fast in the chunder on the way down, and it makes for a fun day in the bike park. I'm comfortable taking it anywhere and not being worried if I have 'enough' bike. It is a really, really versatile bike.

The flip side of that is that the Thunderbolt is also a great bike but it has a slightly narrower focus. It climbs fast and rips the flowy downhill. I have only ridden it locally (not tested in Moab or anything like that), but I came away impressed. I ride all over Colorado, as well as several trips each year to Moab and Sedona, as well as a couple of bike park days each season and I haven't found much the Altitude can't handle.

If I could only have one bike for all of these trips, it would be the Altitude (which is what I have). However, if I wasn't hitting the seriously steep stuff, or if I was not looking specifically for a 6" travel bike, I'd go with the Thunderbolt. And coming from your HT, the Thunderbolt will probably seem like a huge bike anyway.

To address your original post more directly, yes, the Altitude is more of a handful to get to the top but I think it is worth it for where I live. Your profile lists you as from Bend. There is some rowdy stuff up there. If you like hitting the bigger stuff, go with the Altitude. If you are more of a ripping the buff singletrack where you are spinning the pedals as fast as you can for the whole ride, try the Thunderbolt.
 

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Be glad you got an Altitude. I've been riding a Thunderbolt 770 for the past year and just bought a Altitude 790 frame and built it up with xt, Race Face and a BOS Deville 160. While the Thunderbolt is a great bike, the Altitude does everything better, including climbing. They actually both weigh 28 lbs. The main thing that I've noticed is the suspension is incredible on the Altitude. It always feels like its almost locked out while pedaling even with the shock in downhill mode. I never use the remote anymore, it's crazy efficient. I love the ride9 also, feels like I own several bikes.
Obviously it is better when pointed downhill so I don't need to explain that. The Thunderbolt is now collecting dust even when I go on long xc style rides. I thought I would still use it for that but do not. I'm going to buy a Altitude frame for my wife and use the Thunderbolt parts to build it up.
 

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Be glad you got an Altitude. I've been riding a Thunderbolt 770 for the past year and just bought a Altitude 790 frame and built it up with xt, Race Face and a BOS Deville 160. While the Thunderbolt is a great bike, the Altitude does everything better, including climbing. They actually both weigh 28 lbs. The main thing that I've noticed is the suspension is incredible on the Altitude. It always feels like its almost locked out while pedaling even with the shock in downhill mode. I never use the remote anymore, it's crazy efficient. I love the ride9 also, feels like I own several bikes.
Obviously it is better when pointed downhill so I don't need to explain that. The Thunderbolt is now collecting dust even when I go on long xc style rides. I thought I would still use it for that but do not. I'm going to buy a Altitude frame for my wife and use the Thunderbolt parts to build it up.
Thanks, i pondered for a good while and figured to go for the extra travel & features, Altitude is on its way. It should be here by Tuesday, alloy, 2014 altitude 750 on close-out deal.
Its replacing a norco sight 26, great all round bike. This will be my 5th RM bike, had altitude 2010, etsx 2004/2008 and currently have vertex rsl 70 26 also. They just fit me better than other bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Your gonna dig it, Ive made a few changes to mine... about the only thing I'm still pondering is a rear shock upgrade...
 

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I've been having this same internal discussion/decision.

Just out of curiosity did any of you try the Thunderbolt BC Edition and how does that compare? I know it just came out but still. . .

I'm coming from an older 29er HT with XC geo and an 80mm fork. I've got fair to middling skills but I've ridden that rig on a wide variety of trails, punching above it's weight — nothing crazy steep or gnarly, but good enough. And currently, plenty of steep, long, fire road climbs. Just looking for a little more fun, forgiving ride that'll be better suited to progress to more challenging terrain.

Like a lot of people, I get lured in by the more is more ethos regarding travel, especially with how well the new 140-160mm bikes ride now. But coming from my rig, and not ready to go enduro-crazy, I'm thinking the T-bolt BC edition is the sweet spot.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Looks like a sick bike! I would ride one, then and altitude just to compare... but the build out on the rally is looking sweet.

I've been having this same internal discussion/decision.

Just out of curiosity did any of you try the Thunderbolt BC Edition and how does that compare? I know it just came out but still. . .

I'm coming from an older 29er HT with XC geo and an 80mm fork. I've got fair to middling skills but I've ridden that rig on a wide variety of trails, punching above it's weight — nothing crazy steep or gnarly, but good enough. And currently, plenty of steep, long, fire road climbs. Just looking for a little more fun, forgiving ride that'll be better suited to progress to more challenging terrain.

Like a lot of people, I get lured in by the more is more ethos regarding travel, especially with how well the new 140-160mm bikes ride now. But coming from my rig, and not ready to go enduro-crazy, I'm thinking the T-bolt BC edition is the sweet spot.

Thoughts?
 

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Thanks, i pondered for a good while and figured to go for the extra travel & features, Altitude is on its way. It should be here by Tuesday, alloy, 2014 altitude 750 on close-out deal.

Its replacing a norco sight 26, great all round bike. This will be my 5th RM bike, had altitude 2010, etsx 2004/2008 and currently have vertex rsl 70 26 also. They just fit me better than other bikes.

I have an opportunity to swap my Element for a 2014 Altitude 750. What is your feedback on the bike. Are you haply with your selection?

Mike
 

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One more vote for the altitude. Super fun on the downhills but makes me stupid brave in some sections I shouldn't be going fast on.:D
Mine is a bastard child 2013 770 msl front triangle with new rear carbon stays and my choice of parts. I use the lockout for any steep or non technical climbing, because I find it bobs too much in fully open. But for technical climbing the trail setting is great. Honestly the best improvement for climbing came from the one up oval 32 and the rear 45/18 conversion.
I also recently added the 9point8 fall line post with the 20mm offset and that made a huge difference for seated climbing comfort. One other thing I would recommend is using the 140 setting on the Pike dual position (if you have it). I find the change in front geo makes the bike track better on long seated climbs.

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