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We’ve been riding the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay. There’s a new E-Trailbike from Canada with 29” wheels. This new machine is powered by the proprietary Dyname 3.0 system, is equipped with a fully integrated battery and is aimed squarely at trail riders and people looking for a playful ride. How does the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay perform on the trail? We had the chance to test this E-bike before its release and have got all the details for you here.

Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay: Info and Pricing

Area of UseTrail, All-Mountain, Enduro
Travel140 mm/140 mm
Wheel Size29ʺ
Frame MaterialAluminium
MotorSonstiger
Battery Capacity500-632 Wh
Weight (w/o Pedals)23.4 kg
Websitewww.bikes.com
Price: ab 5.000 Euro

The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay is the Canadian brand’s second E-Bike after the Altitude Poowerplay. This E-Trail bike rolls on 29” wheels and is powered by the in-house Dyname 3.0 motor system. The compact motor is nicely integrated in the lower half of the main triangle and drives a completely normal chainring via rollers. One advantage of this construction is the narrow Q-factor, which is the same as a normal, unpowered mountain bike. The aluminium frame offers 140 mm travel, adjustable geometry and a fixed battery in the down tube that, depending on the model, has up to a 632 Wh capacity. The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay comes in two different components specs. We were able to test the top-end Instinct Powerplay A70.

You can find other E-Mountainbike news, reviews and comparisons here.

The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay is the second E-MTB from the Canadian cult brand
# The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay is the second E-MTB from the Canadian cult brand - the agile E-Trailbike has 140 mm travel, is fitted with 29" wheels and is available in two different specsfor € 5000 and € 6000 respectively

Geometry

The geometry of the Rock Mountain Instinct Powerplay creates a playful E-Bike with agile handling. The patented Ride 9 system allows the head and seat angle to be adjusted to three positions (steep, neutral and slack). This also influences the length of the chain stays, reach and stack. Rocky Mountain’s system uses two interlocking chips that allow you to modify the bike to your riding style, weight or the terrain you are riding on.

Measured standover: 725 mm (Size M)

FramesizeRahmengrößeSSSMMMLLLXLXLXL
RIDE-9™ positionRIDE-9™ PositionSlackNeutralSteepSlackNeutralSteepSlackNeutralSteepSlackNeutralSteep
Seat Tube Length (mm)Sitzrohrlänge (mm)394394394432432432470470470508508508
Top Tube Length (mm)Oberrohrlänge (mm)575573572599597596625624622656654653
Head Tube Length (mm)Steuerrohrlänge (mm)100100100100100100110110110120120120
Reach (mm)Reach (mm)407412418432437443455460441482487493
Stack (mm)Stack (mm)611608604611608603621617612630626622
Head Tube Angle (°)Lenkwinkel (°)6666,567,16666,5676666,5676666,567
Seat Tube Angle (°)Sitzwinkel (°)74,775,275,774,775,375,874,675,175,674,675,175,6
Chainstay Length (mm)Kettenstrebenlänge (mm)443442441443442441443442441443442441
Wheelbase (mm)Radstand (mm)611608604611608603621617612630626622
The Ride 9 system allows the geometry to be adjusted
# The Ride 9 system allows the geometry to be adjusted - the head and seat angle gets slacker, and the bottom bracket drops as the shock mount moves backwards

Components

The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay is available in two component specs. This top model A70 is fitted with Fox suspension. At the front, a Fox 34 and at the rear a Fox Float DPS which should provide supple and sensitive support with its dual-piston system. SRAM Guide RE brakes offer decent topping power and are paired with 200 mm rotors. The Instinct Powerplay has 12-gears thank to the SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, offering you all the range you need. The wide wheels are from Race Face and are shod in voluminous Maxxis Rekon tyres.

The €5000 price makes the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A50 a little more affordable. The lower-end model eschews the 12-speed Eagle technology, but is still specced with a SRAM drivetrain and the suspension comes courtesy of RockShox (Reba RL fork and Deluxe Debonair RT shock) instead.

Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay – Please expand for components

ModelModellRocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A50Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70
FrameRahmenFORM™ Alloy. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings.
Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. ISCG05
Tabs. RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry +
Suspension Rate
FORM™ Alloy. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings.
Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. ISCG05
Tabs. RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry +
Suspension Rate
ForkGabelRockShox Reba RL 140 mmFox 34 Float Performance E-Bike 140 mm
ShockDämpferRockShox Deluxe Debonair RTFox Float DPS EVOL Performance Elite
ShifterSchalthebelSRAM GX-1ESRAM GX-1E Eagle
DerailleurSchaltwerkSRAM NXSRAM GX Eagle
CassetteKassetteSunRace CSMX8 11-50TSRAM PG-1230 11-50T
CranksKurbelRace Face Ride Cinch 34TRace Face Aeffect Cinch 34T
BrakesBremseSRAM Guide TSRAM Guide RE
TiresReifenMaxxis Rekon EXO Tubeless Ready 29 x 2.6Maxxis Rekon EXO Tubeless Ready 29" x 2.6
RimsFelgenSun Düroc SD37Race Face AR 30
Front HubVorderrad-NabeRocky Mountain Boost 15 mmRocky Mountain Sealed Boost 15 mm
Rear HubHinterrad-NabeSRAM MTH 746 Boost 148 mmDT Swiss Hybrid 370 Boost 148 mm
SeatSattelWTB Volt RaceWTB Volt Race
SeatpostSattelstützeRace Face Aeffect Dropper 30,9 mmFox Transfer Performance Elite 30,9 mm
BarLenkerRocky Mountain AM 760 mmRocky Mountain AM 780 mm
StemVorbauRocky Mountain AMRocky Mountain 35 AM
MotorMotorDyname™ 3.0 SystemDyname™ 3.0 System
BatteryAkku500 Wh632 Wh
PowerLeistung250 W250 W
WeightGewicht23,6 kg23,4 kg
Price (RRP)Preis (UVP)5.000 €6.000 €

Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70
# Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 - Motor: Dyname 3.0 | Battery: 632 Wh | Fork: Fox 34 Float | Shock: Fox Float DPS Evol | Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle | Price: € 6000
Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A50
# Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A50 - Motor: Dyname 3.0 | Battery: 500 Wh | Fork: RockShox Reba RL | Shock: RockShox Deluxe Debonair RT | Drivetrain: SRAM NX/Sunrace | Price: € 5000

🔽 Inhalte ausklappen 🔽🔼 Inhalte einklappen 🔼
The Rocky Mountain Instinct 70 looks dynamic and rolls on large 29" wheels
# The Rocky Mountain Instinct 70 looks dynamic and rolls on large 29" wheels - it's also possible to fit 27.5"+ wheels
The bike has a Fox 34 with 140 mm travel up front...
# The bike has a Fox 34 with 140 mm travel up front...
... and a Fox DPS shock at the back
# ... and a Fox DPS shock at the back
SRAM Guide RE brakes are reliable and...
# SRAM Guide RE brakes are reliable and...
... are fitted with 200 mm rotors
# ... are fitted with 200 mm rotors
One click, one shift
# One click, one shift - the 12-gears are shifted accurately with 1-click technology
The motor allows standard cranks and bottom brackets to be fitted
# The motor allows standard cranks and bottom brackets to be fitted
SRAM GX Eagle provides accurate shifting
# SRAM GX Eagle provides accurate shifting
Looks class
# Looks class - the logo make things look good

Motor & Battery

The motor is quiet as a whisper!

The Dyname 3.0 motor system was developed in Canada and is now in its third generation. It first appeared in 2010 on a city E-Bike and since then has been continuously developed and improved. With the bottom bracket integrated into the frame, your pedalling forces stay isolated from the motor system, preventing unnecessary loading or creaking and improving the durability of the unit.

The silent brushless motor provides smooth and powerful assistance and is still easy to ride above the 25 km/h assistance limit. The integrated torque sensor results in a natural ride feeling, though, if you load the pedal whilst standing you’ll notice that the motor wants to start moving – that feels a little unfinished and disturbs us a little.

The motor is mounted neatly in the lower half on the main triangle
# The motor is mounted neatly in the lower half on the main triangle
The design of the motors allows traditional mountain bike geometry to be used
# The design of the motors allows traditional mountain bike geometry to be used

Our Instinct Powerplay A70 model is fitted with a 632 Wh battery, which is fixed inside the down tube and can’t be removed for charging or transport. This full-integration does allow a less voluminous down tube and look good, but for real-world usage it could be  a little annoying, unless you have a plug in your garage. The quick-charger allows the 500 Wh battery to be charged in 3 hours and 20 minutes, whilst the 632 Wh battery will be charged in 4 hours and 10 mins.

The remote unit has been updated and is now called the iWoc TRIO. It seems durable and provides three buttons for controlling the motor. The development mantra seems to have been “less is more”, because all information is now provided via coloured LEDs. You’ll always be informed about the charge in the battery. If you change the assistance mode, which is confirmed with a vibration of the control unit, the corresponding mode-colour is illuminated before switching back to showing the battery charge. We’d prefer to see more detailed information about the battery charge because white-blue, green, yellow, red, slow-blinking red and fast-blinking red isn’t the most intuitive in the world. Give us 5 battery bars and we’re happy.

Please expand for motor details

  • Motor: Dyname™ 3.0 Motor-System
  • Battery: 632 Wh
  • Power: max. 250 Watt
  • Display: no display

You can find more information about current E-Bike motors here.

The three buttons on the remote are easy to reach
# The three buttons on the remote are easy to reach - they are easy to press and provide tactile, vibratory feedback
You'll need to look closely, because...
# You'll need to look closely, because...
... the assistance modes are only shown through different colours
# ... the assistance modes are only shown through different colours

Real-world range

37,28 km / 831 metres vertical ascent
1 h 41 min

Quoted figures for range tend to be on the optimistic side so we like to test bikes for ourselves, draining a whole battery and seeing how far the bike will go. For this test we managed 37.28 km and 831 metres of ascending, staying in the highest power setting throughout. Please note that these values in no way represent rigorous or normalised testing, instead they should be seen as ballpark figures. Using lower assistance modes increases the range significantly too.

You can view the exact details of our test ride with the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70.

Rocky Mountain Instinct 70 – range test
# Rocky Mountain Instinct 70 – range test - 37,28 km | 831 metres vertical ascent | 1 hour 41 min

On the Trail

Uphill

On steep ramps the front wheel starts lifting!

The power delivered by the Dyname 3.0 system propels the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 powerfully up the hill. The central position makes it easy to ride more technical sections, just, they can’t be too steep. E-Mountainbikes climb differently to their unmotorised siblings. The engineers at Rocky Mountain have identified this as well and lengthened the chainstays of the Powerplay by 7mm compared with the unmotorised Instinct. However, this E-Trailbike still isn’t a climbing champion. If the ground is dry and the low-profile Maxxis Rekon tyres maintain traction, then you’ll quickly find the front end lifting and stopping your progress. Even if we move our weight completely over the bars, it’s not enough to get up the steepest slopes. The front wheel just starts lifting too soon. (We should note that we have been running the Ride-9 system in the slack position for maximum downhill and descending fun.)

Unfortunately the Rocky Mountain Instinc Powerplay A70 isn't a mountain goat
# Unfortunately the Rocky Mountain Instinc Powerplay A70 isn't a mountain goat - the front wheel has a tendency to lift no matter how far forward your weight

Downhill

Thanks to the compact geometry we feel instantly comfortable aboard the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 and find it playful on steeper sections too. A root here, a rock there – we use every opportunity we can to launch ourselves through the air. The plush suspension works well, feels like more than 140 mm and the large 29” wheels roll effortlessly over rough terrain. Unfortunately, as you’d expect, it’s the tyres that limit the riding fun here. If the ground is dry, all is well, but that changes as soon as things get wet. The Maxxis Rekon tyre doesn’t offer enough grip to be able to perform when things are slippery. That impacts negatively on the riding.

With 140 mm travel, the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 doesn't have the most travel in the world
# With 140 mm travel, the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 doesn't have the most travel in the world - it still manages to do the job on the way down

Trail

Beautiful how lightly this E-MTB rides!

It’s wonderful how nimbly the Rocky mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 blasts along the trails. There’s no switchback or corner too tight, because this E-Mountainbike lives for the corners. The powerful Dyname 3.0 provides silent support and offers great performance. When we accelerate above 25 km/h, it feels as though the motor is completely resistance free and we can easily pedal to higher speeds. We particularly like the 1-click SRAM NX Eagle technology, because even when the riding gets really hectic we can continue shifting precisely and quickly. There’s no loud crunching or groaning from accidental mis-shifts across multiple gears.

Playful and manouevrable
# Playful and manouevrable - that's the best way to describe the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70

The 23.4 kg (Size M) weight of our test bike didn’t have a negative impact whilst riding, because Rocky Mountain has created a very balanced E-Trailbike. The sensitive Fox suspension absorbs everything from small ripples to big impacts. The central position lets us stay upright and comfortable whilst riding. Paired with the agile geometry we can ride playfully, quickly and smoothly along the trails. However, this E-Bike doesn’t like leaves, debris or heavy soil, because the chain has a tendency to pull things in and under the motor cover, meaning the occasional stop to clear things out.

Rocky Mountain Instinct DSC 5297
# Rocky Mountain Instinct DSC 5297
Rocky Mountain Instinct DSC 5572
# Rocky Mountain Instinct DSC 5572
The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 likes corners a lot
# The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 likes corners a lot

We noticed:

  • Fixed battery This isn’t really a particularly relevant design anymore and is more invonvenient than not. If you don’t have a plug in your garage or basement, you immediately have a problem. On multi-day rides, where you might have to recharge, you might have some hassle hauling your mucky bike to your hotel room.
  • Uncomfortable saddle With the central and upright position aboard the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70, there’s lots of weight on your seatbones. The fitted WTB saddle didn’t suit us and was uncomfortable after just a few kilometres of riding. We’d prefer to see a more ergonomic model
  • Tyres without much grip The fitted Maxxis Rekon tyres have decent volume, but don’t have a significant tread which only really works on dry ground and quickly run out of grip on steep terrain. We would recommend swapping out some more aggressive tyres immediately.
  • iWoc TRIO Remote unit We like the design, but the display might be a little modern for our tastes. The pastel coloured LED battery charge indication isn’t massively intuitive. We would prefer to see a number scale with a percentage, or simply battery bars, which would be much easier to read quickly.
The slim down tube contans the fixed 632 Wh battery
# The slim down tube contans the fixed 632 Wh battery - we'd prefer to see a removable battery really
The upright position puts a lot of weight on your sit bones
# The upright position puts a lot of weight on your sit bones - the uncomfortable WTB saddle doesn't score with us
On dry ground great, on wet ground not so much
# On dry ground great, on wet ground not so much - the Rekon tyresdidn't have enough tread for such an aggressive E-Trailbike
The remote unit is rather minimal
# The remote unit is rather minimal - reading the battery level and assistance mode takes a bit of practice

eMTB-News Summary: Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70

The Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 is a playful E-Trailbike with dynamic geometry and solid engineering. If you're looking or an agile and playful E-MTB, you won't be able to avoid the Instinct Powerplay A70. The whisper quiet motor convinced us fully with its power and ride. We have to take off some points off for the motor cover which seems to collect dirt and muck and has to be cleaned regularly.

Pro
  • Large battery with 632 Wh capacity
  • Dyname™ 3.0-Motor is powerful and quiet
  • Agile riding characteristics
  • Capable suspension
  • Compatible with standard cranks
Contra
  • Fixed battery
  • Limited grip with the Maxxis Rekon tyres
  • Minimal remote unit
  • Motor cover and chain collect leaves and dirt
With the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 the Canadians have a playful E-Trailbike, with dynamic geometry and solid engineering
# With the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 the Canadians have a playful E-Trailbike, with dynamic geometry and solid engineering - the handling is capable, the riding position is central and comfortable and the motor sings like a song

About the test

Please expand for details

On our test runs we usually stay in the highest assistance mode and drain the battery completely at least once. We then publish our results on our Strava account.

Our loop has everything we need to test what our E-bikes are capable of:

  • Tight uphill trails with roots, rocks and loam
  • Flat trails with small climbing sections
  • Fast and flowing downhills
  • Long gravel trails up- and downhill

E-bikes are subjected to our route multiple times to allow us to draw our conclusions.

We tested the Rock Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70  here:

  • On the trails around Bamberg and Bad Kreuznach, Germany. The riding provides narrow and tight trails with technical rooty, rocky sections, steep and technical uphills as well as flowing downhills.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

Tester-Profil: Rico Haase
62 cm90 kg86 cm61 cm183 cm
E-Enduro, E-Trailbike, Hardtail, Downhiller, Rennrad – mir macht jedes Bike Spaß. Egal ob mit oder ohne Motor, außer ich muss damit unendlich bergauf fahren – da mag ich Motorunterstützung schon sehr. Flowige Trails, gern auch gebaut, liebe ich. Ach ja, eins noch, ich hasse Spitzkehren.
I ride everything: E-Enduro, E-Trailbikes, hardtails, downhill, road – I enjoy it all, whether it’s E-assisted or not. I’ll admit that I do quite like having a motor on the uphills though. There’s lots to love about flowing trails; natural or built. The only thing I hate – switchbacks.
Fahrstil / Riding style
Verspielt und flowig / Flowing and playful
Ich fahre hauptsächlich / I mainly ride
E-Enduro, E-Trailbike, aber auch XCO, DH und Road / E-Enduro, E-Trailbike but also XCO, DH and road
Vorlieben beim Fahrwerk / Preferred suspension setup
Straff und schnell – ich möchte wissen, was unter mir passiert / Firm and reactive – I like feedback from the trail
Vorlieben bei der Geometrie / Preferred geometry
Langer Reach, kurzer Vorbau, breiter Lenker / Long reach, short stem, wide bars

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

What do you think of the Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay? Are E-Trailbike with 29″ wheels your thing?


Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70 – Summary

Rocky Mountain Instinct Powerplay A70

range of use
XC: 2/10 – Trail: 10/10 – All-Mountain: 9/10 – Enduro: 7/10 – Downhill: 5/10
Motor + Battery
Rocky Mountain
Battery Capacity
632 Wh
Range km/mi
Distance
23.2 mi
Climbing
2,726 ft
Duration
1:41 h
Bike Weight
51.6 lb
System Weight
254 lb
Uphill
4/10
bad
excellent
Downhill
9/10
bad
excellent
Motor
9/10
weak
extreme
Value for Money
3/10
too expensive
perfect
Sitting Position
5/10
upright
stretched
character
1/10
playful
stable
Explanation of “Range of Use”
XC:
0 to 120 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
Trail:
100 to 150 mm Travel (Hardtails and Full-Suspension)
All-Mountain:
120 to 150 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Enduro:
150 to 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Downhill:
more than 180 mm Travel (Full-Suspension)
Erklärung zum Systemgewicht
Das hier angegebene Gewicht ist die Summe aus den Einzelgewichten (E-Bike, Fahrer, Rucksack usw.), welches bei unserem Reichweitentest zum Einsatz kam.

This post is also available in: deDeutsch

  1. benutzerbild

    Bit

    Registered since 05/2016

    jep, mit den Stufen bin ich deiner Meinung.. 3 sind eigentlich zu wenig. Mit "+ -" Schaltern sollte man als Hersteller doch auch die Anzahl der Stufen vom User konfigurieren lassen.
    Was mich vom Rocky ein wenig abschreckt ist... man kann die Batterie nicht entnehmen, ich kein Fan davon das Teil im heissen oder kalten Auto zu lassen und auch das laden im Geschäft... mit dem dreckigen Rad kann ich ja nicht gut ins Büro...
  2. benutzerbild

    ninet1200

    Registered since 07/2019

    Also pendeln ins Büro wäre einen Lipizzaner vor den Pflug spannen.
  3. Anzeige

  4. benutzerbild

    Bit

    Registered since 05/2016

    wieso? Ich fahre im Wald und es ist ein schöner Trail.
  5. benutzerbild

    ninet1200

    Registered since 07/2019

    Ok, das ist was anderes, so geht man gerne ins Büro...
    Die Reichweite dürfte im Flachen über 70 km liegen. Außer man fährt pseudo pedalierend. Da wäre man auf laden am Arbeitsplatz nicht angewiesen.
  6. benutzerbild

    Bit

    Registered since 05/2016

    Bei mir fallen hm an, auf direktem Weg müsste ich das RM auch nicht laden.. aber bei einem netten Umweg (der immer länger wird wegen dem Naturschutzgebiet) könnte es knapp werden. Ist wirklich schade, weil ich schon früher zwei RM Bio Bikes hatte und das letzte, ein ETS-X 70, seht noch im Keller.

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