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The all new Rocky Mountain Powerplay line is jam packed with updates and features that result in an industry leading platform. Rocky Mountain has developed their all new Dyname 4.0 motor to power their newest line of eBikes. The Dyname 4.0 motor builds of the wildly popular Dyname 3.0 that debuted in 2018. While some customers are quick to point out that this was a “much needed” update, we would argue that Rocky Mountain was 5 years ahead of their competition at the time of its release.
Rather than a complete tear down and rebuild, Rocky Mountain simply set out to refine the Dyname 3.0 with simple updates to keep things evolving. The new Dyname 4.0 is 25% lighter than the previous version and still sports the massive 108 nM of torque that riders have grown to love. Rocky Mountain utilizes an a electromagnetic sensor to determine chain flex, resulting in an extremely responsive motor which has some of the quickest acceleration and smoothest power curve of anything on the market. Rocky did away with the upper slider found on Dyname 3.0 models that helps keep the noise down.
Dyname 3.0 models were paired up with their massively unpopular iWoc remotes paired to the eBike Motion app. After years of complaints, Rocky Mountain developed their own remote and did away with the app. The result is what they have coined the “Jumbotron”. An elegant screen position on the top tube that gives the rider everything from power lever and assist, battery life, and error codes in the event of any issues. The Jumbotron is said to make diagnosis far more streamlined for both riders and mechanics. Additionally, the bike will work without the remote connected in the event that you crash and damage it, so you will not get stranded without power.
The second gen Powerplays have a much appreciated easy to remove battery. The massive 720 watt battery is now removeable with just a couple of bolts and slides out the bottom of the downtube. For riders that want to increase range without having a complete second battery, you can utilize the OvertimePak to get an additional 314 watts (mounts to water bottle cage bolts).
One characteristic of the previous gen Rocky Mountain eBikes that was improved is the way in which the rider can tune their assist levels. Previously, riders could select the power level they wanted each mode to provide, but not the assist. Picture this as the amount of power that the bike puts out vs the amount of effort you are putting in. Some riders want to light pedal the cranks and have the bike shuttle them to the top, while others prefer a more natural pedal feeling to get to that point. With the new Jumbotron, you can now tune both aspects of the motor to find your perfect tune.
By creating their own motor design, Rocky Mountain is not bound to design constraints like other manufacturers. They have created the motor mount points to fit perfectly in their frame and are free to keep the suspension kinematics identical to their analog counterparts. The second gen powerplay line utilizes a mid high pivot, which keeps pedal feedback to a minimum and results in smooth pedaling.
Warranty and technical support is second to none from Rocky Mountain. While most issues can be solved at the dealer level, Rocky Mountain has shown a strong commitment to delivering repair and warranty parts to dealers in an expedited fashion.
While this is not an in depth review or comparison of multiple brands, we do offer an impressive lineup from Rocky Mountain, Pivot, and Specialized. All brands excel in one area or another, but when it comes to overall performance and creating an eBike that feels like a bicycle, Rocky Mountain is at the top of our charts.
The motor is remarkably responsible and provides the most natural pedal feeling of any motor we have tested. It does not provide the higher pitched “motor” noise of the Shimano E8000 and is more responsive than the Brose motor of the Specialized Levo. If you are going for all out shuttle power, the Levo can take the lead in this department, but Rocky has closed that gap with the new tuning options on the gen 2 Powerplays.
Handling on the powerplay frames is second to none. The transition is seamless from their analog bikes and the powerplay frames have the same playful feeling that riders have come to expect from Rocky Mountain. Transitions and switchbacks are smooth with the Dyname motor and allow the riders to control the power to the ground with ease. Geometry numbers have been greatly modernized on the gen 2 powerplays. Reach numbers are generous for those looking to upgrade from the older platform, keep this in mind when checking sizing on your next bike.
Overall, the Rocky Mountain Powerplay with the Dyname 4.0 motor is a strong package for anyone looking for a do it all eBike. The instinct will suit those all day rides with a little bit of every style of riding, while the altitude will make quick work of endure and downhill style riding. The powerplay line will be hard to come by for the next several seasons so check with your local dealer or online at northwestbicycle.com for available models and sizes.