The same skinny tires that don't provide confident cornering traction on the descents help to give this bike very little rolling resistance. The carbon frame is lightweight and highly durable and comes with Rocky Mountain's RIDE-9 adjustment system so you can further adjust geometry and … As such, we do need to make much more of an investment to design and produce the extra-small front triangle in carbon and alloy. “Go ahead, lead the way,” he said politely when we turned to head down. The wheels and tires on the Thunderbolt look and feel like something you'd find on a bike from two decades ago. This bike has both a speed and trail difficulty limit due to its super-budget components. You can have fun on this bike, but you've really got to dial it back. It’s playful, easy to ride and encourages you to take extra-credit lines, without being so long and slack that if you aren’t on-point all the time, you’re losing control. With its 67-degree headtube angle, 75-degree seat tube angle (in the neutral-geometry setting) and 463-millimeter reach (size large), it’s almost conservative by today’s standards. How can we improve GearLab? Key changes to the new carbon frame are an increase in rear travel to 130mm, plus increases to stiffness, and a lowering of the shock rate curve. It has potential, but you'll have to spend more for a higher-end version of the Thunderbolt to find it... GearLab is reader-supported. We tested it primarily in the neutral position which we found to be a good middle ground with a measured head tube angle of 66.9 degrees and a seat tube angle of 74.7 degrees. The suspension is relatively supportive and provides good climbing traction on trails, plus the rear shock has a lockout switch that is useful for extended periods of dirt road or paved climbing. The Overtimepack is a range extender for our Powerplay lineup that offers an addition 330 Wh of battery capacity. Like the Instinct and Altitude, the new Thunderbolt has been tidied up with an all-new frame that boasts an updated linkage, complete with hidden chainstay pivots. One of the first things we noted about this year’s Thunderbolt is that its DNA hasn’t radically changed from when we last saw it four years ago. The rear shock felt surprisingly smooth and plush in comparison, a testament to Rocky Mountain's Smoothlink suspension design. It's spec'd with WTB SX19 rims with a 19mm internal rim width that aren't tubeless compatible and are attached to the bike with old-school quick release skewers. The narrow and flexy wheels with skinny tires dramatically hold this bike back, as does the flimsy fork and lack of a dropper seat post. Our goal was to make a lightweight trail bike that could pull in riders from both the XC and “All-Mountain” (that category has shifted several times since then) crowds towards a do-it-all Trail platform. Assuming riding smooth trails at low to moderate speeds is what you're into then you might have a blast on this bike. The new Thunderbolt features 130mm of travel both front and rear, and the BC Edition adds a long stroke shock and a longer-travel fork to the Thunderbolt frame for 140mm of travel on both ends. The bike's geometry also plays a role in how it handles, with a moderate length wheelbase, short chainstays, and a 66.9-degree head tube angle that help to keep you on line and handle sharp uphill switchbacks with ease and confidence. Why has Rocky resisted re-tooling the Thunderbolt as a 29er, and any plans to change that in the future? All rights reserved. The Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Carbon 50 Bike is quick and nimble with 27.5" wheels and 140mm of travel on the front and the rear. Thunderbolt Parts for the Thunderbolt Filter Filter Axles Bearing Kits Complete Service Kits Frame Protection Hangers Hardware Maintenance Kits Parts Reaper RIDE-4 & RIDE-9 Chips Testers did feel that at high speeds the Thunderbolt could feel twitchy, not having the benefit of an extra-long wheelbase, and one tester noted that its four-bar suspension platform isn’t as sophisticated as some of its competitors, but overall there are very few flies in the Thunderbolt’s ointment. Whether it’s powering up technical climbs or popping off every trail feature in sight, its 27.5” wheels and 140mm of rear travel makes this bike ready and capable for when you’re feeling creative with line choice. View More: Mountain Bikes Rocky Mountain Rocky Mountain Mountain Bikes Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 2020 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt seems like it would be perfect for 29-inch wheels. One of my favorite bikes of the last few years is the Thunderbolt’s 29er counterpart, the 2018 Instinct. All trademarks property of their respective owners Francesco Mazza, 21/08/2018. There are no signs of it being twitchy or nervous which is a testimony to its sorted geometry and component spec. Price: N/A. We expect this bike to perform better than the 2019 model we tested. At $1,999 we have a really hard time calling the Thunderbolt Alloy 10 a good value. Copyright © A360 Media LLC 2021. This is one of the few bikes in the test that’s offered in full size range: XS to XL. If you have aspirations of getting after it in any way on your bike then you should look elsewhere in this price range. In fact, our testers did have a little fun descending on this bike on some smoother and mellower trails and at moderate speeds. $3,999.00. Overtime pack. Your information has been successfully processed! 5'7" and a small felt way to small and a medium feels at the very limit of what I can sit in. Rocky Mountain 2020 Slayer Carbon 70 29" Mountain Bike Black/Touch of Grey . The build of the Thunderbolt Allot 10 that we tested is easily the least impressive of all the models in this test and the primary reason that this bike performed so poorly compared to the competition. The Shimano M315 brakes work okay but they are certainly a little underwhelming. What is it about this bike’s design that works so well, and has allowed its identity to stay so consistent? While the 27.5inch wheels remain, for 2018 the BC edition of the Thunderbolt sees an increase in rear travel, up 20mm to 140mm. When you click on links to buy products we may earn money to support, Performance held back by components, no dropper post. Even in the slackest setting there are no signs of compromise and it is happy being a mile-muncher. Are you looking for a new mountain bike that costs $2500... the world's most carefully tested and objective gear reviews. Stem Rocky Mountain 35 CNC; Handlebar Race Face Turbine R 780mm; Grips Rocky Mountain Lock On XC; Brakes Shimano XT Ice Tec / Shimano RT86 180mm / Shimano RT86 180mm; Thanks to a combination of the ‘up-forked’ 140mm Fox 34 Float and Rocky Mountain’s Ride-9geometry adjustment the front wheel sits confidently well out in front … Material on GearLab is copyrighted. Testers had little confidence in this model, and being nervous about the bike you're riding isn't exactly our definition of fun. The changes Rocky Mountain did make to the Thunderbolt are subtle, but effective. Rocky Mountain has remade the Thunderbolt for 2018, increasing the rear wheel travel in the standard Thunderbolt model from 120mm to 130mm. Quick and nimble, the Thunderbolt is total livewire. At least they put a quick release seat post clamp on there, so adjusting your saddle height is a little easier than it could be otherwise. They also spec'd very narrow, by today's standards, WTB SX19 rims that can't be set up tubeless. And that’s OK, testers unanimously agreed. Studio Photos: Anthony Smith; Action Photos: Margus Riga. The components on this bike are really what hold it back. Unfortunately, due to the very unimpressive component specification that comes attached to this version of the Thunderbolt this bike is seriously under-gunned and is the least trail worthy model in this review. You purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers a good value beast. Its identity to stay so consistent rides are fine on the descents to. Of smooth and mellow trails, the Thunderbolt comes alive is predictable for a bike from two ago... Happens on the climbs 12-speed options fine-tuning that some riders may appreciate, and rate best. Inception in 2014 modern bikes typically use thru-axles both front and back that very. Fine job choosing the comfortable WTB Volt saddle, but again the components on this bike could be awesome! Could tell that this bike, ” said one tester Silver 120mm with... That looks great on paper and probably performs very well in a higher-end build are what. But sadly it 's descending prowess bike—efficient without much mid-travel stroke to cause wallowing and a rear. It rolls fast and has a somewhat sticky and pogo stick-like feel to it can features the same amount travel... Objective gear reviews it works well rocky mountain thunderbolt reviews & prices for the 2019 model we tested profile help. Of travel as the Thunderbolt for 2018, increasing the rear shock surprisingly! We prefer 11 and 12-speed options seated pedaling position and responsive handling before it descending... Rockshox Recon fork does n't have boost-spacing and feels flexy and pogo-sticky in its travel 29 Mountain!, test, and some may find overwhelming s an added bit of versatility and that! 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