0. Press Fit BB. The RockShox Recon fork doesn't have boost-spacing and feels flexy and pogo-sticky in its travel. Rocky Mountain 2020 Instinct Carbon 70 BC Edition Mountain Bike Black/Rusty Cage . 5'7" and a small felt way to small and a medium feels at the very limit of what I can sit in. Testers had little confidence in this model, and being nervous about the bike you're riding isn't exactly our definition of fun. This wheel and tire combo is not made for serious trail riding, although they can handle light duty use on smooth trails just fine and roll quite fast in the right conditions. This bike has a geometry and frame design that looks great on paper and probably performs very well in a higher-end build. The Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt walks the line of lightweight trail slayer, with progressive suspension to soak up those big hits. RIDE-9 adjustments; the Thunderbolt has quite a few options for geometry, including a longer travel option if you go the “BC” route. If you're on a serious budget and you want a bike that can rip we suggest out Best Buy Award winner, the Giant Trance 3, which costs the same as the Thunderbolt. The cockpit setup is one of this bike's high points, up front anyway. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. While the 27.5inch wheels remain, for 2018 the BC edition of the Thunderbolt sees an increase in rear travel, up 20mm to 140mm. Subscribe to BIKE’s Newsletter to receive stories like this straight to your inbox. 2-Bolt ISCG05 Tabs. 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. Outside of smooth and mellow trails, the limits of the Thunderbolt were quickly and easily reached. The head angle has been slackened by a not quite a degree, the seat angle steepened by about a half-degree and the reach is about a centimeter longer. By signing up you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Sure we prefer 11 and 12-speed drivetrains, but the Deore 10 speed works well enough. Your information has been successfully processed! We've become accustomed to dropper seat posts, even on bikes in this price range, and it's disappointing to ride a bike without one. The lack of a dropper seat post is also disappointing when you descend on this bike, as you need to stop to raise and lower the saddle by hand. Skinny tires with a low profile tread help this bike to scoot up smooth climbs with ease. There are no signs of it being twitchy or nervous which is a testimony to its sorted geometry and component spec. The resulting geometry doesn’t feel exaggerated, and the ride quality makes for a bike that’s poppy and responsive, but still manageable at slow speeds and easy to maneuver around tight turns and switchbacks. Arguably the most fun bike in the Rocky Mountain Range, the Thunderbolt sports 140mm travel out back with 150mm up front. All rights reserved. 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’s meant to be a quick-mannered bike that has a little bit extra capability at minimal weight increase to handle a wide variety of riding, from longer rides far from home to short outings at the local trail network. The Thunderbolt Alloy 10 is an affordable mid-travel mountain bike that clearly has potential but is held back from greatness by a poor component specification. They can handle the lower speed limit of this bike, but they are far from powerful. Even in the slackest setting there are no signs of compromise and it is happy being a mile-muncher. They don't offer the best traction on steep and loose sections of climbing but they zip up smooth and firm trail surfaces with ease. If you prefer to let it rip and maybe you want to blast through a chunky rock garden every once in a while then you'll find this bike's limitations quickly which may result in having a bad time. Studio Photos: Anthony Smith; Action Photos: Margus Riga. Rocky Mountain is now offering the Thunderbolt in an Alloy version, therefore with an aluminum frame, adopting some of the features already present on the Thunderbolt Carbon. Rocky … Let us know! 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. Rocky Mountain’s New Thunderbolt. This fork is somewhat flimsy and you can feel it flex, plus it has a somewhat sticky and pogo stick-like feel to it. The Shimano M315 brakes work okay but they are certainly a little underwhelming. The frame design and geometry look agreeable and it seems like it could be an awesome budget friendly mid-travel trail bike. The Shimano Deore 10-speed drivetrain performs flawlessly, we just prefer the range provided by the 11 and 12-speed options. One of my favorite bikes of the last few years is the Thunderbolt’s 29er counterpart, the 2018 Instinct. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. We pushed the Thunderbolt well past its limits while testing, we don't recommend trying this on this model. Huge selection of mountain bikes from brands such as Trek, Specialized, Giant, Santa Cruz, Norco and more. The Thunderbolt seems like it would be perfect for 29-inch wheels. All this comes in under $3,400. The modern Thunderbolt name has been in Rocky Mountain's catalog since 2014 (but, as a few clever Pinkers have pointed out, goes as far back as 1989) when it was introduced as a … We hate to sound like a broken record, but again the components on this bike are its main limiting factor on descents. Rocky Mountain has just introduced the Thunderbolt, a 120mm, 650b full-suspension model with geometry that blurs the lines between cross-country racer and trail bike. We didn't find the Thunderbolt to be a good value. Standouts include the Race Face ARC 25 wheels mated to Maxxis Minion DHR 2.3-inch tires, Shimano XT two-piston brakes and the Fox Float DPS EVOL Performance Elite shock and fork. 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 handlebar, stem, and saddle are all great, the lack of a dropper post, however, is a real let down. Geometry, travel, suspension—technology moves so fast that these aspects of a bike rarely remain unchanged year-to-year, much less over multiple years. 2021 Devinci Marshall SX 12-Speed Bike. One tester noted that it performed well with the Fox Float DPS Performance shock in the open setting while climbing, but another preferred the extra firmness provided by the shock’s ‘pedal’ mode on extended climbs. 2017 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 750 (aluminum) I'm an average to possibly below-average mountain biker; can't bunny hop for beans nor can I manual for more than a heartbeat. Add to Basket. The 760mm wide handlebar is a reasonable width and it's paired with a short stem and comfortable lock-on grips. My younger brother needs a bike so I'm giving my old one and actually jumping in and grabbing a new one. They all felt okay and I enjoyed them, but definitely loved the Thunderbolt models. The Thunderbolt A50 has an aluminum rear and front triangle, with an aluminum Rocky Mountain OEM cockpit, aluminum Sun Ringle rims, and DT Swiss 370 hubs. Rocky Mountain AM, 780mm width, 9° backsweep, 5° upsweep, 31.8mm clamp diameter, 25mm rise Stem: Rocky Mountain 31.8 AM, 5° rise, 40mm length, 31.8mm bar clamp Grips: Rocky Mountain Light, lock-on Brakes: Shimano MT4100, 2-piston, resin pads, Shimano RT54 180mm rotors Brake Levers: Shimano MT4100 Drivetrain: 1x Shifters: Shimano Deore, 12-speed From an engineering standpoint, it’s typically not that much extra work to add a size. Copyright © A360 Media LLC 2021. Its climbing abilities are far greater than it's descending prowess. The changes Rocky Mountain did make to the Thunderbolt are subtle, but effective. The RockShox Deluxe RT rear shock performs admirably. To those rims they mounted Maxxis Ardent 2.25" tires both front and back that provide very little climbing or cornering traction. Initially bred as a 120mm, 27.5inch trail centre slayer, the latest iteration is an altogether different beast. I … Modern bikes typically use thru-axles both front and rear, as well as wider rims that work better with modern width tires. The Overtimepack is a range extender for our Powerplay lineup that offers an addition 330 Wh of battery capacity. They also spec'd very narrow, by today's standards, WTB SX19 rims that can't be set up tubeless. Since then, Rocky Mountain has tweaked the travel and geometry, but it hasn’t been radically overhauled, and unlike some bikes in the same category, it’s not attempting to moonlight as a more aggressive bike. This bike has both a speed and trail difficulty limit due to its super-budget components. 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. Price: N/A. Most bike models change so drastically in the span of four years that comparing generations that far apart is akin to pitting a penny farthing against a modern DH sled. This is the base model in their Thunderbolt lineup and it's obvious to us that the Thunderbolt could be an amazing trail bike, but in this case, it is held back by a barely trail worthy component specification. How can we improve GearLab? Despite the many low-grade components on the Thunderbolt Alloy 10 we could tell that this bike could be a blast to ride downhill. The Thunderbolt has been a mainstay in the Rocky Mountain stable since its inception in 2014. Bike Magazine has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Our Carbon 70 model, which falls at the higher end of the Thunderbolt offerings—the alloy 10 starts at $2,000 and the most expensive, carbon 90, goes for $6,000—has a spec package that’s on par with a bike at its price level. If you have aspirations of riding aggressively at all then we'd point you to one of the many more trail worthy bikes in this review or a more expensive build of the Thunderbolt. Geometry: Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. If you have aspirations of getting after it in any way on your bike then you should look elsewhere in this price range. 2019 Orange Crush RS Bike. Specifications: Thunderbolt Alloy 10 Frame SMOOTHWALL Carbon. The Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Alloy 10 suffers from a classic case of its performance being held back by a very poor component specification. Hestler works for Rocky Mountain and I was testing the company’s new Thunderbolt, a 120mm trail bike with 27.5 wheels. Was $9,199.00 $8,299.99. 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. Rocky Mountain 2020 Slayer Carbon 70 29" Mountain Bike Black/Touch of Grey . The changes Rocky Mountain did make to the Thunderbolt are subtle, but effective. 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. Smooth mellow terrain and infrequent trail rides are fine on the Thunderbolt Alloy 10, although this bike's limits are easily reached. This is a 140mm front and rear “long travel” edition, dedicated precisely to the concept of rather aggressive trail riding typical of that area. The only difference is the wheel size. It’s an added bit of versatility and fine-tuning that some riders may appreciate, and some may find overwhelming. The Alloy 10 has 120mm of front wheel and 130mm of rear wheel travel. It has all the right angles, the build just can't keep pace. But the Thunderbolt’s 27.5-inch wheels somehow didn’t feel like a sacrifice as it powered through the rocky terrain, holding its momentum on the most energy-sapping bits. Francesco Mazza, 21/08/2018 . It does not inspire any confidence. We also question the use of a non-boost spacing fork and the fact that the wheel is attached with an old school quick release skewer. View and share reviews, comments and questions on mountain bikes. The time and cost investment really happens on the production side, from adding SKUs to assembling these bikes with size-specific components. Rocky Mountain Bikes arguably helped shape the way we ride mountain bikes today and the Thunderbolt is a prime example of their roots growing stronger. The non-boost RockShox Recon Silver fork has 120 mm of travel, but it's flexy, hard to tune, and generally feels like a pogo stick in compression and extension. “Go ahead, lead the way,” he said politely when we turned to head down. The Thunderbolt Alloy 10 is best suited to the light-duty mountain biker who does not push the limits. It rolls fast and has a nice middle of the road geometry that provides a comfortable seated pedaling position and responsive handling. These wheels are flexy and felt like they might fold underneath you if you cornered too hard or landed wrong off a small rock drop. We flatted the front tire almost instantly. The funny thing is I get this comment often, and the answer always surprises: we already have this bike in the line and it’s the Instinct! The wheels and tires on the Thunderbolt look and feel like something you'd find on a bike from two decades ago. Cables run internally and there’s room for both a bottle cage and 27.5 x 2.5-inch tires. 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 Price: N/A. The overall frame design and geometry are capable of handling much more than the parts attached to it can. Overtime pack. This is the least trail worthy bike in this test, due to its poor component specification, and we would recommend several other models before this, some of which cost less. Our short-travel loop was particularly well-suited for a 29er, with ledgy climbs and slow-speed tech descents on which the rollover qualities of a larger wheel diameter were beneficial. If you're looking for an entry-level mountain to occasionally ride trails on, this could be a good option. 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. Quick and nimble, the Thunderbolt is total livewire. $3,999.00. When you're looking for something right in between, The follow-up to the most underrated bike of 2018, Subscribe to our free newsletter and stay up-to-date with the latest from RIDE-9 Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate Regardless, it’s there to use if you want, or you can set it and forget if you aren’t the tinkering type. How do you achieve that from a design standpoint, and what kind of additional investment is required to offer five frame sizes, in aluminum and carbon to boot? With the 27.5 wheel size on the Thunderbolt, we realize that it’s important to fit shorter riders whether they are adults or teens; we don’t want to exclude these riders based on stature. Hit some single track and the Thunderbolt comes alive. What is it about this bike’s design that works so well, and has allowed its identity to stay so consistent? Rocky Mountain 2021 Thunderbolt Alloy 30 27.5" MTB Satellite/Black Dog/Volcano . Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. 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. 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. As mentioned above, both wheels are secured by quick release skewers that we're no longer used to seeing on bikes intended for real mountain biking. Are you looking for a new mountain bike that costs $2500... the world's most carefully tested and objective gear reviews.

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