Sure, you can ride this bike on singletrack trails, but our testers found that it didn't inspire much confidence and it was best suited for smooth and mellow trails and low to moderate speeds. 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. Testers had little confidence in this model, and being nervous about the bike you're riding isn't exactly our definition of fun. Huge selection of mountain bikes from brands such as Trek, Specialized, Giant, Santa Cruz, Norco and more. The Shimano M315 brakes work okay but they are certainly a little underwhelming. The Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Alloy 10 suffers from a classic case of its performance being held back by a very poor component specification. 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 If you want to ride aggressively at all we suggest looking elsewhere. When combined with our massive 672 Wh Powerplay battery, you have over 1000 Wh to drain before it's time to rest. 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. Material on GearLab is copyrighted. Rocky Mountain 2021 Thunderbolt Alloy 30 27.5" MTB Satellite/Black Dog/Volcano . Press Fit BB. 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. Specifications: Thunderbolt Alloy 10 Frame SMOOTHWALL Carbon. The RockShox Deluxe RT rear shock performs admirably. Other bikes in this price range come with much better forks and dropper seatposts. Although the Thunderbolt’s somewhat-conservative wheelbase can result in some twitchiness at high speeds, it also makes for a bike that’s poppy, playful and easy to maneuver around tight turns and switchbacks. The overall frame design and geometry are capable of handling much more than the parts attached to it can. 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 … 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. 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. It has all the right angles, the build just can't keep pace. We expect this bike to perform better than the 2019 model we tested. 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. What is it about this bike’s design that works so well, and has allowed its identity to stay so consistent? 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. Copyright © A360 Media LLC 2021. 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. Hit some single track and the Thunderbolt comes alive. 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. Subscribe to BIKE’s Newsletter to receive stories like this straight to your inbox. If you're a very easy going mountain biker who rides occasionally on smoother trails at low to moderate speeds then this may be a good option. We hate to sound like a broken record, but again the components on this bike are its main limiting factor on descents. 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 components on this bike are really what hold it back. Francesco Mazza, 21/08/2018. Check out the rest of the Short-Travel 27.5 class, Short Travel 27.5 Bible of Bike Tests 2019, Bible Review: Ibis Mojo Deore XT | $6,900, Revel Bikes Introduces the Ranger Brunch Ride Edition. “Go ahead, lead the way,” he said politely when we turned to head down. 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. The Thunderbolt seems like it would be perfect for 29-inch wheels. Phone: 01803 558885 Email: info@rockymountainuk.com Post: Unit A3, Westfield Business Park, Long Road, Paignton, TQ4 7AU, United Kingdom The 2.25" Maxxis Ardent tires are narrow and don't provide much traction with their low profile tread design, plus they can't be setup tubeless. Studio Photos: Anthony Smith; Action Photos: Margus Riga. 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. The moderately steep 74.7-degree seat tube angle puts the rider nicely above the bottom bracket for solid power transfer while the moderate length 466mm reach doesn't make you feel cramped or too stretched out. 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. Out of stock. RIDE-9 Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate At $1,999 we have a really hard time calling the Thunderbolt Alloy 10 a good value. Internal Cable Routing. “They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.”-Clint Eastwood I put gloves to grips on the full-wide 800mm Chromag BZA carbon handlebar and take a couple of heartbeats to contemplate our custom spec’d Thunderbolt’s front-center. Modern bikes typically use thru-axles both front and rear, as well as wider rims that work better with modern width tires. At $5,400, the value is on par with what you’d expect spec-wise for a bike at this pricepoint, and the entry-level for the Thunderbolt is a very attainable $2,000. 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. 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 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. 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. Rocky … Its climbing abilities are far greater than it's descending prowess. Rocky Mountain has remade the Thunderbolt for 2018, increasing the rear wheel travel in the standard Thunderbolt model from 120mm to 130mm. It also has 130 millimeters of travel, front and rear, whereas the previous iteration had 120 millimeters (except for the BC Edition, which sported 130 millimeters of front travel; now the BC Edition has 140 front and rear). 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 wheels and tires on the Thunderbolt are another low point of this build. 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. The same skinny tires that don't provide confident cornering traction on the descents help to give this bike very little rolling resistance. Rocky Mountain has been on a bit of a bike updating spree over the last couple of years, and their fresh Thunderbolt is the latest platform to get a complete makeover. 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 … 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. 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. 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? Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. The Thunderbolt A50 also gets a Fox rear shock and a Fox 34 Float Performance fork with a Grip damper. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. 2-Bolt ISCG05 Tabs. It rolls fast and has a nice middle of the road geometry that provides a comfortable seated pedaling position and responsive handling. 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