Rocky Mountain has resurrected another name from the archives. The 2014 Thunderbolt is a 120mm travel, 27.5″ wheeled frame and will be available in four models spanning from the entry level Thunderbolt 710 with to the XT/XTR, RaceFace and Fox adorned Thunderbolt 770.
With slightly more travel than the 29er-only Element XC race bike, the Thunderbolt should prove a venerable machine on the more technical side of pedally riding. Thomas Vanderham weighs in:
“The Thunderbolt is my kind of XC bike. It’s got a natural feel and tackles the climbs exceptionally well. On the descents it provides the kind of small bump sensitivity usually reserved for longer travel bikes.”
On the geometry side of things the Thunderbolt sports a relatively slack 68.5º head angle and a tight 426mm rear end. Combined with the 74.5º seat angle and generous top tube lengths, the Thunderbolt should be an agile climber and playful descender.
We’ve generally seen 650B bikes on the longer travel end of the trail bike spectrum. Is the Thunderbolt cutting into 29er territory or could you see yourself riding one for pedally days? Also, where’s the dropper post… maybe on a 790 version in the future?