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2014 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

Another New 27.5" / 650B Bike

Words by Morgan Taylor.
August 28th, 2013

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.

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The 2014 Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 770 in black with Green Monster RaceFace and colour matched fork and wheels.

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.”

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Thomas and Jen get going on the Thunderbolt.

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Whistler’s Rockwork Orange is a good indicator of the abilities of the short travel 650B bike.

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…but it should be just as much at home on your local singletrack.

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.

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2014 Thunderbolt Geometry.

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The Thunderbolt 770 in black on black features Fox CTD FIT, XT brakes, drivetrain and hubs with an XTR rear derailleur, Stans Crest rims, and a smattering of green RaceFace.

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The Thunderbolt 750 pops in blue with green accents, and sports Fox CTD, SLX/XT, and RaceFace.

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Thunderbolt 730 in red on black with an X-Fusion Velvet fork, Fox CTD shock, and Deore/SLX.

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The entry level Thunderbolt 710 with Rockshox front and rear, Avid 1 brakes, and X5/X7 drive.


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?

  • DC

    The Rockwork Orange photo really captures the beauty of that trail.