Whilst Rocky Mountain is still riding the wave of praise and glowing reviews of its 27.5″ Altitude, it seems they’re determined to push on with the mid-sized wheels, introducing a shorter travel version called the Thunderbolt. Essentially replacing the 5″ travel Element 26″ model, the new Thunderbolt takes on many of the design cues established with the bigger Altitude, and grafts them onto a lighter, tighter and more responsive trail-ready frame. With modern geometry and 120mm of their active SmoothLink suspension out back, we reckon the new Thunderbolt looks like the ticket for the riders out there who need a bike that can pilot them around the odd marathon or Enduro race, whilst handling the week-in-week-out trail riding that most of us enjoy in our free time. Check out the full press release from Rocky Mountain below!

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“When XC gets rowdy, the incredibly agile Thunderbolt shines. Rolling on 27.5” wheels and equipped with 120mm of travel, the Thunderbolt delivers the ultimate mix of intuitive XC capabilities and pure playful trail fun. At last, an XC bike dedicated as much to flowy singletrack as to punchy technical climbs” – Rocky Mountain

Key  features of the Thunderbolt

• 142mm E-Thru rear axle to increase stiffness (Thunderbolt 710 utilizes F/R quick release).
• Internal cable routing keeps cables neatly stowed, with service-friendly ports.
• Internal “Stealth” dropper-post routing tucks the housing inside the frame for minimal clutter (with external option).
• BB92 pressfit bottom bracket provides maximum lateral stiffness.
• XC tuned Smoothlink™ design delivers exceptional climbing traction and stable pedalling platform

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RTC Geometry
Rocky Mountain engineers, designers, and product managers unanimously agreed on the need for a simplified, fun XC bike that stands on the shoulders of our dedicated XC race bikes. By understanding the attributes of a race bike, our team tested and tweaked the numbers to arrive at a geometry that lends a more playful feeling to riding cross-country. Rocky Mountain’s engineers were able to design an extremely short rear end on the Thunderbolt, and tucked the 27.5” wheel in close to the rider to give it maximum maneuverability and traction. At the same time, the top tube has been lengthened from traditional Rocky designs to accommodate for the shorter stems that today’s wider bars call for, and keep the rider in an aggressive, XC attack position. This is what gives the Thunderbolt it’s quick and agile feel. When we say “playful” we speak directly about the bicycle’s attributes. Our engineers fought tirelessly over the geometry that balanced handling for both XC and Trail conditions. For example, by settling on a 68.5° headtube angle, we were able to capture unique handling properties that define the Thunderbolt.

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Thunderbolt 770
– FORM 7005 Series Custom Hydroformed Alloy frame with SmoothLink suspension design, ABC pivots, tapered head tube & BB92 pressfit bottom bracket, 142x12mm Shimano E-Thru axle
– Fox Float 32 CTD Remote 120mm travel fork w/FIT cartridge, tapered steerer & QR15 thru-axle
– Fox Float CTD Remote rear shock w/custom race valving
– Stans ZTR Crest wheelset w/Shimano Deore XT Centrelock hubs
– Shimano Deore XT Ice Tech disc brakes 180/160mm rotors
– Shimano Deore XT 2×10 drivetrain w/XTR Shadow Plus Direct Mount rear derailleur & RaceFace Turbine 38/24t cranks
– RaceFace Turbine cockpit

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Thunderbolt 750
– FORM 7005 Series Custom Hydroformed Alloy frame with SmoothLink suspension design, ABC pivots, tapered head tube & BB92 pressfit bottom bracket, 142x12mm Shimano E-Thru axle
– Fox Float 32 CTD 120mm travel fork w/tapered steerer & QR15 thru-axle
– Fox Float CTD rear shock w/custom race valving
– Sun Ringle Inferno 23 wheelset w/Shimano SLX Centrelock hubs
– Shimano SLX Ice Tech disc brakes 180/160mm rotors
– Shimano SLX 3×10 drivetrain w/Deore XT Shadow Plus Direct Mount rear derailleur & RaceFace Turbine 42/32/24t cranks
– RaceFace Evolve cockpit

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Thunderbolt 730
– FORM 7005 Series Custom Hydroformed Alloy frame with SmoothLink suspension design, ABC pivots, tapered head tube & BB92 pressfit bottom bracket, 142x12mm Shimano E-Thru axle
– X Fusion Velvet RL2 120mm travel fork w/tapered steerer & QR15 thru-axle
– Fox Float CTD rear shock w/custom race valving
– Sun Ringle Inferno 23 wheelset w/Shimano Deore Centrelock hubs
– Shimano M505 disc brakes 180/160mm rotors
– Shimano Deore 3×10 drivetrain w/SLX Shadow Plus Direct Mount rear derailleur & M552 42/32/24t cranks
– RaceFace alloy cockpit

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Thunderbolt 710
– FORM 7005 Series Custom Hydroformed Alloy frame with SmoothLink suspension design, ABC pivots, tapered head tube & BB92 pressfit bottom bracket
– RockShox XC30 120mm travel fork w/tapered steerer
– RockShox Monarch RL rear shock w/custom valving
– Alex TD26 wheelset w/SRAM MTH hubs
– Avid DB1 disc brakes 160mm rotors
– SRAM X5 3×10 drivetrain w/X7 direct mount front derailleur & FSA Gamma Drive 42/32/24t cranks
– Rocky Mountain alloy cockpit

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Currently the Thunderbolt is only scheduled to be release with a 7005 Series hydroformed alloy frame. Will we see a carbon version? We’d bet our sweet bippy on it, given that this could well become one of the most popular bikes in their range. Last year Rocky introduced the Instinct 29er in alloy, and 9 months later dropped the news that a carbon version was also on the way – and we’d expect the same thing to happen with the Thunderbolt too.
Keep your eyes peeled for more information on the latest Rocky Mountain trail bike, as we’ll have pricing details and ETA’s on when the new sleds will be arriving in town.

Adventure Brands
Phone: 03 9770 8912
Website: www.AdventureBrands.com.au
Email: sales@adventurebrands.com.au