Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 27.5 27.5 Full Suspension

4.8/5 (5 Reviews)

Product Description

When XC gets rowdy, the agile and playful Thunderbolt shines. Standing on 120mm of travel and equipped with 27.5” wheels, the Thunderbolt delivers a great mix of intuitive XC capabilities and pure playful trail fun.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tom a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2017

Strengths:    Lightweight carbon frame. Simplicity to build up. Ride9 chips. Quick and fun. Bottomless suspension feel. Great steering and traction. Great climber-yet rocket fast on descents. Rockshox Pike

Weaknesses:    Weak paint job. Crowded cockpit with shock remote. Friction from pivots. Suspension curve makes it hard to use full suspension. Some of the builds are ridiculously expensive.

Bottom Line:   
I'm 57 and in good, but great shape. I moved into an Ibis HDR and felt it was too much bike. The XC/Trail designation from Rocky Mountain is right on. I like to ride light to medium technical single track and fire roads. The bike climbs with very little bob even with the shock in open position. The steering is precise and the short chainstays make the bike extremely maneuverable and flickable. The Ride9 allows the rider to change the geometry to nine different head angles and bottom bracket heights also distinguishing between heavy and light riders. I chose the penultimate slack head angle which makes the bike eat up roots and rocks but still climb with very little effort. I was able to be paitient and find a used warranty frame which I built up much like the BC versions but with lighter cranks, brakes and wheels. The bike shredded my previous PR's on the first ride. Everything you've read about the bike, the pike fork and the suspension is true. It's a great hybrid bike for somebody looking to do technical XC or light trail riding. So far though, it's handled everything I've thrown at it.

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Favorite Trail:   China Camp Oak Ridge Blast

Duration Product Used:   1 Month

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Pinkbike/Ebay/CL

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain element RSL (26") with 27.5 wheels
Ibis HDR 27.5

Bike Setup:   2105 799MSL frame, Race Face carbon cranks and bars, SRAM X01 1x11 drivetrain, SRAM Avid Trail brakes, Rockshox Pike 130 RCT3 fork, Fox Float CTD w/ remote, Nextie 35mm carbon rims on DT Swiss 240 hubs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by max_lombardy a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2016

Strengths:    Frame quality, color, cable routing, weight, aesthetics, stiffness, need I go on?

Weaknesses:    Not a huge fan of press-fit BB. Leverage curve is such that suspension ramps up a LOT at the end of travel, sometimes hard to get full travel.

Bottom Line:   
I built this up from the bare 990 MSL frame.
Build is 1x11 XTR with an XX1 cassette, Hope brakes, Monarch Debonair, Thomson dropper, DVO Diamond, carbon wheels and some other fancy parts. Kind of modeled it after the BC edition but with parts more suited to my tastes.
I LOVE this bike. It weighs just under 26# with pedals and chunky 2.3" rubber. It pedals really well and is super snappy. Loves to jump and handles drops and chunky stuff surprisingly well for a 120/140mm bike. I like my bikes light but tough because I enjoy climbing but I get pretty rowdy on the descents too. The bike it replaced is a Santa Cruz SoloC, and this bike is much better suited to my needs. It has a lot of the same characteristics but it seems quicker in twisty singletrack and it's a bit lighter and easier to flick around. One drawback is that the shock is 190x50 so not all shocks will fit in there, but the Monarch Debonair is a very good fit for the frame. Definitely recommended for people looking for a bike that can do all-day rides or XC races and still handle some serious abuse.

The frame is beautifully thought out as well. The cable routing is partially internal, and the brake hose is fully external. It looks so clean when it's all set up. Internal lower headset cup is also a bonus here, I don't know why all companies don't so this.
As far as the PFBB, I haven't had any problems with it, but I did have to pay a shop to press in the BB, which is annoying when I have a BB tool at home. Long live threaded BBS!
I'm gonna be on this bike for a long time.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by OldMan&TheMountain a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2014

Strengths:    This is a fun bike on just about every sort of trail. Climbs well both seated and standing, let you descend with confidence, accelerates nicely and very maneuverable. Absorbs small to medium stuff really well, and not bad on big stuff (it is not an all mountain bike...). Tires are great for the trails I ride on, which are dry and often loose. Brakes are easy to modulate, shifting is sharp. Loved the Fox CTD rear shock. Even the seat is good. Did I say this bike was FUN!

Weaknesses:    Perhaps a bit heavy, grips aren't so great. Wishing it had CTD on the front shock like the 750 model so I could have remote lock out, Could use a dropper post too.

Bottom Line:   
This was the type of bike I was looking for. Something that would be fun to just ride about anywhere. I love going up and down, not just down. I like flats too. So I didn't want to slog up hills on an "Enduro" rig or wallow on slack head tube bike on the flats. I had been riding for two years an old 1996 Ventana Marble Peak FS with 100mm Front and 80mm rear. That bike convinced me I wanted just a little more travel, and a bit more capable bike, but didn't want to give up the playfulness. I am never going to be a 'big hit' sort of guy. I'm in my 50's and look for the easy line to ride (I'll go around the rock not off it if possible), but don't want to limited by the bike where I choose to ride. This bike lets me ride stuff I might have had to walk before and lets me fly down hill.

I really enjoy the 650B wheels, and they are just as they say. Still able to move them around on the trail, move through switch backs etc, yet provide a more stable ride. I just didn't want to go the truck feel of a 29er.

I Rode quite a few bikes. Given more money, the choice might have been for a Santa Cruz 5010, but for $1000 more at the cheapest version, it wasn't going to happen. I should temper this review, that just about anything was going to huge improvement over my old Ventana, with V-brakes, and suspension with no lock out. This bike is a huge upgrade in everyway possible.

This bike met my goals in a big way. 1st and foremost it is fun to ride, but is also capable and affordable.

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Duration Product Used:   2 weeks

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Sprockets

Bike Setup:   Stock Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 730

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ninjuh a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2014

Strengths:    EXTREMELY nimble....I come from a street/DJ background and I've found myself using this bike like I would a super slack 26" DJ bike, bunny hopping rocks and stumps, locking into manuals, scrubs, nose bumps etc. Great for finding all sorts of fun stuff on mellower XC trails. Trails I would've found boring on my 160mm Enduro are now super fun! Crazy fast, but still very flickable, and an absolute beast in flat and uphill technical terrain regardless of what speed you're going. Still testing it's limits, but it negotiated some of the gnarliest trails in Post Canyon (Hood River OR) with ease and stability. Was very surprised to clean the infamous rock garden section first try with no trouble at all. This bike also has great customization potential: I put a 1x11 setup on mine along with wider bars, chain guard, and gnarlier Enduro/AM tires, and I feel like I'm really close to getting the most out of the frame. With beefed up suspension this bike has the potential to be a serious All Mountain or Enduro race rig for those who like to really feel the trail and use the terrain to it's full potential.

Weaknesses:    3x10 (750&730) gearing is kinda dated and silly, even for an XC/Trail Bike, I would recommend pulling that off immediately for at least a 2x. If you're not a super experienced rider this bike may be a bit too under gunned for steep, technical terrain, or features like jumps or drops. It is definitely capable of handling this stuff, but your technique needs to be on point. This is 27.5 but its definitely not a long travel big wheel bike you can just point straight through the gnar without feeling anything.

Bottom Line:   
Overall, I would say this bike really shines with a little bit of beefing up. Highly recommended for playful trail shredders who find bigger bikes a little too squishy and clunky. Definitely a very unique bike, not sure if there is anything else on the market like it at the moment.

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Favorite Trail:   Don't worry bout it ;)

Bike Setup:   Thunderbolt 750, Shimano XT Shadow, Race Face Narrow/Wide Chainring, Wolftooth Components 42t cog, Ritchey Trail 140mm bars, Schwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35 (F) & Nobby Nic 2.25 (R), Truvativ AKA Stem

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Garrett a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2014

Strengths:    Everything and beyond. Great climber, nimble downhiller, hunts out every bump and jump, easy to handle and flick around, and extremely patient. I absolutely love this rig. The 130mm Fox 32 is perfect with no flex either which I love. The 650B is always a hot topic but to me it's fits perfectly which I've needed. I'm 5'7" at 165-170lb's. A small 29er is a boat in most cases and a medium-large 26er feels awkward. I decided on a medium 650B and it's a glove.

Weaknesses:    It's not a meathead which in this day and age might bum out those downhill and "enduro" riders. Superb all 'rounder. The bars are a bit crowded with the remote for the suspension so that'll take some time to get used to as does finding the right position for it all. Takes some fiddling. Potentially add a remote for a dropper and there will be zero real estate left. Not a whole lot of room for a big water bottle on top of the down tube but the underside of the down tube has a place for another cage. Maybe the saddle is a bit harsh but I've got a fat American ass.

Bottom Line:   
The only real problem is that there is not a whole lot of information on this bike on the internet. At all. Which is insanely frustrating!!! There's not even a ton of press on it from RM. However, I waited since october of 2013 and purchased one in the final week of 03/2014. My first RM and it's definitely bulkier than it looks online, a bit more muscle than anticipated which is great. It's really fast even with High Roller II's on it. Very light at 27lb's (bike shop weighed), the Fox 32 at 130mm is perfect, XT hubs which are indestructible, the geometry is very comfortable and it just sits you in a great position to tackle technical terrain. I could take this to Northstar and bomb down it all day or do a 4-6 hour suffer fest and it has excelled. And for the price point, with a minimum of XT, I am so stoked to finally be the proud owner of this rig. Plus it looks hot which is always crucial!

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Favorite Trail:   Any I haven't ridden.

Duration Product Used:   1 month

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Mike's Velo City, Wi

Similar Products Used:   Any Giant 27.5 and RM Altitude.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Giant stock grips, egg beater pedals, high roller II's and honey badgers.

Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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