Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Carbon 70 2018
CRF81520M

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Carbon 70 2018


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ROCKY MOUNTAIN THUNDERBOLT CARBON 70 (2018)

The brand new Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Carbon is the perfect adventure bike. At 130mm of rear-wheel travel its the bike you would pick for those rides where pedalling efficiency is a must and descents not too technical.

But there’s way more to the Thunderbolt Carbon 70 than what you see on paper.

I’ll explain why.

WHO IS IT FOR?

The Thunderbolt is your bike if you’re someone who loves riding mellow to semi-technical trails (such as Red Hill, Lysterfield and the Kurrajong area of the You Yangs) with the occasional trip to places like Falls Creek and Mount Buller.

It’s also for those riders who love a fast bike that is also fun to ride. I can’t emphasize this enough. The new Thunderbolt is extremely quick; changing directions almost at a thought. And it’s so much fun because it’s so easy to ride fast.

HOW DOES IT DO THIS?

Its speed and response are due to the Thunderbolt C70’s carbon frame and geometry.

Not all carbon is made the same. There are premium carbon weaves and manufacturing methods, then others…aren’t. And this has a significant impact on how the frame rides.

I guess the reason why you’re reading this preview is that you understand Rocky Mountain doesn’t make cheap quality mountain bikes - no shortcuts. The same applies to their carbon frames.

Brands like Yeti or Santa Cruz (the other premium mountain bike brands) tend to offer 2 different types of carbon. Rocky Mountain does not. There is only 1 high-end carbon frame that comes in several build kits and price points.

Imperfections like voids, bubbles, wrinkles and excess resin are eliminated by Rocky’s Smoothwall Carbon processing method. When both the outside, and more importantly the inside of the carbon frame, are smooth (hence the name Smoothwall) with no imperfections, the ride quality is significantly improved. That’s the aim for any premium carbon frame.

And that’s why some carbon bikes are cheap and others are expensive. Much like in life, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

FRAME GEOMETRY AND HANDLING = RIDE 9

Ride 9 has an adjustable chip (built into the frame) that allows you to adjust the Thunderbolt C70 into 9 different positions.

Before you freak out, let me explain how it works.

Imagine you’ve bought a bike and you really like it. One day though you ride it on some technical trails and know you regret it because the bike couldn’t handle that type of terrain. But you want to be able to ride those technical trails.

What do you do?

You sell the bike and buy one with more suspension travel. But now the bike is sluggish and slow on smooth and mellow trails.

What do you do now?

You compromise. You can’t have a bike that does both right? Well…actually you can.

Ride 9 subtlety changes the geometry of the Thunderbolt C70. It also re-tunes how the rear shock behaves depending on what mode you select. That’s important.

Ride 9 makes enough of a difference so that you essentially have 3 bikes in 1 bike.

This is how it works.

As you can see above there is a square within a square. The bolt going through both of squares has 9 positions. Moving the bolt (within the square) allows the frame to change angles.

To keep it simple, there are 3 main modes; Slack, Neutral and Steep.

Position 1 (or P1) is your full-Slack mode. It’s the mode you choose for technical and gnarly singletrack. When you need complete stability out of the Thunderbolt. It’s also the position that retunes (makes it more Progressive) the shock to handle these larger and faster impacts.

P5 is Neutral. And it’s the position I’d recommend riding in to adjust to the Thunderbolt and get used to it.

P9 is Steep. It’s the Thunderbolt’s most efficient position. This means all the angles start to steepen and places you in the most effective climbing position. It also re-tunes the rear shock to make it more Linear (delivering the best climbing traction).

FOX SUSPENSION

The Thunderbolt Carbon 70 is suspended on the latest Fox Float 34 and Float DPS rear shock. The Float 34 is part of the Performance Elite range (the second-best).

It also uses Fox’s highly sophisticated FIT4 damper.

FIT4 separates the oil and air and prevents it from mixing together. Mixing is not good because it causes cavitation and a significant loss in suppleness.; the fork starts to feel harsh. The opposite of suspension.

The rear shock has also been upgraded with a larger negative air spring. This means the first 20% of suspension travel is smooth and supple, with very little friction.

Both suspension units feature adjustments such as air pressure, rebound and compression.

Air pressure is dependent on rider weight and helps set Sag. Rebound is the rate at which the suspension returns after it’s been compressed; set faster for fast, rocky trails and slow for smooth, mellow singletrack.

SRAM GX EAGLE

SRAM GX Eagle is the drivetrain of choice. Anything referred to as Eagle is the latest 12-speed mountain bike drivetrain from SRAM. The range consists of a small 10-tooth sprocket right through to a massive 50-tooth sprocket.

Feedback from each gear shift is very mechanical. There’s no softness to be found here. It lets you know when it’s in gear and it’s very precise.

WHEELS

Stan’s Notubes Crest MK3 rims are laced to a Rocky Mountain (sealed bearing) front hub and a DT Swiss 370 rear hub.

Crest MK3 rims have a 23mm internal and 26mm external width, making them sufficiently wide for the latest crop of mid-width tyres (from 2.25 to 2.4).

The crests also have a shallow and flat profile that delivers faster rolling, fewer pinch flats and improved durability.

Crest rims are pre-taped and include valves for easy tubeless conversion.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN THUNDERBOLT CARBON 70 (2018)

The brand new Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt Carbon is the perfect adventure bike. At 130mm of rear-wheel travel its the bike you would pick for those rides where pedalling efficiency is a must and descents not too technical.

But there’s way more to the Thunderbolt Carbon 70 than what you see on paper.

I’ll explain why.

WHO IS IT FOR?

The Thunderbolt is your bike if you’re someone who loves riding mellow to semi-technical trails (such as Red Hill, Lysterfield and the Kurrajong area of the You Yangs) with the occasional trip to places like Falls Creek and Mount Buller.

It’s also for those riders who love a fast bike that is also fun to ride. I can’t emphasize this enough. The new Thunderbolt is extremely quick; changing directions almost at a thought. And it’s so much fun because it’s so easy to ride fast.

HOW DOES IT DO THIS?

Its speed and response are due to the Thunderbolt C70’s carbon frame and geometry.

Not all carbon is made the same. There are premium carbon weaves and manufacturing methods, then others…aren’t. And this has a significant impact on how the frame rides.

I guess the reason why you’re reading this preview is that you understand Rocky Mountain doesn’t make cheap quality mountain bikes - no shortcuts. The same applies to their carbon frames.

Brands like Yeti or Santa Cruz (the other premium mountain bike brands) tend to offer 2 different types of carbon. Rocky Mountain does not. There is only 1 high-end carbon frame that comes in several build kits and price points.

Imperfections like voids, bubbles, wrinkles and excess resin are eliminated by Rocky’s Smoothwall Carbon processing method. When both the outside, and more importantly the inside of the carbon frame, are smooth (hence the name Smoothwall) with no imperfections, the ride quality is significantly improved. That’s the aim for any premium carbon frame.

And that’s why some carbon bikes are cheap and others are expensive. Much like in life, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

FRAME GEOMETRY AND HANDLING = RIDE 9

Ride 9 has an adjustable chip (built into the frame) that allows you to adjust the Thunderbolt C70 into 9 different positions.

Before you freak out, let me explain how it works.

Imagine you’ve bought a bike and you really like it. One day though you ride it on some technical trails and know you regret it because the bike couldn’t handle that type of terrain. But you want to be able to ride those technical trails.

What do you do?

You sell the bike and buy one with more suspension travel. But now the bike is sluggish and slow on smooth and mellow trails.

What do you do now?

You compromise. You can’t have a bike that does both right? Well…actually you can.

Ride 9 subtlety changes the geometry of the Thunderbolt C70. It also re-tunes how the rear shock behaves depending on what mode you select. That’s important.

Ride 9 makes enough of a difference so that you essentially have 3 bikes in 1 bike.

This is how it works.

As you can see above there is a square within a square. The bolt going through both of squares has 9 positions. Moving the bolt (within the square) allows the frame to change angles.

To keep it simple, there are 3 main modes; Slack, Neutral and Steep.

Position 1 (or P1) is your full-Slack mode. It’s the mode you choose for technical and gnarly singletrack. When you need complete stability out of the Thunderbolt. It’s also the position that retunes (makes it more Progressive) the shock to handle these larger and faster impacts.

P5 is Neutral. And it’s the position I’d recommend riding in to adjust to the Thunderbolt and get used to it.

P9 is Steep. It’s the Thunderbolt’s most efficient position. This means all the angles start to steepen and places you in the most effective climbing position. It also re-tunes the rear shock to make it more Linear (delivering the best climbing traction).

FOX SUSPENSION

The Thunderbolt Carbon 70 is suspended on the latest Fox Float 34 and Float DPS rear shock. The Float 34 is part of the Performance Elite range (the second-best).

It also uses Fox’s highly sophisticated FIT4 damper.

FIT4 separates the oil and air and prevents it from mixing together. Mixing is not good because it causes cavitation and a significant loss in suppleness.; the fork starts to feel harsh. The opposite of suspension.

The rear shock has also been upgraded with a larger negative air spring. This means the first 20% of suspension travel is smooth and supple, with very little friction.

Both suspension units feature adjustments such as air pressure, rebound and compression.

Air pressure is dependent on rider weight and helps set Sag. Rebound is the rate at which the suspension returns after it’s been compressed; set faster for fast, rocky trails and slow for smooth, mellow singletrack.

SRAM GX EAGLE

SRAM GX Eagle is the drivetrain of choice. Anything referred to as Eagle is the latest 12-speed mountain bike drivetrain from SRAM. The range consists of a small 10-tooth sprocket right through to a massive 50-tooth sprocket.

Feedback from each gear shift is very mechanical. There’s no softness to be found here. It lets you know when it’s in gear and it’s very precise.

WHEELS

Stan’s Notubes Crest MK3 rims are laced to a Rocky Mountain (sealed bearing) front hub and a DT Swiss 370 rear hub.

Crest MK3 rims have a 23mm internal and 26mm external width, making them sufficiently wide for the latest crop of mid-width tyres (from 2.25 to 2.4).

The crests also have a shallow and flat profile that delivers faster rolling, fewer pinch flats and improved durability.

Crest rims are pre-taped and include valves for easy tubeless conversion.

Frame SMOOTHWALL™ Carbon. Full Sealed Cartridge Bearings. Press Fit BB. Internal Cable Routing. 2-Bolt ISCG05 Tabs. RIDE-9™ Adjustable Geometry + Suspension Rate / SMOOTHWALL™ rear triangle
Fork Fox 34 Float Performance Elite, 130mm travel
Shock Fox Float DPS EVOL Performance Elite, 130mm rear wheel travel
Headset FSA Orbit NO.57E
Stem Rocky Mountain 35 AM
Handlebar Race Face Turbine 760mm
Grips Rocky Mountain Lock On XC
Brakes Shimano XT
Shifter SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle 12 speed
Cranks & Chainrings SRAM Stylo 7K Eagle 34T
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP BB92
Cassette SRAM XG-1275 10-50T 12 speed
Chain SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed
Front Hub Rocky Mountain Sealed Boost 15mm
Rear Hub DT Swiss 370 Boost 148mm
Spokes WTB 1.8-1.6
Rims Stans Crest MK3 Tubeless Ready - Tape / Valves Incl
Tyres Maxxis Minion DHR II Folding 27.5 x 2.3 / Maxxis Crossmark II 27.5 x 2.25
Seatpost Fox Transfer Performance Elite 30.9mm
Saddle WTB Silverado Race
Weight 11.8 KG
General
Brand
Rocky Mountain
Colour
Red
Bike
Frame Size
Large