Rocky Mountain have been developing bikes from the very heart of Canada for more than thirty-five years with one not-insignificant aim: to create the world’s best mountain bikes. As the trail bike storm brews, it’s time to set the scales and verify if the Thunderbolt BC Edition lives up the brand’s high standards.
The Rocky Mountain BC Edition is essentially a tool to tear down descents. Observed when stationary, it reveals an undeniable sense of adventure and it’s clear that the team are well versed in shredding – the Thunderbolt not only has an envy-inducing black finish on the frame, but also a spec that promises a lot. Beginning with high-quality Stan’s ZTR Flow wheels and moving across to the SRAM X01 1×11 drivetrain and tidy Race Face parts, Rocky Mountain haven’t cut any corners. But considering the 6,900 € price tag, this had to be expected. The BC makes a welcome home for a RockShox PIKE fork and a RockShox Monarch DebonAir rear shock.[emaillocker id=”139658″]
Thanks to Rocky Mountain’s patented RIDE-9 system, any rider can adapt both the geometry and rear suspension curve to suit their style and size. For our group test, we settled on the slackest geometry setting, and despite the 73° seat angle the Thunderbolt climbed like a trooper and kept its front wheel firmly on the ground without the rider having to shuffle too far forward on the saddle. However, it’s on the descents where the Thunderbolt lives up to its hype. Super-balanced and direct, the bike’s compact riding position and short 422 mm chainstays render it a true railer when it comes to corners. Forget hesitations: once you’ve chosen your line, the Thunderbolt will follow eagerly. The rear suspension is nice and progressive, dishing out the requisite travel as and when needed – forget wallowing in the corners, as the travel is used to maximum efficiency. The stock MAXXIS Ardent tires and the Race Face cockpit are two more well-chosen parts on the bike.
Specs of the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition
Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch RT3
Brakes: Shimano XT
Drivetrain: SRAM X01
Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth
Stem: RMB CNC 35 mm
Handlebar: Race Face Next
Wheels: Naben: Stan’s 3.30 / Felgen: ZTR Flow
Tires: Maxxis Ardent EXO
Weight: 12.35 kg
Price: € 6,900
Das Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition begeistert mit seinem präzisen Handling, den verspielten Fahreigenschaften und dem potenten Fahrwerk. Wer ein agiles Rad mit vielen Reserven und top Ausstattung sucht, wird hier fündig, muss dafür aber sehr tief in die Tasche greifen.
- Amazing handling
- RIDE-9 gives the rider options
- Well-chosen spec
For more information head to the Rocky Mountain website.
For an overview of the test fleet head to the main article: 9 short-travel trail bikes in comparison
All bikes in test: Canyon Nerve AL 9.9 LTD | Evil The Following X1 | FOCUS Spine C Factory | MERIDA ONE-TWENTY 8000 | Norco OPTIC C7.2 | SCOTT Genius 910 | Specialized Camber Comp Carbon 29 | Trek FUEL EX 9.8 29
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Words: Photos: Noah Haxel, Christoph Bayer