Photos: Andy Vathis
Born out of BC, Rocky Mountain have revealed a revised, gravity friendly version of the thunderbolt for 2018.
The Thunderbolt has been a mainstay in the Rocky Mountain stable since its inception in 2014. Initially bred as a 120mm, 27.5inch trail centre slayer, the latest iteration is an altogether different beast.
While the 27.5inch wheels remain, for 2018 the BC edition of the Thunderbolt sees an increase in rear travel, up 20mm to 140mm. An increase that places the Thunderbolt in among a very different playing field.
Rocky Mountain boasts that not just does the BC edition receive an upgrade in travel, but all round improved suspension performance. By flattening out the rate curve in the rear they claim to have increased the amount of usable travel, while maintaining mid-stroke support and improving small-bump sensitivity.
Rocky Mountain haven't stopped there. Reach is increased, the headtube angle slackened and the bottom bracket lowered. A trio of changes that, when coupled with Rocky Mountain's patented RIDE-9 system, a system which allows riders to adjust geometry on the fly, should lead to a very capable ride when the going gets rough.
In Rocky Mountain's own words, "its more aggressive nature is perfect for all-day trail adventures".
All of the above bodes well for Rocky Mountain. The recent 'BC' edition of the Instinct was a phenomenal ride and a firm favourite within the Dirt office. That being said, the market for rugged, 140mm trail bikes is a stacked one, but if the Thunderbolt can follow in the footsteps of it's longer travel brother it may well be another success story for a resurgent brand.
Price: £5,499.99 (Carbon BC Edition)