Lightning Strikes Twice
We [Rocky Mountain] have been developing high performance bikes in Vancouver, British Columbia since 1981. Our
Development Centre is located at the foot of the North Shore mountains, home to some of the
world’s most rugged and diverse riding terrain.
These mountains are where our engineers design, prototype, and test our bikes. It’s not
uncommon to see team riders like Wade Simmons and Thomas Vanderham out on the trails
with our product team, notepads crammed into jersey pockets and data acquisition equipment
mounted to their bikes.
From getting our hands dirty at local trail building days, to rugged backcountry adventures, to
the global stage of World Cup racing, we live and breathe mountain biking. As riders ourselves
we obsess over material quality, frame geometry, and suspension optimization to deliver the
legendary ride quality we’re famous for.
Named after its lightning quick agility, the 2015 Thunderbolt MSL dominates on a variety of
terrain. Equally at home on long, technical climbs as it is flowy singletrack descents, it’ll have
you powering through the rough stuff and popping off every trail feature you lay eyes on.
The all-new SMOOTHWALL™ carbon frame on Thunderbolt MSL models represents a major
milestone for Rocky Mountain: by using our new PIPELOCK™ main pivot we have removed
all traditional bearings from the frame. This combined with grease ports in key pivot locations
results in a stiffer, lighter, and lower-maintenance bike.
We designed the Thunderbolt MSL for our own special blend of XC and trail riders—people who
hammer at the pointy end of the pack, but stay aggressive and stylish when terrain gets rougher.
Marathon racing? Sure. Triple up those whoops? Why not! BC Bike Race? Of course! Smash every
corner? Be rude not to.
THUNDERBOLT MSL RTC DESIGN
We gave the Thunderbolt MSL 120mm of SMOOTHLINK™ suspension travel to provide a perfect
blend of XC efficiency and trail capability.
In order to achieve the agility and responsiveness we were looking for with this bike we chose
27.5” wheels and engineered short, 422mm chainstays. We increased control by lengthening the
toptube and reined in the stem length, and were able to significantly reduce standover height by
tucking the shock into the toptube.
Finally, we added our RIDE-9™ system into the mix, providing a wide range of adjustment—from
slack and progressive to steep and efficient—to allow riders to dial the Thunderbolt MSL in for their
preferred riding style and terrain.
2015 Thunderbolt MSL BC Edition
We’re a selfish bunch, so we couldn’t resist producing a Thunderbolt MSL BC Edition. With
its lively, bottomless-feeling SMOOTHLINK™ suspension curve, adjustable RIDE-9™ system,
and class-leading stiffness it was the perfect candidate for some additional brawn. Set up
the way we set our own bikes up—wide bars, short stem, big tires, stiff wheels, and premium
suspension—, the BC Edition translates the Thunderbolt’s agility into true trail bike playfulness