Rocky Mountain 2021 : Goodbye Thunderbolt, Hello Instinct

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For 2021 Rocky Mountain simplifies its trail line up, merging the 140mm Thunderbolt and Instinct models into a single Instinct, but with size specific wheel sizes and frames.

If you looked to Rocky Mountain last year for a trail bike, you could choose between the Thunderbolt with 27.5in wheels, and the Instinct with 29er wheels – both had 140mm of travel. However, the Thunderbolt is no more – now you get an Instinct, with 27.5in wheels on the Extra Small, a choice of wheelsizes on a Small, and 29er wheels in all other sizes.

Our size extra-small and small frames have a visibly different frame silhouette than our medium through extra-large frames. The two smallest sizes use a 190x45mm shock to achieve 140mm of travel which creates a lightweight kinematic, making it easier for small riders to properly set up their suspension and use all of the travel. The medium through extra-large frames use a 210×52.5mm shock to achieve 140mm of travel, so no matter what size of rider you are our bikes are designed to perform at their best.

With a suspension curve that provides a supple beginning-stroke, supportive mid-stroke, and progressive end-stroke, our engineers designed these bikes for hard riding on technical trails. Our product team goes above and beyond by creating custom shock tunes for every frame size to ensure riders of all heights experience how we intended the Instinct to feel.

Rocky Mountain

Rock Mountain Instinct (29″)

  • 150mm, 44mm (FOX) or 42mm (RockShox) offset fork
  • Max tyre clearance 29 x 2.6
  • Max chainring size 34t
  • Min chainring size 30t
  • Sizes: SM-XL

Rock Mountain Instinct (27.5″)

  • 150mm, 37mm offset fork
  • Max tyre clearance is 27.5 x 2.6
  • Max chainring size 34t
  • Min chainring size 30t
  • Sizes: XS-SM

As well as all the sizing options, you also have a choice of carbon or alloy frame. The carbon model is made around a rigid mould, rather than a bladder, which Rocky Mountain says allows them to make their ‘Smoothwall Carbon’ frames without excess material to give a light but stiff finish. More choice still comes with the ‘RIDE-9’ adjustment system, which allows riders to fine-tune their geometry and suspension with a pair of Allen keys. Nine configurations are possible thanks to two interlocking chips.

On the carbon models you can swap out the modular shock mount. Future proof, or an opportunity for the customisers, fiddlers and fettlers?

All frames come with a 10mm chainstay adjustment, Long for high speed stability and Short for playfulness. The bikes come with a new Rocky Mountain hanger, but they’re SRAM UDH compatible in Long mode.

Away from the plethora of choice, you also get Dual bearings for increased rear triangle stiffness for precise handling and longer service life. The carbon models have internal cable routing guides, while the alloy models have large ports. And there’s room for a water bottle for all that pedalling you’ll be doing.

Rocky Mountain Instinct

Overwhelmed? Maybe you’ll choose by price point. While there are more in the full range, only the following models will be available in the UK:

  • A30 £2999.99
  • A50 £3749.99
  • C30 £4199.99
  • C50 £4599.99
  • C70DE £5999.99
  • C90 £9199.99

Look out for them at your local dealer, or check with UK distributor Greenover Sports for stock.

Rocky Mountain Instinct
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