Rocky Mountain Bicycles has just announced their new 2015 Thunderbolt MSL. While it should be no surprise that they gave the popular aluminum Thunderbolt a carbon makeover, according to Rocky Mountain, “we took this model several steps further: shorter chainstays, lower standover, RIDE-9™ adjustability, new pivot technologies, and more.”


I especially like the sound of the new low maintenance bearing-less linkage. More durability and less hassle? Sign me up!

Also, the MSL is 100% Shimano Di2 compatible. This is one of the first bikes (after the new Pivot Mach 4 carbon) that we’ve heard about being designed specifically with Di2 in mind… but if these two bikes are any indication, we’ll be seeing a ton of bikes featuring Di2 compatibility at Interbike.


Here are some deets from Rocky Mountain:

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 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.


thunderbolt geo

Build Kits

The MSL will be available in a variety of build kits, with the top-level 799 build coming stock with Shimano XTR Di2 and retailing for $11,499.



999 specs

The 770 will retail for $5,799, and the 750 for $4,599.

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 and aggression.

MSRP: $6,699

# Comments

  • GTXC4

    That first photo filled me with envy. But the price faded it away. 😉

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