When Carson Storch signed a two-year deal with Rocky Mountain earlier this year, his new sponsor didn't have a purpose-built, off the shelf slope bike for the Oregonian to compete on. Their last dedicated slope machine was the Slayer SS, a pint-sized version of Rocky's older all-mountain machine that was retired after 2014, so Storch was in need of an entirely new bike to compete aboard.
Enter the 100mm-travel Thunderbolt SS, otherwise known as the Funderbolt to those inside Rocky Mountain.
While Carson's new toy is loosely based on Rocky's 120mm-travel, alloy Thunderbolt platform, the SS has been made to suit Storch's needs from front to back, including the numbers that he prefers. This means a shorter rear-end by way of custom chainstays and seatstays, and a front-end that has been cleaned up of superfluous cable guides that he doesn't need.
And to allow Carson to drop his seat to where it needs to be, engineers at Rocky have also completely eliminated the mast that would usually protrude high above the seat tube.
So, when will you be able to pick up your own Funderbolt? Sometime between never and no way, according to Rocky Mountain. While the bike pictured here is the second version that they've made for Carson, they have no plans to take it to production. Sad face. A modified rear-end and Suntour shock provide 100mm of very stiff suspension travel. The bike's rear-end has been shortened up compared to the stock Thunderbolt. Who needs a shifter when you have a screwdriver? Carson simply adjusts the limit screws on his multi-speed single-speed to select the best gear for the course. He's also gone with a Trixer hydraulic-gyro rather than having an extra-long brake line.