Carson Storch's Prototype Rocky Mountain - Crankworx Whistler 2016

Aug 14, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016


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.
Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016

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.


Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016
A modified rear-end and Suntour shock provide 100mm of very stiff suspension travel.


Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016
Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016
The bike's rear-end has been shortened up compared to the stock Thunderbolt.


Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016
Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016
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.


Storch s ride Whistler Crankworx 2016



62 Comments

  • 91 7
 "no plans to take it to production." So whats the point of sponsoring the rider to ride something you don't make? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!
  • 39 1
 How is it a prototype if it's a one off bike that will never see production? More like a finished one off bike then a prototype. I thought prototypes were made for testing than refine to a finished product? I could be wrong though that's not uncommon lol
  • 7 0
 Mmmmm...crazy pills! Good for Monday's .
  • 6 0
 They are gathering the demand information now. Look at Ticket S.
  • 12 2
 @chyu: That's a good call, I hope so. Companies don't realize how versatile a bike like this can be. Combine a slope bike with enough seat tube, a dropper post with a qr, and full rear gear range, and you have a bike that can be trail ridden out to your jumps in the woods, or do laps on a flow trail.

I've built up several slope/4x bikes for that purpose, most recently a Pivot M4X (which I'm selling right now unfortunately) and it's awesome. Comfortably climb to the top of the jump trail, telescope the dropper all the way down to the frame with the qr, and get sideways all the way down. Raise the post, climb back up and repeat.

I look at trail bikes and I always wish that seat mast was gone. A medium frame could easily have a "14 seat tube instead of a "18, a large could have a "16, and so on. I understand why they don't, though. For one thing most people wouldn't understand the sizing. It would make selling to more casual riders difficult, explaining reach and effective top tube. They would just think low=small. The frames would also have a much smaller range of seatpost/tube overlap. There would be a lot more idiots breaking their frames. I think the way to do it would be integrated droppers built into the frame that have an adjustable upper limit setting. We could have 200mm travel droppers, no seatpost clamps, and super low & strong trail bikes that we could ride 30 miles and then do no foot cans on.
  • 23 0
 @mecabeat @mhoshal we're fired up on what Carson does and are excited to see him ride. We also learn lots from developing bikes like this that can be applied to other bikes.
  • 8 2
 @RockyMountainBicycles: I get that. I just think you should make that frame, and market it as more than just a slope-capable bike.
  • 7 0
 @mecabeat: You hit on a lot of the same points I've been saying for a while. 650b all-mountain bikes are the nouveau bread & butter of the industry, and I don't fault companies for it. The majority of the market only has access to basic to intermediate trail networks, so the bike they'll get the most out of is something they can ride from their front door.

When we look at bikes like these in context (literally) of a slope style competition, it's easy to say 'sad face' when it's followed by the 'no plans of production', but why would they? It's a very specific thing to need a full-suspension, 100mm travel slope bike. Most kids and kids-at-heart have backyard dirt jumps where a hard-tail is more than enough, not buffed, big slope courses like Crankworx. Hell, the Specialized P-slope went out of production and no one even noticed. Trek producing the Ticket in a frame-only was a good move because they have the top two biggest names in slope style plus the new monster marketing addition of Drew Bizansen all aboard the bike.

What I think you're saying @mecabeat is that sometimes companies throw the baby out with the bath water. While we don't have giant slope courses, we do have lift-access bike parks. I always have a difficult time watching videos of the Coastal Bike Park being ridden on Santa Cruz V10s. Granted, a 100mm twitchy slope bike isn't much better. But what about a 150mm, low, 26" bike? Basically, a BMX for the mountains. It's why I bought a Scott Voltage FR frame, and it's been a sad thing watching the 27.5" trend decimate all things good about the small 26" wheel. There is oodles of versitility that apply to real people in the real world and the real places they ride their bikes. Not wind-swept single-track in magazines.
  • 2 1
 nice bike
  • 7 0
 @mecabeat: "enough seat tube, a dropper post with a qr, and full rear gear range, and you have a bike that can be trail ridden out to your jumps in the woods, or do laps on a flow trail." ...You are literally describing the stock, fully production Thunderbolt. Go buy one.
  • 3 0
 @cwatt: P slope is not out of production, they literally just released the 2017 models like a week ago. Slope bikes are almost seen as a little bonus bike to have fun on, but their potential is very real.
  • 3 0
 @ninjatarian: 18" seat tube in medium. That is not what I'm describing. I'm talking about a dirt jump bike that can climb. 14" max seat tube height for me at 5'9". This kind of setup is only available as a custom build. My M4X is the best I've ridden yet, but very expensive. Before that I had a Transition Double that was great but heavy and had less suspension performance. Before that is was many years of hardtails; Jackal, Staats, NS, all the way back to the Boss 26" BMX that I put a Marzocchi Z1 Bomber on in 1998.

So I'm talking about a climbable bike that can be seriously thrown down on as well, preferably with 26" wheels. There are not many frames out there like that. This is a thing that people want, though. The owner of BLKMRKT had a Killswitch built up this way. One employee of Pivot has a similar M4X build. I think at least a couple people at Transition had Doubles that could get into the backwoods.

I think more of these frames could be sold if these other build options were showcased. Some people can only afford to have one high quality full suspension bike at a time. If you want a jump/slope bike and a trail bike, but can only afford one, there you go, set one of these up for both. But I've never seen this idea advertised. It could also be a great way to put all the old 26" parts that are laying around to use.

The other thing I said about regular trail bikes changing to shorter seat tube lengths per frame size is a separate issue that I think would make just trail riding more fun. Think about huge bunnyhops with the seat low like a trials bike. Boosting over rough sections in a tuck air with the seat completely out of the way. The Thunderbolt would be cooler with a even a 2" lower seat tube, but for the reasons mentioned above, plus the fact that the seat tube would either need to be reinforced somehow, or be a larger diameter, it probably won't happen anytime soon.
  • 1 0
 @cwatt: I use p.slope to ride everything locally, from small and medium dirt jumps to freeride (aline like) trails. Nothing better. Ofcourse, you can jump on super smooth aline like trails on 200mm dh bike, or latest 650b enduro...
  • 1 0
 to advertise the company. They don't have to offer that bike in itself to the public in order to show off their brand
  • 1 0
 @malumstreet: Exactly. The fact that their "XC / Trail" bike can withstand the beating a Slopestyle contests speaks volumes about the quality of their product. Certainly makes me feel confident that anything I'm going to do to the bike won't over-tax it.
  • 1 0
 @RockyMountainBicycles: thanks for your dedication to the sport, and rad riders like Carson!
  • 12 1
 Using the limit screws to make single speed is a bad idea, as they tend to bend when screwed all the way in. It's fine for limiting the inward movement,but not for the outward (against the spring). A far better way, is to take a piece of shift wire, put it straight in the adjustment screw and fasten it in the gear you want. adjustment up and down a gear is easily done by turning the adjustment, anything more, just loosen the hex, reset and fasten. Microadjust with adjustment screw. No bent limit screws and less hassle with small screws.
  • 4 1
 I take it you've never squished a wire or broken a strand or two ...
  • 4 0
 @schofell84: Leave enough wire to do all adjustments. Put a spoke nipple on the end and squish it twice with some pliers.
  • 5 0
 Your right except modern derailleurs don't have barrel adjusters, gotta go old school for that!
  • 2 0
 @nitronorth: What's wrong with old school?
  • 1 0
 We used to do this when riding trials back in the early 00's before single speed tensioners and spacers were available. Cut up 2 cheap cassettes and make a single speed kit out of the spacers and a sprocket then use an old road mech to tension the chain.
  • 14 0
 ok and the new slayer?
  • 2 0
 thuderbolt ss?
  • 4 0
 @FrankLeung: nah it look like Rocky Mountain got a new slayer bike for enduro and it look sick!!! check out vitalmtb or wait for some news on pinbike
  • 1 0
 @Daddybear: correct!!!!!!!!!it looks siiiiick too!
  • 3 6
 it looks like a shrunk maiden
  • 6 4
 @nug12182: I think you need your eyes checked because it looks nothing like the maiden other than the color.
  • 4 0
 @mhoshal: they aren't talking about this bike. Rocky has a new slayer enduro bike in yellow that has been spotted in whistler that looks like a 170mm travel maiden....
  • 2 1
 Got mine ordered already, it's pretty damn cool. Boost, metric, bearings... but carbon only
  • 1 0
 I saw it in the pits close up and it looks so dope, they're not saying anything though and they won't let you take pics they took some guys phone and made him delete the photo
  • 2 0
 @mhoshal: no....your wrong
  • 1 0
 @sickdj17: oh thanks for the heads up I must see this new slayer now!!! Lol
  • 1 0
 @nug12182:Sorry thought you were talking about this bike dude my bad!!!
  • 1 0
 and the new slayer gonna cost crap lot of money....
like 4799€ for the Slayer Msl 730... sorry, Rocky Mountain Bikes, you guys are nuts!
  • 8 3
 Cool bike, would look a little nicer if the top tube came down a little further 2-3 inches to line up more with the rear triangle.

Also, sort of related: I know lots of riders do the tire-tube crankstops on slope bikes, do people do this on their downhill bikes if they're freeriders (for tricks like supermans, can cans, etc)
  • 2 1
 I guess they can if they want. My friend used to do cancans fine, and crank flips, which might be limited by that. I think it's all just personal preference. It seems like slopestyle riders have gone communist with their tricks for the most part, opting for tailwhips, and barspins a lot I guess just for maximum points, which makes sense.
  • 5 2
 Being that the shock is mounted to the underside of the top tube they'll never be lined up.
  • 1 1
 @h-beck83: "line up more" Not perfectly lined up, but a little tucked together would look nice
  • 1 0
 What is a tire-tube crankstop? The closest thing to a can can I've done on my bike is a nac (a very shitty looking one I should say) but does a tire tube crankstop help with those kinds of tricks?
  • 1 0
 @dropoffsticks: From what I understand they're meant to provide friction on the rotation of the cranks, so the pedals don't end up in some crazy position after you've done a bunch of tailwhips or something, and you have to land back on them.
  • 4 1
 these bikes made from "unobtainium" need to be banned. some rules need to be imposed like the uci does to the roadies: production frame only! this way we'll be able to get nice bikes that don't make it to the trails otherwise.
  • 6 0
 Carson Rips!!
  • 4 2
 The Thunderbolt has 27.5" wheels. There's no mention of wheelsize in the article. Is this guy riding slopestyle with 27.5 or has the bike been modified to accept 26' wheels?
  • 11 0
 29er for sure.
  • 1 0
 26" wheels.. for a ~395mm CS length
  • 2 1
 This bike would be sick for dirt jumping and slope style.
If Rocky went into production with this bike the cred the company would recieve would help the companies image.
How bout a limited run of 200 bikes with a rad paint job and each frame numbered.?
  • 3 0
 My dad has a thunderbolt.... Maybe when he decides to get a new bike i'll just make it a 650b dirt jumper Smile lol
  • 2 0
 dear brands, it would be very nice to make a proper system to brake our cranks rather than using rubber diy solutions...
  • 1 0
 Transition did make something some years back...
  • 4 0
 Step One: remove cranks. Step Two:Remove all grease from assembly. Step Three: Spoon in two tablespoons of beach sand. Step Four: re-assemble! Step Five: Enjoy delightful whips stress free!!!
  • 1 0
 Pretty cool. It's funny, but practical he uses the limit screws to change gears. Also the bike is a great colour.
  • 1 0
 Lets see something on the new slayer that was spotted. That thing looked sick.
  • 1 0
 Dam they need to. Make this frame in to production. I love the way the bike looks and it probley rides like a dream.
  • 1 0
 Slope bikes can also double as an older kids bike, my 11 year old son now rides my NS Bike Soda Slope as a DH bike.
  • 1 0
 I remember this bike from a another article. I love it.
  • 1 0
 Ditch the derailleur, that's just welfare.
  • 1 1
 i have something else called the funderbolt....
  • 1 0
 Thats a tight bike!

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.027114
Mobile Version of Website