Video: Andreas Hestler Talks Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

Mar 30, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
Views: 34,240    Faves: 88    Comments: 2


"Dre" has a long pedigree of winning at the highest levels of XC racing. These days he's still smashing the pedals, but he's also enjoying the modern diversity of trails and definitely hammers on the descents. It's clear that lightweight, playful 120mm bikes are right in his wheelhouse.

bigquotesWe've had a really mild winter up here in the Pacific Northwest, and I've been loving my Thunderbolt out in the slop. It's snappy as hell and I'm excited to put it through its paces all year. - Andreas Hestler

bikes.com/thunderbolt



MENTIONS: @RockyMountainBicycles



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64 Comments

  • 43 2
 Dear Andreas... put your seat down, and quit making me look like a bitch.
  • 14 19
flag shirk-007 (Mar 30, 2015 at 11:08) (Below Threshold)
 Uh his seat is down form his normal climbing height. Not everyone needs to slam their seat to their ankles to descent.
  • 26 0
 any video that can make climbing look fun means the editors did a bang-up job.
  • 5 1
 Hey mannn, its all about personal preferences mannn. Peace and love, peace and love.
  • 7 1
 World Cup XC racer don't care about your dropper or dropping you
  • 15 0
 "i don't often roost, but when I do, I roost uphill"
  • 13 0
 thunderbolts the perfect uk bike.
  • 10 0
 I love these slack 120mm bikes, perfect for most average riders on 85%+ of the terrain we have in the UK
  • 2 0
 I never thought I'd be saying this after rising a spicy for the last two years but I am now the proud owner of a whyte t129 scr works. Slack short travel and bags of fun. Oh and the thing is rapid. I lose out when things get silly steep but generally it will take anything you throw at it.
  • 4 0
 perfect for most riders was what you mean, most riders are over biked.
  • 5 1
 Most riders in the uk are well over biked. Unless you're tackling Dh tracks at the weekend. 160mm 65 degrees is totally unnecessary
  • 5 0
 I feel honoured to have met him numerous times and can say he is the real deal on or off a bike. He is definitely one of the smoothest riders I have seen and it makes me want a Rocky again. My 1999 Reaper needs to be retired.
  • 2 0
 I rode the top end alumnium version for a 17 km loop in Canmore last summer and I found I liked it alot. I had a kona process 111 which was a very fun bike but it was a tank and more geared towards the down. The Thunderbolt was much more balanced in this respect, a true trail bike and I would be totally happy with an alum version. Unfortunaltly, the shop that I work at doesn't sell Rocky so I am "settliing" (sarcam) on a Giant Anthem SX
  • 5 0
 This video is perfect! It's nice to actually see some climbing and a 'normal' trail.
  • 3 0
 Damn....my dream trail. Roots, wet, tacky dirt...perfect temperature to mtn bike. And stuff that I can actually ride aggressive without falling flat on my face. : )
  • 1 0
 Those roots are not tacky, trust me. Those trails in the vid are fun tho...
  • 10 0
 You have good taste. I am sick of this dumming down of trails with this 'flow' shit of one berm and tabletop after another - this trail takes commitment and skill to get through it quickly. In a race it would sort out the nuts from the grapes real quick.
  • 4 0
 Does this mean video reviews with trail riding in them?
  • 4 3
 Lusted for the original T-Bolt way back when(about 1990?)...could only afford the Hammer. Still looks that way. Top model at $11,500...wowzers. Carbon and goldylocks coatings and lots of tiny switches sure do add up eh? haha
  • 2 1
 It's the Di2 system that bumps up the price of the top level model. If you look at the next level down (non di2), it's a bit more reasonable.
  • 1 0
 My BC edition should be arriving in two weeks!

Though how did Andreas get a Float X to fit the frame? I thought they decided not to use a Monarch Plus or Float X because they didnt fit?
  • 1 0
 You can fit float x...just no water bottle with the Piggy Back Air Shock
  • 1 0
 Ohhhhhh got it! Thanks!
  • 1 0
 In the video he's got both the piggy back and a water bottle...
  • 1 0
 Right you are. it's a bit of a short bottle. I know I can't fit a 21oz bottle in my RMB Instinct with Float X.
  • 3 0
 But is the BB actually high enough to allow you to pedal through technical sections, unlike my Element MSL?
  • 2 0
 Bible of bikes give this very good rateing tho they say the pivet bushing system can be a handful
  • 3 1
 I've worked on their pivots, it's not a big deal.
  • 4 1
 But these are a new kind . Check the bible of bikes vid . The micanic who has worked of bikes he's full life says its a pain in the arss . I like to do all my own fixing so could be a pain for me. Ive looked at a lot of shorter travel bike ENDURO mainly but this thunderbolt I may of over looked sounds spot on for UK trails if your a xc /trail/agressive rider . Tho with a lot of these short travel bikes they can often be such fun and flickerble and can leed you to progress to bigger things then more often than not you find yourself wanting more travel . But as bible of bikes said it look the bigger hits just as well . All in all im likeing this bike a lot
  • 4 2
 The pivots on this new Thunderbolt have been improved specifically with ease of servicability in mind, you can assemble the whole rear suspension with barely more than 1 hand now, and take each piece apart individually and separate of each other!
  • 3 1
 Man, wish I could afford this. Thunderbolt + Slayer and I would be set for quite awhile =)
  • 1 0
 This, or an HD3.... This, or an HD3... AAAARGH! My brain is going to explode.
  • 3 0
 The Thunderbolt is a bit more light duty, the Altitude is a closer comparison to the HD3
  • 1 0
 ^ Exactly. The 'bolt is more of a trail bike compared to the AM focused HD3.
  • 1 0
 $11500 trail bike just what everyone needs.
  • 2 1
 **$11500: That's just the Di2 system talking.
  • 1 0
 It's now become a bit more complex. HD3 or Warden. Leaning the way of the Warden.
  • 2 0
 Rider, trail, video - all top-notch! Thank you.
  • 1 1
 One of my favourite bikes to ride! My dad has the 750 model and I can not believe how lively this thing is!!
  • 2 2
 Now if they just make the 2015 frame-only option in a good paint scheme I'm all set.
  • 1 0
 51s-54s.... its a goddamn DreQuake. Sick Fighter.
  • 1 1
 This is our guy, buddy is Canadian , I can say he is my friend! : South Park eh
  • 2 0
 Darude - Sandstorm
  • 2 1
 Justin Bieber's ex-girlfriend remixed with robots discussing The Last Question by Issac Asimov.
  • 6 8
 Really nice bike, but i will just go get a 3k Downhiller, 3k Allmountain/Enduro, 3k Racehardtail for the same price and be the happiest guy in the world
  • 2 0
 do you take 3 bikes on a tour?
  • 2 1
 Huh? There are versions of the Tbolt for as little as $2k.
  • 4 0
 Chainzuck, just spend 5k on an allmountain/enduro and spend the rest on a holiday to New Zealand.
  • 1 0
 I want that bike!
  • 1 1
 Edited: Messed up posting a reply... oops...
  • 1 1
 We love this kind of mountainbiking! thanks Andreas
  • 1 1
 Bike looks perfect. Trail unreal.
  • 1 1
 It's amazing-fruit!!
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