2019 Alloy Thunderbolt 50- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2019 Alloy Thunderbolt 50

    The 2019 alloy Thunderbolt 50 looks absolutely stunning in purple. But Iím trying to process a few Qís with my head, and not my heart.

    1. Is 27.5 worth a big investment at this point? I feel the market is shifting towards 29. Thatís purely based on recreational YouTube vids.

    2. Can 29Ē wheels be used on the Thunderbolt?

    3. Is the value there at approximately $3,350USD? Just seems a bit expensive for aluminum.

    4. Is it known if the bottom bracket heights were raised for 2019?

    5. Iím also looking at the 2019 Specialized Epic Evo in aluminum. A bit less expensive and less travel, but also checks most of my boxes (including 29Ē wheels)

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    The T-bolt is a 27.5" bike only, the Instinct and Pipeline are the bikes that can switch between 27.5"+ and 29". If you're leaning toward a 29" bike, just make the leap to an Instinct.
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  3. #3
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    I will second that thought, if you are torn between the two wheel sizes make the step up to the Instinct Alloy 50 BC edition, that Brown and yellow looks sweet!

    And take the time to compair the componets between the Instinct and the Evo, Im betting the Rocky comes out ahead with better componets.
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  4. #4
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    The wheel size isnít the only difference between the Thunderbolt and Instinct, right? The Instinct is heavier, burlier, slacker and has longer travel. Itís intended for a bit more aggressive trail riding?

    My local trails are primarily tight, twisty, tree-filled, rooty single track. Thereís a sprinkling of ascending and descending in there as well. I feel the Thunderbolt is an optimal bike for 85% of my riding. But Iím just hung up on investing in a wheel size which seems to be getting phased out of the market.

    Maybe itís all marketing, but the hype machine is high on 29ers at the moment.

  5. #5
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    The Instinct is only slightly slacker 67deg HA at the steepest, 66.5deg at the neutral setting, versus the Tbolt at 67.6 deg at the steepest and 67deg in the neutral position, but that's mostly to accommodate the larger wheels. The Instinct is just 10mm more travel front and rear (140mm vs 130mm on the Thunderbolt).

    The Thunderbolt will be more nimble in tight and twisty trails than the Instinct as the wheelbase is shorter.

    If you're after a pure XC bike then the Element A50 at 100R/120F and 29" wheels is maybe the best choice.

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  6. #6
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    27.5 wheels will be around for some time. A lot is preference.

    Like others have said, the Element is a closer comparable bike to the Epic Evo.

    Have you ridden any of these bikes? My friend was set on a 29er and then demo'd a 29er and a 27.5. He preferred the 27.5 and bought the bike the same day.

  7. #7
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    Currently waiting on my 2019 C50 Element to arrive at the shop.
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  8. #8
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    Fair point on the Element more closely resembling the Epic Evo. If I decide the 29 is the route to take, then I will surely need to consider the Element.

    I have never demoíd the Thunderbolt, Element or Epic Evo. I tried demoíing a Thunderbolt a few months ago but was shut out.

    @Dale please let us know your impressions of the Element C50 after you get a chance to break it in a bit.

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