Prime Bicycles is here with the Thunderflash enduro & Rocket DH – two all-new carbon mountain bikes promising boutique gravity bike performance at a fraction of the price of competitors.
Certainly not trying for an entry-level price point, Prime leverages decades of gravity racing experience combined with suspension fine-tuned by one of the most respected design teams in the industry and high-quality carbon production to create top-performance bikes that simply are more attainable for many mountain bikers.
Prime carbon mountain bikes deliver more bang for your buck
Here, we’ll focus on the bikes. Check out the full brand development story to see how Prime rose from the ashes of the Gravity Group UCI World Cup DH team run by Piotr Siulczynski, their design cooperation with Cesar Rojo’s Cero Design Studio, and how Prime’s super-adjustable alloy test mules dialed in the “perfect” geometry for riding and racing on 29″ wheels. Now, bikes…
2021 Prime Rocket carbon downhill mountain bike
The downhill Rocket was the teased in early 2020, which made sense considering their UCI DH World Cup background. It gets a massive 195mm of rear wheel travel paired with 200mm 29er downhill forks.
Prime’s bikes are built around their S.H.R.E.D. Dynamics short-link four-bar suspension & geometry concept, designed specifically for gravity-ready bikes that work just as well for weekend sessions as ranked races.
The Rocket is meant to be a versatile DH bike, stable at high speed but maneuverable in more low-speed technical riding even with the large 29″ wheels.
Prime says SHRED does that by keeping rider weight on the front wheel for control without understeer, and a longer rear end for a balanced position “in” the bike.
Rocket DH tech details
Prime put a lot of attention to detail in their unified angular design language (a single profile line that traces from the seatpost to the headtube, snaking to the rear dropout, and back to the BB). On top of that, subtle fade paint jobs each get one-of-a-kind hand-painted mud splatter dots that might be there to remind you to go for a mountain bike ride, but certainly make your bike unique.
The “VIP Composites” carbon Rocket downhill frame is made in China, by a well-established carbon factory that contract manufactures top-tier “boutique full-suspension downhill and enduro” mountain bikes for several, more-expensive “name brand” bike companies.
Prime obviously can’t share what other brands share their assembly line, but probably half of the premium mountain bikes at this price level or above are made in Chinese factories like this, while most of the other half are produced in similar Taiwanese factories. Prime says the Rocket DH frameset weighs 3,200g, for a Medium painted frame with all its hardware before a rear shock is mounted.
The downhill bike features integrated downtube/bottom bash guard protection, plus 2-piece wraparound chainstay & seatstay chainslap guards. The bike gets a tapered 1.5″ internal headset, internal cable routing, threaded BSA bottom bracket, ISCG tabs, Boost DH 157 spacing, post mount 203mm rear brake, and its own proprietary aero seatpost.
Prime Rocket pricing, options & availability
The Rocket will be sold as a frameset from 3500€, or complete bike builds from 5300€. Complete bikes are available to order now, beginning to ship out direct to buyers in the coming weeks (May 2021), and framesets available in 2022.
That 5299€ Prime Rocket C complete bike gets a Fox 40 Performance fork, X2 Performance air shock, SRAM GX DH group & Code RSC brakes, Renthal cockpit, and DT Swiss FR1950 wheels.
Complete bike upgrades go to Fox Factory suspension with coil rear shocks, SRAM mechanical DH drivetrains, and the possibility for ENVE carbon wheels up to a price tag of 8500€.
2021 Prime Thunderflash carbon enduro mountain bike
The Thunderflash enduro bike is likely to appeal to a larger audience, those of us that don’t always have an uplift out the back door.
The long 29er gets 165mm rear wheel travel paired with 170mm forks, built to go down fast but still be able to pedal back to the top.
Like the DH bike, the Thunderflash is all carbon – front & rear triangles and both upper & lower links – rotating on sealed Enduro Max bearings, doubled-up on the high-stress driveside for smoother suspension, greater stiffness & longer life.
Suspension is also the S.H.R.E.D. Dynamics concept of balanced 29er geometry built to go fast & stable with a forward weight distribution for traction & control.
And its refined enduro geometry is suitably capable for any technical riding – long, low & slack with a 450-505mm reaches, 64° head angle, 77° effective seat angle, and 445mm chainstays.
Thunderflash EN tech details
The “VIP Composites” carbon Thunderflash enduro frame is made in the same Chinese as the DH bike and has a claimed painted frame weight of 2,900g (M) with all hardware but without a rear shock.
The enduro bike features built-in protection front to back, including a downtube fork bumper that integrates ports into the full-length guided internal routing, a big downtube/BB bash guard, quieting wraparound rubber chainstay protector, seatstay slap guard, and rear shock fender.
The bike has a tapered 1.5″ internal headset, threaded BSA bottom bracket, Boost 148 spacing, post mount 180mm rear brake, and 31.8mm seatpost.
There’s even room for a full-size water bottle in every Thunderflash frame.
Prime Thunderflash pricing, options & availability
The Thunderflash is also being offered as a frameset from 3500€, or complete bike builds starting at 5000€. Complete bikes are available starting May 2021, with framesets coming in 2022.
That 4999€ Prime Thunderflash C build includes a Fox 38 Performance Elite fork, X2 Performance shock, SRAM GX Eagle groupset & Code R brakes, a Renthal cockpit, BikeYoke Divine dropper & DT Swiss EX1700 wheels – totally a killer ‘entry’ build.
Every build above that goes with Fox Factory 38/DHX2 coil suspension, and mechanical or wireless AXS electronic Eagle groups, with ENVE carbon wheel options that top out at 9000€ for the RSX with every upgrade possible.
Prime carbon mountain bikes for life
Prime knows they are a new brand, but they’ve built bikes that they stand behind and want you to trust. Every frame gets a Lifetime Warranty, so the original owner never has to worry about possible defects. Their ‘aero’ post on the DH bike also comes with a 5-year no-questions-asked replacement policy – jump it off a cliff, crash it into a wall (or your garage) and they’ll send you a new one for free.
They also have a crash replacement program. Gravity bikes do get crashed hard and mangle up sometimes (probably more often than others). Beyond regular use breakage that could only have been a manufacturing failure, if you break the bike in the first 5 years by running it over it with your truck or wrapping it around a rock at the bottom of a cliff, Prime will sell you a replacement for 50% off to get you riding again. Once you heal, that is.
We’re working on a test ride in the mountains on the Czech-Polish border as soon as possible, look for a full review this summer.