Lightning Thunderbolt

Note: We discontinued the Thunderbolt in 2004. It has been replaced by the Phantom.

“The Thunderbolt has the most comfortable seat I’ve tried” — Bill Volk

Lightning Thunderbolt

The Fastest Recumbent under $1400* (way under)

NEW MODEL! Thunderbolt A-10: 8-Speed Road Performance

Below, an A-10 summits
a long 13% grade with a
60 pound load during a
European tour.
Tim touring on a Thunderbolt in Europe

Word is out on the Lightning Thunderbolt. Faster, better performing, and more comfortable than other recumbent brands costing up to twice as much! What makes a recumbent fast is a combination of frame stiffness, geometry and carefully-chosen components and Thunderbolt has it all. The design of the bike makes it faster than other bikes, even those that weigh less and cost much more!

The Lightning Thunderbolt represents a breakthrough in recumbent value! For under $1,000, the Thunderbolt has a perfect balance of unsurpassed comfort, speed, climbing ability, strength, safety, and versatility. This great price to performance/comfort ratio was achieved by combining Record Setting Lightning design features with clever engineering, a simplified frame/seat design, and thoughtful components selection.

For recreational or casual riders, the Thunderbolt may be just the ticket to miles of recumbent fun! The Thunderbolt A-10 brings an 8-speed road power train for the fastest bent anywhere near its price!

The Thunderbolt is designed to be easy to ride. With a seat two inches higher (compared to the Phantom and P-38), and a wheelbase 2 inches shorter, it has more of a traditional bicycle feel, and is a quick learn. For areas with rougher roads or for those riders who want a more cushioned ride, the Thunderbolt is available with a front or dual suspension for just over a thousand dollars. An amazing value!

“This is truly a comfortable ride with very little effort to maintain a cruising speed. I find it very difficult to find a reason to ride my uprights. I’m really pleased with this bike.” — Jim Murphy, Cincinnati, OH

“The A-10 is GREAT! I’ve ridden it around my neighborhood for about a week to get the feeling of it before going on the road. I finally took it out this past Saturday for a 20 miler and it was great. I felt better on it than I ever did on my regular road bike. No soreness at all. I think I could have gone 40-50 miles with no problem. I had to raise the handle bar some and also I lengthened the boom to adjust to my leg length. I’ve gotten several favorable remarks from friends and strangers. Thanks again for your help. I may be in the market for a fairing in the near future.”


“This is truly a comfortable ride with very little effort to maintain a cruising speed. I find it very difficult to find a reason to ride my uprights. I’m really pleased with this bike.” — Jim Murphy, Cincinnati, OH

A-10 with dual suspension ready for the road or trail!
Lightning Thunderbolt A-10 with dual suspension


  • The same patent-pending Ergofit seat shape as on other Lightning recumbents, but with a simpler to manufacture frame and mesh seat.
  • Functional, reliable components, including Shimano rear derailleur, Grip Shift shifters, alloy rims, high pressure tires, and V-brakes
  • Exclusive Lightning Tilt Steering included as standard equipment on both models.
  • Optional Quick Size Kit with new chain take-up and quick release boom and steering adjustments lets you quickly resize the bike for multiple riders, and lets you use all gears without adjusting chain length.
  • Built in California


Model Thunderbolt Thunderbolt A-10
SIZES Small/Medium Small/Medium
5′ to 5′10″(S/M)
RIDER WEIGHT LIMIT 200 lbs. (S/M) 200 lbs. (S/M)
POWDERCOAT COLORS See Full Color Chart Azure Blue, Yellow (S/M)
Azure Blue, Yellow (S/M)
WEIGHT 30 pounds 28 pounds
WHEELBASE 40 inches 40 inches
OVERALL LENGTH 61 inches 61 tinches
SEAT HEIGHT 21 inches 21 inches
SEAT BACK ANGLE 50 to 65 degrees 50 to 65 degrees
FRAME TIG Welded Multigauge CrMo TIG Welded Multigauge CrMo
FORK Tapered CrMo Unicrown Tapered CrMo Unicrown
SEAT Lightning Ergofit
Clamped Aluminum Frame
Lightning Ergofit
Clamped Aluminum Frame
STEM Lockdown Tilt Steering Lockdown Tilt Steering
HANDLEBARS Aluminum, 30 degree bend Aluminum, 30 degree bend
GEAR RANGE 24 to 114 inches 25 to 120 inches
BRAKES Custom LCD LH pull V-Brake Custom LCD LH pull V-Brake
BRAKE LEVERS Tektro RBP 377A Tektro RBP 377A
BOTTOM BRACKET CH-47 Sealed Bearing Shimano Deore Cartridge
CRANKSET Cyclone AL-337: Alloy Arms
28x38x48 SQS Rings
Cyclone CFM: Alloy SQS rings, 30x42x52
CASSETTE Suntour 11 to 30, 7 speed Shimano Alivio 11 to 30, 8 speed
FRONT DERAILLEUR Epoch M811S Shimano Sora
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Acera Shimano Alivio
HEADSET DiaTech SBN Threadless DiaTech SBN Threadless
HUBS Shimano Acera Shimano Alivio
PEDALS Platform Type Platform Type
SHIFTER Grip Shift MRX Grip Shift Centera
FRONT RIM, 16X1-3/8 Sun M17 Alloy, 36 spoke Sun M17 Alloy, 36 spoke
FRONT TIRE 16x1-3/8 Raleigh, 37-349 100psi Primo Comet, 37-349 100psi
REAR RIM Weinmann Alloy 26x1.5, 36 spoke Weinmann Alloy 26x1.5, 36 spoke
REAR TIRE IRC Metro 37-559 100 psi Primo Racer 32-559 100 psi
Suspended Fork Ballistic 600A (adds 2 lbs.)
Rear Suspension Shockster RS3.5 (adds 3 lbs)
Quick Size Kit Let’s you adjust bike fit with no tools and without changing the chain length. See Accessories page for details.


Description MSRP
Thunderbolt $800
Thunderbolt A-10 $1,000
Suspended Fork option, add $100
Rear Suspension option, add $200
Custom color (see color chart), add $90

(Note: this bike was not available as a frameset.)