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  1. #1
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    My Dream Bike...18 years later

    Back when I was a starving student, the bike I wanted and could not afford was a Rocky Mountain Blizzard. I have never owned one...until now.

    A colleague at work told me today that he had a 1994 Blizzard that he has not ridden in years and no longer has space for. He told me that it "needed some love" but that it was mine if I wanted it. And as I never owned one, I am going to take him up on this offer.

    The plan is to restore this cutting edge piece of mid 1990s mountain biking techology. I am not the greatest bike mechanic but what better way to learn? Pictures of Project Blizzard to hopefull follow (assuming my work colleague has not come to his senses...). Stay tuned...
    Strava made me do it....

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Back when I was a starving student, the bike I wanted and could not afford was a Rocky Mountain Blizzard. I have never owned one...until now.

    A colleague at work told me today that he had a 1994 Blizzard that he has not ridden in years and no longer has space for. He told me that it "needed some love" but that it was mine if I wanted it. And as I never owned one, I am going to take him up on this offer.

    The plan is to restore this cutting edge piece of mid 1990s mountain biking techology. I am not the greatest bike mechanic but what better way to learn? Pictures of Project Blizzard to hopefull follow (assuming my work colleague has not come to his senses...). Stay tuned...
    That was my first love to. There is a Hamiltonian on here, by the handle Bagpipes, who is the master of all thing Blizzard. He may, or may not, still frequent mtbr.

    Good on ya, Unglued. Good on ya.
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  3. #3
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    1994?! Holy crap, that's old! I still have my 1997. It's my winter bike.
    Have fun if you get it. Looking forward to seeing it.

    Edit: Hey, I had a 1994 and it was stolen. It should be sorta grey with a rigid fork. Mine had a one piece bar with bar-ends. I loved that bar.

  4. #4
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    I love stories like these. Please post pics!!

  5. #5
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    My Rocky Mountain Blizzard was stolen around 1994... I always thought it ended up in Igor's chop shop. What colour is your "new" Blizzard?
    F*ck Cancer

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  6. #6
    I dd what you see there.
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    Good for you. Have fun with it!

    My dream bike from back then was a Mountain Cycle San Andreas.
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by XLNC View Post
    My dream bike from back then was a Mountain Cycle San Andreas.
    I had a 1992 San Andreas with the rubber buggy baby bumper suspension with 1.5" of travel and the Suspenders inverted elastomer fork. It garnered a lot of attention in those days, and it did smooth out trails in a sproingy sort of fashion. It also sounded like a skate sharpener on Caterpillar tracks on the trail as the floating discs rubbed all the time and the monocoque frame amplified chain noise and everything else. But just about any FS bike I've owned with real shocks and forks actually rode much better.

    A 1994 Blizzard would actually be a better buy than a San Andreas that old.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Dream Bike...18 years later-sanandreas1.jpg  

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  8. #8
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    Nice!

    My dream bike from back then was a Yeti ARC. I sublimated that desire years later by getting an ARC-X.

    I still have my '97 dream bike, a Trek 9800 OCLV. It's mostly retired now but I still love it!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    My Rocky Mountain Blizzard was stolen around 1994... I always thought it ended up in Igor's chop shop. What colour is your "new" Blizzard?
    cyclicious, I haven't seen the bike yet but as I am getting it from a guy who is over six feet tall, I would be surprised if it was your old bike. Of course, if it is, I will be happy to reunite the two of you...
    Strava made me do it....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    cyclicious, I haven't seen the bike yet but as I am getting it from a guy who is over six feet tall, I would be surprised if it was your old bike. Of course, if it is, I will be happy to reunite the two of you...
    I had my hopes up for a reunion... but the odds are pretty slim
    F*ck Cancer

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  11. #11
    I dd what you see there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill View Post
    I had a 1992 San Andreas with the rubber buggy baby bumper suspension with 1.5" of travel and the Suspenders inverted elastomer fork. It garnered a lot of attention in those days, and it did smooth out trails in a sproingy sort of fashion. It also sounded like a skate sharpener on Caterpillar tracks on the trail as the floating discs rubbed all the time and the monocoque frame amplified chain noise and everything else. But just about any FS bike I've owned with real shocks and forks actually rode much better.
    Sounds like it would still have been better than my CCM Excel from the time.
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by XLNC View Post
    Sounds like it would still have been better than my CCM Excel from the time.
    Surprisingly it only weighed 30 pounds which was the same as my 1988 Mongoose rigid steel MTB.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  13. #13
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    If we're going to turn this into a throw back lovefest, I'll show my cards.

    Although not quite of the same vintage (this was more 97-98) I always had a thing for that Cannondale P3000. You know the one. Team issue blue. Yellow accents including a yellow accordion cover over the headshok. All decked out in XTR.

    When I was an undergraduate in Ottawa, a guy came riding by me in Gatineau park on exactly that bike and I ... well... you know...

  14. #14
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    My Dream Bike...18... 11-14-2012 10:07 AM pretty dumb, to imply it's your stolen bike.


    Someone is very serious on Eastern Canada!
    F*ck Cancer

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  15. #15
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    Cool!
    My dream bike was a Richey Commando, I think this was around '87, I used to ogle it over at McBride cycle. I just couldn't afford it though, and settled for a Rockhopper (which was a really good bike, and I was happy with it, I still ride it in the winter).
    My next dream bike(yeah 10 years later!) was a Proflex 857 - red with yellow highlights, loved that Girvin fork Couldn't quit afford that one either, and I ended up getting a Cdale SuperV - (what a pogo stick), it now hangs on the wall in the basement.

    Side note - there used to be a really cool bike shop that carried the Proflexes and Bontragers among others, it was either on Mt. Pleasant or Bayview above Eglington, anyone remember the name?

  16. #16
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    I remember the ProFlex. That was very popular for a couple of years. I wanted a Ritchey Plexus. I still think that's a cool bike.

  17. #17
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    I think I must have been very much a teenage boy up until my early thirties. I lusted after every other bike that I saw. My Rocky Mountain pinup would've been a Hammer Race though.
    Cheers, Dave

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Side note - there used to be a really cool bike shop that carried the Proflexes and Bontragers among others, it was either on Mt. Pleasant or Bayview above Eglington, anyone remember the name?
    I remember that place! I think they carried Mantis too. They stuck with thumb shifters for ever in that shop. The name escapes me though...
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I remember that place! I think they carried Mantis too. They stuck with thumb shifters for ever in that shop. The name escapes me though...
    Was it Cycle Logic or something like that?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Was it Cycle Logic or something like that?
    That was indeed the place. Best selection of "high end" boutique MTB frames in the city at that time.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    That was indeed the place. Best selection of "high end" boutique MTB frames in the city at that time.
    Yep. I also remember them being really snobby and unwelcoming. Wonder why they went out of business?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    Yep. I also remember them being really snobby and unwelcoming. Wonder why they went out of business?
    Your post above seems like a self-contained Q&A already! I didn't frequent the shop and so I can't comment on whether your experience was common, but IMHO it's tough sell to build a business model primarily around boutique level products. Not impossible, but certainly difficult. Maybe as more of the populace with solid disposable cash flow keeps shifting from golf to gran fondos, and expanding the cycling culture in Canada that is changing, but 10-20 years ago that would would have been much more challenging.

    To the best of my knowledge most other LBS draw heavily on the non-enthusiast segment (casual commuters, family bikes) for revenue including service. The enthusiast customers probably allow them to maintain the "halo" product ranges which give the shop a diversified presence, but in reality I'd guess this upper tier customer group is often more difficult to deal with being regulars that may expect some (reasonable?) discount, savvy on prices, often interested in special order items, know how to shop online sources, can do much of their own labour, etc.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Back when I was a starving student, the bike I wanted and could not afford was a Rocky Mountain Blizzard. I have never owned one...until now.

    A colleague at work told me today that he had a 1994 Blizzard that he has not ridden in years and no longer has space for. He told me that it "needed some love" but that it was mine if I wanted it. And as I never owned one, I am going to take him up on this offer.

    The plan is to restore this cutting edge piece of mid 1990s mountain biking techology. I am not the greatest bike mechanic but what better way to learn? Pictures of Project Blizzard to hopefull follow (assuming my work colleague has not come to his senses...). Stay tuned...
    This is great news. Retrobike UK and the Vintage forum here on MTBR are great places to get info on vintage bikes. Though the guys on Retrobike do tend to take it overboard.

    I built up a 1993 Kona Explosif a few years ago:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/3453260553/" title="Purple Kona by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3551/3453260553_cbe69872b5.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Purple Kona"></a>

    You know how your Dissent is forgiving on the trails? A 90's fully rigid mtb is the exact opposite of that. But fun. I would still rather ride this bike (over any other bike) in the pines at Puslinch - bend it around the trees. In the rocks at Puslinch? Not so much.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Your post above seems like a self-contained Q&A already! I didn't frequent the shop and so I can't comment on whether your experience was common, but IMHO it's tough sell to ...
    ... know how to shop online sources, can do much of their own labour, etc.
    I think a lot have closed over the years, Peddler at Avenue & Davenport (I met bike snobbery there - although not from the mechanics) Bloor cycle, McBride as mentioned. A really cool shop on the Danforth that carried Intense, others. The only ones that I've dealt with over the last 25 years that are still around are Dukes and Silent Sports(I am sure there are others, I've just never dealt with them).

    Realize I am getting off topic here - very cool project Unglued.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    A really cool shop on the Danforth that carried Intense
    Trailblazers

    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    Realize I am getting off topic here - very cool project Unglued.
    Hey, a sprawling nostalgic thread never hurt anyone. Just to circle back around, one of my best riding buds back in ON had a lovely Blizzard, white with a bit of blue droplets in the paint IIRC for a snow/ice Blizzard effect. Along with the rigid fork of course, and mix of vintage Syncros parts It even had a u-brake in the rear! That bike was passed along still in near mint condition to one of his friends who brought it out to ride laps for Albion Hills 24hr events up to very recently.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by smarty View Post
    This is great news. Retrobike UK and the Vintage forum here on MTBR are great places to get info on vintage bikes. Though the guys on Retrobike do tend to take it overboard.

    I built up a 1993 Kona Explosif a few years ago:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/smarty-1/3453260553/" title="Purple Kona by smarty-1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3551/3453260553_cbe69872b5.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="Purple Kona"></a>

    You know how your Dissent is forgiving on the trails? A 90's fully rigid mtb is the exact opposite of that. But fun. I would still rather ride this bike (over any other bike) in the pines at Puslinch - bend it around the trees. In the rocks at Puslinch? Not so much.
    Full Disclosure: my next dream bike was the Klein Mantra. When I got my first grown-up job, I bought a 2000 Klein Mantra Comp, which I loved and rode regularly until 2009. I regret selling it to this day.

    Here's a picture of Old Faithful (I name all my bikes) in action, circa 2003....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Dream Bike...18 years later-hilton-climb.jpg  

    Strava made me do it....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Trailblazers



    Hey, a sprawling nostalgic thread never hurt anyone.
    I think they used to carry Thin Blue Line too, IIRC.

    Spinning Wheels up on Carleton was a great little place too.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    I think they used to carry Thin Blue Line too, IIRC.
    I always used to think of TBL as coming from Silent Sports. Did they actually start distributing through other shops at some point? Someone else will have to answer that. I'm not sure.

    Trailblazers carried quite a few lines though. They were also the Turner dealer for GTA when Turners were still very rare (Turner Burner, O2).

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unglued View Post
    Full Disclosure: my next dream bike was the Klein Mantra. When I got my first grown-up job, I bought a 2000 Klein Mantra Comp, which I loved and rode regularly until 2009. I regret selling it to this day.
    Oooh... I really wanted a Mantra way back when.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post

    Someone is very serious on Eastern Canada!
    At least it hasn't seemed to hurt your "rep"! That may take a major slander campaign....

    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Oooh... I really wanted a Mantra way back when.
    I used to compare my Mantra to a mid-1980's Porsche 911. Ahead of its time when it was new, a little dated now, but still with that certain je ne sais quoi. The only snag was that it was as mechanically finicky as a 1980's Ferrari - all I had to do was look at it funny and something would go out of whack. There were maybe four rides a year when everything on the bike worked perfectly, and those four rides were worth all the hassle.

    Not co-incidentally, when I was done with the Mantra, I moved to a rigid singlespeed. G o figure...
    Strava made me do it....

  32. #32
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    I've got a 1996 Proflex 756 with the Girvin fork in my shed. Replaced the elastomers but haven't really rode it.

    My first MTB was a Nishiki Bushwhacker but it was replaced by a brand new 1986 Cannondale SM500 from Maple Cycle in Dundas.

  33. #33
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    ah, i remember my first mtb... a 2006 ironhorse warrior. man, those were the days.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  34. #34
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    Are you building up your Blizzard to be more or less period correct or are you putting modern parts on it?

    My dream bike back in the day was the Norco Team Ti, yeah, good luck affording that one as a 13 year old kid. Then it was the Kona Explosif, which I now have. Also wanted the mid 90's Rocky Mountain Altitude TO, which I guess is best described as an upgraded Blizzard.

    Quote Originally Posted by smarty View Post
    I built up a 1993 Kona Explosif a few years ago:

    You know how your Dissent is forgiving on the trails? A 90's fully rigid mtb is the exact opposite of that. But fun. I would still rather ride this bike (over any other bike) in the pines at Puslinch - bend it around the trees. In the rocks at Puslinch? Not so much.
    Friend of mine has a 94 Explosif with a Judy SL, handles about the way you've described. My 96 Explosif with a 100mm travel fork isn't quite as nimble but it's a heck of a lot more stable in the rough stuff. Pretty retro build with nothing newer than 2000 except for the fork.


  35. #35
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    Slingshots were cool bikes too. I almost got one of them.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    Are you building up your Blizzard to be more or less period correct or are you putting modern parts on it?

    My dream bike back in the day was the Norco Team Ti, yeah, good luck affording that one as a 13 year old kid. Then it was the Kona Explosif, which I now have. Also wanted the mid 90's Rocky Mountain Altitude TO, which I guess is best described as an upgraded Blizzard.



    Friend of mine has a 94 Explosif with a Judy SL, handles about the way you've described. My 96 Explosif with a 100mm travel fork isn't quite as nimble but it's a heck of a lot more stable in the rough stuff. Pretty retro build with nothing newer than 2000 except for the fork.

    I'm thinking period-correct but that will in part depend on how many of the existing parts are still serviceable.
    Strava made me do it....

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post


    Friend of mine has a 94 Explosif with a Judy SL, handles about the way you've described. My 96 Explosif with a 100mm travel fork isn't quite as nimble but it's a heck of a lot more stable in the rough stuff. Pretty retro build with nothing newer than 2000 except for the fork.

    Ah the good old Kona hardtail built to survive.

  38. #38
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    Bought this frame/fork on MTBR after lusting for one the year it came out. Got it moderately close to a stock, period-correct build. Subsequently raced it, beat it up, got over my infatuation, and sold it cheap to a co-worker.



    @Smarty: That Kona looks amazing! And ride description sounds not too far off from my current 26" Unit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth View Post
    @Smarty: That Kona looks amazing! And ride description sounds not too far off from my current 26" Unit.
    I remember the first time we got a Unit in our store around 10 years ago. We had an Explosif in the shop at the time and we were looking back & forth between them going "hmmm...this is like the exact same bike...other than the paint and dropouts..." I didn't get to ride the Unit off road but it sure felt snappy when I took it for a spin around the block.

  40. #40
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    The Blizzard is coming home with me tomorrow after work. I will post pictures over the weekend. I have decided to name it "Frosty". I think I will start a new thread so folks can follow the restoration/renovation.
    Strava made me do it....

  41. #41
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    Here are my 2 old school cdn dream bikes I own.

    The rocky I got from a dentist in Alberta who had it set up with a kickstand and parts were mine from back in the day. ( I know the chain is not through the der in the pic )

    The brodie was passed on to me after a good friend who passed away ( dathan r.i.p. ) and we restored / repainted her to the original specs and glory days....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Dream Bike...18 years later-rocky.jpg  

    My Dream Bike...18 years later-brodie.jpg  


  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by dskunk View Post
    I think I must have been very much a teenage boy up until my early thirties. I lusted after every other bike that I saw. My Rocky Mountain pinup would've been a Hammer Race though.
    My primary bike is a '97 Hammer Race. It's currently set up as a rigid single speed, but still an awesome ride 15 years later

    If only it had discs, it would be my perfect bike.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-t- View Post
    The brodie was passed on to me after a good friend who passed away ( dathan r.i.p. ) and we restored / repainted her to the original specs and glory days....
    Assuming we're talking about the same Dathan, a friend and I rebuild one of his old bikes with a few of our spare parts for a co-worker that couldn't afford a new bike. Small world!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by g-t- View Post
    Here are my 2 old school cdn dream bikes I own.

    The rocky I got from a dentist in Alberta who had it set up with a kickstand and parts were mine from back in the day. ( I know the chain is not through the der in the pic )

    The brodie was passed on to me after a good friend who passed away ( dathan r.i.p. ) and we restored / repainted her to the original specs and glory days....
    I don't know Dathan, but if his taste in bikes is any indication, I would have liked him immensely
    Strava made me do it....

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    Assuming we're talking about the same Dathan, a friend and I rebuild one of his old bikes with a few of our spare parts for a co-worker that couldn't afford a new bike. Small world!
    yup same Dathan. he has a huge collection and we collected together pretty religously and go back to Trail Blazer online pre Danforth.

    I dont ride the Brodie though I want to keep it like it is but it did see a event or 2 post paint before the wall but I framed it up along a mechanic shirt from him and I see it everyday this way. last itme it was out was at that mudfest point to point race from beaver valley to Blue mountain a few yrs ago.

    Dathans brother Juice and i built the tioga disc for the rocky, sourced out the original spec NOS mavic 261 and have the tigoa gumwall tire as well as the wheel bag. Spins butter smooth.only thing I regret gettign rid of was the syncros revoloution cranks with the crank o matics's.... it would have completed the bike oh and the lawwill leader 3 fork

    Gotta love old bikes no matter what they are !!!!

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    Great thread, looking forward to see the build. I just about got onto a vintage Vertex this summer, for all the same reasons, but couldn't quite reach a deal with the seller.

    Got my first bike at Cyclelogic... don't recall much attitude per se though I knew nothing about bikes and bike stores at that time. They gave me free bearings and free spoke tension tune-ups here and there. Heck I just remembered I was in there once and John (the owner I think, big tall guy) saw that the cheapo $10 saddle that came with my bike was slightly bent so he gave me a Bio turbo saddle, which I still have today on my commuter... It wasn't just boutique brands there (Cameron, Mantis anyone ever see one lately?)... they were probably one of the first stores to go with frames/brands direct from Taiwan (which is what I bought), and of course there was Proflex.

  47. #47
    Living Life Behind Bars..
    Reputation: g-t-'s Avatar
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    kay too funny you would mention the Cameron brand. I am not sure if he still lives at Donalds and Mortimor area but the massize raw aluminum bannister with the down tube decal is still on the front step of the house. Thats a blast from the past !!!!

  48. #48
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    I'm driving through the neighbourhood every week for skating at Ted reeve... will take a look perhaps!

    Lawill Leader... oh ya. The mechanic in the shop at the time, Mike I think it was, had the Cameron bike with that Lawill fork on it. I knew it was a cool rig, just never occurred to me as a beginner to think of owing something like it (even if I had had the cash!). My interest in the topic of vintage bikes now stems in part from that oversight years ago.

  49. #49
    I dd what you see there.
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    Note: This wasn't my "dream bike" per sť. It was the one I was able to afford and being that it replaced the already mentioned CCM Excel it was quite an upgrade at the time. Anyways here's my blast from the past - 1996 Giant ATX 870 right outta the barn last March.

    I swapped the bar when I got it because back then my buddy and I would depart on our bike rides at 9 sometimes 10pm. So I had some fancy light system too that I hung off the front of those bars. That lighting system was the best... I don't remember whatever happened to it, but the battery was huge and weighed a ton.

    It's underwent a "restoration" of sorts this summer for another friend to use on trips with his family. The RS Q5 shock was destroyed - the elstomers disintegrated (mind you I think it was 'destroyed' in other ways back in 1996 too) so I found a Judy with the canti brake stop integrated in the fork brace (which I think was available on the 880 model) and had it installed plus it got a tune-up and other than a brake cable that needed to be replaced the bike is arguably "period specific" as there it sits pretty much the same as it was back in 1996.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My Dream Bike...18 years later-p3270432-1024x768-.jpg  

    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
    2011 Trek Cronus CX Ultimate

  50. #50
    Lemmy Rules!
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    And just to put things in context, when the 1994 Blizzard was a new bike, I was riding a 1990 Tech Badlands. We're talking Suntour X-1 gruppo, rigid fork, fluorescent orange steel (hi-tensile, not chromoly BTW) frame. Probably weighed 40lb. It is still hanging in my parents' garage as my dad uses it on occasion. It will be interesting to ride the blizzard then ride the Tech back to back to see how they compare. I think I will be amazed at how far ahead of its time the Blizzard was...

    After the Tech, I bought a 1996 Trek 970 (LX/XT drivetrain, Rockshox Quadra21R fork - remember those?), which was the closest thing to the blizzard I could afford. That lasted me until 2000 until I got the Mantra, and the rest, as they say, is history...

    The blizzard and the cannondale Flash 2 29'er that is coming in the spring will put me to 7 1/2 bikes (the half being a unicycle). Too many? Nah - I still need a dirt jumper and a fatbike....
    Strava made me do it....

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