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  1. #1
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    Is it worth modernizing a 1996 Rocky mountain Blizzard

    Hi Folks,
    This is my first post here just found this site.

    I have an old 96 Rocky mountain Blizzard.
    I went to the bike shop to see if we can change the stem and handle bars to give me a more upright position.

    By the time I left this is what they suggested for me:

    Upgrade fork from original 20mm judy to 100 mm recon
    120mm 6 degree stem and flat bars to 50mm 0 degree stem- 15 mm riser bars.

    old grip shift shifters to rapid fire shifters

    8 speed cassette to 10 speed


    Is it worth dropping $600 to modernize this cool old bike or
    should I just change the stem and bars for comfort so I would actually ride it and forget the rest?


    I appreciate your input.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mandino View Post
    Hi Folks,
    This is my first post here just found this site.

    I have an old 96 Rocky mountain Blizzard.
    I went to the bike shop to see if we can change the stem and handle bars to give me a more upright position.

    By the time I left this is what they suggested for me:

    Upgrade fork from original 20mm judy to 100 mm recon
    120mm 6 degree stem and flat bars to 50mm 0 degree stem- 15 mm riser bars.

    old grip shift shifters to rapid fire shifters

    8 speed cassette to 10 speed


    Is it worth dropping $600 to modernize this cool old bike or
    should I just change the stem and bars for comfort so I would actually ride it and forget the rest?


    I appreciate your input.
    I'd never consider dumping $600 into a bike that old. But everybody rides differently so it's impossible to say for someone else.

    10spd instead of 8spd? Why? Is there something wrong with the old 8spd stuff, worn & must be replaced anyway, not enough range, etc? Is the shop suggesting you move to a 1x drivetrain?

    Shifter type is personal preference.

    The Recon fork is not high performance but it might be adequate, depending on the type of riding you're interested in.

    You certainly wouldn't be able to get much of a new bike for the same money ($600) but it's still a bit of coin to drop on a bike that'll forever be eclipsed in a big way by what's available these days. Disc brakes, thru-axles, modern geo, good dropper posts -- you'll never have these things regardless how much you spend on the ol' tank.
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  3. #3
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    Kinda what I thought too.
    I think the shop just wants me to spend more.
    I'll most likely just upgrade to a new stem/riser bars to put me in a more upright position and call it a day.

  4. #4
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    I think the shop would make a good sale in the short term getting you to buy all that stuff, but doing you a disservice by making such a poor investment will cost them a customer in the long run. some of those changes might do more harm than good to the function and handling of that bike.

    I would make a minimal investment to make the bike functional and confidence-inspiring and save up for a more modern bike at a later date, assuming this old bike is your main bike.

    120mm is a ridiculously long stem, even by 1996 standards, right? you can get a more upright position by using a shorter stem as well as a higher handlebar to bring the grips closer to you. measure how long and tall the reach is by relationship to the bottom bracket, not to the saddle. this will assist you in finding a fit later on on a bike that has a different bottom bracket height.

    is the original fork still working? a lot of older bikes are best served by replacing a worn-out suspension fork with a steel rigid fork.

  5. #5
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    I don't even think that there are any forks available to even fit that frame. IIRC, even 100 mm forks were not recommended on XC hardtails back then.

    I agree that it's not worth dumping money into.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  6. #6
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    Fork, Stem w/faceplate and a wider riser bar & you're set.

    I love me some old 90's steel and my go to mods are

    Marzocchi Z2 fork with bolt on crown & brace (seals are readily available & the internals last a long time with all the oil) travel is about 65mm for the older ones with the tapered lower legs. If you're running canti;s still it can be tough to find the canti adapter for the fork.

    Riser bar, you choice

    Stem with bolt on faceplate to allow for riser bar installation.

    Should set you back about $100-$180 if you ebay everything used. And you should be able to install yourself without to much trouble. I went 9 speed on mine once 8 speed casettes were tough to find, But really not much difference aside from slightly newer shifters. 10 speed is a waste when you're running a 3X crank.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Is it worth modernizing a 1996 Rocky mountain Blizzard-z1_z2_wmtb.jpg  

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  7. #7
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    When I read the OP Title I thought my response would be:

    “Worth it to you, the owner, but probably not others.”

    But after reading the OP post, I recommend that you go to jensonUsa.com and but the stem and bars you prefer and enjoy a comfortable upgrade.

    Items like contact points and stem are in a large way, rider preference, so not so much an upgrade as trying to find the best fit for you.

    Disappointing to see the shop suggesting all of those other and more costly upgrades for a bike that old.

    Go online and check out a much larger selection of stems and bars, look for something affordable and go from there.


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  8. #8
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    If the drivetrain is fine, leave it. I wouldn't go more than 80mm on the fork though or the handling could get goofy.

  9. #9
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    I just picked up a nice '00 Blizzard for $150.

    Threw on a shorter stem and wider/higher bars and good to go.

    Probably going to throw on a 100mm fork too; always been one of the best things you could do to help out the handling on those old bikes IME.

    I personally would also ditch/upgrade the Gripshift and cantis, but I have tons of spare parts around so it would be free for me to do. Wouldn't spend much money making it happen.

    Your shop sounds greedy.
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  10. #10
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    I have to clarify that the bike shop wasn't really pushing me into doing all that, we probably just got carried away talking about what they could do, but looking into it just cuz you can do something doesn't mean you should...

    I'll be doing what most of you are suggesting -short stem and riser bars for now, switch out the grip shift for rapid fire, maybe get my current fork rebuilt and call it a day.

    Thanks for all your input!

  11. #11
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    Agree with the general consensus here, don't put a lot of money into it other than perhaps a rigid fork and/or a tune (if the bike needs it). You could go 1*10 for relatively cheap these days, but nothing wrong with 8 spd if it works for you. IMO it's classic, so I would just ride it, as it is, if it all works... other than ditching the grip shift. Which bring me to my question, pic please?
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I just picked up a nice '00 Blizzard for $150.
    I almost bought '01 IIRC on CL a few months ago, but a stuck seatpost, trashed fork, and no wheels though... I still think about it.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  13. #13
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    This one's in great shape and came with a few upgrades - saw it the LBS used gear sale and couldn't pass it up!
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  14. #14
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    back in the day I chose a Gunnar Rockhound over a Blizzard and wow was that a bad choice. I never got along with the Rockhound or maybe it was the SID XC? I ended up trading the Rockhound and a pistol, for a stereo, a Giant Rincon, and cash.


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  15. #15
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    I've been looking at cassettes for older bikes and Sunrace has a 11-40T 8 speed wide range model for ~$30 that I'd look at before I'd consider making the conversion to 10 speed.

  16. #16
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    i would def say no to spending more than $100 on a bike that old

  17. #17
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    I have a '98 Blizzard, still have it running 3x8. I've been commuting with it and towing my daughter's trailer when we go out, but aside from that I don't see much value in updating it. It's still on its' original Marzocchi Bomber Z2, having serviced it about a dozen times it's still running as smoothly as it did the day I bought the bike.

    Keep it running as is, there's lots of NOS parts to be found on ebay and also on Retrobike.. but I don't think putting $600 in it is a good idea.

    Then again, I have a '95 Kiluaea that I updated over the years.. canti's to v-brakes, put in a Joe Murray titanium bar, Joe Murray titanium seat post, found a NOS P2 triple butted Kona fork and it rides like a dream. I recently found a matching pair of Mavic XC717 rims I'll probably lace up to put on there.

  18. #18
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    I had a similar dilemma with a 98 Cannondale Super V 500SL. After riding 2015 29er Scalpel, the Super V became a wall hanger. It still rides like new but not worth upgrading when the money could be put toward a new modern ride. $600 is a great start on a new hard tail 29er build.
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  19. #19
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    Top of the line brake pads and tires. Shorter stem and wider bars. Most shops will charger like $250 for a fork rebuild so I would just get a surly 1x1 rigid fork unless you plan on rebuilding yourself. It has geometry that is supposed to rip on smooth green trails.

  20. #20
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    pics

    Is it worth modernizing a 1996 Rocky mountain Blizzard-img_7085.jpgIs it worth modernizing a 1996 Rocky mountain Blizzard-img_7082.jpgIs it worth modernizing a 1996 Rocky mountain Blizzard-img_7084.jpgIs it worth modernizing a 1996 Rocky mountain Blizzard-img_7083.jpg

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    Most shops will charger like $250 for a fork rebuild.
    If true, you should immediately drive to those shops and start punching people out.
    That's straight up piracy; I've never paid anything remotely close to that for a fork rebuild.
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