Rocky Mountain pt. 80.2

Altitude. i bought this mysterious rocky on ebay for $200. the seller said it was a 1995 something. i forget what model he thought it was - but i knew he had the year wrong because rocky dropped the wishbone rear end in 1993. i thought it was a 1991, and figured i had confirmed that by the yellow paint i found inside the headtube. (someone had repainted it red, and it had no decals on it at all.) just now i've confimed it was a 1992 because they had that little cable stop attached to the wishbone. the 1991 had a cable noodle that wrapped around the seattube/toptube junction.

besides the fact that pretty much any rocky from 1990 to 1993 is on my 'buy that now!' list, i had to buy it because of this;

that's right. RM666. i never looked into this fully. i may have tried to post on mtbr.com - but i probably didn't because i don't really like those forums. i don't really like any web forum for that matter.

i pulled all the parts off this bike and put them on this kawasaki frame i had, and sold that. then i repainted and rebuilt this bike with my singlespeed gear;

this one came out fantastic. but it was sort of an extra bike, so i traded it for a custom fisher sugar frame and fork.

Vertex. this is where the singlespeed kit came from. a white industries eno rear wheel, superlight kinesis fork, and eventually race face 180mm cranks, carbon post, flite saddle, and a mary handlebar. was this the hottest singlespeed in town? probably. in the top five anyway.

i turned this bike into the hottest hybrid in town;

road wheels + mtb frame + mavic brake adapter = awesome city bike. can't put fenders on it because of that adapter, but it's still awesome. i'm holding on to this frame.

Blizzard. this is a 2005, 20th anniversary edition blizzard. this frame i will never sell. i rode it like this for a year, but now it's waiting to become a singlespeed, and i will regain my Hottest Singlespeed in Town award. you probably didn't even know there was such an honour. nobody else does either, but it's there, and i'm taking it back.

vicious cycles fork, non-low profile race face 180mm cranks, avid discs with nokon/full metal jacket cable routing, avid SAAGO stem, titec titanium flattracker handlebar, thomson post, chris king headset, and it will have a white industries eno disc rear wheel.

so there you have it, all brilliant bikes, and i have a feeling i'm not done buying rockys...

Rocky Mountain pt. 80

at some point i will do a post about all the bikes i've owned, but this seemed like a good place for a post on all the rocky mountains i've owned.

Nimbus. i bought this bike in about 1994 - i think - and i was excited to get it because i knew how rare and special it was. one of the very first aluminum bikes to use butted easton tubes. i believe only 200 were made. it had a first generation manitou, grafton 3d violet front hub, ritchey cranks, and that super cool white syncros stem. the bike came stock with a white syncros fork, which i'm thinking must be one of the most rare bike parts out there.

now it has a marzocchi xc500 - i fork i never liked; it never worked the way it supposed to. or didn't work the way i had read it was supposed to. it just didn't seem to have any rebound damping at all. and i'm a big guy so i needed pretty heavy spring rates. anyway, i took care of that after a bit.

that is a manitou sx. or an sx-r? i can't remember. i do remember that i had to buy the more expensive one because it was the only one the shop had with a cable stop on the brake brace. why didn't I just buy v-brakes? good question. changing the fork is pretty much all i did to this bike. i swapped out the ritchey cantilevers for shimano xt, but never changed the cranks, wheels, or anything else but tires.

anyway, i left it out in the yard one day between school and leaving for work, and it wasn't there when it was time to go to work.

Avalanche. i figured since i had a rocky stolen from me, then it was ok for me to buy what was probably a stolen rocky. i got it from a pawn shop, which doesn't guarantee that it was stolen, but from the stories i've heard, i wouldn't be surprised at all. it was probably a '86, purple and orange with chainstay U-brakes. it was tange steel, came with a set of the original syncros barends (one of which had been broken and repaired, poorly), mismatched wheels, and that sloping top tube, long seat tube geometry which to me, always looked better than the flat top tube look that so many other old timey bikes had.

one of my biggest regrets was what i did to this bike;

i first had jim molden (local bike builder) move the brakes up to the seatstays, then i stripped the paint, and painted it like a 1991 blizzard - maybe my all-time favorite bike. i found a 1" threaded judy to fit it, and painted that too. where those period correct frame decals came from, i can't remember. i sure don't regret what i ended up with, because it looked fantastic, but right now, i really wish i still had the orange and purple avalanche.

anyway, after this, i built a brand new wheelset for it, and then sold it on ebay. i did make it clear it was not a real blizzard. i'm not sure why i did that either. i should probably take a bit more time to consider whether or not i really want to sell my rockys, because i regret another one a little bit too...


Rocky Mountain pt. 7

Switch - This is Rocky's all-new all-mountain bike. This one has the truly sick Marzocchi Shiver SC fork. Heavy as hell. Nice bike though.

Vertex Ltd. - Another cool Euro Rocky. The 1998 Element with a sweet navy/white fade, a great fork, and I love those Syncros forks. I am in love. Thanks to Vinni for this great bike!

Pipeline - Joel let me use this pic of his terrific Pipeline. It's got a wicked Marzocchi on it, Shimano discs, and a very nice red paint job and matching Michelin tires. Thanks Joel!

Altitude - This is one of my all time favorite bikes. I always liked that paint job, and that Allison Sydor used to race this bike.

Rocky Mountain pt. 6

Element Team SC - This is Rocky's absolute top-of-the-line Element Team SC. The SC meaning Scandium, Easton's superlight aluminum tubeset. Rocky will sell this as a complete bike for the first time, for the 2001 model year.

Element t.o. - The 2000 model Rocky Element t.o. An awesome bike, check out those RaceFace Next cranks, and the Z.2 X-Fly. Very solid. I'd prefer a riser bar of course, but then, I'm not a racer.

Element t.o. - A 1999 model Rocky Element t.o. What's odd about this bike is that it came originally with a Marzocchi Superfly - this one has an Atom Bomb. Electing to go with coil springs over air springs is the TeamCow way to go, but it would make for a heavier bike.

Altitude - This gorgeous t.o. comes from Mark in Ontario - thanks Mark! What a difference the details can make - custom painting the fork and stem to match the frame. And of course the parts - Chris King wheels, Grimeca discs, Kooka cranks - all kick-ass stuff.

Blizzard - James sent me an excellent pic of his fabulous 1990 Blizzard. It's a fantastic bike with a Chris King wheelset, Easton bar, Avid brakes, and best of all, a Syncros fork. I want one of those forks - if you've got one for sale - let me know.

Rocky Mountain pt. 5

RM9 - The RM 9 was somewhat revolutionary at it's introduction because there were very few bikes with 9 inches of wheel travel at the time. I remember reading the review in Mountain Bike, and they didn't seem to like it too much. I think they were such girlie-men that they couldn't handle the Marzocchi Monster-T. At least they admitted it.

Turbo - A rare road bike on the BikeGuide. This '99 Turbo weighs the same as the RM-9 DH frame the Rocky introduced that same year.

Turbo t.o. - A slightly better version of the Turbo. With that great paint again.

Element Race - This is exactly what I like to see happen to an Element. Get some RaceFace parts on it - cranks, seatpost, stem - and then get an Atom Bomb. My idea of a perfect full suspension bike. Poor picture composition though...

Element Ltd. - This pic was sent by a faithful BikeGuide reader, and my thanks to Dennis for sending me one of the nicest bikes I have on the site. If TeamCow raced, this is the bike we'd want - Hope Enduro discs, Syncros cranks, and a terrific, European model Element Ltd. frame.

Rocky Mountain pt. 4

Slayer - You saw it here first - the 2001 Rocky Slayer. This is a prototype that TeamCow saw at the Rocky tent in Canmore. I thought originally that it would replace the aging and less-fashionable Pipeline, but that URT bike will still be available for 2001. The Slayer is mostly an Element, but with Easton RAD tubing, and a different link providing 4.75 inches of travel, instead of 3.9.

Slayer - This is a pretty crappy pic of the production Slayer - with Magura Clara brakes and Race Face Prodigy stuff. I like this bike, but I wish it was a bit lighter. They need to make an Element with the Slayer's travel.

Pipeline - The Pipeline was one of the first freeride bikes. It debuted in 1998 and is somehow still in the lineup, even though URT style bikes are not that fashionable anymore. I've heard they can be great, but they demand sitting-down style of riding.

RM6 - One of the regular, three-chainring RM6's set-up for DH use with a Monster-T. This bike has a pretty poor reputation amongst the DH/freeride set. I guess a lot of the original ones broke, which is not good.

RM6 - If you ever see an RM-6 in your LBS, pick it up. If you ride any XC-type bike, I guarantee that you will never think it heavy again after hefting this beast.

Rocky Mountain pt. 3

Element Ltd. - I hate this bike. I know it really doesn't matter that what color a bike is, but I really hate this paintjob. I don't like that Rocky would agree to do this. If I was rich, I'd buy this and paint it black with Krylon...

Instinct - A pretty good guess this bike wasn't used too hard - it still has reflectors. It's a '99, you can tell by the cable-operated Dia-Tech disc brakes, and of course the ugly graphics. The '00 Instinct has Sram V-brakes.

Instinct - Somebody has done the right thing here and picked up some hydraulic brakes instead of those cable operated discs. Avid and Hayes seem to have perfected the cable disc now, but in 1999, the Dia-Tech Spiral stop was really no better than V-brakes.

DH Race - The DH Race was Rocky's first attempt at a dedicated downhill race bike. Essentially an Element frame with a longer swing link and moto-style gusset on the headtube. Six inches of rear wheel travel. Today, this would make a nice freeride bike, and word is Rocky is bringing it back (sort of) as the Slayer.

DH Race - Something about this bike doesn't look right... Maybe it's that link, it looks funny. Or it could just be a big bike. I know, it must be the fork - yup, that's it.

Rocky Mountain pt. 2

Spice - This Spice is a happy little bike. Nice colors, nothing really flashy, but everything perfectly capable. But that Girvin fork sure doesn't work for me. To each his own, eh?

Oxygen Race - I really like the 1998 bikes because it was the last year for the really good graphics that they used right from 1991. And I like all Rocky's because they come with Marzocchi's. [edit] this one belongs to a friend of mine. purchased in 1998, it's still stock, still awesome.

Reaper - The Reaper is one of those bikes that you rarely see. Partly because they probably didn't make that many of them, but also because they were all spoken for before they ever got to the bike shops.

Blizzard - The Blizzard is my all-time favorite bike of all time. And it's great to see the 2001 model go back to the maple-leaf fade paint for it's 20th birthday. This 2000 model is a great bike too.


Blizzard - The Blizzard is the Porsche 911 of mountain bikes. It's been around since 1984, virtually unchanged. Still made of steel, and still black and white. This particular bike is quite sad though. Putting a Rock Shox Jett and a Truvativ crank on a Blizzard is like putting Canadian Tire white-walls on a Porsche. That stuff belongs on a Trek.

Rocky Mountain

Rocky has been building some very excellent bikes in Delta, B.C. for 20 years. For me, nobody makes a better mass-produced bike. They started out making their version of Tom Ritchey's bike and have turned into an all-encompassing company, with a line of accessories (that eventually went out on it's own) called Race Face, clothes, and of course, bikes to cover every market niche. They've also been the best looking bikes in the world (except for 1999). [edit] i've been looking forward to posting these one right from when i started this. my favorite company by far. if resources allowed it, i'd spend all my time tracking down old rockys and then i'd restore them.

Vertex t.o. - This could be my all-time favorite hardtail. That red and white maple leaf fade paint job was easily my favorite. And they put the right fork on it right from the factory. Maybe that's why I like Rocky so much.

Thin Air - I always thought that if you had an old bike lying around, that it would make a good single-speed project. If it's old, and the parts are kinda weak, it doesn't matter because you're taking most of them off anyway. It would never occur to me to make a single-speed out of a brand new aluminum hardtail. But, as SS's go, this is a pretty nice one.

Thin Air - A 1999 Thin Air. The way a hardtail should be. Except for that fork, and I never liked the '99 graphics much. Otherwise nice tough... [edit] i'm at peace with the '99s now. still their least attractive graphics style, but they're ok.

Thin Air - The 1996 Thin Air was a beauty - no doubt.

Stratos - I would collect old Rocky's if I had any money. But this one (from around 1993) looks a little weird with a suspension fork and a riser bar. Maybe it's just bigger than the average bike - but I think the long stem/riser combo is somewhat unfashionable.


Ritchey pt. 2

before i continue with more bikes, i have to relate a couple stories about a bike shop in town here. i won't name it, but if you live in edmonton, you'll probably figure it out. they relocated from whyte ave, after a fire, to a former grocery store on 109st.

in teamcow, we used to refer to it as the edmonton ritchey museum - this is because one day my brother went in and asked about a very nice ritchey swiss cross that was on display. he was told it wasn't for sale, it was going back to the rep soon. I can tell you it's not totally unusual for a shop to have a bike that's not for sale, but displaying it on a pedestal is not normal. and if anyone shows any interest, i would think at least a half-assed effort would have been made to let that person know that they could get another one if you wanted.

but no, not at the ERM.

the name also comes from this story; at their old location they had a few ritchey comps on display with the brakes not hooked up. again, not completely unusual for a mechanic to do this; if space is a problem, and something more important comes up, you might put a bike you're building out on the floor for a few minutes. But as soon as you're done whatever you needed to do, you go back for that bike and finish it.

but no, not at the ERM.

i liked to think that the ritcheys were so popular that they had to be on the floor. 'i don't care if they're not done, we need to have them out there - we're losing customers!!'

i swear these same incomplete ritcheys were moved to their new location, still incomplete...

but i can top that; one day, i needed a tube, but i just didn't feel like making the trip to a shop i liked. or my car was dead. or something. so walking six blocks to the ERM seemed the best idea. i figured it was closer than united cycle, who i didn't like at the time anyway.

(if you know me, you must be asking yourself how the hell i didn't have another bike to ride. i don't know either, must have been a tough time in my life...)

so i walked to ERM, to buy one $5 tube. when i get there i find that they don't take interac. this was about six years ago by the way, not 26 years ago. so i'm directed to the bank four blocks up - which is my bank, and it's a nice day, so that's cool. on my way back, the owner pulls up in his car, rolls down his window and tells me he needs to go somewhere, my tube is stuck to the door, and i can just slide $5 in under the door. and off he drives.

i swear i am not making this up.

i get back to the shop and sure enough, the tube is stuck to the door with a rubber band. i believe that i did stick a $5 bill under the door (though i just came from an ATM with a $20 bill, so i don't know how i came to have a $5 bill) and off i went - making a mental note to remind my friends that the ERM had gone back to the barter system, and should they need a 1" threaded headset, that they should bring in live chickens and goats to trade.

so that's the ERM. i don't think they sell mountain bikes anymore.

Plexus - This is one of the nicer racing hardtals I have on the site. Check out those curved seattubes for some softtail action. The owner even went to the trouble of getting a Bomber instead of a SID - very cool.

Plexus - This is exactly the way I'd expect to see a Plexus set up. With XTR stuff and a SID.


Ritchey is of course one of the pioneers of mountain bikes. He's always been steel, always been light. One cool thing about Ritcheys is that they still all get some attention from him. Even the ones made in Japan are finished by the man himself. That's really cool.

Hardtail - This is an old Ritchey. You can tell by the long chainstays with brakes on them, and the incredibly slack angles. It must be one of Tom's original custom frames.

Hardtail - Another old one - this one has the Bull-Moose bars that Ritchey invented and you can find on every crappy department store bike from 1989-1992.

Timber Comp - This might be the oldest bike I have a pic of. From 1986 with a Hite-Rite seatpost adjuster and Power-cam brakes. So old-skool, there was no skool yet.

Lite Beam - Ritchey's attempt at full-suspension. Thank goodnes people realized that full-suspension was not that evil, and gave up on the ridiculous and dangerous Softride system.

P-22 - Ritchey started out at 23 pounds, and slowly pushed the weight of his team race bikes down to 20 pounds. Of course, that's without a suspension fork. This is a nice one with the old Manitou forks that were among the lightest of the time.