Reader’s Ride(s) – Joel’s Rocky Mountain Blizzard

Editor’s Note: Joel sent us the photos featured in today’s post to share his new build. We asked him if he could If he could send us a list of the key components and maybe a little information about the bike so we could feature it in a reader’s ride article. The results are below – enjoy!

This project began as a frame warranty replacement necessitated by the fact the original 2015 Blizzard frame’s upper seat stay welds were coming apart.  After one incorrect frame, one missing axle and one missing rear brake mount that delayed things for a few months. I was finally on pace to begin the build. 

That’s when I noticed the warrantied rear Hope hub was too thrashed for another year of riding.  From there the internet catalog of wheel and hub manufacturers were pouring across my eyeballs as fast as I could click and scroll.  A call here, a call there, a read review on this and that forum, a time frame and invoice for a few builds later and I had settled on something unique and entirely “me”.  The Nextie Black Eagle II 65mm rims.  The real reason for this purchase beyond the good reviews and warranty… I owned some SPIN trispoke wheels back in 2001 and never really had a problem with those, so I figured how bad could the engineering be 20 years later?  One email to Nextie and many many dollars off to China, DHL poked the doorbell.

Next up, let’s find a couple of companies that can waterfall the components list and check some boxes.

Wanted: Light weigh, compact, solid color options, affordable, reputable 


  • OneUp: Pedals, Bars, stem, Dropper post
  • Wolftooth: F Axle, seat post clamp, dropper trigger, headset, 26t chainring, chainring bolts
  • Shimano: XTR EVERYTHING… derailleur, shifter, chain and cassette
  • Lindarets: TI valve stems
  • Real World Cycling: BB30 “zero” ceramic hybrid radial bottom bracket
  • Hayes D-Series rotors and DOMINION A2 brakes
  • Fabric Line Pro Shadow Carbon saddle and water bottles
  • Vittoria Cannoli 4.8” tires
  • Original Raceface cranks
  • Original Bluto fork

Wolftooth products have been on my previous bikes over the years and I wanted to continue to support such a great company.  The level of service and communication with them is just wonderful.  Black and gold frame meant I needed to spice it up with a little more gold here and there.

OneUp makes affordable parts and the reviews were nothing but positive.  After a few rides so far I would agree.  The dropper selection, pedals & prices sealed the deal.

Shimano… The derailleur clutch design is really nice and I’ve noticed zero chain slap after 20 miles at the Trexler Nature Preserve trails.  The shifter trigger is the nicest I’ve ever used.  Such crisp shifts and comfortable design.  Who doesn’t want a little TI in the cassette to help lighten the rotational mass? 

Lindarets… I use their valve stems on my Bearclaw Thunderhawk, so why not here.

RWC, because this company makes the best bottom bracket on the market and for the best prices.

Hayes brakes and rotors because I ride my fat bikes hard.  East coast (Pennsylvania) singletrack is technical and choppy.  With all this weight I wanted something that would heat up and grab, not heat up and fade.

Vittoria Cannoli because they are the hard core tires.  I rode the Vee Tire Bulldozer in every TPI and wanted something more capable on the local trails.  Something sturdy, not too harsh, and can shoulder the dusty and damp section with ease.  Heavy, but still huckable. The cranks and fork sill work flawlessly, so no need to replace them.

The end game for this bike is to continue to do what I love and that’s to rip my favorite (PA) singletrack.  Smedley, Trexler Nature Preserve and White Clay Preserve.  Things I miss are riding Minooka, New Fane and the HughJass Series back in my hometown of Milwaukee (WI) where my passion for fatbikes began.

Joel back in 2017 on his old fat-bike slinging mud at a HughJass race.

2 Responses to Reader’s Ride(s) – Joel’s Rocky Mountain Blizzard

  1. Allroy August 14, 2020 at 4:02 pm #

    Crazy awesome build! Nice!

    • Joel October 17, 2020 at 6:03 pm #

      Thank you!

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