Bianchi Grizzly 2002 Hardtail

4.67/5 (9 Reviews)

Product Description

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Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Weekend Warrior from Grand Rapids, MI

Date Reviewed: September 21, 2009

Strengths:    Excellent climber, smooth ride, durable, very agile and predictable handling. helluvabike for the investment.

Weaknesses:    really none, i even love the brakes.

Bottom Line:   
This bike has been fantastic from the paint job to the performance-everyone loves this bike! I'm even on the original Pythons!-yes they need air often but I love the way they ride.

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Favorite Trail:   Cannonsburg game area

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   Ada Bike

Bike Setup:   changed to Easton carbon fiber seatpost and monkeylite handlebars(narrowed), changed pedels to old alloy suntour roadracing platforms with powerstraps

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by JD from Austin

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2003

Strengths:    STEEL FRAME, the paint (if you like the blue green they call "celeste"), Xt pods, Lx bottom pull front, and Xt rear with Xt cassete, and most importantly, the Fork!!!

Weaknesses:    Hutchinson Python Tubeless, not only are these tires super slippery on anything but hard packed dirt, mut they loose lots of air in just a few hours. Pedals suck, replace ASAP

Bottom Line:   
I got a great deal on this bike, but am still surprised that I got some of the nicer components like pods, etc, mixed with the so-so brakes and crappy tires. The bike climbs great especially with new tires, and on flat hills the lockout on the X-fly fork locks on the down postion, brilliant. The brakes are fidgety, unless you really know how to adjust them perfectly. I am extremely satisfied with this bike, it has exceeded my expectations, especially for $800, it isn't the lightest, but I would prefer it's great ride on single track and climbing ability over anything aluminum in the same price range.... If you see one on closeout and you want steel, look no further.

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Favorite Trail:   technical climbs, rocky single track

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   e-Bay

Similar Products Used:   Kona Explosif, very few other big name steel frames in production.

Bike Setup:   Flipped stem upside down, continental vertical 2.3 UST(great for more aggresive terrrain and climbing), primo platform pedals (only curved platforms I've seen!)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by plh a Cross Country Rider from east coast

Date Reviewed: May 14, 2003

Strengths:    Frame tubes -- one of the world's premier steel tubesets

Frame geometry -- classic XC but with a bit longer TT and more SO clearance than most production bikes (especially among bikes available in 2001/2002).

Frame construction -- Yes, it's impossible to know for sure but quality seems top notch. Bianchi's Man in Tiawan TIGs with the best of them, as far as I can tell.

Frame design -- disc brake mount (with brace!), rack mounts, curved stays, 3 bottle mounts, integrated seatpost binder.

Some quality parts in places that matter

An excuse to try tubeless

Price (if you pay the common discount price)

That paint job

Weaknesses:    Price (if you pay MSRP)

A few lame parts in places that matter

Frame design -- not really a weakness, but is a "Mega-Pro" shaped downtube really any better than just plain round?

That paint job

Bottom Line:   
Either you appreciate fine steel hardtails or you don't. Those that don't aren't likely to be reading these reviews anyway (and wouldn't be persuaded if they did).

But for those who do, the 2001/2002 Grizzly is IMHO the best overall production hardtail available today. A Rocky Mountain Blizzard looks just as appealing, if you can still find one, but the common street price isn't close. The Jamis Dragon is dull in comparison, and still more pricey. KHS? a mid-range frame. Others? unfortunately, very few out there. The Big Bike Brands have all gone to aluminum.

Parts? XT shifters/levers and XT cassette too (where Bianchi could have easily cheated with something much cheaper) are highlights. So are the tires and, with some reservations, the wheelset. 20 spokes seems about 12 too few, yet my set has held true beautifully (after the initial struggle to get them true). The hubs have proved smoother and more durable for me than Shimano hubs. Weight is suprisingly reasonable.

Cockpit stuff is ok with the exception of the seatpost -- a clamp design that needs to be redesigned.

Fork is very solid, especially for the 2002 model year. But the headset is crappier than crap.

Bottom Line: Get one at a big discount and upgrade the few lame parts as you go along. You will have gotten a great deal, a sweet sweet ride. And maybe one of the last bike of its kind. Steel -- let along premium steel -- is even rarer in 2003. Buy this bike now or go custom later!

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   multiple steel and alu hardtails.

Bike Setup:   upgraded to full XT, Thomson stem and post, King headset

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jack schwartz a Cross Country Rider from S.F.Bay Area

Date Reviewed: August 28, 2002

Strengths:    Steel frame, Marzocchi suspension, tubeless wheels Looks beautifull

Weaknesses:    Very Heavy very cheap headset

Bottom Line:   
A little of problems at the begining with the tubeless, but happy overall with the bike, has a lot of little small details that makes it a good bike, an example would be that it is ready for a rack, 3 bottlesof H2O and disc brakes.
People think that it is an Italian bike, but that is not true, it is made in Taiwan; That is good because Bianchi USA had more money to spend on better components for the bike, like the suspension and the concept of tubeless; Also the factory in Taiwan most manufacture frames for many other companies with really high standards of quality.
The bikes is a good overall bike and I will recomend it, mainly because it is a STEEL FRAME, excellent suspension and ok wheels.
Nothing feels better than a steel bike on a singletrack or fireroad.
If you someone can tell me how can I make it lighter, I will apprecciate because it is on the very very heavy side.
My bike is a 21.5 inch and works good for me, I am 6.1 with very long legs.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   adrenaline

Similar Products Used:   Voodoo wanga grizzly 97, cannondale killer V

Bike Setup:   Thomson stem and seat post, egg beaters pedals, IRD handlebar, king chris headset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian from Winston-Salem, NC

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2002

Strengths:    The steel frame, the fork, tubeless tires, great color. Climbs like a mountain goat. Unique.

Weaknesses:    Pedals could be better. Tires can loose air quickly.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike, it flies through the XC and climbs like nothing I've ridden before. I wanted another steel frame so it seriously limited my choices. I have not regretted going with the Bianchi. The Celeste paint makes the bike stand out in a crowd, it looks great and gets lots of compliments. I bought this bike through Supergo (mail order) and had it assembled at my bike shop, I have definitely spent some time getting everything adjusted perfectly, though it has been worth the savings. This is my first new bike in 7 years and it has been worth the wait.

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Jamis, Trek, Specialized, Klein, Gary Fisher, Cannondale.

Bike Setup:   Replaced stem with a longer Titec.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Flyweight a Racer from SF, CA

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2002

Strengths:    Great steel frame, great fork. Rare third water bottle mount and rack mounts for those overnight rides.

Weaknesses:    Pedals.

Bottom Line:   
Great value and one of the only production steel bikes still being built. The Grizzly delivers a great frame and fork and those are the two most important parts of the bike. The celeste paint is a love/hate thing. Bianchi nicely complemented (or limited, depending on your view) the amount of celest with a sparkly navy blue front. The Marz fork isn't the lightest but being a cyclocross racer I really like the lock-out feature while climbing. Marz smartly sets it so their lock out occurs when the fork is compressed which helps to keep the wheel planted on steep climbs. Much smarter than the fully extended lock out on RockShox. The fork has also been very low maintenance.

Besides the great frame and fork you get a solid and reliable drivetrain and a great set of wheels. I'll admit I'm not a big fan of tubeless tires. The extra weight and hassle isn't worth it for the kind of riding I do and the terrain I encounter. For other people and conditions they're great. As it is, the stock Hutchinson tires work great and the Mavic hubs are smooth and low maintenance.

The pedals had to go. Not a big deal, pedals are right up there with saddles as one of those things that tend to be very individual. The WTB saddle on the Bianchi is a nice touch. Nice and comfy, much nicer than the crappy saddles they stick on their road bikes. The Titec bar was wider than what I'm used to so I swapped it out for an old Titec titanium bar that was laying around the shop.

It's not the lightest bike by any stretch of the imagination. However it offers a reassuring sense of solidity and stability missing from most lightweight aluminum bikes. I was able to drop the weight down by tossing on some lighter wheels (XTR hubs, Mavic rims, Revo spokes) and bars. Still, this will never be a 21 pound bike. Mine is down to 23 pounds though the lighter wheels and smooth, stable ride make it feel lighter than many 21 pound race bikes.

Any production bike is an exercise in compromise. Corners have to be cut somewhere to make the bike meet a certain price point while still leaving enough of a margin so that the shop selling it can stay afloat (not as easy as it sounds) Bianchi smartly chose to go cheap with the pedals and brakes. These are both easily and cheaply replaced and unlike bottom brackets - which require rarely used, specialized tools - it's something the average shadetree mechanic can do with just a couple of common tools.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Lots. Bridgestone, Bontrager, Klein, Trek, Yeti, Ibis, Fisher, etc., etc.

Bike Setup:   Replaced bars with Titec titanium, pedals with ATAC.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wilbur a Cross Country Rider from smithfield,utah

Date Reviewed: July 21, 2002

Strengths:    the superfly ride

Weaknesses:    pedals,grips and headset are junk

Bottom Line:   
this is the best all around bike i have ever ridden, you get what you pay for but sometimes you get alittle more. the supple yet precise handling that has made bianchi legendary is here in spades, even if the bike is from taiwan. the marzocchi fork complements the frame perfectly, with its somewhat hefty 3.8 lb weight, and delicious ride. my bike weighs 24 lbs, but with lightweight tires and headset could easily be 23. the pythons are 750 g but once again would not sacrifice that ride and dependability for a few ounces.

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Favorite Trail:   great western trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:   joyride in logan, utah

Similar Products Used:   96 trek 990 w/ wb sc90

Bike Setup:   bontrager race lites,eggbeaters,salsa grips, xt cranks and bb

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gus Jackson a Cross Country Rider from Boulder and Gunnison Colorado

Date Reviewed: May 7, 2002

Strengths:    Great machine! The bike rides and tracks very well....super components (after upgrade of brakes to XT)....FORK was the big reason for going with this bike and I am glad I did....after years of fighting Rock Shox, I am super satisfied with the ride of the frame and fork.

Weaknesses:    The Hutchinson Python I know why they are called "Airless Tires".....they do not seem to hold air very well at all....I'll update with Conti's and see if this UST stuff is worth the hype.

Bottom Line:   
Well, this is the first 'showroom' floor MTB that I have purchased in 10 + years of riding....and the bike is great! Love the Marz fork and frame tracks well....I get the idea with teh UST stuff, now, I need to find out the best tires for the job.

I am giving 5 for the Value and 4 for the Overall due to the UST stuff just not working right out of the box.

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Favorite Trail:   Buddy Bear and Turners

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Rock and Roll Sports, Gunnision, CO 970-641-9150

Similar Products Used:   Salsa, Yeti, hardtail and freeride.

Bike Setup:   Stock ++ XT Front D. XT Brakes/Levers and will need to upgrade the tires ASAP.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil a Cross Country Rider from Northern Delaware, Home of Great Riding!

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2002

Strengths:    Tubeless, Fancy Fork, Beautiful Bianchi Team colors, traditional steel frame

Weaknesses:    Those Italians wouldn't let their bikes show any weakness, would they? As I have experienced with both of my other Bianchi's, they got a little cheap on the headset, and brakes and pedals, but can't complain. Each of these components perform adequately, and have not failed me.

Bottom Line:   
The bottom line is that the Italians know how to do it right! Bianchi has created a bike that rides great, looks great and is affordable. The super fancy Marzocchi X-fly fork has crazy amounts of adjustability, steers precicely and is buttery smooth. Its rare to see a fork that retails for over $600 on a $1600 bike.
The tubeless wheelset only adds to the bikes character and supreme handling. Anyone who talks bad about tubless wheels either hasn't tried them and used them to their full potential, or is only regergetating the worthless filth they read in a magazine.
A solid XT groupo (there's a word the american bike industry fears). Bianchi did not go cheap and try to sneak in a cheap cassette or bottom bracket. XT shifters, derrailleurs, cassette, and truvative isis drive bottom bracket and stylo cranks.
I have been thoroughly impressed with what Bianchi has to offer. Their whole line is value-packed.
This bike is not the lightest thing around, but the ride is better than anything I've ever ridden. So what's the weight?? 24.5 pounds in the 19.5" size. Lighter bikes break and handle poorly.

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Favorite Trail:   South Appleton Section of Fair Hill

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Wooden Wheels, Newark, DE 302-368-2453

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale CAAD3, Bianchi Single Speed, Specialized Stumpjumper M4

Bike Setup:   Stock with fork soft, tires soft, seat low and bars narrow. Smooth and nimble.

Reviews 1 - 9 (9 Reviews Total)

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