I would say that any bike in Rocky's lineup from 1996 is special, even this second from the bottom of the line Cardiac, on the account of it being Rocky's 15th anniversary. This little Cardiac is extra-special now with better than stock parts. Let's check it out;
I had built this frame once before with XT parts of the era, but then broke it down so I could repaint. But upon inspection, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend that much on it - time and money. I had bought a Kuwahara a while back specifically for the LX parts on it, so that seemed like a good match, even though they're older than this bike.
I think I made a good call - they look very good on this frame. I had plenty of options with the bar and stem, and I finally found a use for the Craig stem I bought five or six years ago in Portland. The tanwall tires (Tioga and Ritchey) are older than this frame too, but old bikes just look better with tanwall tires. The seatpost is brand new - the only new part on this bike - and the Flitle saddle is old and used up. Looks good though.
I've got a very faded Ritchey bar and Specialized bar ends too, to complete the textbook 90's hardtail look.
So, this was supposed to be a cheap riding bike that I could take anywhere and not fret too much about what might happen if I locked it up somewhere for a while. However, I suddenly have a bunch of bikes now that I don't honestly ride at all, so this might be up for sale.
Stay tuned for more updates on those other bikes.