The 1993 Bridgestone XO-1
is one of my favorite bikes, ever. I'm particularly fond of the "Construction Pumpkin" (orange) color. I've wanted one for years, but they enjoy a cult status which puts them firmly out of my reach, both due to their rarity (only 1000 were built) and the prices they command, nowadays. One recently sold on eBay for $2200.00!
Plus, the maximum tire size allowed by the frame and fork is a 26"x2.0. I like a wider tire, off road, and I really want to use the bike as a convertible on-and-off-road rig.
A couple of weeks ago, Mark and I were talking bikes, on the phone, and he casually mentioned seeing a red Bridgestone
MB-4 Trailblazer at the junkyard. He had pretty much ignored it, because the tig
-welded frames don't interest either of us, that much.
I happened to be leafing through the 1993 Bridgestone
catalogue as we were speaking, and I flipped to the MB-4 page. In 1993, the MB-4 was a lugged Japanese frame, rather than tigged
in Taiwan. So, I got on the internet
, and looked up the "Trailblazer" version. The only red MB-4 Trailblazer I could find in the catalogue archives was the 1991 model
, also a lugged Japanese
frame (all of the other years were tigged
Excited by the prospect, I asked mark to go and check it out. "If it's lugged," I said,"I want it."
Two days later, I had a lugged MB-4 in hand, minus the front wheel and with a broken freehub
on the rear. No worries, since I was planning on using other wheels, entirely.
I had just sold the Portage on eBay, so I had some project money available. I got on Rivendell's
site, and ordered up. Then, on to eBay for some tires, and Cycle Analyst for a lugged fork to replace the stock unicrown model. Some other stuff I had in my inventory.
So, I built this: Rivendell
650B wheels, Pacenti
2.3 tires, Sugino
cranks, Suntour XC
Mustache bars, Rivendell
Silver shifters and bar-end mounts, XT
V-Brakes. It was my more "modern" take on the XO
Unfortunately, the super-short steer tube on the 17.5" frame meant I needed a huge steerer
extension to get the bars where I want the. Not only do I not like the look of this, but you can't run that much extension on a threaded fork without the possibility
of snapping it off. I cut the fork down and, at a reasonable extension of the stem, the bars fell about 2" lower than I wanted them.
I rode it to the coffee shop, on Sunday, and ran into Brad. As we talked, the subject of the Rockhopper he recently acquired
came up. He told me that he was planning on building up a bike to pull Noella's trailer, but he didn't want to go to the trouble until he found a lugged frame.
"Step outside with me," I said.
I showed him the bike, and had him lower the seat to his position and sit on it. It worked fine, for him. So, I told him that he could have it in exchange for his Rockhopper frame.
After I got home, I started doing a three-way parts swap. The result:
The 1984 650B Stumpy Monstercrosser
. I had to go with the Avid Shorty brakes, because the V-Brakes didn't line up with the rim, as they had on the other frame. Otherwise, the parts are all the same as those which were
on the Bridgestone
with the exception of road bike brake levers replacing the V-Brake lever and I used the stock Specialized headset since I left the Ritchey
Logic headset on the Bridgestone
I'll get some nice 650B road tires for it (I still have the stock tires from the Portage to use, in the meantime). But, I want to do some off-roading
with it before I swap tires.
The fork is the stock fork which came on this bike. I had removed it when I converted the bike to 700c wheels, so I had to put it back in place to use the 650 wheels.
I had used the black fork to convert the 1965 Huffy tandem to V-Brakes, so I had to swap another mountain fork onto it (oddly, this one is very similar to a stock XO
-1 fork and won't take a wide knobby tire, though the 26x2.125 cruiser tires work nicely).
The red fork ties in well enough with the red cable housing that I decided to not spray it black. Carol may make me do so, since the tandem is going to her house so that she and Colin can ride it. That's one reason I turned it into a 7-speed.
It still has the original 1984 stem and handlebar from the Stumpjumper
You can see the temporary fence I erected across the back yard so that I could re-seed the grass where the dogs have run it down to bare dirt. Once I get the metal building moved to it's new position behind the shop building, I will actually sink some wooden posts and permanently install the fence with a gate. That way, the dogs can play in the grass when I am back there, but the grass can recover at other times.
So, that was my week, along with getting my taxes done. This is why I'm not getting many bikes built for the yard sale.